After several deliberations – both about the college he'd sign with and the sport he'll play – Wheat Ridge's
Nick Ossello has made his decision. He'll attend Notre Dame. He'll play lacrosse.
The two-sport star verbally committed to Maryland for lacrosse before his senior season, but an outstanding football season had him on the map in that sport as well. He rushed for over 1,500 yards and threw for 12 touchdowns for a Farmers team that advanced to the Class 4A championship game.
He sometimes wore the words "Air" and "Force" on his eye black, and word was the Falcons were offering him an opportunity to play both sports. A knee injury ended his lacrosse season early, but he soon announced he'd play lacrosse only at either Notre Dame or Maryland. The Irish won.
"When I visited the campus, it felt right," Ossello said told The Denver Post. "Obviously they have a great academic program. All the students are really nice and I really like the coaching staff. It was an all around good fit."FRANKLIN ALREADY A HOFer
She is only a sophomore in high school, but Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.)
swimmer Missy Franklin will be inducted to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on March 13. Franklin, who many consider a lock for the 2012 Olympics, has set several state records and, Saturday, set a national record in the backstroke.
Franklin's time of 52.30 at the 5A Swimming and Diving Championships one-upped Natalie Coughlin's 1998 record of 52.86.CSML BECOMING POWERHOUSE
The deepest league in Class 4A basketball regularly has been the Northern League, which is home to powerhouses Broomfield
and a bevy of midrange contenders. This season, the Colorado Springs Metro League is making a case of its own.
The league contains Mesa Ridge-Colorado Springs
(20-2) and Air Academy-US Air Force Academy
(17-5) – each are 13-1 in league play – in addition to Harrison-Colorado Springs
(19-3), Sand Creek-Colorado Springs
(17-5) and suddenly surging Cheyenne Mountain-Colorado Springs
(16-6), winner of 12 straight. Even Falcon (15-7) has had its moments.
"Nights off are few and far between in our league," Mesa Ridge coach Eric Hulen said.
The teams are beating up each other, too. In the past week, Sand Creek upset Harrison and Air Academy. Mesa Ridge lost to Air Academy but came back to beat Harrison Tuesday.
"We're working hard to achieve our goals, and coming out with this one made us one step closer," Mesa Ridge center LaShai Powells said. FOUL(LINE) PERFORMANCE
Faith Christian wrapped up the top seed for the 3A Metro League boys basketball tournament Tuesday by thumping fierce rival Kent Denver 70-54. The Eagles were more grounded than high-flying, however, as a large portion of their work came at the free-throw line.
The Eagles (17-1) earned the win by drilling 34-of-43 foul shots, including all 23 of their points in the fourth quarter. Among the foul-shot heroes: Nathan Rindels
(15-for-16) and Adam Finnefrock
If the flow wasn't jilted enough, consider visiting Kent Denver also shot 35 free throws, converting 25. SMOKY HILL HIRES MULLAN
Brian Mullan was traded to the Colorado Rapids in September and made an immediate impact, helping the Rapids to the Major League Soccer title for the first time in team annals. Now, his wife will try to make a similar breakthrough in the high school ranks.
Kerstan Mullan has been hired to coach the Smoky Hill (Aurora)
boys, a formerly proud, state-contending squad that has fallen on hard times in recent seasons (5-21-4 over the past two). Kerstan Mullan formerly was the girls soccer coach at Dobie High in Texas, where she led the Longhorns to the playoffs in three of her four seasons at the helm. TOP PERFORMERSTrei Dysart
, The Pinnacle: The senior drilled 14-of-18 shots on the way to 40 points in the Timberwolves' 86-43 win Tuesday at Platte Canyon. The performance included a 7-for-10 shooting from three-point range. Dysart had a 44-point game earlier this season against Bennett. Jordan Gregory
, Pueblo East: The senior scored 28 of his team's 53 points Tuesday night in a three-point win against Pueblo Central. Gregory has surpassed 20 points in all but one game this season for the Eagles (17-3). Bay'lee Purdy
, Deer Trail: The sophomore has produced 122 points in her past three games (40.7 average), including a 51-point performance Feb. 4 against Flagler. That output was 10 points shy of Abby Waner's state record, set in 2005. ON TAP
State wrestling tournament: The three-day extravaganza begins Thursday at the Pepsi Center, as wrestlers in all 14 weight classes and all four classifications begin to whittle down to Saturday's championship matches.
Ice hockey playoffs: The bracket of 16 is set and all eight first-round games will take place Friday. Regis Jesuit, Lewis-Palmer, Chatfield and Fountain Valley earned top seeds and will host a four-team region.
Legacy at Monarch girls basketball, Friday, 7 p.m.: This is as big as it gets in girls hoops, as the teams will vie for the Front Range League title – each team is 14-1 in league play – and most likely the second overall seed in the state tournament. Legacy has won 15 straight, including a 64-53 win against Monarch last month. The Coyotes have reeled off 10 straight since the loss. RECRUITING NEWS
Kelsey Lakowske of Boulder
, widely considered Colorado's finest female distance runner, has signed with Duke. The senior exclusively considered west coast schools until visiting the Blue Devils campus and deciding Duke had the best balance of academics and athletics. Paul Willis is a regular sports freelancer for The Denver Post and covered high school, college and pro sports for the Rocky Mountain News from 2000-09. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.