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Revving up for team sports season

Jon Mitchell
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor

Annnnnnd … it’s here.

Yes. That’s here. That thing that lasts from the end of August until the third week in May.

That thing is high school sports season.

Let the games begin.

High schools across Colorado will begin their scheduled two-a-day practices for almost all team sports on Aug. 11, with prep athletes needing to have their required paperwork and physicals turned in prior to the first scheduled practice.

Those practices will start for such fall sports like football, softball, cross country and volleyball. Games will begin as early as 4 p.m. on Aug. 21, which is when the Rifle High softball team plays its season opener at Basalt.

Boys golf, on the other hand, is already well underway. Practices for the squads at Grand Valley, Rifle and Coal Ridge began on Monday.

And the boys golf season will kick off today at Battlement Mesa Golf Course, with all three local golf squads taking the links for the season-opening Grand Valley Invitational.

Then again, there are some teams that can’t wait to get practice started before they get into playing their regular-season schedule.

One of those is the Rifle High football team, which shared the Class 3A Western Slope League title with Palisade last year to mark the third consecutive league title for the Bears. This year — for the third consecutive year — the Bears will hold their “Midnight Madness” football practice at Bears Stadium on Aug. 11.

That means that the Bears’ first practice will start at 12:01 a.m.

Yes. That’s “A.M.” As in, very, very early morning.

The Bears also can’t wait to get their season started. They’ll open the season on Aug. 22 at Bears Stadium with a “Zero Week” game. Rifle will begin the season against Moffat County of Craig, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

Moffat County, which last season played in the same league as Rifle, dropped down to Class 2A this season thanks to declining enrollment.


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