BoCoPreps’defining moments from 2020-21 school year, part two

Things end with Seasons C and D

LAKEWOOD CO - June 26, 2021: ...
Niwot’s Margaret Gillett, right, hugs Taylor James after the team set a relay record in the 4 X 100 during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Just weeks ago, the makeshift high school sports schedule drew tirelessly to a close.

With the end date pushed back to the last full week in June this past year — another rescheduling courtesy of the pandemic — area programs played well past graduation and into summer break.

A time usually reserved for sunscreen-vacations in the summer was instead reserved for six new high school team champions and 30 individual champs.

Closing days started with Holy Family’s Jess Mason dominating the golf scene, then went through the Silver Creek boys’ reign in the pool, and concluded with the Niwot boys and girls owning the track.

Down in Colorado Springs, meanwhile, names like Degen Miller, Gianna Sandoval and Bailey Giddings etched their names in history as they helped wrap up soccer titles for Dawson, Holy Family and Broomfield.

In the final part of the defining moments series, we revisit how the odd, often divisive, and sometimes remarkable second half of the school year went.

If you missed it, we looked at the first half of the school year in Part I last week.

March 29 — Boulder’s long-awaited football season starts season a week after mass shooting

Players from Boulder and Mountain Range knelt along the hashmarks near midfield at Christian Recht Field. Boulder coach Ryan Bishop laid a No. 10 jersey in the middle of them, representing the number of lives lost at the mass shooting at the local King Soopers seven days before.

This was the Panthers’ first game in 514 days and it came after they’d opted out of the fall. They were then hit with a quarantine to start the spring.

It ended with a win.

Football: Boulder wins emotional opener over Mountain Range


April 10-24 — Boys soccer and volleyball ends regular season amid chaos

A number of postponements having to do with the virus meant many of the area’s volleyball teams had more matches than days left in the season by the final week.

In boys’ soccer, in the meantime, the oddity of a squeezed-tight postseason bracket meant a number of powerhouse teams wouldn’t even make it past the regular season. Like this: Boulder beat 2019 state champ Broomfield in the regular-season finale to oust the Eagles from contention.

Volleyball: Wide difference in seasons, teams set for wild finish


April 23 — Niwot’s Mia Curry repeats as all-around champion

Curry had the top mark in the beam, the second-best score in the uneven bars, was third in the vault and fifth on the floor in an all-around win. She also won in 2019, prior to the spring season cancellation in 2020.

Gymnastics: Niwot finishes third at Class 4A state championships


April 28 — Fairview moves onto soccer final as Niwot and Dawson are kicked

Fairview won a wild overtime affair over Liberty, while Niwot and Dawson each fell in its semifinal.

Niwot senior Keegan Stobbe, a consistent star for the Cougars during his illustrious career, sat on the field following the loss. After losing the 2020 season to the pandemic, and now finishing like this, Stobbe said he just wanted to soak in the last of the waning moments of his career.

Boys soccer: Niwot falls just short of state finals appearance in loss to Windsor


May 1 — Fairview claims first-ever state title in boys soccer

Sebastien Mazur, the BoCoPreps player of the year, scored, again, and the Knights upended Cherry Creek in the 5A finals to finish the season undefeated at 13-0-1.

This spelled an end to a strange soccer season that was beset by a condensed regular-season schedule and small playoff bracket.

Boys soccer: Fairview makes program history with first state soccer title


May 13 — Mead volleyball finished runner-up in 4A

Quincey Coyle was spectacular. One bruising kill after another. And Mead, led by its young coach Mikayla Martinez, rolled all the way to the 4A title match in Colorado Springs before falling to Palmer Ridge.

Volleyball: Mead’s resilient run finally ends in Class 4A finals


May 15 — Boulder falls to Far Northeast in spring title game

The Panthers played amid tragedy and an early-season quarantine. They even played in a storm that saw snow come up the top of their shins.

The strange, sad, yet prevailing road to the title game was their first since 1992. It also snapped a six-year postseason drought.

Football: Boulder comes up short against Far Northeast in Class 5A Season C title game


May 20 — Widely-hyped, Fairview-Legacy doesn’t disappoint

Major League Baseball scouts descended on Legacy High School to see Fairview pitcher Greysen Carter and his live fastball. They stayed for an instant classic.

The teams combined for 22 hits and four home runs — 10 runs in the sixth inning alone. Legacy won 11-8.

Baseball: In front of MLB scouts, Legacy gets the better of Carter, Fairview


June 12 — Lily Chitambar wins No. 1 singles title

At the Gates Tennis Center, the Boulder junior won in three sets over Smoky Hill’s Valerie Negin to win the 5A No. 1 singles title. Fairview took second as a team.

Girls tennis: Boulder’s Lily Chitambar takes No. 1 singles state crown, Fairview gets runner up


June 17 — Monarch nearly slays goliath, area lax teams come up short in postseason

Every time Monarch fell back to Cherry Creek in the 5A quarterfinals, it delivered a resounding response.

Oh yes. The Coyotes had the Stutler Bowl shaken as they made quite an upset bid. In the end, though, it came up just short.

Elsewhere, Fairview lost to Mountain Vista by a goal in its quarterfinals.

Boys lacrosse: Monarch comes up just short of upset of Cherry Creek in 5A state quarters


June 19 — Erie lax falls to Cheyenne Mountain in 4A semifinal

The 4A powers were separated by just a goal in both their games in 2021 — both in favor of the Colorado Springs school. Elsewhere, the Fairview girls lost in its lax quarterfinal.

Erie, since joining the varsity lax ranks in 2019, has looked the part of a consistent contender.

4A boys lacrosse semifinals: Cheyenne Mountain, Evergreen to meet in title game


June 22 — Jess Mason wins 4A title going away

Her 3-under 69 on Day 1, and 71 Day 2, was head-and-shoulders above the 4A competition at CommonGround Golf Course.

The Holy Family junior will next play in the Junior PGA Championship later this month in Kentucky. There, she’ll be joined by Aubri Braecklein, who won the 3A title for Jefferson Academy.

Girls golf: Another eagle, Holy Family ace Jessica Mason wins 4A title going away


June 25 — Silver Creek wins 4A boys swimming title

Without winning an event, the Raptors rallied late to win the 4A tournament.

Before the last event, they trailed Cheyenne Mountain before leapfrogging the Colorado Springs school in the standings with a fifth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Boys swimming: Silver Creek rallies the troops to win Class 4A state team title

June 26 — Dawson, Holy Family and Broomfield win soccer titles

It was a mighty end to a dominant season for Dawson, which beat Telluride 15-4 in the finale. A strong close as part of its 129-9 margin of victory over 2A/3A teams in 2021.

Then it was a Holy Family-kind of miracle for the Tigers, who jumped in glee as Gianna Sandoval swished a last-seconds goal to beat Evergreen.

And finally, it was redemption. Broomfield ended four consecutive losses in the title game with a win over Rock Canyon. At the forefront of it, Bailey Giddings put home a PK chance to break a 1-1 tie late in the second half.

Girls soccer: Gianna Sandoval’s last-seconds goal gives Holy Family first title


June 26 — Niwot sweeps titles at state track and field

Taylor James and Zane Bergen are the latest track superstars to come out of Niwot. See previous, Elise Cranny. Cruz Culpepper.

This year, the Cougars won the boys and girls titles in 4A, wrapping up a weekend at Jeffco Stadium that saw a number of area athletes claim gold.

Among them, Ryan Chacon won two titles for Frederick. Allison Beasley won the 3,200 for Peak to Peak. And Longmont’s Eddie Kurjak set the 4A meet record in the high jump.

Track and field: Niwot girls run away with another state title