Roaring Fork sports looks to take step forward
Last spring was a strong one for the Roaring Fork Rams athletic program, as the girls soccer team pushed for a playoff spot in the 3A Western Slope League, while the baseball program took another big step forward under veteran Marty Madsen, winning 10 games for the first time since 2011-12, which happened to be Madsen’s first year in charge. However, while the soccer and baseball programs generated early headlines, the track and field program came through in the end as Justin Thompson and Jasper Germain placed first and second in the state in the triple jump, while also grabbing medals in hurdles and the high jump in 3A.
That was last spring though. This spring, the Rams look to build on that success and take another step forward in Carbondale as a majority of the soccer program returns under veteran head coach Nick Forbes, while the Rams turn to a highly-talented group of underclassmen to pair with four returning seniors on the diamond.
Track and field might see a small decline under head coach Ryan Erickson, but seniors Ronald Clemente, Kendall Bernot, and Gabriela Santana all return and should push for state qualifications this spring.
Head Coach: Nick Forbes, fourth season
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Last Season: 8-4-2 (3-2-2 in 3A WSL)
Key Returners: Emily Broadhurst, Jr.; Lux Andrade, Sr.; Angelica Morales, Sr.; Odalis Corcuera, Sr.;
Players to Watch: Lucia Penzel, Jr.; Sydney Schramer, So.; Letey Crownhart, So.; Macey Peery, Fr.; Genesis Quintero, Fr.;
Season Outlook: Last season the Rams came just short of a playoff berth under head coach Nick Forbes, but with another year of experience for this group, the Rams should make a strong push for the state playoffs this spring.
“If we can keep together the strong core group, we’re looking at a playoff run,” said Forbes. “We’ll have a better feel of things once we touch grass on a real field. We only missed the playoffs last year due to a smaller pool, but this year we’re a pretty good bet to make the playoffs and we hope to make a real strong push in the playoffs. It’s a strong league so that’s why I’m tempering expectations in league play, but I think we should make the playoffs this year.”
Head Coach: Marty Madsen, ninth season
Last Season: 10-9 (4-5 in 3A WSL)
Key Returners: Dawson Kuhl, Sr.; Layne Crisp, Sr.; Kyle Baird, Sr.; Kelvin Requeno, Sr.; Frankie Harrington, Jr.; Eli Nickamin, Jr.;
Players to Watch: Graham Pietsch, So.; Finn Leahy, So.; David Good, Fr.; Nolan Pierson, Fr.; Henry Richardson, Fr.; Mason Smith, Fr.;
Season Outlook: After reaching double-digit wins for the first time since 2011 under head coach Marty Madsen, the Rams lost two key players to graduation. That won’t change expectations though as Roaring Fork sees a very strong freshman class move up to the varsity, all while a strong group of players returns from last season.
“We’re expecting the same thing this season,” said Madsen. “Want to build on last season. This early season shows we’re a young team, but we have the talent to compete in our league. We’re jumping into the deep end right away with this group. We might be young, but our upperclassmen are setting a good example and getting good, quality reps in. The young kids that moved up come with good, quality baseball backgrounds. Hopefully we can build on that foundation and take them to the next level.”
TRACK AND FIELD
Head Coach: Ryan Erickson, sixth season
Last Season: Seniors Justin Thompson and Jasper Germain finished 1-2 in the state in the triple jump
Key Returners: Boys: Ronald Clemente, Sr.; Girls: Kendall Bernot, Sr.; Gabriela Santana, Sr.;
Athletes to Watch: Boys: Gustavo Amador, So.; Alvin Garcia, So.; Tristan Maker, So.; Girls: Lily Nieslanik, So.; Makenzie Maker, Jr.;
Season Outlook: After losing two of the program’s top two point scorers last season, the Rams turn to a number of young athletes to try and create some depth under head coach Ryan Erickson. However, seniors Ronald Clemente, Kendall Bernot and Gabriela Santana provide the Rams with three strong seniors to lead the program. The ideal team placement at invitationals might not be there for a young team, but Roaring Fork should see a handful of athletes push for state meet qualifications this spring under Erickson.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.