Spring preview: Season looking good for Grand Valley
GRAND VALLEY CARDINALS
Head coach: Rory Roder, (Second year)
Last season: 3-14 overall, 3-13 Class 3A Western Slope League play
Key returners: Damien Vigil, Jr., /CFP, Johnny Parker, Jr., P/SS/C; Logan Olson, Sr., OF/P/IF; Jared Radle, Jr., P/C/2B, Luke Bowen, Jr., IF/P
Others to watch: Gunner Rigsby, Soph., IF/P; Tanner Magee, Jr., OF Jeffrey Hollbrook, Fr., IF/C
Outlook: Roder was pleased with the way the Cardinals played in their season-opening doubleheader against defending 3A WSL champion Gunnison. He said that his team’s willingness to compete and keep pushing, accompanied by what he feels will be a strong pitching staff, will help the Cardinals stay competitive all year. Vigil and Parker should be big for Grand Valley again this year — the pair were honorable-mention all-league players a season ago.
Head coach: Scott Gregory (Second season)
Last season: 14-3-0 overall, 8-1-0 Class 3A Western Slope League (second place), lost to Coal Ridge in second round of Class 3A state playoffs.
Key returners: Kyra Chenoweth, Sr., F; Jordan Scott, Sr., MF; Megan Smith, Sr., MF.
Others to watch: Danielle Call, Fr.; Samara Call, Fr.; Rylie Gardner, Sr.; Logan Waterman, Jr., Gabby Coleman, Jr.
Outlook: Chenoweth returns as the primary scoring threat the Cardinals have this season, and Scott and Smith also return with two years worth of postseason experience under their belts. Gregory, however, said he’s confident after Tuesday’s game that the Cardinals can still compete for a postseason spot even though the league will allow two 3A teams to compete instead three because of the new classification structure.
TRACK AND FIELD
Head coach: Mark Jansen (Sixth season)
Last season: Qualified six people for the Class 3A State Championships, boys 4x100 relay team finished fifth in state meet.
Key returners: Boys: Joel Carrazco, Sr., distance; Ben Coleman, Sr., jumps/hurdles. Girls: Korrie Hurt, Sr., middle distance.
Others to watch: Boys: Zach Kelty, Jr., throws; Kyra Chenoweth, Sr., sprints; Kylyn Rigsby, Soph., jumps/sprints.
Outlook: Coleman, who won the triple jump at the Rifle Invitational this past weekend, will likely be considered a state contender in the long an triple jumps at the 3A level this season. Carrazco wasn’t able to make the state cross country meet this past fall but should compete in distance races this spring. Chenoweth was a third-place finisher in the 400 meters at the Rifle Invite and will be one of several girls on the track team who also play soccer.
Head coach: Drew Thompson (Third season)
Last season: Finished 12th out of 14 teams at the Class 3A Regional Tournament.
Key returners: Jori Dovey, Sr.; Erika Anderson, Sr.
Others to watch: Kayla Holbrook, Soph., Katie Kellerby, Soph., Kayla France, Soph.
Outlook: Thompson has been pleased with the way his team has been playing early in the season. He sees lots of room for improvement, noting that the team’s overall worth ethic and drive will ensure that will happen this year.
PARACHUTE — So much for those middle-of-the-road expectations. At least, that’s what Scott Gregory says.
The second-year head coach of the Grand Valley High School girls soccer team was thinking that the Cardinals, coming off two consecutive trips to the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs, thought this year’s team might be closer to a .500 team. After Grand Valley’s 5-3 victory over a much-improved team from Rifle, however, the coach is thinking his team can compete for a postseason spot again.
“I saw a lot of goo things out of our girls in this game,” Gregory said. “There’s a few things that we still need to work on, but overall it looks to me like we have a lot of potential still.”
Gregory was worried since only three returning starters are back from a team that finished second in the 3A Western Slope League standings, but he said that Tuesday’s game showed him a lot.
Also optimistic about the spring season — one that is well under way — is girls golf coach Drew Thompson. He’s happy because his girls are not only making improvements in their game, but showing an all-encompassed desire to get better.
Grand Valley’s track and field squad has just 19 people out between the boys and girls teams, but the athletes who are on the roster have some great ability. Among them is Ben Coleman, a state placer in the triple jump last season.
Also showing promise this year is Grand Valley’s baseball team, which began its season on Wednesday with a pair of losses to defending-league champion Gunnison and is trying to bounce back from a 3-14 campaign in 2014.
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