The calendar just flipped to October and the first championships of the fall season were slated to be awarded this week. Boys golf played its opening round of state on Monday, with hardware being handed out after Tuesday’s second round.



Sterling will have a chance to compete for the Class 3A team title, as the Tigers had four golfers qualify for the event. Dylan DiOrio, Ryder McConnell, Tayleb Schaefer, and Jace Wright will represent the Tigers in the meet. Damien Baca (Las Animas), Ty Dirks (Holyoke), Tyler McTaggart (Lamar), Justin Paolucci (La Junta), and Braden Wedel (Stratton) will also represent the eastern portion of the state. The 3A tournament was being held at the Spring Valley Golf Club in Elizabeth.

Softball enters its final week of the regular season and there is no shortage of drama. With the top 24 in the RPI qualifying for the postseason bracket (assuming all district champions are in the top 24), a number of area teams appear to be safely in the field. La Junta, Sterling, Limon, Lamar, and Brush were all in the top 10 as the week began, with Wiley and Rocky Ford also inside the top 20. 

However, its the chase for the final spot where things get interesting. Holyoke owned the 24th position when the week began, and Burlington was right behind the Dragons in 25th. They played a doubleheader last Saturday, with Holyoke winning the first game 16-6, and the Cougars earning the split with a 10-3 decision in the second. Holyoke has two games this week with Yuma and two with Wray, who began the week 27th in the metric. Burlington closes with two against Limon on Thursday. Holyoke and Wray are separated by just .008 points. 

Cross country championships are scheduled for the 30th of the month, giving runners three more weeks to get ready for the difficult course at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs. Springfield’s Mylo Lovejoy had another solid effort across the border in Syracuse (KS) last week. The sophomore finished seventh in the event, and is looking to improve upon last season’s 20th place finish at regionals.

Josh Snyder grabbed a fifth place finish for Rocky Ford over the weekend at the Salida Classic,while teammate Nate Encinias took home 13th. The Meloneers were fourth in the team chase. Their girls were eighth, with Anahy Prieto’s 26th place finish leading the squad.

Lamar competed last Thursday at the Canon City event that was held at the scenic Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Branden Davis was less than a second and a half back of the winner, claiming second place in 14:57.0. Cole Krug turned in a fifth place finish, and Zack Rankin was 20th. The Savages were third in the team standings. Koraima Gomez and Karina Gomez paced the Lamar girls, finishing 25th and 26th, respectively. Lamar was fifth in the team event.

Patriot League runners will converge upon Brush later this week for their league meet. Brush and Sterling will be part of this talented field.

There are no more unbeaten teams in the Class 1A volleyball standings, as Wiley was handed a 3-1 loss by Briggsdale last week. Wiley won the first set 25-20, but Briggsdale took the next three by scores of 25-14, 25-15, and 25-11. The Panthers rebounded to take out Genoa-Hugo in three that same night. Jenna Krise had 14 kills to lead Briggsdale, while Kylie Krise added 10. Kylie announced her commitment to play basketball for Western Colorado University last week.

Briggsdale can lock up the North Central crown with a win at Fleming on Friday. The Falcons won the earlier meeting 3-0 at home, handing Fleming its only league loss to date. The Wildcats pushed 3A Valley last week, dropping a five-setter to the Vikings, after leading 2-1. They entered this week 11-2.

Haxtun owns a share of the LPAA lead, as the Fightin’ Bulldogs are tied with Sedgwick County. Those two squads will meet on Friday. Haxtun has to face Fleming on Tuesday, making it a difficult week for the Fightin’ Bulldogs, who have recorded double digit wins for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

Idalia, who leads the YWKC standings, picked up a huge 3-0 win over Stratton last Friday in non-league action. The Wolves got 13 kills from Jenna Wieser in the 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 win. It was their fifth straight win and ninth in their last 10 matches. 

Fowler fell from the ranks of the unbeatens in 2A over the weekend, with a 3-0 loss to Lamar in the final match of their own tournament. The Grizzlies had won their first 13 matches of the year, including 3-0 sweeps of Limon and Denver Christian earlier in the tournament. They fell to Lamar by scores of 25-19, 25-16, and 25-16. The Grizzlies lead the Santa Fe by two games over Rye at the start of play this week.

Byers picked up four sweep victories last week, as the Bulldogs downed Burlington, Genoa-Hugo, Deer Trail, and Front Range Christian. The first three of those matches were inside the Union Pacific, which the Bulldogs share the lead with Limon and Stratton. Byers has a tough non-league clash with Wiggins on Wednesday, and will visit Stratton next Tuesday for a match that will help determine the league champion.

The win over Fowler was Lamar’s 11th sweep victory in 12 matches this season. The Savages had only dropped one set heading into this week. They visit James Irwin on Thursday and then host Colorado Springs Christian on Saturday. Both are Tri-Peaks matches.

Sterling saw its eight-match winning streak snapped by Platte Valley last Tuesday. The Tigers won the first set 25-23, but then saw the Broncos rally to win 25-21, 25-23, and 25-23. The defending state runners-up host University on Thursday and visit Lutheran on Saturday.

Fleming and Prairie both picked up gridiron wins last week, setting the stage for a potential North division championship contest next week. Fleming blasted Weldon Valley 62-18 last Friday, while the Mustangs used a strong second half to hand Briggsdale its first loss, 60-28. Briggsdale visits Fleming this Friday, needing a win to keep its league championship hopes alive. Prairie hosts Idalia in non-league play on Thursday.

Idalia will be looking to get back on track after dropping last Friday’s game at Stratton, 32-16. That win gave the Eagles the sole lead in the East Central division. Stratton visits Flagler on Friday. Idalia is tied with Arickaree/Woodlin for second in the East Central, after the Indian-Mustangs edged Otis 38-30 last week. Idalia and A/W meet on October 30th.

Cheraw made a bit of history last week, as the Wolverines beat Eads 66-6, giving them their first win over Eads since 1982. The two teams did not play every year during that stretch, as Eads was eight-man for a good number of years, while Cheraw was playing six-man. This came just two weeks after Cheraw beat Kit Carson for the first time since 1999. The Wolverines will host #1 Cheyenne Wells on Friday. The Tigers had last weekend off, as their game with Walsh was called off due to a COVID quarantine within the Walsh high school.

Sole possession of the 8-man Plains lead will be at stake on Friday when Haxtun visits Sedgwick County. Haxtun remained unbeaten with last week’s 64-20 victory over Merino. Owen Knode had a hand in five touchdowns, running for three and passing for two. The Fightin’ Bulldogs piled up 460 yards on the ground. Sedgwick County had its game against Denver Christian called off, as the Thunder did not have enough healthy players.

The Arkansas Valley has a three-way tie atop its standings, as Hoehne, Fowler, and Holly all came up with wins last week. All three are 3-0 in league play. Holly visits Las Animas this week, while Fowler visits Wiley, and Hoehne travels to McClave. Crowley County is one game back, and the Chargers host Springfield this week.

League play opened in the 1A North Central last week, and Limon, Wray, and Holyoke all began that portion of their schedules with victories. Limon downed Yuma 34-10, Wray got a 20-7 win over Wiggins, and Holyoke went on the road and beat Burlington 34-12. Limon hosts Burlington on Saturday, while Wray visits Holyoke, and Wiggins hosts Yuma. The latter two games are on Friday night.

Brush opened 2A Patriot league play with a 41-0 win over Platte Valley. It was the first win for the Beetdiggers over the Broncos since 2014. Brush will host Valley on Friday.

Fort Morgan returns from its bye on Thursday, as the Mustangs will open 3A North Central 3 play at Niwot. The Cougars are 3-2 following last week’s 42-12 win at Skyview.