Relearning the Ropes |

Relearning the Ropes

Jon Mitchell
Post Independent Sports Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

Rick Stevens knows his team is in a transitional stage. That said, he feels he has the kind of players on his team who can make that transition.

“Everybody here has great attitudes,” the third-year coach of the Demons said. “That’s the kind of thing we need this year.”

Stevens is encouraged despite the 15-0 loss his team suffered at the hands of Eagle Valley on Tuesday. The way he explained it, this year’s group is much more receptive to learning the sport and playing as a team rather than playing as individuals.

That sentiment was echoed from members of the team, too.

“We’re starting to get the hang of it,” senior and team captain Tripp Axtell said. “We’re slowly developing.

“We’re better this year than last year,” Axtell continued. “Right now, people want to learn the game instead of just going out and hitting someone. That’s not the biggest part of the game.”

Henry Smirl and Sam Boyd each scored a pair of goals for the Devils, who induced the 12-goal, running-clock mercy rule by the end of the first half. Eagle Valley finished with a 30-3 shots-on-goal advantage and also had a 58-37 advantage in ground-balls – a statistic which simply measures how many times a team has earned possession through picking up a loose ball off the ground.

That’s going to be a big key for the Demons – who lost 14 seniors to graduation and return five – if they want to improve on last year’s record, their coach feels.

“When the indians played this, their stance was that possessing the ball was honoring the game,” he said.

And Stevens pointed to that as a reason Eagle Valley jumped to a 4-0 lead within the first three minutes of the game. Although the coach admits that the Demons are getting better at catching and controlling the ball, Stevens said his team is still rushing to score instead of being patient and waiting for better scoring opportunities.

That helped the Devils earn numerous scoring chances early on off of Glenwood’s lost possessions.

“We need to take advantage of the opportunities when we have them,” Stevens said.

The Demons will play again Thursday at Aspen, which will be their final game before spring break next week.

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