Glenwood, Rifle set for league games
The real season starts now for area Class 3A football teams, as Glenwood Springs and Rifle open Western Slope Conference play Friday night.
Glenwood (2-1) travels to Moffat County (1-2), while the undefeated and Bears (4-0) are on the road against Palisade (3-1).
“It would get us off on the right foot to win the first conference game,” Glenwood coach Craig Denny said. “If you win the first game you’re not playing catch-up the rest of the season.”
The Glenwood-Moffat game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Rifle-Palisade game starts at 7 p.m.
With Moffat’s option attack Denny is looking for big games out of defensive ends Kyle Earlywine and Matt Wilson. The position will be key in containing a quick Moffat offense.
Offensively, Glenwood will attempt to continue with the offensive pressure it exhibited in its last two games. Against Class 2A Basalt and Bayfield, the Demons racked up a total of 72 points. Running back Adam Vincent has the Class 3A’s top yards-per-carry average (13.23) for players with over 20 carries.
It’s early in the season, but the Rifle-Palisade game could go a long way in deciding the WSC regular-season champion as both are expected to finish high in conference play.
Rifle is currently ranked No. 1 and Palisade is No. 10 in the state. The difference may be the 3A’s top rusher in Troy Weiss running for the Bears. Weiss is averaging almost 200 yards per game with 780 yards on the season.
In Class 2A WSC action, Roaring Fork (1-0 WSC, 2-1 overall) plays host to winless Hotchkiss (0-1, 0-3) Friday at 7:30 p.m. Basalt (1-0, 1-2) travels to Gunnison (1-0, 1-2) for a Saturday afternoon contest at 1 p.m.
The Demons boys’ soccer team finally gets to play on its home turf today.
Glenwood Springs (2-1, 4-2) faces Western Slope 4A foe Steamboat Springs (2-0, 4-3) with the junior varsity game kicking off at 4 p.m. and the varsity game following.
Glenwood should be bolstered by the return of leading scorer Ross Smith, who has missed the past two games with a back injury. Smith has seven goals on the season. His return gives the Demons the opportunity to field a double-threat with Derek Weller and his six goals making up the other half.
On Saturday, the Demon’s travel to Battle Mountain (2-0, 5-2) for another league contest. A two-game sweep of Steamboat and Battle Mountain will assure Glenwood at least a share of first place in the league.
In other area 4A soccer action, Rifle (1-1, 2-4-1) travels to Battle Mountain today and faces Moffat County (2-2, 3-4) at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.
And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a big rivalry game. Colorado Rocky Mountain School makes the short trip across Carbondale for a Class 3A WSL battle against Roaring Fork Saturday at 11 a.m. Roaring Fork also travels to Aspen (0-3, 1-4) today for a 4 p.m. contest, and CRMS is in Paonia today at 4 p.m.
Class 3A WSL leader Basalt (4-0, 5-2) plays host to Vail Mountain at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The Glenwood Springs volleyball team (3-0, 9-0) has the weekend off, but it has some work to do tonight on the road against Battle Mountain (1-2, 1-4) at 7 p.m.
The Demons are ranked fifth in the state in Class 4A and tonight’s game is the last chance to work out any kinks before facing Steamboat Springs (3-0, 7-1) next Thursday.
In other area volleyball action this week, Roaring Fork hosts its first game of the season against Hotchkiss at 5:30 p.m. Friday night.
On Saturday, Roaring Fork travels to Paonia for another 3A WSL contest at 3 p.m., while Basalt is in Gunnison at 5 p.m. and Rifle hosts Battle Mountain at 7 p.m.
The Glenwood and Rifle cross country teams bring their show closer to home this weekend with the Rifle Invitational on Saturday.
The Glenwood boys’ team is currently ranked No. 3 in the Rocky Mountain News poll for Class 4A schools.
Alpine Christian, which saw its ranking for the girls’ team jump from fifth to second in Class 3A in the Rocky Mountain News poll, travels to the Middle Park Invitational Saturday.
The Rifle Bears softball team plays host to Palisade today at 4:30 p.m. and travels to Eagle Valley for a noon contest on Saturday.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.