A loss in last Sunday's Class 5A state championship game said much more about the character of the Broomfield Eagles baseball team than any win could have.
While several parents and fans could be heard complaining about the results of the game, which saw Rocky Mountain capture the state title with a 9-5 victory, the members of the team handled the defeat with dignity and class.
And make no mistake, the Eagles had a legitimate reason to be upset. The decision to start the championship game on Saturday while a steady rain came down, and then to postpone it a short time later after the shower increased in intensity, definitely put Broomfield at a competitive disadvantage.
It can be argued that the weather directly contributed to Rocky Mountain's first three runs. And it can also be argued that the rain-shortened outing on Saturday led to Blake Rohm's increased pitch count, so that he had to take a seat on the bench to start the seventh inning, when the Lobos erupted for six insurance runs. Not to mention that the extra day took the Eagles' excellent closer, Ben Peterson, out of the equation because he had already pitched on consecutive days.
And that's not to take anything away from Rocky Mountain, which is a deserving champion. Lobos' starter John Sorensen was brilliant through six innings of play, getting several batters out on the first pitch of an at-bat, and getting a ton of ground-ball outs while putting up scoreless frame after scoreless frame.
But the truth of the matter is Sorensen didn't have to make one pitch in the rain, Rocky Mountain didn't have to field one ground ball that rolled through a puddle, or make a throw to first while gripping a rain slicked ball.
It was definitely not a level playing field.
But that's not to say that the outcome would have been different. And, while disappointed, the Eagles players accepted that.
Rohm, who had the biggest right to be upset about the outcome, summed it up perfectly when he said: "In the end, this is baseball. That's the beauty of the game. You never know what you're going to get."
Rohm, who will play college ball at Virginia, said the seventh inning, which saw Rocky Mountain score the six runs only to have Broomfield come back with five of their own, is what sets apart baseball from other sports.
"Unlike football, unlike basketball, you can't hold the ball," Rohm said. "This is something I've thought about for many years. In basketball and in other sports, you can hold the ball and keep it away from the defenders so they can't score. In baseball, you've got to come at them. Three outs, man. You've got to get them somehow.
"I think that's pretty cool."
News and notes
• When the 2016-17 high school season finally ended last week, it also saw the end of the tenure of two of the better athletic directors in the area.
Marty Tonjes of Silver Creek and Ernie Derrera of Frederick are leaving their posts to move on to different ventures next year.
Tonjes, who has overseen Raptors athletics for the last five seasons, has accepted a similar position at Horizon High School, his alma matter. Tonjes is leaving on a high note, as Silver Creek enjoyed a tremendous 2016-17 school year.
Derrera, who has been the AD at Frederick since 2015, was recently hired by CHSAA to become an assistant commissioner.
Both men performed their duties with great passion, and their schools were better because of it. They were also great to work with, and made the job of the BoCoPreps.com staff easier.
Thank you, congrats and you will be missed.
• Silver Creek junior Cole Winn was recently named the 2016-17 Gatorade Colorado Baseball Player of the Year, the first Raptor to win the award. As a pitcher, Winn was 9-0 this season, finishing with an 0.73 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 47.2 innings of work. He also hit .388 with 19 RBI and two home runs while leading Silver Creek to the 4A state tournament.
• The accolades keep rolling in for recent Niwot grad Tommy Stager, being named the male athlete of the year for the 1st Annual MaxPreps High School Athlete of the Year Award, presented by the United States Marine Corps.
Stager, who was the 2017 BoCoPreps.com wrester of the year, won the Class 4A 145-pound state wrestling championship this season and set the record for career wins in 4A with 175. He also qualified for state in cross country last fall.
The award also pointed out the Stager's numerous off the mat accomplishments. A 4.3 GPA student, Starger will wrestle and attend college at the United States Air Force Academy.
• Niwot has hired Adam Strah to take over the Cougars baseball program. Strah replaces Craig McBride, who stepped down at the end of the season after 17 years as both an assistant and head coach at Niwot.
Strah was an assistant to McBride for the past six seasons and was the head coach at Rampart the previous five. He led Rampart to the state semifinals in 2009 and was named the 5A coach of the year by The Denver Post that season.
• Monarch has hired several coaches for the upcoming season. Carlee Lough is the new girls basketball coach, Elizabeth Wilson will coach softball and Jamie Morrison is the new boys soccer coach.
John Rosa: 303-473-1315, firstname.lastname@example.org