Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Spring break is over, so let the real fun begin
Welcome to April. This is, in my opinion, the best month of the high school sports season. I say this not because of the activities themselves (I grew up on football and basketball, after all), but because of the sheer number of them going on.
For the next five weeks or so, through the early part of May, it’s going to be nearly nonstop. As a bonus, there are many area teams that will have a chance to stretch the season even longer. I won’t be surprised to have a team or two in the championship mix.
Spring break gave us a nice respite — and I’m sure many of you a nice tan — but I’m ready to send it into April. It should be a wild few weeks as things begin to heat up (yes, I mean that in more ways than one). Here’s the post-break rundown, by sport, with a heavier focus on lacrosse and soccer this time around.
The Aspen girls lacrosse team made its season debut in the CHSAANow.com poll at No. 10 this week, and it’s about time. Honestly, the fact they weren’t even getting a single vote to be ranked in the preseason poll was a bit perplexing. The voters don’t know coach Amanda Trendell like I do; but, if they did, they wouldn’t have had any doubts. I haven’t met many people who hate losing like she does.
The girls are 3-0, having won those three games by a combined score of 56-7. Now, we can question Aspen’s opponents, but Durango does have a win over Telluride (a win is a win), Steamboat Springs now is 4-1 after its season-opening loss to the Skiers, and California’s Cate School won a combined 31 games the past two seasons.
The Aspen girls get going again with a challenging trip to Battle Mountain (2-1) Tuesday afternoon and then host Golden (1-2) on Saturday.
The AHS boys, preseason No. 5 in 4A, actually dropped out of the rankings this week, where they are effectively No. 11. We haven’t seen enough of them to know how good they are, but I still see the Skiers as a top-10 team. They are 1-1, having lost by a point in overtime at Battle Mountain and having beaten Vail Mountain right before break, 11-9.
The Aspen boys will next host Fruita at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (it had originally been scheduled for Tuesday). Fruita is 3-1 and beat Battle Mountain, so it should be a pretty good litmus test going into April.
Preseason No. 4 in 3A, the Aspen girls soccer team has slid to No. 9 this week after a 2-2 start. Is there reason to worry? Not from my point of view.
The two losses came on the road against higher classification schools in Grand Junction and Steamboat Springs. After a 0-2 start, the Sailors have won four straight, while Junction’s only losses came to Fruita and 3A No. 1 Colorado Academy, which certainly looks like the team to beat right now.
Aspen has a 2-0 win over Delta and a 3-0 win over Roaring Fork, both games that could have been more lopsided than they were. If this team continues to believe, they are very much state title contenders this spring.
The Skiers open April with a game Tuesday at Vail Mountain (5-1), which should be a good one. AHS then hosts Summit (1-4) on Thursday.
The Basalt girls (0-2) are off until traveling to Coal Ridge (2-2) on Thursday. The Longhorns remain a bit of an unknown, as the two losses came on the road at current No. 3 Kent Denver and to DSST: Stapleton, which is effectively ranked No. 11 in 3A.
This team has plenty of talent on the roster, so I have no reason to believe they won’t be a pretty formidable bunch by the end of the season.
Both baseball teams are off to slow starts, and you can blame a lot of that on the weather. At least with Aspen’s turf field, you can brush it off and get some lacrosse and soccer practice in. Baseball doesn’t quite have that same luxury, so legitimate practices have been limited to date.
Aspen is 0-4, having been swept by Rangely and Prospect Ridge. They are scheduled to play a pair of games at Standley Lake in Denver on Saturday. Basalt is 0-2, having lost to Hotchkiss and Elizabeth. The Longhorns have nothing scheduled until playing at Battle Mountain on Monday.
The Aspen girls tennis team played a big tournament at Steamboat Springs, its main regional rival, before break. The Sailors won, leaving the Skiers with some homework going forward. However, AHS will remain a significant factor come regionals and should send a solid group to the state tournament.
Aspen will host Grand Junction on Thursday at Maroon Creek Club, then will play both Steamboat and Conifer up in Steamboat on Saturday.
The Basalt girls tennis team will finally get its season started with a trip to Grand Junction on Wednesday, followed by a home match with Vail Mountain on Thursday. This only is the third season Basalt has had a girls tennis program, and only is its second varsity campaign.
There is a meet Tuesday at Grand Valley, which Basalt will be at. Both Aspen and Basalt are tentatively scheduled to then compete Saturday at Eagle Valley.
There have been some promising results for both schools early on this spring, especially when it comes to the track girls. Most notably, Basalt sophomore Sierra Bower currently is ranked second in 3A in the 3,200-meter race (or the two mile) with a time of 11 minutes, 24.59 seconds. The Classical Academy’s Kaylee Thompson has a time of 11:21.43.
Speaking of Bower, BHS coach Allyson Decatur said the young star has been accepted, based on her time in the 3,200, to compete in the prestigious Arcadia Invitational, held Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles. A meet dubbed the “Home of National Records,” this is undoubtedly a big deal for one of the best young runners in the valley.
With the weather warming up, the idea of golfing is getting more exciting by the minute. The AHS girls golf team hasn’t done a whole lot of it to this point, having competed in only a single tournament by my math. If the schedule is still correct, the Skiers should be in Montrose on Wednesday for their second competition. They have a home meet scheduled for April 17 at Aspen Golf Club. Not sure how likely that will be to happen, but if it continues to heat up and the snow melts away, maybe?
In the meantime, the Masters is next weekend (April 11-14) in Georgia. Just wanted to throw that out there as that’s one of my favorite tournaments of the year and I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes to watch golf on TV for hours at a time.
The long drives to Denver to play competitive club softball and fine-tune her skills during the offseason are paying off for Glenwood Springs High School senior Kiera Larson.