‘Preposterous’ Tigers get 32nd seed in 5A soccer playoffs

Stephen Latta was not a happy camper on Sunday.

The first-year Grand Junction High School soccer coach had just been informed that the Tigers were the 32nd and final seed in the Class 5A state soccer playoffs.

“How we got the bottom ranking is beyond me,” Latta said.

He spent much of Sunday afternoon on the phone with officials from the Colorado High School Activities Association, his athletic director and other coaches but still didn’t get an explanation that satisfied him.

“I expected the (Front Range) bias but that’s preposterous,” Latta said.

Despite finishing in a tie with Durango for second place in the Southwestern League behind Montrose, which is a 4A school, the Tigers (11-3-1 overall) got the last seed. Durango (7-7-1) got the 20th seed.

Montrose coach Jim Lewis and Durango coach Scott Emrich were both on the committee that seeded the three classifications’ playoff brackets.

As the 32nd seed, Grand Junction has to travel to Greenwood Village on Wednesday to play No. 1 seed Cherry Creek. Durango travels Wednesday to Colorado Springs to play Air Academy.

As the top 4A team from the Southwestern League, Montrose got the 15th seed and plays No. 18 Eagle Valley at home in Tuesday’s first round of the 4A playoffs.

Steamboat Springs, the Western Slope League’s top seed, is the 12th seed overall and plays D’Evelyn on Tuesday in Steamboat.

No. 14 Battle Mountain hosts No. 19 Evergreen in Edwards in the first round.  No. 27 Glenwood Springs travels to Highlands Ranch to face No. 6 Rock Canyon.

In the 3A bracket, Basalt is the sixth seed and hosts No. 27 Telluride. No. 15 Ridgway is home against No. 18 Coal Ridge. Roaring Fork, the 26th seed, travels to Kent Denver and the 30th seed, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, is on the road against Denver Christian.

The district volleyball brackets for the top three classifications also were released Sunday.

Central got the sixth seed in the Class 5A playoffs. The Warriors will host the District 6 tournament Saturday.

Also in the tournament are two Southwestern League teams, Fruita Monument and Durango, along with George Washington, Cherokee Trail and Doherty.

The district tournaments are split into pools. Central is in a pool with George Washington and Cherokee Trail. Fruita Monument is pooled with Durango and Doherty.

After each team plays the other two teams in its pool, the top two teams from each pool will advance to the district semifinals. The top finisher from each pool will play the second-place finisher in the other pool.

The winners of those semifinal games face off for the championship, with the top two teams in each district advancing to next week’s regional tournament.

Montrose is the top seed in the Class 4A District 8 tournament. Palisade, Steamboat Springs and Montezuma-Cortez join Mullen and Pueblo East in the tournament.

Eagle Valley, Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain play Saturday in the District 7 tournament in Gypsum.

In Class 3A, Gunnison plays in the District 5 tournament at Colorado Springs Christian. Roaring Fork plays host to the District 6 tournament, which includes Olathe. Hotchkiss is the host team for the District 8 tournament. Grand Valley is one of the four qualifying teams in that tournament.


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