Legacy football will play Friday; coach Voorhees released from hospital

Kira Vos / For
Legacy quarterback Alec Lewis looks down the field for an open man during the second quarter of their Sept. 2 contest against Broomfield.

Legacy head football coach Wayne Voorhees was released from the hospital and returned home on Tuesday, two days after the team was involved in a fatal bus crash that left the driver dead and sent more than a dozen players and coaches to area hospitals.

Voorhees, who has coached the Lightning for the past 14 seasons, tweeted out Tuesday evening “Thanks to all the well wishers, etc. Had a rough few days in the hospital. But I’m home now. Need some rest before I get back out there.”


Assistant coach Kyle Rider was also released on Tuesday, while offensive coordinator Matt Kroupa remained hospitalized, according to the school.

Earlier in the day, the school announced the football team will play its game on Friday against Prairie View as scheduled, according to an email from principal Sara Marx to Legacy parents.

A bus carrying Legacy’s junior varsity team and some varsity coaches crashed at Denver International Airport on Sunday after the team returned home from playing Chino Hills in California.

The bus driver, Kari Chopper, died in the crash. Three coaches— Voorhees, Kroupa, and Rider — were taken to the hospital in critical condition. More than a dozen players were also taken to area hospitals, but all were released as of Tuesday morning.

“We believe playing the game serves as an important and necessary step in the recovery process and we look forward to being together as a community as we continue our homecoming week,” Marx said in the email.

In an email dated Sept. 12, Marx told parents that the school would be moving forward with Legacy Pride Week activities associated with homecoming, including Saturday’s dance. She also announced that Matt Craddock, a long-time Lightning assistant and former head coach at Thornton High, will serve as interim coach while Voorhees recovers.

Legacy (1-1) opened the season with a 14-9 win at city rival Broomfield (1-1) on Sept. 2, before heading to Chino Hills (3-0), where they fell 28-24 to the Cougars last Thursday.

Junior quarterback Alec Lewis set school records for passing attempts (39), completions (23) and passing yards (297) in the loss to Chino Hills. Lewis, who threw for 253 yards in the win over Broomfield, has two of the Lightning’s top four passing yardage performances in school history this season, according to Legacy scorekeeper Douglas Dietel.

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