CHSAA announced the all-state team for spirit last week, and one area athlete was a recipient of the honor. Holyoke’s Tamara Penzing gained first team recognition in 2A Cheer.

Fort Morgan football coach Ty Davies also received a big honor last week. He was named the Denver Broncos high school coach of the year after guiding the Mustangs to the 3A crown. It was the first state title for the program since 1999. He was also voted as the 3A coach of the year by his peers, and his quarterback, Briggs Wheatley, was picked as the player of the year in that classification.

It was a sweep in eight-man, as JD Stone was tabbed as the coach of the year, following his squad’s championship run. Isaac Andersen, who helped power the Fightin’ Bulldogs to their first championship since 2004, brought home the player of the year award.

The same can be said for Cheyenne Wells, who earned the first-ever football title in school history, when the Tigers defeated Stratton for the six-man championship. Head coach Myles Smith, a former CW player, was picked by the other coaches in the classification to receive the honor for the season, while Cade Mitchek capped his stellar season with the player of the year award.

Highlighting the past week on the hardwood were a number of big tournaments. McClave won the girls bracket of the Lamar Holiday Tournament by defeating Springfield 54-29. It was the first championship in the event for the Cardinals since 2009. The loss was the first for Springfield this season.

Granada grabbed the boys title in the tournament, downing Wiley 39-29 in the championship contest. It was the first crown for the Bobcats in the prestigious tournament since 2008. McClave claimed third place by beating Holly 47-45 on a putback at the buzzer.

Yuma broke the seal on a new event at home, with a field that included Limon, Heritage Christian, and Eaton. Eaton defeated Yuma for the title in both divisions, with the girls winning 60-51 and boys getting a 70-68 win in double overtime. Both Limon teams took home third place.

Fleming also hosted its first annual event, bringing in Arickaree/Woodlin, Gilpin County, and Denver Waldorf. The hosts got to keep the hardware for the girls, as they beat Gilpin County 48-36. Denver Waldorf’s boys edged Fleming 52-47 to win the title. Both Arickaree/Woodlin teams bounced back from losses to Fleming to claim third.

Stratton’s ladies went to the buzzer to earn the championship in the Akron Holiday Tournament. Down by as many as 14 points, the Eagles defeated Akron 42-41, as Sedonia Isenbart cashed in three free throws with four seconds left. Akron’s boys got a 62-46 win over Stratton to keep the hardware home. Idalia dominated Otis in the girls third place contest, 59-13, while it was the Otis boys who took third with a 68-61 win over Idalia.

Fowler hosted its Holiday Classic over the weekend, and the hosts finished fourth on the girls side of things, falling to both Colorado Springs Christian and Peyton. The boys also ended the event in fourth place, as they fell to Peyton 36-33 in the third place game.

Sterling’s boys squad had a very nice run in the Windsor-Power 2 Play Winter Showcase. The Tigers beat The Academy (76-36), Denver Christian (56-24), and Pine Bluffs of Wyoming (58-57) to win the championship of the event. The victory in the title game was head coach Mike Holloway’s 350th with the program.

The week also saw a number of big contests that weren’t part of tournaments. Briggsdale made a statement in 1A girls, as the Falcons defeated the defending champions, Flatirons Academy, 60-46. It was Flatirons who knocked Briggsdale out of the state field last season. The Falcons enter the break 5-0, one of just five unbeatens in 1A. Merino, Fleming, and Stratton also got through the first month of the season without a blemish.

Cheyenne Wells has been a bit of a surprise, as the Tigers finished the month 4-1, thank to wins over South Baca (24-22) and Genoa-Hugo/Karval (38-9) last week. The loss for South Baca was their first, as they also head to the break at 4-1. The Patriots are part of a large group from the southeast corner with a single loss. That group also includes Springfield, McClave, Wiley, Kit Carson, and Kim/Branson.

Holyoke bounced back from a two-point loss to Sedgwick County to earn wins over Haxtun (61-41) and Wray (58-40) in non-league play. The Dragons will see both later in the season, with LPAA ramifications in those match-ups. Sedgwick County and Wiggins both ran their winning streaks to four games, giving the league six teams with two or fewer losses in December.

Brush rebounded from a 50-49 loss to Yuma at the beginning of the week to claim a 57-37 victory over rival Fort Morgan. The Beetdiggers are 3-2 on the season. Lamar also holds that mark, as the Savages recovered from their loss to Sanford a week earlier. They dominated Atlas Prep, 63-8. La Junta moved to 5-4 with a pair of tight league wins over Manitou Springs (48-41) and Salida (52-49).

Flipping to the boys, Haxtun dropped a tough 62-53 non-league affair against LPAA rival Holyoke early last week. It was the first loss for the Fightin’ Bulldogs, who bounced back to drill Peetz 60-32. They head to the break 5-1.

Genoa-Hugo/Karval remained undefeated with a 58-51 overtime win over Cheyenne Wells. Trey Smith went for 30 in the win for the Pirates, who sent the Tigers to their first loss of the campaign. Joining the Pirates in finishing the first month without a loss are Briggsdale and Granada from the area.

Las Animas is the lone 2A team from the region to finish the month unbeaten. The Trojans won close match-ups against Miami-Yoder (49-42) and Hoehne (59-58). They had to outscore the Farmers 23-9 in the fourth quarter on Thursday to earn the one point victory.

Switching to the mats, Lamar’s girls wrestling program, in its first year, earned a 44-12 victory over Pueblo Central in a dual last Thursday. Jazmin Martinez, Payton Adamson, Crystalyn Felan, and Anna Ramirez all earned wins on the mat, while Misti Razey-Reyes, Heather Hancock, Delorin Bellomy, and Cortney Bellomy all claimed forfeits.

Lamar was also one of four area programs to compete in the Jimmy John’s NCCT over the weekend. They finished 14th out of 40 teams in the event. Yuma claimed 17th, Brush was 33rd, and La Junta came in in 34th place. Jaxi Mireles of Lamar was the only local to reach the podium, as she took fourth at 185.

A lot of the focus for the boys last week centered on three events: the Jimmy John’s NCCT, Pete and Ina Gomez Invitational in Walsenburg, and the Bob Smith Invitational at Wray.

Fort Morgan took 36th out of 67 teams in the Jimmy John’s, while La Junta nabbed 39th place in the field. Neither had a wrestler crack the top eight of a weight class.

Lamar (4th), Crowley County (5th), and Fowler (7th) all posted top ten finishes in the team race at the meet in Walsenburg. Las Animas finished 15th. Crowley County got individual titles from Dillon Buford (132), Tach Brewer (152), and Robert San Juan (170). Waitley Sharon claimed the title at 113 for Fowler, while Cyrus Madrid earned the title at 145.

Wray crushed the competition at its meet on Saturday, claiming the team title with 219.5 points. Limon was second with 89, and Akron earned a top three finish with 79. Individual titlists in the field included Kaiden Schelling (106), Scotty Engle (113), and Hayden Burr (170) all from Sedgwick County/Fleming; Coen Schmidt (120) from Merino; Chase Buoy (126), Brady Collins (138), Samuel Meisner (145), Koy Smith (152), and Harrison Wade (285) from Wray; Laden Sampson (132) and Gavin Brown (195) from Akron; and Ky Bandy (160) from Limon.