First RPI rankings released by CHSAA for fall sports
For the first time in the fall sports season, the Colorado High School Activities Association released its initial RPI rankings, and as expected a handful of local sports teams are sitting near the top of the list in each sport.
In 4A, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls volleyball team, which sits at 10-0 on the season, originally came in at No. 20 Tuesday morning before sliding down to No. 21 before the end of the day despite beating Battle Mountain in four sets. On the season, Glenwood has dropped just two sets in a display of dominance under first-year head coach Kehau Rust.
“RPI is something that’s completely new to me,” Rust said. “I reached out to [Glenwood Assistant Athletic Director] Cory Hitchcock to explain it to me because I honestly didn’t know anything about it or how it worked. But we’re holding up pretty well with where we are. We’re undefeated, but we do have a few teams ahead of us that have lost, so we’re learning and growing. The next few games will be big for us because they’re against league opponents who are up there in the RPI rankings. But being in the top 20 is huge.”
The Glenwood football team has also gotten off to a hot start, sitting at 3-0 on the season while allowing just 28 total points.
Due to the terrific start under veteran head coach Rocky Whitworth, the Demons cracked the top 20 of the initial 3A RPI rankings, coming in at No. 16.
The Demons soccer team (4-3) comes in at No. 37 in the initial 4A boys soccer RPI rankings. Glenwood will have a chance to improve on that RPI ranking starting Thursday in a showdown with Battle Mountain, which sits at No. 23 in 4A.
For Rifle, the football team (2-1) comes in at No. 13 after a bye week. Despite having one loss, the opponents’ winning percentage for Rifle is higher than it is for Glenwood, which explains the higher ranking than the rival Demons.
The Rifle softball team (9-3), off to a blistering start under veteran head coach Troy Phillips, cracks the top 15 of the initial RPI rankings, sliding in at No. 11 in 4A.
In volleyball, Rifle (2-8) comes in at No. 50 under second-year head coach Kirsten Noska, while the rebuilding Rifle soccer team (1-5), coming off its first win in 21 games this past weekend over Grand Valley, comes in at No. 54 in the first fall RPI rankings.
In 3A, the Coal Ridge Titans girls volleyball team (4-0) came through with the highest ranking of any local school in volleyball, sitting at No. 5 in the 3A RPI rankings after starting the season undefeated. The Titans sit behind Eaton, Faith Christian, Resurrection Christian and Bennett in the top 5.
“I think this just gives us encouragement,” Titans head coach Aimee Gerber said. “The girls know we can hang with these teams. We beat Faith Christian last year in three sets [to get to the state tournament], so I was happy to see the number five ranking. We just have to keep winning, because we’re all in the same boat out here on the Western Slope. To be in the top 12 teams who can make it to state, we’re in a good spot for now. But I was a little disappointed to see a team that lost already ahead of us. But we’re not too worried about that stuff right now.”
Basalt volleyball (2-2) comes in at No. 43, while Roaring Fork (1-7, No. 61) and Grand Valley (1-6, No. 64) round out the local schools in the 3A volleyball RPI rankings.
In 3A boys soccer, Coal Ridge (5-1-1) tops the list of local schools in the valley, coming in at No. 19 in the rankings, while Roaring Fork (5-1) follows closely behind at No. 31 under head coach Nick Forbes. Grand Valley (3-2-1, No. 43) and Basalt (2-4, No. 47) round of the list of local schools.
In 2A football, Coal Ridge (2-1), under first-year head coach Bob Frederickson, comes in an astonishing No. 3 overall in the 2A football RPI rankings, sitting behind La Junta and The Classical Academy.
The Basalt Longhorns (2-1), riding high after a 35-7 win over No. 6 Delta Panthers, debut at No. 11 in the 2A RPI rankings, while Roaring Fork (0-3) comes in at No. 40.
Grand Valley’s football team, which started the season at 2-1, debuts at No. 19 in the 1A football RPI rankings.
It’s important to note that these initial rankings mean nothing towards playoff berths, but the formula used to determine the rankings shapes the playoff picture for all sports at the end of each respective sports season.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.