It has been quite an amazing run through the fall season for the student-athletes at Limon. First, the softball team won the Class 3A District 4 title and reached the state quarterfinals. That was followed up by a Class 2A state runner-up finish by the volleyball team, and just two weeks ago, the football team was crowned Class 1A champs for the second straight season. Before the fall season officially came to a close, the Badgers added another championship, as their Pom squad picked up the programs third Class 2A title at last week’s state Spirit meet. It was their first time taking home the top honor since 2008.
Cheyenne Wells made it to the finals of the Class 2A Cheer for a third straight year, and the ninth time since 2007. The Tigers ended the competition in third place. They were aiming for their sixth championship in the discipline during that span. Other area schools that placed in the finals were Swink (fourth place, 2A/3A Game Day), and Lamar (fourth place, 3A Cheer).
Tournaments generally dominate the first few weeks of the basketball calendar and that was again the case last week. In Class 1A girls action, Briggsdale downed Idalia 65-43 to win the Idalia Invitational, while fellow North Central squad Prairie took home the title in the Peetz Carlisle Classic by beating Otis 43-31. One of the more impressive tournament runs over the weekend in the smallest classification came from Lone Star, who edged a top five Genoa-Hugo team 33-32 in the opening round of the Jeff Sherman Memorial at Woodlin on Friday. The Longhorns followed that up by rolling North Park 51-25 in the finals.
Springfield picked up a second place finish in its own tournament, while South Baca finished third in the event. Kim/Branson also picked up a third place finish over the weekend, as the Mustangs faced much bigger schools in the Trinidad State Invitational. They beat Hoehne in the third place game, while Trinidad took home the championship with a victory over La Junta.
Holyoke and Limon were a couple 2A teams who won tournaments over the weekend. Limon defended its home court, and will be unbeaten heading into Thursday’s big clash at Kit Carson, while Holyoke took the title in an event at Highland.
As for that Limon contest at Kit Carson, not only will it likely be a fight between top-ranked teams, as Limon entered the season #1 in 2A and Kit Carson was #1 in 1A, but history is on the line. The Wildcats go into that match-up having won 77 consecutive games, and the all-time state record is 78, held by McClave. Kit Carson won last year’s meeting 51-38. If they are able to match the record, the Wildcats will look to break it at home against Wiley on Friday.
Outside of tournament play, Fleming and Wray picked up nice wins to begin the season. Fleming took a 53-24 victory over Haxtun, who began the season ranked ninth in 1A. Wray followed up a 40-point victory over an out of state opponent by beating in-county rival Yuma 48-42. There’s a good chance those two will hook up again this week, as both participate in the Topside Tipoff in Goodland, Kansas.
On the boys side of things, Yuma took home the win over Wray, holding off the Eagles for a 49-40 win. Like the girls, both will be involved in the tournament at Goodland, so they could possibly meet again this week.
Holly, Fowler, and Rocky Ford all picked up league wins to begin their seasons, while Rye opened the campaign with a 1-2 week. One of the losses came to Fowler in league play. The win was also a league victory, as the Thunderbolts downed Swallows Charter during the week.
With minimal practice time, Fleming claimed a big non-league win over Haxtun, who began the season ranked #6. In the clash of schools separated by just 12 miles, the Wildcats eked out a 54-52 victory. They weren’t the only team from the North Central to get a narrow win over the weekend, as Peetz needed a hoop with 10 seconds left to beat fellow NCL foe Prairie, 53-52. That gave the Bulldogs the title in their own tournament.
The only other area team to win a tournament over the weekend was Genoa-Hugo, who took the crown at the Jeff Sherman Memorial. The Pirates beat Lone Star and Arickaree/Woodlin to take home the championship. Briggsdale, Limon, Kim/Branson, and Springfield all claimed second place in opening weekend tournaments. Briggsdale lost to defending 1A champ De Beque in overtime at Idalia, while Limon fell to Ignacio at home. Springfield lost to an out of state foe, while Kim/Branson dropped a six-point decision to an out of state opponent in the finals of the Trinidad State Invitational. Hoehne beat Trinidad for the consolation championship in that event.
As for the bigger schools in the area, Sterling went right from the gridiron to the hardwood and finished third in a tournament at Scottsbluff. Fort Morgan went 2-1 in an event at Eaton, beating the hosts 73-66 in their final game. Sophomore Fernando Marquez pumped in a career-high 28 points in that win over the Reds, who began the season ranked #8 in 3A.
The wrestling season got underway last weekend, with Akron, Fowler, and Rocky Ford all hosting big meets. Brush was the highest placing area team at the Chuck Annand Invitational in Akron, finishing fourth in the team standings, just ahead of Yuma. Marco Martinez (Sedgwick County/Fleming), Alberto Felthager (Trinidad), Nick Wellen (Brush), and Dominick Ontiveros (Brush) all won individual titles at the event.