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Football & Sports 2012

A special section to

PAGE 2 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > August 30, 2012 > douglas CouNTY


On the Cover

Football Local lineman wage trench warfare

Valor Christian moves up to 5A

Page 3 Ryan Rubley is set to soar at Mountain Vista Page 4 Eric Williams is ready to go for Rock Canyon Page 5 Local football capsules Page 5

Cherry Creek football starts new era

Fall Sports Preview SPECIAL SECTION

Publisher....................... Jerry Healey Sports Editor............... John Rosa Advertising.................. Barb Stolte Production................... Kate Ferraro

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Page 8 Page 9 Elbert county football Page 15

Other fall sports Chaparral volleyball aims for three-peat Page 10 Stadium guide Page 10 Golden Eagles field hockey looks to return to glory Page 11 Soccer rivalries Page 12 Elizabeth gymnastics Page 13 Softball preview Page 14 Cross country Page 16

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Rock Canyon senior Eric Williams heads into the year with lofty goals, including a 3,000-yard rushing season. It isn’t out of the questions, as Williams racked up more than 2,000 as a junior. Photo by Benn Farrell

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douglas County > August 30, 2012 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > page 3

Trench warfare

Chaparral tight end Chris Parsons said there is a certain finesse to being a linemen. The University of Colorado-bound senior is considered a top-five recruit in the state and is excited to see how the Wolverines’ work over the summer pays off. Photo illustration by Benn Farrell

The players up front often determines winners and losers in Douglas County By Benn Farrell

When it comes to high school football in the state of Colorado, the line starts in Douglas County. For more than a decade, area schools have produced some of the best high school linemen in the state. This year’s crop of players that do their work in the trenches is no different, with as many as three local lineman already making commitments to Division I college programs. “I don’t know what it is in our league (Continental), but we seem to have big athletic linemen at each of our schools year-in, year-out,” Douglas County coach Jeff Ketron said. “We (the Huskies) are not caught up in size so much as toughness. Two of our best linemen ever were 5-foot-8, 200 pounds and played for a state championship.” This year’s crop of linemen entering the 2012 season isn’t short on anything — size, ability or experience — and colleges and universities have taken notice. Among the latest collegee recruits, Chaparral tight end Chris Parsons has verbally committed to play for the University of Colorado. Douglas County senior Blake Nowland is head to Colorado State University, and standout Chris Fox of Ponderosa chose Michigan after being courted by programs such as Stanford, Tennessee and

Ohio State. Linemen are unique players in that the glory of the “big play” is rarely credited to one of them, so a level of humility is required for the position. “I think offensive linemen are our team’s most unselfish players,” ThunderRidge coach Joe Johnson said. “They care more about the success of our team than their individual success.” Linemen are also key to strategies across the board for Douglas County teams, not only in the eyes of the sidelines but also those on the field. Parsons said all of Chaparral’s league games are won at the line first. “Our league is known for good defense like Mountain Vista, ThunderRidge and Regis,” the senior tight end said. “Last year, we put up some points against Highlands Ranch but their defense was tough. I would say you have to have a pretty good defense and a real strong defensive line.” Ketron said the Huskies’ offensive and defensive strategies start at the line as well. Any season when Douglas County had the toughness it looks for on the offensive line, the Huskies have pounded the football. When the team is lacking in certain areas, it has to find a different way to do things to give its offense a chance, the coach said. The same holds true on defense. “If we can just line up and play, it sure makes it easy to call a defense,” Ketron said. “We would take five linemen over five

skilled kids any day. Our league is tough. There is not a finesse team in it.” CSU-bound lineman Nowland agreed, saying it’s the toughest team on the line which comes out on top in Continental matchups. Parsons, however, said some finesse is required and often seen among Douglas County linemen as well. “We’re not really a Columbine. Most of our offenses are pro style, so there’s finesse to it,” he said. “Obviously, Chris Fox and Blake Nowland are two main guys coming from Douglas County with very good feet. They are big boys, but they have finesse to it as well.” “Size helps, but the ability to move your feet and flexibility are key with linemen,” Nowland said. Fox and Parsons played on rival football teams in the Arapahoe Youth League during their younger years, Parsons said. Although, Chaparral, Ponderosa and Legend remain cross-town rival teams, Legend was placed in the newly formed Class 5A Pioneer League while Ponderosa sits in the Class 4A Pikes Peak League with a majority of Colorado Springs-based programs. As linemen become more important with each progressive season, teams are challenged to find ways to separate their players at the line of scrimmage. “I think we have the best offensive line coach in the state,” Parsons said of Rod Dobbs, who helped the University of

Northern Colorado to back-to-back Division II national championships (1996, 1997). “The preparation we go through every week, our foot work. No other offensive line in the state has the teaching we have.” Nowland said, for the Huskies, the difference is how they push each other. “The desire to beat the guy next to us is the thing that keeps us going,” he said. “Any team where all the guys get along is a successful team.” ThunderRidge also looks for toughness from its lines, especially when reloading those positions after having graduated starters from the previous season. “I am looking for tough kids,” said Johnson, whose Grizzlies won back-to-back 4A state titles (2004-05). “Size can be helpful, but it’s not that big a factor at the high school level. “I am excited about our team this year, because we will be considerably bigger, tougher and more experienced on both the O and D line this season than we have been in some time.” Parsons said he’s most excited to see how Chaparral’s hard work over the summer pays off. He aspires to be a team captain this season. “Being a senior, it’s going to be fun, hopefully being a captain and leading the team under the lights,” he said. “It’s my last year, and I can not wait to see what it has in store.”

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Rubley healthy, ready to lead Golden Eagles

Standout QB missed most of last season due to injury

By Jim Benton

Any mention of Mountain Vista football usually starts with quarterback Ryan Rubley. Rubley is hoping to help the Golden Eagles rebound from back-to-back 4-6 campaigns and he has the size, throwing ability and athleticism to do it. The 6-foot-4, 190 pound senior hasn’t had much of a chance to show off his skills. He suffered a torn ligament in his right ankle in the third game last season and missed most of the remainder of the campaign. He wound up completing 44 of 90 passes for 604 yards and five touchdowns. Rubley is healthy now as evidenced by the times of 4.5 seconds in the 40 and 4.16 in the shuttle during a University of Tulsa camp early in June. Rubley made an oral commitment to play college football at Tulsa, the same school where his father T.J. was a quarterback. T.J. Rubley, Mountain Vista’s assistant coach and offensive coordinator, says his son is excited about his final high school season. “He’s playing really well,” said T.J. Rubley. “More than anything he is looking forward to finding a rhythm with his teammates and get the feel like we can push

people around.” Head coach Ric Cash knows expectations for the Golden Eagles to get back in the Class 5A playoffs starts with Ryan Rubley. “Yeah it starts with Rubley,” said Cash. “He’s really progressed and developed. He’s poised to have a real good year. “He’s capable and knowledgeable enough to do it with his arm but he’s also athletic enough to do it with his legs. I think he’s going to be a real threat this year offensively for us.” Mountain Vista has some quality skilled position athletes with experience headed by tight end Chris Hill, who led the team with 15 receptions last season, and receivers Matt Yamane and Rocco Palumbo. Tanner Smith, Brendan Kearney and Jeremy Ansah all saw playing time last season in the backfield. “One of the biggest keys for us offensively is finding the right mix in the offensive line and getting those kids to jell,” said Cash. “We have a lot of kids vying for the five starting positions. “We have some big bodies and young kids. Part of every team’s challenge most years is figuring out the offensive line. We have plenty of kids that are vying to step up for that role.” Mountain Vista yielded 246 points a year ago but Cash claims that statistic is mislead-

ing and uncharacteristic. “The end of the season wasn’t good for us,” he said. “We lost a lot of kids through injuries during the course of the season and by the end of the year it caught up with us. Early in the season we were playing pretty tough. “Our kids are determined to get back to where we expect to be defensively on a week to week basis. We want to play with what I call blood in the water type of intensity. If you have blood in the water, everybody is going to get to the football. It’s a real motivation for those kids to make that happen.” Cash is eager for the 2012 season to start “We’ve got expectations,” he said. “We’re going to be a pretty competitive team. These guys have something to prove. There’s a little fire in their belly saying I just don’t want to go out and go through the motions. I want to be better. “And I think any time you have that kind of mentality it opens the door for good things to happen. They are working real hard and doing everything we are asking them to do. They have a great attitude and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Who they are Cocah: Ric Cash, 9th season 2011: 4-6 Last playoffs: 2009 Home Field: Shea Stadium

who to watch for TE/DE Chris Hill 6-3, 225  Sr. RB/LB  Brendan Kearney 5-11, 185  Sr. RB/LB  Tanner Smith 5-10, 185, Jr. QB Ryan Rubley 6-4. 190, Sr. WR Rocco Palumbo 6-3, 185, Jr. LB Cody Gale 5-11 195, Sr. CB/WR Tanner Harrison 6-0 160, Sr DL Avery Hart 6-0, 190, Sr. DL/OL Kirk Cohen 6-1, 210, Sr. CB/RB  Jeremy Ansah 5-10,165, Sr.

Connect with DCSD Staying in touch and in-the-know is now easier than ever. This fall, DCSD became the first school district in the state, and one of the first in the nation, to launch a mobile app. The new DCSD Mobile App is available in the iTunes store and provides users with the latest news, alerts and more, including: News – Check out the latest DCSD news; Notifications – Receive emergency notifications; Calendar – Find out what’s happening throughout the district; Parent Portal – link to Infinite Campus to view grades and assignments; Lunch Menu – Learn what’s for lunch; Directory – Locate contact information for faculty and staff; Employment – Search job openings within DCSD; Alerts – Receive weather closures and breaking news. Whether you are a parent or student, community member or employee, the DCSD app connects you to what you need to know, when you need to know it. The app was designed by Educational Measures and sponsored by Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children/HealthONE. A Droid version of the app will be available later this Fall.



douglas County > August 30, 2012 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > page 5

The ‘E’ In Team Eric Williams is back as Rock Canyon heads to 5A By Benn Farrell

HIGHLANDS RANCH - Last year, Rock Canyon High School football’s offense was balanced nearly equally between running and throwing the ball. But when it came to the ground game, there was no such division of labor. When the Jaguars ran the ball, the lions share of the work fell at the feet of Eric Williams. Williams, a 5-foot-10, 190 pound senior, racked up 2,115 yards and 28 touchdowns during the 2011 campaign. He averaged more than 192 yards a contest and 10 yards per carry, and had three games of 300 yards or more. With Rock Canyon moving up to 5A competition this season, Williams will get a chance to test his mettle among the state’s highest classification. While Williams will play a major role in determining how the Jaguars will fare in the the Pioneer League, Rock Canyon coach Tom Lynch is quick to point out that he’ll have plenty of help around him. “Eric is just a part of our team,” Rock Canyon coach Tom Lynch said. “It’s not about one player. Eric realizes football is a team sport. We, the school and the community are equally excited for the season.” Individually, however, Williams success as a junior was due to a revived work ethic in the off-season, helping him lead the team in several facets including touchdowns with 33 (28 rushing, 5 receiving). Training six days a week, Williams became bigger, faster and stronger. He also built a strong relationship with the Jaguars’ linemen. Among the Jaguars returning to the line this season are Chance Champine, David DiPetro, Cambel Winkler, Alex Coe and Jimmy Wanless, who average 6-2 and 250 pounds. “We may not have all these hotshot D-I linemen, but they work hard and more importantly, we maintain a great relationship on and off the field,” Williams said. “Every single one of them will block harder for me than they will for some other running back, because they want me to be successful. “I give them credit for all that I do, because my job as a RB is to make one guy miss every play. And if I do that and my linemen do their job, then we’ll run over a team.” Williams feels the run-pass balance last year was also due to linemen allowing the run to keep opponents’ defenses off-center, leaving passing lanes open after being hammered with successful run plays. This year, Williams is excited for the chance to compete at the 5A level and play against the “big dogs.” Williams was with the team as a freshmen when Rock Canyon moved up to 4A, and although the program

intensified, it wasn’t nearly as developed as it is presently, he said. “I see us as a growing program, and I think that our senior class has the chance to set the tone for the classes that follow us,” Williams said. “Hopefully, we can leave behind the chance to set the tone for the class that follow us.” The running back said year-in, year-out, the Jaguars are an undersized team which competes and leaves everything on the field. After tearing up the competition for more than 2,000 yards last year, Williams isn’t afraid to aim even higher this year. Setting individual goals for himself immediately after his junior season, Williams believes a 3,000-yard rushing season isn’t out of the question. “Every year, I set insane goals for myself, like 1,000 more rushing yards than last year and 20 more tackles,” Williams said. “It’s always just more and more of everything that can possibly be measured. So, this year, I did the same thing.” Having the new challenge of playing at 5A is another reason for Williams to drive forward and train harder, he said. It just adds fuel to the fire for the senior. He feels this season will feature the best Rock Canyon team the school has ever had. Lynch said the team is going to do what it always has, work with what the opponent’s defense offers them and not focus on getting Williams as many attempts as possible. He also said the team is a little nervous but excited to jump into 5A and play in a newly formed conference. “We have experienced so many firsts over Rock Canyon’s short history. This is just a few more for us,” Lynch said. “As with every season, the RC football team will develop its own personality and work to compete with class, poise and good sportsmanship.” Williams’ own history is thick with football. He comes from a football family in which his father played high school ball in Florida. His two older brothers played as well. Ever since he can remember, he’s always wanted to play contact football, but he was forced to wait until he was in the third grade. His mother was afraid he would get hurt, he said. This is Williams’ ninth year of playing contact football. He said stepping out onto the field and playing under the lights with teammates he’s grown up with is the single best feeling the world and his favorite aspect of high school ball. “The lights give me chills every time I walk onto that field,” Williams said. “I’m excited to see all our hard work pay off this season when we step out on the field under the lights “And most importantly, I’m just ready to knock the crap out of someone.”

After putting up more than 2,000 yards rushing last season, Rock Canyon senior Eric Williams is aiming for 3,000 this year. Photo by Benn Farrell

2012 Football Capsules Class 5A Castle View Sabercats Coach: Ryan Hollingshead 2011 Record: 11-2 League: Pioneer (5A) Players to watch: senior lineman Tim Hunsaker, senior defensive end-tight end Brendan McGowan, senior linebackerfullback Jacob Rolfson, senior linebacker-fullback Chris Cruz, senior defensive back-wide receiver Tanner Townsend, senior defensive back-running back Ryan Fila, senior defensive back-running back Hunter Smith, junior defensive end-tight end Garrett Vidal, junior quarterback Trevor Smeeton. Outlook: Castle View runs a power game/play-action offense. The Sabercats are trying to be a bit more spread out this season and use their speed, coach Hollingshead said. The defense should come with a multi-coverage 4-3. Castle View is

in a new league, the newly formed Pioneer League and at the 5A level for the first time, leaving a lot of unknowns for the team. Hollingshead said the team will find out a lot in its first few games. “We have a great group of guys this year,” he said. “They are committed, smart and understand what it takes to be winners. We have a lot of question marks and competition for positions, but we think that will make us better.” Chaparral Wolverines Coach: John Vogt 2011 Record: 7-4 League: Continental (5A) Players to watch: senior defensive back Roman Yancey, senior wide receiver Blake Harris, senior quarterback Maxwell Kuhns, junior wide receiver Dustin Dobbs, senior defensive back Chandlar Bibo, senior defensive back Payton NaFootball capsules continues on Page 6

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championship in 2003 and is a Ponderosa Hall of Fame inductee. This season, Ponderosa aspires to make a pro wing-T offense work against its Colorado Springs opponents, while stopping them with a 4-4 hybrid defense. Woodruff said the offensive line should be one of the team’s greatest strengths. “We hope to get into the playoffs and make a run,” coach Woodruff said.

Football capsules continued from Page 5

varro, senior running back Zachary Guy, junior linebacker R.J. Martin, junior kicker Sawyer Edwards, junior linebacker Evan Villanueva, senior lineman Jesse Foland White, senior linebacker Brandon Miller, senior lineman Steven DaSilva, senior lineman Isaac Hernandez, senior tight end Mitch Parsons, senior tight end Drew Van Maanen. Outlook: Last year, Chaparral posted five shut outs and didn’t lose to another Continental League opponent by more than three points. The Wolverines’ season ended in the first round of the 5A state playoffs to Grand Junction. They appear to have several experienced players returning at skill positions, while the team’s roster of linemen is senior heavy, as is their defensive secondary. Douglas County Huskies Coach: Jeff Ketron 2011 Record: 4-6 League: Continental (5A) Players to watch: senior linebacker Greg Parker, senior lineman Chance Gunn, senior defensive back Baron Coffelt, junior defensive back Austin Shumake, junior defensive back Alex Heintzelman, junior running back Trey Smith, junior wide receiver-running back Tyler Ketron, senior lineman Jamin Smith, senior lineman Blake Nowland, senior Mark Olmos, senior tight end Jared MacDonald, senior wide receiver Matt Droz, junior kicker Wyatt Bryant, junior Austin Pitchford. Outlook: Douglas County appears to be better this year than the past couple season, coach Ketron said. The Huskies’ offense is expected to bring a pistol zone strategy and have some option capabilities. On defense, Douglas County is returning to a 3-4 lineup. Like a handful of other teams in the Continental League, the Huskies should be strongest at the line of scrimmage. The team had a strong camp towards the end of summer and is hoping to capitalize on the players’ enthusiasm. “We were extremely young last year, but those kids got a ton of reps so they should be more mature now,” Ketron said. “I also think that our league is stronger from top to bottom than the past five years. We will see who the last team standing is or who has the least injuries in the end.”

Cherry Creek quarterback Luke Papilion practices Aug. 16. Photo by Courtney Kuhlen |

Highlands Ranch Falcons Coach: Darrel Gorham 2011 Record: 9-3 League: Continental (5A) Players to watch: junior quarterback Keaton Thomas, senior lineman Kyle Webb, junior lineman Austin Davis, junior running back Jalen Kattrell, senior running back Mike Mira, senior wide receiver Danny Galloway, junior linebacker Mike Robinson, junior linebacker Zach Buxo, senior defensive back Alfred Prisco, senior defensive back Blake Robbins, junior lineman Jared Dakovitch, senior lineman Jared Gomes, junior defensive end Jordan Jones. Outlook: After a stellar 2011 outing, Highlands Ranch looks to improve with each game of the new season. The Falcons offense should be seen in a lot of “I” formations and trips, while the defense is

Ponderosa Mustangs Coach: Jamie Woodruff 2011 Record: 4-6 League: Pikes Peak (4A) Players to watch: senior lineman Chris Fox, senior fullback Corry Williams, senior linebacker-safety Drew Stephon, junior runningback Dylan Spradling, senior defensive end Kicker Nilsen, senior quarterback Tanner Augustine, senior guard Jared Homberg, junior center Cody Wilson, junior running back Adam Lange, junior kicker Colton Carr. Outlook: Ponderosa remains in the 4A classification and has moved to the Pikes Peak League. The Mustangs are the only team in the conference not from a Colorado Springs-based school. Jamie Woodruff returns as head coach of the program, who guided the Mustangs to the 5A state

looking at utilizing a 4-4 cover, 3-2-and-1. “We have great kids who want to learn,” coach Gorham said. Legend Titans Coach: Robert Doyle 2011 Record: 4-6 League: Pioneer (5A) Players to watch: senior wide receiversafety Connor Orgill, senior linebackerfullback Colton Fries, junior wide receiver Cody Dangel, senior running back Nick Evdos, senior safety Luke Behrends, senior cornerback Andrew Bergner, junior cornerback-running back Justus Thompson, junior wide receiver-strong safety Elijah Cherrington, sophomore quarterback Peyton Reney, senior tight end Adam Ausmus. Outlook: The Titans are expected to bring a two-fly sweep with its offense this season, and a 3-5-3 on the defensive side of the ball. They should be relying heavily on their speed this year and being much more physically developed in the team’s young history. Legend also advances to the 5A level for the first time this year and will play in the newly formed Pioneer League. “We are looking forward to a good season and looking to compete in every game,” coach Doyle said. LUTHERAN LIONS Coach: Daryl Moe 2011 Record: 9-1 Players to watch: sophomore quarterback James Willis, sophomore wide receiver Josh Claussen, sophomore linebackerrunningback Christian Versteeg, senior tight end-defensive back Taylor Murphy, senior linebacker-tight end Derek Hizer, junior wide receiver-defensive back Derian Perez, junior lineman Henry Waite, junior lineman Alex McClure, senior lineman Bobby Glandon, sophomore running back-defensive back Alex Nemmers. Outlook: Having absorbed Denver Lutheran for their 2011 season, the Lions finished in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state championship playoffs. This year, Lutheran football plays up to Class 3A in the Metro West League as the smallest enrollment in the conference. Lutheran expects to have a spread offense and a 3-5 de-

fense, utilizing its speed and athleticism. “We play in a very tough league,” coach Moe said. “It’s our first year of 3A after playing at the 1A level for the past four years. We expect to be competitive this year.” Mountain Vista Golden Eagles Coach: Ric Cash 2011 Record: 4-6 League: Continental (5A) Players to watch: senior quarterback Ryan Rubley, senior tight end-defensive end Chris Hill, senior outside linebackerslot Cody Gale, junior wide receiver-free safety Rocco Palumbo, senior cornerback-wide receiver Tanner Harrison, senior inside linebacker-running back Snap Palmer, senior running back-outside linebacker Brendan Kearney, senior defensive lineman-running back Avery Hart, senior lineman Kirk Cohen, senior lineman Mark Hatcher, junior running back-linebacker Tanner Smith. Outlook: Mountain Vista is expected to run a pro-style offensive with multiple sets, while its defense should bring a 3-4 lineup to the field. Coach Cash said the Golden Eagles will rely on its speed and hunger to sustain them. Experience at their skill positions will also be key this year. “We need the offensive line to gel, but we’re very positive and confident,” Cash said.

Rock Canyon Jaguars Coach: Tom Lynch 2011 Record: 6-5 League: Pioneer (5A) Players to watch: senior center Chance Champine, senior running back Eric Williams, senior wide receiver Mike Sheperd, senior wide receiver Austin Beane, senior slot Brian Goldberg, senior lineman David DePitrio, senior linebacker Ty Jensen, senior linebacker Hunter Tyson, sophomore quarterback Ryan Hommel, senior cornerback Ben Ruh. Outlook: The Jaguars’ biggest strength could be the fact that they have so many skilled position players returning this season. Rock Canyon moves up to the 5A classification for the first time this season and will also play in the newly formed Pioneer League. A spread balanced attack is what fans can expect from Rock Canyon’s offense, while multiple strategies will define its defense. “It’s a big challenge to compete in the initial 5A season for Rock Canyon,” coach Lynch said.

ThunderRidge Grizzlies Coach: Joe Johnson 2011 Record: 8-3 League: Continental (5A) Players to watch: junior quarterback Brody Westmoreland, junior tailback Steve Ray, senior fullback-halfback Jake Hand, junior wide receiver Mark Hopper, senior defensive end John Adam, junior offensive tackle Sam Jones, junior guard Blake Jacobs, senior defensive tackle Spencer Crandall, senior offensive tackle Jaron Beerline, senior linebacker John Wood. Outlook: ThunderRidge brings a shotgun-pistol with its offense this season, with some “I” formation in short-yard situations. An overshift 4-3 defense may also create problems for the Grizzlies opponents. One of the biggest strengths for the team, however, is in the trench. ThunderRidge has the size, skill and experience on both lines to set themselves up for a very promising season. “We have good skill people, especially at quarterback. I expect us to do well,” coach Johnson said.

VALOR CHRISTIAN EAGLES Coach: Brent Vieselmeyer 2011 record: 14-0, won Class 4A state championship. League: 5A Independent Players to watch: running back Christian McCaffrey, fullback Daryl Hawkins, running back-linebacker Cameron Gray, outside linebacker Carlos Aviles, defensive back Marcus Wilson, quarterback Luke Del Rio. Outlook: Valor Christian moves up to Class 5A this year and brings with it threestraight Colorado High School Activities Association state championships (one in

Football capsules continues on Page 7

douglas County > August 30, 2012 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > page 7 Football capsules continued from Page 6

3A, two in 4A) and a 24-game winning streak. The addition of Del Rio (he’s committed to playing at Oklahoma State next year) should be a boost to an offense that features one of the top backs in the state in McCaffrey. The defense is young in spots but is very athletic. The Eagles will play an independent schedule in 2012 but are postseason eligible. “I think depth will probably be our biggest issue,” Valor Christian coach Brent Vieselmeyer said. “There are bigger schools and bigger players, but we’ll be ready for the challenge. We’ve played Class 5A schools the last few years, and we’ve gone out of state and played some elite programs, so I think we’ll be well prepared and the move won’t be a shock to our players.” CHERRY CREEK BRUINS Coach: Dave Logan 2011 record: 6-5 League: Centennial (5A) Players to watch: quarterback Luke Papillion, wide receiver Hunter Burton, running back Darryl McNeil, defensive back Matt Rindal, defensive lineman Zach Bjornsen, defenseive back Stanford Cooper. Outlook: The biggest addition for the Bruins in 2012 is no doubt their head coach. Logan has built a reputation as being able to turn around programs, and in a short amount of time. The Bruins used to be the talk of Colorado football, but haven’t won a state title since 1996. A state title may

not be in the cards this year, but there’s no doubt that Logan will have his team ready to play each and every week. “We’re going to take baby steps and learn to walk before we can run,” Logan said. “We’re going back to the basics and as I said, it’s going to be a process. The thing I’m most excited about is the kids have been willing to work. If you’re willing to work, you can get better. You can improve.” REGIS JESUIT RAIDERS Coach: Mark Nolan 2011 record: 5-5 League: Continental (5A) Players to watch: offensive lineman Connor Warren, defensive end Antonio Broadus, tight end Robert Orban, defensive tackle Mike Guenther, defensive endfullback Grant Neal, defensive back Will Deines, offensive line Austin Skinner, lineback Quinn VanderKoppel, lineback Joe Bozeman. Outlook: The six-team Continental League figures to be a wide-open race. All six teams are solid and it’s conceivable that any of them could jump up and win the league. Regis Jesuit has some good size on its defensive line as Broadus and Guenter both check in at over 230 pounds. They’ll be a tough tandem to slow down in 2012. “Our biggest strengths are that we are athletic, tough and have good team chemistry,” Nolan said. “Our biggest weakness is that we have a lot of inexperienced guys who will start for us this year.”




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Chaparral tight end Mitch Parsons has committed to the University of Colorado. Also a member of the state championship-winning basketball team, Parsons will help lead the Wolverines into the 2012 football season. Photo by Benn Farrell

PAGE 8 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > August 30, 2012 > douglas CouNTY

From left, Valor Christian’s Luke Del Rio, Christian McCaffrey and Carlos Aviles will lead the Eagles into Class 5A this season. Valor Christian has won three consecutive state championships (one in 3A; the last two in 4A). Photo by Courtney Kuhlen |

Champs movin’ on up Valor Christian to run with the big boys in Class 5A football By Daniel P. Johnson

As the 2012 prep football season gets underway, Valor Christian finds itself in a unique spot. The three-time state champion (one in Class 3A, the last two in 4A) has climbed the ranks yet again and is preparing for its inaugural year of competition in 5A. While 4A might have had its share of good teams, the cream of the crop in regards to football powerhouses in Colorado (Cherry Creek, Columbine, Mullen, to name a few) has typically resided in the largest classification. The Eagles, who have won 24 straight games, are ready for the challenge of hopefully pulling off an unprecedented four-peat spread out over three classifications. “I think depth will probably be our biggest issue,” Valor Christian coach Brent Vieselmeyer said. “There are bigger schools and bigger players, but we’ll be ready for the challenge. We’ve played Class 5A schools the last few years, and we’ve gone out of state and played some

elite programs, so I think we’ll be well prepared and the move won’t be a shock to our players.” Vieselmeyer says that 2012 is a bit of a transition year for Valor Christian, as the team lost a group of talented seniors from 2011, but the cupboard of talent is hardly empty. “Valor’s going to be one of those teams that’s in the mix,” Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan said. Running back Christian McCaffrey returns, and is considered the top back in the state. Last season, McCaffrey rushed for 1,153 yards on 113 carries (10.2 average) and scored 22 touchdowns for the Eagles. Defensively, linebacker Carlos Aviles will anchor the unit. Aviles’s strong suit is rushing the passer, and will attack the opposition off of the edge in Valor’s 3-4 base set. “I try and lead by example,” said Aviles, who had 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2011. “You’ve got to show the young guys the ropes and let them know what is expected of them.” Yet, it is the addition of quarterback

Luke Del Rio (the son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio) that has most prognosticators once again picking the Eagles to soar above the competition in 2012. After a stellar junior year in Florida, Del Rio turned the heads of Division I scouts with his performance at several invite-only quarterback camps. After some wooing from a few schools, Del Rio announced back in May that he would be attending Oklahoma State University in 2013. With his college plans finalized, Del Rio is ready to get down to business and is excited about the opportunity that awaits him at Valor Christian. “We do feel like we have to prove ourselves a little bit with the move up to 5A,” he said. “The great thing about this team is that everyone is working hard and working towards a common goal.” Vieselmeyer said it didn’t take long for Del Rio to mesh with his new teammates. “First off, he’s an outstanding young man, very humble and hard-working,” Vieselmeyer said. “He really gained the respect of his teammates early on, and that was due to his work ethic. The guys saw how hard he was working and knew he’d

fit in with what we’re trying to do here. “Luke is a kid with a strong arm, mobile and a good decision-maker. You can tell he’s a coach’s son by how he plays and commands the game.” McCaffrey says that Del Rio’s addition makes the offense more potent. “It’s great because we have the ability to pass and the ability to run,” McCaffrey said. “We should be able to mix our play calling up, which will keep the defense honest.” Protecting Del Rio and creating running lanes for McCaffrey will be a relatively new offensive line (the Eagles lost four starters), led by three-year starter, Lelulai Io, as well as fullback, Daryl Hawkins. Other players to keep an eye on defensively for Valor Christian are outside linebacker Cameron Gray and defensive back Marcus Wilson, who was the only sophomore to start on defense last year. “It would be great to accomplish winning a state title in 3A, 4A and now 5A,” Aviles said. “We know nothing is promised to us that we have to go out and earn it. We’re working hard to make that happen.”



Cherry Creek under new direction Dave Logan brings a wealth of experience, championship pedigree to Bruins By Daniel P. Johnson

As daylight faded into a gorgeous sunset on Aug. 16, the practice football field at Cherry Creek High School was full of activity. In the center of it all was the team’s new football coach, Dave Logan, putting the Bruins through their paces in what proved to be a very spirited early-season practice. It’s hard to gauge how a team will fare after just a week’s worth of practice under its belt, but Logan, who has won state championships at Arvada West, Chatfield and Mullen (where he won four in a 10-year span) was encouraged by what he saw. “We’ve worked hard and put a lot of stuff in,” said Logan after wrapping up a morning practice on Aug. 18. “I’ve been pleased with the effort, in terms of getting prepared. We had a great summer, but it’s going to be a process.” It’s been a long time since the Bruins have won a state championship in football — 1996 to be exact — and that fact is not lost on the former Wheat Ridge, University of Colorado, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos football player. “We’re going to take baby steps and learn to walk before we can run,” Logan said. “We’re going back to the basics and as I said, it’s going to be a process. The thing I’m most excited about is the kids have been willing to work. If you’re willing to work, you can get better. You can improve.”

The Bruins are coming off a 2011 season in which they finished 6-5 (3-2 in the Centennial League) and were booted from the Class 5A playoffs in the second round. A solid core does return, however, led by quarterback, Luke Papilion. The 6-foot-5 Papilion threw for over 1,100 yards and rushed for nearly 600 as a junior. Wideout Hunter Burton (29 catches, 401 yards; 299 rushing yards) and running back Darryl McNeil (100 carries, 463 yards; 11 catches for 123 yards) figure to be primary targets in Logan’s offense, while on defense, look for juniors Matt Rindal, Zach Bjornsen and Stanford Cooper to often be in the mix. “We just have to figure out what the strength of the kids is and try and maximize that and put them in the best positions to succeed,” Logan said. “Every team is different and so it takes a while to establish the personality of your team. “That’s a process that can go well into the regular season. My hope is that by week six, seven, eight is that we know who we are and what we have and we’re starting to play some good football.” Much was made of Logan’s exit from Mullen, but the change of scenery to Cherry Creek hasn’t altered the radio voice of the Denver Broncos (he also hosts his own drive-time sports-talk radio show) outlook on the game. “Honestly, I’m always pretty energized,” Logan said. “This is my passion and this will be my 20th year as a head coach, and gosh, I’ve never entered a season where I wasn’t just re-

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Cherry Creek practices Aug. 16 to prep for the season ahead. Photo by Courtney Kuhlen ally excited to be working with the kids and this year is no exception.” Cherry Creek opens its season Sept. 1 in California against Los Osos. Its first in-state game is set for Sept. 7 against Pomona.


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PAGE 10 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > August 30, 2012 > douglas CouNTY

Three times charmed? Chaparral volleyball reloads in quest for third title By Benn Farrell Flying under the radar usually isn’t possible for a two-time defending state champion. But with most expecting Chaparral to experience a rebuilding year this season, that’s exactly what the Wolverines hope to do. After two seasons of being the team to beat not only in the Continental League, but in districts, regionals and the state as well, the two-time Class 5A defending state champion Wolverines have quietly reloaded and have aspirations of being as tough to beat as they have been for years. While standouts Nicole Dalton and Elizabeth Campbell and others graduated, some may question if Chaparral has the firepower it needs to win a third straight state title. However, that’s never been the goal for the Wolverines no matter how stacked the roster is. The goal is just “to play as a family and maintain the tradition of being one of the toughest teams to beat in Continental, rather than win the state championship,” according to Wolverines coach T.R. Ellis. For the last two years, that formula just happened to lead them to a state championship. And no one associated with the team is ruling out another. “You have to remember all these (returning) kids practiced and played just as hard and many of them were on that 2011 championship team and the team before,” Ellis said. “They know what it takes in practice and how hard you have to work. They know everybody has a role on the team. They’re in it for the team, and we don’t have superstars.” Ellis said above all her players focus on continuing the reputation Chaparral has

for being hard to beat and scrappy, rather than focusing on another state championship. “They want to maintain that family atmosphere, and that’s what helps them expect to win when they walk into the gym,” the coach said. “I just think a lot of people are not going to expect us to be as strong this season because we don’t have the pre-season All-Americans this year. I think a lot of people are going to overlook us as a team.” Two outside hitters who had a hand in last season’s state championship did return — seniors Morgan Stanley and Abby Shelton. Shelton also saw time in the first title run, being inserted into auto-rotation during the tournament solely in the front line. “She got real fired up and plays with a lot of emotion,” Ellis said. “She has so much fun out there. … She has a lot of skills. She scores a lot of points for us, swings hard and is very deceptive.” Shelton was an outside hitter the entire season last year. Morgan was a transfer student and was ineligible to play until half-way through her junior season with the Wolverines. But when she became eligible to play, she was also inserted into auto-rotation on the front line only, and she put up a good amount of points swinging from the right side. “She opened up our offense at the state tournament last year,” the coach said. Returning to set is 5-foot-1 Sarah Ellis, who worked the position last season. Coach Ellis said their were a couple other kids who may play that role this season, but as of preseason tryouts, Sarah Ellis had the nod. “So many of our kids play club, and we don’t play as a team a lot during the sum-

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Chaparral’s Abby Shelton celebrates a point during last year’s state tournament. Shelton returns to help the Wolverines in their quest for a three-peat. File photo by Courtney Kuhlen mer,” coach Ellis said. In addition, she said there were a lot of returning juniors with potential this season from a very strong junior varsity squad last year. However, it was going to

be Shelton, Stanley and Ellis returning to make a solid front line, while defensive specialists Maddie Thorpe and Ahren Moydell were expected to be the anchors in the back.

local stadiums High School campus at 1040 Sunset Street in Longmont. • Five Star Stadium: Across the street from Thornton High School at 9351 N. Washington (93rd and Washington). • French Field: Located on the Rocky Mountain High School campus, 1300 W. Swallow Road in Fort Collins. • Jefferson County Stadium: Located at Kipling Street and West Sixth Avenue in Lakewood. • Kellog Stadium: Located at Regis Jesusit High School, 16300 E Weaver Pl Aurora • Legacy Stadium: Located on the Cherokee Trail High School campus, 25901 E. Arapahoe Road in Aurora. • Littleton Public School Stadium: Located on the Littleton High School campus, 199 E. Littleton Blvd. in Littleton. • Mike G. Gabriel Stadium: Located on the Holy Family campus, 5195 W. 144th Ave. in Broomfield.

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Golden Eagles set to soar again


2010 champs look for return to glory By Benn Farrell

It’s been two years since the Mountain Vista field hockey team reached the summit of the sport, winning the state championship by knocking off top ranked Kent Denver. Now, Haley Kroll and the three other seniors on the Golden Eagles roster are ready to experience that feeling again. Mountain Vista, a co-op of district teams, enters the new season with designs on adding another trophy to the school’s display case. The Golden Eagles will have to replace some talented players lost to graduation, but coach Brian Nutter said that those players help establish a foundation which continues to grow today. “Those who left last year definitely paved the way and modeled what it takes to be champions,” Nutter said. “Sometimes you can never tell where the leader-

ship will come from. I think all of (this year’s) seniors will provide some great leadership in their own way on and off the field.” Among those expected to lead is Kroll, who has watched the team’s legacy grow over the past four years. She said if the Golden Eagles continue to work hard, they can make a run for the state title, which is their goal every year. “When you lose experienced talent every year, you have to have players step up and fill those open spots,” Kroll said. “We have a group of girls this year who are willing to put in the effort to make a run at the state title. We are all very excited for the upcoming season.” Winning the state title in 2010 definitely raised the profile of the program, according to Nutter, but that isn’t what keeps the girls coming out. “The girls love being on this team because of each other,” Nutter said. “The relationships which are forged I believe will

Mountain Vista’s Haley Kroll is back to lead the Golden Eagles as they try to win their second state title in three years. File photo by Courtney Kuhlen last a lifetime, and they get to do it doing a sport they come to love.” Every high school team loses talent every year with seniors graduating. Last year’s seniors were big contributors to Mountain Vista’s championship season. However, the team expects the remaining experienced players to be nothing short of championship caliber. “We have the talent and overall team speed to be successful,” Kroll said. “Hopefully, we can make this an exciting year for both the players and the fans that sup-

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PAGE 12 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > August 30, 2012 > douglas CouNTY

Rivalries hit a fever pitch

Showdowns mean more for local soccer teams By Benn Farrell

When Continental League soccer teams hit the pitch, there’s usually more than just the typical neighborly bragging rights on the line. While there’s plenty of cross-town connections to feed into rivalries, proximity isn’t the only factor fueling the action on the field. Players from opposing schools may be teammates on local club teams and many have spent their entire childhood playing with or against each other. Even coaches have connections that go further than the post-game handshake. And that makes for a schedule loaded with red-letter games. Take Castle View, for example. While Douglas County might be the closest school to them in terms of location, the Sabercats also bring extra intensity to their games with Ponderosa. The reason for this is Castle View head coach Perry Glantz was an assistant under Jim Engels at Ponderosa prior to taking the Sabercats reins. Glantz said he and Engels are best friends and always have a great time when their respective teams compete against each other. “We both coach club, and we are coach players from both high schools on our respective teams,” Glantz said. “So, when we get together, we know we both want to win, and it will be a hard fought, fair match.” The respect between the two coaches is reflected by the players on the field as well. However, the intensity is heightened just that much more for those games. “The players from our club teams definitely want to beat their club coach when they get the chance,” Glantz said. “It is really a tremendous dynamic.” The league also features four cross-town rival schools playing against each other for community bragging rights in Highlands Ranch. Chris Smith, coach of ThunderRidge soccer, said every time a rivalry game comes up, it not only generates more enthusiasm in the young men and women who play but also in their school and classmates. “The biggest things I love about high school soccer is the kids get to play with their friends in front of their friends, for their school and for their community,” Smith said. “Teachers, administration, students and the community always seem to perk up when there is a rivalry match played.” Like the dynamic between Glantz and Engels’ teams playing each other, Smith’s relationship with Rock Canyon coach Sean Henning and Highlands Ranch’s Danny Main also help elevate the rival-factor for their conference games. However, Theresa Echtemeyer of Mountain Vista is a special case when Smith’s Grizzlies face her Golden Eagles. “She has played both mentor and teacher to me in my coach licensing, and we both work at Colorado United for Club soccer,” Smith said. “Mountain Vista is our big-

Ponderosa’s Kade Sillbaugh controls the ball last fall during a Mustang victory against Littleton last season. Local Continental League teams like Ponderosa have developed rivalries that are about more than just location. File photo by Courtney Kuhlen gest rival, as they are just up the road from us, and the school that dethroned us in so many ways when they opened up 10 years ago. “It’s true for all sports, and soccer is no exception. Since we’ve become a perennial threat for the past three years again, it has made it even more intense.” Smith said the Grizzlies’ games against Heritage, Regis Jesuit, Chaparral and Legend could rise to rivalry caliber this season, especially if there’s a playoffs spot at stake. Jaguars coach Sean Henning said with the school jumping in classification, leading up to its first year of Class 5A for football, Rock Canyon hasn’t had a chance to develop the be-all end-all rivalry in its history. That has been the same for Jaguars soccer, Henning said. “If I were to ask my team who our biggest rival would be, I’d probably get five different answers,” he said. Henning remembers the rivalry he had in high school against Regis Jesuit during ninth and 10th grades playing for Mullen. His big rivalry switched to Golden after becoming a Wheat Ridge player his 11th and 12th-grade seasons. “We were always aware of who we were playing, and it motivated us,” Henning said. Henning also sees Mountain Vista as the biggest rival, along with Heritage, based on the Rock Canyon program’s history. In boys soccer, Henning and Echtermeyer have faced off five times with four of those games decided by one goal, including the last two. The winning goal was scored in the closing minutes of double overtime in both those games. It’s that kind of history between programs that fuels the fire season after season. Geography and the influence of club soccer also add to the shape of rivalries in the Continental League.

Glantz said he uses rivalry games as a teaching tool. “We have attempted to emphasize the rivalry games to help the players understand that they are part of a program with a history that goes back beyond their freshmen year,” he said. “It helps to connect the current athletes to the alumni that helped to build the program.” Coordinating with Deigo Montoya, head coach of Douglas County Huskies soccer, Castle View and Douglas County now awards a trophy to the winner of their rivalry game, promoting the match as a Castle Rock city championship. “Practice is more intense and the players are definitely nervous going into the game,” Glantz said. “They want to win these games. For some programs, these are the biggest games of the season. We may not be contending for the state championship, but if we win the DC game, we have had a successful season, and we get to bring the trophy home to Castle View.” Smith said it’s a standard for coaches to teach players each game is just as important as the one previous or next. However, the influence of upcoming rival games on players fluctuates as season go on as the team changes. ThunderRidge graduated 19 seniors last year, but Smith is excited about his Class of 2013 players and the younger talents coming up behind them. “This group is unlike any other I’ve coached in the past, but I’m excited to see how they react to matches and rivalry matches,” Smith said. “We know that it is human nature to prepare yourself for the games you really want to win. I think the approach this year will be the same as in past years, but the reaction of the players will be what is really fun to watch.”



Cardinals set to soar again

Elizabeth gymnasts should contend for state title By Scott Stocker

The Elizabeth girls gymnastics team may be considered on the youthful side since the Cardinals of coach Stacy Folmar only have one senior. But in terms of state meet experience they could actually be considered a veteran group. Danae Goldsberry is the lone senior returning from last year’s Class 4A state runner-up team that finished 1.125 points behind champion Evergreen. And right now she may well be considered the favorite to win the all-around championship. But also in the nest for the Cardinals are junior Kimmy Peterson, third in the all-around, and junior Emily Reynolds, sixth in the all-around. “We’re young overall, but we have a lot of talent,” said Folmar, who enters her seventh season as head coach. “We have the one senior, but we have a lot of depth with about six girls that can score in the 33-point range. We’re looking forward to a fine season and the girls are already making me very proud of them. “Almost all of the girls have improved on their difficulties in their routines,” Folmar said. “Team wise, we will always look to Evergreen as our main competitor as they are always strong.” Goldsberry is also the returning indi-

vidual champion on floor and also placed fourth on bars and vault. Peterson placed second on vault, fourth on floor and sixth on bars. Rounding this fine trio is Reynolds, who was sixth on beam in the individual competition. “We’ve been practicing hard as we all just want to do our best,” Goldsberry said. “There’s pressure, but we don’t want to look at it individually. Do the best for the team, that’s the goal. Floor has always been my best event , but I’ll be trying my best in everything. We are very close as a team and we just want to make sure that we all work hard together.” There’s little doubt that Folmar is looking for big things this season, not only from Goldsberry, but for all the girls. “Danae is such a strong leader for us,” Folmar said. “She is strong in all her events, hitting 36.925 in the all around last year at state. Her best events are floor and bars, but she just sets the athletic bar high for our team.” While Goldsberry may be considered one of the top individuals in the state in all around, no one is about to overlook Peterson. She tallied a 36.575 in the all around at state last year and was actually just a bobble away from the silver medal. “Kimmy has taken her routings to a much higher level,” Folmar said. “Together Kimmy and Danae make for a dynamic

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duo. Kimmy is best on vault, but she has improved such a great deal, as well, in her other events.” And there is little doubt that Peterson has high hopes, not only for herself, but for her team. “I think we’re going to have a great year as we’ve all been practicing very hard over the summer,” Peterson said. “Vault is my best and my favorite event and I do like floor a lot, too. The key is just to stay focused and don’t get stressed out, something I’ve been known to do.” Folmar is certainly high on Reynolds and has been quite impressed with her improvement over the past year. “Emily is becoming super strong in the all around,” Folmar said. “Vault is her best event and she is doing so much better on the beam. She is very dedicated like all the girls we have this season and I’m looking for fine efforts from her.” Add Reynolds, “I think we have a lot of talent and we can look forward to a great season. I just want to bring the best I can to each of my events, stay clean. I sometimes get nervous and that’s something I want to work more on to overcome.” As previously mentioned, the talent doesn’t end with the Cardinals dynamic

Danae Goldsberry, Sr. Kimmy Peterson, Jr. Alissa Poland, Jr. Emily Reynolds, Jr. Hayden Stout, So.

trio. Juniors Haley Breikss and Alissa Poland and sophomores Hayden Stout and Jesse Gerczynski have much to contribute. “Alissa was a state qualifier in vault and floor last season,” Folmar said. “Her Floor routine has become awesome and she just has some very unique tumbling moves with a lot of bonus. She is really coming into her own. “Hayden went to state on vault and she has a much cleaner bar routine,” Folmar said. “She has super swings and is a young lady we are going to depend a lot on. Jesse has been a consistent scorer in the 34-point range in her CARA competition. We will count on her big on floor as that’s an event she really stands out on. Haley has come alive on vault and has a much cleaner bar routing. There has just been a great amount of improvement here, too.”



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Local softball teams know the little things separate wins from losses By Jim Benton

Close games are routine in the Class 5A state softball playoffs and Continental League teams have made strides in recent years to learn the challenges involved in post season play. Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon, Ponderosa, Highlands Ranch and Douglas County have been involved in state Sweet 16 playoff games during the past two seasons and know that it takes battle tested players to survive in the post season. “Once you get to the playoffs everyone realizes that every play counts and you are not going to get more than one opportunity,” said Mountain View senior pitcher Jesse Applehans. “Every play and at-bat you get matters.” Rock Canyon has lost to eventual state champion Legacy the past two seasons, in the 2010 championship game and last year in the semifinals. “In our state tournaments, I learned a lot,” Rock Canyon centerfielder Alli McCloskey said. “It taught me to preserve through the hard games because we’ve always been known to come out with long inning games. “In the state championship against Legacy, we came out and didn’t know what to expect. They played at a faster pace than we did so the next year we knew we had to come out, train harder and we had to be able to play those longer inning games.” It’s a musty saying but the state playoffs start a new season. “Just playing the tough teams in our league helps when you get into the state playoffs,” said Douglas County coach Brian Stebbins. “I feel that since its the end of the season, the competi-

tion is a lot better and there’s a much higher intensity for everything,” Mountain Vista catcher Sydney Cohen said. “Your whole season builds up to that. You are completely playing for your team, your seniors and it’s a whole team aspect at that point. It makes it a lot more fun. You just want to leave it on the field.” Most Continental League rosters this fall are full of girls who played competitive club softball during the summer, but it’s not the same as high school softball. “The girls play in competitive tournaments all the time but they are different,” Mountain View coach Bret Grammerstorf said. “The pressure is there but it’s different when you are wearing a school uniform. There’s people there to support you that wouldn’t necessarily be there at a summer tournament.” Rock Canyon coach Debbi Kortbawi has classroom sessions and often the talk is about club vs. high school softball. “You step on the field for that state championship game and the goose bumps are popping,” she said, “and you don’t get that feeling playing club ball because you are representing your school and you’re there with kids that you’ve grown up with. “There is just no other feeling like it. You can’t buy that experience. You have to live it.” Rock Canyon, with eight regulars returning from last season, is one of the teams favored to gain one of the Continental League’s three automatic spots into the state playoffs. Mountain Vista, Ponderosa and Douglas County also should be contenders. Castle View and Regis Jesuit can’t be overlooked in a league that has developed competitive teams from top to bottom. “I don’t look past anybody in this league,” said Kort-

Jesse Applehans, Sr., Mountain Vista Ciara Archer, Sr., ThunderRidge Shelby Bass., Sr. Highlands Ranch Zayne Blumbert, Jr., Rock Canyon Lauren Caldwell Jr. Regis Jesuit Stephanie Cardona, Jr., Legend Sydney Cohen, Sr., Mountain Vista Sarah Good, Jr., Castle View Ginger Hamilton, Sr. ThundeRidge Savannah Heebner, So., Castle View Allie Huizemga, Sr., Ponderosa Madison Hunton, Sr., Legend Anuhea Iida, Jr., Douglas County Rachel Johnson, Jr., Mountain Vista Shannon Lieber, Sr., Rock Canyon Katie Leiker, So., ThunderRidge Katie Longwell, Sr., Chaparral Tiffany Mathers, Jr. Ponderosa Grace Marriott, Sr., Regis Jesuit Alli McCloskey, Sr., Rock Canyon Jordan Osburne, Jr., Castle View Brianna Patrauskas, Sr., Castle View Kylee Piper, Sr. Regis Jesuit Ally Power, So., Ponderosa Laramie Rewerts, Jr., Douglas County Jocelyn Rockhold, Jr., Douglas County Jordan Smith, Fr., Chaparral Brooke Wakefield, Sr., Rock Canyon Stephanie Xavier, Regis Jesuit

bawi. “Part of me kinda wishes we were in a weaker league because sometimes you kind of want to take a breath but this league is strong. “I just don’t put anything past any of the coaches. They are strong coaches and we all appreciate that we do have a strong league. It makes us have better players when it comes to state.”


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douglas County > August 30, 2012 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > page 15

Elbert County football: Cardinals look to play to their strengths Nicholas started every game for the Cardinals last year at linebacker and expectations are high for the play of Perades, who will also go at fullback. Offensively, good things are expected from junior quarterback Brody Oliver (6-2, 180), a transfer from Legend who threw for over 600 yards in five games, fullback Jordan Buchman (6-0, 190) and wide receiver Robert Wagner (6-2, 170). ELBERT The 8-Man ranks, in which Elbert, Kiowa and Simla compete, grows to 46 teams this season, the largest number of teams since the classification was created. The trio, all contenders, will be joined in the Black Forest League by Genoa-Hugo/Karval, Miami-Yoder and Pikes Peak Christian. Elbert coach Shawn Graves is quite pleased at the numbers, 16, out in his small school. “As far as starters, six, are back so we have some much needed experience,” Graves said. “Four of the kids were all-league and two honorable mention.” Heading up the list of all-league returnees are quarterback/defensive back Blake Nicholas (5-11, 165) and running back/defensive back Al Zelney (5-11, 170). Both will receive more than ample help from running back Bryce Hutches (5-11, 160). “We only lost one guy from last year’s team and if we stay healthy, we all think we can get the job done,” Nicholas said. “I’m going both ways so in 8-Man, a fast game, you don’t get many breaks. I feel confident, but I try not to be over confident.” Zelney is a strong runner, but said he actually like’s playing defense better. “I’m a little more aggressive on defense, but I do like to run the ball,” Zelney said. “I think we will be able to play with anyone this season if we keep our heads on straight.” Senior ends, Roger Carlson (6-2, 180), the teams leading receiver, and Dakota Hedger (6-0,170) earned allleague honors. Noah Schafer (6-0, 220), who plays on the offensive and defensive line, was honorable mention. SIMLA Simla reached the state semifinals last season, losing to eventual champion Dayspring Christian. But the chances of another far-reaching accomplishment may be difficult

Led by Strannigan and Reins, Elizabeth hopes to regain championship form By Scott Stocker

If intimidation can lead to victories, than the Elizabeth Cardinals might well be on their way to a memorable 2012 campaign. When Elizabeth takes to the field this season, the Cardinals line may feature the scariest duo 3A has to offer in senior tackles Brandon Strannigan and Dallas Reins. At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, Reins is one of the biggest players in the classification. And while Strannigan isn’t as physically imposing at 5-8, 175 pounds, he may be one of the strongest players in the state with his 350 pound bench press and 505 pound squat. Elizabeth will need all of that power as the Cardinals have a brutal non-league schedule and are moving to a new conference, the 3A Metro East League. Englewood, Fort Morgan, Skyview, Vista Ridge and Weld Central are the other teams in the new league. “We have a strong pre-season schedule that includes four teams in the state playoffs last season,” said coach Chris Cline who led Elizabeth to the state championship in 2010. “That could be a salty start as we’re still pretty young, starting five sophomores last season .” Defense will be key since the Cardinals graduated their entire senior offensive backfield. The leaders will be led by all-leaguers senior Spencer Fullbright (5-10, 180), juniors Kevin Perades (5-9,170) and Chase Nicholas (5-11, 170) and two-way seniors Strannigan and Reins. “We’ve put in a lot of hours this summer and worked hard and I’m certainly for going back to state,” said Fullbright, who came through with 78 tackles last season. “We made it two years ago and we feel we can do it again this season. The guys that helped us win state set good examples, one that we hope to live up to this season. The key for me is to stay focused. You get tired and sore from Monday to Thursday, but that makes you push all the harder on Friday. Friday nights make all the hard work worth it.” Reins is the big guy up front, one of the biggest in 3A.

for coach Shane Zimmerman and the Cubs, who lost nine seniors. Only five senior return so there are holes to be filled. But the starters that are coming back fill key positions in sophomore quarterback Cody Norris (6-2, 165) and junior running back Damian Bell (5-10, 175). “These are two kids who just hate to lose,” Zimmerman said. “Cody really understands the game and came along super last season for us. He doesn’t get rattled. Damian is very physical rushing for 1,100 yards last season. He is not afraid to be tackled and when it comes to defense, has been solid at linebacker. Dustin Campbell (5-10, 175) was out for the first time last season, but came through with over 500 yards rushing. We expect a lot from him this time around. We have a bigger sophomore class and a couple of freshmen coming in at over 200 pounds. We are expecting about 19 kids out. “ Simla junior Aaron Thieman (5-10, 150), who will be at end and defensive back, and sophomore defensive back Kyler Hamacher (5-8, 120) are coming into their own. KIOWA Kiowa, under coach Mark Clemmons, expected 26 players to report, including eight starters. However, only one of those returnees, linebacker/fullback Jordan Gabehart, went both ways. Gabehart is a four-year starter. “Kids look up to him,” Clemmons said. “He loves the game, is a hard worker and I consider him a bread and butter player. He’s a three-sport athlete, very talented. We will have to rely a great deal on speed and mobility as we probably won’t have the big muscle up front, so we’re not power football this season.” Junior Steve Mizak will be at quarterback and defensive back this season, but will have to battle for his quarterbacking slot since sophomore Michael Bates has make sharp progress. Plus, the Indians have some solid players to work in the backfield with them, referring to running backs, senior Joe Jantz and junior Lonny Trehal. Trehal will have some competition in the backfield from up and coming sophomore Luke Paglinawan. Senior defenders Tyler Daughenbaugh and Cole Hoffman, a leader up front on the line, will be strong with good things are expected from junior Jack Thomas.



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Wheat Ridge Transcript 17 May 3, 2012

Quick hits Farmers head to postseason

Wheat Ridge’s boys lacrosse team earned the No. 12 seed in the state playoffs and will host Smoky Hill in the first round at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood. The Farmers (9-6) finished second in the Foothills League to Columbine, which received a first-round bye. Smoky Hill (7-8) finished fifth in the Centennial League. Arapahoe (15-0) received the No. 1 overall seed - the second round must be completed by May 9.

olympic-sized dreams

Honoring Capra

This Saturday’s regular-season home finale for Arvada West’s baseball team marks the final home game for longtime Wildcats coach Jim Capra. Currently an assistant, Capra will take over the baseball program at Adams State College in Alamosa. Arvada West is inviting any former players to attend Saturday’s game at 10 a.m. against Standley Lake. Those attending should show up at least 15 minutes before the game as the school honors Capra.

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Wresting camp at Legacy

16 Douglas County News-Press April 19, 2012

Douglas Countysports

Wheat Ridge senior Brooke Livingston, right, fights for the ball with Conifer’s Gabrielle Valenzuela during the first half of a 4A Jeffco contest April 25 at the NAAC in Arvada. The Farmers won 3-0. Photo by Brian Miller

Sabercats pick

The Northwestern University Wrestling Camp will take place from June 10-13 at Legacy High School in Broomfield. The camp is for experienced wrestlers ages 1018 for all schools and clubs. Northwestern coach Drew Pariano and wrestlers from the Big Ten school will be instructing and coaching at the camp. The cost is $200 per camper if they register prior to May 1. The cost is $225 for those who register after May 1; for every 10 wrestlers from the same team, there will be a 10% discount. For more information, contact Deon Hebel at 303-803-5051 or at deonhebel@yahoo. com.

up big win Farmers punch their Morris sprints way among nation’s elite postseason ticket you never to rushOlympic construction. Golden grad competes in 100, 200 atwant U.S. Track trials If you do, chances are your foundation

Golden High School is hosting a basketball camp for boys and girls from June 25-28. The camp runs from 9-11:30 a.m. for those in grades 1-5, and from 12:30-3 p.m. for those in grades 6-9. For more info, e-mail Golden boys basketball coach John Anderson at

Mustangs win 5A Jeffco

By Daniel P. Johnson

When you set out to build a structure,

Shutout of Conifer sends Wheat Ridge into Class 4A state playoffs By Brian Miller will crack and your project will come crumbling down. Castle View’s baseball program has tak-

en a final game-by-game to its sixth and playoffapproach spot out ofbuild4A Jeffco and the results appear toat bethe withField a ing 3-0plan, victory over Conifer North When Joe Morris took to the track at Hayward ed very steadily into the ground. Areadash Athletic Complex in Arvada. in Oregon for the preliminaries of the 100-meter The Sabercats did something they had yet do in their history in on the April past The23Class 4AU.S. stateOlympic playoffs Track just wouldn’t A team has six-year competed June in the and Field Trials, he to that 13 — defeat Heritage — topping the Eagles be the same without girls three state games, winning twowin chamnoticed a familiar faceWheat in the Ridge’s lane next to him. 5-2 attitle Castle View High School. The soccer team - fortunately for the Farmers, struggled at times movedhas the team into a first-place tiethis with seaWant to talk about pressure? Morris was pionships, side-byRegis atop thehard Class 5A League they missing out. Gold medalist Justin son after getting byContinental graduation. When sidewon’t with be 2004 Olympic Gatlin. standings with a 3-0 record. Junior Macee Broer tallied a hatfortrick it mattered most Ridge That’s quite a leap in competition an athlete who“It’s a huge winthough, for us,” saidWheat Castle View coach, Shawn Wyss, whose team is 8-3 overApril as the helped lock through. four 25 years agoFarmers was competing in up thethe Class came 4A state all. “To do something we’ve never done be-




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Castle View defeats Heritage for the first time in school history

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was the first time this season the Indians hadn’t scored multiple goals in a game. The Conifer game was the true test for Wheat Ridge though, given that the final playoff spot would go to one side or the other. Broer needed just more than six minutes to find the back of the net, taking a shot from a tough angle and slotting it past Lobos goalkeeper Samantha Prince.

Ralston Valley’s girls tennis team defeated Chatfield 6-1 on April 24 to claim the team’s first Class 5A Jeffco League title. Senior Olivia Anselmo finished the league season undefeated at No. 2 singles, and the No. 3 doubles team of Kelsey Maass and Allyson Goto also finished 8-0 in league play. The Mustangs will compete in the 5A Region 7 tournament this week hosted by Fos-

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PAGE 16 > FALL FOOTBALL & SPORTS PREVIEW > August 30, 2012 > douglas CouNTY

Cross country runners head into new season

By Scott Stocker

There are still a lot of questions and concerns to be considered by Elizabeth cross country coach Alan Small. The Cardinals struggled a bit last season, but those days could be over as the 2012 campaign gets underway. “We’ve got a solid returning bunch

here and I think we have a shot at making it to state as a team,” Small said. “The kids are feeling pretty determined. We were just two spots away from making it as a team last season with the girls. We’re young, with a lot of juniors, but the boys are feeling pretty confident about the season, too.” Leading the way for the boys will be junior Gus Terry, who just missed qualifying

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for the 3A state meet. “I’m excited and certainly feel a lot stronger this year,” Terry said. “I think I can get in the low 16-minutes.” Others to keep a eye on for the Elizabeth boys will be the lone senior Willis Scott and junior Zach Rodriquez. Yet there is ample talent available this season from the likes of Gave Houston, Brandon John, Jake Thompson and Jake Vanderlinden. Senior Lea Smith was the highest finisher for the Elizabeth girls in last year’s state meet at 94th, but as of this writing, Small is not sure she will be coming out. That being the case, Small looks to junior Rebekah Baird to show leadership. “Rebekah is such a hard worker and she is providing a lot of leadership for the team this year,” Small said. “You have to love her motivation.” And Baird has good thoughts coming into the campaign. “I just like to work hard and do well,” Baird said. “The goal is to keep focused on what I need to do, individually and for the team. I know the times vary on the courses and a key is just trying to know what each course can be like.” While Smith may not be on the horizon the Cardinals also have a couple of outstanding freshmen girls coming in who Small feels can make an immediate impact. One is Small’s daughter, Cori, the other Krista Dodd. The head coach also looks for substantial contributions from sophomores Kayla Prairo, also in her first season,


and Caya Baher, who is coming over for Elbert. She, too, is a newcomer to cross country. “I think we’re going to have a big boost from all the girls,” Small said. “The expectations are high and should remain like that for the season.”

Kiowa Coach Jill Miller enters her 10th season at Kiowa and with such a small school overall, is short on numbers. Only a total of seven boys and girls were expected prior to the opening days of practice. Leading the way for the girls will be junior Beth Campbell, who finished 33rd at state last season. She will be joined by senior Mallory Patterson, who just missed her trip to state by one place, and Elbert sophomore Hanna Maben. Elbert does not have its’ own team. “Beth is a monster,” Miller said. “She is really just learning the sport as last year was her first in cross country. She has the physical attributes and trains with the boys all the time.” Campbell, no doubt, is ready to go. “I think we’re going to have an amazing year as we have some fine runners,” Campbell said. “We ran a 5K race last Saturday (August 18) and each of our girls and boys in the competition finished in the top 10. Sophomore Andrew Van and senior Shawn Walcott are the top prospects for Kiowa among the boys.

ly rk a n d d u o r p w o a ll m a e t h e t icat ion o f et e s. d ed h oo l at h l c hig h s of lucnk ! o t bes s seas thi

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