Boys soccer: Basalt charges into tough early schedule
The Aspen Times
BASALT — The 2015 boys soccer season opens this week with a big set of challenges for the Basalt Longhorns.
“We don’t have a ton of kids, and we’re off to a slow start,” veteran Basalt coach Brent Hayes said. “It’s been hard to get everyone on the field at the same time.”
The start of the new school year impacted some schedules.
And, Hayes said, the Longhorns had several projected starters who moved out of the area.
“And we’ve lost a few for some other issues,” he said.
But the Basalt coach said the Longhorns who are out for the team are excited and ready to get the new season started.
“We’ve definitely got a handful of strong, returning players,” Hayes said. “We still need about four or five pieces to step in.”
He said the Longhorns have been working hard with spirited practices.
“We know we’ll have a tough game against Aspen,” Hayes said of today’s season opener set for 4 p.m. at the Basalt High School soccer field.
He said the game against the Skiers, coached by Dave Francis, will be a great challenge and great preparation for the Longhorns’ weekend trip to the Sun Devil Shootout at Kent Denver.
The Longhorns will play Denver Christian in the first round of the tournament Friday in Denver.
On Saturday, the Basalt boys will take on either the No. 1 or No. 3 team in the state from last year’s playoffs.
“The start of the season is an extra challenge (with the tough schedule),” Hayes said. “But I like to play Aspen a lot. I like to see that … style of play.”
He said Francis has built an Aspen team that is strong in numbers and strong in play on the pitch.
“Dave really has his players in a physical brand of soccer,” Hayes said. “And that’s what they play (at the Kent Denver tournament).”
Those tough, physical matches to start the season will help prepare the Longhorns for the conference season, Hayes said.
“It’s exciting,” he said of the opener against Aspen and then the weekend trip to the Sun Devil Shootout.
“Then we’ll see Vail Mountain,” Hayes said of another powerhouse the Longhorns will face early in the schedule.
Basalt will host Vail Mountain on Sept. 8.
First, the nonconference match against Aspen this week.
“I’m hoping for a team that fights as hard as last year’s,” said Hayes, who is in his fifth year as the Basalt head coach.
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The dual-sport student-athlete was named to the Class 3A Western Slope League all-conference first team for softball as one of two Carbondale players on the Basalt High School softball team team last fall.