Skip to content notebook: Erie softball has its day — again

Dawson girls hoops surging; local footballers commit

Erie High School's Megan Loveland (No. ...
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
Megan Loveland and the Erie softball team’s 4A championship effort this past fall was recognized by Weld County this past week.

Erie’s state champion softball team, the group that pulled off a preposterously fun streak in the Class 4A tournament last fall, made an imprint not soon to be forgotten.

A ridiculous, never-die opening round win — when it led 7-0, trailed 13-7 and prevailed 18-14 over Pueblo South — will resonate long from now. Their championship victory in eight innings over Golden couldn’t have served as a more fitting conclusion.

On Monday, Weld County proclaimed Jan. 20, 2020 as Erie Tigers Day when hosting the softball team three months after it lifted the top prize. The county’s Board of Commissioners celebrated the program’s achievement before officially stamping the day into history.

“We didn’t know they signed and actually made it a whole day, like forever, like (Jan. 20, 2020) is forever going to be Erie Tigers Day,” senior pitcher Megan Loveland said. “We thought when we went up there, they were recognizing us as a team just for the day. We didn’t realize it was forever.”

Loveland, who went 27-8 on the mound in her Tigers’ career, will pitch at Regis University next season. She pitched 28 1/3 innings over the two-day state tournament, helping lead Erie to its 12th title in program history.

Other seniors from the team included Madysun Vaughan, who drove in 54 runs and homered 15 times during the year, as well as player of the year Kat Sackett, who hit an astronomical .565, had 47 RBIs and 15 homers.

All three were named 4A first team all-state. Erie’s coach, Vanessa Smith, was the 4A and BoCoPreps coach of the year.

Dawson girls where they want to be

Dawson’s girls basketball team welcomed its fourth coach in four years — a circumstance not entirely ideal, admitted new frontman Matt Johnston.

And yet it continues to be a fixture.

The Mustangs are out to a 9-2 start, winning their first four games inside the 2A/1A Mile High League by a margin of 211-115. Since closing out 2019 with consecutive losses, they’ve won five straight while ranking sixth in scoring in Class 2A.

“We’re starting to come together as a group and starting to understand expectations,” Johnston said. “They’re getting more comfortable with me as their coach and I’m getting more comfortable with what they can do as a group, as a team.”

Even in transition, there’s been success in the program.

After former coach Jessica Mitchell’s final year in 2016-17, the Mustangs have never had a losing record over the past three seasons. Senior Kaitlyn Day is a big reason why.

Day has led the team in scoring in each of her four seasons, crossing 1,000 career points earlier this season.

“She’s an alpha,” Johnston said. “From what I’ve heard, she’s been an alpha since the day she was born. She just has that mentality. She’s a great competitor, very high IQ basketball player. She wants to play against the best and compete.”

Up and down, but still right in the mix

The Longmont girls basketball team reached .500 in mid-Janaury for the first time in four years. Then, it lost to Northridge Friday.

“The theme this year is to get better, compete, repeat,” second-year coach Wade Kingsbury said. “That’s something we talk about every day, get better and repeat. And at the end, that’s what we can do. And we come back the next day and try to do it again.”

Longmont had three straight 20-plus-win seasons from 2008-2011, then two more in 2014-15 and 2015-16 before falling on tough times.

Kingsbury took over the program from Mike Knaus last season and won 10 games. The Trojans (7-8, 4-2 4A Northern), who lost to Northridge Friday, are still currently in contention for their first league crown since they went 14-0 in 2015-16.

Slavin represents

Carolina Hurricanes defender Jaccob Slavin, a graduate of Erie, was named an all-star for the first time in his career a week ago.

On Friday, he went out and won the shooting accuracy competition at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. For top marks, he hit all five targets in 9.505 seconds.

Afterward, he joked with NBC on-ice reporter Pierre McGuire that he may have been aiming at different targets when he hit others.

“Hey, it works,” the 25-year-old deadpanned.

He’ll play in Saturday’s All-Star Tournament as part of the Metropolitan Division team.

Twitter reveal

Twitter is good to see where the latest high school football commits are continuing their careers.

And, well, there’s probably more … but for now, here are a few announcements from last week.

Legacy’s Dakota Key committed to Dakota State University. He ran for 3,661 yards and had 29 touchdowns in his career with the Lightning.

Frederick’s Dylan Sindelar committed to Missouri Western State University. The 6-foot-4 tight end was one of player of the year Jake Green’s favorite targets last year, connecting on 40 percent of completions and a team-best 10 TDs.

Skyline’s Creighton Trembly committed to Chadron State for football and track and field. The gifted athlete, who is listed running the 40-yard dash in 4.62 on his recruiting profile, is a 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back.

Longmont’s do-it-all Sage Yazzie committed to Western Colorado University. He threw for 528 yards, rushed for 323 and had 466 receiving yards last season for the Trojans.

Know of something that needs our attention? A worthy accomplishment, perhaps? A pressing story? A fun anecdote? Let us know by email or on twitter.