Expectations sky high for Roaring Fork fall sports | PostIndependent.com

Expectations sky high for Roaring Fork fall sports

Roaring Fork High School junior Aidan Sloan (5) sets up to shoot and score the only goal of the night during Thursday night's game against the Moffat County Bulldogs.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Prior to the start of the 2017 fall sports season in Carbondale, there was a buzz surrounding the boys’ soccer team due to the amount of talent returning, and the expectation of a deep playoff run for the Rams. Roaring Fork’s soccer program didn’t disappoint, as the Rams went on a magical run, reaching the 3A state quarterfinals under veteran head coach Nick Forbes.

This year, those same expectations hang over the Rams, who return a number of veterans once again.

Competing in a tough 3A Western Slope League will test the Rams all season long on the pitch, but with a veteran core returning from a deep playoff run, the Rams look to replicate that run this fall.

In volleyball, the Rams are looking to right the ship this fall under first-year head coach Karen Crownhart, a former Roaring Fork player from back in the ’80s.

The Rams fell on hard times last fall, winning just three games — going winless in the league. In steps, Crownhart hopes to rebuild the program in the long run thanks to a number of young players moving up through the system.

Much like soccer, the Roaring Fork volleyball team plays in a very tough 3A Western Slope League with the likes of Coal Ridge and Delta, so the Rams will be tested on a nightly basis.

If things work out as planned, this fall could be a very exciting one in Carbondale.

Boy’s Soccer

Head Coach: Nick Forbes, sixth year

Last Season: 14-4 (6-2 3A Western Slope League) lost to Kent Denver 3-1 in the 3A state quarterfinals

Key Returners: Max Candela, Sr., D; Aidan Sloan, Sr., D; Ronald Clemente, Sr., MF, Liam Liard, Sr., MF; Joe Salinas, Sr., MF

Players to Watch: Mikel Mayo, Sr.; Alvin Garcia, So.; Lucas Schramer, Jr.

Season Outlook: Coming off of a magical 2017 season that saw the Roaring Fork Rams reach the 3A state quarterfinals, the Rams return a number of key contributors to that team this fall under sixth-year head coach Nick Forbes.

“I think this group is good enough to win the league, which is my goal for this year,” Forbes said. “With our results last year, and who we lost in comparison to other teams, I think we have the best returning roster. Last year was pretty great, and it might be hard to replicate, but we’re working towards making a deep run and getting to the semifinals. That’s tricky in playoffs with everything being one-off. We just need to take that next step.”

Roaring Fork opens the season Aug. 23 under the lights at home against the rival Basalt Longhorns.

Girl’s Volleyball

Head Coach: Karen Crownhart, first year

Last Season: 3-19 (0-9 3A Western Slope League)

Key Returners: Emily Broadhurst, Sr.; Gaby Santana, Sr.; Logan Erickson, Sr.; Caroline Wisroth, Jr.;

Players to Watch: Letey Crownhart, So.; Hannah Feder, Sr.; Isabella Hernandez, Jr.; Bella Lee, Jr.

Season Outlook: It’s certainly a rebuilding year for the Rams, but one that comes with excitement as Karen Crownhart takes over the program as head coach. While no stranger to Roaring Fork or the volleyball team, Crownhart really doesn’t know what to expect from this young group this fall.

“We have a lot of athletes and a lot of intelligence, so we should be competitive, but it will take some time to learn the game and run things the way we think it should be run,” Crownhart said. “We hope to compete with every team in the league.” The Rams start the season at Sorocco’s varsity tournament Aug. 25.