From the moment Noelle Gardon laid out for the spectacular final out of the 2018 Class 4A state championship softball game back in October, the Holy Family Tigers were on a path of destiny that led them to one of their school’s finest athletic seasons in their lengthy history.
It also helped spark a run of athletic achievement in the major sports that saw final four appearances in baseball, boys and girls basketball and volleyball and postseason appearances from 11 other sports programs — all of which added up to the distinction of being honored as the 2019 recipient of the BoCoPreps.com Cup.
In a school year that saw BoCo area teams accumulate 11 state championships and 13 state runner-up trophies, Holy Family’s softball championship was its lone overall title this season. But all the small successes added up in tabulating the numbers for the BoCoPreps.com Cup, which for the past 12 years has awarded one school for being the most successful across the board of all sports in which they participate.
Modeled after the NCAA Directors Cup, points are awarded directly for placement in team championship competitions, with 100 points going to a champion, 90 points going to second place, and from there a varying amount of points depending on how many teams are eligible for a given postseason in a given sport. The points are tallied through the entire year and then divided by the total number of sports in which each school participates.
It’s the third time for Holy Family to win the Cup since its inception in 2007 — the Tigers also won in 2013 and 2014. Broomfield and Fairview are the only other schools to win the award so far. The Tigers scored 56.47 points, while Niwot finished second with 52.84 points.
“Two things really jumped out at me the last 10 months or whatever it’s been — I think, number one, our kids just really competed,” athletic director Ben Peterson said. “You could just tell from the time we were doing summer workouts and everything at the school, just our kids getting prepared for their seasons, they competed.
“Second, our senior leadership is as good as it’s been since 2014. We just had a great group leading both the boys and girls side, and that’s the same thing we had back when we last won this trophy. They led by example, led the younger kids, and we as a school just hope that continues to filter down.”
Competing mostly in 4A sports this time around, Holy Family appeared in the postseason in almost all the 17 sports the school offers. That includes individuals competing in sports where teams are awarded points for individual efforts, i.e. wrestling and track. Ironically, the Cup numbers do not include Hailey Schalk’s 4A golf state championship, as the Tigers did not qualify a team for the state meet and thus did not earn points toward a team trophy.
The Tigers got off to a tremendous start in the fall, with their boys golf team placing third overall and the boys and girls cross country teams placing in the 3A top 13 the same weekend as the softball team captured the state championship.
“It was a special group of kids,” Peterson said of the softball team. “I don’t know the girls as well as (coach) Mitch (Martinez) does, but I’ve gotten to hear a lot of conversations and just witnessed the things that they did, and that’s just a cast of characters right there. They worked for each other … and Erin (Caviness) got a lot of the accolades but without the group around her they would not have achieved what they were able to achieve.”
A run by the volleyball team to the 4A semifinals provided an additional buoy for the Tigers.
Ron Rossi’s 500th career coaching win was part of a run by the girls basketball team all the way to the Denver Coliseum, and they were joined by Pete Villecco’s boys team in making the semifinals.
Then in the spring, Marc Cowell’s baseball team ended up still alive on the final day of May as a 4A semifinalist. The first-year varsity boys lacrosse team scored some Cup points by making playoffs, and the 10th place showing of the girls tennis team and top-20 placements for boys and girls track ultimately put the Tigers on top.
“We didn’t have a drop-off in any sport … and coming from the smallest school in the 4A classification I think again that speaks to our coaches and athletes figuring out what it’s going to take to compete at that level,” Peterson said. “We’re proud of them.”
Finishing second to Broomfield last year, Niwot once again was the Cup runner-up and the two schools were well ahead of everyone else in the top 10. Lyons was third.
BoCoPreps.com Cup Standings
Top 10 schools
1. Holy Family 56.47
2. Niwot 52.84
3. Lyons 49.86
4. Broomfield 47.48
5. Fairview 45.76
6. Dawson School 43.75
7. Silver Creek 40.53
8. Erie 39.21
9. Jefferson Academy 39.19
10. Peak to Peak 37.60