Storm puts winter sports season on hold

Tuesday’s snowstorm put the high school basketball season on pause.

The boys and girls games between Glenwood Springs and Central, the boys game between Aspen and Palisade and the boys game between Grand Junction and Battle Mountain were all postponed.

Tuesday night’s game against Glenwood Springs was exactly the warm-up the Central girls wanted.

Central faces the No. 1 team in the state, ThunderRidge at 8 p.m. on Thursday in the Wildcat Invitational at Fruita Monument.

Central coach Todd Dixon said the styles of ThunderRidge and Glenwood Springs are similar enough that it would have been good to play Glenwood.

“Glenwood is outside-shot oriented and so is ThunderRidge,” Dixon said, “so it would have been a good test for us.”

Not only did the Warriors miss out on a game Tuesday, but also were unable to practice because of the poor weather since school was canceled. Dixon’s solution was to give his players some homework.

“I wanted them to write down a list of 10 basic points of our defensive philosophy,” Dixon said. “This is difficult, because practice is like a coach’s game day, so I’m here climbing the walls.”

Dixon admitted the one positive of not having the game or practice was an opportunity for the players to rest.

“I have to believe because we have so many three-sport athletes, that it’s good to let their bodies recoup,” Dixon said. “A day of rest isn’t going to be bad.”

The Grand Junction boys are gladly accepting the rescheduling. Despite beginning the season 4-0, Tigers coach Dutch Johnson said not having a game Tuesday might be a good thing for his team.

“I think early in the season it can be a positive, because in those first games there were a lot of things we need to improve on,” Johnson said. “We still have three days to watch film and improve, but if it was later in the season and we had the ball rolling, it might be a different story.”

The Palisade boys team had a tough game against 3A power Aspen on the schedule. The Bulldogs are hoping to reschedule the game.  Palisade Athletic Director Mike Krueger said having to reschedule or cancel games isn’t easy.

“It’s always a challenge when games have to get moved or rescheduled,” Krueger said. “But we always take into consideration the fact that it’s more than keeping the kids off the roads. Parents would be traveling, fans, so it’s the safety of everyone that’s traveling.”

Krueger knows all about rescheduling — during last spring’s baseball season, there was a three-week span where games where canceled or postponed every Saturday.

“With the wet spring, I became a pro with rescheduling,” Krueger said. “It’s just a matter of getting on the phone with the other (athletic directors).”

The trouble with the weather hasn’t only been limited to those teams traveling to Grand Junction, but also those departing.

The Fruita Monument boys team is scheduled to play in the Ralston Valley Tournament, which begins today. The Wildcats are planning to leave this morning in order to be in Arvada in time to tip off against Littleton at 8 p.m. Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said as of Tuesday afternoon, he was unsure of their plans.

“Right now we are on hold,” Fox said. “We were going to leave on (Wednesday) morning, but if they still have the chain laws up, we won’t be able to travel.”

The one positive to the Ralston Valley tournament is that there are no games scheduled for Thursday, so Fox said that might be a possibility to move their game today to Thursday.

“There isn’t much you can do,” Fox said. “It’s kind of out of our control, but the most important thing is the safety of everybody.”

Ralston Valley Athletic Director Jim Hynes said Fox’s hopes of playing Thursday might be as easier said than done. The school has a home wrestling match Thursday.

“We gave Fruita the late game to try and give them better travel opportunity,” Hynes said. “We don’t want to be in a situation with a forfeit because that does nobody any good.”


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