The cupboard never is exactly bare when it comes to the Boulder boys tennis program. Nevertheless, Adrian Games faced a few unenviable challenges when he took over the Panthers’ program early last summer.
First and foremost, Games immediately had to deal with the loss of two of Boulder’s top singles players, as No. 1 player Galen Arney moved Florida and Levi Chandler, a qualifier for the state tournament last year at No. 3 singles, opted to play for the Boulder football team this fall.
It seems those losses were no problem for Games and the Panthers, who will have entrants in all seven spots when the Class 5A state finals begin Thursday morning at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
“Primarily, we are a young team and it was great to get all seven lines qualified,” Games said. “The season was a feeling-out process and we really came a long way in regionals.”
While the Panthers were not victorious at the Class 5A Region 7 tournament last week, they showed more than enough gumption to prove they are ready for the intensity of the state meet.
Boulder reached the championship match in all seven draws, six of which were against eventual team champion Regis Jesuit. Four of those matches against Regis went three sets. And two of Boulder’s doubles teams — the No. 1 duo of Ethan Anderson and Arie VanVuuren, as well as the No. 4 team of Dan Cleveland and Jackson Feld — earned their state berths by shaking off losses in their title matches to win state qualifier playback matches.
“They showed a lot of character and depth,” Games said. “They’ve come a long way in their willingness to compete. It was big and it was something we hadn’t seen all year. That’s a huge step and it’s something I think we’ll see again at state or even going into next year.”
LYONS GIVES BACK
Like many of the Lyons High School athletic teams, the Lions volleyball squad has been humbled by the outpouring of support and affection they have received in the weeks since floods ravaged their hometown.
On Tuesday, the Lions finally had an opportunity to give back.
Head coach Jeff Klipstein lives in Estes Park and has witnessed firsthand the destruction that has decimated that town as well. He also is good friends with Estes Park High School volleyball coach Sammi Coleson. When their teams collided at Lyons’ makeshift home at Skyline, Klipstein’s Lions made sure to treat the visiting Bobcats well, making posters for the Estes Park players and showering them with gifts such as water bottles and bags of candy.
Afterward, both displaced squads gathered for a group picture.
“Everywhere we’ve been, people have been so helpful and thoughtful,” Klipstein said. “It was nice to be able to do the same thing for someone else. A lot of these girls play club together, and this flood has really brought out a sense of community among them.”
On the court, Lyons’ sweep of the Bobcats improved the Lions’ record to 11-4 — a somewhat unexpected level of success after star Nola Basey moved on to the University of Denver.
“It’s been a very pleasant surprise,” Klipstein said. “Our senior captain, Madeline Keen, she’s our heart and soul. The kids have seen the dedication she gives and have really responded.”
Boulder’s football team will be without sophomore running back Todd Jones for at least a few weeks due to a knee injury … A couple of squads from Dawson School are riding hot streaks. The Mustangs’ boys soccer team has won five consecutive games and shares the lead of the Region 7 standings. Dawson’s volleyball team has won six out of seven and is challenging for the No. 2 seed out of the Mile High League … North Stadium, home of Legacy High School athletics, has been renamed 1st Bank Field.
2013 Niwot graduate Nickie Blue won the first two games in the pitcher’s circle for the South Carolina softball team’s fall schedule, allowing only one earned run in six innings … Fairview’s Jack Mayfield scored his first collegiate goal to lead Metro State to a 1-0 win against Colorado Mesa on Oct. 4 … Skyline grad Hannah Truesdale scored her first collegiate goal to help Grinnell College to a 2-0 win against Knox on Saturday.
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