Fairview golfer Mathieu Zerwin’s two aces to start the fall season dropped like a cleansing metaphor.
Out from under a tumultuous previous school year for high schools, the junior had written a story unbelievable if it weren’t true. During the opening week of play in August, he sank a hole-in-one at Broadlands Golf Course before replicating another at Thorncreek Golf Course 14 days later.
In the golf world, these aces are seen as rites of passage. Most never reach it once, let alone twice, and when Zerwin did it, it linked him even closer to his father and coach, John. The Knights coach said he had accomplished the same thing over the same span when he was his son’s age.
“I’ve only ever seen one other person on my team have a hole-in-one,” John said then. “So, to see anyone have two in two weeks is really extraordinary. And as a dad, it’s fun because he’s been working his tail off on his golf game and it’s great to see him get some rewards out of it.”
The feat helped kick off the local athletic scene, which had a far different feel than the one a year prior.
Our Defining Moments series turns back to a season reflected in redemption — the likes of seen from Mead’s football team, which reached the state title game a season after having to forfeit its playoff run due to COVID-19 exposure — victory— the last win of the season notched by Niwot cross country, Holy Family softball and Broomfield gymnastics — and some hardship, too.
Let’s take a look at the teams, the individuals and the stories that embodied a sports community in the Fall of 2021.
Aug. 12 — Fairview’s Zerwin aces at Broadlands one week into season
“We all were running, pushing our pushcarts and I was filming,” teammate Sawyer Sales said of the moment. “And the group behind us were also at the tee box because it was pretty backed up. We all waved at them. And they were throwing their clubs, they were going crazy. It was a fun experience.”
Aug. 27 — Fairview beats Boulder in football
In the local football showdown at Recht Field, Knights freshman quarterback Bekkem Kritza threw for three touchdowns in the 42-21 victory. The new face of the program finished with 3,192 yards in the air and was named to BoCoPreps’ first team.
Sept. 10 — Skyline football honors fallen teammate
The Falcons honored Savion Lowe during the team’s game against Golden. Lowe died Sept. 7 at age 17.
Sept. 28 — Legacy softball coach Dawn Gaffin honored
Gaffin, coaching fastpitch softball in Colorado since 1987, was honored in her last season at Legacy. She retired after the Lightning’s loss in the 5A state postseason.
Oct. 1 — Legacy’s Braelon Tate runs for program record in win over Fairview
Tate ran for 301 yards and scored four TDs as the Lightning beat the Knights 38-8. Tate was later named to BoCoPreps’ first team.
Oct. 5 — State golf concludes
Silver Creek’s Ben Harding led all local finishers, placing third in 4A.
Oct. 16 — Niwot’s LiChen Liao wins state tennis title
Liao won the No. 2 singles title over George Washington’s Owen Duffy. The Cougars placed third as a team.
Oct. 23 — Holy Family softball wins third title in four years
Behind ace pitcher Isabella Arroyo and a straight-A power threat (Abby Edwards, Ava Kuszak and Annika Manzanares), the Tigers grabbed another 4A title.
Oct. 28 — Monarch sends Phil Bravo out with one more win
The Coyotes finished their season with a 21-12 win over Greeley Central. It was the end to an era for longtime coach Bravo, who retired with three state titles (two at Monarch, one in California) and a 307-108 record.
Oct. 30 — Bergen, Klingbeil and girls win cross country titles for Niwot
Zane Bergen (15:17.70) won the 4A boys’ title, Eva Klingbeil won girls (17:58.90) and Niwot clinched its fourth straight girls team title in 4A. The girls went on to win the national championship at the Garmin RunningLane Championships in December.
In 2A, Lyons’ Tyler Ball won in 16:16.70
Nov. 2 — Legacy’s Cooper Stephens buries Broomfield in 5A second round
The forward had three game-winners in the postseason as the Lightning reached the 5A semifinals, including this walk-off winner in the 109th minute.
Nov. 5 — Broomfield wins gymnastics title
The Eagles team went undefeated in the fall and won the 5A title. Brenna Calvo was the BoCoPreps gymnast of the year.
Niwot, behind gymnast-great Mia Curry, finished runner-up in 4A.
Nov. 12 — Jefferson Academy finishes runner-up in 3A
The Jaguars fell to Roaring Fork in the finals and finished 18-1-1 on the season.
Nov. 13 — State volleyball tournament ends
Niwot reached the 4A semifinals, the farthest out of the local teams there (Mead, Holy Family, Frederick and Erie). Broomfield, the lone area 5A team at state, reached the second round.
Nov. 27 — Erie and Mead reach football final
A late onside kick helped Erie rally to beat 4A No. 1 Montrose, 29-28. Mead dominated 3A No. 1 Roosevelt seven weeks after it lost to the Roughriders by 30.
Dec. 4 — Erie and Mead finish runner-up in football
Erie fell to Chatfield in the 4A final as the Chargers connected on a 32-yard pass with 11 seconds remaining at Empower Field. Down in Pueblo, Mead lost the 3A final to Fort Morgan, which is coached by Broomfield alum Ty Davies.
Dec. 10 — State spirit concludes
Erie won the 4A all-girl cheer title, while Prospect Ridge won 3A all-girl cheer.