Grand Valley teams are looking ahead |

Grand Valley teams are looking ahead

Mike Vidakovich
Post Independent Contributor
Grand Valley High School players Korrie Hurt, left, and Kyra Chenoweth hold hands while teammate Jori Dovey stands ready at the net prior to a serve during the Cardinals' match at Coal Ridge in 2014.
Jon Mitchell / Post Independent file |

Grand Valley fall sports preview


Head coach: David Walck, (eighth season)

Last season: 14-11 overall, 5-2 3A Western Slope League (third).

Key returners: Kylyn Rigsby, Jr., S; Allie Dovey, Sr., OH.

Others to watch: Bailey Rowe, Jr., MH; Lohgan McClung, Jr., MH.

Outlook: Head volleyball coach David Walck is used to putting a good product on the floor for each volleyball season at Grand Valley High School. This season, after losing six seniors who were part of the regular rotation, the Cardinals will be counting on the quick development of some younger players to keep them in the conference mix. Having two-time all conference setter Kylyn Rigsby back is a big plus for Walck’s team, but others will have to come to the forefront also. Walck sees Coal Ridge as the team to beat in the WSL, with Olathe and Gunnison giving chase. He’s not counting out improved teams at Roaring Fork and Aspen also.

Boys Soccer

Head coach: Chris Walker (third season)

Last season: 0-15 overall, 0-11 3A Western Slope League.

Key returners: Christian Vicencio, Jr., F; Russell Fladeland, Sr., F; Jesus Raygoza, Sr., F.

Others to watch: Matt Cornelius, Jr., D; Luis Chavvarria, Jr., MF; Alex Schuckers, Jr., G.

Outlook: Trying to build a team that is in only its fifth year of existence at the Parachute school is the task that third year coach Chris Walker has taken on. The Cardinals did not put a notch in the win column last year, but with some promising players returning, the Grand Valley fortunes may take a turn for the better in 2015. “We’re doing our best to build a team down here,” Walker said. “The kids have been working very hard so far, and we are hoping for better results this season.”

Cross Country

Head coach: Jessica Walker, (first season)

Last season: No state qualifiers

Key returners: Girls-None. Boys-Jonathan Smith, Sr.

Others to watch: Boys-Kellen Jansen, Fr.; Mason Lerna, Fr.; A.J. Serna, Fr.

Outlook: Coach Jessica Walker is experiencing some low numbers on her team at the start of the season as only four boys and no girls make up the Grand Valley squad. Walker is anticipating the possibility of more runners joining the team and is hopeful the boys will have enough to count in the team standings at meets. The Cardinals will open the season on Aug. 29 at the Warrior Invitational, hosted by Grand Junction Central High School.

Boys Golf

Head coach: Andrew Thompson (third season)

Last season: No state qualifiers

Key returners: Josh Carpenter, Sr.; Tyler Dove, Jr.; Sean Doyle, Soph.

Others to watch: Justin Smith, Soph.; Kade Hurst, Soph.

Outlook: Last season, junior Tyler Dove missed qualifying for the state golf meet by one stroke. This season, Dove’s goal is to erase the memory of a near miss in 2014, and get a chance to play in the schoolboy classic which will be held here on the western slope in Eagle. “This is Tyler’s third year on the varsity and he just missed a chance at state last season,” said Cardinal coach Andrew Thompson. “He got a job this summer at Battlement Mesa golf course and has really worked on his game. He spends a lot of time on the range.” Senior Josh Carpenter is in his fourth year on the Grand Valley varsity and he will be counted on heavily also to help with the Cardinal scoring at meets. Monday, Aug. 31 is a big day for the Grand Valley golf team as they will play host to other area teams at their own invitational tournament held at the Battlement Mesa Golf Course.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Post Independent this week is previewing fall sports at Garfield County’s high schools — Glenwood Springs Monday, Rifle on Tuesday, Roaring Fork Wednesday, Coal Ridge Thursday and Grand Valley today. Today’s PI also features our annual football preview section.

PARACHUTE — The Grand Valley High School volleyball team always seems to find a way to compete favorably in the tough 3A Western Slope League. Six seniors are gone from last year’s team that dropped only two games in conference play, but veteran coach David Walck believes his team can get into the mix at the upper end of the WSL once some of his young players gain match experience.

“For us to be competitive, we will have to put some things together. We lost a bunch to graduation, so we are trying to reload,” Walck said. “We have set some high goals. With experience, I think we’ll get the chemistry right.”

A big part of the Cardinal equation for success in 2015 will be the return of two-time all conference junior setter Kylyn Rigsby. The young Grand Valley team will feature only one senior in outside hitter Allie Dovey.

Chris Walker’s Grand Valley soccer boys can only go up this season after a winless 2014 campaign. Walker will look to returning varsity players Christian Vicencio, Russell Fladeland and Jesus Raygoza to provide veteran leadership and give the Cardinals the needed boost to get them into the win column.

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Coach Walker sees the usual suspects in Coal Ridge, Vail Mountain, Aspen and Roaring Fork as the teams to keep a close eye on in the WSL race to the top.

The cross country team at Grand Valley is down in numbers as the season starts up in Grand Junction at the Warrior Invitational on Aug. 29. New coach Jessica Walker is not fretting about the limited bodies on her roster as much as she is enthused by the work ethic her team has shown thus far in practice.

“We do have small numbers right now, but we’re just getting them out there running to the best of their abilities,” Walker said. “They seem willing to work hard, and hopefully we can improve on our times throughout the season.”

Walker is optimistic that a few more runners will join the team in the coming weeks after school is back in session.

Boys golf is in full swing at Grand Valley High School as the Cardinals opened the season on Aug. 13 at the Cedaredge Invitational. Coach Andrew Thompson has welcomed back two veterans in senior Josh Carpenter and junior Tyler Dove to lead his team.

Though he would like to see all of his golfers do well and make a run at the state golf meet, Thompson is most concerned with individual improvement as the season progresses.

“I would love to see my 2-4 kids shave some strokes off of their score and just gradually improve,” Thompson said. “Tyler just missed state by one shot last year. I think he has a good chance to get there this time.”

The Cardinal golf team will be on its home course this coming Monday, Aug. 31, hosting other area teams at the Battlement Mesa Golf Club.

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