The boys soccer season is beginning to get its collective legs beneath it, and two area squads are turning heads with impressive starts.
One of them, the Falcons from Skyline, perhaps should not qualify as a surprise, given they are the defending Tri-Valley League champions who extended their league winning streak to 13 games with a victory Wednesday against Mead.
Yet this Skyline team, which has reached the 4A playoffs each of the past three seasons only to exit quickly in the first round, has the early feel of a club operating with a different level of confidence. Exhibit A could be found in a win at Windsor on Monday in which the Falcons produced the equalizer in the waning seconds of regulation before tallying the winning goal at the very end of the second overtime.
"They have a ton of talent, but I've become convinced it's all mental for them," Skyline coach Luis Chavez said. "We had a great run last year, but going into the playoffs or against our city rivals, we would fall apart mentally. So far this year it's good to see the boys believe in themselves and see the hard work pay off."
In addition to making a more emphatic mark in the postseason, Chavez says his club has its sights set on winning the unofficial Longmont city championship. That title likely will come down to a Oct. 10 battle at Niwot, a club that historically has been a huge thorn in the Falcons' side.
While the Boulder Panthers made waves this week with a big overtime win at Denver East, which is ranked No. 1 in 5A in the latest CHSAANow.com poll, and Fairview is sporting its typical look of a Front Range League contender, excitement is blossoming at Monarch after the Coyotes' 3-0 start.
Now in his third season at the helm of Monarch's program, former Colorado Rapids star Marcelo Balboa says the Coyotes have been building toward this season, and 2015, since the start of his tenure. Balboa isn't ready to count his club as a league title contender in a conference that includes Boulder, Fairview, an improved Legacy squad and, now, Broomfield. Nevertheless, a fresh attitude is permeating the Monarch boys soccer program.
"We're keeping an even keel and there's still a long way to go," Balboa said. "We play in one of the toughest leagues in the state and there's a tough schedule ahead. But when I came in we had a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We took our lumps but hung in there. I'm very proud of what these guys have been able to overcome.
"My goal from Day 1 has been to try and build what Hardy (Kalisher) and Stan (Jozwiak) have built at Boulder and Fairview. Those two guys have set the standard, and we're still just trying to work our way there."
Most local schools host a youth day at their football games, and Friday night will be Fairview's turn at Recht Field. All youth football players up to age 13 who wear their team jerseys will be admitted free to the Knights' game against Horizon if accompanied by a paying adult ... 2014 Longmont graduate Becca Mau recorded 12 kills in consecutive matches last weekend for the University of Idaho volleyball squad.
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