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The goals have been pouring in like a springtime shower recently for Crested Butte star senior Jacob Bernholtz, the state’s new leading goal scorer. And if history has told us anything, the forecast will be much the same going forward.
Leading the two-time defending Class 2A state champs to four straight wins heading into the week, Bernholtz scored six goals in two games last week, putting his goal total through nine games to 17. The most in the state.
His current ridiculous pace (nearly two goals a game) is on track to beat his 2021 mark of 27 goals in 19 games, when he was later named the classification’s player of the year. It also puts him one shy of 60 goals for his high school career.
As of Monday night in Colorado, Bernholtz is one goal ahead of Mesa Ridge’s Kaidin Reese, SkyView Academy’s Anton Reznikov and The Vanguard School’s Luciano Camarena.
Reese leads the state in points with 39 (16 goals and seven assists), two in front of Bernholtz.
That’s where the individual races stand for now.
The team races have been just as good.
Crested Butte (7-2) fell a spot in this week’s CHSAA rankings, from No. 4 to 5, despite beating Colorado Springs Christian and Colorado Rocky Mountain a combined 15-1 last week.
The dip may seem almost fraudulent for a team that has run to two straight titles in 2A. Though, in reality, it’s also a factor of how top-heavy the class has been through the first month of the season.
The Thomas MacLaren School received 10 of the 13 first place votes this week as they moved to 5-0 with shutout victories over Manitou Springs and No. 6 The Vanguard School last week. Vail Mountain (7-2) had the other three, beating Basalt and Aspen following a loss to 3A No. 4 Coal Ridge on Sept. 10.
Behind them, No. 3 Denver Christian and No. 4 Bishop Machebeuf (like Crested Butte) are on four-game winning streaks. Devon Van Andel has six goals and four assists in his last three games for the Thunder. The Buffaloes, meanwhile, have outscored their last four opponents 36-1.
Tuesday, Vail Mountain will travel to 3A defending champ Roaring Fork. The Rams (2-2) have lost two straight.
Crested Butte hosts No. 9 Telluride (2-4) Friday.
The most intriguing game last week in 3A — featuring No. 1 Colorado Academy and No. 3 Liberty Common — ended in a draw.
The Mustangs lost to 4A The Classical Academy and then got a second half goal to tie the Eagles following their 4-0 start. Liberty Common on the other hand continued its impressive recent run, which has also included a three-goal win over 5A Fort Collins late last month and a five-goal win over 3A defending champ Roaring Fork Saturday.
The most intriguing team meanwhile? That might be DSST: College View (5-1-1), which moved into the 10 spot in this week’s CHSAA rankings.
A current win streak almost as long as its name, the shorthand Wolves have the longest winning streak in the classification at five games. Keeper Jason Morales has been key, a brick wall of sorts, allowing just two goals over three games last week. He shut out The Pinnacle with five saves Friday.
The Wolves, with a chance to make a huge statement, travel to Colorado Academy Saturday.
Like a smooth, shiny face, this is the time to fear the unblemished. In 4A, who will get a splotch first? George Washington, the team with a radiant resume, beating previously-undefeated Regis Groff Monday to move to 7-0 — or 6 ½ hours away — Durango, the mountain gem that has beaten eight of its first nine opponents by multiple goals.
Ugly may take a while.
The Patriots are at city rival Lincoln (2-4) Thursday for their lone game of the week. Their schedule then gets tougher from there with defending champ and No. 4 Northfield (5-0-1) Sept. 30 and 2021 semifinalist Denver North (4-3) Oct. 6.
The Demons look in the clear for now (which is also the perfect recipe to get upset). They don’t have any ranked teams left on their regular-season schedule. Their only game this week is Saturday at Montrose (2-5).
Elsewhere in the classification, Mead moved into the No. 10 spot thanks to a four-game winning streak. The Mavericks, who won a program-most 11 games last fall, have outscored teams 35-5 this season.
The Front Range League has had four programs inside the top 10 in the CHSAA rankings for most of the season. Which is silly.
And sillier, it’s getting close to adding another in Monarch, which is off to its best start since 2017, winning five of its first six games.
Sean Kendall had a hat trick for the Coyotes in a 5-2 win over Chaparral Saturday, pushing their current win streak to four games.
They have Mountain Range (0-6) and Horizon (4-1-1) this week. Then they close with one of the toughest schedules in the state: At No. 1 Legacy Sept. 29, home against No. 4 Boulder Oct. 3, at No. 9 Fairview Oct. 6, and at No. 7 Broomfield Oct. 11 before finishing up against Northglenn.
This week in the FRL, Legacy (6-0) hosts Boulder (3-2-1) Thursday, a game that features early player of the year candidates in Lightning forward Cooper Stephens and Panthers midfielder and Maryland commit Cameron Gerber.
Boulder then hosts Fairview (4-1-1) and its uber-talented goalie Shane Williams Saturday.
Elsewhere, No. 2 Valor Christian (5-0-1) has a loaded week, hosting Cherry Creek Tuesday and defending champ Grandview Thursday. The Eagles won 2-0 at Broomfield last week.