A handful of Week zero football games in late August, accompanied by a few nonleague matchups in the remaining sports, marked the official start of the Colorado prep season. But it took until the first weekend of September for things to really get rolling.
In football's two largest classifications, a No. 1 and a No. 2 team already have went down while 5A's dominant power, Mullen (Denver)
, proved the road to the title undoubtedly goes through the Mustangs.
While Mullen was busy blasting No. 4 Chaparral (Parker)
35-0 on Saturday, 5A runner-up Pomona (Arvada)
was tripped up 25-22 by Bear Creek (Lakewood)
. Pomona darted to a quick 14-0 lead in the rematch of last season's quarterfinals, but the Bears used a 22-point second quarter to turn the tables.
"You can never tell about rankings in the preseason, but I'm proud of our team because we came a long way," Bear Creek receiver Nathan Burns said. "We didn't know how we were going to do against them, but we showed up."
In 4A, meanwhile, top-ranked Monarch (Louisville)
was blasted 42-19 on its home turf by Broomfield
, which will be climbing up the rankings after beginning the season at No. 9. The Eagles also defeated Fruita Monument
in a Week zero game, so they are rolling at 2-0. Monarch, meanwhile, will try to avoid an 0-2 start when it welcomes Greeley West
to its home field (Warrior Stadium at Centaurus) Saturday at 11 a.m.
Two others stand out among the many additional stellar Week 2 big-school contests: Grandview (Aurora)
at Mullen in a key Centennial League tilt and Arvada West
at Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
in a marquee nonleague game.
In the lower classifications, former 2A powers Erie
and Holy Family (Broomfield)
have moved to 3A and will meet in a nonleague clash Friday night. Also Friday night, 1A powers Rye
will square off on the Rams' home turf. DEFENDING CHAMPS THRIVING IN SOFTBALL
In regards to rule changes, no sport has undergone a more dramatic alteration than softball. The pitching circle has been moved back from 40 to 43 feet, which officials say is to increase reaction time for pitchers. It also figures to increase offense with batters having an extra split second to see the pitch, although a true determination of the difference won't be known until league play begins.
What hasn't changed is which teams are among the elite. All three defending champions – Legacy (Broomfield)
in 5A, Wheat Ridge
in 4A and Erie
in 3A (each is riding a multiple-title streak) – once again appear elite. It should be noted, however, that all three cannot repeat again this season. That's because Erie has moved up to 4A after a run of 10 titles in 12 seasons in 3A.
"This is something we've wanted to do for a long time," Erie third baseman Sasha Duran said.
The Tigers, now a member of the Tri-Valley League, enter 4A having not lost a league game the past six seasons.
"The difference now is that teams in our league are good enough, if we lay an egg, that we could find ourselves on the short end of the stick," Erie coach Bob Bledsoe said. VOLLEYBALL TITLE REMATCH (PREVIEW?)Ponderosa (Parker)
defeated Chaparral (Parker)
for the Class 5A crown last season, but the Wolverines got a small measure of revenge Thursday with a 25-23, 20-25, 14-25, 25-15, 15-12 home win.
The tightly contested match fueled speculation that the same two Continental League rivals could meet for the title match this season. Chaparral's Nicole Dalton
had 15 kills, 12 digs and eight assists.