Prep Notebook: Rams remain positive; CHSAA changes up for approval this month
Marty Madsen can’t help but feel optimistic about his Roaring Fork High School baseball team, even if the Rams still haven’t won a game this season.
“That’s what I keep telling our guys because we’re so close. I mean, we’re so close,” the Rams coach said. “All we need to do is punch through on the chances we’re making for ourselves.”
Madsen’s viewpoint can be attributed to its extremely young roster. Nine players on the Rams’ 15-player roster are underclassmen — enough to fill out an entire lineup card. And the Rams have been trying to tap that potential for the first part of the season, starting seven underclassmen during their Class 3A Western Slope League doubleheader at Olathe on March 14.
The good news? It appears to be working.
“We’re creating chances for ourselves and, at some point, we’re going to break through,” Madsen said.
Roaring Fork (0-6 overall) was able to load the bases twice in the early innings of Rifle’s 11-1 victory over the Rams this past Wednesday at Cooper Field, but were unable to break through with a big hit. In the opening game of their doubleheader at Basalt on March 21, the Longhorns needed a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to win it.
Madsen figures something has to give soon, though, especially with solid early performances from freshman Drew Broadhurst (.385 batting average) and sophomore Aldo Pinela (.429).
The Rams have a chance to pick up their first win twice before their April 11 home opener when they host a league doubleheader against Grand Valley. They’ll play a single game at Cedaredge on Saturday before playing a nonleague game at Glenwood Springs on April 8.
BASEBALL SEASON OF CHANGE?
Teams like Roaring Fork will have much more time to get better as soon as next season if proposals made to the Colorado High School Activities Association is approved.
Representatives from the hybrid Southwestern League followed through with a proposal they were drafting at the beginning of the baseball season, with that proposal going to CHSAA’s legislative board for approval in the board’s April 16 meeting in Aurora. The proposal would move the start of the high school baseball season in Colorado back one week to the first Monday of March as opposed to current rules, where practice begins on the final Monday of February.
Adding on to that proposal is one from the Centennial League, which would increase the number of regular-season games from 19 to 23. The proposals were made in an effort to limit possible conflicts between winter and spring sports seasons while ensuring a higher probability of playable field conditions.
If both measures pass — indications published on CHSAA’s Web site say that’s likely — the final weekend of the 2016 baseball season would fall on the weekend of June 3 and 4.
OTHER PROPOSALS UP FOR VOTE
The baseball proposals aren’t the only things that are up for approval in the middle of the month. Among them are the following:
• CHSAA’s hockey committee has proposed adding junior varsity programs to the state’s prep hockey programs. If approved, it could bring CHSAA-sanctioned high school hockey to Garfield County. Yampah Mountain High School in Glenwood Springs, according to a story posted on http://www.CHSAAnow.com, hopes to add a junior varsity team. That, however, is pending CHSAA membership. The school has a visit with CHSAA officials scheduled for late May.
• The Tri-Valley League proposed moving the Class 4A state basketball tournament from its current 32-team format back to the 48-team bracket that was used as recently as 2014.
• Two proposals are looking for Colorado to increase the number of classifications in their respective sports. One, proposed by the Union Pacific League, would added a 6A classification for football. Another would add a third classification to girls golf, girls swimming and girls tennis.
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Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.