Cliff Grassmick, The Daily CameraTanner Smith, left, Broomfield, Ian McDiarmid, of Boulder, Brady O’Dell and Cade Austin, both of Broomfield, on the header.
BROOMFIELD — It had been exactly 287 days since Boulder and Broomfield staged one of the most epic matches in state history in the Class 5A title match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The players were different and, most certainly, so were the stakes, but Saturday night’s rematch at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium certainly had the feel of something very special.
The sequel lived up to the billing and Boulder, much like it did on that November night — albeit in 14 rounds of a penalty shoot-out — got the better of Broomfield 1-0 in front of packed house.
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“I’m just so proud of this team and how we responded to that early pressure and we made the adjustments and dealt with it,” Boulder senior defender Quinn Frankovsky said. “The center back — Eric Ramirez, Omar (Castruita) and Nick (McCabe) and everyone that came of the bench had a fantastic game and contributed.”
The early going belonged to a Broomfield team, that despite a number of new faces all over the pitch, started the season ranked No. 2 by CHSAANow’s Class 5A preseason poll.
They controlled the midfield, which in turn led to the vast majority of the possession in the opening 25 minutes, but the failure to connect with anything in the finishing third of the field resulted in very few quality chances. In fact Boulder’s defense limited Broomfield to just one first-half shot on goal and two total for the match.
Read the full article at BoCoPreps.com [...]
ARVADA — No Max Borghi, no problem.
Borghi, a Washington State commit who is widely considered the most electric playmaker in the state, did not play in the Panthers’ much-hyped Week 0 season opener Friday night against Mullen as he continues his rehabilitation from last season’s ACL tear.
Class 5A No. 3-ranked Pomona nevertheless cruised by the fourth-ranked Mustangs 52-22, sparked by four rushing touchdowns from junior Theorius Robison as well as a defense that cinched down after allowing two first-quarter touchdown drives.
Robison, a two-time state champion wrestler, was one of several offensive skill players who had big nights for Pomona at the the North Area Athletic Complex. Senior quarterback Ryan Marquez threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, while Colton Muller, Riley Govan and Billy Pospisil all had receiving scores.
“I’ve been grinding and waiting for this moment to come,” Robison said. “My line was blowing huge holes for me all night, and we were hungry to get a statement win like this.”
Mullen jumped out to an early lead thanks to rushing touchdowns from senior Alonzo Moon that made it 14-7 after one quarter. But the Panthers quickly asserted themselves in a game that didn’t have the competitive makings of last year’s regular-season showdown, also won by Pomona.
The Mustangs did not score again until late in the third quarter, as trench play and turnovers — senior corner Santos Maguina, senior free safety Kenny Maes and sophomore linebacker Kyle Moretti all recorded interceptions — swung in favor of the Panthers.
“Our defense finally relaxed. There were six, seven kids starting for the first time, and we were rotating in five other guys who were seeing their first varsity action,” Pomona coach Jay Madden said. “So there were about a dozen guys out there running around trying to adjust to the speed of the game, but when they finally did, they made a lot of big plays.”
Moon finished with three touchdowns for the Mustangs, who couldn’t regain their momentum following three consecutive three-and-outs in the second quarter.
The going doesn’t get easier for either team going forward. Pomona gets Borghi back for a road showdown at Fountain-Fort Carson next week, while Mullen plays at No. 2 Valor Christian.
“We get Max back next week, and we’re going to put him and Theorius in the backfield together and make the defense decide who to key on,” Madden said. “We can also put Max out at X (receiver) and throw screens to Theorius. It’s going to be a lot of fun, but everyone’s seen it now and they’ll be game-planning for it.”
Both teams are aiming for state championship runs, with Pomona having been there — and lost — the last two seasons, while the Mustangs made the quarterfinals last year.
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Watch Live: Post Preps TV game of the week, Mullen at Pomona in Class 5A football
Other notable Week 0 scores
Braden River (Fla.) 49, 4A No. 3 Chatfield 32 (Thursday): The Chargers kicked off the 2017 Colorado prep football season by holding their own against one of the Sunshine State’s gridiron powerhouses before falling short. Senior middle linebacker Cameron Lucas led Chatfield on defense, while senior running back Ben Frenette provided a spark on offense.
No. 9 Columbine 21, Ralston Valley 7: Junior quarterback Logan Dearment tossed two first-half touchdowns to senior playmaker Ted Mullin to help give the Rebels a two-touchdown lead at halftime, an advantage they didn’t relinquish against their longtime Jeffco foe as both defenses pitched shutouts in the second half.
No. 2 Valor Christian 30, Faith Lutheran (Nev.) 21: The Eagles faced a 21-14 deficit after two quarters but did now allow a point in the second half. Juniors Joshia Davis and Luke McCaffrey each had a pair of touchdown runs for the defending 5A champions. [...]
In the 2017 prep football season opener on Friday night, No. 3 Pomona hosts No. 4 Mullen at 7 p.m. in Class 5A non-conference action at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada.
The game will be streamed live in HD, as well as archived afterward on The Denver Post site.
Corey Lopez and Marty Cesario have the call starting at 6:50 p.m.; you can also tune into the game and our Post Preps Gameday show featuring preview analysis and player interviews at noon on Friday via our Facebook page.
Pomona won last season’s game at De La Salle Stadium in comeback fashion, 28-21. See the full Post Preps TV schedule here. [...]
Watch a live broadcast of Post Preps TV Gameday, a pregame show previewing the Mullen at Pomona football game.
The game will be live streamed tonight on Post Preps TV’s Game of the Week broadcast, available on denverpost.com/preps and on our Denver Post Prep Sports Facebook page.
Check here for the full schedule of games we are airing this season.
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In Class 4A boys soccer, there’s an array of programs that have mastered the details to building a championship-caliber program — dedication, talent and buy-in at the grassroots level of its community.
Stacie Scott, The Colorado Springs GazetteThe Classical Academy’s Ben Purvis attempts to keep the ball away from Cheyenne Mountain midfielder Sam Kilimann during the Cheyenne Mountain and TCA game at Cheyenne Mountain High School on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Kilimann is back to lead the No. 1 Indians again.
That fact will again translate to a wide-open title chase this season, with No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain leading the preseason power rankings thanks to a tradition that encapsulates all of those details.
“There was a high bar that was set when coach Jack Busher started the program, and the expectations that were there within the kids from Day One,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Tomas Martinez explained. “We’ll get first or second graders who do our youth camps, and their goal is to play here some day. We’ve created that culture where players work hard to become a part of this community and this tradition.”
The senior trio of midfielder Sam Kilimann, striker Evan Mcconnell and defender Chase McCleary lead the Indians in pursuit of their fourth state title and first since 2013, and an arduous early-season schedule featuring three opening matches against top-10 teams should mold Cheyenne Mountain for Pikes Peak Conference play and the playoffs.
“Our conference will be strong, but not as strong as it’s been, because I think there will be a bit of a gap between those top two, three teams and the rest of the conference,” Martinez said. “But I feel good about us, and we have a tough road for the first several weeks, so it will be good to see where we’re at early in the season.”
No. 2 Durango, a 2016 semifinalist, is also dangerous. The Demons graduated 13 seniors but return an experienced core highlighted by senior striker Eli Fenton, senior striker Max Wilson and senior keeper Trey Furnas as the team seeks its first state title.
“Last season showed us we can always continue to get better, even in the latter part of the season,” Durango coach Dalon Parker said. “We have to do that, because we thought we were good enough to get (to the championship), but it showed our kids that we have to continue to work.”
No. 3 Battle Mountain, last season’s runner-up, and No. 4 Air Academy — who, along with No. 8 Lewis-Palmer will challenge Cheyenne Mountain for the Pikes Peak crown — are also in the title race, as is defending champion No. 5 The Classical Academy.
“That Classical Academy team was an amazing team last year, and they’ll go down as one of the top teams we’ll ever see, especially the freshman class they had that went to the state finals all four years,” Parker said. “And even though it seems like they lost the world (to graduation), you’ve still got to look at T.C.A., because Blake Gavlin does a great job of recycling and getting younger players quickly acclimated to varsity play.”
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And out of the Jeffco League, No. 6 Valor Christian, No. 7 D’Evelyn and No. 9 Standley Lake are all potent, as is No. 10 Denver West from the Denver Prep League in an overall classification where a litany of more quality teams lurk just outside the preseason power rankings.
“That’s the joy I get from coaching in 4A, because though we have certain powerhouse schools that are at the quarterfinals and beyond every year, beyond that the classification is very competitive and very wide open,” Parker said. “There’s a list of 16 to 20 schools where you’re like, ‘On any given day, they could be in the Final Four.’ That’s going to make this season fun.”
Class 4A preseason power rankings
The Classical Academy
Denver West [...]
Think of last season’s instant-classic Class 5A title soccer game — in which Boulder defeated Broomfield in a 14-round penalty kick shootout — as a prelude to this season’s action, where a bevy of equally-talented teams are capable of raising the trophy on Nov. 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Panthers, ranked No. 1 in The Denver Post preseason power poll, headline again thanks to the experience of their 19-man senior class, but No. 3 Broomfield and No. 2 Denver East — which boasts the classification’s top returning scorer in senior striker Sam Carson — are also legitimate contenders.
“We’ve been here before, after winning a state title in 2012, and we know we’re going to see every team’s best effort,” Boulder coach Hardy Kalisher said. “I believe we’re truly prepared for that, and that our players realize it’s not about what happened last year, it’s about this year — because there are a lot of teams that can challenge us in the playoffs.”
The Panthers will be tested repeatedly during the regular season considering the Front Range League has five teams in the top 10 in another fall where that conference is only the tip of the iceberg of the state’s wide-ranging talent.
“I have so much respect for (Boulder coach) Hardy Kalisher and (Broomfield coach) Jim Davidson, and you’ve just got to look at them and their entire league as full of contenders,” Denver East coach Kirk Bast said. “And after that, the Centennial’s always strong, and the Denver Public League is kind of a hidden gem. There’s a lot of good players and some rising teams in this league.”
Senior midfielder Eric Ramirez and junior striker Omar Castruita are two of Boulder’s two main players while Broomfield returns one of the state’s top keepers in senior Jose Ogaz.
Denver East has depth to match their northern counterparts in senior keeper Victor Yague Izquierdo, junior midfielder Marko Babiak and senior striker Luca Bravo to compliment Carson on a team that’s ready to raise the bar following last season’s 18-1 season that ended with a 2-1 loss to Broomfield in the semifinals.
“Carson’s going to occupy other defenders at times, and give other players opportunities on offense, because people know who he is now,” Bast said. “Overall, this is one of the best teams I’ve ever had in terms of ownership because they hold each other accountable. That’s what is going to win us those close matches deep in the playoffs this year.”
Fossil Ridge, another 2016 semifinalist, also finds itself in good position as the No. 4 Sabercats bring back offensive firepower in senior Blair Durand and junior Tyler Hause. No. 5 Cherry Creek always have the capacity to reload as the state’s largest school, and No. 6 Fairview, led by senior defender M Steiner and junior midfielder Sajji Singh, are a force.
“We don’t have the standout guy that’s going to score 12 or 15 goals — we know that, so that means we have to manufacture goals and create goals by focusing on set pieces and additional numbers in the box,” Fairview coach Jeff Frykholm said. “We have to collectively agree that no one can take a possession off, and that it might be a year where we have three or four guys who are around six goals on the season.”
Class 5A preseason power rankings
Far Northeast [...]
Class 5A football again will be owned by an elite group of five to 10 programs this fall.
But contrary to the past couple of seasons, where two-time defending champion Valor Christian seemed to be the best overall team heading into Week 0, there is no program with a clear-cut path to the title.
“This could be one of the most balanced years in Colorado high school football since I moved here,” explained fifth-year Valor Christian coach Rod Sherman. “I don’t know how you could even name a favorite at this point.”
The Eagles come in ranked No. 2 in The Denver Post preseason power rankings, behind No. 1 Cherry Creek and in front of No. 3 Pomona and No. 4 Mullen. All four teams are championship caliber.
“Cherry Creek returns so many guys, they’re so physical and they’ve got quite a few transfers in,” Sherman said. “Then, obviously, Pomona running back Max Borghi is as dynamic of a player as there is in the state. And you know they’re always going to be good at the line of scrimmage. And Mullen was the most athletic team in the state last year, and they probably will be again this year.”
Sherman’s squad is certainly equipped to capture Valor Christian’s fifth 5A crown in the last six years. True, the Eagles are in the midst of an ongoing quarterback competition, but it’s between two Division I players in Blake Stenstrom and Luke McCaffrey. Plus, they boast an offensive line that graduated just one starter.
As for Cherry Creek, junior quarterback Alex Padilla headlines an offense that also features big-play backs in sophomore Jayle Stacks and junior Alec Pell as well as stretch-the-field wideouts in senior Dimitri Stanley and junior Marcus Miller. Cherry Creek is deep on defense, too, especially up front with nose guard Gunnar Garcia, lineman Tre Mariney III and end Casey Randall all back for their senior year.
Needless to say, Dave Logan has his team aiming high again as the Colorado prep legend goes for his eighth coaching title and the program’s 10th title.
“We’ve been to the last three final fours, and we won the state championship in 2014 — so our expectation every single year is to improve week by week, to be playing our best football when we get to the playoffs, and then to find a way to get to and win the state championship,” Logan said. “You’re not always going to do it, but it’s something we talk about every summer and fall in how we view this program.”
Back-to-back state runner-up Pomona will surely have something to say in the championship chase, as senior quarterback Ryan Marquez has a bevy of other tools besides Borghi at his disposal to complement the stout defense.
Meanwhile, Mullen returns similar experience and physicality via junior quarterback Dominic Depizzol and a men-among-boys defensive line featuring senior end Nathan Deitrick, senior tackle Taye Mitchell and sophomore nose guard Aidan Ikaika Keanaaina.
“This is a very close group of kids, and this is my kind of team here,” Mullen coach Tom Thenell said. “They have a blue-collar mentality with a lot of guys who play hard and who come to practice each day with a focus and willingness to put in the preparation that our goals require.”
And don’t count out No. 5 Regis Jesuit (headlined by quarterback Justin Lamb and the state’s returning sack leader, Jake Heimlicher) or No. 6 Eaglecrest (quarterback Jalen Mergerson and wideout Victor Garnes lead an explosive offense) in the championship discussion, either.
Plus, No. 7 Highlands Ranch, No. 8 Grandview and No. 9 Columbine are all big and skilled in the trenches to make them worthy of mention, while a sleeper like No. 10 Arapahoe — with tone-setters in junior quarterback Kevin Lukasiewicz and senior tackle Blake Carette, an Air Force pledge who’s the Warriors’ first Division I player in a decade — could also make noise come playoff time in November.
“At the start of the season, everybody starts out with hope and vision, and by the time we get to league, reality will have set in,” Thenell said. “We’ll know who’s who, and at Mullen we’re not dodging anybody. You can see that with our schedule, and other teams with title aspirations have done the same thing.”
Class 5A preseason power rankings
Top 10 players to watch
Max Borghi, Sr., RB, Pomona
Dimitri Stanley, Sr., WR/CB, Cherry Creek
Adrian Jackson, Sr., SS, Mullen
DJ Jackson, Sr., RB/CB/WR, Regis Jesuit
Alex Padilla, Jr., QB, Cherry Creek
Victor Garnes, Sr., WR/CB, Eaglecrest
Luke McCaffrey, Jr., QB, Valor Christian
Drake Nugent, Jr., C, Highlands Ranch
A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR, Mullen
Blake Carette, Sr., T, Arapahoe [...]
Colorado high school football has long been a game of ground-and-pound, especially when the weather starts to turn cold and wet as the playoffs begin in November.
“To win championships, no matter what classification you’re in, you have to have solid line play on both sides of the ball,” Chatfield coach Bret McGatlin explained. “If you’re not solid there, it’s extremely tough to win.”
The Chargers, along with defending state champion Pine Creek and runner-up Broomfield, are the top three teams in the Denver Post Class 4A preseason prep power rankings and also — noncoincidentally — all rushed for more than 3,000 yards as a team last season.
No. 1 Pine Creek is seeking its fourth title in the last five seasons, and the Eagles are reloaded offensively. Sophomore running back David Moore III is one of the state’s most explosive weapons.
“We’ll be more mobile up front than we’ve been in the past, but not as big. We’re kind of going back to the way we were offensively on our line about 10 years ago,” Miller said. “And of course, much of our offense is going to run through our core in the backfield of David Moore III, Wyatt Wieland, DJ Armstead and Max Lofey, so we feel good about where we’re at heading into the fall.”
But No. 2 Broomfield has the pieces to get back to the title game, and win it, even if it’s against dynastic Pine Creek.
Junior quarterback Steven Croell, senior slot Tanner Garner, junior running back Dylan Torres and senior linebacker Noah Jenson all return for second-year coach Blair Hubbard, who won three 2A titles with Faith Christian.
“Last year was a scramble to get everything established — teach a new offense, teach a new defense,” Hubbard said. “Going into the summer camp this year at CSU-Pueblo, the kids were so much further ahead on everything than they were last year, so we were able to put in wrinkles that we had to save for later in the year in 2016. We’re a few steps ahead, and that will help us diversify our attack a little more going into our nonconference schedule.”
And McGatlin’s Chargers, who fell to Pine Creek in the 2016 semifinals, are also confident considering the return of senior quarterback Colton Arne, senior running back Ben Frenette and senior wideout/safety Keland Rumsey — not to mention the hogmollies that McGatlin believes are crucial to success in senior offensive guard Tyler Sexton and senior defensive end Justin Barley.
“We’ve put a big emphasis on the trenches, and our O- and D-line won the Broncos lineman challenge this summer,” McGatlin said. “That’s where you are able to beat a team like Pine Creek, who is the standard in 4A and who has really physical linemen every year.”
Ponderosa, coming in at No. 4, will also be in the mix following the Mustangs’ quarterfinal showing last season.
Twin seniors Sterling Ostdahl (quarterback) and Quinton Ostdahl (middle linebacker) are the backbone, while senior wideout Kade Ongna, senior wideout/corner Jaren Whitehead, senior guard Max Bruner and senior punter/kicker Issac Power — one of the top-rated high school specialists in the country — provide depth on a team that’s projected to start nine seniors on offense and seven on defense.
If the Mustangs can keep their focus on continued improvement — especially in the daily grind of practice, as each of Ponderosa’s nine regular-season victories last year was a blowout and the team plays the exact same schedule this fall — Cohen believes his program has what it takes to win a second state title and first since 2003.
“We had a stretch there last season where most games were over by the third quarter with a running clock and a really absurd score, and I think players have a tendency to coast a little bit when that’s happening,” Ponderosa coach Jaron Cohen said. “To get to where we want to get to this year, regardless of who we’re playing, we have to focus on controlling what we can control and not beating ourselves.”
Other teams that will be in contention come playoff time include No. 5 Windsor (longtime coach Chris Jones is back after a one-year absence), No. 6 Monarch (senior strong safety Landon Sibley bolsters the Coyotes’ defense), No. 7 Heritage (senior backs Tyler Zoesch and Josh Martin are hard to contain) and No. 8 Denver South (under new coach Ryan Marini), all of which have traditionally had strong lines to match their playmakers.
“I’ve been part of teams where we had tremendous skill kids, but just didn’t have the depth on the line to make a deep playoff run,” McGatlin noted. “So it’ll be interesting to see what other teams have that necessary balance this fall, because the top handful o [...]
Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman caught up with veteran Legacy softball coach Dawn Gaffin this week to talk about her team’s state championship prospects, the influence of alumni on her program, the parity in the Class 5A field and much more.
Q: Dawn, what’s going on?
A: I’m actually driving over to Hudson, Colorado, right now to pick corn for a fundraiser we do every year. We have a farmer that donates all the seed and takes care of the corn for us, and we pick it and sell it for the program. Right now, we’re trying to raise money for a new scoreboard. Our current one is from right before the school opened (in 2000), and it’s going to take a lot of corn to get a new one (laughs).
Q: What are your prospects of winning a seventh state title this year?
A: Our goal every year is to get to the state tournament, but there’s always lessons to be learned along the way no matter how much talent you have. We have a lot of diversity in terms of different players coming from different summer programs, and I think they can make a good run for the title.
Q: Is the recent tradition of your program result in pressure or positive motivation for the players each season?
A: It’s a positive thing to know the uniform they wear has that history. I bring a lot of alumni back to talk to our players about where the team comes from, what it means to be a part of this program, how hard they had to work to create that history, and the privilege of getting to play for this program. That means a lot to the current girls, so I don’t think they think of our tradition as pressure. Plus, I have four alumni helping coach right now: Shea Rodriguez, Melissa Marcovecchio, Bekka Prokaski and Kelsie Richardson, who all do a great job of continuing to pass that tradition on in a positive way.
Unfortunately, all that tradition does equate to a target on our back from our opponents, often without our players understanding where that target came from. We get everyone’s Sunday best, so we’ve got to put on our Sunday best every single game.
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Q: What does your pitching situation look like?
A: We have three pitchers this year in sophomore Hannah Farley, senior Abbey Nicol and junior Isabella Kelly. They are all going to contribute based on different times and teams, and they’re going to know their roles. We are pitching by committee this fall.
Q: And when you look around the Class 5A field, what do you see?
A: When you come to the state tournament, things can change at a moment’s notice, and there are quite a few competitive teams out there so it will be an interesting run (to the championship). Last year was interesting, but I think this year will be even more interesting, because the talent is pretty even among the top 10 teams. That’s going to make it really fun.
Q: So it’s not going to be one of those years when you trot your daughter out there (Rainey Gaffin, who pitched the Lightning to four consecutive state titles and went on to star at Tennessee) and cruise to the championship?
A: And go 25-0? No (laughs). We’re going to shoot for that, but we’ll take it one game at a time toward that ultimate goal. [...]
Despite the retirement of longtime Lewis-Palmer coach Susan Odenbaugh, the pursuit of the Class 4A volleyball title again runs through Monument this fall, where new coach Wade Baxter inherits a Rangers program that’s reloaded and ready to make a push for the program’s seventh state championship.
Baxter, Lewis-Palmer’s J.V. coach for the past nine seasons and the “C team” coach for three years before that, knows as much.
“I’m operating mostly under the feeling that we’ve been so successful here, for so long, that I’m not really interested in reinventing things,” Baxter said. “Susan and I are different personalities, so we have different ways of running the program or running a practice, but there’s nothing really different in our philosophies about the game. It’s business as usual here.”
Such a seamless coaching transition is bad news for the rest of the classification, especially considering that despite graduating a trio of Division I players in Lydia Bartalo (Denver), Michaela Putnicki (Penn State) and Elizabeth Reich (Portland), the preseason No. 1 Rangers still have plenty of talent on the roster.
Sophomore libero Gianna Bartalo, Lydia’s sister, is the focal point of a Lewis-Palmer back row renowned for its ball control, while junior hitters Kessandra Krutsinger and Adelaide Feek provide firepower at the net.
But if any two teams are, on paper, capable of getting in the Rangers’ way of a repeat, it’s No. 2 Pueblo West and No. 3 Holy Family.
The Cyclones are chasing their first championship after a deep tournament run last year with a senior-heavy roster featuring setter Brilane Manchego, middle hitter Olivia Sherman, outside hitter MaLeigha Menegatti, middle hitter Emily Hanenberg, right side Chayse Roumph and libero Kelsey Garcia.
“Making it to the Final Four was a progressive step for our program, because now we know what it takes to get there,” Pueblo West coach Casey King said. “Now, we need to learn what it takes to get into that final game, because several of these seniors have been to state two times in three years. We’re taking all that experience and hoping that we can further our program’s evolution — and doing it while knowing 4A is once again going to go through Lewis-Palmer.”
Expectations remain high in Broomfield, as well, where 2016 state runner-up Holy Family looks to senior middle blocker Jody Gallagher, senior middle blocker Julia Giltner, senior right side Rachel Siurek, senior setter Sara Berghoff and sophomore libero Peyton Frank to band together for another run at the program’s first state title.
“We’re keeping the goal the same in terms of getting ourselves in a position to be in that championship match again,” Holy Family coach Krista Solomon said. “A lot of that depends on our big senior class and how much leadership we can get out of them and how we can leverage that with other younger, skilled players.”
Other state tournament contenders figure to be No. 4 Cheyenne Mountain (the Indians are tradition-laden with six titles), No. 5 Valor Christian (the Eagles return their leading hitter in senior Lily Thomason) and No. 6 Thomas Jefferson (junior outside hitter Siale Sandoval will take the Spartans far).
Class 4A Preseason Power Rankings
Each week, Post Preps TV broadcasts a Game of the Week in Colorado high school football, starting with Week 0 on Aug. 25 and running through Week 10 on Nov. 3.
The broadcasts will be available live, in HD and for free, via our website and Facebook pages. The links for each game’s stream will be available online the Monday before the game, and the games will also be archived on our site afterwards.
2017 broadcasting schedule*
Friday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m.: Mullen at Pomona, NAAC
Friday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.: Regis Jesuit at Cherry Creek, Stutler Bowl
Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.: Arapahoe at Heritage, LPSS
Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.: Eaglecrest at Grandview, Legacy
Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.: Valor at Pomona, NAAC
Friday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.: Fossil Ridge at Lakewood, Jeffco
Friday, Oct. 6: BYE
Thursday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.: Mullen at Columbine, Jeffco
Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.: Chaparral at Rock Canyon, Shea
Friday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.: Highlands Ranch at Legend, Echo Park
Friday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.: Chatfield at Heritage, LPSS
*Schedule subject to change. [...]
In a parity-laden Class 5A volleyball field, Fossil Ridge once again possesses the one-two punch needed to tip the championship scales, as the SaberCats did last season en route to the program’s first state title.
Junior outside hitters Riley Zuhn, a Nebraska commit, and Catie Semadeni both return, as does senior setter Tyler Lindgren (Temple) and junior middle blocker Mataya Megson on a squad that is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Denver Post, MaxPreps and CHSAANow polls.
“Even though we have a few holes to fill, we definitely have a target on our back,” Fossil Ridge coach Paul Shimek said. “Riley will be out for at least the first two games because she had her elbow operated on, so that’s when we’ll have to show we’re a good team that gets out there, makes it work and rises to the occasion.”
In the seasons since Grandview’s repeat in 2013 and 2014, there have been around a dozen teams capable of winning the 5A title each year — it simply comes down to what team gets hot when it matters most at the state tournament, which will be held Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum.
The SaberCats were that team last year, and Cherokee Trail was the fall before. Now, No. 2 Rock Canyon, No. 3 Cherry Creek, No. 4 Chaparral, No. 5 Chatfield and more are capable of dethroning Fossil Ridge.
Rock Canyon boasts the classification’s best returning outside hitter, as senior Keeley Davis racked up 421 kills last fall while the Jaguars booked their second straight state tournament appearance. The Creighton commit headlines a roster that also features a talented set of twins in juniors Abi and Alex Leitner.
“I think Keeley’s gotten consistently better, skill-wise, every single year, and now this is her year to be the leader on the team, because she’s always been one of the younger ones on varsity,” Rock Canyon coach Angela Nylund-Hanson said. “She’ll take that central leadership role this year, which will be crucial for some of the girls coming up who played on our undefeated JV team last year.”
Coach Sally Moos, in her 36th year at Cherry Creek, will have the Bruins also vying for a state title largely thanks to junior outside hitter Katie Sherman, who paced their offense with 3.2 kills per set last season.
But Cherry Creek — like Chaparral and a litany of other elite teams — needs to replace a lot of talent. The Bruins graduated ten seniors, while Chaparral graduated seven and Chatfield graduated eight.
“We have a very different team this year, because we graduated a lot of kids, just like the other top eight teams at state last year,” Chaparral coach Amanda West said. “It’s been about rebuilding for us this year, but we’ve got a lot of young talent and we’ve got a lot of good leadership within the seniors as well. Those are the things we’re hoping can take us to the next level.”
The Wolverines feature three quality leaders in sophomore middle hitter Juliana Dalton, junior middle blocker Abby Heimlicher and junior libero Kyla Gerson, while Chatfield — which has won 20 matches or more in four of the past five seasons — is led by senior middle blocker Julia Eiken, junior setter Shea Fuller and senior outside hitter Breanna Jones.
“We’re going to try hard to keep up our intensity level in practice — that’s what we try to ascribe to, is playing harder there than we have to during the games,” Chatfield coach Stephanie Schick said. “But it’s going to be tough to set that tone, because of the graduated seniors who provided the majority of the experience for us. So new girls need to step in, and step their level up, right now.”
No. 6 Mountain Vista will also be in the mix thanks to senior middle hitter Amanda Keller and senior libero Sam Novak, as will No. 7 Fort Collins (plenty of returning talent on Lambkin Way), No. 8 Grandview (coach Rob Graham always has his team prepared), No. 9 Castle View (paced by senior outside hitter Kate Menz) and No. 10 Denver East (as defined by junior outside hitter Qairo Bentley’s athleticism).
In short, it’s another fall where there is plenty of opportunity on the table, ripe for the taking.
“Just because we graduated a bunch of girls doesn’t mean that we still can’t be competitive,” Rock Canyon’s Nylund-Hanson pointed out. “We need to work hard this season, because there’s so many good teams in 5A and in our Continental League, and we know we need to approach every point as a team this year.”
Class 5A Preseason Power Rankings
Denver East [...]
Each week, Post Preps Radio broadcasts a Game of the Week in Colorado high school football, starting with Week 1 on Aug. 31 and running through Week 10 on Nov. 2.
The broadcasts will be available live and for free via our website. The links for each game’s stream will be available online the Monday before the game, and the games will also be archived on our site afterwards.
2017 broadcasting schedule*
Thursday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m.: Poudre at Mountain Vista, Shea
Thursday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m.: Denver East at Cherokee Trail, Legacy
Thursday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.: Wheat Ridge at Chatfield, Jeffco
Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.: Denver South at Heritage, LPSS
Thursday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.: Rangeview at Gateway, APSS
Related ArticlesAugust 14, 2017
2017 Post Preps TV Game of the Week Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 5: BYE
Friday, Oct 13, 7 p.m.: Fountain-Fort Carson at Highlands Ranch, Shea
Thursday, Oct. 19, 4 p.m.: Rangeview at Ralston Valley, NAAC
Thursday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m.: Legacy at Douglas County, Douglas County Stadium
Thursday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: Columbine at ThunderRidge, Shea
*Schedule subject to change. [...]