Demons, Bearsopen season
Staff ReportThe Rifle Bears begin their Class 4A Western Slope League title defense today, and Glenwood Springs has a chance to rebound from a disappointing 2003 boys soccer season.Rifle posted an 11-1 (13-4 overall) mark in league play last year and advanced into the second round of the postseason. The Bears open the season at home at 4 p.m. today in a nonleague contest against Class 5A Grand Junction High School.While Rifle lost league player of the year David Romero and standout goalie Roman Tencza to graduation, the Bears return plenty of solid players. Adam Krick made the Western Slope League’s first team last season and comes back as one of the senior leaders this year. Krick will join senior Bryan Cloninger and junior Stuart Stapleton, both of whom received all-league honorable mention kudos last season. The Bears should have experience to burn this season, with eight seniors and eight juniors on the roster.Glenwood SpringsThe Demons were down a bit last season, missing the playoffs and finishing league play at 4-8 (6-9 overall), as the young squad developed during the regular season.That young squad now boasts a wealth of experience and should be a formidable foe in the Western Slope.”We should be a good team this year,” said senior Taylor Wilde, one of the team’s captains. “I think we were young last year and gained some experience.””In general, I feel like we will be much stronger this year and we should win some of those close games,” head coach Bob Guska said.One of the team’s biggest strengths will be depth. Guska said 36 players came out for the team – a big jump from recent seasons.”We’ve got depth all the way from juniors to freshmen,” Guska said. “It makes it a lot more competitive for positions and playing time. We have enough players who can hold their own, so our strength won’t be one player, it will be strength in numbers.”Wilde is a returning all-league player and fellow captain, junior Pat Shepard, can also control the pace of a game with his ball-handling abilities. Both Wilde and Shepard will likely see time at midfield and may also play on the front line. Defense is possibly the deepest position for the Demons. Co-captain Joe Schreiner will start on the outside, with Patrick Waller on the other side. Newcomer Isaac Hussain and junior Dylan Weller are penciled in at sweeper and stopper, respectively. Thais Kulweic is back for his senior season in goal. “We seem to have six or seven good defenders,” Guska said. “I think our strength probably comes from defense.”Other key newcomers and returners include Zak Stepp, Luis and Angel Garcia, and Adrian Castillo.The Demons open their season with a league game against Class 4A newcomer Eagle Valley at 6:30 p.m. today at Stubler Field. Guska said the team has added some halftime entertainment in the form of shootouts for pizzas and drawing in an effort to draw as many fans as possible.The Demons open their season with a league game against Class 4A newcomer Eagle Valley at 6:30 p.m. today at Stubler Field. Guska said the team has added some halftime entertainment in the form of shootouts for pizzas and drawing in an effort to draw as many fans as possible.
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.