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The Vail Daily

Rick Ramunno

flies his date to prom

By Derek Franz

yenterprise.com dfranz@eaglevalle

d pilot and took unno is a license m Ra ck Ri or ni Eagle Valley se prom. ride before the date for a plane

When it comes to his career goal, Eagle Valley High School graduate Rick Ramunno is already airb orne. The 18-year-old earned his private pilot license in February and even took his prom date for a spin – in an airplane – around Castle Peak before attending the dance. “I had to ask her parents if I could take her up in the plane,” Ramunno said. “I saved up my money for it and we flew for about 25 minutes in great weather.” A plane rental at the Eagle County Regional Airport costs $150 an hour. Ramunno isn’t sure exactly how much his prom flight ran him. “I haven’t received the bill yet, but whatever,” he said. He started working on his pilot’s license about two years ago, which is an expensive process. More than 40 hours of flight time are needed to earn a

license and the instruction, airplane rental and fuel all cost a bit of money. “I received a scholarship from the Leroy W. Homer Jr. Foundation a year ago and that sped up the process,” he said. “They only award one scholarship a year and basically give you whatever you need to finish your license.” Homer was a commercial pilot who thwarted terrorists during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. His widow started the foundation the following year and many of its recipients have made their way into noteworthy careers in aviation. Ramunno plans to study aviation technology at Metropolitan State University in Denver next year. He is also applying to the U.S. Marine Corps’ officer program with a military

his prom

Eagle Valle y senior Ric k Ramunn o. occupational specialty in aviation. “This will make me a commissioned officer with the USMC upon college graduation,” he said. An airplane ride at an Eagle Flight Days event was Ramunno’s first exposure to flying when he was 12. “I knew then that I wanted to be a pilot,” he said. “I’d always had an interest because my grandpa flew bombers in World War II and that got me amped up.” Ramunno balanced the demands of pilot training with school and playing football and lacrosse for the Devils. His dad, John, is the head football coach there. “Besides getting my license, another highlight this year was our great football season,” said Rick Ramunno. “Playing for my dad was a blast. It was great always having

him there to push me. I’m going to miss it.” Rick Ramunno played fullback and linebacker for the Devil gridders and defense on lacrosse. “One of the things I like about flying is that there is a lot of adrenaline, like football,” he said. “My mom was kind of freaked out at first, when I started my pilot training, but now she knows I’m safe.”

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C1


C2 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

Andrew Romero School: Battle Mountain High School Favorite School Moment: There were too many great moments to choose one Give a shout out: Shout out to sidewalks for keeping me off the streets Summer Plans: For summer im gonna sleep like ive never slept before and hang out with my friends before we go to college. Coming Fall: University of Texas Where will you be in 10 years: In 10 years, i will be living my life to the fullest Favorite Class: Ceramics

Anneliese Niederhauser School: Battle Mountain High School Favorite school moment from any year: State championship ski race at Winter Park my Senior year. Give a shout out: To my Avengers! Summer plans: Work and spend time with my family and friends. Where are you headed this fall: Texas Christian University! Go Frogs!! If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: My parents’ cooking. In 10 years you’ll be: Working in a hospital as a nurse and starting a family. Favorite class you took: Anatomy and physiology. Class you wish had been offered: Anthropology.


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C3

Addie Arnold School: EVHS Favorite school moment from any year: Homecoming Week 2012 Give a shout out: Yo Mom. Thanks for always making my lunch. Summer plans: Working at the Gypsum Rec Center, backpacking and taking a road trip to California. Where are you headed this fall: CSU! If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: The close, loving community we have. Simply amazing. In 10 years you’ll be: 28 years old Favorite class you took: Video production Class you wish had been offered: Scuba diving

Brett Murbach School: BMHS Favorite school moment from any year: Senior Ditch Day Give a shout out: Mr Caudill Summer plans: Work; 4 wheeling; and Surfing Where are you headed this fall: CSU--Go Rams! If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: Skiing Favorite class you took: Psych w Mr Phelan Class you wish had been offered: Physics

Ally Zehring School: Eagle Valley High School Favorite school moment from any year: school Harlem shake Give a shout out: thank you mom, dad, Bryce, and Cory for all your support in everything I do Summer plans: working and enjoying time with friends before leaving Where are you headed this fall: University of Nebraska-Lincoln If you’re leaving eagle county what will you miss most: friends and family In 10 years you’ll be: Athletic trainer for college or professional sports team Favorite class you took: sports med Class you wish had been offered: nap time

Cynthia Zapata School: Eagle Valley My Favorite school memory is when my soccer team named me captain and i scored my first goal at a Varsity game. SHOUT OUT: To my parents, siblings, an teachers that stood by my side when things were rough and helped me grow as an individual. This summer i want to visit my family in Mexico and spend time with friends that are leaving the state. This fall i will be getting an internship with local Interior Designers and work towards my career. I’m staying in Eagle County and i’m happiest about having my family close and helping my parents raise the little ones. In 10 years i will be an Interior Designer and a Certified Addiction Counselor My favorite class that i have taken is Weight Lifting Class you wish had been offered: Photography


C4 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

Kyra Webb School VCHS Favorite school moment from any year - All school retreat at Frontier Ranch Give a shout out - To my class, I love you guys Summer plans - I plan to work and travel. Where are you headed this fall - Colby College, Waterville, ME If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. My friends and family If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. In 10 years you’ll be I am not quite sure yet. Favorite class you took AP US History Class you wish had been offered AP Art History

Caleb Krueger Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy Favorite moment: Not taking the AP Calculus Test Shout out: To my homies Molly, Travis and Austin Summer plans: Training for activities Headed in Fall: University of New Mexico Will miss: Colorado Spring time 10 years: The same, only 10 years older Fav Class: Freshman Seminar Class you wish was offered: D.E. underwater basket weaving.

Alexandra Ramonas School: Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy Favorite school moment from any year: Our class hut trips in the mountains and whitewater rafting. Give a shout out Thank you to my loving and supportive family for giving me this fantastic opportunity to attend VSSA. Summer plans: I will be moving back to the Chicago area. My plan is to land a job, train for my upcoming ski racing season, and just enjoy everything that Chicago has to offer. Where are you headed this fall: University of Wisconsin-Madison If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: I will miss the mountains and the opportunity to ski every day! If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. In 10 years you’ll be: I will be teaching at an elementary school and enjoying my time off during the summer. Favorite class you took: Drama class – Thanks Mr. Beavers!

April Aragon School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Winning state soccer Give a shout out: Seniors! Summer plans: if everything works out I’ll be joining the marines Where are you headed this fall: same as my summer plans If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: the teachers If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping: s friendship with the people I met In 10 years you’ll be: having my life settled Favorite class you took: health Class you wish had been offered: cosmetology


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C5


C6 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

Among his other talents, Will Dutmer was a high jumper with the Eagle Valley track team.

Will Dutmer rocks the stage as well as school By Derek Franz dfranz@eaglevalleyenterprise.com

W

ill Dutmer is graduating from Eagle Valley High School but you might recognize him from his gigs at local bars as the bassist for the band Monk Tonic. The rest of the band members are about twice his age (he’ll be 19 in June) but the stage is a natural fit for him. “He’s been playing bar gigs in Eagle for about a year now,” said Dutmer’s dad, Larry. “He is very comfortable on stage. Occasionally [older women] hit on him.” Dutmer has performed in every school theater production since his freshman year. Most recently, he starred as Danny Zuko in the musical, “Grease.” “I loved playing a cocky, full-of-himself character because that’s totally not who I am,” Dutmer said. “Acting is fun because I get to be someone else.” He said his family has a performance background. “My dad is in local theater and my brother is studying musical theater at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley,” he said. “My brother has been in production since he was in first grade and he got me into it when I was in fifth grade, at the Vail Performing Arts Academy.” Dutmer will be at UNC next year as well – he intends to

be a high school math teacher. “I’ve wanted to do that for the last seven years,” he said. “I love math. I think teaching would be fun, working with the kids and having summers off. I also plan to minor in music.” Though it might not seem like an immediate correlation, Dutmer’s performance background will probably help his teaching career. “I’m definitely comfortable talking in front of people,” he said. As for theater? “I might audition for shows at UNC but it’s really competitive, so I’d be happy just to be a background guy,” he said. Larry Dutmer said interacting with people is probably what his son likes best and enjoys most about performing arts. “He enjoys the social aspect, especially the girls,” his dad said, laughing. Besides theater, Dutmer was a shooting guard on the basketball team – which had a winning season this year – and ran track. “I’m so proud of him,” said Larry Dutmer. “He’s self-motivated, he sets goals. I don’t take credit for all this. It feels strange to say, but if he were anyone else’s kid, I would still be impressed by him.”


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C7

Sarah Bakken School: Eagle Valley High School Favorite school moment: hatching chicks Summer Plans: Work at Strictly Flowers If leaving Eagle County, What will you miss most: Mountains In 10 years you’ll be: 28 years old Favorite class: Auto Shop and Agriculture Technology Class you wish should be offered: Underwater basket weaving

Hayley Clarke School: Battle Mountain High School Favorite School Moment; When boys soccer won states Where are you headed this fall: I am going to High Point University, majoring in Interior Design If you are leaving this fall what will you miss the most: I am going to miss the mountains and the climate. My favorite class I took: DE Phsycologoy with Phalen (check how to spell his name i don’t know for sure if that is right)

Matthew Steggall School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: hanging out with all thee awesome teachers Give a shout out to: my mom Summer plans: fishing and working Where are you headed this fall: I hope to the Marine Corps If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: I will miss the mountains and my awesome, beautiful mom If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. everything In 10 years you’ll be over seas fighting for our country Favorite class you took: government class and habitat with Mr. Gladitsch Class you wish had been offered: Anything Mr. Gladitsch taught

Kate Cooper School: Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy Favorite school moment from any year: Attending school in Russia in elementary school Summer plans: Lake Powell, France and hanging out with my friends Where are you headed this fall: University of Denver If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: Being able to ski Vail Mountain every morning in the winter In 10 years you’ll be: Working in the fashion industry in New York or Paris Favorite class you took: Spanish and French Class you wish had been offered: Art


C8 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

Nataly Mendoza School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Playing sports! Give a shout out: To my family and friends! Summer plans: To work and save up! Where are you headed this fall: Hopefully moving out to Denver and going to the Community College of Denver for school! If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. What I will miss the most is my family and friends and this beautiful place that we live in. If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. In 10 years you’ll be: Hopefully have my own place and a stable job! Living life. Favorite class you took: Not sure the classes were all interesting. Class you wish had been offered

Molly Childers School: BMHS Favorite school moment from any year Give a shout out Summer plans: Working at the Westin Hotel, going to the lake and spending time with family and friends. Where are you headed this fall: CU Boulder If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: My family and my dogs.

Anya Kurronen School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: My freshman year, Mr. Dudley chased me down the street in his car to get me back to class. Summer plans: Hanging with friends. Where are you headed this fall: CMC Spring Valley Campus If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. My friends especially Bernie If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. In 10 years you’ll be a fire fighter Favorite class you took: Japanese Mythology with Ms. Lammers Class you wish had been offered I think the ones they chose are always good.

Tania Molinar School: evhs Favorite school moment from any year: performing Grease for the spring musical! Shout out: shout out to all my homies and my fam bam Summer plans: work work work so I’m not totally poor! Where are you headed this fall: the land of the potatoes (Idaho) If you’re leaving eagle county, what will you miss most: my momma’s food! In 10 years you’ll be: hopefully a happy music teacher during the day, but at night, I’ll be a ninja assassin! Taking out crime one NOTE at a time! Haha..... Favorite class: choir Class you wish had been offered: nap time 101 :)


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C9

Gunnar Hamina School: Vail Christian High School Favorite Moment: Beating Soroco in Football Fall 2012 Shout out Ms.Lichius Summer prepare for College Miss most: Skiing 10 years : On a beach, in a tree Favorite class : PE Freshman year Class I wish they had: Badminton

Valeria Moran School: Eagle Valley High Favorite moment from any year: Having lunch with Bill and Melinda Gates. Give a shout out: Thanks to all my friends and family that push me to higher achievements. Summer plans: I plan on working hard and earning money to pay college expenses next year. Where are you headed this fall: University of Colorado in Denver If your leaving Eagle County what will you miss most: I will miss the small town with familiar faces and familiar places. In 10 years you’ll be: Hopefully done with school, have a nice car and awesome place to enjoy with friends and family. Favorite class you took: Honors Anatomy and Physiology. Class you wish had been offered: French III

Arely Alva School New America High School Favorite school moment from any year: When I meet my teachers. Give a shout out: To the great staff. Summer plans: Work and be a mom. Where are you headed this fall: Colorado Mountain College If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. Not leaving. If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping: The great memories I had at New America. In 10 years you’ll be: I hope to be working and accomplish my dream. Favorite class you took: I don’t have a favorite class I loved all my classes and my teachers. They’re amazing people Class you wish had been offered: I think its perfect.

Jack Kamby School: Battle Mountain High School Favorite school moment from any year: Golf Regionals with Collin and Chuck Give a shout out: Shout out to the Choom gang- Jim, Lucas, Deb, Collin, Shmeebs. Oh, and Mom and Dad. Summer plans: Caddying, gotta get that paper.  Where are you headed this fall: Attending University of Colorado Boulder on a full tuition and housing scholarship, will be living in Evans Scholarship House.   If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: Camping  If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping: Not staying. In 10 years you’ll be: Hopefully retired. Favorite class you took: Psych with Phelan. Class you wish had been offered: Bowling


C10 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

Alfredo Montes School: New American School Favorite school moment from any year: don’t remember Give a shout out: Summer plans: work a full time job\ Where are you headed this fall: nowhere If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most.: nothing If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping.:friends In 10 years you’ll be: I don’t know Favorite class you took: well Mr. Dudley was a cool class and he always kept it interesting Class you wish had been offered: I got all the classes I wanted.

Amber Cereceres School: New America School Favorite school moment from any year Give a shout out to all the teachers that encouraged me to keep going and help me graduate. Also my family for always having faith in me and helping get through everything. Summer plans are to work to save money for college but at the same time enjoy my time with my two beautiful babies. Where are you headed this fall: This fall I am planning on getting into CMC to start and my nursing classes. If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most? If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping? I’m going to enjoy being around all the people I know. In 10 years you’ll be: I will want to be own a house and have a good nursing career. Favorite class you took: My favorite class I took was Astronomy. Class you wish had been offered: I wish I was offered cosmetology class.

Gustavo Garcia School RCHS Favorite school moment from any year Graduating Where are you headed this fall: The Marines If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. Snow Boarding. If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. I am not Staying in Eagle County. In 10 years you’ll be: In the USMC. Favorite class you took: History Class you wish had been offered: I don’t know I think I took everything I wanted at RCHS because EVHS didn’t offer me entertaining classes.

Jazmin M. Torres School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Being told I was going to graduate!! Give a shout out: Hi:3 Summer plans: Get out of town for a while, come back and find a job. Where are you headed this fall: Hope fully not Burger King. If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. In 10 years you’ll be: 28 yrs. Old Favorite class you took: Video Production Class you wish had been offered


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C11

Elida Rosales School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Being told I was going to graduate!! Give a shout out: yaii finally Class of 2013!!! <3 Summer plans: maybe go back to Mexico for a while, then come back and go to college!!! Where are you headed this fall: With my parents in Mexico!! If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. The people around, and all the fun stuff ii used to have!! If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. Well everything is really beautiful,, so everything!!! In 10 years you’ll be: 31 Favorite class you took: Day Care ;) Class you wish had been offered: art

Eric C. Gurule School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Graduating! Give a shout out: love you Khyree Urijah Gurule, everything I do is for you baby son!! Summer plans: Get that great job I want and start to make that dough and a living for myself Where are you headed this fall: Everywhere and anywhere If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: I’m staying for a while If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping: My life, health, family, and my homies In 10 years you’ll be: 30 years old Favorite class you took: lunch! Class you wish had been offered: what class I wish I wasn’t offered is the question

Abraham Martinez

SAVE THE DATE!

Vail Performing Arts Academy presents

THE LITTLE

, JR.

FRIDAY AUGUST 16 at 6:30PM SATURDAY AUGUST 17 at 2PM & 6:30PM Vilar Performing Arts Center For more info visit www.vpaa.org


C12 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

April Alexa Cano

was raised to make the most of every opportunity By Derek Franz

dfranz@eaglevalleyenterprise.com

As the daugh immigrants, Ater of Mexican learned to app pril Alexa Cano portunities sh reciate the opher parents, we has here from from Mexico ho moved to Vail in 1993. “My dad, George, has been the main person in my life who pushed me to do everything I can,” Cano said. “He came here with nothing and now he has a successful drywall business.” In addition to her diploma from Eagle Valley High School, Cano earned an Associate Arts degree from Colorado Mountain College May 3. That degree requires 60 credit hours and studies in just

about every subject, including math, science and history. “This will be my first summer that I haven’t been in school!” Cano said. “I’ve been taking summer classes at CMC since my sophomore year.” During that time, she also took dual-credit classes at EVHS, participated in student council and ran cross country track. She went to the state cross country meet this year as an alternate. “The Associate Arts degree sets me up to graduate from Colorado State University in three years,” she said. “I plan to double major in hospitality management and psychology. If I didn’t have the credits going in, it would take me five years to graduate with those degrees.”

She hopes to return to the Vail Valley for work when she’s finished with school. “I chose hospitality management, because of the tourism industry we have here,” she said. “Psychology is something I’ve been interested in since the summer of my sophomore year. Hospitality is all about people, so I don’t think it will hurt to have a psychology degree as well.” She said her dad taught her a work ethic and her mom taught her “how to be a good person.” “She taught me not to be jealous of other people’s successes and to just appreciate who I am,” she said. “Like every parent, we just wanted our daughters to be more than we were,” said George Cano. “We taught them to not have any slack time, and April worked and worked. We’re

very proud of her.” April Cano said her older sister has also been a strong source of support. “Andrea graduated early from EVHS and went to beauty school in Fort Collins,” she said. “She knows how hard I’ve worked and has been very encouraging, sending me text messages every day.” Even though she’s finally taking a short break from school, Cano will keep working hard this summer. She has two jobs lined up – one as a secretary, Monday through Friday, and one at Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, Saturday through Sunday. Then it’s off to the future. “I really want to thank Eagle Valley High School and all the teachers,” she said. “I couldn’t have made it all this way without their love and support.”


The Vail Daily

The Best Advice

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C13

never changes Vail Mountain Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1st graders offer advice to graduating seniors

Vail Mountain Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s graduates started out just like this, as first graders with a bunch of senior class reading buddies. As part of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program, the first graders put together some advice for their reading buddies as the seniors graduate and head off to college. Like great stuff everywhere, this great advice is timeless.


C14 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C15

Be a Part of the Anti-Bullying Mission. Did You Know ?

an estimated 150,000 Every day in the United States, intimidation. kids miss school due to fear or n

– National Education Associatio

s in Eagle Anti-Bullying program operate Teaching Self Defense : The and boys. s girl h bot for and high schools County elementary, middle ues and hniq tec e ativ mb ous Gracie Co The program uses world fam rtial Ma ion mp Cha rld Wo se of two trainings as well as the experti tand ers to stand up to a bully and und Artists to teach kids the ability lied bul ly, the perspectives of the bul components of bullying from lly sica phy to gram teaches students how and bystander. While the pro how s ent stud ch cks, the main goal is to tea defend themselves from atta and safely. ations, verbally, nonverbally, situ to best deal with bullying

re information, Scholarships are available, for mo please call 970-777-2015.

Donate ❒ Volunteer

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The Youth Foundation


C16 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

Jonna M. Spigener School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Hosting gallery night with Amanda Hagbery Give a shout out: Shout out to Jeff Cuno! For making my first Red Canyon year an amazing one! He taught me a lot about life, and went hand in hand with my education. Hi:Dudley!!! Summer plans: Continue teaching music, and move to LA! Where are you headed this fall: No clue☺ If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most: The small town, family aspect. If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping: My students In 10 years you’ll be: 28 yrs. Old Favorite class you took: Simpsons with Mr. Dudley Class you wish had been offered: Non Smoking… I wasn’t around to get the chance to take it. I’ve heard it does wonders.

Juliet Amancio School: New American High School Favorite school moment from any year: When I found out I am graduating Give a shout out: I want to give a shout out to the class of 2013, good job everyone! Summer plans: Get ready to be a mom Where are you headed this fall: Stay home If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most.: My family If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping.: My family In 10 years you’ll be: Having my own business Favorite class you took: Cancer with Ms. Crevling Class you wish had been offered: Cosmetology

Dan Reyes School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: Being told I was going to graduate!! Give a shout out: Hey everybody Im Dan Summer plans: find a job. Where are you headed this fall: A good place If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. Not leaving If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. My friends and this beautiful town In 10 years you’ll be: 27 yrs. Old Favorite class you took: ww1 Class you wish had been offered Idk it’s all good

JD Chambers School: Red Canyon High School Favorite school moment from any year: The senior raft trip, it was a good learning experience and I enjoyed the people that went with as well Give a shout out Id like to give a shout out to Mr. Hill for everything he has done for the students and teachers he is the man! Mrs. Cal for being the sweetest, coolest counselor I’ve ever had! I’d also like to shout out to all the teachers who have taught me and allowed me to learn things that I was interested in! Summer plans: attend college Where are you headed this fall: Maybe Mesa State College If you’re leaving Eagle County, what will you miss most. My Friends and family If you’re staying, what are you happiest about keeping. In 10 years you’ll be: Hopefully working and making money Favorite class you took: I liked them all! Class you wish had been offered


The Vail Daily

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C17

HUSKIES SOCCER

GRABS THE CROWN

By Chris Freud cfreud@vaildaily.com

penalty kick against him ylor@vaildaily.com ball, stopping the second Dominique Taylor | dta three penalty kicks to Espinoza dives for the n ing istia sav by Chr e per gam kee the in win Battle Mounta rgreen. Espinoza helped Eve in e gam a ing dur by Evergreen one saved by Evergreen.

So did anything big happen this year at Battle Mountain?

There were plenty of memorable moments in Huskies sports in 2012-13, but, let’s face it, this year was all about Battle Mountain boys soccer. This was the dream season — league title, 15-0 regularseason record, revenge over the bitterest of postseason foes in ridiculous fashion, and victory in the state championship game in a whiteout in Denver. Yeah, all that really happened. At the beginning of the season, were they going to be good? Sure. The Huskies were coming off a 14-2-2 season, only the third appearance in the program’s history in the state quarterfinals, and had lost only two seniors to graduation. Great? I did not have the mortal-lock feeling that I had

before the 2006 Battle Mountain volleyball or 2007 Huskies cross country seasons, which just happen to be the school’s last two state titles. The Huskies still needed to grow, as individuals and as a unit, and that may be the lasting legacy of this crew. The exceptional individual talents of this group — and there was a boatload of skill here — formed into an iron will which said collectively, “We’re doing this.”

The regular season • Battle Mountain beats Montrose, 2-1, in the opener. Huskies David Cope and I do our basic interview and then talk off the record as we normally do. I ask, “Do you think you can go 15-0?,” as the Indians looked like one of the toughest teams one the schedule. Cope replies, “Yes.” You have to remember this is Cope, not say David Joyce (football, 2011) or Ken Bielski (hockey,


C18 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

2001-02), or assistant coach Kyle Mercer, who played the role of bad cop to Cope’s good guy. This is the beginning of the transformation of the team. Winning a league title and winning a home playoff game is just not going to do it in 2012. Throughout the season, Cope issues challenges to the Huskies. Here’s a secret, people: It may be harder to coach a really good team than a poor one, as defender Gunnar Wilson summed up nicely at the end of the season. “He knew that if he said we were not good, we’d know he’d be lying,” Wilson said. “He used it as a positive note, that there have been other good teams at Battle Mountain. He always said, ‘We don’t want to be a good team. We want to be a great team.’ Whenever we thought we were pretty hot, Cope just kept saying that we haven’t done anything yet.” • Sept. 25, Battle Mountain beats Summit County, 3-1. It’s a good win as the Tigers turn out to be the Huskies’ toughest competition in the league. The important moment comes on Battle Mountain’s third goal. Senior captain Joe LyBarger gets decked and draws a foul. LyBarger puts the ball down, sends the ball down the field and the Huskies score.

The metamorphosis continues here. LyBarger is a tremendous athlete, as he proves by being named Player of the Year in the 4A Slope and scoring a ton of goals in the process. But can he stay focused? Apparently, yes. A year or two ago, LyBarger, in this same situation, would have gotten into it with the player who clocked him or with the ref, nullifying the advantage. This is just one of many questions that the Huskies are starting to answer. Can Chris Shea, a powder keg of talent and temper, keep it together? Can Wilson, who is an aggressive player, actually play defense? Is Christian Espinoza a bigtime goalie? Can Heivan Garcia, a epically-talented striker who also looks lost out on the field at times, be a factor? • Battle Mountain thumps archrival Steamboat Springs, 4-0, completing a season sweep of the Sailors by an aggregate of 9-0. The Huskies don’t seem particularly excited, though beating Steamboat normally is the program’s raison d’etre. There are bigger fish to fry. • The Huskies clinch the league title Oct. 8 with a tidy 2-0 win at Summit. There really should be a celebration here. There

JUSTIN MCCARTY |

usually is. Where’s Tyler Cole to rip off his jersey in celebration when you need him? Maybe, it’s the fact that this is the third title in a row and seven in nine years. The Huskies are now firmly focused on 15-0 and perfection. LyBarger goes down with a hip pointer in this one. On the record, Cope says the senior is “day-to-day.” In truth, despite rest, which costs him a shot at the Huskies’ scoring record and then playing his heart out in the postseason, No. 6 is not the same for the rest of the year. The Huskies rise to the occasion with their depth, which becomes staggering and sorely-needed. Offensively, 15 different Huskies score during the season, and six have five goals or more. Defensively, Battle Mountain allows only 11 goals in 20 games. The latter is tested when the Huskies lose their center back for the rest of the year during the final week of the regular season. This is another turning point because the foundation of the program’s success has been based on a 3-5-2 formation. The Huskies can play more people forward and be dynamic offensively because there’s a stout anchor like Evie Gonzalez, Connor Tedstrom or Cody Hervert in that spot. Roberto Diaz gets the call to move back and the transition is elegantly smooth. • Battle Mountain beats Eagle Valley for a 15-0 regular season, the first in the boys program’s history. (The girls did it in 2008, and that, in the author’s opinion, remains one of the most under-appreciated teams in the school’s

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ILY.COM

the Class 4A state lebrates after winning ce m City tea r cce so ol s Park in Commerce High Scho Dick’s Sporting Good The Battle Mountain at ge Rid . er ut lm t-o Pa oo st sh e again ertim championship game ge Bears, 4-2, in an ov beat the Palmer Rid ies sk Hu e Th ar. ye this

history.) The fellas, as Cope says, pose in front of the scoreboard, which has been changed to read, “15-0” for the occasion. • On Seeding Sunday, the Huskies, the only undefeated team in Class 4A, get the sixth seed in the state tournament. Politely-put, this is a hosing of epic proportions. Cope issues the edict and his players dutifully repeat it interviews that being seeded sixth is actually a stroke of good fortune because it will allow Battle Mountain to play better teams and get more of a challenge. This was putting lipstick on a pig, and the Huskies did it well. Oh, and another thing about being sixth? It set up a possible matchup at No. 3 Evergreen in the quarterfinals.

EVERGREEN, EVERGREEN, EVERGREEN There were five games in the postseason, but, in retrospect, one rises above the rest. Battle Mountain dutifully beat Greeley Central, 3-1, after Espinoza let in a poor goal in the first minute. The Huskies bounced Pueblo Centennial, 3-0, in the second round. And, thus, on Nov. 1, Battle Mountain went to Evergreen to slay the dragon. Evergreen is a good Front Range 4A soccer program in the Jeffco League. The Cougars are always in the playoffs. The problem was that they had ended Battle Mountain’s season three years in a row. In 2009, the Huskies had allowed nine goals in 15 games before losing to Evergreen, 7-2, in Edwards in the first round. (There were extenuating factors, but I blame myself. I was on my couch, recovering from the H1N1 virus that year.) In 2010, the Huskies went down to Evergreen, and lost again. What really rankled, though, was that some of Battle Mountain’s Hispanic players got a


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reception that wasn’t commensurate with life in the 21st Century. Round 3 was in 2011 and that was a 2-0 loss, and the Huskies were simply fed up with Evergreen. I got down to Evergreen early for the fourth meeting in as many years just as a part of my routine. It was mainly to see what Internet connection was available to send what I hoped would be a triumphant story. What became alarming — in a good way — early was that I wasn’t the only one coming from Eagle County. The Evergreen staff was setting up roping to keep the two sets of fans apart, standard procedure for any high school game. What was funny is that they kept having to adjust the roping to accommodate more and more Battle Mountain fans. By the time the game actually started, Huskies fans had turned Evergreen’s pitch into Edwards — it sounded like a Battle Mountain home game. And all saw one for the ages. Evergreen scored first. Diego Rodriguez to Diaz evened it. And then the field started to slant. The Huskies dominated, but simply could not get one in the net. At one point, one of the refs, presumably from the Front Range who had not seen the Huskies play, ran by Cope during the second half and said to the coach, “Boy, you guys are good.” Speaking of Cope, things were getting tense. He knew the only way Evergreen was going to beat the Huskies on that Wednesday night was via kicks or a free kick. The Cougars got the latter when Broby Leeds committed a bad, but seemingly innocuous foul. Cope actually yelled, “Dammit, Broby,” and then muttered to Mercer, “Get him out of there.” I have covered Cope’s Battle Mountain soccer teams for 27 seasons between his boys and girls teams, and for the generally-steady-as-it-goes coach, this was a volcanic eruption. This really was the equivalent of a normal coach dropping 17 F-bombs and throwing a chair onto the playing surface. For the record, no harm came from the whistle, and Cope later

apologized to Leeds. It was funny. (The last time I’d seen Cope yell at game was 2008, and I was standing next to his wife, Kathleen, then, and she was surprised.) It was also another transformational moment. Just as the players had morphed into an “all-in, we’re-winningthis-whole-thing” attitude, so had the coach publicly, albeit in a very unexpected way. Battle Mountain did not score in either regulation or overtime, and it was off to penalty kicks to decide it. P.K.s are scary. It’s not the way to determine the better team, but there’s no alternative. They’re particularly scary when the coach, Cope, is an English soccer fan, who has seen nothing but bad things happen to his national side in international competitions like the World Cup and the Euros. But to answer the question, “Is Christian Espinoza a big-time goalie?” The answer was emphatic, “Yes, sir.” In a shootout, you just hope that the other team misses or that your keeper can make one save. Espinoza stopped 3-of-4 shots, and the Huskies finally vanquished Evergreen. (By the way, Diaz, Erick Briones and Wilson all made their kicks, but no one is going to remember that.) When Espinoza made the final save clinching the win, absolute pandemonium broke out. The Huskies went nuts. Their fans went nuts. I have many a celebration in 16 years of covering sports. This was different. I kept trying to interview Espinoza for the story, and, every time I was about ready to ask my first question, players or fans tackled him in celebration again. I did some other interviews afterwards, but my iPhone recorder malfunctioned, but I remember Briones saying something to the effect of, “That wasn’t just Christian. It was all of us there with him.” Ding, dong, the wicked witch was dead.

OH, YEAH, TWO MORE An interesting question is, “Which was bigger, beating Evergreen or winning the state championship nine days later?” We

stipulate that the Evergreen win was a necessary part of the sequence for the Huskies to advance to the semifinals and the finals. Also, the Huskies didn’t receive a big trophy for beating Evergreen. But … in preparation for this story, I had to look up whom Battle Mountain faced in the finals (Palmer Ridge). I also remember not being too worried about the Huskies playing Broomfield in the semifinals. (I’m usually a nervous wreck before a playoff game for any school in any sport.) I remember thinking at the semifinals, “There is no way this team can lose in the semifinals after that game against Evergreen. Just can’t happen.” And that’s pretty funny because Broomfield, in years past, had beaten the Huskies senseless in previous postseason meetings. Happily, the question was not of the either/or variety. Battle Mountain knocked off Broomfield, 2-1, on scores by Garcia (big game, big player) and Diaz (quickly making a name for himself during the run.) And then it snowed. That had to be a good omen for Battle Mountain soccer on championship Saturday against Palmer Ridge. Surreal is dumb word because it’s overused. But being at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, watching Battle Mountain in the snow in the title game was surreal. You want surreal? How come there were still more Huskies fans there than Palmer Ridge faithful, even though they were driving through a blizzard over two massive mountain passes? A dramatic goal from the run of play would have been nice, but the Bears weren’t scoring that day. Could Wilson play defense? That unit was fantastic all day and all season. I remember seeing Shea out there, playing his heart out, knowing that, healthwise, he was a mess. (He had back surgery within a week of the title game). He didn’t lose his cool. Espinoza shone again with a big save in penalty kicks. The Huskies

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | C19

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Battle Mountain soccer coach David Cope, center, celebrates Battle Mountain’s semifinal win against Broomfield this year in Parker.

had the answers for all the questions. I remember being cold and soaked, and I remember that moment of silence as all assembled waited to make sure Garcia’s gameclinching penalty kick really did find the back of the net. It was slow-motion as Garcia raced toward the Battle Mountain fans’ section with his teammates running after him. … LyBarger raising the trophy. … Everybody hugging everybody in the locker room. … Everyone taking a turn with the trophy. “We beat No. 3 (Evergreen),” Cope said. “We beat No. 2 (Broomfield), and we beat No. 1 (Palmer Ridge). And we’ll came back Monday if they want us to play anyone else.” (That is as close to smack talk as Cope gets.) Yeah, that really happened.

AND IN OTHER NEWS Huskies cross country sent two teams to state. That was notable after a one-year absence by the guys. … Volleyball snapped a seven-game losing streak to Eagle Valley. That’s key because that means the Class of 2013 had never topped the Devils until that win. … Spring was quite fun. The boys lacrosse team made the playoffs for the first time in school history, and the gents may have some company soon. The biggest turnaround at Battle Mountain was girls lacrosse, which went from 4-10 to 10-4, and only graduate one (Hayley Clarke). And girls soccer not only took its first league title since 2008, but won its first playoff game in six years.


C20 | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | The Vail Daily

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