A Look at Every Fall Sport – Colorado Hometown Weekly

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The first high school champions of the fall season were showcased at the state’s three boys’ golf tournaments on Tuesday — and as a perfect approach, the local scene’s title count for the 2022-23 school year started well with a Class 5A champion in Caleb Michaels of Monarch.

The Coyotes’ eldest won the last putt of his high school career at City Park Golf Course in Denver. Three others from Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont counties finished in their respective national top 10. Boulder’s Luke Blankinship was fourth in 5A, Holy Family’s Rudiger Heitz was fourth and Peak to Peak’s Jack Brayman was fifth at Pinehurst Country Club in 3A.

The boys tennis awards are as follows.

Players will try to qualify for the individual state tennis championships this week at regionals across the state. Boulder, Fairview, Monarch, Niwot, Peak to Peak and Dawson had all previously reached the playoffs in tag team tennis, but have since been eliminated.

Below is where things stand right now for each fall sport.

Tennis aces Niwot look to make another deep run

While the Cougars pulled out of the 4A team playoff quarterfinals last weekend, their top two players in Luke Weber and LiChen Liao will be the top contenders in the Niwot-hosted region this Thursday and Friday.

Both won the region last year. BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year Liao followed that up with a No. 2 4A singles state title, while Weber took fourth in singles 1.

Last Saturday, Weber fell to Kent Denver’s Nate Gold in the tag team quarterfinal as the Sun Devils won the game 4-3. Liao defeated Will Moldenhauer.

Niwot High School's LiChen Liao seeks second straight title this fall
Niwot High School’s LiChen Liao will seek a second straight state title later this month.

Elsewhere, Fairview won their first round tag team playoff match before falling to Valor Christian. Boulder, Monarch, Peak to Peak and Dawson all retired in their first-round matches.

Individually, Broomfield’s Kai Trujillo leads the region in No. 1 singles wins over MaxPreps with a 13-1 record. Monarch’s Luke Jensen, in his first year as the team’s ace, is second at 12-4.

Both state tournaments are scheduled for October 13-15. Class 5A is at City Park in Denver. 4A is at Pueblo City Park.

Defending softball champion Holy Family pulls it off at the right time

The No. 2 4A Tigers won their 46th straight league game in a 16-1 win over Longmont on Tuesday. Extending their current winning streak to 12 games, Essynce Contreraz, who is well known for her basketball skills, homered, tripled and led in five.

Across I-25, 5A #3 Erie captured the 5A/4A Front Range League regular season title and pushed the state’s longest winning streak to 17 games in a 10-3 victory against Loveland on Tuesday.

BROOMFIELD-CO-September 28: Erie Tiger's Matix hull...
Matix Hull of Erie throws against at Broomfield September 28 in Broomfield. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Addie Osborne homered for the third time in five games to lead the way for the Red Wolves. The Tigers wrap up their regular season at home against Prairie View on Thursday.

Elsewhere in 4A, Makenzie Sais has 51 stolen bases at the head of the state for No. 5 Frederick. Joselynn Veltien is closing in on 550 career strikeouts for No. 6 Mead. Boulder is atop the Colorado League 4A/3A standings.

In 5A, No. 8 Broomfield had three RBIs from ace Breanna Fiala in a 7-6 win over No. 7 Horizon on Tuesday. The Eagles have won 11 out of 12.

The regular season ends on Saturday. Regionals and a chance to qualify for the state tournament in all three classifications are scheduled for Oct. 15.

Broomfield football finds late production

The Eagles and Jim Davidson’s successor Zachary Hindman are finding the kind of late execution that helped Broomfield become the best football program in state history.

Broomfield, ranked third in Class 5A, scored a total of seven second-half goals in recent wins over No 4 Boulder and No 8 Fairview. Now in charge of the Front Range League South, he has three games left, including a final against No. 2 Legacy on October 13 that could decide the regular season champion.

Alejandro Arellano of Centaurus High School (No....
Centaurus High School’s Alejandro Arellano (#7) shoots at the net against Jefferson Academy on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

In 4A, Centaurus is ranked third a year after being a .500 program. Niwot is eighth with five straight wins. Silver Creek is ninth.

Jefferson Academy is back at No. 1 in 3A. Peak to Peak, closing its first double-digit winning season since 2015, is ninth at 7-2-1.

Nederland, meanwhile, are poised to break into the 2A playoff realm. The Panthers have won five games this fall, their most since 2011.

The last day of the regular season is October 22. The playoffs will follow with state title games scheduled for Nov. 12 at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs.

Legacy continues to look strong in volleyball

The Lightning’s 10-game winning streak to start the season was a great start-to-season story. But the run ended at Fort Collins in a four-set loss to No. 8 Fossil Ridge. And that was it…

Bad. Will Rozum’s side have won four straight since, including a 2-0 comeback to beat city rivals Broomfield last week. In it, all-around star Alexandra Urbina had nine kills, three aces and 22 digs.

Legacy is currently sixth in the RPI of 5A, while Broomfield and her remarkable outside hitter Lillia Neill are 15th.

Niwot and Jefferson Academy are the only area teams currently ranked in the state. The Cougars, eighth in the 4A standings, entered Wednesday with nine straight wins. The Jaguars, who are eighth in 3A, have been led by a trio of strong hitters this season in Emilee Harding, Monica Slusser and Laila Gallaher.

Volleyball regionals end the first week of November. The state tournament will follow Nov. 10-12 at the Denver Coliseum.

BROOMFIELD, CO-SEPTEMBER, 14: Legacy High School volleyball player Alexandra Urbina before practice on September 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
BROOMFIELD, CO-SEPTEMBER, 14: Legacy High School volleyball player Alexandra Urbina before practice on September 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Niwot girls’ cross country set for another state title run

Winning doesn’t get old. It might sound redundant when talking about the Cougars women’s cross country team, but it doesn’t get old.

The girls, winners of the last four Class 4A XC titles, returned from the Desert Twilight XC Festival in Mesa, Arizona last week with another high profile victory in hand. Madison Shults finished fourth in the contest race, Mia Prok sixth and Bella Nelson 11th.

Broomfield's Maelynn Higgins leads a small group around the 1-mile curve of the Broomfield Commons course on Friday afternoon.
Broomfield’s Maelynn Higgins leads a small group around the 1-mile curve of the Broomfield Commons course on Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the fastest times posted in Colorado are as follows: On the girls’ side, Maelynn Higgins of Broomfield, a commit from North Carolina, has the ninth fastest time with a 5k record time of 17: 24.40. On the boys’ side, Evan Kraus of Erie has the fourth fastest time at 14:58.

The regionals will be completed by October 22. State races at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs are scheduled for Oct. 29.

Four local soccer teams are ranked in the state’s top 10

The Broomfield area has three such ranked teams: 5A No. 10 Legacy, 4A No. 2 Broomfield, and 3A No. 9 Holy Family.

The other is Lyons, sixth in 8-a-side football.

The other teams currently inside the playoff picture according to the state scoring index are Fairview in 5A, Skyline, Erie, Longmont, Monarch and Silver Creek in 4A and Frederick in 3A.

Individually, Rowan Risner of Fairview, Asher Ewing of Monarch and Broomfield Cole LaCrue are all in the top 10 in passing yards in the state. LaCrue, who had the best production in the state for six weeks, has 14 touchdowns through the air and 12 more on the ground.

Broomfield’s Mikhail Benner is tied for the lead in steals with six. Erie’s Jackson Cowgill leads the zone with six sacks.

Week 7 starts Thursday.

Niwot and Broomfield consider more gym equipment

In the previous seven seasons, the Cougars won two tag team titles and were Class 4A runners-up three times.

The Eagles were 5A champions in 2021, after finishing second in 2020.

The regionals take place from October 27 to 29. The state meet is held at Thornton High School and runs from November 3-5.

Other Sports Notes

Erie, Frederick, Silver Creek, Longmont, Mead, Niwot and Skyline are all field teams in a unified bowling alley. Their regular season ends November 5. Frederick will welcome them all to a regional at Centennial Lanes in Longmont on November 9th.

The state finals are scheduled for Nov. 18.

The Spirit Finals will take place from December 8-10.

Last year, Erie won the 4A Girls Encouragement. Prospect Ridge won it in 3A.

The area does not have a varsity field hockey team. Boulder is playing its first season in JV this fall.

Field Hockey: New in town, Boulder High School adds sports

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