Basalt High football team heads to playoff game at Bayfield in style
The Longhorns left town in luxury.
Parents of Basalt High School football players and other team supporters chartered a motor coach bus for the team Friday for the long trip to the southwestern Colorado town of Bayfield for Saturday’s Class 2A quarterfinal playoff game.
“The town is just so proud of what’s happening,” said Scott Picard, a Basalt restaurant owner and supporter of the team.
He helped lead the effort to charter the motor coach so the players and coaches could endure the multi-hour drive with more comfort than on a regular school bus.
The most direct route to Bayfield is a 244-mile drive that takes 5.5 hours. However, that’s over narrow stretches of Highway 133 and several mountain passes on Highway 550. The motor coach planned a longer trip on wider roads, including Interstate 70 and Highway 191 through Moab before cutting into southwest Colorado. That will be about a 9-hour drive.
The team is staying overnight Friday in the Bayfield area so they can be fresh for the 11 a.m. kickoff Saturday.
Picard said it took organizers only about 10 minutes to raise the $5,000-plus needed to rent the comfy bus.
“We asked and we got zero resistance,” he said, citing the unique opportunity the team had.
Basalt won its first 2A playoff game last Saturday at home. Supporters recognize the team’s historical place and the opportunity for glory.
“All of these dads played ball when they were in high school,” Picard said, “but none of them probably went to the state playoffs.”
Longhorns head coach Carl Frerichs said the charter is another example of how Basalt is “an amazing community.”
“Next thing we know, we have people in town who stepped up to charter a bus for our kids,” he said. “It’s a special thing about being part of Basalt.”
Senior lineman Oswaldo Morales said the bus charter was huge for the team.
“Everything besides football has already been done for us,” Morales said. “Everything has been done for us to succeed.”
The team received a royal send-off from the school Friday. Students lined the halls at about 9:30 a.m. while the players filed past. As they loaded their ride, one player said: “We’ve got work to do.”
The bus received a police escort to the town boundary.
Sports Editor Austin Colbert contributed to this report.
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.