Summer has come and is clinging to its last few weeks in 2015. As summer loses its force, high school athletics gear up for the beginning of prep sports and the new school year.
The following paragraphs are intended to give notice for sports fans to mark their calendars as high school prep sports get underway for a new year.
Not all sports actually begin the new school year with practices on the same day. Golf is the first scheduled athletics for Cedaredge and Delta athletes. Practice for the season began on Aug. 10 with first matches for Cedaredge and Delta (the only schools with golf teams) set for Aug. 13 at Cedaredge Golf Club beginning at 1 p.m.
All other fall sports programs officially start their seasons when pre-season practice sessions begin on Aug. 17.
Cedaredge's football schedule features a pair of scrimmage weekends to begin their gridiron campaigns.
On Saturday, Aug. 22, the Bruins are scheduled to show off the 2015 football team in a Blue and White scrimmage set for 11 a.m.
On Aug. 29 Cedaredge will scrimmage two opponents -- Plateau Valley at 10 a.m. and Roaring Fork at 1 p.m.
Cedaredge, playing in Class 1A, will kick off its regular season on Sept. 4 against Basalt at 7 p.m.
Hotchkiss' football team has an opening game-day date (in Ignacio) against the Bobcats on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
All of the Bulldog's football games, home and away, are slated for 7 p.m. starting times.
The Paonia Eagles will commence their state title defense on Sept. 4 at Monte Vista with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
Delta's Class 3A football schedule begins at Classical Academy, a Tri-Peaks 3A school in Colorado Springs, on Aug. 28. That contest will begin at 7 p.m.
In volleyball, all four Delta County schools are scheduled to begin their seasons in the first week of September.
Cedaredge's first volleyball action is at home against Ridgway on Sept. 1 at 4 p.m. Paonia begins its volleyball season at Norwood with matches set for 4, 5 and 6 p.m. Hotchkiss' Bulldogs are slated to be in Rangely on Sept. 4 and 5 for tournament play there to open their 2015 season.
Delta's Panthers open their volleyball season on Sept. 5 with tournament action in Gunnison. Cedaredge's Bruins will also play in that tournament.
For those sports fans who enjoy soccer, Delta High School will once again be the county's home team with Battle Mountain coming to town on Aug. 29. Varsity action is slated for 11 a.m. with junior varsity play to follow at 1 p.m.
Delta County is home to two softball teams. Cedaredge will begin its hopeful return to post-season play on Aug. 28 when Meeker visits the Field of Dreams for varsity and junior varsity games at 4 and 6 p.m. respectively. The Lady Bruins' varsity team travels to Cortez Aug. 29 for a game scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
The Delta Panthers softball team will host Rifle on Sept. 1 to begin its season. That game is set for 4 p.m. (varsity).
Delta, Hotchkiss and Paonia all have cross country teams. Delta and Paonia will kick off their seasons with their first meet scheduled for Matchett Park, with Grand Junction Central hosting the event. Hotchkiss is in Carbondale where Basalt will host the meet from Crown Mountain Park.
Look for more sports schedules in the Delta County Independent's Sports section as the weeks pass.
A comprehensive Fall Sports Special is scheduled for Aug. 26.
Three candidates are hoping to bring an end to the Republican-dominated Delta County Board of County Commissioners. Two are Democrats who call themselves men of ideas; the third is an independent candidate who says he's frustrated by the "status quo."