Prep notebook: Titans’ hectic schedule lasts through weekend
Coal Ridge High School’s girls soccer and track and field teams won’t have to fight nearly as hard this year with possible schedule conflicts. They’ll still have to fight, though.
“It is a little frustrating,” Coal Ridge track coach Ben Kirk said. “We manage to make it work, though.”
All total, 10 student athletes share time on each team, and both of them have some important events going this weekend. The Coal Ridge girls soccer team is hosting the first and second rounds of the Class 3A state playoffs, and the school’s track team is competing in the 3A Western Slope Championships at Stoker Stadium in Grand Junction.
Coal Ridge will host Front Range Christian at 6 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the 3A soccer playoffs, a game that follows the first-round game that Grand Valley plays against The Pinnacle at 4 p.m. Friday. Winners play each other on Saturday, with the second-round game starting at 4 p.m. with a Coal Ridge/Grand Valley matchup, but it would begin at 3 p.m. Saturday if the matchup involves either The Pinnacle or Front Range Christian to accommodate for the visitor’s travel time.
The players on the soccer team, however, will wind up missing some events at the league meet no matter what. Among them are the 4×800- and the 4×400-meter relay teams, along with the 200 meters, which are scheduled for later in the day.
It will cost Coal Ridge points in the team standings, but it won’t cost the Titans state qualifiers. That’s because the Colorado High School Activities Association, which once used regional meets at the end of the season to determine qualifiers for the state meet, now uses a ranking system that qualifies athletes to the state meet over the course of the season.
“The ranking system is what saved us there,” Kirk said.
The good relationship between Kirk and Coal Ridge girls soccer coach Micah Herron has helped make the schedules work between the teams. They’ll have much easier schedules to work with next week, though. In the event Coal Ridge wins twice this weekend, CHSAA has pre-emptively approved for the Titans’ quarterfinal-round game to be played on Wednesday, May 14. The state meet takes place at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood from May 15 to 17, and no soccer games would take place during that time.
That’s a stark contrast from last year, when CRHS school officials had to consider someone running from a final at straight track and straight to the parking lot to a vehicle waiting to take the athlete to the 3A semifinal. Still, it’s a group effort to get things organized.
“Micah and Ben do a great job of coordinating together,” Coal Ridge Athletic Director Mike Aragon said.
Glenwood’s Jared Gambrel to play college hoops
Glenwood Springs High School senior Jared Gambrel, a key part of the Demons’ boys basketball season this year, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to play basketball at Fergus Falls Community College in Fergus Falls, Minn.
Gambrel, a 6-foot-1 guard who helped the Demons reach the Class 4A state playoffs for the second consecutive year, looked at three community colleges in Arizona — Mesa, Scottsdale and South Mountain — and Clark College in DeBuke, Iowa, before deciding on Fergus Falls, and NJCAA Division III school.
“They press a lot and play a lot of up-tempo, full-court basketball,” Gambrel said. “That plays really well into that I do as a player.
“I always wanted to play college ball, and this will give me a chance to play at the next level,” he added.
Gambrel was the Demons’ second-leading scorer last season, averaging 11.5 points per game while shooting 42 percent (95 for 228) from the field. He also shot 80 percent from the free throw line (45 for 56) and averaged four assists and 1.3 steals per game for a team that finished 15-8 overall and 10-4 in the 4A Western Slope League.
Gambrel said he hopes to major in sports management.
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