State-ranked prep teams to be tested this week
It’s showdown week for state-ranked area prep sports teams.
All six of the area’s Top 10 teams, spanning four sports, face severe challenges to their current standings among Colorado’s best high school teams, with key matchups scheduled starting Friday evening.
Volleyball: Glenwood Springs, the No. 7 team in the Rocky Mountain News poll, travels to No. 5 Steamboat Springs on Saturday. The winner of the Demon-Sailor match will earn the Western Slope League regular-season title and the No. 1 seed, granted to the league champ at Oct. 25-26 district tournament in Craig.
Prior to Saturday’s match, the Demons (9-1 in the WSL, 15-1 overall) have a Thursday night league contest at Palisade.
Cross-country: The No. 3 ranked Glenwood Springs boys have an equally tough challenge ahead.
The Demons are part of an 11-school field at Saturday’s 4A Western Regional meet, held at Palisade’s River Bend Park.
Lining up against the Demons on the 5 kilometer course will be the Ben Tobler-led Montrose Indians, the sixth-ranked team in the current 4A poll and Denver Mullen, who checked in as the No. 9 team this week.
Earlier that morning, the No. 2 in Class 3A, Alpine Christian girls face off against three state-ranked teams in No. 1 Aspen, No. 9 Hotchkiss and No. 10 Crested Butte at the Crested Butte Golf Course.
Football: After a bye week, Rifle, Colorado’s No. 1 team in the both the Rocky Mountain News and 9News/Denver Post 3A football polls, returns to Western Slope Conference action Friday against Steamboat at Bears Stadium.
A victory over the Sailors, ranked No. 10 in the 9News/Denver Post poll, will clinch a playoff spot for the undefeated Bears (3-0, 7-0).
In Class 2A, Roaring Fork (5-0, 6-1), which moved up from No. 9 to eighth in the 9News/Post state ranks after last Friday’s 48-21 win over Aspen, faces No. 3 Eagle Valley (5-0, 7-0) for solo possession of first place in the WSC.
Soccer: Basalt, which finished the regular season as the No. 9 team in the boys’ 3A state poll have earned a home match first-round playoff game, but will have to wait a week for the rest of the classification to finish its league schedule. Playoff pairings for all 3A first round playoff games will be release by the Colorado High School Activities Association on Oct. 20.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.