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Skyline High School's Adrian Rabun (No. 58) and Tony Muniz (No. 52) carry Savion "Budda" Lowe's jersey out to the field before the start of the game against Golden High School at Everly-Montgomery Field in Longmont on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Lowe, a senior at Skyline, died unexpectedly earlier this week. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Skyline High School’s Adrian Rabun (No. 58) and Tony Muniz (No. 52) carry Savion “Budda” Lowe’s jersey out to the field before the start of the game against Golden High School at Everly-Montgomery Field in Longmont on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Lowe, a senior at Skyline, died unexpectedly earlier this week. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

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.”

Boys golf: Fairview’s Mathieu Zerwin hits a hole-in-one at Broomfield Classic

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.

Football: Led by freshman QB Kritza, Fairview again beats Boulder

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.

Football: Skyline football honors fallen teammate before Friday’s game

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.

Softball: Legacy honors legendary coach Dawn Gaffin before big win

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.

Football: Braelon Tate’s 4 TDs lead Legacy past Fairview

Oct. 5 — State golf concludes

Silver Creek’s Ben Harding led all local finishers, placing third in 4A.

Boys golf: Three St. Vrain Valley athletes finish within top six at Class 4A state tourney

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.

Boys tennis: Niwot’s LiChen Liao a state champion

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.

Softball: Bombs away! Holy Family earns back-to-back state titles

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.

End of an era: Monarch’s Phil Bravo set to retire at end of season

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

Cross country: Niwot once again dominates Class 4A state championships

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.

Boys soccer: Cooper Stephens’ double-OT winner sends Legacy past Broomfield in Class 5A second round

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.

Gymnastics: Broomfield puts on its best efforts in winning Class 5A state team championship

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.

Boys soccer: Jefferson Academy ends fantastic season as Class 3A runner-up

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.

Volleyball: Niwot drops heartbreaker to Thompson Valley in state semis

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.

Football: Mead headed to Class 3A state championship with dominant win over Roosevelt

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.

Football: Mead falls to Fort Morgan in Class 3A title game

Dec. 10 — State spirit concludes

Erie won the 4A all-girl cheer title, while Prospect Ridge won 3A all-girl cheer.

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