Glenwood winter sports poised for exciting seasons
Graduation seemed to hit Glenwood Springs High School hard last spring as a number of top winter athletes moved on to the college ranks, but fortunately for Demon athletics, a number of talented athletes return this winter in boys and girls basketball, girls swimming and wrestling.
Last season, the Glenwood boys basketball team claimed a share of the 4A Western Slope League championship, while the girls swimming team won the West Regional title the last two seasons. The Glenwood girls basketball team reached the state playoffs for the first time under head coach Rhonda Moser, while the Glenwood wrestling team saw two players wrestle for the state title in their respective weight classes.
Now, a new season beckons and expectations are high for all four programs at Glenwood. It should make for an exciting winter in the valley for Demons athletics.
Head Coach: Steve Vanderhoof (fourth season)
Last Year: Won regional title last two seasons. The West Slope region consists of all 3A, 4A and 5A teams on the Western Slope.; placed third in 3A State Championship meet last year.
Key Returners: Kristen Davis, Sr. (500 FR, 200 FR); Macy Stinson, Jr. (200 IM, 100 BK, 100 BR); Zoe Lyon, Sr. (100 BK, 100 FR)
Swimmers to Watch: Kylee Smith, Fr. (100 Fly, 100 FR); Sarah Helm, Jr., (50 FR, 100 FR); Sophie Moon, Fr. (100 BR, 200 IM)
Season Outlook: With a number of key returning swimmers that competed at the state meet last season, the Demons will undoubtedly continue to compete for a third-straight regional title under Vanderhoof. “We graduated a couple top-performing swimmers from last year, which will make a repeat performance at the State Championship challenging,” Vanderhoof said. “That being said, I feel we have more depth then the last two years, and with the addition of a diving component to the team this year we should be in contention for a third straight Western Slope Regional Championship.”
Head Coach: Guy Brickell (24th season total), assistant coach Miles Cook (14th season)
Last season: Myles Wilson won the 182-pound 4A state championship; Riley Prough finished as runner-up in 126-pound weight class in 4A
Key Returners: Felix Cano, Sr. (145 lbs)
Wrestlers to Watch: Amos Wilson, So. (170 lbs); Max Burrell, So. (113 lbs); Matthew Flores, Jr. (132 lbs); Juan Felan, Sr.
Season Outlook: It’s going to be very tough to replace the senior class that graduated, headlined by Wilson (now at Iowa) and Prough (now at Simon Frasier University in Canada), but with a strong program in place and a key 3-time state qualifier in Cano returning for Brickell and Cook this winter, the Demons should continue to be very competitive in dual meets while also hopefully having the chance to send multiple wrestlers to the state meet once again.
“It’s still early in the season, and we don’t know who’s going to be wrestling where or how we’re going to fill weights,” Cook said. “We’re definitely going to be down compared to the last few years considering what we lost, but we’ve got some solid kids, and we should be on the high side of 500 and still be pretty competitive with a lot of teams.”
Head Coach: Rhonda Moser (third season)
Last Season: 11-13 (7-5 4A Western Slope League, fourth place), lost to Erie 46-38 in first round of 4A state playoffs
Key Returners: Tatum Peterson, Sr., C; Maddie Bolitho, Sr., PG; Saylor Warren, Sr., F; Ximena Gutierrez, Jr., PG/SG; Ellie Moser, Sr., SG/F; Dani DeCrow, Sr., F
Players to Watch: Natalya Taylor, So., PG/SG;
Season Outlook: The Glenwood girls basketball team sees a number of key players from last season’s playoff team return, highlighted by the standout forward and guard combination of seniors Tatum Peterson and Maddie Bolitho. Add in a handful of key role players and a strong, experienced bench, and third-year head coach Rhonda Moser has a deep, experienced team to work with this winter, which should skyrocket expectations for this group. After falling in the first round of the 4A state playoffs and finishing fourth in the 4A Western Slope League behind Rifle, Palisade and Eagle Valley, the Demons should take the next step forward and compete for a possible league championship this season and, hopefully, a deep 4A state playoff run.
Head Coach: Cory Hitchcock (seventh season)
Last Season: 14-11 (8-4 4A Western Slope League, tied with Steamboat Springs for first in league), lost to Pueblo West in second round of 4A state playoffs
Key Returners: AJ Crowley, Sr., SG/SF; Aaron Smith, Sr., PG/SG; Angel Garcia, Jr., SG; Luke Gair, Jr., PF/C;
Players to Watch: Holden Kleager, Sr., C/PF; Kevin Ayon, Jr., PG; Wyatt Ewer, Jr., SG/SF; Chano Gonzalez, Jr., PG/SG; Erwin Rodriguez, Jr., G; Gabe Suarez, Sr., C/PF
Season Outlook: Coming off a great season under head coach Cory Hitchcock that saw the Demons win a share of the 4A WSL league title and reach the second round of the state playoffs, the Demons are poised to reach greater heights this season with a deep, talented team, highlighted by two key seniors in Crowley and Smith, who are the key cogs to the engine that is the Demon basketball team. The duo should fill up the stat sheets this winter under Hitchcock while guiding a deep, talented junior class along the way. This is an exceptionally talented team that will play an exciting brand of basketball, getting out and running and shooting a lot of threes while playing a physical, swarming brand of basketball, which has become a trademark under Hitchcock’s regime at Glenwood.