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As the seasons change in Pagosa Country, the temperatures plummet, Wolf Creek Ski Area opens, and another football season finally goes into the record books, sports fans will begin to shift their focus to high school basketball.
“This is my third year as the boys’ varsity basketball coach,” Randy Sorenson explained. “It is my thirteenth year being involved with the program. The ten years prior to getting the head job, I was an assistant at some level with the program. I began as a volunteer for a few years, was then the C-team coach for a year, then became the junior varsity coach for a few years before getting the head coach job.”
Last year, the Pirates had a record of 18 wins and four losses in regular season play, and in the post-season they lost in Sweet 16 action to Kent Denver by two points. Kent ended up losing in the state championship game by two points. Two years ago, the Pirates placed third at state and ended up with a record of 22-4.
“We have a record of forty and eight for the last two seasons,” Sorenson said. “We have won the Intermountain League the past few years.”
“The basketball team is competing in the same league as we have for the past few years,” added Pagosa High School Athletic Director Sean O’Donnell, “so we don’t need to print any long-winded explanation as to any changes.” O’Donnell was referring to the football team, which was forced to switch to the Western Slope League and make several long, overnight road trips.
The only overnight trip for the basketball team will be to the Buena Vista tournament, where they will play three games in two days (against Denver Science and Tech, Jefferson Academy, and Buena Vista).
“I believe that the Intermountain League will be very balanced this year and any team in the league has a chance to win it,” Sorenson continued. “Our early schedule is going to be very competitive and we will need to play well early in the season to win some of those games.”
The Pirates’ first game will be on the road Nov. 30 against Sanford, which will probably be ranked in the top three in the state in 1A basketball when the polls come out. “It will be a tough test for us,” Sorenson admitted.
“We are really looking forward to the season,” Sorenson concluded. “The team has a great attitude, and they are really working hard. I feel very lucky to coach these kids.”