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Football: Longmont mayor declares ‘Raptor Nation Day’ in honor of SCHS state title

Silver Creek's Jake Prinz, center, and John Harper, left, take pictures of the football team's state championship trophy after a pep rally honoring the squad on Friday.
Greg Lindstrom
Silver Creek’s Jake Prinz, center, and John Harper, left, take pictures of the football team’s state championship trophy after a pep rally honoring the squad on Friday.

LONGMONT — Not wanting to disrupt preparation and routine, Silver Creek athletic director Marty Tonjes declined when the Raptors football players asked for a pep rally after their state semifinals victory in the fall.

On Friday in the Silver Creek gym, the Raptors got the pep rally they asked for. They also received bonuses in the fact that the rally was for a state title and that Mayor Dennis Coombs officially proclaimed Jan. 4, 2013 to be Raptor Nation Day in Longmont.

Coombs said he was proud do help give the Raptors their due, as Silver Creek’s success on the football field and in the classroom represents the commitment to both displayed throughout the St. Vrain Valley School District.

“It was not so long ago that this school first opened and now they’re winning a state championship when they started out with no history or culture,” Coombs said. “It says a lot about the teachers and the coaches and the parents here and how heavily-invested they are in the kids.”

The Raptors football team went 12-2, defeating top-seeded Rifle 32-15 in the state title game.

Raptors head coach Mike Apodaca said it took a lot of long Friday nights to propel the 12-year-old school to state champion status. Having been a part of a state-title team as a player for Cheyenne Central in Wyoming in 1989, Apodaca said watching the Raptors win a title after falling just short a year prior was more rewarding.

“You get to see the kids achieve something that is the pinnacle of what they’re trying to do and that’s a special thing to be a part of,” Apodaca said. “It’s really about your Jimmys and Joes. We have great kids that work really hard, that are very coachable, and that makes it an easy place to come coach.”

Raptors senior Trey Fleming, the Longmont Times-Call Player of the Year, said the team was overjoyed to see the Silver Creek student body show the same support it had all season at the rally.

“It’s crazy all the help we’ve gotten from the community,” Fleming said. “Our school is the biggest part of all of it. I feel like everyone gave us all the support they could and that was the biggest part of our win.”

Senior football team manager Wesley Summers, who has Down syndrome, was presented with the IBM Hero of the Week Award at the assembly.

The Raptors also recognized track and field star Valarie Allman for breaking the state discus record last spring, Jack Adolfson for being named Boulder Daily Camera and Times-Call boys golfer of the year and six of seven fall sports teams for making state tournament play.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi

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