The first state champions of the new school year were crowned last week, as boys golf held its championships early last week. Softball is entering its postseason later this week, and is less than two weeks away from its final event of the season. Every other sport is gearing up for the home stretch of the regular season.



With two top-ten finishers, Sterling ended the Class 3A golf season in a tie for third place with Vail Mountain last week. Jace Wright shot a 148 over the two days to end up in a three-way tie for sixth place, and Tayleb Schaefer was one shot back, in ninth. Dylan DiOrio was part of a five-way tie for 29th, and Ryder McConnell was part of a five-way tie for 50th.

Lamar’s Tyler McTaggart shot a 162 to claim a tie for 38th, while Stratton’s Braden Wedel was two shots back, in a tie for 42nd. Damien Baca of Las Animas was part of the tie for 50th. Ty Dirks from Holyoke finished tied for 65th, and La Junta’s Justin Paolucci was 80th.

Softball’s regional pairings were set to be released early this week, as those brackets will be played on Saturday. With 32 teams qualifying, based off RPI and then seeded by a three-piece criteria, the area will have strong representation.

La Junta, Sterling, Limon, and Lamar were all in the top eight of the RPI on Monday morning, which had all in line to host regionals over the weekend. Other teams inside the top 32 of the RPI at the time included Brush, Wiley, Rocky Ford, Wray, Burlington, and Holyoke.

State cross country is just under three weeks off, and Brush just hosted the Patriot League meet last weekend. Robert Anderson was the Beetdiggers’ top finisher in the boys event, claiming 14th place. Kashlyn Tadolini paced the girls with a 12th place standing. Brush took third in the girls team race.

Stratton’s girls participated in the Indian Hills Twilight meet in Yuma over the weekend and took home a third place in the team chase. Keirstyn Louthan finished third overall, with Whitney Cure claiming sixth. Claudia Sanza (14th), Trudy Goodnow (15th), and Ilise Grinnan (20th) helped the team’s cause.

Lamar’s boys soccer squad is still seeking its first league win of the season, entering this week at 0-2-1 in Tri-Peaks play. The Savage were dealt a 6-1 defeat by Atlas Prep last Tuesday, and then settled for a 3-3 tie with Salida last Thursday. Josue Avalos had two goals in that contest. Lamar visits Colorado Springs Christian on Tuesday and St. Mary’s on Thursday.

Fort Morgan has not had many troubles in the Longs Peak, improving to 4-1-1 in league action heading into this week. The Mustangs pushed their win streak to three with and 8-0 victory over Berthoud last Tuesday, and a 2-1 decision at Frederick last Thursday. Fabrice Cyinza had two goals in the win against Berthoud, while Jovany Rico and Victor Mora each had a goal and two helpers.

Fleming had a week of highs and lows on the volleyball court, falling to Haxtun in three and then avenging its only North Central league loss by beating Briggsdale in five on Friday. Haxtun got 14 kills from Allie Thompson in the hard-fought three set victory on Wednesday, while Kally Kirkwood (15) and Whitney Chintala (13) combined for 28 in the loss.

Wiley added two more sweeps to its ledger, blanking Kit Carson and Walsh last week. The Panthers enter this week having dropped a total of six sets this season. They lead the Ark Valley by a game over Springfield, who enters the week on a nine-match winning streak. The two meet on Friday in Springfield.

Cheraw had its winning streak snapped in a five-set loss to 3A La Junta on Thursday. The Wolverines had won 14 straight matches prior to that defeat. They led the Tigers 2-0, before dropping the final three sets. The Wolverines bounced back nicely, beating Cheyenne Wells in three sets on Friday. That win locked up the High Plains title for Cheraw.

Idalia stayed hot, beating Prairie in three on Thursday. Jenna Wieser had 11 kills for the Wolves, who have won six in a row entering this week. Idalia leads the YWKC by one game over Otis and Arickaree/Woodlin. The Wolves own a win over Otis, and will host Arickaree/Woodlin in the regular season finale.

Stratton can all but lock up the Union Pacific title on Tuesday, when the Eagles host Byers. Stratton took down Limon in four sets last Tuesday, and the Eagles sit tied atop the league with Byers, one game up on the Badgers. Byers and Limon meet a week from Thursday in Byers.

Fowler rebounded from its loss to Lamar with 3-0 wins over Swallows Charter and John Mall last week. The Grizzlies host Rye on Thursday in an important Santa Fe league match. Fowler won the earlier meeting between the two, 3-0, behind 13 kills from Emily Flanscha.

Sedgwick County improved to 6-0 in the LPAA by beating Wray in three and then picking up a huge four-set victory over Haxtun last Friday. The Cougars have a pair of high profile non-league matches this week, as they visit Fleming on Thursday and Liberty Common on Friday. Those teams are a combined 25-5 entering this week.

Lamar remained unbeaten in Class 3A, with the Savages dropping Colorado Springs Christian in three sets last Saturday. Sydney Dunning hammered a team-high 16 kills in that win for the Savages, who have not lost a set to an in-state opponent this season. They host Vanguard on Thursday and visit James Irwin on Saturday.

Sterling had to dig deep last Thursday to pick up a five-set win over University. The Tigers trailed 2-1 in the match and faced a total of 11 match points against them, but rallied to take a 28-26 fourth set. They claimed the victory by posting an 18-16 win in the final set. Two days later, the Tigers fell in four sets at Lutheran. The Tigers will visit Estes Park in league play on Wednesday, and travel to Yuma on Thursday for non-league action.

Cheyenne Wells and Branson/Kim both earned league championships on the gridiron last week. Cheyenne Wells claimed the South East title with a 45-6 win over Cheraw, while the Bearcats drilled Miami-Yoder 70-0 to secure the South Central. Branson/Kim visits Granada on Friday in a non-league game with major RPI implications. Cheyenne Wells hosts Genoa-Hugo on Saturday, in a similar scenario. The Pirates locked up the Central division title with a forfeit victory over Deer Trail.

Idalia claimed a big non-league win over Prairie on Thursday, as the Wolves scored three times in the final 7:15 of game action. They trailed 42-28 before coming back to win 47-42. Yahir Enriquez ran for more than 250 yards and five touchdowns, and also caught a TD pass. Prairie will look to bounce back this week, as the Mustangs visit Fleming on Friday with the North division crown on the line. Fleming gave up an early TD to Briggsdale last week, and then rolled to a 54-21 victory.

Haxtun became the first in-state team to hand Sedgwick County a defeat since Merino in 2018, as the Fightin’ Bulldogs claimed a 36-12 victory last Friday. Haxtun jumped out to a 20-6 first quarter lead and never let the Cougars back into the contest. It was their first win over Sedgwick County since 2012. Haxtun still has league games against Denver Christian and Akron, but the Fightin’ Bulldogs are now the favorite to win the Plains and possibly earn the top overall seed for the postseason.

Holly and Fowler share the lead in the Ark Valley, as the Wildcats rolled Las Animas 66-30, while Fowler had to score three times in the fourth quarter to hold off upset-minded Wiley, 40-34. Hoehne fell out of the first place tie after losing to McClave, 52-16. Holly will host Hoehne on Friday, while Fowler hosts Crowley County. The Chargers are one game out of the lead after last week’s 62-0 win over Springfield.

Limon and Wray now share the lead in the 1A North Central, after they both picked up wins last week. Limon gave up an opening drive touchdown to Burlington before roaring back for a 49-7 win over the Cougars on Saturday. Wray went on the road last Friday and handed Holyoke its first league loss, 28-11. In the other league contest, Wiggins blocked a late field goal attempt to hold off Yuma, 30-28. Limon travels to Wray on Friday, while Yuma hosts Burlington on Thursday, and Wiggins hosts Holyoke on Friday.

Brush moved to 2-0 in the 2A Patriot East, as the Beetdiggers blasted Valley 61-18. The Diggers visit rival Sterling in league play on Friday. The Tigers are coming off a 42-12 defeat at Platte Valley.

Lamar and La Junta were on opposite sides of blowouts last weekend. Lamar was thumped 70-13 at home by Classical Academy, while the Tigers grabbed a 60-27 home victory over Manitou Springs. The Savages will travel to Manitou Springs on Friday, and La Junta hosts Bayfield on Saturday.

Fort Morgan continues to roll in 3A, as the Mustangs opened North Central 3 league play with a 52-27 win at Niwot last Thursday. The Mustangs led 20-7 at the half, and then put the game away with a 32-7 third quarter. They are tied with Northridge atop the division after one week. Fort Morgan visits Mountain View on Friday.