High School Sports

Douglas County hosts Highlands Ranch in Continental League baseball
Douglas County hosts Highlands Ranch on Friday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. in a late-season Continental League baseball showdown with plenty at stake. The Huskies (11-4, 5-1) currently sit atop the league standings and boast a balanced offense paced by senior infielder Corbin Geisendorff and junior catcher Brock Johnson, while the Falcons (9-6, 3-3) look to junior righty Matt Blackwood to pitch them to another key league victory. Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman previews the game on this week’s episode of Post Preps TV. [...]
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Weekly Colorado Preps Primer: Games to watch for April 25-29 2017
The following is a look at the marquee games this week in baseball, girls soccer and boys lacrosse during the home stretch of conference play. (Rankings and records are current as of Monday). BASEBALL Arapahoe (8-6) at Cherokee Trail (4-9), Tuesday 4 p.m.: Coach Jim Dollaghan has already led Arapahoe to signature victories against ThunderRidge and Grandview in his first season on the bench as the Warriors face the defending 5A state champion Cougars, who are are fighting for their playoff lives after being ranked 35th in the latest RPI. No. 6 Regis Jesuit (10-3) at Douglas County (11-3), Wednesday 4:15 p.m.: Senior ace and TCU commit Caleb Sloan highlights a deep Regis Jesuit pitching staff that also features senior Michael McPeek and junior Nathan Schraeder. The Huskies sit alone atop the Continental League standings at 5-0 heading into their Monday game at Legend. GIRLS SOCCER No. 3 Chaparral (9-0-3) at No. 10 Regis Jesuit (7-1-2), Thursday 7 p.m.: Junior striker Eliot Edwards leads the undefeated Wolverines into a pivotal Continental League road showdown against Regis Jesuit. The Rangers are paced by a pair of seasoned seniors in Sydney Pulver (six goals) and Karli Eheart (five goals) to compliment one of the best defenses in the state. No. 1 Valor Christian (9-0) at 5A No. 4 Grandview (6-3-1), Friday 7:30 p.m., Legacy Stadium: Two of the top programs in Colorado face off in non-conference play. Senior midfielder Brianna Johnson and Valor Christian look to mold themselves for a 4A championship push against coach Tari Wood and the two-time defending 5A state champion Wolves. BOYS LACROSSE No. 8 Wheat Ridge (10-2) at Monarch (9-2), Wednesday 4 p.m.: Wheat Ridge’s lone in-state loss came at the hands of No. 2 Cherry Creek on March 17, so expect senior attack Zach Hall and the Farmers to pose a serious challenge for a potent Coyotes team led by juniors Tyler Bradley (24 goals) and Jared Hodell (23 goals). No. 7 Kent Denver (10-2) at No. 1 Regis Jesuit (8-3), Wednesday 7:30 p.m.: The Sun Devils are fresh off a decisive 11-5 victory over rival Colorado Academy last Wednesday as they look to continue their momentum against top-ranked and high-powered Regis Jesuit. The Rangers feature five scorers with a dozen goals or more this spring. [...]
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Led by “The Surgeons,” Cherry Creek soccer aims for a third state championship
Any reasonable local soccer critic could argue that Cherry Creek strikers Libby Geraghty and Meg Halvorson are among the best scoring duos in Colorado, a state ripe with prep talent. But Bruins coach Jim Schneider takes the assessment of his two crucial senior captains a step further, and minces no words in doing so. “If teams try to double-team one of them, that lets the other one loose, and their creativity off the ball and their finishing ability is unparalleled,” Schneider said. “So do I think they’re the best strikers in the state? You (darn) well bet I do.” Schneider’s nicknamed the duo “the surgeons” for the way they’ve been carving up opposing defenses so far, Geraghty to the tune of 34 points (14 goals, 6 assists) and Halvorson right behind her with 31 points (10 goals, 11 assists). Together, the seniors headline what Schneider calls “the deepest, most talented soccer team that I’ve ever coached at Cherry Creek,” as the No. 2 Bruins (11-0-1) aim for the program’s third Class 5A state championship and first since 2012. “It’s very tough to break our starting lineup, and our practices have been extremely competitive,” Schneider said. “We have kids on our team who don’t start and I believe they would start on our opponents’ teams, so it’s forced all of the girls to be sharp and focused all the time, and it’s showing in our games.” Along with Geraghty (University of Colorado) and Halvorson (University of Denver), Cherry Creek’s other college pledges include junior keeper Mia Raben (Wake Forest), sophomore midfielder Elle Gill (Miami of Ohio), senior defender Natalie Evans (Westminster College, Utah) and senior defender Allie Dwinnell (Macalester College, Minn.) on a roster that already has its chemistry down after graduating just four seniors from 2016. “We didn’t lose much from last season, so we already know each other’s tendencies out on the field,” Meg Halvorson said. “That helps us in close matches, because it helps us keep possession and create more chances on offense.” Mirroring the Bruins’ high-powered offense is a defense that, like Grandview’s airtight state championship defenses of the past couple seasons, is willing to “do the dirty work” required to keep elite teams from finding the net. “As a coaching staff we’ve emphasized playing great defense, and I attribute that to coach Tari Wood and the Grandview Wolves, because at the end of the day they are the gold standard for girls soccer right now as the two-time defending state champions,” Schneider said. “They’ve been such a marvelously good defensive team that they’ve been the proof for all teams in the state of Colorado that if you want to go deep in the playoffs and really make some noise, it starts with great defense.” Cherry Creek played the Centennial League rival Wolves to a 1-1 draw on Thursday night, and then posted a signature 2-0 victory on the road against No. 1 Broomfield on Saturday — two matches that proved the Bruins are ready for a title push. “Our goal is to get to state, and we have a team capable of doing that,” Geraghty said. “It comes down to how hard we work and how consistent we are each match.” [...]
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Newman: Pitch wizard Jim Davidson working his magic again as Broomfield girls soccer chases first Class 5A championship
It’s the home stretch of another Colorado high school soccer season, and once again, a Jim Davidson-led Broomfield side is at the top of the championship discussion. After guiding the Broomfield boys to a state runner-up showing in the fall, Davidson now has the girls (9-1, 7-0 Front Range League) at the front of the Class 5A title chase, as the No. 1 Eagles’ lone setback so far came at the hands of No. 2 Cherry Creek on Saturday. It’s the latest chapter of a storied novel that’s become Davidson’s career, who started as the Broomfield boys coach in 1997 and began coaching the girls the next season. Since then, the boys have won six state titles and the girls, the 2006 4A state champions and the 2015 5A state runner-up, are now pressing for their first 5A crown. Between both programs, Davidson has made 28 semifinal appearances and amassed more than 600 victories as Broomfield has become the best overall soccer school in the state. But ask him about his coaching achievements, and the Chicago-area native who originally moved to Denver to ski and hike serves up a nice slice of humble pie. “This year we have a great combination of experience and youth, and our leadership early on this spring has been terrific and re-energized us a bit,” Davidson said. “So all the success goes to the players, because there’s a lot of energy in the squad right now.” Defensively, the Eagles have been nearly flawless, yielding just four goals — half came in the 2-0 setback to the high-powered Bruins — as junior keeper Grace Fuller, senior Cara Quinn and sophomore Marina Davidson lead a back line that puts a priority on discipline and winning 50/50 balls. “Three of our four backs are returning starters, so the experience across the back line has been really beneficial,” Davidson said. “And with a really good keeper who knows how to communicate, we’ve done well so far keeping the ball in front of us.” And offensively, junior striker Hailey Stodden stars with 18 goals so far, whilejuniors Ashley Tuccio and Valerie Ulsh give the Eagles the depth to contend in the postseason with two-time defending champion Grandview, Cherry Creek and others. “Hailey, at times, has clearly put the team on her back,” Davidson said. “But as good as Hailey is, she doesn’t have to win games for us all the time, because we have a lot of other players that are capable of making the difference in a close game.” As for how Davidson manages to keep his programs as perennial state title contenders? That, the 2015 National Soccer Coaches Association of American coach of the year says, is dependent upon each class passing the winning tradition on down to the next. “Every year, the kids come in and understand the expectation is really high,” Davidson said. “And the players who graduate, they leave a legacy of expectation that their younger peers realize they need to reach and then exceed, if possible.” [...]
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Denver native Ty Blach tosses scoreless inning for San Francisco in return to Coors Field
Denver native and San Francisco pitcher Ty Blach returned to his hometown on Friday night, tossing a scoreless inning in the Rockies’ 6-5 win over the Giants. “It’s always a blast playing where I grew up coming to ballgames and used to sit right above the bullpen,” Blach said. “So being in the bullpen the last couple times I’ve been here is really cool because it’s the same perspective I had for 15 years growing up.” Blach, a 2009 graduate of Regis Jesuit, was inserted into the Giants’ starting rotation today after a dirt-biking accident sent ace Madison Bumgarner to the disabled list. Related ArticlesApril 21, 2017 Charlie Blackmon’s hustle proves vital once again in win over San Francisco April 21, 2017 Rockies slink past the Giants, again, with a wild and rare inning of homers April 21, 2017 Rockies revving up Ian Desmond and they’re ready to roll with David Dahl April 21, 2017 Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on DL after dirt-bike accident in Colorado April 20, 2017 Rockies believe their strong start is sustainable, unlike past seasons The southpaw set the Rockies down in order in the sixth in his second career appearance at Coors Field. Blach made his major league debut against the Rockies on Sept. 6 of last season. “It was pretty special to make my big league debut at home last year, with all my friends and family here,” Blach said. “There were a ton of those same people in the stands again tonight.” Blach, who had yielded three runs in 4 2/3 innings on the season heading into Friday, is eager for his first start of 2017 on Tuesday against the Dodgers at AT&T Park. “I’m excited to go out there and keep giving my team a chance to win every time I step on the mound,” Blach said. “Being in the rotation now, it’ll be the same thing I’ve been doing, just every fifth day now.” [...]
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Should Colorado high school track and field offer javelin?
The Colorado High School Activities Association does not offer javelin. Following are thoughts about the scarcity of opportunities to throw the javelin. Kara Winger, two-time Olympian in javelin and American record holder, resident of Colorado Springs: “I think it’s a shame that more kids aren’t exposed to my favorite event at a younger age. I consider myself truly lucky to have grown up in Washington. The same safety precautions exist for the discus and shot put as for the javelin. Coaches and athletes just have to pay attention to where other people and their implements are. The infrastructure of the track surfaces doesn’t even have to change: We didn’t even have a runway at my high school, and the high jump apron that we threw off of went downhill and then uphill because of the way it drained.” Casey Malone, CU throws coach, two-time Olympian in the discus: “What it comes down to, is the infrastructure there? Are there good coaches? Are there people who can supervise, because you don’t have a net around you. The javelin, it could go off in any direction. That forces you to have a lot of really good supervision. One of the other risks is that throwing the javelin improperly can lead to elbow issues, shoulder issues. If there is good coaching, if there is good supervision, there’s certainly no reason why you can’t have a really successful program. It gives athletes who maybe weren’t previously going to go to college to do a sport — maybe they’re playing softball or baseball — opportunities that some athletes would never even consider. They might even get scholarships.” John Hancock, longtime Mullen track coach, 2013 national high school coach of the year: “For 15 years I was in charge of the track and field clinic, and there were three different occasions where I brought in Dana Pounds from the Air Force Academy, the NCAA champion, so that coaches would have the opportunity to be exposed to how to get started with javelin. It’s going to have to come from the coaches wanting this to happen and presenting how it can be done before CHSAA will give them the green light.” Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); [...]
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Post Preps Radio: Regis Jesuit hosts Heritage in Continental League baseball
No. 6 Regis Jesuit and No. 2 Heritage meet on Monday in a matchup between two teams in the chase for the Continental League title. Coach Matt Darr Raiders (9-3, 3-1) are paced by sophomore outfielder Geno Macias (.486, 10 RBI), while coach Scott Hormann and the Eagles (10-4, 4-1) are led by junior first baseman Riley Egloff (.409, 19 RBI). Listen to the game live on Post Preps Radio, and relive the action with our archived broadcast immediately afterwards. Kyle Newman and Nick Vinson have the call for first pitch at 4:30 p.m. [...]
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Q&A: Cherry Creek baseball coach Marc Johnson talks playoff prospects for No. 1 Bruins
Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman caught up with longtime Cherry Creek baseball coach Marc Johnson, who is in his 45th season at the helm of the Bruins, to discuss the prospects for his team down the stretch. Q: What’s the confidence level of your team heading into Friday’s home showdown against No. 10 Eaglecrest? A: We scheduled the toughest teams we could possibly play in non-conference to prepare us for the Centennial League and for the playoffs. We’ve been right there in most of those games and we feel like even in the losses we’ve had, we played everyone even or better, so we feel good about the progress we’re making heading into the stretch in order to be ready for the playoffs. Q: What’s the key for your team to be playing at its best come playoff time? A: Baseball is always dictated by pitching first, and there’s a lot of teams that have really good pitching. Then it comes down to hitting, and defense, and what we call “how to win awareness”. With the parity there is, there’s eight to 10 teams that can compete for the state title, so it’s going to come down to who’s playing the best ball in May. It’s about what team has made the most progress, and what team has the pitching that gives it a chance to win. Q: I assume junior left-hander Quentin Parr (3-0, 4.00 ERA) and senior right-hander Sam Colehower (3-0, 1.91) are going to continue to be your aces? A: Yeah, those guys, plus junior Jake Lawerence, who started out really good for us but has been injured lately. He’ll hopefully be back by Thursday or Friday, and so far he’s thrown 10 innings in sort of a closing role and he’s been very successful. We’re hoping he’ll be ready here soon, and that should strengthen us up heading into the playoffs. Q: Who are your core returners from last season’s state tournament team? A: Cody Schultz, Tanner O’Tremba and Andrew Chavez have been our 2-3-4 hitters, and that’s where a lot of our production comes from. They lead in RBIs and batting average; they’re our core that we count on heavily because although we do have other good players, those three are definitely guys that we need to produce. Our biggest problem so far is that Tanner hasn’t been thrown to much, and a lot of people are intentionally walking him. That puts more pressure on Cody and Andrew, because they need to be big bats in front and behind him. Related ArticlesApril 18, 2017 Post Preps Power Rankings: Week of Friday, April 21 April 17, 2017 Weekly Colorado Preps Primer: Games to watch for April 18-22 2017 April 16, 2017 Newman: Renck brothers headline Longmont baseball squad that’s anxious to build off last season’s success April 15, 2017 PHOTOS: Thompson Valley defeats Longmont in Northern League baseball April 15, 2017 Colorado products Michael Baird, David Peterson putting on for their hood as college aces Q: Tell me more about your program’s “how to win awareness” — what exactly does that entail? A: It’s about the small game, the running game, the defensive game, the mental game; it’s all the specialty-type stuff that you have to be good at in order to win close games when it counts. Q: Any thoughts on hanging up the coaching cap in the near future? A: Not yet. As long as the kids are responsive to my coaching, and we’re having fun and enjoying what we’re doing — and my health holds up — I’m going to be okay and I’m not going anywhere. [...]
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Post Preps Power Rankings: Week of Friday, April 21
Each week, Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman releases his power rankings for Class 5A and 4A baseball, girls soccer and boys lacrosse. Records are through Monday: 5A BASEBALL Cherry Creek (8-3) Heritage (9-4) Mountain Vista (8-3) Rock Canyon (10-3) Legend (7-5) Regis Jesuit (8-3) Mountain Range (12-0) Rocky Mountain (6-5) ThunderRidge (7-5) Eaglecrest (9-1) 4A BASEBALL Denver North (12-0) Valor Christian (10-3) Mountain View (11-3) Green Mountain (11-1) Ponderosa (9-3) Windsor (9-1) Pueblo West (9-4) Silver Creek (10-5) Northridge (10-3) Wheat Ridge (8-4) 5A GIRLS SOCCER Broomfield (7-0) Cherry Creek (9-0) Chaparral (9-0-2) Grandview (5-2) ThunderRidge (6-2-1) Fossil Ridge (9-0) Columbine (7-3) Mountain Vista (7-2-1) Ralston Valley (7-2) Regis Jesuit (5-1-2) 4A GIRLS SOCCER Valor Christian (7-0) The Classical Academy (8-0) Windsor (9-1) Wheat Ridge (8-1) D’Evelyn (7-1-1) Lewis-Palmer (8-1) Mullen (6-2) Skyline (9-1) Lewis-Palmer (5-4) Evergreen (5-3) 5A BOYS LACROSSE Regis Jesuit (6-2) Cherry Creek (8-1) Mountain Vista (8-3) Colorado Academy (8-1) Columbine (8-1) Arapahoe (6-3) Kent Denver (9-2) Wheat Ridge (8-2) Rock Canyon (8-3) Highlands Ranch (7-4) 4A BOYS LACROSSE Dawson (8-1) Valor Christian (7-4) Cheyenne Mountain (8-3) Thompson Valley (6-3) Vail Mountain (9-1) Thomas Jefferson (8-1) Golden (8-4) Conifer (5-3) Air Academy (5-4) Windsor (6-4) [...]
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Post Preps Podcast: Inside Colorado Academy’s two title-hungry lacrosse programs
In this week’s edition of the Post Preps Podcast, Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman travels to southwest Denver to analyze the Colorado Academy boys and girls lacrosse programs. The No. 4 boys (8-1) are looking capable of making a run at their first state title, while the two-time defending state champion and top-ranked girls (7-1) are after a three-peat and the program’s fourth crown overall. Special guests include Colorado Academy athletic director Bill Hall and girls coach Steph Sanders, plus seniors Beau Lawrence, Matt Pollack, Nellie Turnage, Bridget Sutter and Sydney Prokupek. [...]
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Steph Curry dropped by Denver North to challenge Vikings in an epic game of H-O-R-S-E
While in the Mile High City for a game against the Nuggets in February, Golden State star Steph Curry dropped by Denver North to play an epic game of H-O-R-S-E with Vikings basketball players. In the a video posted by GQ, Curry walked into the gym nonchalantly and challenged five Vikings players to the shooting game, only instead of spelling H-O-R-S-E, they played to S-E-S-Q-U-I-P-E-D-A-L-I-A-N. Sesquipedalian means “characterized by long words; long-winded.” Spoiler alert: Curry won. Related ArticlesMarch 29, 2017 Jalen Sanders of Valor Christian verbally commits to Northern Colorado March 26, 2017 By channeling his emotion, 2017 Mr. Basketball Colbey Ross exits with championship resume March 26, 2017 All-Colorado boys basketball team 2017 March 26, 2017 Driven by pure love for the game, 2017 Miss Basketball Michaela Onyenwere leaves historic legacy March 26, 2017 All-Colorado girls basketball team 2017 [...]
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PHOTOS: Thompson Valley defeats Longmont in Northern League baseball
Photo gallery of Longmont Trojans vs. Thompson Valley Eagles at Longmont High School on April 15, 2017, in Longmont, Colorado. Thompson Valley defeated Longmont 4-3 with two runs in the top of the seventh inning. [...]
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Newman: Renck brothers headline Longmont baseball squad that’s anxious to build off last season’s success
After graduating five starters from last season’s Class 4A state tournament showing, it looked like Longmont had a serious learning curve ahead of itself in order to replicate its 2016 success. But while there has been a learning curve — the No. 7 Trojans (6-5) stumbled a bit lately in tough Northern League play following a 5-0 start to the spring — two seamhead brothers again give Longmont a chance to make noise down the stretch of conference play and into the playoffs. Senior ace pitcher and outfielder Dagin Renck is the team’s emotional leader, while his younger brother, sophomore second baseman Brady Renck, paces the team with a .400 average in his first varsity season. The Rencks are the sons of longtime Denver Post Rockies beat writer and current Denver 7 sportscaster Troy Renck, and thus they’re kids who grew up eating and sleeping baseball. Related ArticlesApril 15, 2017 PHOTOS: Thompson Valley defeats Longmont in Northern League baseball April 15, 2017 Colorado products Michael Baird, David Peterson putting on for their hood as college aces April 14, 2017 Mountain Vista uses big fifth inning to beat Rock Canyon in Continental League play April 13, 2017 Post Preps Podcast: Denver North baseball’s Ernesto Marquez talks top-ranked Vikings, Class 4A contenders and more April 12, 2017 Post Preps Radio: Rock Canyon and Mountain Vista duel on the diamond at Metro State “Growing up with my dad covering the Rockies, I was constantly watching baseball, talking baseball and analyzing baseball when I wasn’t playing,” Dagin Renck said. “That really impacted me and my brother, because it made us understand the importance of the details of the game.” Longmont coach Tom Fobes noted he’s already seen how crucial Dagin is to the team’s success this year, as epitomized by the senior captain’s performance in a recent, hard-fought 8-5 win over Silver Creek. In that game, Dagin had two hits and three RBIs in addition to tossing three shutout innings in relief as the senior made sure his team staved off the Raptors’ comeback. “Every time we came off the field, he was in the dugout, going from guy to guy and rallying them and getting them mentally right,” Fobes said. “He had a good game offensively and on the mound, but without his leadership, we don’t win that game. We need that from him the rest of the season.” As for the younger Renck, he has quickly acclimated to the varsity stage. “He’s got a lot of knowledge for the game, and skill-wise he’s very good as well,” Fobes said. “He’s also stepped right into the lineup and done a good job in the two hole for us with his disciplined approach at the plate.” And as the Trojans bear down for the final stretch of league play and what they hope to be a push for the program’s second state championship and first since a 1973 Class 3A title, the younger Renck realizes Longmont will go as far as Dagin and other key returners (such as juniors Austin Hassler, Avery Peterson, Noah Befus and Matt Zamudi) can take them. “This is my first season playing with my brother, and it’s been awesome to be on the diamond with him,” Brady Renck said. “If the younger guys and I continue to follow the lead of him and the other veterans, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish in the playoffs.” [...]
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