The scene resembled Friday night lights in Anytown, USA on Oct. 16, when the Roaring Fork High School junior varsity football team hosted rival Glenwood Springs for the season finale.
Fans filled the stands after a pregame barbecue, the student pep band was playing and there was lots of good energy.
Except it was a Monday.
“We really wanted to have the game under the lights and not the usual afternoon time, and Glenwood agreed to that,” head Rams Coach Scott Noll said.
Roaring Fork had to cancel its varsity season this year due to low player numbers.
“The big thing we’ve been pushing is how to bridge that gap and get these younger players ready, and build some excitement with the middle school players coming up,” Noll said.
“I talked to a couple of the (youth) coaches after the game (a 44-8 win for the Rams), and it was a little emotional,” he said. “With that many people in the stands, it was pretty magical.”
Noll is confident Roaring Fork will return to the varsity ranks next season.
Because the decision was made to abandon the varsity schedule after practices had started for the season, rules allow a school to resume varsity play the following season. Otherwise, they would have had to wait two years, Noll clarified.
The Rams concluded the JV season with a 4-3 record.
Several Roaring Fork upperclassmen opted to play varsity for neighboring Glenwood Springs, and former Rams coach Eric Bollock became the Demons’ wide receiver coach and later head coach after father-son coaches Robert and Hunter Holmes were let go.
With Roaring Fork juniors Hunter Noll and Balaram Koss, and sophomore Zack Bollock, all expected to return to the Rams roster next year, it should be a good foundation to build on, Coach Noll said.
Volleyball season concludes
The Roaring Fork girls volleyball team closed out the season with a 3-0 loss at Class 4A Steamboat Springs (25-22, 25-15, 25-4) on Oct. 27.
The loss kept the Rams out of the 36-team field for this week’s 3A Regionals, with a season record of 9-14. Roaring Fork finished at 2-5 in the 3A Western Slope League.
The Rams graduate three seniors: Ruby Denning, Nora Lindgren and Fernanda Ruiz.
Despite the disappointment of not making it into the postseason, head coach Karen Crownhart is positive about next season, when a still rather young Rams squad will mature even more.
“We are losing some really valuable leadership with our three seniors, but just as they matured from juniors into seniors and took on that leadership role, we have a good group coming up again next year,” Crownhart said.
A 3-2 win over Olathe at home last week for Senior Night was a big turning point for the Rams, she said.
“We were down two sets, but never gave up and came back and won it at the very end,” Crownhart said. “It was such a great culmination of the season, to be able to finish off a tight game without losing it ourselves.”
Three area volleyball teams did earn bids to the 3A Regionals, Rifle at No. 16, Basalt at No. 29 and Aspen at No. 23; and in the 4A ranks, Glenwood Springs at No. 32.
State cross country results
Several members of the Basalt/Roaring Fork cross country team competed at the 3A State Championships in Colorado Springs on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Top finisher for the boys was senior Owen Lambert, 29th out of 152 finishers in a season-best time of 17:08.5. Sophomore Towler Scott was 40th (17:23.1).
For the girls, junior Isabella Moon finished 47th (out of 151) with a time of 20:50.2. Sophomore Addison Raymond was 105th (22:32.7); junior Morgan Frank was 108th (22:41.1); and, with a pair of season-best times, junior Ana Cabrera was 117th (23:05.9) and senior Georgia Searles was 121st (23:11.2). Sophomore Caroline Cole was 122nd (23:11.7).
Competing in the 2A state meet, Colorado Rocky Mountain School runners Ben Oldham was 43rd with a season-best time of 17:56.3, and Sawyer McLernon was 88th (18:58.4), also a season best.