Area prep sportsoff to an early start
Alarm clocks were the first to feel the aftermath of competitive responses from high school athletes areawide Monday.Early wake-up calls sounded in homes from Glenwood to Parachute as prep cross-country runners and football, volleyball, soccer and softball players started a frantic beat-the-clock dash to arrive for the first allowable team practices of the 2004 fall season.Rifle High School got the jump on athletic year with 6 a.m. start times for its fall sports teams – along with altered sleeping habits.
“I got up at 5 a.m. this morning,” said RHS volleyball player Montanah Matthies. “I was excited about coming here for practice. But I’m used to being able to sleep in.”A stream of car highlights pierced through the pre-dawn darkness of the high school’s entryway at 5:45 a.m. to beat the deadline.”The last time I got up this early was during track season,” girls softball player Billie Blackwell said while waiting for a activity bus to take the team to its off-campus practice facility a few blocks away.Other team personnel were already at work before the athletes arrived.
Kelly Temple, the football team’s manager was on-site at 5:15 a.m.”I had to get to school that early to find the janitor to unlock the equipment shed and help the coaches,” she said.Issuing equipment is a major part of the first day of the new year. Dozens of players, on campus at 7:30 a.m., shuttled in the football equipment room at Glenwood Springs High School to be sized for helmets and pads.Meanwhile, in another part of the school’s gym, Demons volleyball prospects were in the process of having their vertical jumps measured and recorded.
Prior to the start of practice, each team’s coach asked the athletes if they had their state-mandated physical forms turned in. Most had the required paperwork in hand. For those who had forgotten the forms, it meant no activity. Or, in one case, a hurried round-trip from Rifle to New Castle for one RHS athlete’s mom to retrieve her daughter’s documents.As minor setbacks were resolved, coaches began putting athletes through drills.
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Sign language has become a bit of a competitive strategy on the court for the Glenwood Springs High School girls basketball team in recent years.