Football: Basalt to host Aspen for homecoming
Don’t let the records fool you — Friday’s 7 p.m. high school football game between Aspen and Basalt should be entertaining, and both coaches will tell you exactly that.
“Throw all that stuff out the window,” Aspen coach Karson Pike said. “Rivalry games, especially when it’s a small community versus a small community and we are only a few miles away and a lot of those kids live up here and vice versa, anything can happen. So you got to play for some school pride and play knowing it’s bragging rights for a calendar year.”
Aspen (1-4 overall, 0-1 Western Slope League) is looking to make up for a somewhat disappointing 31-22 home loss to Coal Ridge last week in the league opener. The Skiers should be as healthy as they have been in a month, especially with the expected return of freshman Trey Fabrocini and senior James Kistner, both important starters on each side of the ball.
“It looks like coach Pike is really coaching those kids up and doing an awesome job,” said Basalt coach Carl Frerichs. “I think they are pretty young, but they definitely know what they are doing. The scheme on offense looks really sharp.”
Basalt (3-2 overall, 1-0 Western Slope League) rolled Steamboat Springs 49-0 a week ago at home in its league opener. The Longhorns will again be the host school this week against Aspen, with Friday’s game also serving as homecoming.
This will be Aspen’s first road game since playing at Middle Park in the season opener Aug. 26. The Skiers past four games were all played at home.
“We will have our hands full. They are going to be extremely physical,” Pike said of Basalt. “With that team, it doesn’t take a lot of plays for them to win football games. They are pretty straightforward with what they are going to do.”
Neither coach found it difficult to find praise for the other team, especially in terms of offense. While Aspen only averages 18.8 points per game, it’s rarely had trouble moving the ball. Pike’s up-tempo offense has slowly gained steam over the weeks and will give the Longhorns’ defense a different look than they’re use to seeing.
“With their offense, we are definitely going to have to be sound with our assignments,” Frerichs said. “They have that run-pass option, which honestly I’ve never coached against, where a quarterback really can throw the screen or he can run it or he can hand it off. It looks like he has three options on a lot of their pass plays. It’s kind of been fun getting ready for them.”
Led by senior quarterback Miles Levy, Basalt has averaged 31.8 points per game. While Pike did call Basalt’s offense “pretty straightforward,” he admitted stopping it is easier said than done. Defensively, the young Skiers have had trouble with some of the more physical opponents they have faced this season.
But Friday is a rivalry game, and all those numbers don’t mean much. The past two seasons have produced a pair of close games between the schools, both six-point wins for Basalt. Aspen last beat Basalt in 2013.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.