Skiers drop 5A Central
With a healthy Henry Cote on the sideline in street clothes, Aspen played inspired soccer in its home opener Saturday against 5A Grand Junction Central. Freshmen Baker Boyd had a hat trick and the Skiers’ defensive backline of Matt Cooper, D.J. Furth and Cody Baker was dominant as Aspen rolled to a 6-1 win. Cote, a senior midfielder, nearly lost his life Thursday during a game at Colorado Rocky Mountain School after he collided with an opposing player. He went into convulsions, then stopped breathing. His heart stopped beating for a reported 15 seconds.He said he felt fine Saturday morning after checking out of Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs Thursday night. He will be examined by a neurologist this week, and, if all goes well, could be available to play when Aspen plays at Vail Mountain School on Sept. 27.”After I woke up, I was totally fine,” Cote said. “Right now, I’m not supposed to participate in any activity for the next 10 days and I need to take it easy.”While playing a 5A school was motivation enough to play well, the 3A Skiers also had Cote on their minds as they took the field. That made them unbeatable, said assistant coach John Gilles, who was filling in for absent head coach Grant Sutherland.”They certainly went out there with purpose,” Gilles said. “They were wanting to do well for Henry. We needed to do it for him.”Cooper put the Skiers up early in the first half off an assist from junior midfielder Nicky Anastas. Boyd added his first goal shortly thereafter on a penalty kick. Then right before the half, the freshmen striker hammered in his second goal, one-timing an assist from junior Steven Buzbee over the head of the Warriors’ goalie. In the second half, Baker added two assists and his third goal off another assist from Buzbee. The first assist, which put Aspen up, 4-1, was a beautiful crossing pass which Buzbee netted with a well-timed header. The second was a blast that bounced off the crossbar, which led to fellow freshmen Jose Meza slotting the rebound past the Warriors’ goalie.”Junior pushed us really hard in conditioning this week and it showed out there today,” Baker said after the game. The Skiers face downvalley rival Basalt Tuesday at 4 p.m. The winner will leave with the inside track to the 3A Slope title.Nate Peterson ‘s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.