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Some news and notes to kick-start the week in preps:

THE TIME COMMITMENT that prep coaches and athletes devote to their sports seems to increase all the time, and we celebrate their efforts on these pages as much as time and space allow.

The athletes’ achievements never cease, and the coaches’ value to their schools, communities and athletes is immeasurable.

But there are also folks associated with every athletic program who go unnoticed. Usually volunteers, they don’t care about the anonymity. Their joy comes simply from lending a helping hand in boys’ and girls’ successes on the fields of play. But without them many programs wouldn’t be able to fully function.

Two such people being recognized by the Colorado High School Activities Association on Friday are Chuck and Betty Scarpella.

The Scarpellas have been volunteering their services as stat keepers for local prep football teams for nearly 50 years. Now serving Monarch, they’ll be honored with CHSAA’s IBM High School Heroes Award at halftime of the Coyotes’ 7 p.m. playoff game against Durango.

Chuck Scarpella began keeping stats for Louisville High School in 1963, and has been on the sidelines for all but two football seasons since. When Louisville and Lafayette High merged to form Centaurus, he and Betty went along, clipboards in tow. When Monarch opened in 1998, the couple spent a couple of years doing stats for both schools.

Since 2000, they’ve been mainstays for MHS. When the Coyotes travel, so do the Scarpellas, from Wheat Ridge to Brighton to Florida and Arizona.

“They are teammates to hundreds of boys who have played football in our area and friends to all in the city of Louisville,” MHS coach Phil Bravo wrote in nominating the couple for the award. “They are iconic servants in our community.”

Kudos to CHSAA and IBM for recognizing the faces on the sideline who selflessly help the games go on. …

THE CITY OF LONGMONT has had a good thing going on in volleyball for years, with Longmont and Skyline both regularly contending for bids to the state tournament.

The LHS Trojans, lead by coach Holli Stetson, head to the Denver Coliseum once again this year to try and improve on last year’s state semifinal run. But they’ll be joined by a new cross-town rival this year in Silver Creek.

While many programs at the school have found glowing success since SCHS opened a decade ago, the Raptors volleyball team struggled from one year to the next and saw numerous coaching changes.

But in her second season, coach Nicholle Chambers has the Raptors rolling in Class 4A and doing their part in holding up the city’s reputation on the court.

THE HOLY FAMILY SPIKERS are also headed to state on Friday, back in Denver for the first time in three years.

Pool play for all classifications begins at 8 a.m. Friday and runs throughout the day. Pool play resumes at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, with semifinals in the afternoon and championship matches at 7 p.m.

USA VOLLEYBALL will be at the state tournament Friday and Saturday collecting gently used volleyballs signed with messages of encouragement and hope for its Leave a Ball Behind campaign.

The donated balls will be sent to under-privileged youth programs around the world, specifically this year to the countries of Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.

FOOTBALL PLAYOFF GAME TIMES have been set for the seven local squads still competing.

In Class 5A, Fairview hosts No. 1 Columbine at 7 p.m. Friday at Recht Field.

In 4A, No. 2 Monarch hosts Durango at 7 p.m. Friday at Warrior Stadium, while No. 7 Broomfield hosts Cheyenne Mountain at the same time at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium. No. 5 Longmont, meanwhile, hosts Falcon at 1 p.m. Saturday at Everly-Montgomery Field.

Silver Creek’s 3A matchup with Palmer Ridge is at 7 p.m. Friday night at Everly-Montgomery. Holy Family is at Windsor at noon Saturday.

And in 1A, No. 4 Lyons hosts long-time rival Akron at 1 p.m. Saturday.

THEY’RE ALL-STATERS even if weather wiped out the games.

Eight local players had been tabbed to play in the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports all-state softball games over the weekend before Mother Nature failed to cooperate.

They were: In 5A, Joni Davenport, Monarch. In 4A, MaKayla Kovac, Erie; Lauren Murphy-Payne, Erie; and Lindsey Shiels-Brophy, Broomfield. In 3A, Alejandra Sullivan, Holy Family; McKenzie Zeman, Holy Family; Monique Gonzales, Holy Family; and Michaela DaMato, Peak to Peak.

SPEAKING OF COLD WEATHER, more indoor sports are right around the corner, with winter sports practices beginning on Friday. Locally, that includes boys and girls basketball, girls swimming, wrestling and ice hockey.

SINCE WE STARTED on a recognition note, we’ll end on one.

Twelve rowers from local high schools competing for Colorado Junior Crew won medals at the Frostbite Regatta in Wichita, Kan., over the weekend.

Taking third in the women’s eight on the 1.7-mile Little Arkansas River course were Aurelia Casarrubias, Taryn Parsons, Harriet Wolf, Ariel Wagner-Randall, Jill Williams, Carolyn Monette, Carly Lichty, Anneliese Bruening and coxswain Leah Trumble.

Third in the men’s four were Brendan Carr, Chris Satter, Scott Erickson, Taylor Coletta and coxswain Will Chambers.

CJC practices at Boulder Reservoir in the fall and spring and is open to any high school students.

AND FINALLY, Louisville resident Kamran Madani recently won bronze at the Jr. World Karate Championships in Malaysia as a member of the U.S. Junior National Team.

With father Cyrus as his instructor, Madani took third in kumite in the 14-15 age division (under 70 kg).

Fellow member of IMA Karate, a Louisville dojo, Michael Ford also competed but did not make the medal round.

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