Demons optimistic about season ahead | PostIndependent.com

Demons optimistic about season ahead

Mike Vidakovich
sports@postindependent.com
Glenwood Springs High senior Zack Peterson drives to the basket against sophomore Dante Sparaco during the Demons' practice at Glewood Springs High School on Monday. Glenwood will open its season on Thursday in Alamosa.
Christopher Mullen / Post Independent |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS DEMONS

Boys Basketball

Head coach: Cory Hitchcock (fifth season).

Last season: 15-8 overall, 10-4 Class 4A Western Slope League (Second place), lost in the first round of the 4A state playoffs to Green Mountain.

Key Returners: Cameron Horning, Jr., G; Brian Burbidge, Sr. G; Zack Peterson, Sr., F; Jake Gentry, Sr., F.

Others to Watch: Evrett Marr, Sr., G; Mason Yellico, Jr., G; Matt Osier, Jr., G; Will Gray, Sr., F.

Outlook: Going into the new season, Hitchcock points north to Steamboat Springs as the team to beat in the 4A Western Slope League. The Sailors return most of their team from last year — including 6-foot-9 center Garrett Bye who has already signed to play at the University of Illinois-Chicago — but Hitchcock feels his Demons can run stride for stride with the best the league has to offer. Horning will shoulder much of the leadership responsibility for a Glenwood team that will be joined by Rifle, Delta, and Summit in chasing Steamboat for the league’s bragging rights. The Demons will open the season on Dec. 4 at the Adams State College tournament in Alamosa against the Hayden Tigers.

Girls Basketball

Coach: Jacky Gaddis (Third season).

Last season: 23-2 overall, 14-0 Class 4A Western Slope League (first place), lost to Palmer Ridge in the round of 16 in the 4A state tournament.

Key Returners: Madi Spence, Sr., F; Hailey Armstrong, Sr., F; Jordan Decrow, Sr., SG.

Others to Watch: Jaime Crowley, Sr., F; Bella Diaz, Sr., G; Megan Uren, Jr., G; Makena Warren, Jr., G.

Outlook: According to Gaddis, “pride and purpose” will be the team’s mantra this season. The Demons mentor, in her third season at the helm, predicts a wide-open race for a seat in the WSL penthouse. “The league will be the toughest and most competitive that I have seen in many years,” Gaddis said. If the ladies in red and white hope to repeat as league champions in the early spring of 2015, Spence will have to be a force in the painted area, and Decrow will need to be a consistent scorer on a regular basis. Finding a suitable replacement at point guard for graduated all-stater Delaney Gaddis will be no easy chore for the Demons, however.

Wrestling

Coach: Guy Brickell (10th season).

Last season: Glenwood placed two wrestlers at the 4A State Championships last season. Justin Barham (graduated) placed fourth at 160 pounds, and Myles Wilson placed fifth as a freshman in the 138-pound group.

Key Returners: Cristian Gonzalez, Sr., 220; Myles Wilson, Soph., 152.

Others to Watch: Jose Diaz, Sr., 170; Irvin Tallares, Sr., 145; Riley Prough, Soph., 120; Larry Flores, Soph., 126.

Outlook: With 40 wrestlers out this season and veteran coaches Guy Brickell and assistant Miles Cook leading the way, the Glenwood program looks to be on very solid ground. Cook, who has been Brickell’s assistant coach since the two were instrumental in bringing the Demon grappling program back to life in 2004, says this year’s team could be as good as any the school has produced. “We’re all pretty excited about this season,” Cook said. “Cristian [Gonzalez] and Myles [Wilson] could be in the top three in state in their weight class, and we have a solid sophomore class.” The Glenwood matmen will open the season on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Buena Vista dual tournament.

Girls Swimming

Coach: Steve Vanderhoof (First season).

Last season: Finished second at Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction last season, finished 10th in the Class 4A State Championships in Fort Collins.

Key Returners: Jessica Tuttle, Jr.; Kendall Vanderhoof, Jr.; Hannah Peterson, Sr.; Mikayla Axtell, Sr.; L.J. Fetzko, Soph.

Others to Watch: Zoe Lyon, Fr.; Lily Maccachran, Fr.; Kristen Davis, Fr.

Outlook: The Glenwood girls swimmers will open the season with the Glenwood Invitational on Friday at the Glenwood Community Center pool. New coach Steve Vanderhoof welcomed 21 girls out to a team that could end up being one of the best in the region. “We have about 12 swimmers who can score at each meet,” Vanderhoof said. “The key for us will be scoring with our relay teams. We have the ability to be at, or near, the top at the conference championships if we swim at the level we are capable of.”

Glenwood will be tested early, as top teams from Montrose and Grand Junction, among others, will invade the community center for the Glenwood Invitational.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — It’s a well-known fact that the sport of basketball has always reigned supreme during the winter months at Glenwood Springs High School.

With both the boys and girls teams holding much promise again this year, the hardwood season should keep Demon fans captivated until a playoff journey takes both groups into the early part of March.

“We want to play up-tempo, push the basketball and create opportunities with our defense,” said Glenwood boys coach Cory Hitchcock, who will enter his fifth season as the Glenwood skipper. “The key for us will be our defensive intensity.”

Coach Jacky Gaddis and her Glenwood girls will try to keep the ball rolling in the right direction and match, or better, last season’s impressive run that ended with a 23-2 record and a trip to the state tournament’s Sweet 16. Gaddis will look to senior starters Madi Spence and Jordan Decrow to provide leadership as Glenwood navigates a tough Class 4A Western Slope League schedule.

An added attraction to the 2014-2015 winter sports menu this year is a Glenwood wrestling team that may shape up to be one of the best in recent memory.

Veteran coach Guy Brickell and his longtime assistant Miles Cook have a large contingent of 40 grapplers out for the team, and there is some solid talent to go with the big numbers.

Senior Cristian Gonzalez (220 pounds) and sophomore Myles Wilson (138) go into the season being touted by their coaches as two of the best the state has to offer in Class 4A. Added to the two favorites are a determined group of sophomores that has optimism running high in the Demon wrestling room.

Not to be outdone, the Glenwood girls swimming team, under the direction of first-year coach Steve Vanderhoof, will look for a repeat of last year’s success in the pool when they finished second in the Western Slope Conference Championships.

Vanderhoof will be counting on seniors Hannah Peterson and Mikayla Axtell, as well as juniors Jessica Tuttle and Kendall Vanderhoof to make a big splash if the Demons are to swim to the top of the conference podium. Another big part of the team will be L.J. Fetzko, a sophomore who finished seventh in the state in the 200-yard freestyle and 14th in the 100 free.


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