League play continues in the two smallest football classifications, and Class 1A and 2A both get that portion of their schedules started this week, while 3A has one more week of non-conference action. Softball nears the end of its regular season, volleyball enters the homestretch, and boys golf is a week away from state championships being awarded.
Sterling's golf squad not only won the 3A Region 3 title, by 15 strokes, but the Tigers qualified four for the state tournament. The Patriot League champs will be represented in Colorado Springs by Tayleb Schaefer, Trey Kuntz, Chase Hume, and Max Grauberger. Brush's Braxton Shelton finished second in that region, while Lance Peters (Trinidad) and Dylan McTaggart (Lamar) qualified out of the 3A Region 1 field.
Brush softball backed up its big upset of #1 University with wins over last week's #2 team Eaton (13-12) and #8 Sterling (11-8). Add in a 14-1 victory over Valley in between those two wins and the Beetdiggers rode a five-game winning streak entering the week. They had key games this week with Strasburg (Tuesday), Lyons (Thursday), and Platte Valley (Saturday), as well as the rematch with University next Tuesday.
Before falling to the Beetdiggers, Sterling had celebrated its first-ever win over Strasburg last Thursday. Jenna Gordon drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth, as the Tigers walked it off, 12-11. Sterling's schedule for the week includes Platte Valley, University, and Eaton, with Valley on tap next Tuesday.
Lamar completed the regular season sweep of La Junta, with Alyssa Abitia throwing a six-hit shutout last Thursday. The Savages won the contest 3-0, and also took the earlier meeting 6-2. Abitia earned the win in that game as well.
There will is a new #1 team in Class 1A football this week, as Strasburg knocked off former #1 and defending state champion Limon last Saturday, 20-13. The Indians, who lost to Limon twice last year, including the title game, scored the final 13 points of the game to take the win. Limon opens North Central League play on Friday, hosting Wiggins. The Tigers dropped a 33-18 decision on the road last week to Flatirons Academy.
Also in the North Central this week, Yuma will visit undefeated Holyoke on Friday. The Indians held a celebration last week for their 2009 state championship team, and the current version earned a 49-12 win at Lyons. Holyoke improved to 4-0 with a 24-21 win over a tough Highland squad. The other game in the league will have Burlington (2-2) visiting Wray (3-1). The Cougars enter the contest off a 47-8 victory at Manual last week, while Wray beat Brush 35-21.
Brush opens Patriot East action at home on Friday against a winless Fort Lupton squad. The Beetdiggers will be looking to snap a three-game skid in that contest that is part of their homecoming festivities. Sterling, who was off last week, and will host Brush next week, begins its league slate with Valley at home on Friday.
Lamar (3-1) and La Junta (3-1) both begin Tri-Peaks play this week, with the Savages visiting The Classical Academy and the Tigers hosting Woodland Park. La Junta beat Raton (NM) 33-14 last week, while Lamar upset previously unbeaten Alamosa, 48-25.
Fort Morgan suffered its second straight defeat, falling at unbeaten Conifer, 35-28. The Mustangs host Northfield on Friday for their final non-conference game. Northfield is 1-3 in just the second season of varsity level football.
Sedgwick County continues to pile up the points and wins, as the Cougars beat Byers 66-6 last week. They have outscored opponents 270-20 through five games. The Cougars are tied with Dayspring Christian and Merino atop the Plains League. Sedgwick County hosts Haxtun this week, while Merino hosts Akron and DCA welcomes Byers in on Saturday.
Fowler trailed Holly 8-6 after the first quarter of their Ark Valley contest last Friday, but the Grizzlies erupted for 62 points over the final three frames to claim a 68-22 victory. Thirty of those points came in the fourth, with the Grizzlies leading 38-22 as the period began. Fowler visits Hoehne on Friday, and the winner is likely to claim the league crown.
Fleming made an emphatic statement in the 6-man North last week, coming back from a 14-8 halftime deficit against Prairie to claim a 60-20 win. That leaves them alone in first in the division as the only team without a conference loss. The Wildcats face an out of state opponent this week, ahead of next week's important contest with North Park.
Flagler/Hi-Plains and Stratton/Liberty both picked up dominant victories in the East Central last week, and they share the league lead. The Thunder rolled 66-26 over Idalia, while Stratton/Liberty downed Otis 54-14. Both games had a running clock in the second quarter. They don't meet until the final night of the regular season.
Cheyenne Wells won its South East division clash with formerly unbeaten Granada, 76-36. The Tigers completed 11 of 12 passes for 186 yards and five touchdowns in that win. They will host top-ranked Kit Carson on Saturday, with the division crown most likely on the line. The Wildcats easily topped Cheraw last week, 60-21.
After ascending to the #1 spot in Class 1A volleyball last week, the Prairie Mustangs took an undefeated record into last Saturday's league contest at Fleming. They would suffer their first loss of the season, falling in five sets to the Wildcats. That creates a three-way tie atop the North Central standings, with those two and Briggsdale. Prairie visits Briggsdale on Thursday and hosts a ranked Otis squad on Friday.
Merino is in the middle of a very tough stretch, with matches last week against a ranked Limon (3-2 victory) and Haxtun (3-0 win). The Rams traveled to Otis on Tuesday and will host highly-ranked Wiggins on Thursday before Akron visits on Friday. Wiggins won the Akron tournament last weekend, while Akron took second and Otis finished third.
Fowler stayed unbeaten in Class 2A, beating Crowley County in four and Hoehne in five last week. The Grizzlies are the only team in the Santa Fe without a league loss. Swink and Rocky Ford each have just one loss in the conference. Swink's came against Fowler earlier this season, while the Lions gave Rocky Ford its league loss last Thursday in four.
Sterling also kept its perfect record intact last week, taking a 3-0 win at Yuma. The Tigers took a 10-0 mark into Tuesday's home tilt with Resurrection Christian, and they are at Frontier Academy on Thursday. They opened the week tied with Eaton, University, Valley, and Platte Valley on top of the standings in the 3A Patriot League.