By Michael Hicks
Another year has passed, and 2008 was quite the year. We saw the New England Patriots’ bid for perfection spoiled by the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. We saw Michael Phelps win not one, not two, but eight gold medals at the Summer Olympics. And we saw the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers turn back the clock.
But now 2009 is upon us and in each year, the world of sports typically brings us some of the most amazing feats, year in and year out. This year shouldn’t be any different. So without further ado, here are my predictions for 2009 (in terms of athletics) — pro, collegiate and here in Berthoud.
Berthoud’s wrestling team will get another individual state wrestling champion. My money is on either Robbie Workman or Graeden Sadlo for being the one to bring a title home.
The Spartans’ football team won’t enjoy the success it has the past two years, but a winning season and a playoff berth is still more than likely. The same can be said of the volleyball team. But how can they when you lose talent such as Jordan Major, Nick Henderson and Kelley Arnold to graduation.
The Berthoud boys’ basketball team will finish closer to .500 than most people will expect thanks to its tenacity and gritty play. That’s assuming the team doesn’t run into any foul trouble or suffer any more injuries.
Somebody, be it a relay team or someone in a field event, will seriously contend, and might win, a state 4A track and field title.
The BHS boys’ soccer team will take a step backwards unless someone steps up to take over Ryan Barron’s spot as team leader on the field and a scoring threat is found to replace Charlie Lindgren.
Berthoud’s softball team will get back to its winning ways after a sub-par season in 2008.
The Colorado Eagles will play for another President’s Cup in the Central Hockey League. The team is too talented not to get there. But whether or not the Eagles win a third title is anybody’s guess.
I hope you like running games because Super Bowl XLIII begs to be a knockdown, drag-out battle with the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers doing battle in Tampa, Fla., come Feb. 1. Call it a hunch, but I think the Titans will come out on top. Not because of their quarterback, Kerry Collins, but because of their one-two punch in Chris Johnson and LenDale White and a stingy defense.
With no Matt Holliday there’s no chance for the Colorado Rockies. A year removed from a World Series appearance, the Rox won’t even make it to the playoffs, much less out of the cellar in the National League West. Only the San Diego Padres stand in their way of not finishing in last place, and if the Padres somehow retain pitcher Jake Peavy even that’s not a certainty.
Joe Sakic will make a successful return to the ice, even if it’s in the 2009-10 season for one last hurrah. He’ll also hire someone else to take care of snow-blowing duties at his home.
The Denver Nuggets will make the playoffs, and again, be knocked out in the first round once again. And that’s even if they win the lowly Northwest Division, which has the two worst teams in the league in Oklahoma City and Minnesota.
Tiger Woods will come back from successful knee surgery, but a 13th major will have to wait until 2010. But, don’t worry, Jack Nicklaus’ record is still well in Tiger’s reach.
Call it a whim — that’s what all of this is right? — but I can see the Colorado Buffaloes getting a bowl bid in 2009. Dan Hawkins’ squad will find a way to use Tyler Hansen more often in the backfield and score a huge Homecoming win over Missouri on Halloween. In the process, the Buffs will go 7-5 and go bowling.
Colorado State, meanwhile, will have a hard time replacing Gartrell Johnson in the backfield. But maybe when Derek Good gets the chance to show what he can do running the ball will the Rams repeat the 7-6 and bowl victory they pulled off this season.
And, finally, we’ll look back on these predictions, see that most of them were wrong and try again in 2010.