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Boulder High School senior Ethan Baker, right, shakes a tackle from Ralston Valley sophomore Cameron Sawano during on Oct. 1, 2010, at Boulder High School.
Jeremy Papasso/ Camera
Boulder High School senior Ethan Baker, right, shakes a tackle from Ralston Valley sophomore Cameron Sawano during on Oct. 1, 2010, at Boulder High School.

Maybe it’s just the invincibility of youth talking. But Ethan Baker is pretty nonchalant these days when talking about his treatment for cancer.

His parents “are a little more worried than I am,” the former Boulder High athlete said Monday.

That doesn’t mean it still wasn’t one of the biggest shocks of his life when Baker was diagnosed last month with B-Cell Lymphoma.

Baker — a former running back on the Panthers’ football team and a starter on last winter’s state runner-up basketball team — thought he’d be starting his freshman year of college at Colorado State right now. Instead, a trip to the doctor with back pain revealed a large tumor near his spine.

“I was pretty surprised,” Baker said. “But (doctors) say it’s pretty standard, so they should be able to cure it pretty easily. I feel pretty good. I’m not really feeling sick or anything.”

Baker is taking medication and undergoing chemotherapy — treatments doctors have told him they hope will conclude around Thanksgiving.

In the meantime, Baker is living at home with his parents and hopes to start school at CSU in January.

Despite Baker’s good spirits, his illness was one that hit home for the BHS community. He and his older brothers all played sports at the school. Their father Rick — a BHS grad — is the longtime volunteer coach of the Panthers’ freshman football team. And their mother Lori volunteered as treasurer of the program.

“It hit a lot of people at a lot of different levels,” Panthers football coach Jeff Santee said of the effect Baker’s illness has had on the BHS community.

The BHS football program has set up a fund ( where people can donate to help the Bakers offset the costs of Ethan’s treatments. Proceeds from the Panthers’ 5 p.m. pre-game tailgate party for BHS’ Sept. 9 home opener will also go toward the fund.

“It feels good,” Baker said of the support his family has received from the community. “It’s making it a lot easier at least.”

Arney out for season

The Boulder boys tennis team suffered a serious blow to its state title hopes last week when it was discovered that No. 1 singles player Galen Arney has stress fractures in his lower back.

Arney, a sophomore, said he is most likely done for the season. His injury is one that mainly needs rest to heal, and he is also going to physical therapy.

BHS tennis coach Gale Howard, whose squad has three duals this week, said his team would have to do some reshuffling to figure out who plays at which positions going forward.

“You lose your No. 1, now it makes the whole team move up,” Howard said. “We’re going to have to have some guys step up.”

Message board

The Fairview football team is hosting its youth night for Friday’s season opener against Poudre at Recht Field. There is free admission to the game for K-8 students wearing a youth football jersey or BVSD school t-shirt and accompanied by a paying adult. There is also a Boulder Bears halftime punt, pass and kick competition at halftime, as well as a pre-game tailgate party with free hot dogs, chips and drinks for the first 200 fans.

Fairview is seeking a new throws coach for the track team in the spring. For more information, contact athletic director Frank Lee at

Centaurus is seeking an assistant cheer coach. Contact athletic director Paul Roper at or at 720-561-5362.