The race for the Northern League title in boys soccer appears to be coming down to the Silver Creek Raptors (8-1-2, 4-0) and the Niwot Cougars (9-4, 5-0). Both are the only teams without a league loss and are a couple of games ahead of the rest of the league with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Even so, neither side is willing to overlook what’s next on the schedule.
“We still have two games this week back to back, so for us we’re just focusing on each game with Thompson Valley and Longmont,” Silver Creek coach Rob Johnson said. “This senior group has done a good job at looking at what’s ahead and staying focused on the task at hand.”
The same goes for Niwot, who defeated Longmont 5-1 on Tuesday and faces Greeley Central on Thursday.
“The Northern league has a tendency to go wild at some point,” Niwot coach Stephen Dimit said. “We know each other well at this point. In terms of Longmont, our record was better but they’ve given us good game over the years. League play is a totally different beast.”
Should both teams handle their business in their two games this week, it will result in a meeting against one another on Tuesday for the Northern League title in Longmont.
A game between Niwot and Silver Creek for the league title will put the scoring offense of Niwot up against a Silver Creek backline that is one of the strongest in the region.
“Defensively with Jacob (Van Ens) and Ander (Poitras-Lazcano), they do a very good of keeping us composed,” Johnson said. “We do not allow a lot of good look, soft goals. There are no defender breakdowns. I think we do a good job adapting at what other teams do.”
They will tasked with trying to contain a Niwot offense that has scored multiple goals in each of the last six games, sparking its current win streak.
“We’re getting goals from a lot of different guys,” Dimit said. “I think well over half our roster has contributed to a goal in some way. That’s been big. That’s raised the level of everybody. That’s been the biggest change.”
Jared Osteen leads the team with 10 goals but Niwot has eight different players who have scored a goal, six of whom have multiple goals this season.
The game between Silver Creek and Niwot next Tuesday is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff time at Silver Creek High School.
Frederick hosts Holy Family in critical football game
There will be a big Thursday night showdown in Frederick when the undefeated Warriors (6-0, 1-0) face the Holy Family Tigers (3-3, 1-0) in the Northern Metro League.
Frederick, ranked No. 6 in the polls and sitting No. 10 in the CHSAA RPI standings, has rolled of late in blowout wins over Weld Central, Lincoln, Littleton and Northfield as they have outscored their last four opponents 230-19. They know that this game, however, will feature far better competition against a more battle-tested team in Holy Family.
“We have this one circled every year,” Frederick coach Travis Peeples said. “It’s a game every year our kids get up for. They want to compete against Holy Family, so we circle this one and work really hard to see what we can do against that kind of talent.”
Confidence is riding high for the Warriors with their six-game win streak and victories over Holy Family in each of the last two seasons. Quarterback Jake Green has made Frederick one of the highest-scoring offenses in the state with 601 passing yards, 770 rushing yards and 22 total touchdowns. The offense is averaging just over 48 points per game coming into this week.
“Everyone on our offensive line came back, so we have guys with two or three years of experience in the system,” Peeples said. “Jake Green was more of a field general last year for us, but this year he’s a playmaker. He runs with the ball, throws the ball, hands it off. He’s still the general, but Jake adds a fourth-dimension other teams have to worry about.”
Should Frederick get past Holy Family, it sets up the potential for a league championship finale at Mead on Nov. 8 in the final game of the regular season. Mead, ranked No. 1in the RPI standings, is also undefeated entering this week.
On the other side, Holy Family enters the game sitting at .500, a mark the team is not satisfied with at this point. Despite the record, things are looking up for the Tigers of late, most notably with the offense putting up 78 points and returning to form the last couple of games.
“You would like to come into the season polished and ready to go, but that never happens,” Holy Family coach Mike Gabriel said. “The kids have worked hard and improved over the season. They are playing well and getting comfortable now.”
Quarterback Calahan Carter has thrown for 1,644 yards and 15 touchdowns so far and 12 different players have recorded a reception for Holy Family in its spread offense. Trevin Johnson has provided some balance in the backfield with 561 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.
This is a critical two-week stretch that could determine Holy Family’s fate of reaching the playoffs. Sitting No. 16 in the RPI polls this week, the Tigers are hanging on by a thread to a playoff spot. Their game with Frederick this week is followed by a home game with Mead next week. Two wins could see the Tigers go from a .500 team to controlling its own destiny for a league title and automatic playoff berth while two losses could be too much to overcome in making the postseason.
“We know our backs are against the wall,” Gabriel said. “It feels like playoff football for us right now.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Regional cross country schedule for 4A/3A
The postseason gets underway this week in cross country with teams competing in their respective regional cross country meets.
Each classification hosts four regional meets to determine the teams and individual runners that will compete at the state meet in Colorado Springs on Oct. 26. In each classification, the top four teams from each region and all individual athletes to finish in the top 15 in each regional will qualify.
Local teams in class 3A and 4A will be spread out amongst three regional meets.
Holy Family, Jefferson Academy, Peak to Peak and Prospect Ridge Academy will represent the local teams in the area in Class 3A at City Park in Denver for the 3A Region 3 meet on Friday. A total of 14 teams are scheduled to compete in the meet. Also competing at City Park on Friday will be Centaurus and Niwot in the 4A Region 3 meet, which will include 11 other schools.
Lyons High School will once again host a number of regional meets this year, including the 4A Region 4 meet. Local teams competing in that regional meet include Erie, Frederick, Longmont, Mead, Silver Creek and Skyline. A total 13 teams will make up the field. The 4A Region 4 meet is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Longmont volleyball coach Hollie Stetson is four wins away from reaching 300 with the program. The Trojans still have three games in the Northern League and the Cheyenne Mountain tournament to finish the regular season… Other notable football games this week: Niwot vs. Erie, Monarch vs. Skyline and Centaurus at Vista PEAK… Erie swimmer Payten Irwin announced a verbal commitment to swim at Washington State on Monday via Twitter… Kayla Ruby, a graduate from Broomfield High School, sang the national anthem at Sunday’s football game between the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans.