Mead’s Devon Edwards had a football scholarship offer from Division-II Colorado State-Pueblo, where teammates Trey Ward and Jake Wachter are committed. Then another from Lindenwood University, where his brother Derek Edwards just finished his freshman season.
Instead, he’ll take a gamble on himself as a preferred-walk on at Colorado State.
— devon edwards (@devon1_edwards) February 4, 2020
With a flick of the pen, high school athletes around the country made their official commitments to collegiate programs Wednesday. And while many will go on scholarship, some forego a scholarship to go prove themselves and carve a place of their own.
Edwards, who rushed for five touchdowns last year and had 55 tackles as a linebacker, is chasing a dream.
“I had a few other D-II offers but when it came down to it my goal has been to play D-I since I was a little kid,” the Mavericks senior said. “I got my shot at CSU. I decided it’s worth it to go give it a shot and do my best and prove some people wrong.”
Edwards signed alongside Ward, Wachter and Air Force Academy baseball commit Nick Jacobs on national signing day. Edwards, Wachter and Ward helped lead the Mavericks to a perfect regular season on the gridiron and their third straight league title.
Wachter averaged 11.3 yards per carry and rushed for 1,119 yards and had 22 total touchdowns.
WELCOME TO #PACKNATION, JAKE WACHTER!
— CSU-Pueblo Football (@CSUPFootball) February 5, 2020
Ward was the BoCoPreps.com defensive player of the year with seven interceptions at cornerback while netting 420 receiving yards and five scores. (CSU-Pueblo’s 2020 class also includes Silver Creek’s Carter Closson and Caleb Sedegan).
WELCOME TO #PACKNATION, TREY WARD!
— CSU-Pueblo Football (@CSUPFootball) February 5, 2020
“It was just exciting for us, we’ve all been together playing football since we were little,” Edwards said. “It was cool to go through the journey together and end it together, too.”
Next, Edwards heads to CSU where former Boston College coach Steve Addazio has taken the joysticks.
There, Fairview’s Henry Blackburn is committed. The Knights’ multi-facet player led the state in receiving despite missing the first five games, racking up 1,335 yards with 27 total touchdowns. Defensively, he recorded 60 tackles and had an interception. And on special teams, he kicked and returned.
Also committed is Skyline’s Will Drewes, who like Edwards, joins the program as a PWO. Drewes had three sacks, 134 tackles and nine tackles for loss as the team’s middle linebacker last year.
— Will Drewes (@WillDrewes) February 5, 2020
Broomfield’s Trey Ortega looks to carve a role out at CU
Like Mead’s Edwards and Skyline’s Drewes, Ortega chose the route of a preferred-walk on and left behind scholarships to play for a D-I program.
Ortega will join Mel Tucker and the University of Colorado — the same chip on the shoulder and all.
“I was ready to prove people kind of wrong,” said Ortega, who signed with eight of his Eagles teammates Wednesday. “Like not everyone gets a preferred-walk on, they’re like ‘You don’t get any money, you’re not going to play.’ So, part of me is fired up to prove everyone wrong in a way that I came up there and I can compete with all these kids.”
Super stoked to say I am committed to the University of Colorado. Thank you to all the coaches and family members who have helped me get to this point! 🐃🌟⚫️ pic.twitter.com/fmzZQRMQQr
— Trey Ortega (@tr3yortega) December 12, 2019
Ortega, a first-team all-state defensive back last year, helped lead a unit that held opponents to fewer than 10 points per game (until the Class 4A state final against a loaded program from Pine Creek). The shutdown defensive back said he was sold on CU after an unofficial visit to Folsom Field when the Buffs beat Washington in late November.
“The whole atmosphere was awesome, man,” he said. “Coach Mel Tucker was awesome. The whole staff was awesome. It just felt very inclusive. And I could see myself playing there for the next four or five years.”
For now, he doesn’t precisely know what position he’ll end up playing in Boulder. The goal is to compete for a place on the field on Saturdays.
“The thing I think about is how Terrell Davis started out on special teams, had a massive hit in Tokyo (against the 49ers) and then just started from there, and now he’s a Hall of Fame running back,” he said. “Anywhere I can get on the field is my goal. Get on, prove myself and start earning spots at primary positions.”
Basketball league races to monitor
The area has quite a few league races still completely up in the air, and Friday’s snow postponements should only add to a wild finish.
As of late Friday night …
In the boys’ 4A Northern League, Longmont had to rally to overcome Thompson Valley, which has a losing record. Centaurus then beat Silver Creek by 19 before the Raptors came back and ended the Trojans’ 36-game league winning streak Tuesday. Currently, Longmont is a game in the loss column ahead of Silver Creek, two up on Centaurus.
In the 5A/4A Tri-Valley League, Erie’s girls team beat Holy Family Tuesday thanks to late heroics from Anna Hefner. Now, Holy Family and Berthoud both have one loss in league with the Tigers currently owning the tiebreaker. Erie is a game back. In boys, 4A CHSAANow.com No. 1 Mead is two games ahead of Erie.
In the Front Range League, Boulder and Fairview are still undefeated in the boys’ race. They’ll face each other Feb. 17 at the CU Events Center. In girls, league unbeatens Fairview and Broomfield were expected to play Friday, but the game was moved to Monday due to snow.
Shining Mountain came into the weekend 3-0 alongside Flatirons Academy in the girls’ 1A 5280 League. Dawson boys lost to Highland and are two game back in the loss column for the lead in the 2A/1A Mile High League. The Mustangs girls are a game back of Heritage Christian.
Fairview the new 5A swim favorite
The Knights are ranked first in the latest rankings put out by PrepSwimCo.com. Looking to defend its 2019 title, the site has Fairview 13 points ahead of Cherry Creek, which has been ranked No. 1 for most of the season.
Erie is ranked third in Class 3A, back of Salida and Pueblo County. And in 4A, Broomfield (fourth), Silver Creek (fifth), Monarch, (seventh) and Niwot (eighth) make up the area teams inside the top 10. Cheyenne Mountain is the clear favorite, 34 points ahead of No. 2 Mullen.
Erie’s Loveland goes official with Regis
Megan Loveland, the Erie Tigers pitcher who went 27-8 on the mound in her career, signed with Regis University Wednesday. In last year’s state tournament, she threw 28 1/3 innings in helping lead Erie to its 12th softball title in history.
— Erie High School (@ErieHighSchool) February 5, 2020
Monarch’s Mainland heading to New Mexico State
Julia Mainland signed with New Mexico State University for both track and field and cross country. Mainland finished 31st in the 5A state cross country race in Colorado Springs. In track, she was 11th in the 800, fifth as part of the 1,600 relay and eighth in the 3,200 relay.
Holy Family’s lineman Blackmore and Dean sign for football
Walter Blackmore (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) signed to play with Adams State and Shawn Dean (6-4, 265) is headed to South Dakota School of Mines. The Tigers got back to the postseason for a second straight season before bowing out to the eventual 3A state champ, Palmer Ridge.
— Holy Family Football (@HFHS_football) February 5, 2020
Legacy tweeted out that 22 of its athletes signed Wednesday. Halle Mackiewicz, who said she signed earlier but celebrated Wednesday, is going to Clemson for soccer. Among others, Blake and Brandon Hansen are going to Dordt University for soccer. Kicker John Hoyland committed to the University of Wyoming.
— John Hoyland (@jahoyland1) February 6, 2020
Broomfield tweeted it had 12 athletes sign LOIs. Among them, River Juarez and Grant Swenson signed with Chadron State for football.
12 more outstanding student athletes signed their letter of intent today! Thanks for all you do for Broomfield and good luck on you future challenges! pic.twitter.com/DfsEdKiJXo
— Broomfield Athletics (@Eagle_athletics) February 5, 2020
Fairview’s signees included the state’s leading girls basketball scorer in Izzy Munson, who is going to Emory University. Among others, Landon Colvin is headed to San Diego for football and Aspen Anderson is headed to Dartmouth for soccer.
Congratulations – college SIGNING party. pic.twitter.com/OtBhGmE2zb
— Allen Howlett (@FairviewAD) February 5, 2020
Boulder pitcher Dorsey Chatham is part of Xavier’s 2020 signing class. The right-handed pitcher went 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA last season in 12 appearances. Outfielder Luke Pemberton is committed to Pepperdine, per the CHSAA recruiting database.
— Xavier Baseball (@XavierBASE) January 21, 2020
Frederick’s Jake Green made it official with Nebraska-Kearney Wednesday. Among others, Dylan Sindelar is going to Missouri Western State, Blake Duran Dakota State and Jackson Ramer Adams State for football. Lauren Leitner is going to Johnson and Wales for basketball.
Congratulations to all our signees today!!!
Jake Green-Nebraska Kearney
Dylan Sindelar-Missouri Western
Blake Duran-Dakota State
Jackson Ramer-Adams State
Riley Dufour -Otero JC
Josh Dean-Trinidad State
Lauren Leitner-Johnson & Wales pic.twitter.com/w128dfJeli
— FHS Warriors (@Warriors_of_FHS) February 5, 2020
Niwot cross country coach Kelly Christensen and track and field coach Maurice Henriques were named regional winners as part of the Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach Award.
Congratulations NHS Coaches Kelly Christensen and Maurice Henriques on winning the Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach Regional Award! @NiwotHS @lefthandvc @goSVVSD @BoCoPreps @PositiveCoachUS #StVrainStorm https://t.co/HQomNzF142
— Niwot Athletics (@niwotathletics) February 5, 2020