The Sopris Sun

Rams notch wins across the board

Rams notch wins across the board

By Will Grandbois

Sopris Sun Correspondent

Roaring Fork High School’s official Homecoming is still two weeks away, but the Rams are already proving their ability to seize the home field advantage, with all three teams picking up wins in the last week.

Soccer fans broke in the new grandstands at the Carbondale Middle School playing field on Sept. 5 with a 3-0 victory over Moffat County, then proceeded to thump 5A Durango on Sept. 7 and beat Aspen on Sept. 10.

Ram footballers contributed their win over Aspen under the Friday night lights, while the volleyball girls recovered from their loss at Coal Ridge by trouncing Hotchkiss.

Soccer

With the old visitor’s grandstands lying in the Middle School parking lot, Aspen Skier fans helped fill out the main stands on Tuesday night, with the threat of rain dampening turnout for a sport that already trails other sports in attendance.

The Rams seemed unperturbed, however, by the near-even mix of Roaring Fork and Aspen cheers. Lalo Clemente scored the first goal of the night near the end of the first half, then Ben Carpenter started off the second with a point of his own. Aspen responded with back-to-back scores, bringing the game to a tie with 31 minutes to go. After that, the Rams took off, with Carpenter adding two more goals and Gustavo “Gus” Oliva contributing a header to finish the game with the Rams on top 5-2.

As the players left the field, Roaring Fork coach Nick Forbes seemed elated. “I’m feeling very good about the team,” he told The Sopris Sun, “We’ve got a group that has shown they can play a full game.”

The Rams stand at 3-1 for the season, although none of the wins have been league games. Still, all wins are important. Forbes cited the Sept. 7 win over Durango (1-0) in particular. “It’s big. They’re 5A.”

The Rams have a chance to keep their winning spree alive when they host Delta at 4 p.m. on Sept. 12.

Football

What’s sweeter than opening the season with an away victory over one of your bitterest rivals, following it up by defeating another rival for the first time in years on your home field?

That’s exactly how the Rams finished the opening games of the season last Friday night.

Still high from their 13-0 win over the Basalt Longhorns on Aug. 30, Roaring Fork set to work on the Aspen Skiers, who came out on top in every major match up from 2007 to 2012.

The Rams took an early lead in a steady drizzle when Tanner Nieslanik scored his second punt return touchdown of the season, but the Skiers didn’t go down easily. After trailing for the first three quarters, Aspen kicked a field goal to tie the game at 17-17 with 8:32 left in the fourth quarter. They then delivered a punt that left the Rams with 80 yards from the goal line. Roaring Fork made slow progress, however, and responded with a field goal of their own with 2:23 left in the contest.

Aspen moved the pigskin down field, running the ball out of bounds when possible to stop the clock, but with less than a minute left in the game, the Skiers were forced to try for overtime with another field goal. The night’s rain took its toll and the snap from center slipped, leaving the Skiers scrambling to make the best of a busted play. For a moment, with most of Roaring Fork’s defense still in place to block the kick, it looked like the Skiers might snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but an improvised pass fell incomplete, leaving the Rams a 20-17 win.

Roaring Fork is now 2-0 for the season and will travel to Monte Vista for a 7:30 p.m. game on Sept. 13.

Volleyball

The Lady Rams haven’t seen many close games this year. They dominated at Basalt on Sept. 5, finishing the Longhorns off in three sets: 25-12, 25-16 and 25-15. Coal Ridge turned the tables with a 3-0 win over the Rams to continue their undefeated season. Roaring Fork then came back strong, sweeping Hotchkiss at home 25-18, 25-16 and 25-15. That win brings the Rams to 3-4 for the season.

Roaring Fork will host the 5-1 Olathe Pirates at 3 p.m. on Sept. 14. Fans should keep an eye on senior Taila Howe, who leads the Rams with 2.1 kills per set, as well as senior Rosa Maun and junior Emily Fuller, with 1.5 each. Maun also leads in blocks with .8 per set, while Toni Gross boasts the team’s best serving percentage at 97 percent. Josie Horn contributes a more-than-respectable 10.3 digs per match.