Blair, Coal Ridge rewarded for dream soccer season |

Blair, Coal Ridge rewarded for dream soccer season

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post Independent fileCoal Ridge girls soccer coach Brian Blair was named the 3A Western Slope League's coach of the year after directing the Titans to a 15-1-1 season.

A historic girls soccer season bred plenty of postseason plaudits for Coal Ridge.

The Titans, who earned the school’s first league title and its first playoff win in putting together a 15-1-1 campaign, landed five All-3A Western Slope League first-team selections, three honorable-mention picks and coach of the year honors for frontman Brian Blair.

Blair deflected all the credit for his award.

“It’s a nice honor, but I think the coach of the year is just a reflection of the players you have,” the third-year coach said. “I don’t take it too seriously. It’s kind of a reward for the work they put in.”

A handful of those players were rewarded as well.

Kelly Romero, Sam Wilson, Sydney Wright, Chelsie Ryan and Audrey Asplund were the all-league first-teamers and Tori Verdieck, Erica Ruiz and Ashlie Bowles were the honorable mentions.

Wright led the team in goals with 17. Ryan was second with 15 for Coal Ridge, which ended Basalt’s string of 11 straight league titles and finished the regular season without a loss.

Once in the playoffs, the Titans beat Bayfield in the first round for the school’s first-ever postseason triumph. While the dream season ended a round later with a loss to Denver Christian, players left the pitch eager to extend 2009’s success into 2010 and beyond.

“There’s a feeling of accomplishment that goes with some of that stuff,” Blair said. “I think also that made a lot of the girls very hungry to continue to see that success and to go further. I’ve already had people ask me about summer soccer. They want to get on the field and continue to get better.”

And that might mean more coach of the year honors for Blair in the not-so-distant future.

Roaring Fork senior Kathy Vega and Grand Valley senior Brittney Garcia both found their way onto the all-league first team.

Vega’s teammate, Hanna Burleigh, joined her on the all-league list, making it as an honorable mention. Kylee Dueitt was an honorable mention for Grand Valley.

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