Football: Basalt returns from bye to face Grand Valley

The Basalt High School football team runs through plays Wednesday during practice. The Longhorns, fresh off a bye week, play at Grand Valley on Friday.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Bye weeks can be a blessing if used correctly, and the Basalt High School football team feels it did just that.

After opening the season with a 48-34 loss at home against Class 3A power Rifle — ranked No. 7 in the class in this week’s Colorado High School Activities Association poll — the Longhorns were content to enjoy some time off and work on their shortcomings from that first game.

“I feel like Rifle, and then having that bye week is just what we need to prepare for another football game,” Basalt senior lineman Cullen White said. “We are very focused in practice, in my opinion, and we can put it together.”

Basalt (0-1) spent the extra week preparing for Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game at Grand Valley (1-0), which defeated Vail Christian, 46-6, on Friday. Much of the focus was on improving the defense, which struggled in the season opener against Rifle.

“We are excited to play, but we are going to have our hands full,” Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said. “It was good for us to regroup. Our defensive technique and defensive assignments were not very sound against Rifle, so it was good for us to work on those in the bye week.”

Grand Valley, a Class 1A team, hasn’t won more than one game in a season since going 8-2 in 2012, according to MaxPreps. On the other hand, Basalt is hoping to avoid an 0-2 start, which could possibly derail the internally high expectations the team has this season.

While the defense struggled against Rifle, Basalt’s offense was stellar. Senior running back Ian Lumsden rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries, and senior quarterback Miles Levy was 16 for 29 passing for 267 yards with four touchdowns. On the receiving end of most of these passes was senior Kyle Roberts, who had eight catches for 202 yards and three scores. Roberts even threw a 32-yard touchdown pass.

“The first game was a fun performance. I think we are going to have a great game against Grand Valley,” Roberts said. “It’s going to be a tough game, but we’ll get through it. I think this bye week helped us. It helped us because we got more practice in.”

While Frerichs and the Longhorns refuse to look ahead, winning Friday’s game at Grand Valley becomes even more important considering Basalt plays at Delta — ranked No. 7 in 2A by CHSAA this week — in its third game.

“We are going to need to be ready to play,” Frerichs said of the Grand Valley game. “It’s one game at a time, and we are 100 percent into that game at Grand Valley. That’s all we are worried about right now.”