West Grand High School volleyball and football
Sky-Hi News Sports Correspondent
West Grand High School volleyball and football teams continued to prepare for league games with non-league games this past week in their second week of competition.
The volleyball team got into full swing with a preseason tournament during the Labor Day weekend. The varsity played in a Glenwood Springs tournament while the junior varsity traveled to Grand Valley High School in Parachute.
The Lady Mustang varsity went 1-3 over the weekend, beating a Class 3A school from Grand Junction while falling to Steamboat Springs, Rangely and Meeker.
“Even with the losses,” Coach Elizabeth Bauer said, “it was an excellent opportunity for the team to see where we’re at and what we need to work on. The girls played well and showed that this year we will be a team to contend with.”
The junior varsity played well and went 4-1 over the weekend.
Mustang volleyball continued last week with games against Lake County and SoRoCo. West Grand hosted Lake County Thursday with all levels playing well and coming out with victories. The varsity won in three games, 25-16, 25-12, 25-6.
“It was good to see the C-team get court time and experience,” Coach Bauer said. “The junior varsity played well together with a few new additions from the previous weekend. It was great to see our team come out and play at a high level for our home opener.”
The Mustangs traveled to SoRoCo on Saturday and continued their high level of play with the varsity taking the win in three.
“Our hitters are making good decisions and plays at the net,” Bauer noted. “Even though we still have some work on transitions, our defense is also coming along nicely and the girls are refusing to let balls drop on the court. It has been great start to a great season.”
West Grand has a big week coming up with North Park on Wednesday (away), Hayden on Friday (home), and Paonia and Hotchkiss on Saturday (away).
“This week will test our stamina and mental toughness, but I believe we are ready,” Coach Bauer said.
The football team found the going a bit tougher on Saturday night as it lost to the powerful Elbert Bulldogs, 46-0.
The Mustangs lost the battle of yardage as well, as Elbert outgained West Grand, 404 to 75. Senior quarterback Blake Nicholas was particularly effective as he raced for 199 yards and passed for 128 yards he also ran for three scores, passed for two touchdowns and accounted for four successful PAT attempts.
Nick Ritschard, quarterback for West Grand, was the most effective weapon for the Mustangs as he ran for 44 yards and passed for another 16 yards. Leo Pesch accounted for 12 yards rushing and Jeremiah Elliott caught the lone pass for 16 yards.
Nicholas scored on two long runs in the first quarter and connected with Dakota Hedger for a 25-yard touchdown pass, also in the first frame.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs tacked on another three scores primarily behind the legs and arm of quarterback Nicholas.
The second half featured a running clock which brought the game to a quick conclusion. The Mustangs were, however, able to sustain a couple of drives with Ritschard leading the way for West Grand.
Elbert’s experience was evident in this game. The Bulldogs advanced to the state quarterfinals last year where they were narrowly defeated by Simla. In the game on Saturday night, 86 percent of the offense and 96 percent of the points were scored by seniors for the Bulldogs.
The formidable non-league schedule continues this Friday night as the Mustangs travel to Simla. The Cubs aren’t as strong as last season but figure to be a stiff test nonetheless. The following week will feature the Homecoming match-up for West Grand against the Panthers from Rangely.
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