Softball postseason took a starring role last week, as regional competitions were held across the state. This weekend will see the state tournaments take the spotlight.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY OT SPORTSCHECK
Lamar, La Junta, Sterling, and Brush all punched their tickets into the Class 3A bracket by winning regional titles over the weekend. Lamar took out Holyoke (11-4) and Montezuma-Cortez (7-1) to win the region hosted by the Savages, while rival La Junta blasted Gunnison (12-1) and The Academy (14-4) to win its region.
Brush picked up a run-rule victory over James Irwin (12-2), before upsetting #6 Strasburg 8-7 in the regional final. The Beetdiggers trailed 7-4 before pushing four runs across the dish in the top of the fifth. Sterling cruised past Burlington (13-2) in the first game of its region, and then had to survive Weld Central’s upset bid. The Rebels had two runners on in the final inning, but the Tigers got the final out to claim the regional crown, 2-1.
Limon and Rocky Ford will also be part of the state field, as both teams made regional finals before being ousted. Limon fell at home to Fort Lupton (10-0), while Rocky Ford was defeated 12-1 by defending champion Eaton. The state tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at the Aurora Sports Park.
Cross country begins its postseason this week, with regional competitions on tap from Thursday through Saturday. Rocky Ford will host the Class 2A Region 3 meet on Friday, while many area schools will be competing in either Region 1 in Lyons on Thursday or Region 2 at Expo Park in Aurora, also on Thursday. Class 3A Region 2 goes to Colorado Springs on Friday, while the Region 4 event is Thursday in Greeley. State will be next weekend at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.
Boys soccer begins its final week of regular season play, with all contests needing to be completed by Saturday night. The Class 3A state tournament begins next Wednesday, while 4A gets started the following day.
Lamar’s 5-2 win at Colorado Springs Christian last Tuesday has the Savages sitting 32nd in the RPI to begin this final week of regular season play. That would have Lamar making the field as the final entrant. They host Manitou Springs on Thursday and close things out at St. Mary’s on Saturday.
Fort Morgan improved to 12-1-1 on the season with wins over Thompson Valley (2-0) and Roosevelt (4-1) early last week. The Mustangs are 15th in the Class 4A RPI to begin this week, which would have them hosting a first round game next week. Their final regular season game is Tuesday at Mountain View.
Fleming is starting to peak at just the right time as the Wildcats make a bid for another state volleyball title. Last week, the Wildcats bounced 2A Sedgwick County in three sets on Thursday, and then did the same to Prairie on Friday. They enter this week at 14-3 overall and tied with Briggsdale for the lead in the 1A North Central. They have split two matches with the Falcons, as each won at home.
Haxtun, the last team to beat Fleming, moved to 15-3 on the season with wins over Bethune and Hi-Plains last Saturday. The Fightin’ Bulldogs have three non-league matches this week, with Saturday’s home clash against Wiley highlighting the slate. Wiley has a busy week, cramming four matches into six days. The Panthers host South Baca on Tuesday and wrap up Ark Valley league play on Thursday at Walsh.
Stratton locked up the Union Pacific league title by sweeping 2A Byers (25-23, 25-15, 25-18) last Tuesday, with Hannah Rigirozzi and Kennedy Frank each recording a dozen kills. Hope Linnebur had 12 for Byers. The Eagles also picked up 3-0 wins over Weldon Valley and Lotus School for Excellence last week. They are 15-3 on the year, and have matches with Burlington and Briggsdale later this week.
Idalia pushed its winning streak to eight straight matches, as the Wolves defeated Bethune and Kiowa, both in three sets. The Wolves are 14-4 on the year and lead the YWKC league race. They host Fleming on Friday in a big non-league contest.
Fowler secured a share of the 2A Santa Fe by beating Rye 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-14) last Thursday. The Grizzlies are unbeaten in league play, with a trip to Hoehne on Thursday and a home match with Swink next Tuesday. Fowler’s lone loss on the season came to 3A Lamar.
Sedgwick County suffered a pair of non-league losses last week, falling to Fleming in three and Liberty Common in four. However, the Cougars are still unbeaten in LPAA play, and can wrap up the title with wins over Holyoke and Caliche next week. Sedgwick County faces a tough out of state opponent on Tuesday, when the Cougars square off against South Platte (NE).
Lamar remained unbeaten overall, picking up 3-0 wins over Vanguard and James Irwin last week. The Savages surrendered a total of 35 points in the win over the Coursers and just 24 in defeating James Irwin. Sydney Dunning recorded a total of 26 kills in those two wins, and Fernanda Merancio added 18. Lamar visits Banning Lewis on Tuesday and then will be part of the Sterling tournament on Saturday. That field includes Wiggins, Fleming, Sterling, and Lamar in one pool, while the other pool has Denver Christian, Alamosa, Frontier Academy, and Merino.
Despite missing a number of upperclassmen, Sterling rolled to 3-0 wins over Estes Park and Yuma last week. The Tigers will visit Frontier Academy in league play on Thursday, and then host their big tournament on Saturday.
This past weekend had a number of big match-ups in six-man football, with many providing teams an opportunity to improve their RPI standing. Fleming got a late touchdown and then a defensive stop to edge Prairie 52-51 and claim the North division title in the process. The Wildcats visit Idalia on Friday in non-league play. The Wolves blasted Kiowa 56-8 in non-league action on Saturday.
Branson/Kim put its unblemished record on the line when the Bearcats visited Granada last Friday. Granada got 338 yards and six touchdown passes from Dominic Coleman in the 72-22 victory. Coleman also ran for another score. The Bobcats improved to 6-1 with that victory.
Cheyenne Wells scored on three of its first four plays against Genoa-Hugo and the top-ranked Tigers went on to a 56-8 win, handing the Pirates their first loss of the year. Cheyenne Wells meets Prairie in a non-league contest this week at Woodlin.
Sedgwick County suffered its second straight loss of the eight-man season, and its third overall, as Dayspring Christian earned a 36-6 win over the Cougars. It’s the first time since 2014 that the Cougars have lost as many as three games in a year.
Holly now owns sole possession of the lead in the Ark Valley after the Wildcats blanked Hoehne 43-0 last week. That win, coupled with Fowler’s 26-6 loss at home to Crowley County, has the Wildcats as the only team without a league loss. They will host Fowler on Friday and close out the regular season at home next Friday against Crowley County.
Limon took out its top challenger in the 1A North Central, as the Badgers shutout Wray 41-0 on the road last Friday. The Badgers have league wins over Yuma, Burlington, and Wray, with games remaining against Holyoke and Wiggins. Holyoke took a 41-26 win over Wiggins last week, and Yuma edged Burlington 10-9 on a 40-yard field goal from Alex Lozano with just over a minute remaining.
Rocky Ford and Trinidad meet on Friday, with the winner climbing out of the Santa Fe cellar. The Meloneers fell 44-6 to Peyton last week, while the Miners dropped their fourth straight, 55-12 at Rye.
Brush sits alone atop the 2A Patriot East after last week’s forfeit victory over Sterling. The Beetdiggers are 3-0 in league play as they prepare for Thursday’s league contest against Fort Lupton. The Bluedevils are 0-3 in the league and 1-6 overall.
Fort Morgan got a 99-yard TD pass from Briggs Wheatley to Frank Ortega as part of its 35-14 Class 3A North Central 3 league win over Mountain View last week. The 6-0 Mustangs host 7-0 Roosevelt in league play on Friday.