Broomfield baseball’s 2022 fairytale ending didn’t start out with glass slippers. The Eagles needed a little extra magic early on to turn that pumpkin into a carriage.
Their inspiration, as it turned out, was 10 years in the making.
Two months before Broomfield’s nailbiting Class 5A state championship victory over nearby rival Legacy in early June, the Eagles had been struggling to find any consistency with a 4-6 record.
That was when the 2012 team, the last Broomfield squad to earn a state crown, paid the 2022 team a visit. The advice that the Eagles of old bestowed upon the eaglets proved to be invaluable.
“They stressed the importance of playing as a team and having good relationships with your teammates,” junior pitcher and shortstop Noah Scott said. “That’s when we started to go on our run and that’s when our season turned around. I think them coming out really helped us realize how important, how vital it was to play as a team, instead of just playing for our individual selves.”
The 2012 team had charted a similar path a decade earlier.
“We didn’t get off to the start we were hoping for early on in the year. It took us a little bit of a while to find our stride,” said Brandon Bailey, who pitched for the Eagles and currently plays professionally in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
“Things kind of all just clicked at the right time come state tournament time and you can really ride that momentum into something special. I think the 2022 team heard that and kind of realized that, ‘We’ve just got to get hot at the right time, and then anything can truly happen.’ I think they really took that to heart.”
The Eagles lit an inferno after that visit, winning 16 of the remaining 18 contests on their docket. Opposing teams could hardly touch them without getting burned.
The boys began hanging out more off the field, eating more team dinners together and playing pickup games of Wiffle ball on their days off. The chemistry that followed was the catalyst they needed to come out on top.
It didn’t hurt, of course, that this team was stacked with talent at the plate. Superstar catcher Camden Ross put up numbers this year that most high school players could only dream of — 49 RBI, 52 hits and 44 runs — all while batting a jaw-dropping .627. Gavin Speirs, Ashton Ross, Ryan Anderson, Dane Most and Noah Scott each contributed 20-plus RBI, hits and runs to keep their offense blistering hot.
Head coach Kale Gilmore, who first joined the BHS staff as an assistant in 2012, witnessed each team utilize their unique strengths during their runs toward state glory.
“Our pitching in 2012 was unbelievable. … We had some really standout pitchers (in Bailey and Jackson Lockwood),” Gilmore said. “This year, I would say the most high-profile guy we have was Camden and he had arguably the best year of high school hitter has ever had, at our level, certainly the best one that I’ve seen in the 15-plus years I’ve been doing this.
“That team was really built around pitching and this team was really built around hitting so we’ve come at it two different ways but ended up in this with the same result. This year’s team scored almost 10 runs a game, which is unbelievable, and my 2012 team gave up very, very few runs per game.”
No matter their approach, the 2022 Eagles have reserved their spot in Colorado baseball history, the sixth squad from BHS to achieve the feat and the first to do so since moving up to 5A.
Two weeks later, Gilmore still gets chills thinking about it.