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Rams vs. Oysters: A friendly rivalry continues

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Rams vs. Oysters: A friendly rivalry continues

By Will Grandbois

Sopris Sun Correspondent

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It’s not really an “away” game for either when the Roaring Fork Rams play the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Oysters, as they did in a quick pair of matches on Oct. 12 and Oct. 15.

Less than two miles separate the teams’ soccer fields and the close-knit community’s two high school teams are close in more than geography. Rams’ head coach Nick Forbes is a CRMS alum, and his father Arthur “A.O.” Forbes is a long-time teacher and soccer coach at the private school. Several CRMS students play for Roaring Fork volleyball and basketball teams, including at least one member of their current soccer lineup. A.O. also teaches a pair of night classes for the RE-1 school district, in coordination with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and has had some of Roaring Fork sports-team members in his class.

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“You kinda have to make up a competitive spirit that’s not really there,” Nick observed following the second of the public school’s pair of victories over CRMS this year.

The Rams’ hosted the Oct. 12 game and wrapped up a 4-0 win, while the Oysters’ home game ended 6-0 for Roaring Fork. “Whenever we play CRMS, it’s a friendly game,” said junior Ben Carpenter.

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Carpenter, a three-year veteran of Rams’ soccer and top scorer for the team this year, had Nick’s mother and A.O.’s wife, Janice Forbes, as a teacher at Ross Montessori School some years ago. Janice made an appearance at both games and was one of several spectators who seemed unsure of which team to support.

“She usually roots for my son, which is really disheartening,” A.O. wryly observed when questioned by the Sun. Also in attendance at Tuesday’s game was a CRMS parent who works for the RE-1 district; he quipped that he might as well don his Glenwood apparel and offend both teams equally.

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A brief history

The two schools weren’t always so close. The two programs are vastly different academically, and only overlap in this single athletic arena. The social link between the schools waxes and wanes, but even at its worst it’s usually more distant than hostile.

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“When I first came up here in 1986, we didn’t have a lot of day students, and that made us more insulated” A.O. told The Sun earlier this week. “Now I feel like this is all one big, wonderful scene. There’s a great affinity … we’ve all played together in the summer.”

For the Rams, recent dominance in a friendly rivalry that favored the Oysters for many years is a satisfying feather in the cap of a strong season. “Our eligibility came through, so all our kids can play,” Nick noted in reference to a problem that has handicapped RFHS sports in recent years. Now, with their ranks bolstered by academic success, the team is 10-2-2 for the season and ranked second in their league behind Coal Ridge. Roaring Fork’s final game of the regular season took place after press time on Oct. 16 against 1-11-1 Grand Valley. Depending on the game’s outcome, Roaring Fork will be seeded for the playoffs and may have to travel to the Front Range.

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Senior Night was slated for the Oct. 16 game so be sure to check The Sopris Sun website later in the week for pictures that couldn’t make it into this edition. Night games are a boon for spectators that can’t make the traditionally early soccer matches.