Area teams were treated to a couple tastes of fall last week, and the cooler temperatures did little to slow them down. In a week dotted with top match-ups, several athletes turned in stellar performances.


Jumping right into volleyball, Sterling’s Sydney Henry reached a career milestone. The standout senior recorded her 1000th career kill in a 3-0 sweep of Strasburg last Tuesday. She tallied a dozen in the next outing against Eagle Ridge Academy and is hitting .327 on the season. The Tigers have won six straight matches entering this week.

Another Sterling Tiger reached a milestone of her own. Pitcher Reagan Fehringer set a new school record with her 141st strikeout of the season. That came on Thursday in a 4-1 win over Strasburg. The junior is 11-3 on the season, and has a perfect game against Platte Valley under her belt.

Going back to volleyball, Lamar strengthened its grip on the top spot in Class 3A, picking up 3-0 wins over both St. Mary’s and Manitou Springs last week. The Savages brought a 6-0 mark into this week, with only one of those matches going more than three sets. Sydney Dunning did not play against Manitou Springs, but Brooklyn Robbins stepped up with a career-high 14 kills.

Friday night saw a clash of two #1 teams, as 2A Sedgwick County hosted 1A Merino. Sedgwick County bounced back from a loss to an out of state opponent to take down the defending 1A champs in five sets. The Cougars won the thriller 24-26, 25-18, 25-21, 26-28, 15-13. Alison Woodhams led three Cougars in double figure kills with 13. Gabrielle Powell and Kierra Ehnes each added 10 to help Sedgwick County remain atop the LPAA standings.

The four teams right behind Merino in last week’s 1A poll all had successful runs last week. Briggsdale claimed 3-0 wins over Flatirons Academy, Otis, and Caliche. Fleming pushed its winning streak to five with a tough 3-0 sweep of 2A Holyoke, and Wiley returned to play after the tragic accident a week earlier that ultimately claimed the lives of five students, taking a 3-0 win over South Baca and a 3-1 victory over ranked Stratton. Haxtun stayed red-hot, pushing its winning streak to nine matches with sweeps of Wiggins and Caliche.

Wiggins had won five straight matches since falling in five sets to Fleming in the title contest of the Kit Carson tournament. The Tigers had a league clash with Sedgwick County on Tuesday, and they likely needed a win to keep their hopes of winning the LPAA alive.

Fowler picked up two big wins inside the Santa Fe last week. The Grizzlies beat Hoehne in three on Tuesday and backed that up with a sweep of Swink on Thursday. Fowler had dropped just one set in its first seven matches, entering this week. 

Six-man football had a fight between the top-two teams in the rankings last Saturday, as Cheyenne Wells host Granada in South East division play. Cheyenne Wells saw its defense set the tone early in the game, as they recorded a safety on the third play of the contest. Cade Mitchek led the offense with five rushing touchdowns, and the Tigers knocked off last week’s #1 team 77-20. Granada’s Dominic Coleman threw three touchdown passes to younger brother Maddox, giving the duo 13 such connections in three games.

Fleming’s defense pitched it’s third shutout of the season, as the Wildcats downed Pawnee 70-0. In their three wins, the Wildcats have outscored the opposition 182-0. Briggsdale is expected to be the top challenger to Fleming in the North, and the Falcons had to escape last week with a 30-28 win over Otis. Prairie is also in the mix in that division, and the Mustangs stayed unbeaten in league play with a 54-18 win at Peetz. 

Branson/Kim put up 72 points for the second straight week, as the Bearcats beat Cotopaxi 72-20 to stay unbeaten. The Bearcats are the favorites in the South Central. Cheraw kept pace with Cheyenne Wells in the South East after the Wolverines earned a 56-0 win over Kit Carson. It was their first win over the Wildcats since 1993, when current head coach Brad Phillips was a freshman. His son, Cade, threw for five touchdowns in the win.

There were two big showdowns last week inside the 8-man Plains division, as #2 Sedgwick County hosted Merino, ranked ninth last week, and Akron (#5 last week) visited Dayspring Christian (previously #6). Sedgwick County jumped out to an 18-0 lead over the Rams, before having to hold on for an 18-12 victory over the last in-state team to beat them. Akron got the early lead on the road against Dayspring Christian, but the hosts rolled after that, picking up a 58-18 win. Haxtun also grabbed a win in the opening weekend of league play, blasting Caliche 50-0. The Fightin’ Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 222-14 in four games.

Just as Wiley’s volleyball team returned to action last week, their football team gave the community a taste of normalcy last Friday when it hosted Crowley County. The Panthers overcame an early deficit to claim a 30-14 win in what was both their season opener and league opener. Holly, Fowler, and Hoehne also came up with wins to kick-off the Ark Valley slate.

In Class 1A, the North Central continued to have a strong showing in non-league play. Limon blasted Bennett 46-0, Yuma slipped past Highland 28-21, and Wray beat Burlington 34-0 in what was scheduled as a non-league clash. They will meet again later in the season in league play. Holyoke was tripped up at Florence, 35-14, and Wiggins had a bye.

It was a tough go for Santa Fe teams Trinidad and Rocky Ford, as they fell by a combined score of 104-8 over the weekend. The Miners were dropped 58-8 by Del Norte, while Rocky was shutout 46-0 by Colorado Springs Christian.

In 2A, Brush and Lamar both dropped their second consecutive games, as the Beetdiggers fell 20-6 at Severance while the Savages got shutout 44-0 on the road by Pueblo County. Sterling fell to 0-4 as they were bounced 56-0 on the road in Scottsbluff, NE. La Junta evened its record at 2-2 with a 45-22 road win at Salida.

Briggs Wheatley helped keep Fort Morgan unbeaten in 3A, as his four rushing touchdowns and one passing score led the Mustangs to a 42-7 win over Conifer. Frank Ortega had two interceptions for the defense, with one being a pick-six.

Lamar softball heads into the week on a five game winning streak, with La Junta bringing a two-game streak into the week. They meet on Thursday in Lamar. The Tigers claimed a 9-8 walk-off in extra innings three wees ago. Limon, Wiley, Brush, and Holyoke also came into the week having won their last contests. 

Sterling boys soccer dropped a 7-0 decision to Frontier Academy, handing the Tigers their third straight loss. They were 1-5 entering play this week. Lamar also went down in its last match, 3-2 at Pueblo South. The Savages had picked up a 6-1 win over Vanguard earlier in the week. 

Fort Morgan is off to a 6-0 start in 4A soccer, as the Mustangs blasted Elizabeth 10-0 last Monday. Jovany Rico had four goals and an assist, while Ernesto Meza Gamino had a hat trick and a helper. The Mustangs hosted Severance on Tuesday and will travel to Riverdale Ridge on Saturday.