Prep roundup: Senior breaks all-time digs record, football looks to get past tough week, boys soccer wraps up
Summit team captain and defensive specialist Sage Kent broke the school’s all-time record for digs Monday against Rifle with the Tigers cruising to a three-set victory on senior night, the Tigers last home game of the season, and their homecoming matchup.
The victory completed a three-team sweep as the Tigers’ freshmen and JV squads also won 3-0.
The contest was a Class 4A Western Slope Conference game for the Tigers, and in it, Kent continued racking up the digs, hitting the floor without fear, as she chased down balls and erased would-be kills from the opposing squad.
Kent had 21 receptions and nine digs for a total of 30 proper passes against Rifle, said coach Annie Hettinger.
“It’s funny, she’s one of the tallest liberos I’ve ever seen, but her general play time on the court, the way she reads the ball, the way she reads the blocks, the way she gets to where she needs to be at all times is pretty amazing,” the coach said. “I’ve had other coaches come up to me and say how impressed they are with Sage.”
The record was 15 digs per game, Hettinger said, and Kent has been averaging 17-18 a game this year, with the exception of Rifle.
Later in the week, Summit (4-13) fell 3-0 against Steamboat Springs. In the Thursday matchup, Kent had 16 digs and 37 receptions.
Hettinger also applauded the play of her setters, senior Anna Mathis and junior Mia Popoff, who set up the Tigers’ attack. Popoff has also shown strong play in the front row, reading blockers and hitting or tipping around them to her advantage. Hitters Emma McComb and Kyla Hildebrand also had a stellar week, Hettinger said.
The Tigers face rival Battle Mountain in Edwards on Tuesday before heading to Golden for a varsity tournament Saturday.
Tigers football looks to put hard week behind them
Summit football had a rough week at practice, and it spilled over Friday night with the Tigers (3-5, 1-2) falling 24-7 to Glenwood Springs for homecoming.
It didn’t help matters that the Demons came into the Class 3A Western Slope Conference contest with a chip on their shoulders after learning they would have to forfeit all four of their wins this season because one Demons player was ruled ineligible.
Having to give up those victories killed Glenwood’s hopes for a winning season, and with only two games left on its schedule, winning out is the Demons’ only consolation.
Meanwhile, Summit had trouble focusing in practice, coach John Shirkey said, explaining there were too many arguments and unfocused moments as the Tigers prepared for Friday’s matchup.
“It’s life,” he concluded. “I believe football is the ultimate team game, and it’s the ultimate life game. We had a pretty bad week of practice and we saw that tonight. That’s just how it goes, not only in football but in life. When you don’t do the right things consistently, you’re not going to get a lot of breaks.”
In Friday night’s contest, both teams played tough in the first quarter, and Summit got on the scoreboard first, early in the second, with QB Jake Gillum finding receiver Vale Hildebrand with a short TD pass.
That would be all the offense Summit could muster, however, as the Tigers’ drives stalled while the team struggled to find a rhythm. The defense created some opportunities for the Tigers with a couple fumble recoveries, but without points on the board, Summit couldn’t keep pace.
Glenwood didn’t appear to dominate the Tigers but had consistent success in its passing and rushing attacks and would score two more TDs and a field goal.
Summit returns to action Friday at Palisade (6-2, 4-0) before taking on rival Battle Mountain (3-5, 1-2) at home in the last regular-season game of the year fo the Tigers.
Summit Tigers Mario Ramirez and Ashley Edgington were named homecomeing king and queen.
Summit soccer misses playoffs in one-goal heartbreaker
Summit boys soccer wrapped up its season last week with the Tigers taking on Steamboat in a must-win Class 4A Western Slope Conference matchup before facing another conference foe in Rifle two days later.
Summit fell by one goal in both contests, and the Tigers ended their season on a disappointing note but remained above .500 at 8-7 overall and 6-6 in conference.
Entering the year, few expected the Tigers to be in the playoff hunt this late in the season. Even coach Tommy Gogolen didn’t quite know what to expect before the Tigers took the pitch.
“From a coaching standpoint, I wasn’t sure what kind of potential the boys would put together this year, but I was pleasantly surprised with how good we were and our chemistry as a team,” he said. “We were in contention, and we were in the hunt all year. Unfortunately, we’re left on the outside looking in, but I’m very proud of our boys and I’m very proud of our season.”
Facing Steamboat with a playoff berth on the line, Summit fell 1-0 at home. Earlier this year, Summit played Steamboat tough and lost 2-1.
“We had to win the Steamboat game to have a shot at playoffs,” Gogolen said. “We kept knocking on the door, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.”
Two days later, Summit faced Rifle on the road. In the two teams’ earlier matchup this season, Summit edged Rifle 2-1.
However, the Tigers were feeling a little deflated after missing the playoffs, which had been one of their goals this season, and Rifle flipped the script, beating Summit 2-1 this time around.
Summit will graduate five seniors from the team this year, including Jackson Stone, who led the Tigers at midfield. Also, goalkeeper Kyle Wertz, Ryan Snell, Conor Craig and Cash Koning, whom Gogolen called “one of the true defensive leaders of our team” are seniors.
“Without him, it would have been a different season,” the coach said. “He stepped up his game quite a bit.”
sAnd the coach says he has good reason to be optimistic coming into next year.
“It was a great season and for a little mountain school that doesn’t get to play on grass 12 months a year, I’m proud of our year,” Gogolen concluded as he began to talk about the strength of Summit’s JV squad. “We have a lot of young guys coming up, and we’re excited about the future.”
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