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BoCoPreps 4A/3A notebook

State golf, football giving back, volleyball standings and more

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The 2019 state golf tournaments for Classes 3A, 4A and 5A get underway on Monday. Plenty of local golfers will be in action for the two-day tournaments across the state.

In Class 4A, the Frederick Warriors qualified for the first time as a team for state following a second-place finish in the 4A Region 3 tournament.

“This is something we’ve worked four years together for,” Frederick coach Chris DeSantis said after regionals. “I was the assistant coach for two years and this is my second year as the head coach. It’s a great accomplishment for the kids. It’s just amazing to have that feeling.”

Competing for Frederick will be Nick Formby, Jake Chesler, Colton Gabbard and Joe Cartelli. They are one of 13 teams that will be in play for a state championship.

Christopher Gunlikson, of Niwot, during the ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Christopher Gunlikson of Niwot is one of several local participants in the Class 4A state golf tournament beginning Monday in Montrose.

Plenty of other local competitors from the same regional tournament will also be heading to the state tournament. Silver Creek will send two golfers in Ben Harding and Garrett Stansel. Adam Gannon competes for Longmont, Braden Caffarelli will represent Erie, Christopher Gunlikson will go for Niwot and John Reed will play for Skyline.

Over in Class 3A, the Holy Family Tigers will look to repeat what they did in the 3A Region 2 tournament, where they won the team title and had the medalist for the tournament as well.

Walker Franklin of Prospect Ridge won a playoff hole versus the Tigers’ Jacob Mason for the medalist title, but Mason’s finish still complemented the efforts of Garrett Green, Jackson Grace and Leo Nelson. All four now have their sites set on the state title.

Franklin and Jason Arbuckle both qualified individually for the state tournament for Prospect Ridge Academy and will be in the field next week. Other local golfers in the Class 3A state tournament include Ethan Runyon of Jefferson Academy, Suchit Sharma and Davis Long of Peak to Peak and Tommy Skodje of Dawson.

The Class 3A state tournament will be played on the blue course at the Eisenhower Golf Course at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Class 4A state tournament will take place at the Bridges Country Club in Montrose. Both tournaments will play round one on Monday and the final round on Tuesday.

Mead football gives back

In sports, it can be very easy to get caught up in wins, losses and personal stats.

Mead football coach Jason Klatt finds a way to make sure his team is focused on doing well both on and off the field.

Every week, the team works on character lessons for one day. The team does a variety of things to teach life lessons, including having guest speakers. The goal with those lessons is to make sure everyone on the team can grow.

“All those things I feel like drive home to the kids that football is not the most important thing,” Klatt said. “It doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says or what our record is at the end of the season. The most important thing is learning how to develop some character in your life so you can help other people out. That, to me, is the heart of our program.”

Mead put those words into action during their bye week last week. While the team did use the bye week to get better and prepare for a top-10 matchup with Erie this week, they also took time out to host a football clinic for students with the Mead Unified program.

Mead Unified fields athletic teams for people with and without disabilities. The program was selected as a Unified Champion Special Olympics National Banner School in early September. The group came out to practice last week and ran through football drills. While going through the drills, the football team helped coach them and gave support.

“It’s been fun over the years to watch that day grow,” Klatt said. “When we first did it, it was very elementary. This year we had some good plans and some good stations going on for the kids. That’s evolved over the years, but it’s something I feel is very important for our program.”

Early success has garnered Mead the No. 2 spot in the CHSAA football polls in Class 3A and plenty of accolades, with more on the horizon should the winning continue. But for them, winning off the field is just as important as what they’ve done on the field so far.

“The most important they’re going to learn from the season was what they did that day for the unified kids,” Klatt said. “Whenever you can light up someone’s life like that, and by helping them or sharing something with them, it does wonders.”

Volleyball races in Class 4A

Silver Creek won a big Northern League match on Tuesday over Thompson Valley 3-1 in a battle of the only teams without a loss in league play this year. The win puts Silver Creek solely in first place in the conference at the midway point of the league season.

““This is the best we’ve played defensively all season long,” Silver Creek coach John Miller said. “This is the kind of defense that I knew that we had. I’m glad they put it all together tonight. The defense with our offense, I thought it was just a great team effort tonight.”

While Silver Creek leads in the standings for now, the conference has proven to be more competitive as a whole and should set up an intriguing final month of the volleyball season.

Longmont and Niwot are the two teams right below Silver Creek and Thompson Valley in the standings and met on Tuesday in Niwot, a game Longmont would hang on to win in five sets. Both teams have proven to be worthy contenders with the rest of the league. Longmont lost in five sets to Thompson Valley and 3-1 to Silver Creek, both coming on the road. Niwot, who got off to a slow start with new players stepping in for a team that played for the state championship last year, has found its stride with four league wins.

Teams in the bottom half of the standings like Centaurus, Mountain View, Greeley Central and Northridge have also had its moments with some of the top teams in the league as well.

Parity is also on display in the Tri-Valley League this year with conference play just getting underway. Windsor is 3-0 in conference play and looks to be a strong contender for the league title early. The other unbeaten team in conference play is Holy Family, who got off to a slow start but appears to be playing better as of late. Another team finding its stride is Erie, who came away with a 3-1 win over Mead on Tuesday to improve to 3-1 in conference play.

Mead at one point was ranked No. 1 in the CHSAA volleyball polls in Class 4A but is off to a 1-2 start in the TVL. Skyline also found itself in the polls with a 7-0 start to the season but has dropped its first two league games. Frederick defeated Skyline 3-1 on Tuesday for its 10th win of the year and the second in league play.

As the volleyball season enters the final month of the regular season, both leagues look to have a close race for the league crown awaiting them.

Notable

Erie graduate Noah Roper made his NCAA debut with Dartmouth on Saturday with three rushing attempts for 16 yards in a 38-3 win over Colgate… The Mountain Range gymnastics invitational this Saturday will feature Niwot, Broomfield and athletes from local schools on the Mountain Range team competing… Jefferson Academy soccer beat fellow Broomfield school Prospect Ridge Academy and opened conference play with three straight wins. The Jaguars are currently third in the league standings behind Kent Denver and Colorado Academy… Frederick put up 72 points in a blowout win over Lincoln for homecoming on Friday… Keegan Caldwell continues his impressive cross country for season at Mead as he won the Mead Stampede and helped the team take first place in the boys team standings. Alyssa Wells and Evelyn Boyd finished first and second in the girls race for Holy Family and the team was first in the standings… Kat Sackett entered the week leading all hitters in Class 4A in slugging (1.614) and teammate Madysun Vaughan was 10th (1.121)… Zane Doehring of Frederick is fourth in Class 4A soccer with 35 points (15 goals, 5 assists).