Entering the final month of the regular season, conference races across all five classifications are starting to take shape as teams in 4A and 5A look to secure playoff bids with titles and those in 1A, 2A and 3A hope to earn top seeds for district tournaments. Colorado Preps looks at each conference chase and breaks down the top games for the week.
Photo by Lance Wendt
5280: Flatirons Academy (2-0) and Belleview Christian (4-0) are both unbeaten in league play with Front Range Baptist, Denver Jewish Day and Denver Waldorf one game back. Flatirons Academy has two tough tests this week as they host Denver Jewish Day on Thursday and Front Range Baptist two nights later.
BLACK FOREST: Evangelical Christian is ranked fourth statewide this week and is favored to land the league championship but the Eagles haven’t played a conference game just yet. That leaves Simla (2-0) and Hanover (1-0) with the early lead. Simla has two difficult non-league tests this week as they host 2A power Limon on Wednesday and then visit Cheraw on Friday. Hanover could get tested against Pikes Peak Christian.
FISHERS PEAK: Just a three-team conference with teams moving to the Southeast for the district tournament. LaVeta and Primero both have wins over Manzanola and share the lead. The tie will be broken when they collide on February 3rd.
HIGH PLAINS: Three teams are 2-0 as Granada and McClave have both beaten Cheraw and Eads while Wiley has wins over Kit Carson and Cheyenne Wells. None of the three match up this weekend. Wiley may have the most difficult test as they host Cheraw on Friday. They could also get pushed in a non-league game with Genoa Hugo on Tuesday night.
NORTH CENTRAL: Very early in this one with Briggsdale, Peetz and Fleming all at 1-0. Briggsdale is unbeaten overall and favored to end up with the crown. They host Fleming on Friday.
SOUTHERN PEAKS: Centennial (1-0) and Creede (2-0) sit atop the standings but league favorite Sierra Grande has yet to play a conference opponents. That changes on Thursday as they make the trek up to Creede in what could turn out to be the league championship game. Sierra Grande also hosts Dove Creek in a nice non-league games on Saturday.
YWKC; Idalia (3-0) is in control of the race as they lead Lone Star, Arickaree/Woodlin and Otis are all 1-1. Otis is 5-4 overall and the only league team above five hundred overall but they have a league loss to Idalia. The Wolves have beaten Otis and Lone Star so they can basically clinch the championship with a win over Arickaree/Woodlin on Friday.
ARK VALLEY: Since the other two teams in the league have just one combined wins, the title game is the likely the February 18th showdown between Springfield (4-3) and Kim/Branson (5-6). The Longhorns are coming off a 40-point loss to McClave last Saturday and now hosts new number one Granada on Thursday.
BLACK FOREST: Peyton has spent most of the year in the top 10 and even though the Panthers have not played a league game, they remain the title favorite. They’ll look to chase down Thomas MacLaren (2-0) and Dolores Huerta Prep (1-0) who are off to good starts. Before focusing on the league race, Peyton though has one more important non-league game at home against #1 Yuma on Saturday.
SANTA FE: Fowler (3-0) has a one game edge on Holly (7-1) with Hoehne, Crowley County and Rye all two games back in the loss column. Crowley County has two road games and wins in both put them in good shape for a top two or three finish. They go to Holly on Friday and then Rye on Saturday. Hoehne also challenges Fowler on Friday and upset of the Grizzlies draws the race even closer.
LOWER PLATTE: Yuma (3-0) has the most league wins but Merino and Wiggins are also unbeaten inside the conference (1-0). Have to like where the Indians stand as they’re already handed Wray and Holyoke league losses. The Indians host Wiggins on Friday before the long trip to Peyton. Wray and Merino challenge Limon in non-league play; the Eagles on Friday and the Rams on Saturday.
SAN JUAN: Mancos (3-0) is alone in first and with a win over Ignacio earlier this month, the Bluejays are in good shape. They do meet Ignacio for a second time so they still have work to do before claiming the crown. Ignacio shares second with Dove Creek and Dolores. Dolores has the most difficult week as they meet Ignacio on Tuesday and Mancos on Wednesday. Dove Creek heads to Mancos on Friday. All games are tentative as the area has seen numerous cancellations of late due to COVID.
UNION PACIFIC: Limon (3-0), Byers (2-0) and Burlington (1-0) share the top spot but one will fall off the pace when Byers goes to Burlington on Saturday. Limon has two non-league road challenges as they go to Simla on Wednesday and Wray on Friday.
WEST CENTRAL: Cotopaxi and Custer County (both 2-0) will battle for the championship as the two other clubs have just two wins combined for the season. The Pirates and Bobcats get together on February 10th in Westcliffe.
WESTERN SLOPE: Vail Christian (5-0) is alone in first one with a one game edge on Vail Mountain and Meeker. Cedaredge is also one back but the Bruins have played just two conference games (1-1). Meeker has two important games as the cowboys host Rangely on Thursday and then Vail Mountain on Saturday. Vail Christian also hosts Cedaredge on Saturday but first has a major challenge on the road to 3A Aspen on Wednesday.
MILE HIGH: Probably the most important game in Class 2A is found in this conference where Highland meets Denver Christian. The Huskies (5-0) and Thunder (4-0) share first place and the winner of their head-to-head matchup should land the championship. That game takes place on Saturday in Ault. Heritage Christian and Lyons share third place with one loss apiece.
INTERMOUNTAIN: Alamosa has played just conference (1-0) but it’s good enough to take sole possession of first place. Pagosa Springs (3-1) and Centuri (1-1) share second after the Pirates handed the Falcons their first loss of the season last Saturday. Now Pagosa Springs looks to take down Alamosa as they visit the Moose on Saturday.
METRO: Kent Denver (4-0) and Colorado Academy (3-0) are the last two league unbeaten with Faith Christian, Manual and Lutheran a game back in the loss column. There are two league games of note this week as Colorado Academy heads to Lutheran on Thursday and Kent Denver visits Faith Christian on Friday. Non-conference games will also draw some attention as Kent Denver meets Frontier leader DSST-Green Valley on Wednesday and then hosts Platte Valley on Saturday. Faith Christian is also home to #1 Sterling on Saturday.
PATRIOT: Sterling (4-0) and Resurrection Christian (3-0) are co-leaders with Eaton, Platte Valley, Brush, Strasburg and Estes Park all jammed together in third place. Both leaders face a team from that third place group; the Tigers go to Brush on Friday with the Cougars hosting Platte Valley on Tuesday. Strasburg and Eaton also get together on Tuesday to help the sorting out process.
TRI PEAKS: St Mary’s (5-0) starts the week with a one edge on Colorado Springs Christian (5-1) with the trio of Salida, Banning Lewis and Buena Vista sharing third with two losses apiece. The first place Pirates host Buena Vista on Wednesday and then on Thursday, Salida meets Banning Lewis. Outcomes of those two will help shape the top four spots.
WESTERN SLOPE: Grand Valley is out of the gate at 2-0 with Aspen, Gunnison and Moffat County all sitting at 1-0. Aspen meets Grand Valley on Saturday and based on overall records, that game could turn out to be the league championship game. The Skiers also get in a nice battle with 2A conference leader Vail Christian on Wednesday. Both games of note are in Aspen.
CONFLUENCE: DSST-Green Valley (3-0) and Addenbrooke Academy (1-0) are in first place with four others one game back. Addenbrooke is only 2-8 overall so Green Valley is considered the favorite. They host a very good Kent Denver club on Wednesday. Another key game to help sort out the top of the standings is Friday between Lotus School and Addenbrooke.
FRONTIER: DSST-Montview (3-0) and Middle Park (5-0) combined for three important conference wins last week so they continue to share first place. Pinnacle, Bennett and Academy are tied with third one game back. Middle Park has a big showdown with Pinnacle on Saturday and will use their game at Vail Christian two nights earlier to prep.
CS METRO NORTH: Sand Creek and Falcon are both 2-0 and since they’re only the conference members with more four wins overall, their two matchups should determine first and second. The first comes up this Wednesday with round two slated for February 9th.
CS METRO SOUTH: Probably the same scenario in this division as Palmer and Mesa Ridge have opened 3-0 and all other conference teams have already suffered league loss. The Terrors and Grizzlies step on the same court Wednesday and play for a second time on February 15th. Palmer is at home this week.
JEFFCO: Green Mountain (5-1) and D’Evelyn (6-1) share the league lead but the Rams have the tiebreaker since they beat the Jaguars 53-51 earlier this month. They will play again on February 11th at Green Mountain. Both have rematches with third place Golden (4-2) as well but neither contest is this week.
LONGS PEAK: Severance (3-0) and Frederick (5-0) are in first place with Riverdale Ridge, Thompson Valley and Roosevelt all with one league loss. There are several games on the schedule this week involving those five clubs. It starts Tuesday as Roosevelt goes to Thompson Valley and Severance visits Riverdale Ridge. Then on Thursday, Riverdale Ridge entertains Roosevelt and then on Friday, Frederick goes to Severance.
WESTERN SLOPE: Palisade (4-0) is the last unbeaten league team with Eagle Valley (4-1) and Steamboat Springs (3-1) still very much alive. The two second place teams meet on Friday in Gypsum.
COLORADO: Still way too early to pick a favorite as Fort Lupton, Skyview and Englewood are all 1-0 while Aurora Central and Eagle Ridge Academy have not played a league game. All have either seven or eight wins on the season so it should be a very competitive race with all five teams having a chance at the title. On Tuesday, Skyview goes to Englewood and then the Pirates go to Fort Lupton. The week closes with a Saturday clash between Eagle Ridge Academy at Aurora Central.
NORTHERN: A very good league with three teams in the top 10 this week and those three teams are tied for the top spot. Mead (5-0) and Holy Family (5-0) and Windsor (3-0) are all unbeaten in conference but they start to face off this week. Windsor is involved in both as the Wizards host Holy Family on Tuesday and then visits Mead on Friday. In between, Mead is at Longmont as the Trojans enter the game fourth in the conference and one game back in the loss column.
SOUTH CENTRAL: Pueblo West, Pueblo South and Pueblo Central all won their first two league games and go into this week tied for the conference lead. Pueblo South has the chance to take control of the race as they beat Pueblo West on Tuesday and Pueblo Central on Thursday. The second game is a big one as both are ranked in the top five with a combined record of 29-1. West is 6-7 on the season.
PIKES PEAK: Lewis Palmer (5-0) is alone in first of a very good league that has a good mix of 4A and 5A clubs from Colorado Springs. Doherty (3-1) and Air Academy (2-1) are tied for second but one will suffer a second league loss when they collide on Tuesday. Doherty also gets tested with Discovery Canyon on Thursday.
CENTENNIAL: Smoky Hill and Eaglecrest are both 5-1 and open the week one game up on third place Cherry Creek and Overland. They each have two losses. Eaglecrest has the most difficult week as they meet Cherry Creek on Thursday and Smoky Hill on Saturday. The Raptors host both.
EAST METRO: Rangeview and Prairie View are the only teams with winning records overall so the champion should be crowned based on the result of their matchup. That game is set for February 1st at Rangeview. Both teams are 1-0 in early league play; Vista Peak and Hinkley are off the same star.
FRONT RANGE: It’s a crowded race right now with Fossil Ridge and Horizon (both 3-0) leading Legacy, Broomfield, Rocky Mountain, Fairview and Poudre by one game. They’re all 2-1. The only direct meeting of those top seven teams this week is on Friday as Fairview goes to Horizon. Looking down the road, Fossil Ridge and Horizon face off on February 8th in what could be the league championship game. Both teams are in the 5A Top 10 again this week.
CONTINENTAL: Another crowded race here with several talented teams still fighting for a top three league finish. Top ranked ThunderRidge is the favorite and the defending state champions have won their first three league games. That puts them alone in first with Rock Canyon, Douglas County, Chaparral, Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista and Castle View sharing second. There will be a bunch of sorting out this week with three games on Wednesday and three more on Thursday. ThunderRidge meets Highlands Ranch and Rock Canyon while Douglas County also meets Rock Canyon and Castle View. The other two have Castle View at Chaparral and Highlands Ranch at Mountain Vista. Sandwiching those games are non-conference games of note with ThunderRidge facing Denver East on Monday and Regis then facing the Angels on Saturday.
SOUTHWESTERN: Montrose (2-0) is the defending champion and already alone in first with a one game edge on Grand Junction and Fruita Monument. The Indians have two more conference games at home this week as they host Grand Junction Central on Tuesday and Durango on Saturday. The two second place teams also meet on Friday in Grand Junction.
DENVER PREP: Denver East, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson seemingly battle for the title every year and this year is off to the same start. They’re a combined 8-0 in league action so far. None of the three collide this week but a key game on Wednesday finds Thomas Jefferson at home against Denver South. Denver East also meets Regis on Saturday as previously mentioned.