Covering High School Sports in America
Highlands Ranch will be part of the inaugural National High School Invitational tournament sponsored by USA Baseball. The Falcons, Class 5A semifinalists last season, are one of 16 teams from across the country selected to participate. The event runs from March 28-31 in Cary, N.C.

Highlands Ranch, which features top righthander Ryan Burr, will open against Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.), which features pitcher/shortstop Lucas Sims. Sims is ranked as the 16th-best prospect nationally by Baseball America.

Also in the field are Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings, and second-ranked Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas).

* The 2012 high school baseball series of games played at Coors Field is underway. Already seven games have been played at 20th & Blake, with 11 more to come.

The remaining schedule: March 21 – Grandview (Aurora) vs. ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch) at noon, Ralston Valley (Arvada) vs. Pueblo South at 3 p.m.; March 23 – Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch) vs. Eaglecrest (Centennial) at noon, Horizon (Thornton) vs. Chatfield (Littleton) at 3 p.m.; March 28 – Mullen (Denver) vs. Poudre (Fort Collins) at 3 p.m.; March 31 – Holy Family (Broomfield) vs. Eaton at noon, Canon City vs. Erie at 3 p.m.; April 21 – George Washington (Denver) vs. Kennedy (Denver) at noon, Brighton vs. Prairie View (Henderson) at 3 p.m.; April 23 – Clear Creek/Gilpin County (Idaho Springs) vs. Englewood at noon, Pomona (Arvada) vs. Mountain Range (Westminster) at 3 p.m..

* Doherty (Colorado Springs) 3-point sharpshooter Kim Cerjan will be headed to the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four in New Orleans after winning a national fan vote as part of the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships. Cerjan, a senior who will play at St. Olaf College next season, was one of 16 finalists who squared off in fan voting on Facebook. As a fan vote winner, Cerjan will compete March 30 against other selected players. The competition will air on CBS on April 1.

* Regis Jesuit (Aurora) swimming ace Missy Franklin won't be the only Colorado prep swimmer competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Lewis-Palmer (Monument) senior Laura Day will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke. Day, who will compete in college at Liberty, qualified at a Grand Prix event in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month. The Olympic Trials will be held in Omaha, Neb., in late June.

* Summit (Frisco) lacrosse player Ivy Marshall has signed to play at Detroit Mercy, while Eaton baseball will send three players to Colby (Kans.) Community College – Cory Dyer, Weston Hager and Brandon Koehler.

* Greg Whisler will take over the football program at Arvada West, while Dean Huffman will do the same at Sierra (Colorado Springs). Whisler was an assistant with the Wildcats, and Huffman last guided the Vista Ridge (Colorado Springs) program. Grandview (Aurora) softball will be led by Dave Thies, who takes over for longtime coach Bill Kramm.

* Reminder, the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State Basketball Games will be played March 25 at Arvada West High School. The five basketball games, by classification, feature the state's top senior players. The games begin at 9 am with the Class 1A game. Class 2A follows at 10:30 am, 3A at noon, 4A at 1:30 pm and 5A at 3 pm. Check out colocgs.org for more information.