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League and team outlook

Class 5A
Front Range League
Teams and trends: Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Horizon, Legacy, Loveland, Monarch, Mountain Range, Poudre and Rocky Mountain. The league finished in another tight race in 2021 with Fairview and Broomfield each finishing 9-2 atop the standings. The Knights beat the Eagles during the regular season and in the playoffs.
2021 league leaders: Batting average: Garrett Harstad*, Loveland (.564). Hits: Luke Silverman, Fairview (33). Home runs: Greysen Carter, Fairview (6). Runs batted in: Carter, Fairview (33). Runs scored: Carter, Fairview (28). Slugging percentage: Cooper Axe, Rocky Mountain (.957). On-base percentage: Harstad*, Loveland (.655). Steals: Adam Moser, Fairview (17). ERA: Will Togher, Fort Collins (1.00/14 IP). Strikeouts: Carter, Fairview (55). Wins: Carter, Fairview (6).
*Eligible to return 

Boulder Panthers
Coach: John Whitehead
The Scorecard: Whitehead is the Panthers’ new coach and he’ll lead a team that went 3-12 last season and finished 11th in league. His roster is made up of returning seniors in C Adrien Armstrong, OF Cooper Conroy, P Anders Persson, INF/P Ryan Sunderland and INF/P Derek Woolwine. Woolwine led the team’s offense last year, hitting .432 with 17 runs driven in and two home runs. Persson, who the coach said is expected to be ahead of the rotation, had a 3.50 ERA in six appearances. Others to watch include Daniel Balderas-Lujan (Jr., INF/P), Eli Booth (Sr., INF), Caden Calcao (Jr., P/UT) and Chase Lewis (Jr., OF).

Broomfield Eagles
Coach: Kale Gilmore
The Scorecard: Gilmore has returned to the forefront of Broomfield baseball, the one-time star player for the Eagles who went on to be drafted into the MLB in 1990. The new coach takes over for Garren Estes, who stepped down after 18 seasons. Gilmore, who said he was an assistant on the program the past nine years, inherits a roster of 15 seniors and nine returning varsity players who helped lead the Eagles to 5A’s eight-team postseason in 2021. Among them are senior P Garrett Klein, who went 3-2 with a 4.27 ERA in eight appearances, and senior C Camden Ross, who led the team in RBIs (18) and homers (five). Other returning starters include Ryan Anderson (Sr., OF/1B), Gavin Speirs (Sr., INF) and Cole LaCrue (Jr., OF). Those to watch are Dane Most (So., INF/P) and Noah Scott (Jr., INF/P).

Fairview’s Gabe Springer

Fairview Knights
Coach: David Castillo
The Scorecard: The Knights lost a lot of talent from their 2021 third-place finish in 5A and “are looking for younger prospects to lead the program” in 2022, the Fairview coach said. Senior SS Gabe Springer, who is committed to Stanford baseball, leads the returnees after he hit .377 last year with 21 RBIs and five home runs. Sophomore Anton Keith is the lone pitcher back that had work in 2021, posting a 2.33 ERA over 15 frames pitched. Other returners are Oscar Pedersen (Sr., INF/P), Elliot Goldman ( Jr., INF/P), Aiden Armbruster (Jr., C/INF ) and Aiden Scott (Jr., OF/P). Those to watch include senior OF/P Martin Simpson-Teplin.

Legacy Lightning
Coach: Ty Giordano
The Scorecard: Giordano, in his 14th season at Legacy, returns a group looking to “compete for the Front Range League title” and a “5A state title.” Last year, the Lightning made a run in the 5A Final Eight before getting knocked out by Fairview on the second day. Landen Sehr and Kieran Gaffney will help make up a strong pitching rotation. Sehr led the team with 37 ⅔ innings pitched and posted a 3.35 ERA. Gaffney, who also plays third, led the returnees in runs batted in with 13. Other returners include Blake Roberts (Sr., OF), Marcus Romero (Jr., P/OF) and Brandon Sanchez (Jr., P/Mid INF). Those to watch are Peyton Malecha (Sr., P/Mid INF), Clayton Shuck (Sr., C), Derek Olsen (Jr., C/3B), Kullen Lerma (So., P), Zach Price, (Sr., P), Senan Heys (Jr., P) and Wes Barnett (Jr., P/1B).

Monarch Coyotes
Coach: James Thompson
The Scorecard: Thompson, a former assistant, takes over for Scott Weiss, who finished his coaching career at Monarch after 10 seasons. Last year, the Coyotes went just 4-12 and finished 10th in the Front Range League. They had a .218 batting average and a 7.14 team ERA. Row Tucker, a freshman last year and the only returning starter, had a spotless ERA in five innings pitched and also had 10 hits in 49 plate appearances.

Class 5A/4A
Northern Colorado Athletic Conference
Teams and trends: Centaurus, Erie, Greeley Central, Greeley West, Holy Family, Longmont, Mead, Silver Creek, Skyline and Windsor. In the league’s inaugural year, Windsor won the league crown, going 9-0. Holy Family was 8-1 in league.
2021 league leaders: Batting average: Izaak Siefken, Holy Family (.478). Hits: Siefken, Holy Family (33). Home runs: Siefken, Holy Family (5). Runs batted in: Siefken, Holy Family (32). Runs scored: Brennan Bennett, Holy Family (33). Slugging percentage: Siefken, Holy Family (.928). On-base percentage: Jared Delgado*, Holy Family (.598). Steals: Demitri Jaramillo, Greeley West (18). ERA: Ethan Dillinger*, Erie (1.05/20 IP). Strikeouts: Siefken, Holy Family (81). Wins: Blake Hammond and Siefken, Holy Family (6).

Centaurus Warriors
Coach: Douglas Kinney
The Scorecard: Kinney is in his fifth season as head coach of the Warriors. He brings back senior OF/P Nate Hirsh, who had a nice season on the mound and at the plate in 2021. Hirsh posted a 2.89 ERA in 26 ⅔ frames and hit .340, driving in seven runs on 16 hits. Other returning starters include sophomore OF/P Zach White, junior INF/P Jacob Amador and junior INF/P Brandon Korn. Another name to watch for Centaurus will be freshman OF/P Zach Young. Kinney said the team’s outlook is “a year of where we learn to finish, to compete, develop great character”. Adding, “We have a tough schedule that we are looking forward to.”

Erie Tigers
Coach: Dustin Conley
The Scorecard: Conley takes over for Mike Newton after the Tigers went 10-7 in 2021. Senior Sam Stem helps lead the returnees after he hit .434 last season. He’s accompanied by OF/P Dillon Alcouffe, who led the team with 19 runs driven in, as well as junior SS Holden Pantier, who was second to Stem in batting average (.396) and on-base percentage (.529). Conley said his team has a nice mix of veterans and youth, saying “I am excited to see how our returning varsity experienced players bring along our youth on the team this year.” Other returning starters include Austin Rodriguez (Sr.,1B/P), Kelan Bierne (Sr., P), Darian Burnett (Jr., P/1B), Ethan Dillinger (Jr., P) and Kaveh Meredith (So., P). One other name to watch is senior UTL/P Trenton Rowan.

Holy Family’s Jaden Delgado

Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Marc Cowell
The Scorecard: Last year’s coach, John Ray, stepped aside, saying he is expecting the birth of his child in the spring. In his place is the program’s longtime coach Marc Cowell, who goes into his 13th season. The Tigers are coming off a year in which they finished runner-up in 4A led by touted BoCoPreps.com player of the year Izaak Siefken. “The program graduated a very deep and talented senior class (12 total) that included three D-I commits (Siefken, University of Illinois; Blake Hammond, Santa Clara University; and Connor Cooney, Holy Cross College) that made its deepest run since moving up to 4A,” Cowell said. “This season we return a talented nucleus (Andrew Syverson, Jacob Syverson, Jared and Jaden Delgado) who will be surrounded by a talented group of seniors and sophomores with limited varsity experience. How quickly and well these players adjust to the varsity level will be key to early season success.”

Longmont Trojans
Coach: Tom Fobes
The Scorecard: Fobes, going into his 22nd season, is back after his team went 12-6 in 2021 and lost in its regional final. Senior 1B Danny Barker hit .426 last year and drove in a team-best 24 runs. Senior pitcher Herbie Mitchell threw a staff-most 43 frames, posting a 4-2 record and 3.91 ERA. He struck out 34 and walked 13. Tristan Rangel is back at catcher and Jacob Moats returns as a P/3B. “We expect to compete every day and challenge for a conference title and in the playoffs,” Fobes said. “This is a great group, with senior leadership and a lot of juniors competing to fill spots.” Others to watch include Zander Dill (Sr., SS), Rick Magnetti (Sr, 2B) and Emiliano Gonzalez (Sr, P).

Mead Mavericks
Coach: Joe McKenzie
The Scorecard: The Mavericks went 7-8 last season, going 5-4 in league. McKenzie said his team returns six starters, including senior OF/1B Lane Beumer who hit .419 with seven RBIs. Joe Strizki is back at catcher, Nathan Hoffman at shortstop, Blayke Reyburn in the outfield. Shane Palmer and Drew Perigo also return and should get some action on the mound this year. Palmer had a 2-2 record and a 4.06 ERA across 31 innings. The pitching staff will also be made up of Evan Peterson and Nate Huisken. Taylor Adler should also make some noise at catcher and in the infield. “We are finally excited to play a 23-game season,” McKenzie said. “We have a senior class of 10, which will provide us with leadership for our younger players, who in their own right, will help push this team to obtain our goal of finally being able to stand alongside the other successful teams at Mead.”

Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Brad Steward
The Scorecard: The Raptors are trying to work back to the postseason after finishing 5-11 in 2021 and missing it. Steward said the team lost four seniors but brought back nine starters. Senior P/OF Bryce Gorr hit .571 and had a 3.57 ERA across 15 ⅔ innings pitched. John Sekich is back at catcher and Zach Koelfgen is a P/UTL after driving in 12 runs last season, most among returnees. Other returners include Jake Wenande (Sr., P/INF), Jonah Tatterson (Sr., INF), Jackson Hacker (Sr., OF), Benny Hyman (Sr., UTL), Will Schleper (Jr., UTL) and Zander Storz (So., P/OF). Another name to watch will be freshman UTL Connor Lopez. “This group has worked extremely hard this offseason to try and get our program back into the postseason,” Steward said. “We are hoping to compete in what is usually a tough Northern League and look to our returning players to help guide us. We are just hoping to be playing our best baseball in May and June.”

Skyline Falcons
Coach: Travis Schlagel
The Scorecard: C/INF Emilio Gutierrez had a sensational freshman year, hitting .371 with four runs driven in. He leads four returnees from a team that finished 6-10 during the shortened 2021 season. The others are senior SS/2B Wynn Drewes, junior P/1B/OF Evan Gail and junior P/INF Collin Wright. Gail and Wright combined to pitch 21 ⅔ innings last season. “We are a young, inexperienced team looking to compete in one of the best conferences in the state of Colorado,” Schlagel said. Some others to watch include seniors Connor Sorber (1B), Chuck Harris (OF), Colten Valdez (OF/P), Brock Kridel (P/OF) and Jose Berumen (P).

Class 4A/3A
Longs Peak League
Teams and trends: Berthoud, Fort Morgan, Frederick, Mountain View, Niwot, Northridge, Riverdale Ridge, Roosevelt, Severance and Thompson Valley. In the league’s inaugural year, Severance won the crown at 8-1.
2021 league leaders: Batting average: Cruz Zamudio*, Frederick (.531). Hits: Gannon McGeen*, Northridge (27). Home runs: Ty Thompson*, Riverdale Ridge, Daniel Parsek, Mountain View and Jon Klus, Thompson Valley (2). Runs batted in: McGeen*, Northridge and Nolan Hertzke*, Severance (22). Runs scored: Carson Fagan*, Severance, Josh Lawrence, Roosevelt (22). Slugging percentage: Zamudio*, Frederick (.980). On-base percentage: Salvatore Rocco, Roosevelt (.594). Steals: Cael Langford, Fort Morgan (11). ERA: Jace Reid*, Northridge (1.29/16.1 IP). Strikeouts: Fagan*, Severance (75). Wins: Fagan*, Severance (8).

Frederick High School’s Brendan Gochanour

Frederick Warriors
Coach: Colin York
The Scorecard: Frederick went 8-8 in York’s first season at the helm. “I expect us to keep building our culture and continue to try to change the perception of our program,” he said. “Our main goals for this upcoming season are to have a winning record and to make it into the playoffs.” The Warriors return six varsity starters, including junior C/DH Cruz Zamudio, who will be out at least early into the season with an injury after he was an all-conference player in 2021. Other returnees are Bren Gochanour (Sr., SS/P), who had a 4.15 ERA across 28 ⅔ innings in 2021, Brayden Johnson (Sr., 2B/SS/P), AJ Lyman (Sr., OF/P), Talon Boen (Sr., P) and Bryce Conover (Sr., CF/P). Another pair of names to watch are Sam Fisher (Jr., OF/IF/P) and Joey Villani (Jr., 3B/P).

Niwot Cougars
Coach: Ken Rosales
The Scorecard: The Cougars welcome new coach Ken Rosales, who takes over for Adam Strah. Rosales will inherit a gifted prospect in Jack Brooker, who hit .520 last year and drove in 12 runs. Brooker also allowed just one earned run in 5 ⅓ innings on the mound. Other returnees are senior P/INF Walt Van Riper and DH Nick Yard. “I believe we will be very competitive,” Rosales said. “I’m very excited to be coaching this team.” Others to watch are Jed Kilpatrick (Jr., INF/P), Diego Castro (Jr., C/INF), Jaedyn Adler (C/INF/OF) and Easten Leatherwood (INF/OF).

Class 3A
Metro League
Teams and trends: Bishop Machebeuf, Colorado Academy, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, Kent Denver, Lutheran, Manual, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge Academy and SkyView Academy. Lutheran won the league crown last year. In 2019, Peak to Peak won it after Faith Christian had won it in eight of the previous nine seasons.
2021 league leaders: Batting average: Mason Larkin*, Jefferson Academy (.519, min. 25 PAs). Hits: Dorian Pacheco*, Lutheran (30). Home runs: Garrett Everitt, Faith Christian and Davis Evans, Kent Denver (4). Runs batted in: Pacheco* and Josh Greiving, Lutheran (25). Runs scored: Matt Lemberger, Prospect Ridge (26). Slugging percentage: Aaron Morgan, Lutheran (.923). On-base percentage: Charlie Westfall, Colorado Academy (.603, min. 20 PAs). Steals: Alex Rodriguez and Lemberger, Prospect Ridge (13). ERA: Preston Robinson, Lutheran (0.00/21 IP). Strikeouts: Justin Huffman, Prospect Ridge (74). Wins: Saxton Sorenson, Lutheran (7).

Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Gino Carbajal
The Scorecard: The Jaguars went 8-8 in 2021, closing out their campaign with three wins over their final four games. They finished sixth in the league. Mason Larkin hit over .500 as a sophomore in 2021 and Ben Fitzgerald drove in 17 runs as a junior. The Jags hit .337 as a team and had a team ERA of 5.46.

Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Matthew Castilleja and Don Colgate
The Scorecard: The Pumas carried over a lot of talent from the 2021 season, where they finished 5-11. Senior C/P Nicholas Copanas drove in a team-best 12 runs last year, junior CF/P Brady Bowman led with 35 Ks on the mound and senior 1B/P Bryce Weyer provided the long ball, hitting the team’s only two home runs of the campaign. Other returnees include Bryce Carson (Sr., 2B/SS), Miguel Silva (Sr., C/P), Logan Hughes (Jr., OF/P), Chase Peterson (Jr., C/OF), Eddie Castilleja (So., SS/P), Steven De Crescenzo (So., 1B/OF), Charlie Kasic (So., OF) and Charlie Custard (So., OF). “The strength of our program is our depth,” Castilleja said. “All 16 of our guys can jump in and start on any given day.”

Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Mark Knudson
The Scorecard: Knudson is in his fifth season with the Miners, who qualified for the Class 3A regional tournament last season, going 10-7. Senior catcher Rocco Cassano was third in hitting inside the league (.509), second in hits (29), fourth in RBIs (21) and led the league with six triples. Also back is senior CF Griffin Hill, who hit .348, as well as 3B/RHP Ethan Free who had an on-base percentage of .304 in his freshman season. On the hill, RHP/OF Tyler Beveridge is back after he posted a 2-1 record and 4.38 ERA across 24 innings pitched. He struck out 24 and walked just six. Among others to watch are freshman SS Zeke Bote, who is the nephew of Chicago Cubs infielder David Bote.

Class 2A/1A
Mile High League
Teams and trends: Clear Creek, Dawson, Dayspring Christian Academy, Denver Academy, Denver Academy, Denver Christian, Estes Park, Front Range Christian, Gilpin County, Highland and Lyons. Longmont Christian will only have a JV team this season, the school said. In 2021, Highland won the league crown.
2021 league leaders: Batting average: Rafael Ruiz Jr., Lyons (.625). Hits: Ruiz Jr., Lyons (35). Home runs: Ashtin Gilio*, Dawson (4). Runs batted in: Ruiz Jr., Lyons (29). Runs scored: Jordan Walkup*, Highland (35). Slugging percentage: Ruiz Jr., Lyons (1.161). On-base percentage: Ruiz Jr., Lyons and Seattle Schuessler, Clear Creek (.682). Steals: Walkup*, Highland (19). ERA: Conor Wolf*, Dawson (0.24/29 IP). Strikeouts: Adam Brookes*, Lyons (81). Wins: Sam Hnizdil*, Highland (5).

Dawson Mustangs
Coach: Troy Siegler
The Scorecard: The Mustangs bring in a new coach in Siegler after they went 8-4 in 2021. The new coach will inherit one of the best left-handed pitchers in the state in Conor Wolf (Willamette University commit). With a high school career ERA of 0.54, Wolf allowed just one earned run over 29 innings pitched last season. He struck out 57 and walked just two. The top-returning hitter for Dawson will be junior Ashtin Gilio (Georgetown commit). As a sophomore in 2021, he hit .433 and drove in 15 runs. Another name to watch will be C Bryce Marcus. Overall, the Mustangs hit .228 as a team in 2021 and had a team ERA of 2.92.

Lyons Lions
Coach: Kale Olson
The Scorecard: Olson heads into his second season at the helm of the Lions, who went 10-7 in his first. Jack Abernathy returns as a strong infielder and pitcher. Zach Boggess is back at catcher after he drove in 11 runs a season ago. Also returning is Adam Brookes (Sr. SP/OF) and Joel Uecker (Sr.,1B/P). A year ago, the Lions hit .345 and had a team ERA of 4.17.  “I expect a lot of growth this season for our players and team as a whole,” Olson said. “We lost nine seniors, however we still have a strong core of players and leaders from last year. We have our No. 1 pitcher and starting catcher back, as well as four players who saw regular playing time.” A newcomer to keep an eye on will be freshman P/INF Jack Knapp.

Bringing it home: recent state champions
2021 — Mountain Vista (5A), Ponderosa (4A), Eaton (3A), Limon (2A), Holly (1A)
2020 — No champions crowned (COVID-19 pandemic season cancellation)
2019 — Regis Jesuit (5A), Pueblo West (4A), University (3A), Peyton (2A), Cornerstone Christian (1A)
2018 — Mountain Vista (5A), Valor Christian (4A), University (3A), Paonia (2A), Caliche (1A)
2017 — Rocky Mountain (5A), Valor Christian (4A), Valley (3A), Paonia (2A), Nucla (1A)
2016 — Cherokee Trail (5A), Valor Christian (4A), Faith Christian (3A), Dawson (2A), Holly (1A)
2015 — Rock Canyon (5A), Green Mountain (4A), Eaton (3A), Rye (2A), Dove Creek (1A)

Point me to the postseason
The end of the regular season comes May 17 (April 30 for Class 1A), with regional fields determined by RPI for all classifications. Regionals take place May 21 (May 14 for 1A), and the 8-team state tournaments will take place the weekends of May 27-28 and June 3-4.