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Homecoming: a chance for school and town to come together

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By Will Grandbois
Sopris Sun Staff

In days of yore, Homecoming meant balloons on Veterans Memorial Bridge, painted signs in every shop window and most of the town watching the game.

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While the Rams still enjoy community support, Athletic Director Jade Bath wouldn’t mind if it stepped up a notch this week.

“I think it’s huge for the kids to see the stands full,” she said. “It means a lot to them whether they’re winning or losing, but particularly if they’re not having the best season.”

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It has been a mixed bag for Roaring Fork so far this year.

Soccer has become the school’s strongest fall sport.

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“We have really good numbers when it comes to soccer and they’ve played together for a long time,” Bath explained.

The team is currently 8-2 overall and 2-1 in league — their only losses to Delta 2-1 on Sept. 9 and Aspen 1-0 on Sept. 27.

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Offensively, Junior Aidan Sloan has contributed 25 points and 5 assists, closely followed by freshman Alvin Garcia 16 points and 4 assists and junior Ronald Clemente with 12 points and 2 assists. Junior Leo Loya takes care of the defensive end with 3.9 saves per game for a goals against average of 0.889.

They’ll host the 3-5-1 Grand Valley Cardinals at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 5 for Homecoming, but Bath is already looking ahead to the big match with the 10-1 Delta Panthers on Oct. 19, a game that could decide a lot in the playoffs.

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Next up is volleyball, with a 6:30 p.m. game against archrival Basalt on Oct. 5. The Longhorns may have the edge there, with a 6-3 record to the Rams’ 2-9. Still, on their home turf and fresh off a 3-2 win over Olathe on Oct. 5, it’s far from a foregone conclusion.

“We have to get everything clicking and get them moving… It’s the best I’ve seen them all play together,” Bath said of the last game. “That was a good start to our homecoming week.”

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The team lost a host of seniors from last year, leaving a young but not altogether inexperienced team. Junior Gaby Santana leads on attacks with seven kills and a hitting percentage of .176, and also adds 4.7 blocks per match. Senior Lily Nichols tops serving points with 13, junior Kendall Bernot tops the team with four aces, junior Logan Erickson gets in 4.4 digs per set and sophomore Emily Broadhurst contributed 14 assists per set.

Finally, the Friday night lights will illuminate two football teams looking for their first win of the season at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.

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The Rams struggled to field the numbers for a team this year, and endured several games with no points on the board before making a touchdown against Moffat County on Sept. 29. Still, they’ve persevered.

“They’re still keeping their heads up and staying positive, which is pretty cool to see from high schoolers,” Bath said. “I’m really proud of them.”

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And while their experience so far has included some tough non-league games, they might enjoy picking on someone their own size when Steamboat Springs comes to town.

Win or lose, though, Homecoming is set to be a hoot. Students have been dressing up all week with themes like “tacky tourist,” and powderpuff football and brute volleyball were followed by the traditional truck rally Wednesday night. There’s a bonfire under the full moon planned for Thursday, and royalty will be announced during the football game Friday. The school will also have a major presence in the Potato Day Parade Saturday morning.

“It gets our kids out in front of the community to represent our school in a different way,” Bath observed.