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Eaglecrest 5100 S Picadilly St Centennial, CO 80015 - - March 29, 2013 - Volume 21 Issue 6 -


Making History BY JESS DANKENBRING Editor-in-chief

The team was underestimated and projected to lose, but Olander and the team had their sights set on victory. “I’ve been on varsity since I was a sophomore, lots of ups and downs,” Wilford said. “To win as the underdog is probably one of the greatest feelings.” They made lots of changes this year, both in coaching and on the court, to strengthen the team. “Sometimes as a coach, you just have to step back and let them play to their strengths and make plays,” Olander said. “We gave them a lot of freedom on defense to just go out and make plays. I had to trust them this year.” But one of their greatest attributes as a team is their ability to work as one - no single player is valued more than another because they know that they need each other to succeed. “We don’t have just four people that

can play,” Junior LaDerian King said. “You can put anybody out there, and they’re going to give it their all.” The fans are a major part of the game too, and their support is dire as tensions run high at the end. “It was really awesome - everyone was cheering for EHS,” Sophomore Madison Smith said. “They were ecstatic, pumping up the team.” But Olander doesn’t just want the team and coaches to be able to celebrate the championship - it belongs to everyone. “This is a great thing for Eaglecrest High School and the Eaglecrest community, all the alumni, anybody who’s ever gone to school here. I just want them to know that this is theirs too - it’s not mine, it’s not the basketball team’s, this is Eaglecrest High School’s state championship.”

There was no last-second battle in the paint. With four minutes left in the game, the chants from the crowd screamed victory and East High School subbed out all of their starters. The tears swelled in Coach Olander’s eyes and the bench erupted in hugs. Nobody thought the Raptors would come this far. Unranked at the start of the season, the solid and overlooked team worked their way to the top, earning Eaglecrest’s first state championship in school history. But it wasn’t without setbacks. The second league game against Cherokee Trail in February went into a strenuous double overtime. In the last minute, CT was sent to the line for three free throws that put them ahead with crucial seconds left on the scoreboard. They walked away with the League Championship title. “That was the low point of the season,” Head Coach John Olander said, “losing to CT and losing the chance to win the League Championship title.” Each loss remained in the back of their minds. Three months earlier, the Raptors had played East in the third game of the season and lost by 20 points. East remained undefeated in-state going into the last game of the season. “We had a lot of slip ups the first time,” Senior Tre Shawn Wilford said. “So we knew we could hang with them.” When it came time for the championship game, the Raptors were in control from the moment they stepped on the court and held a comfortable lead most of the game. After halftime, East trailed by just one point, the closest they came all game. But in the end the Raptors securely took home a state championship with a 19-point lead. “I was just so proud of them,” Olander said. “It was such a good feelphoto by Jess Dankenbring ing to watch your kids go out and execute what you’ve been working on all year Sophomore Blend Avdili led his team into the gym to celebrate the State Championand demonstrate their skill and their ship title with students, staff, parents, and coaches at the pep assembly on March 27. toughness.”



64 - 57 Junior Jaisean Jackson (right) had 19 points, more than any other player on the floor, in the game against Regis.


The Raptors remained ahead for most of the game, but not by a safe distance. In the last few minutes of the game, Regis took a minor lead that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Senior Tre Shawn Wilford, who was injured part way through the second half of the game in a fight for the ball, came striding back onto the court just in time to shoot free throws for a technical foul called on Regis. Their momentum was back, and after a three-pointer from Senior Sean Watkins and a jump shot from Jaisean Jackson, the Raptors had a solid lead to carrying them into the final moments of the game.


74 - 59

Sophomore Blend Avdili (right) had 15 rebounds in the game against Mountain Vista, the most any Raptor had in one game.


There was an uncertain cushion of points throughout the game, and trouble ensued on the floor as Senior Tre Shawn Wilford and Sophomore Blend Avdili fouled out with 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter. But it was in those final minutes that the gap in points grew to 15, mostly from free throws. So even when Senior Sean Watkins took a seat on the bench with a knee injury, the Raptors held a lead significant enough to take them into the Finals.


63 - 44 Senior Tre Shawn Wilford (right) scored 21 points in the game against Denver East, and has the most steals all season for the Raptors.


East remained undefeated in-state until the last game of the season. Three months ago, the Raptors played East and lost by 20 points. This time the roles were reversed. The Raptors led by a comfortable margin for the entire game. After halftime, East came back within one point, the closest they came all game. But in the end the Raptors securely took home a state championship with a 19-point lead. photos by Jess Dankenbring


Tre“A player Shawn Wilford everybody looks up to.”

-John Olander, coach

Points per game: 13.4 Assists per game: 2.1 Rebounds pergame: 5.0 BY DILKUSH KHAN Reporter

When Senior Tre Shawn Wilford found out he was picked to play for the All Star game, after winning the State championship, a first for Eaglecrest, he let loose. “I put my hands up high and started yelling because I was with my team,” Wilford said. Wilford has earned many titles this season: MVP of the tournament, Player of the game for the final, and male athlete of the week by the Denver Post, and he likes the attention. “It’s a high honor to be recognized for my work since sophomore year,” he said. Off the court, you wouldn’t think he’s done all that. He’s a soft-spoken guy, who takes his academics and basketball seriously, though it can be hard at times to balance the two. “The hardest part is the late night practice and having to wake up early for school,” Wilford said. Wilford decided he would be attending University of Colorado in Colorado Springs at the beginning of the season, due to advice from his coach, John Olander. “The coach sold me for their program and being the face of their basketball team,” Wilford said, “I feel accomplished, I’ve been working for this since forever.” His step-dad taught him how to play basketball when he was six years old. Wilford lives with his mom, step-dad and three brothers, who are also into basketball, and they have been supportive and happy of his success. “They’ve been more excited than I am,” he said. His brother, freshman Charles Roberts, said they’ve watched the State Championship “at least 10 times.” Roberts describes his brother as a “great person, funny and trustworthy.” “He gives me tips about

Steals per game: 3.4 Blocks per game: .5 Points this season: 375

everything: basket“It’s a high honor to be ball, school, girls,” recognized for my work he said. Teammate since sophomore year.” Senior Marcus Tre Shawn Wilford Carpenter agrees Senior he’s a great guy who’s “humble, hardworking and really skilled.” Wilford worked out every day during the season and practiced shooting by taking 1000 shots a day, which took three hours. “My shooting has increased way higher,” Wilford said. Though he works hard, he has had to face diffi culties this season, from injuries, to foul trouble. Wilford broke his knuckle in his left hand as he was trying to dunk, and he later hurt his mouth by another player as he jumped into block. During the Mountain Vista game, Wilford sat out due to foul trouble. “It was frustrating for me to sit out,” Wilford said. “It hurts the team.” Wilford took basketball seriously his freshman year after seeing high school athletes. “That inspired me,” he said. Wilford in turn inspires others, and is a “player everybody looks up to” according to Olander, including his own brother, Roberts, who hopes to follow in his footsteps. “I want to be like my brother,” he said. photo by Jess Dankenbring


State Champions Creating a huge upset by beating East, varsity boys take home the 5A score of 63-44. This infographic takes a closer the playoffs in 2008.

Season Stats 23-5

State Championship with a

look into the season and the last time Eaglecrest was in

# of players who made All-Centennial League teams this season.





Colorado Rank:


National Rank: 41

Cherokee Trail


Smoky Hill



game win streak

Reaching the 2




Jaisean Jackson

Sean Watkins


Rayjon Craig

Tre Shawn Wilford Blend Avdili

Player Visualization entire season (2012-2013) season Player Visualization of entireof (2012-2013) Head: Points scored Head: Points scored Eyes: Steals

Eyes: Steals Hands: Blocked shots

Arms: Assists

Hands: Blocked Shots Legs: Rebounds

Legs: Rebounds

Mapped player statistics toto physical attributes Mapped player statistics physical *more blocks equals bigger hands, more attributes rebounds results in longer legs etc.

Arms: Assists

Final Four in 08’,

Eaglecrest was shut down by East


with a lost, and ending the season with a


record of *more blocks equals bigger hands, more rebounds results in longer legs Infographic and Information compiled by: Mallory Sullivan etc.


Game plan: the Olander approach by STEVEN TIBBITTS Newsfeed Editor

Football coach John Olander to adapt to Madden once said, different situations. “Coaches have to watch “This year, befor what they don’t want cause of how good to see and listen to what our players played they don’t want to hear.” man-to-man defense, Luckily for Eaglecrest we pretty much Boys Varsity Basketball stuck with that all coach John Olander, year,” Olander said. while the team had its “Offensively, we ups and downs this year, had a few offensive the overall result was concepts we would nothing to cringe at. change up throughThe team managed out the game based to clinch the 5A State on how the other Championship, a far team was guarding cry from what many us. We didn’t get assumed would be an too fancy with that. automatic win for East We kind of just let High School. The boys’ the players use their work was critical, but abilities and wound Olander’s coaching also up being successful led to the victory over photo by Jess Dankenbring with that.” In Olander’s twelfth season caoching, he allowed the boys’ talents to show leading East, and their coach A few games, Rudy Carey, who has over them to victory over East’s coach, Rudy Carey, to bring home the gold. such as the first one He comes to practice and tells us what 700 wins under his belt. against Arapahoe, we need to work on for our own team,” Snyder sees Olander as an “outstandrequired fine-tuning. The only low point, Olander said. “He doesn’t say a whole ing” coach who knows how to lead the Olander explained, was when the team lot, and so when he does speak, I know team. did not secure a win at the Centennial that [the boys] listen.” “Obviously he’s phenomenal with the League Championship. One of Olander’s defining characterXs and Os, and the strategic pieces of The lack of distress was no doubt istics is how he will grant some level of being the coach,” Snyder said. “Coach buttressed by the team’s personaliautonomy to the boys in their playing. Olander was by far many steps ahead of ty. Compared to other teams he has “As a coach, you want to be in control coached, Olander describes this year’s Coach Carey in that game.” of everything. You want to control every Olander’s style has developed from team as “very even” in terms of their single position and every single play, over 20 years of coaching. emotions. and this group really taught me that I “I feel pretty lucky to be able to have “They just didn’t seem to take things need to let them use their skills, let them too serious, which sometimes as a coach coached that long,” he said. use their talents, let their basketball Olander played for Fort Collins High frustrates you. You want them to take it knowledge influence what we’re going School (and holds the school record for more serious, but that was their personto do offensively, defensively as a team,” assists in a single season with 129), and ality, and I think that that’s why we were Olander said. “You come in with a plan, then later for the Bears at the University able to be so successful is they just were but you’ve got to be able to adapt that of Northern Colorado. a relaxed group,” Olander said. plan based on the talent that you have, Olander’s father, John Olander Sr., This is no accident. Olander is just as the players that you have, and their coached the younger Olander in a way able to objectively assess a situation and strengths.” that has stuck with him. not get too emotional about it. Senior Maurice Perez, a starting “A lot of the base philosophies that “Sometimes coaches get caught up in guard, said that Olander placed more I have as a coach came from him. A lot the moment or caught up in the situatrust in him during the Mountain Vista of how we teach things came from him.” tion. He doesn’t do that; he doesn’t get game. “He let me shoot three-pointers,” Olander said. Olander Sr. works as an caught up in the moment or the situaPerez said. assistant for the team, a role, which tion, and that’s what makes him a great “He trusts us to execute plays,” according the junior Olander, helps the coach.” Snyder said. shooting guard Marcus Carpenter, also a team out a lot. To continue reading the story, senior, said. “He really does a lot of our breakscan this code with your smart Understanding his players allowed down of game film, of our own team. phone or go to!


Is basketball the best sport? VS. BY BRANDON DIENER Reporter




So, if I’m being honest, I don’t like Let me start by saying that I think it’s fantastic that we won sports, except the best sport, basketball. the state championship, but basketball as a whole is signifiThe game of basketball is easy to follow and understand, cantly less fantastic. Watching it or playing it, I find basketball which is one reason why it’s the best. When I go to a game unenjoyably to say the least. like football, I can never tell what’s going on. One moment My main problem with watching basketball is simply how the ball gets hiked, the next, players are on the ground. When the game is played. It’s just running up and down the court I go to a basketball game I know exactly what’s going on. with each team taking turns scoring. This makes it so the first When you attend a basketball game you are so close to the forty minutes of most games is like a completely irrelevant court, compared to football, where you’re at such a distance warm-up. Most games come down to the last two minutes and it’s hard to be involved. I like to that’s the only time I find it realhear the squeaks of the sneakers ly exciting. It’s when the points on the floor, the voices of the and strategy actually matter. coaches directing the players, Granted, it was pretty awesome and the swish you hear when being thirty points up in the last the ball make it in the basket. minutes of the championship The best thing about sports is game, but in general the last few watching players get injured, right? minutes is the only exciting part I like what injuries do to the feel of any basketball game. This is of the game. In most sports, don’t why I prefer hockey. The whole you have some sort of protection? game can be exciting because Well, not basketball. There’s scoring is actually difficult and no helmets, no shin guards, no it’s not so turn-based. masks, no pads, just shorts and As for playing basketball, I shirts, along with socks and shoes. don’t have much experience with Most times if you get an injury, it outside of the madness that is Though many students find it easy to get engaged with the you sit out for a few minutes, then playing basketball in a gym class. game, there are those who don’t always find it exciting. they’re right back in to game. At It might be fun if it was a little organized, but it’s just a bunch the game against Regis, senior Tre Shawn Wilford injured of people trying to make trick shots from all over the gym, so I have to focus on not getting hit in the face with a basketball in- his ankle, but still played later on that night. I mean isn’t that what sports are about? To just push forward no matter stead of actually playing the game. The few pick-up games I’ve what happens? When you get injured and you keep going, played outside of school felt more like boring old exercise than you add to the sportsmanship and dignity of the game. playing a game because it was still just running up and down Okay, quick input on the uniforms, I’m not a huge fan of the the court. It’s not like hockey. With hockey, you can exercise tight pants look. The loose fitting basketball shorts honestly and have fun AT THE SAME TIME! In closing, stop playing basketball and start playing hockey. compliment players better than tight pants. Sorry football, basketball’s the best sport. photo by Jess Dankenbring

Editor-in-chief Jess Dankenbring

Video Beau Jamieson

Features & Design Mallory Sullivan

Arts Brandon Jordan

Newsfeed Steven Tibbitts

Sports Madeline Johnson

Reporters Dilkush Khan Zach Parker Emily Atwell Brandon Diener Adviser Yoni Fine

Questions, comments, or concerns? E-mail us at

Like us on cover photo by Beau Jamieson cover illustration by Jess Dankenbring


Poms bring home silver from Florida

Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Poms

In “Taking Vegas to Orlando,” the Poms showed off their technical skills and powerful energy. Their outstanding choreography and stage presence made them the second best Poms team in the United States. Those same skills, with additional flare gave them the Las Vegas-themed routine they performed at the winter pep assembly and polished into a fourth place dance at nationals.


nd place and superior showmanship

“ Team routine is essentially a combination of categories. It’s a dance that combines Pom, jazz, kick, and hip hop sections in one dance. It really tests a team.”

-Captain Melissa Malone

Cheer takes on the Nation and World


Ranking in the nation, Varisty cheer moved toward the World competition and placed

Photo by Jess Dankenbring The cheer team, after competing in nationals, cheered on the basketball team onto their state championship.

4th out of 6 countries. Information compiled by: Brandon Jordan

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EQ Issue 6  

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