Football: Aspen, Basalt facing road tests
The Aspen Times
The road show for area high school football begins Friday night.
Both Aspen and Basalt will hit the road for a pair of nonconference games.
The Aspen Skiers actually started the season last weekend with a 29-12 zero-week victory over visiting Montezuma-Cortez. They will take their 1-0 record west on Interstate 70 to Parachute for tonight’s game against Grand Valley.
Formerly a Western Slope League member with Aspen, Grand Valley now is 1A in prep football with a school enrollment that has fallen with the decline of gas drilling operations in the Parachute area.
The Cardinals will be making their season debut against coach Ryan Triece and the Skiers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Basalt, under veteran head coach Carl Frerichs, also will hit the road Friday night for a nonleague game at Class 1A power Cedaredge.
The game will be the first for both teams.
Cedaredge was a playoff team in 1A last season.
“We still have, as a team, a lot to learn,” Aspen head coach Triece said. “We don’t want to take a step back; we want to build on (last week’s victory).”
He said the Skiers rode a roller coaster last season, something he hopes to avoid this year with consistent, solid effort and execution each week.
“We have to play like that every week,” Triece said. “But we cold have better practices. We’ve been fighting it a bit.”
He said the Skiers have to learn to prepare with intensity every day.
“Practice in football is so important. We need to work some on our practice habits,” said Triece, adding that Grand Valley will be an inspired host tonight.
“They’re going to be pumped … first home game,” Triece said. “They are an improved team. They have athletes. We’ve got to play well.”
Triece said the Skiers must avoid big mistakes and not beat themselves.
Last week, Aspen had two takeaways against Cortez and no turnovers.
The Skiers will return home to host Steamboat Springs in a nonleague game Sept. 11.
A host of other high school games are on the schedule Friday night across the Western Slope.
Roaring Fork will kick off the new year against Meeker in Carbondale.
Meeker (0-1) dropped a zero-week game 17-16 at Rye last weekend. The Cowboys are 1A in prep football.
Glenwood Springs, in 3A football, will open tonight with a home game against Erie, matching playoff teams from the last few seasons.
Also Friday night, Coal Ridge will play at Dolores, Gunnison will travel to Kent Denver, Paonia will head to Monte Vista in a matchup of ranked 1A teams, Battle Mountain will play at Middle Park, Rifle is at Moffat County and Olathe is at Hotchkiss.
And in a renewal of Colorado’s longest running high school football matchup, Delta will play at Montrose.
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The 16th annual Summit for Life uphill race took place on Saturday, Dec. 4, on Aspen Mountain. The event is a fundraiser for the Chris Klug Foundation, which seeks to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.