The dust has barely settled on the 2016-17 prep sports season, but it's never too early to put the past nine months in some kind of perspective.
And my thought is that when we look back at this past sports season, it will go down as one of the most memorable ever in the BoCo area.
Starting last August, local teams and athletes started a journey that at times would be thrilling, frustrating, exhilarating and historic.
The highlights are too numerous to list, but include Isaac Green of Monarch's spectacular senior year, the emergence of Silver Creek sports across the board, Niwot's Tommy Stager and Lyons' Keegan Bean ending long droughts for their schools by winning state titles in wrestling, the brilliance of Michael Zarian and Brittney Beacher of Fairview in the pool, Holy Family freshman Hailey Schalk bursting on the girls golf scene, Boulder soccer's dominance on the pitch and the Monarch hockey team finally breaking through to capture an elusive state title after four consecutive runner-up finishes.
And who can forget the great runs made by Broomfield High School in football, softball and baseball, only to come up just short of state championships? Or the heartbreak of seeing Peak to Peak sophomore Quinn McConnell heading into the home stretch in the lead of the state cross country race, only to have her legs go out on her just short of reaching the finish line, costing her a second consecutive state title?
Or the tremendous heart McConnell and the entire Peak to Peak community showed in honoring teammate and classmate Brandon Ries, who passed away while competing in cross country in the fall? The Pumas ran for Ries, competed for Ries, and honored his memory by reaching great heights in athletic achievements. Peak to Peak won the girls cross country state title, and finished second last month in track. The baseball team reached the 3A state tournament, and the girls soccer team reached the state championship game, only to fall in PKs.
And there were plenty of other memorable events and athletes to make their marks this past school year. Just look through the archives of stories on BoCoPreps.com for a quick refresher course.
It's easy to think that the latest is the greatest, and that could be the case here, with all of these memories still fresh in my mind. But I'd be willing to bet that when we look back on the past school year sometime in the future, it will stand the test of time as one of the best local stretches in history.
News and notes
• Broomfield's Linnie Malkin was named the 2016-17 Gatorade Colorado Softball Player of the Year on Monday.
Malkin, the 2016 BoCoPreps.com player of the year, hit .603 with 24 extra-base hits, 35 runs scored, 35 RBI, 11 home runs, 11 doubles and just two strikeouts while leading the Eagles to the 5A state championship game.
A third baseman who is headed to the University of Arkansas to play for the Razorbacks, Malkin smacked 32 home runs while only striking out 15 times during her prep career.
Malkin is the first Broomfield player to win the award.
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