Glenwood, Rifle prepare to hit the pitch |

Glenwood, Rifle prepare to hit the pitch

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent file

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” When Bryan Stoltzfus first moved to Glenwood Springs, he remembers combing the hallways for kids who looked athletic just to fill the girls soccer roster.

That’s no longer necessary. Nowadays, Stoltzfus has more than enough players packing his program.

Too many, actually.

For the first time in a while, the Demons actually had to cut a few players. While not fun, Stoltzfus will gladly accept having to make cuts over wandering the hallways.

“It’s a great problem,” said the second-year head coach, who’s been with the program in some form the last nine years. “I’ll take this headache any time.”

Stoltzfus has more than 45 girls out for soccer, a good chunk of those coming from a big and talented freshman class. The battle for playing time will be fierce, the coach said.

“I told the girls at tryouts, ‘You guys are going to have to work hard every day just to get playing time,'” Stoltzfus relayed. “They’re seeing that.”

The Demons are returning a solid senior core that includes defenders Abbe Vincent, Tiffany Brickell and Breanna Richardson.

“All three of them are defense,” Stoltzfus said. “That’s where you want your experience, for sure.”

Juniors Leah Mansfield, Allie Rippy and Megan Gould will lead the midfield.

Glenwood will also lean heavily on a talented sophomore class and that big crop of talented freshmen.

“Our freshman class this year is pretty strong,” Stoltzfus said. “We’ve got some speed with some good talent. That definitely should be interesting.”

The Demons open their season March 10 at home against Moffat County.

Early practices have new Bears coach optimistic

RIFLE ” First-year Rifle coach Jennifer DeHamer is quickly taking a liking to her new team.

With a scrimmage against Montrose and a few practices in the books, the former collegiate goalkeeper’s optimism is high.

“If practices go as they did (Monday) the rest of the week, I think things are going to be OK,” DeHamer said. “We have a lot of leaders. A lot of them want to stay after practice.”

Back from last year’s team, which went 6-7-1 overall, is a talented group that includes Caitlin Clay, Danielle Sjogren, Tessa Strousse, Sandy Samson and Mikel Condie.

Younger players Rikki Sours and Jocelyn Bracamontes are also expected to contribute, as are Jinna Harper and Crystal Clemons, who will battle it out for playing time at goalkeeper.

Not only are the Bears healthy in terms of talent, but they also have a good number of girls out for soccer this year.

DeHamer says around 35 players have been showing up consistently. That figure is spread between the varsity and junior varsity levels.

“It’s amazing,” the coach said. “We’re only taking a core 16 to 18 girls on varsity and the rest are JV. A lot of the girls have never played before. It’s good seeing them out there.”

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