—Ed. note: The Chronicle-News has partnered with Colorado Preps Network to bring you this weekly column that will recap high school prep sports action in southeast Colorado. For more, visit www.coloradopreps.com.
With football kicking off last weekend, every sport has begun its fall season. There has been no shortage of top match-ups or performances in the early stages of the campaign.
Six-man football saw a rematch of last season’s title game in week one, with Kit Carson exacting a measure of revenge against Stratton/Liberty, earning a 48-14 victory on the road. Jayden McCombs-Farmer rushed for two scores and caught another for the Wildcats, and Sullivan Farmer tossed three touchdowns in the win. Kit Carson will look to move to 2-0 on the season when they visit La Veta on Friday.
Trevor Frank put both touchdowns on the board for Stratton/Liberty, one on a 70-yard run and the other as part of a 41-yard pass from Zeke Craig. The Knighted Eagles, who will not have the services of last year’s leading rusher Jaret Lichty for the first few weeks of the season due to a sprained MCL, will visit Prairie, a 58-18 winner over Hanover, on Friday. The Mustangs opened the season ranked 4th in the CHSAANow.com poll.
That match-up is the highlight of week two, as both teams should be ranked in the top five. Stratton/Liberty won last year’s clash, 66-23, but each squad will have a very different look this time around. The Knighted Eagles graduated five seniors and lost their kicker, who was an exchange student, while Prairie lost nine seniors.
There’s little question as to the 8-man game of the week, as Hoehne will host four-time defending champion Sedgwick County on Friday. That will be a rematch of last year’s title game, a 58-14 Cougar victory. Sedgwick County also took a 40-8 victory over the Farmers in the season-opener last season, and is 4-0 all-time against Hoehne.
During their current dynastic run, the Cougars have posted a 49-2 record. They opened the season with a 46-0 win on the road at Simla last week. This will be the opener for Hoehne, who is the preseason favorite in the Ark Valley Conference.
Another game to keep an eye on in 8-man will take place on Saturday, as West Grand hosts Caliche. Both teams were top five in the preseason and each won a lopsided opener last week. West Grand downed Calhan 66-18 behind Rene Dominguez’ 229 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. The Buffs got three touchdowns apiece from Dylan Huss and Riley Stump in a 62-26 win over Gilpin County.
Two games of note in the 11-man ranks will see the defending 1A champs from Limon open their season on the road at 2A Lamar, while the team that the Badgers defeated for the crown, Strasburg, heads to Burlington. Of those four teams, only Strasburg was in action during week one, earning a 45-28 victory over 2A University. Limon, Strasburg, and Burlington were all preseason top 10 picks in 1A, and Lamar earned recognition in the 2A “others receiving votes”.
Volleyball is entering its third week of regular season competition, and there’s already a pair of marquee match-ups on tap. Two-time defending 1A champion, Kit Carson, will head to 2A preseason #2 Limon on Thursday and then visit La Veta on Friday. That will be a rematch of last year’s state tile contest.
Kit Carson got its season started last week with a dominant 3-0 sweep of Burlington, allowing a total of 24 points in the match. Cally Booker-Rady and Tess Johnson combined for 14 kills to lead the Wildcats, who are replacing their top four hitters from last year. Limon opened its season earlier this week against Deer Trail. La Veta picked up four wins last weekend.
Thursday will also see a top 10 clash in the 1A North Central, as #3 Fleming opens its campaign on the road at #10 Briggsdale. Along with #5 Weldon Valley, and a Prairie squad that features Division 1 signee Hannah Kinnison, the Wildcats and Falcons will be part of what very easily might be the toughest league this season. Fleming features Whitney Chintala, who was a MaxPreps freshman All-American last year.
Weldon Valley will play its annual River Rivalry match against 2A #3 Wiggins next Tuesday. The Warriors will be at home for that contest, but Wiggins has won the last four meetings, including three straight for the traveling trophy.
It’s a very busy week for 2A Hoehne, who started things off by hosting 3A #4 Alamosa on Tuesday. The Farmers, who dropped just one set in picking up three victories during the first two weeks of the season, also visit John Mall on Thursday and then travel to Limon on Saturday.
Softball got an early jump on the other team sports, and there’s already been some fireworks. Last Thursday, 3A #5 Sterling put together an 8-run first inning against two-time defending champion Strasburg, and after a three-spot in the top of the seventh, the Tigers held an 14-8 edge. The Indians rallied with seven in the bottom of the frame for the 15-14 walk-off.
Lamar and La Junta were both expected to make some noise this season, with the Savages opening ranked ninth and the Tigers 12th. Neither has had much success in the first few weeks. The rivals meet for the first of two times this season on Thursday in La Junta. The second clash will be on Sept. 26th in Lamar.
Boys golf is another of the sports that got the head start this season and several young men have had outstanding performances. Lamar’s Jimmy Clark recorded his second and third tournament victories last week, while Sterling won the championship in three of its first four tournaments, with Trey Kuntz winning two individual titles.
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