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Jeff Hoffman torched as Diamondbacks rout Rockies
For all of the good things the Rockies’ rookie starters have done this season, there remains a certain fragility to the rotation, and there are questions about its sustainability for a long season. That was painfully clear Wednesday night at Coors Field, where Arizona torched rookie right-hander Jeff Hoffman en route to a 16-5 victory. The talented Diamondbacks, winners of eight of their last nine games, put a screeching halt to Colorado’s six-game winning streak and moved within one game of the Rockies in the National League West. The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Mets 8-2 to move into first place in the division, a half-game ahead of Colorado. Boxscore: Arizona 16, Colorado 5  Hoffman was charged with a career-high nine runs on eight hits in a mere 3 ⅔ innings. He allowed just one hit over the first three innings and looked sharp, but the fourth inning was a Titanic-hitting-the-iceberg kind of disaster. The Diamondbacks rapped out nine hits and scored 10 runs in the inning, and nine of those runs were charged to Hoffman. “I felt like I kind of cruised through the first three, and in the fourth I just couldn’t get the ball down below thigh high. And they put good swings on bad pitches,” Hoffman said. The only other time a Rockies pitcher allowed nine or more runs in one inning was when Mark Redman gave up 10 runs in the first inning to the Dodgers on April 26, 2008, at Los Angeles. How relentless was the Diamondbacks’ attack in the fourth? They became the first National League team to score 10 or more runs in an inning — without a home run — since the Phillies did it against the Marlins in Miami on Sept. 17, 2005. Hoffman entered the game 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA, but Paul Goldschmidt, Brandon Drury and Chris Iannetta raked him for doubles in the fourth as Hoffman’s ERA jumped to 4.29. Hoffman needed to make some key pitches but he simply didn’t execute them. Manager Bud Black called the two-out, RBI single Hoffman allowed to Arizona starter Taijuan Walker the “back-breaker.” “For Jeff tonight, it was a learning experience, no doubt about it,” Black said. “He was a couple of pitches away from keeping that game in order, but that didn’t happen. He’ll remember this one for a while and be able to reflect back on it and be a better big-league pitcher for it.” With right-hander Jon Gray and left-hander Tyler Anderson close to returning from the disabled list, Hoffman’s rough night will give Black and general manager Jeff Bridich plenty to contemplate in the coming days and weeks. Any thoughts about the Rockies getting back into Wednesday’s game with a miracle rally were short-circuited when supposed mop-up reliever Jordan Lyles replaced Hoffman. Arizona tagged Lyles for three runs on six hits in 2 ⅓ innings, sending his ERA to 7.16. Colorado’s rookie quartet of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Hoffman entered the game 26-9 with a combined ERA of 3.60, but Arizona’s powerhouse lineup took it to Hoffman — and Lyles. Arizona’s 10 runs and nine hits in one inning set franchise records for a road game. The Rockies actually led 1-0 on Mark Reynolds’ solo homer to center in the second inning off Taijuan Walker. It was Reynolds’ team-high 18th homer. Nolan Arenado’s two-run double in the fifth cut Arizona’s lead to 10-3. Since June 1, Arenado is batting .367 with three home runs, 10 doubles, three triples and 25 RBIs. Related ArticlesJune 21, 2017 Kiszla: One trade the Rockies need to make to cement their status as World Series contenders June 21, 2017 Is Carlos Gonzalez on the verge of a breakout for the Rockies? “We’re just waiting,” Arenado says June 21, 2017 Ryan Vilade, Tommy Doyle and 32 other draft picks sign pro deals with the Rockies. Then they hit the road. June 20, 2017 Nolan Arenado triples in a winner, Carlos Gonzalez slams a HR as Rockies rally past Arizona June 20, 2017 Joe West umps 5,000th career game in Colorado. He gave Rockies manager Bud Black his first career ejection. But Lyles, and then Carlos Estevez (8.10 ERA) and Mike Dunn (6.35 ERA), failed to quiet the Diamondbacks’ bats. All told, Arizona rapped out 20 hits, the most allowed by Colorado this season, and the most it has allowed since giving up 21 hits to the Dodgers on Sept. 17, 2014. Thursday afternoon, Colorado has a chance to erase Wednesday’s ugly game and take the three-game series. Senzatela will be on the mound for Colorado. Former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle used to say that his teams “showered well,” meaning they washed off a bad loss quickly. Black thinks his Rockies will do the same. “Jeff had a tough night, and a couple of other guys h [...]
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ThunderRidge striker Shae Holmes named 2016-17 Colorado Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year
ThunderRidge’s Shae Holmes was named the 2016-17 Colorado Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year on Monday morning, capping a stellar junior season for the striker who netted 20 goals and seven assists in just a dozen games played. Holmes, a University of Washington commit, also participated in the U18 U.S. Women’s National Team camp during the high school season and is a standout on the Real Colorado ECNL U17 team. Real Colorado is ranked fifth in the ECNL’s Champions League cup standings and, with Holmes anchoring the defense, figures to make noise in the league’s upcoming playoffs. The Grizzlies made the Class 5A state tournament with Holmes leading the way, where they lost 1-0 in the second round to eventual runner-up Arapahoe. [...]
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Five observations from the summer Colorado high school girls basketball season
In local summer basketball, June is typically reserved for high schoolers to take a break from playing for their respective clubs and come together with their high school teams. Preps editor Kyle Newman breaks down five takeaways from this month’s high school girls basketball action: Grandview’s reloaded once again Even after graduating Michaela Onyenwere — who has been the state’s best player, hands down, over the past several seasons — Grandview’s summer roster proves the Wolves are ready to make a repeat Class 5A title run this winter. Senior forward Leilah Vigil, senior shooting guard Jaiden Galloway, junior center Alisha Davis and junior guard Allyah Marlett are seasoned and skilled, plus the Wolves have added a dynamic freshman to the mix in Addison O’Grady. “Addison’s very skilled, athletic and fits in well with our group,” Grandview coach Josh Ulitzky said. “Plus, she’s 6-3 with long arms, she can defend well and she’s solid around the basket. She’s been a great addition to our team.” Belibi makes Regis Jesuit a front-runner Dunking phenom Fran Belibi, who is spending her summer traveling across the country and world to take part in elite camps and play high-level hoops — including winning a gold medal in Argentina at the FIBA U16 Women’s Americas Championship — automatically makes the Raiders a 5A state title front-runner. Plus, she’s surrounded by experienced senior guard Jasmine Gaines, senior center Noelle Cahill and sophomore point guard Jada Moore, in addition to highly-touted freshman point guard Avery Van Sickle. “I’ve been telling people — you have to see this Van Sickle girl play,” Regis Jesuit coach Carl Mattei said. “She can handle the ball well, she can shoot the lights out with spot-up jumpers, fadeaways and runners. She played with Fran, Highlands Ranch’s Autumn Watts and Cherry Creek’s Jana Van Gytenbeek at the 3-on-3 tournament down with USA Basketball this summer, and as one of the only eighth graders there she helped them get to the finals.” Cherry Creek changes up the pace After a semifinal run last season, Cherry Creek’s in-state play this month at the Grandview Tournament and the UNC Team Camp, among others, has proved the Bruins are reloaded for another deep 5A tournament push. Senior shooting guard Sydney Mech, sophomore point guard Jana Van Gytenbeek and senior forward Jaela Richardson highlight the dynamic core of the Bruins lineup as Cherry Creek heads to Notre Dame Team Camp this weekend and continues to hone their new up-tempo approach. “We’re a little bit more fast-paced than last year, because we’re not quite as big,” Cherry Creek coach Chris Curneen said. “We have to run a little bit more and make more jumpers, but we can also press a little more and go up-tempo a little more. It’s different for our players, but I think it’s going to be good because it fits their style.” Delaynie Byrne’s ready to make it rain After having to sit out last season due to transfer, Ralston Valley’s Delaynie Byrne is poised for a breakout campaign. Byrne averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore at Broomfield, and can play inside and outside for a Mustangs team that is young, yet talented. The senior has also turned plenty of heads lately on the club circuit with BC Denver Basketball, and she’ll look to her 2018 Elite teammate, senior point guard Samantha Van Sickle, to help her catalyze the Mustangs offensively. “I’ve got five starters, with Delaynie leading the way. I’m trying to find the sixth, seventh and eighth players who will also help us out this year,” Ralston Valley coach Jeff Gomer said. “We’ll have to have those contributions off the bench, especially during league and tournament games.” Other usual suspects will also challenge Highlands Ranch is again looking primed to add to coach Caryn Jarocki’s already historic legacy, with senior point guard Tommi Olson and junior power forward Autumn Watts headlining a Falcons roster that figures to once again be one of the deepest in the state. Lakewood, too, has used the summer to show the 2016 5A state runner-ups aren’t going anywhere thanks to the return of 6-4 twin towers Kira and Camilla Emsbo. Plus, Front Range League teams such as Fairview and Horizon and Denver Public League squads George Washington and Denver East have also made some noise this June. [...]
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Who can the Nuggets pick up with the 49 and 51st picks in the NBA draft?
On April 9, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook destroyed the hopes of Denver Nuggets fans. His 36-foot, game-winning jumper at the buzzer at the Pepsi Center eliminated the Nuggets from the playoffs — for the fourth consecutive season. While all eyes will be on the 13th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft for a player who could help get Denver over the hump, the Nuggets also have the 49th and 51st picks. Productive players can be found in the second round. Think Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, the last pick in the 2011 draft. Veterans Marc Gasol (2007, 48th pick) and Paul Millsap (2006, 47th pick) are all-stars. Golden State’s Draymond Green (2012, 35th pick) was snagged in the second round. Not to mention the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic — touted the future of the franchise — was taken 41st overall in 2014. Here are five players that the Nuggets should keep their eyes peeled for late in the draft: Jordan Bell Charlie Riedel, The Associated PressOregon forward Jordan Bell (1) dunks against Kansas during the second half of the Midwest Regional final of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 25, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. Related ArticlesJune 21, 2017 What the Denver Nuggets could do in the 2017 NBA draft June 21, 2017 Nuggets president Josh Kroenke says team in “much stronger position” heading into pivotal summer June 20, 2017 Kiszla: Trading for Jimmy Butler would be bigger get for Nuggets than hiring Chauncey Billups June 20, 2017 NBA beat writers across the country participated in a mock draft. Here are the results. June 20, 2017 Arturas Karnisovas brings wealth of unique basketball knowledge to Nuggets’ GM role 6-foot-9, 225 pounds School: Oregon Position: Power forward Stats: 11.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists Bell is projected to be off the board by the early second round, but if he is available, there is no reason why the Nuggets should think twice about picking him up. He fits an immediate need for Denver with his interior defense. Bell was the 2017 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, averaging 3.1 blocks and 1.8 steals per 40 minutes. His high motor and physicality makes up for his lack of size and he figures to be able to guard from the 3-5 at the NBA level. Johnathan Motley David Purdy, Getty ImagesJohnathan Motley (5) of the Baylor Bears battles for a rebound with Solomon Young (33) of the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half of play at Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 25, 2017 in Ames, Iowa. 6-10, 230 pounds School: Baylor Position: Power forward/center Stats: 17.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists Motley would give the Nuggets another rebounder around the rim and defensive versatility in the middle. With a 7-4 wingspan, the Baylor product has the potential to be a strong shot-blocking presence at the next level (Averaged 1.1 blocks for the Bears last season). Nigel Williams-Goss Ronald Martinez, Getty ImagesNigel Williams-Goss #5 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs handles the ball against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. 6-3, 195 pounds School: Gonzaga Position: Point guard Stats: 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists The Nuggets already have a lot of young guards. But they don’t have one with the pass-first mindset that Williams-Goss possesses. With Jameer Nelson creeping up in age and Emmanuel Mudiay looking to regain footing in his third season, the 2017 WCC Player of the Year is an insurance policy at the backup point guard position. Williams-Goss is a proven winner, having lead Gonzaga to its first NCAA title game last season. Cameron Oliver Stacy Revere, Getty ImagesCameron Oliver #0 of the Nevada Wolf Pack attempts a shot in the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wis. 6-8, 225 pounds School: Nevada Position: Power forward Stats: 16.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists Oliver has two-way potential and could be contributor, should Danilo Gallinari leave the Mile High City in free agency. He averaged 3.4 blocks per 40 minutes at Nevada. Matt Jones Kevin C. Cox, Getty ImagesMatt Jones of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after forcing a turnover in the second half against the Troy Trojans during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 17, 2017 in Greenville, S.C. 6-5, 204 pounds School: Duke Position: Shooting guard Stats: 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists A 3-point specialist, Jones would be a nice fit in the Nuggets’ free-flowing offensive scheme. The Blue Devil also makes sense from a defensive standpoint as he was an ACC all-defensive selection last year. [...]
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David Harris, New England Patriots agree to deal, per AP source
BOSTON — A person familiar with the situation says the New England Patriots have agreed to terms on a deal with former New York Jets linebacker David Harris. The new two-year pact could be worth as much as $6.75 million, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal has not yet been announced. Harris, a 2007 second-round pick from Michigan who has spent all 10 of his NFL seasons in New York, was released earlier this month by the Jets in a series of offseason moves to cut high-priced veterans. He was the franchise’s second-leading tackler. He now moves within the division to play for Bill Belichick, who has lauded Harris’ play in the past. It also gives the Patriots some veteran depth to pair with Dont’a Hightower. Related ArticlesJune 20, 2017 “My memory ain’t what it used to be”: Warren Sapp says he’ll donate his brain for CTE research June 19, 2017 It would be something if Brock Osweiler ends up the Browns’ starting quarterback June 19, 2017 Broncos 53-man roster projection following spring workouts June 19, 2017 Supreme Court says government can’t refuse disparaging trademarks. And the Washington Redskins are “thrilled.” June 18, 2017 Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans agrees to terms on a one-year deal [...]
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Edmonton’s Connor McDavid wins first Hart Trophy as NHL MVP
LAS VEGAS — Connor McDavid has won his first Hart Trophy. Hardly anybody in hockey believes it will be his last. The Edmonton captain claimed the award as the NHL’s most valuable player Wednesday night at the league’s postseason awards show at T-Mobile Arena, the new home of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The league also revealed the results of the Golden Knights’ expansion draft to an arena filled with new fans of the NHL’s 31st franchise. McDavid also won the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the league’s most outstanding performer in a vote of his fellow players. The honors capped a remarkable sophomore season for the 20-year-old center, who won the scoring title and led the Oilers back to the Stanley Cup playoffs after an 11-year absence. The former No. 1 pick beat out fellow finalists Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. “I’m so proud to be in Edmonton,” McDavid said. “I’m so proud to be an Oiler, and so proud to play with the guys.” McDavid is the third-youngest player to win the award. Only Crosby and Wayne Gretzky claimed the Hart as teenagers. Boston center Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Trophy for the fourth time as the NHL’s best defensive forward, and San Jose’s Brent Burns won his first Norris Trophy as the top defenseman. Toronto center Auston Matthews easily took the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, and Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky won his second Vezina Trophy. Nashville’s David Poile was named the NHL’s top executive after the Predators’ first Western Conference title, and Columbus’ John Tortorella won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach. Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson won the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Anderson left the Senators during the season to support his wife, Nicholle, in her fight against throat cancer, but returned to become Ottawa’s career victories leader. Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanlike play. Bobrovsky got 25 of the 30 first-place votes to outdistance Braden Holtby and Carey Price after leading the league with a 2.06 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. Bobrovsky, the first Russian to win the award twice, and Tortorella played major roles in the Blue Jackets’ revival for the best season in franchise history. Bergeron also won the Selke in 2012, 2014 and 2015. The two-way Bruins star beat out Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and joined Bob Gainey as the only players to win the Selke four times. Bergeron paid tribute to Gainey after the Montreal great presented the award to him. “I think it’s the way that he played the game hard and was always in the right position,” Bergeron said. “Not only him on the ice, but also him off the ice as a role model, as a person, I’ve always respected him for that. It was special to receive that award from him, because he was such an important player for the NHL.” Burns beat out Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson for the Norris in a duel of two 70-point scorers. Burns doesn’t think offensive numbers alone determine the Norris winner. Related ArticlesJune 21, 2017 Marc-Andre Fleury leads Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft choices June 20, 2017 Vegas Golden Knights may get franchise goalie, young roster June 19, 2017 Cal Foote, son of Avalanche legend Adam Foote, a likely first-round NHL draft pick June 19, 2017 Vegas Golden Knights hold cards as NHL expansion draft nears June 19, 2017 Analysis: Avalanche enters NHL’s crucial offseason stretch with significant needs “That’s the way I play the game,” Burns said. “For me to be successful, to help the team, I’ve got to help create offense and get into the plays. If I’m not doing that, if I’m not skating and creating things, then I’m not really doing much out there.” Matthews was the no-brainer choice for the Calder after his 69-point rookie season for the Leafs, who hadn’t had a Calder winner since Brit Selby in 1966. The Arizona-raised center was grateful to accept the award in Las Vegas, where he hopes more desert kids will be inspired by the Golden Knights. “I think it’s going to be great,” Matthews said. “For myself, when the Coyotes moved (to Phoenix), that’s how I got into hockey. Seeing the teams in California kind of encouraged kids growing up to pick up the stick and start playing. (The Golden Knights) will definitely grow the game.” [...]
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Marc-Andre Fleury leads Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft choices
LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights finally have some players to put on the desert ice this fall. Stanley Cup-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Marc Methot and Alexei Emelin, 30-goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault and forwards David Perron and James Neal are among the veterans selected by the Golden Knights in the NHL expansion draft Wednesday night. Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee announced their choices during the NHL’s annual postseason awards show at T-Mobile Arena, where Vegas will begin play in the fall. Fleury took the stage in a Golden Knights jersey to wild cheers from his new home fans. The three-time Cup winner lost his starting job with the back-to-back champion Penguins, but he’ll get to start over in the desert with two years on his contract. The picks included defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk and Brayden McNabb, forward Oscar Lindberg . The Golden Knights also announced additional acquisitions of a handful of veterans and free agents, including Anaheim defenseman Shea Theodore and Florida forward Reilly Smith. The NHL wrote its draft rules to give the Golden Knights more opportunities to compete early in their existence, and their expansion draft choices certainly appear to form a solid core that could make noise in the Pacific Division. “They’re way past getting off the ground,” Nashville general manager David Poile said. “I think this is by far the best expansion team ever.” Thousands of fans braved 116-degree afternoon heat to gather on the south end of the Strip for the unique combination of the awards show and the chance to learn the identities of the home team’s first NHL veterans. The Golden Knights are Las Vegas’ first franchise in a major professional sport. After meeting with the Board of Governors earlier in the day, Foley said he was already “very proud” of the roster assembled by McPhee. “I believe we’ve put together a great team from the net out,” Foley said. “I believe fans are really going to like the team, and the trades and the draft picks and the prospects that we have. It’s not just a player per team. In many cases, it might have been two players a team. It might have been an upgraded draft pick plus a player, all kinds of different situations.” The expansion draft is a celebratory night, but it only reveals a portion of the franchise-building done by McPhee over the past few months. The Golden Knights were allowed to reveal certain trades made with other teams to dissuade Vegas from picking particular players, and additional deals are likely to be revealed throughout the week. The Golden Knights sat in a strong position created by the favorable expansion draft terms granted to Foley, who paid a $500 million expansion fee to join the league. McPhee is likely to land even more veteran players and choices before the draft wraps up in Chicago this weekend. Related ArticlesJune 21, 2017 Edmonton’s Connor McDavid wins first Hart Trophy as NHL MVP June 20, 2017 Vegas Golden Knights may get franchise goalie, young roster June 19, 2017 Cal Foote, son of Avalanche legend Adam Foote, a likely first-round NHL draft pick June 19, 2017 Vegas Golden Knights hold cards as NHL expansion draft nears June 19, 2017 Analysis: Avalanche enters NHL’s crucial offseason stretch with significant needs The Golden Knights also have signed a handful of free agents. They announced a deal with former Calgary defenseman Deryk Engelland, who still lives in Las Vegas during the offseason after playing for the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers a decade ago. “My roots are here,” Engelland said. “It’s kind of been in the back of your mind since they announced the team. For it to finally happen, it’s amazing.” Minnesota center Erik Haula, who was chosen in the expansion draft, reportedly has already agreed to a multi-year deal with Vegas. “What surprised me was the quality of some of our forwards that we were able to get out of this situation,” Foley said. “The people of Las Vegas are going to be happy with what we did. They’re going to be pleasantly surprised.” [...]
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Broncos roster 2017: Cedrick Lang
The mountain of a man is likely headed to Denver’s practice squad as a tight end or tackle. Name: Cedrick LangPosition: TEHeight: 6’9" Weight: 255 lbsAge: 25 Experience: 1stCollege: UTEP Cedrick Lang is an enigma. The 6-foot-9, 255-pound tight end was signed to a reserves/future deal by the Denver Broncos in January. He had a few offseason practices with the New York Giants last season, but wasn’t on their roster. Lang was signed by the Giants as a college free agent after using his fifth year of eligibility at UTEP. Prior to that, as Mike Klis pointed out in his story on Lang in early May, the last time he played football was his freshman year at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, SD. Lang played offensive line for the Knights that season. The time in between his freshman year in high school and fifth year of eligibility at UTEP, he was a power forward in basketball. Naturally, the instinct is to compare him to other tight ends who made the jump to the NFL through basketball, be it Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez. That’s premature given we don’t even know if he’s still a tight end. Yes, he’s listed as one on the Broncos’ roster, but he has the No. 70. That’s not a tight end number. Report: Broncos sign TE Cedrick Lang to futures contract #DenverBroncos https://t.co/NuU259apkJ pic.twitter.com/UxWVyQ0bqg— Broncos Report (@broncos_fanly) January 29, 2017 So did Lang make the switch to tackle? Or will he? It’s a mystery. That’s not all. It seems there’s no consensus on Lang’s height or weight, either. As Klis pointed out, the Giants listed him as 6-7, 269. His UTEP football biography had him at 6-9, 290, while his college basketball bio had him at 6-10, 255. As I said, Lang is an enigma. But let’s dive in and see what the Broncos have with their tight end ... or tackle ... who could be 6-10, 6-9 or 6-7 and weigh either 255, 269 or 290 pounds. The Good If Lang is a tight end in Denver, he has a great size that could be a big weapon for the offense; especially when its near the end zone. As he did in basketball, post him on a defensive back or linebacker and toss it to him. That’s a helluva weapon for the Broncos to use in those situations. Heck, you could even do it on short yardage situations to move the chains. Since has experience on the offensive line, he knows the fundamentals when it comes to technique. Not to mention his size will be useful when it comes blocking. A man that big has a huge wing span, and, if utilized in the right way, is another huge advantage. That’s true whether he stays at tight end or moves to tackle. The lone highlight I saw of Lang came from the rivalry game with New Mexico State in September of 2015. He showed good athleticism and hands on a late touchdown. But it was one highlight and it’s impossible to make a judgment on a player when that’s the case. Still, in the time Lang was with the Giants, he made an impression. It’s hard for a man that big not to. But as this story points out, he moves the field with ease. The Bad It’s hard to know what the Broncos have in Lang when we’re not even sure what position he plays. That shows you they want to see him on the field and what he can do. Since he’s only played one year of football since high school, to compare Lang to Thomas, Gates or Gonzalez is unfair. What those three players did was tremendous but also rare. I get the need to compare Lang so people have a reference point, but let him make his own name for himself. And this is from someone who loves comparisons, but only when they work. This seems forced to me. We don’t know what position Lang will play for the Broncos. If he pulls a feat as the three mentioned above did, great. But set the bar low. Quotable Lang on why he chose football and his approach/attitude: "It was either go overseas and try (professional) basketball out, or the opportunity to play football. I chose football, and it paid off. It's just an opportunity, man. I'm out here with a bunch of other guys competing for a job. You just have to work your butt off.” Status It’s easy to see why the Broncos signed Lang to a reserves/future deal in January. He’s a huge man who also is athletic and has a great attitude. If there’s a spot for him in Denver, it’s on the practice squad. There’s no way he’s on the 53-man roster. And the only way Lang makes the practice squad is if he’s shown flashes in organized team activities and mini camp, and carries it over to training camp. Maybe by then we will have solved the enigma that is Cedrick Lang. [...]
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[SB Nation: Burgundy Wave] – Game Preview & How to Watch – Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy
... ally put Colorado level on points with and very close to a playoff spot. The Rapids home form has been brilliant as of late, but a weekend clash at will prove t ... [...]
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Dempsey's Deliveries: Building Around Nikola Jokić, Draft and Free Agency Outlook
Nuggets Insider Christopher Dempsey answers fan questions from the mailbag in his weekly series. [...]
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Broncos, Briefly: Tuesday, June 20, 2017
A quick look at the recent buzz on the Denver Broncos. [...]
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Nolan Arenado triples in a winner, Carlos Gonzalez slams a HR as Rockies rally past Arizona
Something otherworldly is falling into place when Nolan Arenado, who rarely hits triples, starts hitting triples like he’s Ty Cobb. He’s a slugger, hits homers, lives on doubles. But on Tuesday night at Coors Field, just like Sunday afternoon, Arenado hit another triple. This one he knocked off Arizona ace Zack Greinke. And once again, Arenado played the hero. To open a difficult six-game set against the two other best teams in the National League, the first series against a streaking Diamondbacks team, Arenado tripled in two runs off the right-field wall in the eighth inning as the Rockies again rallied, this time for a 4-3 victory. On Sunday, Arenado capped a rally with a walk-off home run that also gave him the cycle as Colorado came back to beat the Giants 7-5. “If I’m hitting triples, that just means the ball is getting away from the outfielder. I’m a doubles guy,” Arenado said. “As long as they’re extra-base hits, thats fine. I’m taking what they’re giving me.” Within a week, the streaking Rockies will face two Cy Young winners, the tallest obstacles to date in a headlong rush through the National League. First up: Greinke, the Diamondbacks’ wily veteran control artist, a pitcher with an enviable 10-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. He came to Denver with a perfect career record at Coors Field. The Rockies, though, are riding a snowboard on a moonbeam. Arenado, who led off Sunday’s game on his way to the eighth cycle in club history, lined a triple off out of town scoreboard in the eighth that tied up right fielder David Peralta. It scored Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu, who each singled in front of him. In front of 35,016 fans, with more chants of “MVP” raining down on Arenado, Colorado kept alive a ceaseless drive. “He’s doing Kobe Bryant stuff. He’s on a different level right now,” Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said of Arenado. “I’ve been there before. It’s so much fun. You just ride it out.” Gonzalez, hitting 7-for-June and looking up at a slump so deep his belt was underwater, dug into the dirt around home plate in the fourth staring back at Arizona’s ace. And Gonzalez hid an upper hand. In 37 previous at-bats against Greinke, the Colorado slugger had four home runs and 13 hits. On an 85-mph slider that Greinke aimed at his hands, Gonzalez launched a 449-foot home run into the trees behind center field. Gonzalez tied Jason Giambi for most career home runs off Zack Greinke with his fifth. Boxscore: Colorado 4, Arizona 3 Gonzalez twice carried Colorado on his back. And the Rockies (47-26) dove into a wicked week that will force them to twice prove their worthiness atop the NL West. In a week-long round-robin tournament of the best teams in the NL, the Rockies opened by winning a sixth consecutive game, snapping Arizona’s seven-game streak. Colorado, now two games ahead of Arizona in the West, is scheduled for back-to-back series against Arizona (44-27) and at Los Angeles (45-26 before Tuesday), where the Rockies will likely face Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The eighth inning was nearly Colorado’s undoing. Arizona’s Peralta crushed a 455-foot homer to the second deck in right field off lefty Chris Rusin to lead off the frame. Then Paul Goldschmidt followed with a first-pitch shot to right off Adam Ottavino. Within two pitches, the Diamondbacks quickly took their first lead off the game. “It’s one of those games where maybe we didn’t deserve to win, but we kept fighting,” Gonzalez said. The Rockies wasted little time pouncing on Greinke in the second inning. Ian Desmond legged out an infield single to the left side, then sprinted to second base when Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb launched a throw past first base. Greinke’s wild pitch to Trevor Story pushed Desmond up another base and he scored on catcher Jeff Mathis’ throwing error. Desmond’s marathon trip around the bases gave the Rox a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez’s one-out homer in the fourth gave them a two-run lead. After an 0-for-27 skid through June, Gonzalez now has a hit in four consecutive games. The Rockies were waiting for his surge. They might still be waiting. But Gonzalez in the fifth dove fully horizontal to nab a Peralta liner toward the gap, robbing him of at least a double and an RBI. Related ArticlesJune 20, 2017 Joe West umps 5,000th career game in Colorado. He gave Rockies manager Bud Black his first career ejection. June 20, 2017 Jon Gray will wait for his return, Bud Black says, because Rockies have the luxury of patience June 19, 2017 Carlos Estevez gets called up, believes he can bolster Rockies’ bullpen June 19, 2017 Rockies eager to face Diamondbacks as torrid NL West race heats up June 19, 2017 [...]
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Five observations from the summer Colorado high school boys basketball season
In local summer basketball, June is typically reserved for high schoolers to take a break from playing for their respective clubs and come together with their high school teams. Preps editor Kyle Newman breaks down five takeaways from this month’s high school boys basketball action: Overland’s capable of another crown Coach Danny Fisher’s Blazers, winners of back-to-back Class 5A titles in 2014 and 2015, are reloaded once again following last winter’s learning curve. Overland captured titles at the C3 Challenge (at multiple sites in the south metro area) last weekend and the Metro State Tournament the weekend before that, proving that senior point guard Tucson Redding, senior shooting guard Daijon Smith, junior shooting guard Stephen Hayes and the rest of the Blazers are ready to make another deep postseason push. “We’re starting to get really good continuity and cohesiveness together as a group,” Fisher said. “They’re used to playing with each other because we’re basically returning everyone, so we know we’re going to have a leg up there.” Denver East’s a serious title challenger, too After falling in the Great 8 to eventual state champion Eaglecrest last year, coach Rudy Carey has the Angels in position to capture the program’s 12th state championship, which would give the Angels the most boys hoops titles of any Colorado school. Denver East returns nine players with varsity experience and is led by one of the state’s top scorers in senior point guard Daylen Kountz as well as other key components such as junior guard Kwane Marble and junior forward Assane Diouf. The Angels do not play in any summer tournaments, instead electing to compete in its own East Summer League against Legacy, Far Northeast, Fairview, Hinkley and more. “Our kids are always spread out too thin to play summer tournaments, and it’s not a true representation of our team,” Carey said. “But I know, with everyone we have back, we’re going to be the rabbit this year. Everyone will be chasing the rabbit.” Other usual suspects looking strong This month also proved that despite the departure of talent crucial to last season’s success, Regis Jesuit (three-time state champion) and ThunderRidge (two-time state champion) will be back in the title conversation this winter. Coach Joe Ortiz’s Grizzlies leaned on senior point guard Kaison Hammonds and ever-improving junior Kevin Sax down in the post while impressing opposing coaches this June. And for Regis Jesuit, despite the graduation of point guard Connor Hobbs and the transfer of standout forward Samba Kane out of state, coach Ken Shaw expects his team to find its identity by wintertime. “Guys like Elijah Martinez, Matt Wheelock and Sam Bannec will be big this year, but more importantly, the summer’s been great for developing a lot of our role players too and seeing who else is going to round out the starting lineup,” Shaw said. Rising programs keep on rising If this summer has been any indication, expect programs who made big waves last year to continue their ascent into the 2017 season. Rock Canyon, which made the 5A semifinals last season and won the UNC team camp this month in Greeley, boasts the senior point guard duo of Sam Masten and Tyson Gilbert. Smoky Hill, which returns every starter from last season’s Sweet 16 run, is highlighted by the 6-foot-11 senior tandem of Will Becker and John Harge. And Chaparral, another 2016 Sweet 16 contender, has also made its presence felt this summer thanks to the play of sophomore point guard Kobe Sanders and junior forward Ronnie DeGray III. The success of all three aforementioned programs doesn’t hinge upon star power, though; it’s all about depth and toughness in the parity-laden 5A landscape. “We’ve been a senior-led group the last couple years, which has been a great thing for us,” Rock Canyon coach Kent Grams said. “But our bench, as most coaches would probably say, needs to get tougher. We need to make sure we’re doing a better job on the defensive side and understand that if we don’t put an emphasis on rebounding, we’re going to lose a lot of games.” Teams outside metro area also potent Palmer was the last team outside the Denver metro area to win the Class 5A state title, in 2000, but June has proven a number of teams from up north and down south are ready to make a run. Front Range League contenders Legacy and Fairview drew praise from a number of metro coaches who came across their path, while defending Colorado Springs Metro League champion Doherty — under the direction of new coach Eric Steinert — will also challenge behind the play of senior guard Kyrele Benford and senior forward Joseph Golden. “I didn’t know they were as solid as they were with their leng [...]
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