This weekend will really put the managerial skills of Longmont’s Tom Fobes and Niwot’s Bob Bote to the test.
The two coaches have led their teams into this week’s Class 4A state championship series.
While that was certainly goal, both coaches now have some decisions to make.
With a potential of playing three games this weekend, pitching staffs will be pushed.
“You look at the brackets and see where your best matchups might be, but then you’re just guessing who wins each game,” Fobes said.
Longmont (16-5) heads into Friday’s opener with Sterling planning to start Justin Mathews. Should the Trojans win, Zach Juth will pitch the second game, at 3 p.m.
Niwot (21-0) has Sean Ratliff, one of the state’s top pitchers. And, with Kyle Spencer, who is a perfect 7-0 this season, along with Brian Lux and Winslow Taylor, the Cougars have the luxury of potentially saving Ratliff for a second or third game, or saving him for a tight spot.
Of course, Fobes said there’s only really one way to make a coaches’ job easier.
“Hopefully your pitchers are having a good day,” Fobes said.
“That makes (the decisions) a lot easier.”
No question, the pitching staffs of Longmont, Niwot and all the teams in the tournament, will be taxed this weekend, but Fobes wouldn’t have it any other way. Especially after his Trojans went 4-15 a year ago.
“Yeah, (the double-elimination format) is exciting,” Fobes said. “The kids are ready to play. We know we can go pretty far.”
Regional resumes Friday: On Friday, the Class 4A Region 5 track and field championships will resume at Everly-Montgomery Field.
The meet began on Tuesday, with Longmont already starting to flex its muscles.
The Trojans are favored to win both the boys and girls team titles. The girls won four of seven finals contested on Friday and already have a 77-50 lead over second-place Silver Creek.
David Eischeid won Longmont’s first individual crown on the boys side, setting a personal record in the long jump (23 feet, 23/4 inches).
One of the most exciting titles went to Skyline’s David Gossett, who won the 1,600-meter championship by a hair. Gossett finished the 1-mile race in 4 minutes, 36.01 seconds, just .05 of a second ahead of Broomfield’s Bryan Eicher. Gossett will be among the favorites in Friday’s 3,200 meters.
Brian Howell can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 298, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.