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Big games featured as prep season nears halfway point

Real deal or no deal?It’s a question facing area prep football, volleyball, soccer and softball teams, so far as playoff aspirations go as the regular season nears the midway point of the fall sports campaign. And, with a full slate of scheduled contests ahead in each sport this weekend, answers could be resolved quickly for many area teams.The surprising Glenwood Springs volleyball team can vault into the upper echelon of the Western Slope League standings – if it can down Palisade in its home match Thursday.Currently, the Bulldogs are in second place in the WSL. Glenwood is 3-2 in league play.The Demons finish up their weekend’s work Saturday at Delta. The Rifle Bears, searching for their first match victory of the 2006 season, hosts Delta as their homecoming opponent tonight, then travel to Palisade Saturday.The rest of this weekend’s volleyball slate has Roaring Fork going to Aspen and Grand Valley hosting neighboring DeBeque this evening. League matches involving Class 2A and 3A teams Friday include Coal Ridge at Gunnison and Grand Valley at West Grand.Both are part of volleyball/football doubleheaders.Titans spikers host Hotchkiss at 5 p.m. Saturday. Farther down valley, the Roaring Fork-at-Basalt match is scheduled to begin half an hour later.Rifle, the area’s only Class 4A softball team, squares off with Delta in a rare 6 p.m. twilight game at the Deerfield Park complex on the North side of town. The Bears host Steamboat Springs at 10 a.m. Saturday for a doubleheader that had to be postponed last week due to a wet field.Coal Ridge takes on Paonia at home in the only soccer game on today’s docket. The Titans wrap up the weekend’s homestand Saturday against Colorado Rocky Mountain School.Other area soccer matches on tap Saturday feature Glenwood at Steamboat and Rifle going to the Peach Bowl to face Palisade.Also on tap Saturday, most of the area’s cross country teams will convene at Two Rivers Park for the annual Demon Invitational. On the football front, Glenwood’s playoff potential could be riding on the outcome of Friday’s home conference game against much-improved Battle Mountain, who stunned Moffat County earlier in the season and are coming off last week’s 42-13 win over Montezuma-Cortez.The Demons are 1-2 in conference play (2-2 overall) and need a victory to stay in the hunt one of the Class 3A WSC’s guaranteed four state playoff berths.Conference leader Rifle (3-0, 3-1) doesn’t have to worry about facing a WSC opponent Friday. But, they do have plenty to think about with 4A school Grand Junction Central making a visit to Bears Stadium.The Warriors are 0-5, but looked good in last week’s 42-35 shootout loss to Fruita Monument. Central running back B.J. Slone ran for 311 yards and four touchdowns.Undefeated Grand Valley (2-0, 4-0) can take a huge step toward securing a Class 1A playoff berth with a win over traditional conference powerhouse West Grand in Kremmling Friday night.The Class 2A slate has Roaring Fork traveling to Aspen and Coal Ridge taking a long trip to Gunnison for Friday contests.


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