DENVER – Sitting in the stands of the Denver Coliseum, former Manitou Springs standout Justin Armour can’t help but make a brief observation about his life.

“That’s where my basketball career ended,” he says pointing to an area on the Denver Coliseum floor. Manitou Springs played in the Class 3A Final 4 that season, but lost in their effort to get to the state title game.

And just like that, the memory is gone. Armour’s focus is solely on the Rampart girls volleyball team’s elimination match against Heritage in the 5A state tournament. There’s a head of blonde hair that stands above any other player on the floor.

That’s his daughter Avah. She spent three years at her dad’s alma mater before the family moved to the north part of Colorado Springs and she transferred to Rampart. But even competing in different sports at different schools, their high athletic stories will end in the same location which creates a pretty special bond between the two of them.

“I’ve always had that connection with my dad,” Avah said. “We’re both athletes. My mom has always been the emotional support person, but I really relate to him that way and really look up to him in every way.”

And for the Rams, she’s been a welcome addition to an already talented team.

“It’s not just that she’s a great athlete,” coach Brianne Perkett said. “But the energy she brings; the intensity, the communication, the positivity the competitiveness, you can’t ask for anything more in an athlete.”

Armour’s high school athletic journey will conclude in the same building as her dad. And like her dad, she has big things awaiting her after she graduates.

Armour signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Central Florida. She has the size and the skillset to compete in the Big 12. When she gets set by either Izzy Starck or Audrey Hollis, she’ll take to the air and look as though she is nine feet tall.

And it turns out in volleyball, getting high and hitting the ball down is an effective way to play the game.

The Rams entered the 5A tournament as the No. 4 seed but lost to Grandview in their first match. They were down 2-1 to Heritage on Friday morning in an elimination match but they battled back to win in five.

With the sun down and the temperatures falling outside the Coliseum, the Rams faced elimination for the second time of the day but put together a more dominant performance in a 25-21, 25-17, 25-10 win over Fossil Ridge.

It was the match they needed to put together to head into Saturday with confidence as they hunt for their second state title in three seasons.

“The first match was a bit of a shock to us because we were still recovering from our tough loss yesterday,” Starck said. “With that win, we just showed ourselves that we can do it and gave ourselves an extra bit of swagger going into the next match.”

It’ll be a tough task as Rock Canyon and Valor Christian are already into the semifinals. Rampart will have to beat Cherry Creek to get there.

No matter if the journey ends in the next match, the semifinals or even the state championship match, it will forever give Armour a unique connection with her dad. Justin went on to play football at Stanford and in the NFL where he was a part of the Denver Broncos 1998 Super Bowl championship team.

His story is legendary. Avah’s is incomplete. But one thing is for certain, whatever that story turns out to be, it is something that her dad will take great pride in watch each day that a chapter is added.

“This has been the best season I could have asked for,” she said. “I’m so grateful that I got to spend it here with these people and have my dad along for the ride the entire way. It’s a full-circle moment.”

(Dan Mohrmann/


Class 2A

A five-set thriller saw Flower upset No. 1 Wiggins to advance to the semifinals. The Grizzlies will take on the winner of St. Mary’s and Meeker and get a chance to move on the state final Saturday night.

Sedgwick County also advanced to the semifinals after getting a quick win over Meeker. The Cougars will see the winner of Wiggins and Strasburg.

Class 3A

Platte Valley rallied after suffering a big setback on Thursday. The Broncos swept Manitou Springs and then grabbed another sweep over Centauri to remain alive in the 3A tournament. They’ll face Alamosa with a berth in the semifinals on the line.

Lamar and University will also meet with the winner advancing to Saturday afternoon’s semifinals.

Eaton and Resurrection Christian are already in the semis.

Class 4A

The stage nearly looks set for a state title showdown between Thompson Valley and Palmer Ridge. Each team cruised through their matches and are already in the 4A semis.

Palmer Ridge awaits the winner of Lutheran and Windsor while Thompson Valley gets the winner of Niwot and Lewis-Palmer.

Class 1A

Fleming took down Merino to advance to the semifinals and will await the winner of Wiley and Simla. Merino will take on Briggsdale with the winner of that match advancing to the semifinals where they’ll meet McClave.