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Experienced Glenwood teams ready for season

Jon Mitchell
jmitchell@postindependent.com
Glenwood Springs High School's Makena Warren goes up for a block during a four-team scrimmage at Glenwood Springs High School on Aug. 23.
Jon Mitchell / jmitchell@postindependent.com |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

VOLLEYBALL

Head coach: Sarah Ryan (Fifth season)

Last season: 15-12 overall, 8-4 Class 4A Western Slope League play (third place), lost in regional round of Class 4A state tournament.

Key returners: Jamie Crowley, Sr., OH; Bella Diaz, Sr., RH/MH; Lara Mollica, Sr., DS; Kenzi Johnson, Jr., S; Megan Uren, Jr., Libero.

Others to Watch: Morley Perrin, Sr., DS; Skyler Sherman, Sr., DS; Ivy Wight, Sr., MH; Chally Korn, Jr., OH; Makena Warren, Jr., OH.

Outlook: Glenwood was right with last year’s league leaders, Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley, for much of the season. Gray said the Demons’ defense will make the biggest difference in their success this season, and she’s confident with the girls at the net even though there’s not a lot of height on her roster. The Demons’ overall depth, however, is something Gray feels will help them compete for a league championship.

BOYS SOCCER

Head coach: Wayne Smith (First season)

Last season: 5-10-0 overall, 4-8-0 Class 4A Western Slope League (Seventh place), no postseason.

Key returners: Oscar Gallegos, Sr., MF/S; Daniel Garces, Sr., MF; Cameron Horning, Jr., S; Will Osier, Jr., MF; Shane Pittenger, Sr., GK/D; Elias Vasquez, Sr., D/MF; Oscar Villegas, Sr. MF; Mason Yellico, Jr., D; Ryan Nott, Jr., GK/D.

Others to watch: Eric Garcia, Sr., D; Juan Martinez, Jr., GK/MF; Rene Rosa, Sr., D; ForestWalker, Soph., D; Riley Prough, Soph., MF.

Outlook: Smith said he likes the versatility of his roster, but the two Oscars — Gallegos and Villegas — are expected to be key components to the Demons’ roster along with the midfielder Garces. Glenwood has three goalies on its roster who Smith said are outstanding, but Pittenger brings the most experience into the season among the three. The Demons, however, play in an ultra-tough league that includes annual state-title contender Battle Mountain. Smith believes that if the roster clicks, Glenwood has the ability to “play right with anybody in this league on any given day.”

CROSS COUNTRY

Head coach: Mike Schneider (Ninth season)

Last season: Had 19th place (girls) and 43rd-place (boys) finishers in Class 4A Western Slope Regional; No state qualifiers.

Key returners: Girls — Madi Spence, Sr.; Hannah Nilsson, Sr.; Sarah Fleming, Sr.; Carly Setterberg, Sr. Boys — Zeb Thorsen, Jr.; Stefan Buxman, Sr.; Alex Cutright, Soph.; Phillip Hecksel, Soph.

Others to watch: Girls — Claudia Hirons, Fr.; Boys — Jacob Barsness, Fr.

Outlook: The Demons had a respectable outing during their season-opening meet at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede in Colorado Springs this past Thursday, netting fourth as a team in the girls team standings and fifth in the boys race. On top of that, every returning Glenwood runner who competed in last year’s regional meet set a new personal record there. Schneider is optimistic that improvement ill continue through the current season.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — There’s plenty to look forward to for each of Glenwood Springs High School’s fall sports teams this fall. At least, that’s what all of their coaches think.

“We have a very, very talented group of players this year,” fifth-year Glenwood Springs volleyball coach Sarah Ryan said near the middle of last week. “My coaching staff and I are trying to pick teams, and it’s extremely difficult for us.”

Then, the Demons’ coach added: “That’s a great problem to have.”

Glenwood’s volleyball team played in a tough Class 4A Western Slope League that included teams like Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley, both of which finished ahead of the Demons in the 2013 regular-season standings and, like Glenwood, earned regional tournament berths. The advantage that Glenwood has this season, Ryan feels, is the experienced players and young talent that will make up this year’s roster.

The Glenwood boys soccer team didn’t see the postseason last year thanks to a stretch that included eight losses in nine games following a 3-2 start. Much of the nucleus from last season is still in place, however, giving the Demons a roster with plenty of experience for the coming season.

“We’ll be playing a very exciting brand of soccer,” said Wayne Smith, who took over as the Demons’ head coach from Steve White. “We’re going to work together as a team, attack as a team and play well together. I believe we have the guys on our roster who are versatile enough to make that possible.”

White, the longtime coach of the boys and girls soccer programs at Glenwood, stepped away for the season solely for time-commitment issues. Smith has coached with the Glenwood Springs Soccer Club for more than a decade and now serves as its assistant director of coaching.

Another Glenwood coach with more than a decade of experience is Mike Schneiter, who is in his ninth season of coaching the Demons’ cross country program. Last season was the first time in his tenure that Glenwood didn’t send any individuals to the Class 4A State Championships, but that doesn’t mean the coach isn’t optimistic about the upcoming season.

“We have a hard-working group of kids this year, and I know they’ll make improvements as the season goes on,” the coach said. “That’s what really matters.”


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