Football season is hitting its stride and a number of other sports are approaching the second halves of their league schedules, if not the home stretches of the season. Golfers are off this weekend while the boys who qualified recover from regionals and prepare for state, but several invitationals in cross country and boys tennis will make up for that this weekend.

Here's a look at some prep events to watch for over the next few days:

 

Cross country

Pat Patten Invitational, Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Hosted by Boulder High, the Pat Patten is one of the bigger annual meets in the BoCoPreps.com area. A number of local teams - Monarch, Niwot, Silver Creek, Fairview, Boulder, Lyons, Peak to Peak, Centaurus to name a few - will be there. Monarch's Isaac Green and Audrey Lookner won the individual titles in 2016, and both graduated last May, so new individual champions will be crowned this Saturday.

 

Football

Horizon at Legacy, Thursday, 7 p.m.


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Legacy won this matchup 38-21 last season, but both teams enter this week's game with 2-1 records and both teams' sole losses have come against top-10 teams. Quarterback Alec Lewis (676 yards) and the Legacy offense have been sharp in two of their three games thus far and will need to be sharp again when the Lightning faces a Horizon team that has allowed just 12.7 points against through three games.

 

Mead at Longmont, Friday, 7 p.m.

A big-time game between two Longmont schools that currently rank in the top 10, this game between No. 2 Mead and No. 9 Longmont should feature plenty of fireworks. Mead won last year's game 49-35 and is undefeated so far in 2017 while Longmont has lost two straight since defeating defending state champion Pueblo East in the season opener. The Mead Mavericks have rushed for 1,056 total yards in three games and the Trojans will counter with a talented group of linebackers led by Austin Hassler and his team-leading 36 tackles.

 

Monarch at Brighton, Saturday, 10 a.m.

The Monarch Coyotes are up to No. 8 the statewide rankings and Brighton has been threatening to crack the top 10 itself. This game should be another tough one for Phil Bravo's Monarch Coyotes, who have started 3-0 while fending off the likes of Bear Creek, Rampart and Denver South already this season and sit 10th in the first RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) standings of the season. Senior Cole Polluconi leads the Coyotes with 371 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

 

Gymnastics

Overland Invitational, Saturday, TBA

Both Niwot and Broomfield are scheduled to compete at this weekend's tournament hosted by Overland, last season's 5A state runner-up club. With Broomfield having finished third in the 5A team scoring last year and Niwot placing second in 4A, the field will be a challenging one for all the teams in attendance.

 

Boys soccer

St. Mary's at Jefferson Academy, Saturday, 11 a.m.

Now ranked No. 1 in Class 3A after putting up a 6-0-1 record to date and tying defending champion Kent Denver last week, Jefferson Academy will get another top-10 home matchup against No. 8 St. Mary's. Juniors Ian Coen and Payton Tennal lead the Jaguars with six goals apiece.

 

Broomfield at Fairview, Saturday, 6:15 p.m.

The Front Range League gauntlet continues with a matchup of No. 3 Broomfield and No. 5 Fairview at Fairview High School. Not only that, but this game is a rematch of last year's 5A state quarterfinals in which Broomfield defeated Fairview, 5-0, en route to a title-game appearance against Boulder.

 

Softball

Erie at Holy Family, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

Yet another top-10 showdown in the BoCoPreps.com area, this game pits No. 3 Erie against No. 8 Holy Family in a game that has major Tri-Valley League implications between these two conference title frontrunners. Holy Family defeated Erie on the road on Aug. 30, but it was a thrilling 4-3 contest that may have foreshadowed yet another exciting finish in the rematch.

 

Thompson Valley at Longmont, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Still hovering around .500 this season, the Longmont Trojans will host sub-.500 Thompson Valley on Thursday. A win here would go a long way towards positioning the Trojans to make a late push and finish with a winning record for the second consecutive season.

 

Boys tennis

Dawson at Silver Creek, Friday, 4 p.m.

Regionals are just a couple of weeks away and these two teams will undoubtedly face one another at several ladder spots during the 4A Region 4 tournament. Silver Creek has performed well at duals this season but Dawson has finished highly at every tournament the Mustangs have entered so far and have the edge in terms of state tournament experience.

 

Kent Denver Invitational, Saturday, TBA

When the defending 4A state champions host a tournament, everyone wants to join the party. In this case, it will be Niwot that heads south from the BoCo area with the greatest chance of challenging the host Sun Devils. While Kent Denver won it all, Niwot placed third at last year's 4A state tournament and will be expecting to gain a better understanding of what the Sun Devils have in 2017.

 

Volleyball

Lyons at Yuma, Friday, 5 p.m.

This match is as big as it gets in 2A volleyball this week, as it pits No. 2 Lyons against No. 1 Yuma on the road. It will also cap a string of three games in three days for the Lyons Lions, who are led by sophomore Taylor Maguire's 115 kills.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi