PARACHUTE - Grand Valley High School's spring sports teams are looking for improvement all around this season. On Tuesday, there was resounding evidence that would happen.The Grand Valley girls soccer team earned a resounding 15-2 victory over Colorado Rocky Mountain School in the Cardinals' season opener. Coach Eric Sarno was not only surprised by the victory, but the margin of victory."This shows what kind of progress we've made," he added.Baseball has hopes that kind of progress can be made on the dirt diamond after a three-win campaign a year ago. Grand Valley's track and field team sent three athletes to the 3A state meet and are hoping for more this season.And Grand Valley's girls golf team had a good start to the season last week. Junior Misty Bowen recorded a 92 at the Cardinals' season-opening tournament in Grand Junction on March 4, setting a school record for the lowest round played by a girls golfer at Grand Valley.Here's a look at the spring sports teams and seasons at Grand Valley:BASEBALLCoach: Jake Gray (third season).Last year: 3-16 overall.Key returnees: Jake White, Sr., 2B/P; Stephan Padilla, Sr., SS/P; Jose Ramirez, Sr., 3B/P; Wyatt Hurst, Sr., 3B/P; Wyatt Hurst, Sr., 1B/P; Tristan Olson, Jr., C/P; Trent Reidle, Sr., CF/P.Others to watch: Luke Bowen, Fr., UT; Johnny Parker, Fr., IF; Tanner McGee, Fr., UT; Jared Radel, Fr., UT; Jacob Hart, Jr., UT.Look ahead: Grand Valley had a down year in 2012, but Gray feels the Cardinals' improvement will extend well past what they do on the field. "We have a group of seniors who I think will take ownership of the team," Gray said. ... Grand Valley has some depth on the mound, as seven different returnees have the ability to pitch. Seniors Ramirez and Reidle are expected to compete for the No. 1 starter spot. ... Grand Valley returns Jake White at second base. White suffered a severe leg injury during an auto shop class in November, and it forced him to miss the Cardinals' 2A state playoff game and all of basketball season.TRACK AND FIELDCoach: Mark Jansen.Last year: Sent three athletes to Class 3A state meet.Key Athletes: Rocio Roman, Sr., middle distance and distance; Korrie Hurt, Soph., distance; Ben Coleman, Soph., hurdles and jumps; Isaiah Martinez, Sr., middle distance and distance; Zach Steinke, Jr., jumps and relays; Jori Shaver, Jr., middle distance.Look ahead: Roman is the only returning state qualifier this season for the Cardinals, and a viable one. The senior qualified in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the 1,600 meters, and she finished sixth in the 300 hurdles at the state meet. ... Grand Valley has a lower number of athletes this season, but Jansen is confident that the 34 athletes who will be participating this season will show improvement by the beginning of May.GIRLS SOCCERCoach: Eric Sarno (second season).Last year: 9-6-0 overall, sixth place in Class 3A Western Slope League.Key returnees: Jordanne Williams, Sr., Def.; Codi Metcalf, Jr., Def.; Ashlynn Speakman, Jr., MF/F; Jauren Paskett, Soph., MF/F; Kyra Chenoweth, Soph., MF/F.Others to watch: Megan Smith, Soph., MF; Desi McGee, Soph., GK; Erin Schuckers, Jr., GK.Look ahead: Grand Valley started the season with a bang on Tuesday, blitzing Colorado Rocky Mountain School 15-2 in its season opener. The margin of victory was a big surprise to Sarno, who noted after the game that both of the Cardinals' games with CRMS last season were close. ... The Cardinals have 17 returning varsity players from a season which was the best in the program's history. Sarno said his team feels poised for its first run at the 3A state playoffs.GIRLS GOLFCoach: Drew Thompson (first season)Last Year: No state qualifiers.Key returners: Misty Bowen, Jr.; Vanessa Green, Jr.Others to watch: Jory Dovy, Soph.; Brandi Dyer, Fr.; Jenny Hughes, Fr.Look Ahead: Thompson is encouraged from Bowen's performance in the Cardinals' season opener, primarily since that was the first time any team members had seen any time outside because of the weather. ... Thompson is in his first year of coaching Grand Valley, and his emphasis for the team is improvement. "If I can get everyone on the team to break 100, we'll have done very well," Thompson said.
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