Weather, again, the No. 1 obstacle for girls golfers
The girls' golf season often takes as much strategy on the course as it does off of it.
The obstacles around scheduling golf tournaments in the spring (weather, course maintenance, school exams, impending graduation, etc.) looks to be as rigorous as ever as the first round of the season for many area teams is already in jeopardy.
As of Sunday, the Cheyenne Mountain Indian Invitational set for Tuesday at Country Club of Colorado is looking doubtful. Cheyenne Mountain coach John Carricato says the fate of the tournament will be decided by Monday afternoon.
A postponement date is tentatively scheduled for April 24, he says, but that could be changed as well due to a conflict with another tournament in the area.
"It's brutal," Carricato said. "The girls' season is a challenge. It really is. There are a lot of variables that make it challenging."
Just getting the Indian Invitational off the ground has been a trial by error for the past few years.
"I've always thought that March weather is better than April weather," Carricato cracked. "Then last year I had the Cheyenne Mountain invite play in March right before spring break and the weather was horrible. But this year right before spring break we were in the 70s, so you're like kicking yourself going 'Oh man, we should have had a tournament."
Can anyone contend with Pine Creek in 5A CSML baseball?
The nonconference schedule left more questions than answers heading into play in the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League.
Namely, can anyone challenge Pine Creek for the crown?
The Eagles have won the league title outright since 2010 - that year, Rampart and Pine Creek were both 14-2 in league and the Rams beat the Eagles in both meetings. And for the past six years the Eagles have dropped only seven league games.
This season, Pine Creek has gone just 2-4 to start the year - which includes a 17-0 victory over Doherty on March 22 in the only league game played so far. The Spartans (2-5), Fountain-Fort Carson (3-3), Liberty (0-4), Palmer (2-4) and Rampart (1-6) are also .500 or below.
That leaves Coronado as the only league team with a winning record at 4-1.
The Cougars, who went 4-15 last year, have surprised many in the first few weeks under first-year coach Trevor Stewart, outscoring their opposition 53-22.
If they plan to be a viable contender they'll have to show it in the next seven days. They're scheduled to face F-FC on Tuesday before opening a two-game set against the Eagles starting Thursday.
"We want to be above .500, that's kind of where it starts at," Stewart said. "We want to make the playoffs. We start out with Fountain, Pine Creek, Pine Creek. We're starting with a tough conference schedule. It's one of those deals that obviously we're looking forward to the opportunity of playing against Pine Creek because if we can compete with them then maybe being a league champ is a very real possibility at that point."
Cheyenne Mountain doesn't risk hopes of postseason by playing out of state in baseball
The Indians (5-0) have been accustomed to traveling to out-of-state tournaments during spring break, but chose to stay in Colorado this season due to the downside it has on a team's Rating Percentage Index.
Teams now are only eligible to receive "a standard .500 will be factored in for opponents' opponents' winning percentage for out of state opponents," per the Colorado High School Activities Association bulletin.
Meaning teams around the state like Cheyenne Mountain felt forced to stay home to protect their postseason chances.
"It's very unfortunate," Cheyenne Mountain coach Mark Swope said. "Last year we went out to Vegas and played two teams ranked in the top 10 in the state of Nevada in their largest classification and got beat. If you go outside the state this year and play those same two teams they only weigh them a .500-win percentage team."
Swope says he believes playing outside of Colorado is a valuable experience that many teams will now miss out on. He says his 2009 and 2011 teams that won state benefited from going to out-of-state tournaments.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't pay to go out of state," he said. "And even though it may make your team better and help you to play better teams, it hurts you in RPI."
Keep an eye on
The boys' track team at Vista Ridge set the state's best mark of the season in the 1,600 relay (3:21.15) and the 800 relay (1:28.87) at the Lyons Invitational on Thursday. The Wolves, as a team, were second out of 26.
BRENT W. NEW, THE GAZETTE