Champions were crowned last weekend in gymnastics, and while no hardware made its way out east, the region was still very well represented. During Friday’s Class 4A team event, Lone Star’s Alivia Weathers turned a first place finish in the vault, eighth place on the beam, and 13th place on the floor, into a sixth place standing in the all-around. She qualified for Saturday’s individual performances and brought home a fourth in the vault, ninth on the beam, and 13th on the floor.
VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY TIME
Things are starting to heat up in volleyball, as all five classes will compete in the state tournament this weekend at the Denver Coliseum. Official brackets weren’t released by CHSAA until late Monday morning, but classes 2A-5A knew which 12 teams would be representing each class, as those fields will be comprised solely of region winners.
The 3A field will include Sterling and Lamar. Sterling swept its way through the region two tournament, picking up wins over St. Mary’s and Kent Denver. The Tigers are 25-0, a mark shared with Lutheran. Those two will be the top two seeds in the state event. Lamar had a tougher go of things in region 7, needing four sets to beat Montezuma-Cortez, and five to get past Platte Valley. La Junta beat Resurrection Christian in five sets in the region 12 tourney, but was eliminated by DSST: Montview in four.
One-third of the Class 2A bracket will be teams from the eastern portion of the state, as Limon, Wiggins, Fowler, and Yuma all qualified. Akron and Sedgwick County were bumped out in regional finals, as was Rye (by Yuma), and Holyoke was involved in a tie-breaker. The Dragons came up short in that set against Del Norte.
Eight teams went to bed Sunday night, knowing that their ticket to the state tournament was already punched in Class 1A. Merino, Kit Carson, Genoa-Hugo, Fleming, Haxtun, and Wiley all won regional titles to guarantee their spots in the state bracket. La Veta and Sangre de Cristo did the same. The final four spots were determined by RPI that was to be updated on Monday. As of late Sunday, those spots belonged to Briggsdale, South Baca, Springfield, and Otis. The gap between Otis and the other wild card hopefuls was quite sizable.
The state tournament gets underway on Thursday, and will roll all the way into Saturday night. If you have never attended this event, it is definitely one to check off your bucket list, as all five classifications are in action at the same time.
Six-man football is up to its semifinal round this weekend, and the top four seeds all made it to this point. In the quarterfinals, No. 1 Kit Carson cruised past No. 9 Eads 69-14, No. 4 Fleming downed No. 5 Prairie 66-6, No. 3 Cheyenne Wells beat No. 11 North Park 56-14, and No. 2 Stratton/Liberty outscored No. 7 Branson/Kim 72-43. An interesting tidbit came out of that last contest, as Stratton/Liberty’s sophomore kicker, Braden Wedel, went 9-9 on PATs. His dad, former University of Wyoming kicker Cory Wedel, also had a 9-9 day back in his collegiate days.
The semifinals will have Fleming visiting Kit Carson and Stratton/Liberty on the road to square off with Cheyenne Wells. Both games are slated for 1 p.m. kicks on Saturday.
Eight-man got its opening round out of the way last weekend and there were no upsets. Top-seeded Sedgwick County beat Elbert 60-0 and will face No. 8 Merino in the quarterfinals after the Rams played keep-away from West Grand in the opening round. Merino held the ball for more than 39 minutes in its 14-8 win over the Mustangs. Sedgwick County beat the Rams 60-0 two weeks ago in the regular season finale. The number three seed, Fowler, dismantled Simla, 40-0, setting up a road trip to No. 6 Mancos this week. Mancos beat No. 11 Caliche 36-6 in the first round. Holly also had its season come to an end, as the No. 15 Wildcats fell to Sanford, 58-20.
Three of the four teams from the North Central League that qualified for the 1A bracket picked up wins in the opening round last weekend. Holyoke rolled Santa Fe champion Rocky Ford 57-6, while No. 3 Limon raced past Rye, 40-6. Wray was the third team to pick up a win, as the Eagles avenged last season’s first round loss to Florence, beating the Huskies 13-10. Yuma had upset on its mind, but the Indians gave up a late touchdown to No. 7 Colorado Springs Christian and fell by a 17-14 count. Limon will host Wray in the quarterfinals, while Holyoke has a rematch against CSCS. Limon beat the Eagles 40-9 during the regular season. Holyoke took a 21-6 victory over CSCS early in the year.
Sterling and Lamar both opened the Class 2A playoffs with victories, and they will square off in the quarterfinals this weekend. The Tigers made short work of Moffat County, blasting the Bulldogs 56-14. They led 50-6 at the half. Lamar had a little more trouble with No. 10 Eaton, but still took a 21-7 victory. The Savages led 21-0 heading into the fourth. That was the first playoff win for the Savages since 1995. This quarterfinal match-up will be the second postseason clash between Sterling and Lamar. Sterling won the first, 35-15, way back in 1994. After making it to three consecutive championship games (winning two), La Junta was ousted in the opening round by Resurrection Christian, 46-14.
Fort Morgan put together a strong second half comeback in its regular season finale against Erie last Friday, rallying back from a 23-7 deficit to take a late 27-23 lead. The Tigers punched in a score with under two minutes remaining to claim the North Valley title, 30-27. The Mustangs will still be in the Class 3A playoff field, checking in as the No. 12 seed. They will travel to No. 5 Conifer on Saturday, for a rematch with the Lobos. Briggs Wheatley tallied 322 total yards (163 passing, 159 rushing) the first time the two teams met, but the Lobos rolled up 526 yards from scrimmage and took a 35-28 victory.
SOCCER SEASON ENDS
Finally, Lamar saw its boys soccer season come to an end last Tuesday, as the Savages were knocked out of the 3A postseason by No. 2 Kent Denver. The Sun Devils, who have now reached the semifinals, posted a 5-0 shutout of the Savages in the second round.