MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Colorado Football

  • Most high school football stars would not turn down an offer to play in college at the highest level.
    Photo by Ray Chen

    Luke Del Rio at Valor Christian, CO

    For Luke Del Rio, son of Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, that was not the case.

    After starring at Episcopal (Jacksonville, Fla.) as a junior he moved out west to attend Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) for his senior campaign and wasted no time getting acclimated, leading his team to a state title in 2013.

    Following a state title and a very successful high school career, Luke fielded offers from Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Colorado State and UCLA, none of which he accepted. Instead, he took his talents to the south and walked on at the University of Alabama.

    Luke spent just one season under Nick Saban as a redshirt freshman, and has decided the Crimson Tide is not his final landing spot.According to, reports have hinted at Luke heading back to the west coast, and possibly settling in Corvallis, Oregon under Coach Mike Riley and Beaver Nation.

    Check out a full recap of Luke's career here.

  • Eric Hernandez dreamed of playing football and scoring a touchdown.

    Gateway (Aurora, Colo.) head coach Ashour Peera wanted to help Hernandez fulfill his dream, but he would have to work for it.

    "I wanted to help bring his dream to fruition, but I told him he couldn't play if he didn't practice with us," Peera told MaxPreps.

    So Hernandez, who has cerebral palsy, practiced with Gateway all week leading up to the team's game against Adams City.

    According to Peera, both schools' athletic directors discussed allowing Hernandez to score before the game.

    The plan initially was to give Hernandez a shot before halftime, but as the game went on they decided to leave it for the end of the game.

    So late in the fourth quarter, Hernandez took the hand off and, with the help of his teammates, crossed the goal line.

    His celebration following the score, in which he ran in joy, was a powerful moment.

    "At the end of the play, when he took off running, that just brought tears to everyone's eyes," Peera said.

  • The odds of a high school football player returning three interceptions for touchdowns in the same quarter are quite low. Having the national record total reached twice in a span of two weeks?

    Well, that's just insane.

    Courtesy photo
    It happened again, and we have proof.

    Dominick Castiglione of Horizon (Thornton, Colo.) accomplished the feat Saturday in a 36-7 win over Fossil Ridge. He ripped off three interceptions in the second quarter and took them 75, 43 and 35 yards for touchdowns, according to the Denver Post.

    Amazingly, the same thing happened two weeks earlier in Oklahoma, as Brock Harmon of Washington (Okla.) did the same in the first quarter, going 31, 42 and 32 yards.

    Harmon set the national record with his performance, and now Castiglione is the co-owner. But Castiglione may have some bragging rights, as his three pick 6's came in a span of four plays, or 1 minute and 17 seconds.

  • It didn't take long.

    Earlier this week, the River Bluff (Lexington, S.C.) Gators unleashed, with the help of iSite Media, their official opening video for the 2013 season and then challenged anyone to top it.

    Well, River Bluff didn't make the challenge. A loyal Gator fan did and we just piled on.

    We asked readers to tweet their responses to @MaxPreps with the tag, #Topthisentrance and two-time defending Colorado state champion Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) came in first today with its catchy, inspiration piece to the tune of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive."

    A somersault by an obviously athletic Valor Christian athlete — Justin Falls — kicks everything off.

    Keep them coming.

    To refresh you memory, here is River Bluff's offering:

  • Photo by Jann Hendry

    Nathan Starks appears to be headed to Cherry Creek in Colorado.

    A satellite image from Google Earth posted on Twitter was the start. Now with a little extra commentary, it's becoming evident that Nathan Starks' next school will be Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.).

    The former Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) star and MaxPreps Junior All-American was dismissed from the Nevada powerhouse and rules in that state will not allow him to transfer and play in his senior season. So he has looked beyond state lines, and according to what he tweeted Sunday night, he has found a new home.

    Starks is ranked as the No. 86 recruit in the nation by's Composite Rankings. He's a 5-foot-11, 200-pound safety but also starred on offense last season, rushing for 1,821 yards and 27 touchdowns.
  • File photo by Paul DiSalvo

    Luke Del Rio, Valor Christian

    Luke Del Rio, son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, announced Saturday on Twitter that he plans to be a walk-on quarterback candidate at the University of Alabama after mid-year graduation from Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.).

    Del Rio had committed to Oklahoma State University in May, but changed his mind on Tuesday after family friend Todd Monken left Oklahoma State to become head coach at Southern Mississippi. The Denver Post reported that he had visited Alabama and Oregon State last week.

    Del Rio told BamaOnline, "It's Alabama - it pretty much speaks for itself. They have a great winning tradition and aren't going to change their pro-style system. I think it's another great fit."

    During his only year at Valor Christian, Del Rio passed for 2,275 yards and 28 touchdowns, with just four interceptions, while leading the Eagles to the Class 5A state championship.
  • File photo by Paul DiSalvo

    Christian McCaffrey, Valor Christian

    Christian McCaffrey didn't have one of his better games on Saturday, but it was good enough to earn him MVP honors while sparking Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) to a 9-0 victory over Cherokee Trail for the Class 5A state football championship.

    The son of former NFL standout Ed McCaffrey, Christian overcame two lost fumbles with a total offense of 156 yards and scored the game's lone touchdown. Writing in the Denver Post, Woody Paige pointed out that Cherokee Trail refused to kick to the 6-foot, 190-pound junior on punt returns, giving the Eagles great field position throughout most of the game.

    This year he had 1,508 yards rushing, 717 yards receiving, 387 yards on returns and scored 42 touchdowns. He is being heavily recruited by such colleges as Stanford, which was represented on Saturday by head coach David Shaw.

    McCaffrey has played on three state champions with a chance to make it four in 2013. Valor Christian has won titles in Class 3A, 4A (twice) and now 5A.

    Quarterback Luke Del Rio, son of another former NFL standout Jack Del Rio, completed 12 of 20 passes for 110 yards with one interception for the state champs.

    The Eagles won their last 12 after suffering back-to-back opening one-point losses. They had scored 40 or more points in their previous 11 victories.

    Coach Brent Vieselmeyer told Paige, "I think I appreciate this team more than the other championships. At 0-2, they could have lost their confidence. But when we got back to practice that Monday, they were more determined than any team I've ever had."
  • Photo by Alan Hart

    Members of Mullen's football team were accented in pink during its 16-14 loss to Arapahoe.

    Here's a shout out to all the boys - and girls - playing football who went pink tonight to honor National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

    Photo courtesy of adidas Facebook

    Miramar, Fla.

    Judging by our photo galleries there was a number of them.

    Pink uniforms for girls teams and ribbons in the hair used to be the trend, but more and more the boys are paying tribute and raising awareness. And looking pretty sharp doing it also.

    You have to like that spirit and security.

    It helps that organizations like adidas which has supplied 15 of its national sponsor schools with pink Techfit uniforms. Miramar (Fla.) wore them tonight.

    Miramar pulled out a 27-24 thriller over St. Thomas Aquinas. 
  • Photo courtesy of Linda Del Rio

    Luke Del Rio

    It has been a whirlwind few months for Luke Del Rio.

    First, the quarterback left Episcopal after passing for more than 2,500 yards and 20 TDs last season, because his father, Jack Del Rio, became the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.

    The move to the Denver metro-area was filled with intrigue about which school Luke Del Rio would attend. In early February he enrolled at burgeoning powerhouse Valor Christian.

    Today, reported that Del Rio committed to play college football at Oklahoma State. He announced his decision via Twitter.

    His post read: "Just committed to Oklahoma State!!! #HWPO #dointhegundy #cowboynation #Blessed"

    The recruitment of the 6-foot-2, 180-pound signal caller intensified recently after a strong showing at two Elite 11 events. The Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) player reportedly also had offers from Colorado State and Oregon State.

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • The MaxPreps Tour of Champions, sponsored by the Army National Guard, made a stop at Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch) on Friday morning to honor the school's football team for finishing ranked No. 35 in the country this past season.

    I chatted with head coach Brent Vieselmeyer for a few minutes before the celebration and we talked about some recent news surrounding the burgeoning program, which has won three consecutive state football titles.

    Vieselmeyer said the Eagles were excited about facing their first out-of-state opponent, as they will travel to meet the top team in Utah, Bingham (South Jordan, Utah). MaxPreps national football writer Steve Spiewak reported that news Monday.

    However, Valor Christian nearly had another big-time national program on the schedule next season - Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)

    Vieselmeyer said the schools engaged in discussions but "we just couldn't get it worked out for this season" because of Gorman's already demanding travel schedule. The Eagles will attempt to get Gorman on the schedule in future years. The
    Gaels finished ranked 12th in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings last season after winning Nevada's Class 4A state title.

    Valor Christian, though, will play fellow private school powerhouse Mullen (Denver) this coming season in a Zero Week game. The Eagles will move up to Class 5A this season after playing at the 4A level the past two years.

    On high-profile move-in Luke Del Rio, Vieselmeyer said the program hasn't had any recent workouts, so he hasn't seen his football skills up close yet.

    "Right now, we are focused on getting him settled in at the school and with his academics," Vieselmeyer said.

    Del Rio, who will be a senior, is a quarterback and the son of new Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. He is attracting interest from top Division I programs.