Busy weekend for prep athletes

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen's Charlie VanAllen (13) charges up the ice with the puck during a game earlier this year against Steamboat Springs. The AHS hockey team will host Valor Christian at 4 p.m. Saturday at Lewis Ice Arena at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC).
Aubree Dallas / The Aspen Times |

The pre-holiday schedules for high school athletes hit full speed this week.

Most all winter sports will see action this weekend, including the Aspen High School swim team and ski team.

The AHS Nordic ski racers are scheduled to compete in the Middle Park Invitational in Granby on Saturday, the inaugural meet of the prep ski season.

The Aspen High School girls swim team also will participate in its first event Saturday — the Western Slope League Relays at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

The Skiers’ basketball teams, meanwhile, will open the home season Friday night against visiting Rifle.

The Aspen girls will take on the Rifle girls at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the AHS main gym.

The Aspen boys will play the Rifle boys at 7 p.m., right after the girls varsity game.

Both Aspen teams were scheduled to play nonconference road games at Hotchkiss on Thursday night.

Home action Saturday will move to Lewis Ice Arena at the Aspen Recreation Center where the AHS hockey team will host Air Academy at 4 p.m.

The Skiers (2-1) are coming off a tough 2-1 loss at Battle Mountain last weekend, victimized by an early Huskies’ goal and penalties, according to head coach Dru Lucchesi.

“We had a good amount of shots (at Battle Mountain),” Lucchesi said. “But in the first period, we came out flat. We got behind early.”

He said a coaching error on his part led to another Battle Mountain goal.

“Then, in the third period, we took a couple penalties,” he said, adding that the Skiers are working on their focus and discipline as they prepare for Saturday’s nonleague game against Air Academy.

Next weekend, the Skiers will host two key conference games against a pair of powerhouses.

On Friday, Dec. 19, Cherry Creek will visit Aspen.

One day later, Dec. 20, Regis Jesuit will skate in Aspen against the Skiers.

“Those are our first conference games,” Lucchesi said.