Before high school sports went on hiatus, the 2019-20 season had its moments.
Moments of finality for the seniors who took one last breath in their athletic arena and those of newness for freshmen as they wonder ‘What’s next?’. Moments enclosed in a trophy case, framed for family memories, and those much harder to grasp.
By the end, some moments were donned in championships and storybook finishes, while others in anguish. Some weren’t much of an ending at all.
In a snapshot of what the past school year in the BoCoPreps.com region encapsulated, here is a timeline of some of the defining moments that made up ’19-20.
Oct. 8, 2019 — Fairview holds on for golf crown
The Knights placed three golfers inside the top eight at the Class 5A state tournament en route to winning their first team title since 2007. Will Chadwick led the way with a two-day score of 4-over-par 144, while Brett Reamon was 6-over par and Ryder Heuston 7-up. They held off second-place Arapahoe by three strokes.
Oct. 19, 2019 — Niwot’s Wilcox wins tennis title
Neil Wilcox won all but two sets as a junior, nabbing the 4A No. 1 singles title. His coach, Miikka Keronen, said his ace was so dominant that he would have won the top prize in either classification. He predicted more gold in store for the fall of 2020, too.
Oct. 26, 2019 — Niwot and Lyons sweep state XC
Niwot and Lyons left nothing to be desired at state cross country. Four team titles. Four individual champs. The Cougars were led by individual winners Samrawit Dishon in the 4A girls meet and Cruz Culpepper in boys. Quin Gregg won the 2A girls meet for the Lions, while senior Isaac Roberts finally got his individual title after coming oh-so close in his first three seasons.
Oct. 26, 2019 — Erie’s crazy run ends with a softball title
The Tigers went from being in good shape to seemingly out of it, clinging to life, to looking dead in the water — wait, how’d they do that? Their absurd run included leading by seven and trailing by six in a first-round win and finishing with an extra inning nail-biter in the championship game. It was their 12th title in program history, six more than any other team in state history.
Nov. 15, 2019 — Broomfield Eagles need a ‘Goose’ to claim soccer gold
Broomfield worked its way through the 5A soccer tournament, which also could’ve been known as “Best 5A Front Range League team wins”. Jim Davidson’s team survived in penalties against Fairview and Legacy and did again in overtime to Boulder. Against Regis Jesuit in the finals, Gustavo Gutierrez, nicknamed Goose, rebounded his own penalty kick in the 51st minute and fired home the lone goal. It was the Eagles’ eighth title in boys soccer (two more than any other program in the state) and fourth since moving up to 5A in 2014.
Nov. 15, 2019 — Fairview’s Blackburn to the rescue
Fairview do-it-all Henry Blackburn, who led the state in receiving despite missing the first five games, kicked a 37-yard field goal in the closing seconds to beat Cherokee Trail, 36-34.
Nov. 22, 2019 — Fairview QB Atkinson arrested on sex assault case
Aidan Atkinson turned himself into police the Friday morning of Fairview’s Class 5A quarterfinals game against Cherry Creek. He is currently facing multiple felony charges as a juvenile, including sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact. He was 18 at the time of his arrest. Less than a month earlier, Atkinson set the state record in career passing TDs and yards. His preliminary hearing was rescheduled for June because of the spread of the coronavirus.
Nov. 23, 2019 — Green-to-Duran Hail Mary
Frederick quarterback Jake Green launched a deep pass to Blake Duran, who shook a tackler and scored a 77-yard touchdown to lift the Warriors past Discovery Canyon and into the 3A semifinals.
Nov. 30, 2019 — Broomfield heads to finals thanks to the foot of Eich
Broomfield’s undefeated season continued when kicker Matthew Eich hit a 25-yard field goal in the closing seconds to send the Eagles into the 4A title game. The Eagles eventually lost to juggernaut Pine Creek.
Feb. 14, 2020 — Fairview is golden in the pool
The Knights girls didn’t win an individual title, but it didn’t matter. They reigned over 5A for a second straight year.
Feb. 19, 2020 — Codevilla and Lewicki are champs
Niwot sophomore Mary Codevilla won individual titles in the 200 and 500 freestyles while Monarch’s Katey Lewicki won in the 100 backstroke at the 4A swim meet.
Feb. 22, 2020 — Wrestlers rise to glory at the Pepsi Center
Four area wrestlers stop atop the podium by night’s end, including Monarch’s Vince Cornella, Erie’s Rudy Lopez, Broomfield’s Darren Green and Lyons’ Oran Huff.
March 12, 2020 (12:10 p.m.) — Spring sports season suspended due to coronavirus
The Colorado High School Activities Association announced the suspension of all spring sports, a decision that would go into effect March 13. The initial freeze was until April 6 and since has been revised until at least April 30. Some school districts around the state have already canceled the remainder of in-person education and activities for the rest of the school year.
March 12, 2020 (11:03 p.m.) — Remainder of state basketball tournaments cancelled
Shining Mountain had punched its ticket to the 1A Final Four in girls basketball when Sophia Matarrese hit a game-winning basket in the final seconds up in Greeley. Then, Holy Family carved a spot in the 4A state finals with a win over Green Mountain at the Denver Coliseum. And then it was all over. A late-night announcement from CHSAA canceled the remainder of the basketball tournaments. Mead and Fairview were expected to play their Final Four boys’ games the following day.
Other notable events
– Boulder junior Joaquin Stewart-LaGrave returns to the soccer field after beating a rare type of cancer.
– Jake Green leads Frederick back against Erie, then holds his breath as Tigers miss late two-point conversion.
– Monarch football coach Phil Bravo wins his 300th game.
– Mead beats Frederick in football to finish off perfect regular season.
– Several teams make state volleyball tournament.
– Niwot’s Mia Curry wins all-around title in 4A gymnastics.
– Centaurus, despite being the 26 seed in the 4A soccer postseason, moves all the way to the state quarterfinals.
– Dawson nabs a spot in the 2A boys soccer final.
– Prospect Ridge and Erie win cheerleading titles.
– Gail Hook officially takes the bench as Erie’s boys basketball coach.
– Skyline’s Chris Roy hits buzzer beater near midcourt to beat Holy Family in OT.
– Fairview beats Boulder in boys hoops at the CU Events Center to all but wrap up its third straight league title.
– Erie’s Anna Hefner hits shot from the post in the final seconds against Holy Family as Tri-Valley League unfolds into three-way tie.
– Monarch beats Mullen in opening round of state hockey postseason.
– Broomfield and Fairview reach Sweet 16 in girls hoops.
– Mead rallies in the fourth to beat Silver Creek in front of packed house in boys’ Sweet 16.
– Boulder’s Riley Grabau and Fairview’s Patrick Burke leave basketball programs.