Sentinel Blogs
Aurora Prep

Cherokee Trail-Grandview volleyball match moved up ahead of football game

The fervor in the intense rivalry between Cherokee Trail and Grandview high schools should reach fever pitch Thursday.

The Cougars and Wolves meet in powerhouse volleyball and football contests on the same night at the same place — Cherokee Trail — with fans of both schools now able to attend both contests because of a schedule change.

Originally scheduled for a 6:15 p.m. first serve, the schools agreed to move the volleyball contest up to 5:15 p.m., meaning it could be completed before the football teams are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. across the parking lot at Legacy Stadium.

That might not be the case, however, as the Cherokee Trail and Grandview volleyball teams played a memorable five-set marathon Sept. 18 that ended with the Cougars prevailing 21-25, 27-25, 28-26, 36-38, 16-14.

Needless to say, the parking lots at Cherokee Trail will be filled to the brim, so get there early.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

Dave Perry: Preoccupations

PERRY: Talking to the hand when employees are beheaded

Somebody needs to address Planet Flack and tell them to no longer advise clients and politicians to say they are, “deeply saddened” by tragedies, especially when the tragedy is a workplace beheading.

After one employee cut the head off another in Moore, Oklahoma, a Vaughan foods processing plant spokeswoman said the company was, “shocked and deeply saddened” by the attack.”

People are deeply saddened when a long-loved pet dies or even when a car crash takes the life of a well-liked celebrity.

“Deeply saddened” is too close to “hate it when that happens” kind of a thing. Thankfully, workplace beheadings aren’t so commonplace, yet, that “deeply saddened” fits the bill.

“Mortified” “Outraged” and “Totally freaked out,” are OK in this instance.

Read the story here

— Dave Perry, Editor

PERRY: Snarky Jeffco students teach board about history in the remaking Dave Perry: Preoccupations

PERRY: Snarky Jeffco students teach board about history in the remaking

What kind of a crappy country has this turned into when our own offspring defy our will, either out of contempt, ignorance or exasperation?

Jeffco schools officials just found out.

Three breathtakingly naive members of the Jefferson County School Board had their neo-conservative hopes and dreams dashed this week. Their fantasies of easily turning back the clock on American society to the righteous 1950s and sending the country’s vulgar liberals back to urban underground clubs where they belong, were nuked — by kids. Children. Even wealthy white children from conservative schools and neighborhoods. Undone by teenagers, the media and that damned Twitter thing. It’s been Lord of the Flies on an island of tract housing.

Trouble started in Jeffco, encompassing 155 schools and 84,000 students, last year when three new board members, Julie Williams, Ken Witt, and John Newkirk, created a conservative voting block on the five-member board. They made it clear they would instill their values in the school district with their votes. Critics say these three board members are extremists, not mere conservatives. So you decide.

To be fair, which is pretty hard to do to a group of people who treat fairness as a sissy character flaw to be rooted out like bedwetting, there’s a lot of misinformation flooding the intertubes about what the Jeffco school board did and didn’t do when they were accused of trying to hide the Holocaust from high-school history students. They didn’t do that. Jeffco, like every school district in the country, is trying to keep up with national Advanced Placement U.S. History class issues. Those in charge of the national test, which awards possible future college credit, have too much time on their hands and rewrite objectives more often than most politicians rewrite their past. So the new school board members decided this is a good time and place to weigh in on how lefty history teachers should no longer be able to brainwash kids with their liberal bent. Williams wrote that a new committee should be created to review history materials to ensure U.S. history is presented as “positive.” And students should be encouraged to be “respectful” of authority and shun civil disobedience.

Given that Williams, Witt and Newkirk are tea party heroes, the irony makes lampooning this mess all the more fun.

Liberals and conservatives alike are aghast at how ridiculous the school board’s attempt to control kids through propaganda really was. The problem is, these three school board members and plenty of others like them have watched Fox News parody programs for so long, they thought it really worked. Tell people something long enough, no matter how outrageous or stupid, and they’ll eventually think it’s true, especially if it’s something they want to hear.

The problem is, it only works for a while. Real history is full of cases where the truth outed. Germany was not more powerful than everything. The French underclasses did not want to eat cake. Hollywood was not trying to turn the country into a cesspool of communism.

What’s so shocking about how these three school board members could make such an error in judgment, is that they all have kids, clearly very smart kids. Their own children are so smart they fooled their parents into thinking they believed what their parents told them, because their parents told them it was so.

Ask my daughter about my intellectual credentials. She will quickly tell you that I am a smart guy, and I am almost always wrong. I don’t have a clue about what it’s like to be a kid these days. I can’t dance. I can’t run. I don’t get it that classical music is just boring. I am an odd household pet that is both annoying and somehow important in ways that aren’t worth thinking about. She is just like I was at 19. And if you told me then, or now, that I’d better shut up and listen? Yeah. You were there, too.

Williams, Newkirk and Witt, like so many in the extreme-right movement, get blown away when confronted with the fact that you can’t force people to live a lie for any length of time.

We should never try and put a positive spin on things like American slavery or bans on gay marriage. They’re embarrassing atrocities that, thankfully, we have and are moving past. The bombing of Hiroshima? Positive? We nuked a big city, not a battlefield. We would never do it again, and that’s because smart Americans have learned from the mistake that Hiroshima was.

Every good parent teaches their children to look long and hard at their failures to understand them and to move beyond. For the sake of their political careers and that of the Jeffco school district, Williams, Newkirk and Witt need to learn from this little slice of local history and learn from it, too. But if they don’t see it for what it really is, all is lost.

— Editor Dave Perry

PICTURE THIS: Fresh look at Coffman vs Romanoff at Denver Post debate Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: Fresh look at Coffman vs Romanoff at Denver Post debate

Aurora 6th Congressional District Rep. Mike Coffman faces Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff the third formal debate at the Denver Post Auditorium Sept. 23. The race is one of the most expensive and closely-watched in the country.

Aurora Politics

5 things I’m watching for in tonight’s Denver Post CD6 debate between Coffman and Romanoff

With a salute to Lynn Bartels: The Denver Post will webcast a live 1-hour debate between GOP Congressman Mike Coffman and Democratic Challenger Andrew Romanoff, former Colorado House speaker. Pundits are looking for new strategies and old war horses. Here’s what I think is important to watch:

1. Who’s still wearing pleated pants and who’s gotten the message to get those things to a local ARC store where they belong?

2. Who will be the candidate to remember to close their mouth when their opponent starts talking crap about them? Deduct 5 points for middle-aged mouth breathing.

3. Which candidate will say the first Spanish word or phrase? Related, who will say it using the best thick accent or while really rolling their r’s? Usted?

4.  Which candidate will make it clear that women are hot for their candidacy, even if they’re not hot for their autograph?

5. Which candidate will say more times how much they like/love/respect/admire/tolerate/stalk/tickle their opponent?

I hate to tell you to do this, but to see it all for yourself, go to DenverPost.com at 6 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 23. Just this once, though.

— Dave Perry, editor

Aurora's haunted Stanley to get cash exorcism Marla Keown

Aurora’s haunted Stanley to get cash exorcism

When I first moved to Colorado I happened to come upon an abandoned building with a fellow photographer friend. I never thought that some years later I’d officially be allowed inside to snap some shots!!

Aurora Prep

Eaglecrest Invitational again a strong early volleyball test

As usual, the 2014 Eaglecrest Invitational volleyball tournament is a doozy.

One of the better collections of teams from a variety of classifications is set for Friday and Saturday at The Nest, with the host Raptors, defending Class 5A state champion Grandview and Aurora Central representing Aurora in the 13-team field.

Split into three three-team pools and one four-team group, the tournament is set to run pool play beginning at 4 p.m. Friday and concluding Saturday morning before bracket play to decide places.

Coach Tanya Bond’s 1-1 Eaglecrest team is the No. 1 team in Pool 2 — which also includes Brighton (2-1) and Legacy (0-2) — while coach Patty Childress and Grandview (1-2) sit as the top team in the four-team Pool 4, which also features Aurora Central (1-0) in addition to 3A undefeated Eaton (6-0) and fast-starting Denver East (6-1).

Helming Pool 1 is 4A undefeated Cheyenne Mountain (4-0) — which beat Grandview in four sets on Sept. 4 — while Pool 3 is topped by Fossil Ridge (2-1) and also includes Pine Creek (2-1), which swept Eaglecrest in the opener for both teams on Aug. 28.

Other 3A teams in the field include University (3-1) and Faith Christian (2-1).

Last year’s tournament had to be condensed to a single day and adjusted from 16 to 12 teams due to the massive rainfall and flooding that occurred a few days prior and kept teams from north of the metro area from attending.

Grandview won last season’s championship.

2014 EAGLECREST VOLLEYBALL INVITATIONAL

POOL 1: 1. Cheyenne Mountain, 2. Mountain Vista, 3. University; POOL 2: 1. EAGLECREST, 2. Brighton, 3. Legacy; POOL 3: 1. Fossil Ridge, 2. Pine Creek, 3. Faith Christian; POOL 4: 1. GRANDVIEW, 2. Eaton, 3. Denver East, 4. AURORA CENTRAL

THREE-TEAM POOL PLAY

Sept. 12 — 4 p.m.: No. 1 vs. No. 3; 30 minute break; 6 p.m.: No. 2 vs. No. 3; Sept. 13 — 8 a.m.: No. 1 vs. No. 2

FOUR-TEAM POOL PLAY

Sept. 12 — 4 p.m.: No. 1 vs. No. 3; 5 p.m.: No. 2 vs. No. 4; 6 p.m.: No. 1 vs. No. 4; 7 p.m.: No. 3 vs. No. 2; Sept. 13 — 8 a.m.: No. 4 vs. No. 3; 9 a.m.: No. 2 vs. No. 1

CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET PLAY, SEPT. 13

10 a.m.: No. 1 vs. No. 4; 11 a.m.: No. 2 vs. No. 3; Noon: Loser vs. loser (third-place); 1 p.m.: Winner vs. winner (championship)

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

Overland, Gateway wage marathon battle on softball diamond to tune of 27-26 Aurora Prep

Overland, Gateway wage marathon battle on softball diamond to tune of 27-26

Chance Siegele hasn’t seen a lot of seventh innings in his season-plus stint as Gateway softball coach.

Either on the winning or losing end of blowout decisions, the Olys rarely have been in games in which the mercy rule (a lead of 10 runs or more after five innings) hasn’t been invoked.

Gateway did that and more on Tuesday at Overland, where it waged a nine-inning battle that lasted 3 1/2 hours and nearly fell victim to the fading daylight. In the end, the Trailblazers walked off into the sunset with a 27-26 walk-off victory.

“Kelly (Overland coach Jones-Wagy) and I talked before the game and I mentioned that one of my goals before the season was to make it to the seventh inning and hopefully we can get there today,” Siegele said. “We made it. …I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. It was nuts.”

Siegele’s team remained winless in seven games this season, but had plenty of chances to win this particular game. The Olys surrendered a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, a three-run advantage in the bottom of the eighth and finally gave away a five-run edge in the ninth inning when Overland scored six times to get its first win of the year.

It took the Gateway scorekeeper two pages in a scorebook to keep the stats and even those ended up fairly illegible. From memory, Siegele believes his cleanup hitter, Sarah Alvarado, drove in at least 12 runs and his starting pitcher, Iva Griffiths, worked the entire nine innings and would have easily had double-digit strikeouts if not for a number of dropped third strikes.

Griffiths and Alvarado — the only two Olys with significant playing experience — were proud of the team’s effort.

“We have a really new team, but that didn’t stop the ladies from trying their hardest, stretching the game to two extra innings and playing their hearts out,” Griffiths said. “I was so proud of them and the way we refused to give up no matter how the game was going.”

Siegele also looked forward to the potential impact playing in a game like that could have on the team for the rest of the season.

“We’ve played some pretty good teams, so most of the time, I’m telling them ‘let’s learn and eliminate mistakes and I want you growing as a player,'” he said. “Last night, it was like ‘let’s go out and win this!’ You could see the excitement and anticipation, so I think they still have plenty to be proud of.”

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

Monster numbers put up by Eaglecrest, St. Cloud in Florida football shootout Aurora Prep

Monster numbers put up by Eaglecrest, St. Cloud in Florida football shootout

The most eye-popping result of the first week of prep football for Aurora teams? Clearly Thursday’s Eaglecrest and St. Cloud (Florida) contest at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando fit the bill.

A game so chock-full of action that Eaglecrest athletic director Vince Orlando ran out of battery power on his phone as he tried to provide updates on the school’s Twitter account, coach Mike Schmitt’s Raptors and the Bulldogs piled up 88 points in the first half alone and ended with a total of 125 on the scoreboard, 69 for St. Cloud and 56 for Eaglecrest.

When the dust had cleared on the video game-like contest, the teams combined for more than 1,200 yards of total offense and both had quarterbacks who threw four touchdown passes — Elijah Ross for the Raptors and Hunter Weismore for the Bulldogs.

Ross, a star for Eaglecrest’s basketball team, racked up 380 yards of total offense — 203 yards passing on 13 completions and 177 yards rushing on 12 attempts — and accounted for five touchdowns. He threw touchdown passes of 44 and 23 yards to Peter Anderson, 21 yards to Anthony Karmazyn and 5 yards to Matt Lally and ran for 3-yarder. Meanwhile, Glenn Washington ripped off 156 yards rushing for the Raptors.

Eaglecrest’s defense, meanwhile, has now surrendered a total of 132 points in its past 96 minutes of football, including the 63 points Valor Christian put up in the first round of last season’s Class 5A state playoffs.

While Eaglecrest’s defense gave up a lot of points, it also scored some of its own on a Tommy Johnson interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

Surprise new uniforms give Hinkley football team some extra bounce Aurora Prep

Surprise new uniforms give Hinkley football team some extra bounce

Robert O’Brien knew that new uniforms were coming and couldn’t wait for his Hinkley football players to see them.

Christmas Day for the team came a day before the Thunderbirds’ Zero Week game against rival Aurora Central, when the players showed up to a team dinner to discover some new threads that amped them up further to get on the field.

Clad in the new all-dark gray adidas uniforms that featured ‘Thunderbirds” across the chest and white wings on each of the shoulders, O’Brien’s team soared to a quality 27-6 victory over the Trojans in front of 2,288 people at Aurora Public Schools Stadium.

“I’ve known about them for a couple of months, but we had an unveil last night and the kids went nuts,” said O’Brien, who got a win in his head coaching debut. “It’s really cool to give something to the community and to kids that don’t necessarily have everything. …They were proud to be out there wearing those uniforms and that’s what we want. They are proud to be T-Birds.”

Senior Ahonsi Ohimai put the new gear to good use, as he rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns and nabbed a key interception. He definitely attributed some of the team’s swagger to the new uniforms.

“They surprised us with them yesterday and it was like ‘Welcome to the new Hinkley,'” Ohimai said. “Everybody went wild. We weren’t expecting these, but we love them.”

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes