Homecoming! It’ll be here all week
FARMER’S KORNER – Don’t believe the hype. That’s what coaches tell their players before a high school Homecoming. The problem? It’s easy to say, almost impossible to do.”We try to preach to our players that it’s not any different,” SHS football coach Dylan Hollingsworth said of a Homecoming game. “But obviously it is.”The annual rite of fall sports arrives this week for Summit High School. As always, sporting events will highlight a full week of Homecoming festivities, which also include traditional school spirit events not tied to athletics. The bonfire, pep rally, Airband competition and – of course – the dance are all just as anticipated among the student body.But they’re not the main events. Those take place on courts, fields and mats. And they draw the crowds – including, lest we forget, the students who have moved on but decide to revisit their old home this week.The stars of old only add to the excitement and atmosphere that permeates the chilly mountain air at a Summit High Homecoming contest.”There absolutely is more pressure,” SHS boys soccer coach Peter Shafroth said. “There’s no doubt about it that they’re a little more nervous in a Homecoming game.””We like to perform in front of them,” added Grant McGahey, Summit’s soccer co-captain, referring to the alumni in the stands.SHS volleyball coach Gary Sorensen is a veteran of 35 Homecomings as a coach, and three more as a player. Recalling his own experiences as a player, Sorensen reiterated the innate desire to impress past teammates.”I remember wanting to play better for those games,” he said. “Because the people who came before you, you want to give them a good show, show ’em they weren’t the only good players.”Making this week’s Homecoming contests even bigger are the implications they could have on their individual teams’ seasons. Tuesday’s Homecoming opener, in which Sorensen’s 7-4 volleyball team faces Jeffco League rival Conifer, could go a long way toward determining whether the Tigers have a shot at the postseason. Conifer is 8-4 overall, and unbeaten in two league contests.The gymnastics team hosts Bear Creek and Columbine on Wednesday night, then the boys soccer squad welcomes league foe Jefferson in a second straight crucial match. The Tigers play defending league champ Golden on the road the night before, in what has become a bitter rivalry over the past two seasons.”It’s a huge week for us,” Shafroth said. “We have to come away with at least a split. If we can pull both of them off, that would be great, because they’re two of the best teams in Jeffco.”The week climaxes with Friday night’s main event on the gridiron between the Tigers and Buena Vista. The visiting Demons are perennially one of the top 2A teams in the state, and they routed 3A Summit in Buena Vista last year. Expect a much closer matchup this year.Summit enters Friday night’s game at 3-1, on the way to its best record in years. Still, the Tigers will have to deal with a BV squad that is undefeated (4-0), and has outscored its opponents 200-46.”Buena Vista is just as good as they were last year,” Hollingsworth said. “They’re ranked again. They’re the real deal. It gives us something to shoot for.”Although not a night competition on the SHS campus, the cross country team wraps up next week’s sporting events with its only home meet of the year, the 9,100 Feet Invitational, at the Frisco peninsula.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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