Thanks for long, enjoyable season of prep sports |

Thanks for long, enjoyable season of prep sports

On Saturday afternoon thousands of people flooded Bears Stadium to watch the Rifle High School football team win the 3A State Championship – the Bears’ first football title in 31 years.Thanks to the Rifle football team, we all got to enjoy the autumn sports season a little longer than normal this year, but the fall season is now officially over – and what a season it was.Rifle’s run to the Class 3A state title – which culminated with a 7-6 victory over Sterling – is the obvious highlight, but the season was filled with noteworthy performances. • Staying on the gridiron, Glenwood Springs had its best season in more than a decade. The Demons finished the season with a record of 6-5 and reached the playoffs for the first time since the early 1990s. Ironically, Glenwood also beat Rifle for the first time in 14 years, on a 21-yard field goal in the final minute at Bears Stadium.It was a season to remember for both Glenwood and Rifle fans.In 3A football action, Roaring Fork followed up last year’s semifinal run with a trip to the quarterfinals this season. Brush dashed the Rams’ hopes of a repeat trip to the semis by converting a two-point conversion in overtime for the win. Not bad, considering Roaring Fork didn’t have an offensive starter return from the previous season.• Glenwood, Rifle, Basalt and Roaring Fork all advanced to the postseason in boys soccer, with Basalt making it all the way to the round of four.• Volleyball was no exception when it came to standout performances. Roaring Fork rolled through the 3A Western Slope League undefeated and advanced to the regional round of the postseason for the first time since current head coach Karen Crownhart was a player back in 1990.The Demons spikers had an up-and-down regular season but pulled it together for the playoffs to earn a return trip to the state tournament.• Then there were the cross country teams. The Basalt boys and girls teams both qualified for the state tournament. Led by all-state harrier Kate Wilson, the Longhorns girls team captured third in the state.In 4A cross country, Glenwood Springs qualified its girls team for its first-ever trip to the state meet, and the Demons showed they belonged with a 17th-place team finish in the 35-team field.Those are just a few of the standout performances over the past three months. If the winter sports teams have anywhere near the success of the fall squads, it will be another exciting few months in our little corner of the prep sports world.So bring on winter – and the basketball, wrestling and swimming action that comes with it.So bring on winter – and the basketball, wrestling and swimming action that comes with it.

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