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Rams prepare for soccer season

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A new coach will be on the sidelines for the Roaring Fork boys soccer team this year. While longtime valley resident John Ackerman may be new to the Rams, he’s no stranger to Carbondale soccer.Before taking the job with Roaring Fork, Ackerman coached the U14 advanced boys soccer team for Carbondale’s club team for four years. He coached many players there who are now suiting up for Roaring Fork.”It is really cool to see how they have progressed and to catch up with them,” said Ackerman, who is replacing Hal Templeton.Two weeks into practice, Ackerman already likes what he sees from his Rams.”I think the team is looking good. We have lots of freshmen, the team is bigger and we are hoping that we are going to have enough for a JV squad,” said Ackerman. The squad is still expecting more players to join when they return from vacation and school starts on Sept. 4.Senior goalkeeper Torrey Udall and senior forward Alex Hernandez will be captains for the Rams this year. Udall, who split his time between football and soccer last fall, will be solely focusing on soccer this season.”It’s great for us,” Ackerman said of Udall’s decision. “He is an all-around athlete and definitely a tier-one player.”Roaring Fork scrimmaged Glenwood last week, and Ackerman said he liked the way his team played.”We are looking like a team,” he said.Hadley Hentschel returns to the Rams as assistant coach, and with his track background, is helping Roaring Fork get in shape.”He is a fantastic conditioning coach,” Ackerman said. “Everybody loves him, and it’s a good fit that way.”The Rams first game will be Sept. 6 at Aspen at 6 p.m.

The Coal Ridge boys soccer team will have something new this year when it takes the field this season – experience.In the Titans’ inaugural season in 2006, many of Coal Ridge’s players had never played soccer at the high school level before.Now, with numerous returners from 2006, a handful of seniors and a large chunk of juniors, the Titans have a talented squad on their hands.”I am pretty excited,” said Coal Ridge head coach Brian Blair, who moved from assistant to head coach during the middle of last season when Shawn McElroy left. “We have everybody back from last year, and the majority of our roster is juniors and seniors.”Leading the way will be 6-foot-2 senior goalie Skyler James, who will return as the starter in the net. Fellow seniors Max Peterson and Milton Arroyo will also help the Titans on defense.Juniors J.J. Riddile, Darwin Cortez and Eric Schmitz and Fernando Alvarado will look to head things up on offense. With 28 players on the team, Coal Ridge will not only have depth, but a varsity and junior varsity squad as well.”I think that we have 14-15 guys who I can put on the field for the whole game and not worry about it,” Blair said.The Titans will play their first game of the season on Sept. 4 at home against Aspen.

A handful of familiar faces will be back for the Colorado Rocky Mountain School boys soccer team, including head coach Dan Pittz, who is entering his fifth year with the Oysters.Pittz said that 30 players are out for the team, and a large number are returners.”We are returning more players in general than normal, which is really great,” he said.Goalie Ross Mohsenin will be back in the net for CRMS and Kirti Ma will also be a key player on the field for the Oysters.CRMS has played a few scrimmages with La Liga teams, but will play its first official game on Sept. 6 when it hosts Vail Mountain at 4 p.m. Pittz said teamwork will play a big part in the team’s success.”This year we have guys that work well together, and we will be able to build on last season,” he said.


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