Sentinel Blogs


With one glittering class inducted, Eaglecrest High School is looking for nominations for the second class of its Athletics & Activities Hall of Fame.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the school established the Hall of Fame to recognize the best and brightest from the school’s history in athletics and other activities (music, drama, student leadership, etc.) and is looking for the community to nominate selections to be part of a yet-to-be-determined number of selections for the second class.


Candidates must have graduated from Eaglecrest at least five years ago, earned all-state or other accolades in their respective sports or activities and “be of high moral character, outstanding citizenship and the ideals embodied in the mission of Eaglecrest High School that includes the building of character, promoting cooperation and achieving excellence.”

Coaches, administrators and volunteers connected with the school are also eligible for nomination and consideration.

Click here or find the EHS Hall of Fame tab on the Eaglecrest Activities & Athletics home page to download the nomination form and email completed form to athletic director Vince Orlando at by Sept. 1.

A panel of current and past Eaglecrest personnel, representation from school parents and the community and one media member, Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor Courtney Oakes, selected the first class of six — athletes Ben Baum, J.J. Billingsley, Damian Brown, Stacey Jennings and Tara Mendozza (DeCrescentis) and Broadway actor Andy Kelso — who were recognized at the inaugural induction ceremony last December at Blackstone Country Club.

Eaglecrest High School opened in 1990 and owns five Class 5A state championships: Football (1993), Boys Track & Field (2002), Softball (2005), Volleyball (2006) and most recently, Boys Basketball (2013) and also dominated the state in cheer under current principal Gwen Hansen-Vigil in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

Congratulations to some local golfers who have recorded recent holes-in-one on Aurora golf courses. To report holes-in-one, have courses send faxes to 720-324-4965 or email

May 2: Paul Proctor, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, 96 yards, sand wedge. Witnesses: Luke Chavez, Bill Chavez.

May 17: Mike Perez, Meadow Hills G.C., No. 15, 192 yards, 5 iron. Witness: H. Hasen.

May 18: Rey LaTorre, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 166 yards, 7 iron. Witness: Mike Kapsalakis.

June 6: Tim Waner, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 8, 183 yards, 5 wood. Witnesses: Bill hess, Al Pologar, Jim Fallon.

June 8: Richie Bleakley, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 13, 168 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Sean Walsh, Ed Walsh.

June 21: Ulysses Norris, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 132 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Three (names unavailable).

June 28: Patsy Hyde, Springhill G.C., No. 10, 108 yards, 7 iron. Witnesses: Marcy Greene, Peg McKechnie, Jan Campbell


The media is as much to blame as are white supremacists in perpetuating the myth that the Confederate Flag has ever represented anything other than the right to hate on and abuse blacks in America.

For generations, reporters and editors have thickly allowed bigoted southerners to say on TV and in newspapers that the Confederate flag represents pride in southern heritage.

No matter how much they say it, it does not. I has never stood for that. And by quoting people who say this without immediately refuting the nonsense sown over all these years has allowed the sick notion to hold some legitimacy in America.

The belief that the Stars and Bars illustrates the ideal of fighting for states rights is as ludicrous as saying that the Nazi Flag represents German pride in ingenuity. The Nazis felt they were wronged by their countrymen and the world. They promised to right those “wrongs,” which included a program of improving the German economy and personal wealth by diminishing growing communism and the rights of some Germans, namely Jews.

Who do you know that sees a Nazi flag as a standard for anything positive the Germans did during World War II? And whether southerners did or didn’t fight valiantly during the Civil War, they fought for the right of states to own slaves, not to keep guns, expand trade or import dangerous wild animals. That flag was never hijacked by nefarious southerners who bastardized the true meaning of Stars and Bars for a better America.

The whole thing goes back to the idea that if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it. I don’t believe it because I was subjected to credible history and not the whacked-out, revisionist stuff that politely lets some southerners have their own opinion based on their own set of facts.

While journalists have a tremendous responsibility to be fair in reporting, we by no means should be irresponsible in perpetuating lies. There is no scientific evidence supporting the myth that there is grave danger in swimming right after eating. If a local politician says they want to outlaw public vaccination because it’s dangerous to young children, we immediately quote experts that refute the nonsense. Unfortunately, the media learned this lesson too late. There is no “grain of truth” in reporting that vaccines are dangerous any more than there is some truth in saying that the Stars and Bars stands for pride in Southern heritage. Unless, of course, that pride shines on a group of treasonous southern states and leaders who were so determined to perpetuate slavery, they declared war on the United States and created their own country. Fans of the Confederate flag and its various iterations accurately argue that the flag and the Civil War was about states’ rights, but the right they fought for was the right to own slaves, and expand slave ownership into the West.

Any other story is outright fabrication.

There was no pact after the Civil War to demand that confederate states enact speed limits on trains, or conduct standardized tests, or let women vote. There was one demand when the South fell, economically and socially crushed by four years of bloody war: Free the slaves.

Because the United States prevailed against the Confederacy, southerners then and now have the liberty to wave that sad banner of slavery all they want. States may have the right to choose to fly such flags, but proponents must be honest for the sake of the naive and misled: The flag of the Confederacy and various versions of it that still fly today symbolize slavery, abuse and segregation. And after the events of the past few days, it stands for a new generation of cruelty and stupidity.

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., second from left, jokes with his wife, Cynthia, third from left, as the couple is escorted to the stage during a Republican Party election night gathering in Denver. Colorado will have a new attorney general for the first time in nearly a decade, with voters deciding between Democrat Don Quick, a former district attorney, and Republican Cynthia Coffman, who is the current deputy attorney general. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)

If anything rings true about Colorado’s wild political claims these days, it’s that the state Republican Party does indeed have a really big tent. It must to make room for the Cirque du Désolé opening in Colorado’s big top this week.

The wild political fracas started yesterday morning with Denver Post political news dean Lynn Bartels, as usual, starting what looked to be yet just another story about how the Colorado Republican Party has a penchant for deadly mass duels and then eating its own.

Surprise. There was ho-hum news that GOP state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman —  who’s sometimes from Aurora and sometimes from somewhere else and gets her name and marital status from Congressman Mike Coffman, also pretty much from Aurora  — is now a political big brand and was just letting everyone know that GOP chairman Steve House would, ahem, be leaving his post.

Coffman, who just won her first elected office last November, is being talked as a contender to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett in 2016. Reportedly, she and a short list won an internal political battle to get House his job against former chairman Ryan Call earlier this year. Yawn.

A few hours later, the political twitterverse lit up after House did an about face and told Bartels and AP political guru Ivan Moreno that he was not only forced out by Coffman and former Colorado GOP heavy hitter Tom  “Nuke ‘Em” Tancredo, but that they were blackmailing him by saying they’ll talk about alleged marital affairs, which he denies.

“No one should be bullied out of running for office, or serving as a leader in our Party,” Chairman Steve House said in a statement.

Lies, all lies, Coffman told the press Tuesday night. Just another instance of righty tighties putting on the usual three-ring act to get what they want. Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

Seriously? Cynthia Coffman? The Colorado GOP Godmother, along with ring-leader Thomas The Tancredo?

That’s a story, and one I never suspected. When Coffman came through here last fall asking for votes to get the AG job, I marveled at how level-headed and likable she was for someone asking for a job that everyone would soon hate her for. It’s a no-win crap hole in that part of state government. She’s no John Suthers.

That whole mess is so inside political manure that it’s hard to pay attention. House didn’t hire outgoing state  legislator Sen. Ted Harvey, darling of tighty righties in the party, to run party operations and, oh, I see you’re drifting off.

The thing that makes this so compelling is that Coffman’s straight-shooter demeanor, which you can’t help but like, is morphing into a shot straight through the heart of her political career. Besides the freaking awesome headlines — “Coffman and Tancredo bring down the House in GOP political spectacle,” or, “Coffman badly burned by GOP House fire” — the story could get legs if House persists in saying that Coffman and Tancredo tried to extort him out of his job. Blackmail doesn’t look good on the résumé, especially out here.

The whole thing could make the bizarre Colorado Springs GOP state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt look like a good Republican marketing plan for 2016.

So now it’s time for every political reporter’s favorite game: Who’s the liar? It can only come to that. Coffman threw out the burning pants card first last night. So it’s up to the other side to play their hand. If it’s a full House, I can’t wait to see what kind of aces Coffman is sure to have. So much intrigue. So many metaphors.

AP Ivan Moreno’s story from last night:

The Colorado Republican Party chairman on Tuesday accused state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of trying to force him from his position and warning he may face a lawsuit and false allegations of infidelity if he refused to leave.

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Colorado voters find themselves in an awkward spot because all the presidential contenders wooing us so far come from places that suck.

You know it’s true. As they all line up to win the White House, these strutting political turkeys trot out all their fabulous accomplishments from their home states.

It’s depressing.

Most recent is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Yech. Bush is busting proud of a state that often leads the nation in violent crime, high unemployment, uncontrolled growth, nightmare health-care issues, prolific nut cases, and a permanent place on the list of most-corrupt states. Lovely. Nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want even Sen. Marco Rubio to live there. In fact, of the 49 states Colorado might emulate, Florida rises to the top of everybody’s list to do the opposite.

And Sen. Lindsey Graham, who just can’t say enough good about a state that few can’t say enough bad about? What part of South Carolina would Colorado want to copy? Dismal high-school graduation rates? Endless racism? Shocking public school test scores? No jobs? Graham needs to apologize for South Carolina, not brag about it.

And tell me that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was just kidding about giving it another go. Who in Colorado wants Huckabee to turn the whole country into a place that earns tens of thousands of dollars less in median income than the rest of the country? A place that has so few people with graduate education that they have to rent them? A place that regularly weighs in with epidemic obesity problems? A place regularly ranked as one of the worst economies in the country? Follow us, Arkansas. People here think Huckabee is some kind of pie.

And then there’s the Lone Star State and its shooting-star presidential candidates. Former supernova Gov. Rick Perry will flame out even faster than he did last time in trying to persuade the country that Texas has something to teach us. One of the highest violent crime rates in the country isn’t worth repeating. Texas and just a few other states do lead the nation — in syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. Nice. Schools? Pretty lousy. The environment is so abused it threatens to leave for Oklahoma. And if you’re not a white male, you’re doing what white males tell you to do. They do have nice roads, which millions use regularly to enjoy paroles right here in Colorado. If we ever wanted to become China, Texas could show us how. As for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he’s from outer space and simply landed in Texas, where people think he makes sense. Big red flag there, folks.

Let’s see, then there’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Hahahahaha. Colorado would not do well to emulate a state where everyone just can’t move away from fast enough. This is a state that would not even exist but for the good graces of New York City. Without it, it would be Vermont without the charm. And as for Christie himself, he has all the charm of New Jersey.

And how about Gov. Bobby Jindal? Chief warden of a state that bests only itself regularly to reach the bottom. Violent crime, murder, shootings, poverty, racism, unemployment, scandalous education problems and scandalous other scandals. Louisiana is second only to  Mississippi as the most-corrupt state. Thanks to Jindal, things there haven’t gotten better there since he took office. Who wouldn’t want some of that for Colorado and the rest of the country? Ummm, me.

And we might be courted by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. This is one of those states that’s not anything: Not great, not horrible, not a place to move to, not the greatest supplier of Colorado immigrants. In short, not the worst. If we need someone to lead us to mediocrity, Walker can show us the Wisconsin way.

And don’t think for a moment that Republicans have a lock on do-as-I-say-not-as-I-did in my home state. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont? It’s Vermont. It’s the stuffed animal of states, doing no one any harm nor good. The only reason the state is so tranquil is that the few people who live there can’t even see each other for the trees.

And Hillary Clinton? Where the hell is she even from? I just figure she came with the White House when it was built. Who wants to be like Washington, D.C.? A place filled with schmoozing know-it-alls who work endlessly at yelling at folks to stay off their lawn, and they can’t even handle that very well.

No, none of the above so far, as far as comparing the homes of these political oddities to Colorado. Out here, we have jobs, rights, schools, health, legal quality weed, colleges, killer beer, snow and Rocky Ford cantaloupe. What we don’t have is a presidential candidate, but I’m still thinking about it.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or


With a few differences, the second version of the Continental vs. Centennial Challenge boys basketball tournament opens Wednesday.

The three-day round-robin tournament hosted by Heritage High School in Littleton features a total of 16 teams from the Centennial League — including Aurora schools Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview and Overland — and the Continental League, including Aurora’s Regis Jesuit.

Another city team joined the mix this season when Rangeview of the EMAC was added into the Centennial League side to replace Smoky Hill, which pulled out as it is in search of a new head coach this offseason. Lakewood joins the Continental League group in place of Highlands Ranch, which also is transitioning to a new coaching staff this offseason.

The Continental League earned bragging rights at last season’s inaugural Continental vs. Centennial Challenge as all eight of its teams finished with at least a .500 record and ThunderRidge — which later made it to the Class 5A state championship game during the regular season — came through a perfect 6-0 to lead the way, while four other teams — including Regis Jesuit, which had Aurora’s best mark — posted 5-1 marks.

Eaglecrest finished with the best record among Aurora’s Centennial League teams at 4-2, starting off 4-0 before dropping its last two contests.

Summer teams are often missing several key players and coaches, but can still give a glimpse of some of the new talent on rosters. Some of the key role players on Overland’s 5A state championship team played in last season’s tournament.

A rematch of the 5A state title game between Overland and ThunderRidge is set to take place at 2 p.m. June 18 in the Main Gym.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes


June 17-19 at Heritage High School

Continental Teams: Chaparral, Heritage, Lakewood (added), Legend, Mountain Vista, Regis Jesuit, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge

Centennial Teams: Arapahoe, Cherokee Trail, Cherry Creek, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Mullen, Overland, Rangeview (added)


8-9 a.m.: EAGLECREST vs. ThunderRidge (Main Gym); Arapahoe vs. Heritage (Auxiliary Gym); 9-10 a.m.: Heritage vs. EAGLECREST (Main Gym) ThunderRidge vs. Arapahoe (Auxiliary Gym); 10-11 a.m.: CHEROKEE TRAIL vs. Chaparral (Main Gym); Rock Canyon vs. GRANDVIEW  (Auxiliary Gym); 11 a.m.-noon: Rock Canyon vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Main Gym); Chaparral vs. GRANDVIEW (Auxiliary Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: REGIS JESUIT vs. RANGEVIEW (Main Gym); Lakewood vs. Cherry Creek (Auxiliary Gym); 1-2 p.m.: Cherry Creek vs. REGIS JESUIT (Main Gym); Lakewood vs. RANGEVIEW (Auxiliary Gym); 2-3 p.m.: Mountain Vista vs. Mullen (Main Gym); Legend vs. OVERLAND  (Auxiliary Gym); 3-4 p.m.: Legend vs. Mullen (Main Gym); Mountain Vista vs. OVERLAND (Auxiliary Gym)


8-9 a.m.: REGIS JESUIT vs. GRANDVIEW (Main Gym); Heritage vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Auxiliary Gym); 9-10 a.m.: REGIS JESUIT vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Main Gym); GRANDVIEW vs. Heritage (Auxiliary Gym); 10-11 a.m.: EAGLECREST vs. Mountain Vista (Main Gym); Lakewood vs. Arapahoe (Auxiliary Gym); 11 a.m.-noon: Arapahoe vs. Mountain Vista (Main Gym); EAGLECREST vs. Lakewood (Auxiliary Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: Legend vs. RANGEVIEW (Main Gym); Chaparral vs. Cherry Creek (Auxiliary Gym); 1-2 p.m.: Legend vs. Cherry Creek (Main Gym); Chaparral vs. RANGEVIEW (Auxiliary Gym); 2-3 p.m.: ThunderRidge vs. OVERLAND (Main Gym); Rock Canyon vs. Mullen (Auxiliary Gym); 3-4 p.m.: Rock Canyon vs. OVERLAND (Main Gym); ThunderRidge vs. Mullen (Auxiliary Gym)


8-9 a.m.: Heritage vs. RANGEVIEW (Main Gym); Cherry Creek vs. Mountain Vista (Auxiliary Gym); 9-10 a.m.: Heritage vs. Cherry Creek (Main Gym); Mountain Vista vs. RANGEVIEW (Auxiliary Gym); 10-11 a.m.: Arapahoe vs. Chaparral (Main Gym); EAGLECREST vs. Rock Canyon (Auxiliary Gym); 11 a.m.-noon: Arapahoe vs. Rock Canyon (Main Gym); Chaparral vs. EAGLECREST (Auxiliary Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: GRANDVIEW vs. ThunderRidge (Main Gym); Legend vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Auxiliary Gym); 1-2 p.m.: Legend vs. GRANDVIEW (Main Gym); ThunderRidge vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Auxiliary Gym); 2-3 p.m.: Lakewood vs. OVERLAND (Main Gym); Mullen vs. REGIS JESUIT  (Auxiliary Gym); 3-4 p.m.: Mullen vs. Lakewood (Main Gym); OVERLAND vs. REGIS JESUIT (Auxiliary Gym)


So all the local social media minions have been twitter-pated with news that The Denver Post is facing yet another gouging of the newsroom.

Locals have been gleefully taking shots at Colorado’s largest albeit shrinking newspaper, mostly saying that the news product they produce is the cause of their ailing circulation and financial health. That’s just bullshit, folks.

“Twenty years ago, Denver had two thriving dailies. Today, the monopoly incumbent is on life support. Whatup?” said former state Sen. Shawn Mitchell on Friday via his ever-popular Facebook page of right-wing rants. Mitchell, who is one of the most clever, persistent and amusingly agitating voices of Colorado’s conservatives, was reacting to news this week that the Post would lay off another 20 people from its news operations through buyouts — this after years of peeling off writers, photographers, artists and editors like leaves on an artichoke. And now we come to the heart of that matter.

A flood of Mitchell’s fans/friends/minions piled on the insults, saying that the Post has undone itself.

Tim Ziegler said: “Bias, irresponsible reporting, no trust in the news accuracy, new technology. All have played a part.”

Not really.

Steve Johnson:  “It’s like a supermarket tabloid”

Not even close.

Shawn Miller: “People not willing to overpay for yesterday’s news or advertising. Print media failed to adjust to the new market created by the internet … up next television stations and news. Newspapers could have made themselves relevant by being more in touch with neighborhoods and individual towns rather than trying national or even city wide reports.”

Way wrong. Essentially, it was us, not Al Gore, who invented the Intertubes. It was the media that jumped in and gave you all a reason to come, long before there were shopping, video, games, Google, eBay and even porn. You’re right, though, that how we handled those early days has led to our current woes.

Susy Johnson: “There is an actual newspaper here? Wow, I thought the Denver Democrat Compost had been bought by the Colorado Democrat Party!”

That’s the bulk of what’s floating around the intertubes about the whole thing. Both the right and the left accuse the Post of pandering to “the enemy” and therefore becoming nothing but what we all need to wrap fish, line litter boxes and start campfires, as so many authoritatively pointed out.

Most of you really don’t have a clue what’s happened.

Newspapers primarily hung themselves by giving away their content online 20 years ago, giving people a reason to go out and buy a 14K baud modem. We are now unable to put the genie back in the bottle. So just where do you think all those free online stories come from? Elves? The fruits of real journalists’ labors are freely given and stolen away by you and our pseudo-colleagues. Edu-tainment and s-newz sites, like HuffPo, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, Google and millions of others survive on blood and tears spilled by real journalists at real newsrooms costing real dollars, just like at the Post.

As to advertising, we totally messed up as an industry thinking that we could replicate the advertising business model of print to our online product. For a lot of reasons, even the so-called experts don’t completely understand, it didn’t work. But it’s not because the Post and every other legitimate newspaper in the country doesn’t pump out an ocean of content you want, you need and you talk about every single day. If you don’t believe that, you’re stupid as well as naive. The financial woes of the Post and every other newspaper came from the decisions of bean counters, not the headline writers.

So now the Post, like so many large newspaper companies, comes forward with very bad news, and tries to put some kind of positive spin on it, with the editor saying the paper is just going to have to put out shorter, punchier stories. As if a glut of talent prevented that until now. It’s crap. I know it. They know it. You know it. It’s sad, because stuff you really, really do care about, even if you don’t care to take the time to read about it, won’t get covered. And what do you think happens to issues that don’t get public scrutiny? Exactly.

As for the Post being the darling of Colorado liberals, just ask. Ask how many subscribers cancelled when the Post endorsed Cory Gardner — and have not and will not come back. Just ask about the Post endorsements of Ken Buck, both Coffmans and a variety of Colorado Springs whack jobs. Ask liberals what they think about how the Post covers their agenda. About fracking. About Obamacare and climate change. I think you’ll be surprised.

And, clearly, conservatives, too, feel like the Post has an agenda, and it’s not theirs. It’s all tin-foil and conspiracy-theory theatrics, folks. It’s just not true, at least not like you imagine it. Real journalists work real hard every single day to ask these questions every time they file a story: No. 1: Is it accurate? No. 2: Is it fair? No. 3: Is it an honest attempt to tell what’s happening and what’s at stake? Real journalists really do go through that every day. I can guarantee you, pseudo-journalists and PR types have other priorities, such as “does this convey the message that I, or my bosses/leaders/shareholders/officers, etc., want to convey?”

But here’s the most important thing. What most of you really don’t realize is that the Denver Post is not a single thing, but a sum of its parts. And it’s made up of some of the most ethical, talented, hard-working and determined journalists in the business. THEY are the Denver Post, and they’re liberal, conservative, none and all of the above. Slam journalism all you want — it’s really OK. We get it. It comes with the job. We hear you. And despite what you think, we react to criticism and praise because that’s who we are — without a real working press, you would be living in a place like Russia or Iran. No kidding. No freaking kidding. Sneer all you want, what we do is that vital, because almost all of you don’t have the time, the interest nor the ability to ferret out mundane crap and deep shit alike. And if you think you’ll get the straight story straight from the horses’ asses in government, at Monsanto, at Chrysler, at Blue Bell, you are oh, oh, oh so very wrong. And if you think TV news has the ability to pick up the slack, you are even more wrong.

So sneer all you want about the misfortunes of the Post and our industry. But I promise you that without it, Denver, and Aurora, and all of Colorado, will be a far lesser place than it is. I very often don’t agree with many news and non-news decisions the Post makes, but I have no hesitation in insisting that the mission and product of the Denver Post —  and the Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Durango Herald and the Aurora Sentinel — is critical to the region’s well-being and success. In any way you can, you should support the Post and other media, and tell them what you like and hate. But if you dismiss them, and all of us, you dismiss the only real defense society has against everything you spend so much time complaining about — that matters.

Eight Aurora prep athletes and a coach make their way to the annual Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State Games, scheduled for June 9-13 at Adams State University in Alamosa.

The 59th edition of the event includes a variety of sports and activities featuring many of the best recently graduated senior athletes from around Colorado in multiple classifications.

The largest group of Aurora athletes is set for the CHSCA All-State Softball game, as infielders Emily Supercynski and Kat Maynard — who helped lead Grandview to its first-ever Class 5A state softball championship in the fall — were selected and will play for a team coached by Wolves’ coach Dave Thies, as will Eaglecrest outfield standout Lauren Buckley.

The city’s two selections for the All-State Football game will be on opposite sides, as Vista PEAK’s Noah Butler is slated to play for the North Team, while Rangeview’s Alonzo Neal is on the South Team roster.

Aurora Central’s Juan Fraire, who placed sixth in 5A at 182 pounds at the state wrestling tournament, is set to compete in the Wrestling competition, while Grandview’s Mick Norton will run the All-State Cross Country race and Smoky Hill’s Sydney Gray was selected for the All-State Spirit competition.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel



Team 1: Courtney Baeckel (Mountain View); Shelby Belloni (Lakewood); LAUREN BUCKLEY (EAGLECREST); Alex Dufour (Frederick); Samantha Gill (Valley); Bridget Gleason (Cheyenne Mountain); Cheyenne Hamilton (Frederick); Savannah Heebner (Castle View); Bridgette Hutton (Valley); Tiffany Maul (Erie); KATELYN MAYNARD (GRANDVIEW); Courtney Robbins (Rocky Mountain); EMILY SUPERCYNSKI (GRANDVIEW); Coaches: Roger Dufour (Frederick) & DAVE THIES (GRANDVIEW)

Team 2: Julianna Alvarado (Prairie View); Analece Apodaca (Wheat Ridge); Berkley Calapp (Fossil Ridge); Alyssa Geist (Legacy); Kara Jones (Rampart); Murphy McRoberts (Fossil Ridge); Kayla Michel (Brighton); Kendall Ohman (Valor Christiam); Whitni Oquist (La Junta); Rebecca Pannunzio (South); Haley Smith (Legacy); Taylor Thoms (Prairie View); Sandy Van Ert (Strasburg); Coaches: Michelle Woodard (Strausburg) and Wes Madril (Green Mountain)


North Team: Marcus Cassin (Evergreen); Jay Frye (Northridge); Austin Yahn (Caliche); Austin Hartman (Silver Creek); Alex Kinney (Rocky Mountain); Austin Norton (Columbine); Brian Nichols (Strasburg); Jacob Smith (Strausburg); Kyle Rosenbrock (Brush); Jake Phelan (Meeker); Alex DeLaCroix (Greeley West); NOAH BUTLER (VISTA PEAK); Kyler Sigsbee (Fort Collins); Daniel Frantz (Platte Valley); Greyson Lincoln (Evergreen); Brenden Fulton (Northridge); Kyle Leoffler (Arickaree); Jack Martin (Ralston Valley); Tre Blake (Littleton); Trevonte Tasco (Denver South); Kalib Geer (Conifer); Jackson Stephens (Monarch); Kolt McDaniel (Platte Valley); David Eusea (Thompson Valley); James Maxie (Ponderosa); Martin Torres (Burlington); Max McDonald (Rocky Mountain); Sebastian Garcia (Westminster); Willy Clements (Holy Family); Nathon Putallaz (Roosevelt); Shane Coombs (Strasburg); Matt Gaiter (Chatfield); Zach Fees (Fort Collins); Coby Cline (Elizabeth); Brandon Saunders (Wheat Ridge); Jose Rodriguez (Brush); Andrew Miranda (Lutheran); Sean Glenn (Longmont); Austin Walton (Resurrection Christian); Cesar Hernandez (Roosevelt); Scott Leach (Ralston Valley); Joel Simianer (Paonia); Kyle Emery (Ralston Valley); Talon Schaller (Green Mountain)

South Team: Javonte Stewart (Ellicott); Kevin Ribarich (Pueblo East); Matthew Hamilton (Moffat County); Randy Haley (Montezuma-Cortez); Eric Stowers (Vista Ridge); Koy Palmer (Granada); Marques Combs (Palisade); Brendan Ike (Mountain Vista); Justin Littrell (Doherty); Dylan Draper (Discovery Canyon); Nathan Spinuzzi (Pueblo South); Hayden Smith (St. Mary’s); Darrian Stickney (Doherty); Wyatt Aaberg (Falcon); Matthew Heery (St. Mary’s); Bryce McCracken (Crowley County); Cody Norris (Simla); Patrick Telck (St. Mary’s); Kyle Hicks (Lamar); Austin Lopez (William J. Palmer); Sonny Arellano (Pueblo East); Jordan Smith (Fountain-Fort Carson); Mike Rocha (Montrose); Rob Quick (Springfield); Mitchell Wilson (Centauri); Jake Levy (Basalt); Sam Long (Pine Creek); Eddie Bratton (Falcon); Nate Finnell (Rocky Ford); Mitch Mulso (Florence); Kellen Gatzke (Dolores); Aiden Raider (Palmer); ALONZO NEAL (RANGEVIEW); Dawid Balczek (Gunnison); Dylan Sundeen (Douglas County); Jacob Edson (Legend); Austin Shepherd (Rifle); Brenden Reeves (Pueblo Central); Matt Maestas (Montrose); Marcus Fotenos (Doherty); Patrick Stauffer (Discovery Canyon); Marcus Garcia (Delta); Tyler Rouse (Eads); Preston Troxel (Mountain Vista)


Jacob Beltran (Sterling); Conrad Cole (Brush); Patrick Cunnion (Durango); John Daniel (Arapahoe); Dane Drimmer (Chaparral); Randen Espinoza (Palisade); JUAN FRAIRE (AURORA CENTRAL); Maurisio Garcia (Northglenn); Zechariah Garcia (Fort Lupton); Clark Jett (Platte Valley); Tel Kelley (Alamosa); Matthew Lavengood (Durango); John Lopez (Buenta Vista); Ruben Lucero (Valley); Dakota Macy (Fort Lupton); Colter McMenimen (Bayfield); Demitrius Miller (Pueblo Centennial); Zachary Milner (Paonia); Rocky Nava (Northglenn); Jacob Ornelas (Fort Lupton); Julian Prieto (Holy Family); Joseph Prieto (HOly Family); Chance Randolph (Dove Creek); Payton Tawater (Arvada West); Taylor White (Pine Creek); Coaches: John Gurule (Durango), Tom Galicia (Fort Lupton), Brian Hufford (Northglenn), John Pfeiderer (Platte Valley)


Katie Benner (Mountain View); Riley Cooney (Mountain View); Caroline Foster (Mountain View); Abby Stewart (Mountain View); Tyrell Clock (Hotchkiss); Michael Franta (Custer County); Taylor Hensley (Olathe); Scott Kordziel (Arvada West); Dillon Lanzi (Central G.J.); Corey Lewenkamp (Custer County); MICK NORTON (GRANDVIEW); Jericho Ulibarri (Alamosa); Andy Van Matre (Rampart); Julian Von Holten (Mountain View); Zachary Watson (Lamar); Coaches: Erik Melgoza (Lamar), Kevin Clark (Mountain View), Larry Zaragoza (Alamosa), Max Oliver (Pine Creek) and Brady Archer (Mancos)


Micala Bruce (Denver East); SYDNEY GRAY (SMOKY HILL); Korrie Jean Hurt (Grand Valley); Natasha Jordan (Glenwood Springs); Alexandria McCallum (Holyoke); Kallysa McGeary (Springfield); Madison Milner (Hotchkiss); Kelsey Peter (Salida); MacKenzie Piggot (Pine Creek); Brittany Reddy (Legacy); Kayla Schmunk (Valley); Dawn Warren (Strasburg); Coaches: Erin Brueggeman (Erie), Terita Berry (Denver East) and Linda Elliott (Sheridan)

Cherokee Trail Boys Volleyball Team

One state tournament that won’t be affected by the weather this weekend is boys volleyball, as the state’s best teams in the non-Colorado High School Activities Association sanctioned sport play for a title at Cherokee Trail High School.

The top seed in the 5A portion of the tournament is Cherry Creek, which includes athletes from a variety of different schools, including Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Overland and Cherry Creek.

Cherokee Trail’s boys volleyball team poses after winning the 2014 state championship. Now playing out of Cherry Creek, the team featuring athletics from Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland, Smoky Hill and Cherry Creek will aim to win a second straight championship on May 9 at Cherokee Trail High School. (File photo)

Playing as Cherokee Trail last season, the team posted a 25-0 mark and won the state championship under coach Terry Miller — who coaches the Cherokee Trail varsity girls team in the fall — and enters this season’s state tournament at 18-0.

Matches begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for students with IDs.

The Cherry Creek Blue team plays its first match at 12:15 p.m. on Court 1 against Cheyenne Mountain, with the winner advancing to a semifinal against Ponderosa Black or Niwot at 2:45 p.m. The bottom half of the bracket includes Doherty Blue against Ralston Valley and Pine Creek against The Classical Academy.

The 5A championship match is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., following the 4 p.m. championship match for the 3A Division, which also includes a Cherry Creek team.

Of the Cherry Creek team’s three seniors, at least two will play college athletics, as Jason Rhee (who attends Cherokee Trail) just signed a national athletic letter of intent to play at Johnson & Wales University’s campus in Providence, Rhode Island, and Ryan Swan (Overland) is headed to play basketball at the Air Force Academy. Swan played on the Overland boys basketball team that won the Class 5A state championship in March.

Last season’s, Matt McLaren of Grandview moved on to play at Penn State.

Boys volleyball and rugby continue to work towards CHSAA sanctioning, but face hurdles presented by Title IX complications — which has to do with equal participation numbers for boys and girls sports — among others.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

The crowd in the gallery for the second day of the Aurora theater shooting trial has thinned some from yesterday.

On both the victim side and the media side of the courtroom there were a handful of empty seats this morning, though dozens more observers were watching a television feed from an overflow room.

Still, while the gallery crowd is smaller, the lawyers are working in a cramped space on the other side of the bar.

On the prosecution side, six lawyers, an Aurora police officer and an FBI agent are squeezed into three tables. On the other side, five defense lawyers, James Holmes and a defense investigator are squeezed into two tables.

There are three uniformed deputies positioned on that side of the bar, too, as well as three court staffers, a court recorder and the judge.

That fit is made even more snug because the court doubled the size of the jury box to make room for 24 jurors — a figure that includes 12 alternates.

This morning, before the judge took the stand, two prosecutors, Lisa Teesch-McGuire and Karen Pearson, battled with a lectern as they tried to wrangle it to the side to make room for witnesses approaching the witness stand.

Things could get more crowded as the trial goes on, too. So far, just one large piece of evidence — a model of the theater that looks to measure about 4-feet by 4-feet — is sitting in some of the empty space. As they introduce more exhibits, the judge said some will go on a sort of shelf behind the witness stand.

The atmosphere has been emotional for much of the hearing today, but the victims have followed the judge’s order and avoided any emotional outbursts. While many have wept quietly — especially when the 911 tapes from inside the theater that night were played — nobody has stormed out or sobbed loudly.

The jurors are keeping it together, too. One juror in particular appeared to be on the verge of tears during the 911 tape this morning.

And the jurors are paying pretty close attention, too. At least 10 of the 24 have taken a few notes, and one woman has taken notes almost the entire time witnesses have testified. The jurors are allowed to take notes, but the notes can’t leave the courtroom and the judge has told them to rely on their memory over the notes whenever they can.

The jurors have also asked questions of the witnesses. They asked Muni Gravelly if she heard the shooter say anything or if she saw the shooter. She said no to both. The jurors asked Gravelly a third question, but Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said the question wasn’t appropriate and didn’t say in court what the question was.

The jurors later asked Chichi Spruel how long it took police to arrive after she called 911. She said it seemed like a long time in that moment, but looking back the response was actually pretty quick.

The jurors also appeared to be trying to get a question to Judge Samour during Katie Medley’s testimony, but they didn’t get his attention before Medley stepped down from the stand.

Court gavels back in at 1:25 p.m. Check the live blog and Twitter for updates throughout the afternoon.