Possibility abounds as Tiger teams reunite
FARMER’S KORNER – The leaves still have at least a month of life in them. The air is still warm, even at night. Schoolwork, for the most part, is more a distant threat than a nightly reality.Sure, Summit High School’s autumn semester is weeks away, but on Monday a major facet of it will get under way. Five of the Tigers’ eight fall sports teams officially kick off their seasons that day, and as is typically the case, anticipation is high.”I’m very excited about this year,” said boys soccer coach Peter Shafroth. “I think the kids are excited, too.”Perhaps more than any of the other coaches, Shafroth has reason to be giddy. His team overachieved to the max last year, earning a spot in the 4A state tournament, and surprised just about everyone familiar with Colorado high school soccer.
This year, reigning 4A Jeffco League player of the year Kevin Pelen leads a host of returnees that have the Tigers thinking league championship – and perhaps more.”Oh yeah, there’s a lot of expectations and excitement,” said Shafroth, last year’s Jeffco coach of the year, who said he has “absolutely” gone to sleep thinking about the season to come.The beauty of Monday’s occasion, however, is that even the teams without a season of resounding success a year ago still have much to look forward to this fall. It’s called potential, and possibility, and around the end of the summer every fall sports team in the state has it.As first-year SHS volleyball head coach Gary Sorensen pointed out, there is a lot to like about the unknown.
“I’m anxious, I don’t know what to expect. There’s a lot more edge to it, and I suspect that’s good,” said Sorensen, who signed on with the Tigers less than a month ago after retiring to Summit from Wisconsin, where he won five state championships coaching high school boys. “Surprises are good,” he added, “otherwise nobody would like Christmas or birthdays.”In addition to the soccer and volleyball squads, Summit High’s gymnastics, football and cross country teams also begin their seasons on Monday. (See times and locations at right.)The Tigers golf and cheerleading teams already have started their campaigns (Summit’s golfers played a league match on Thursday), while the softball squad kicks things off on Tuesday.
Although the first day of practice is rarely more than logistics and basic drills – “I just want to get through the paperwork,” said Shafroth – that matters little. The teams will be back together again, working toward a common goal, and in high school sports there is little more pure than those two aspects.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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