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Courtney Oakes

Sports Editor for the Aurora Sentinel, grand stands

Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Former Regis Jesuit star Josh Perkins to play for national title in NYC

While the Regis Jesuit girls basketball team got denied the chance to play in the prestigious DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament by a Colorado High School Activities Association bylaw, Josh Perkins did not.

The former Regis Jesuit boys hoops star — who played three seasons with the Raiders, but moved to West Virginia for his senior season — plays for a Huntington-St. Joseph Prep team that is among the eight boys teams that have accepted invitations to play in the April 3-5 tournament to be played at Madison Square Garden and other venues in New York City and televised on ESPN.

Perkins — a Gonzaga signee — averages 8.0 points and 5.1 assists per game for Huntington Prep, which is 27-4 and ranked No. 5 in USA Today’s Super 25 rankings.

Huntington Prep had been kept out of the national tournament in years past because it wasn’t a member of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, but a bill sent through the West Virginia Senate Education Committee helped make it possible this year according to the Huntington (W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch.

The other seven schools in the DICK’s tournament are also ranked by USA Today: No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy; No. 3 Rainier Beach (Seattle); No. 4 Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte); No. 6 La Lumiere, La Porte, Ind.; No. 7 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.); No. 8 Findlay College Prep, Henderson, Nev.; and No. 18 The Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.).

Without the Regis Jesuit girls, the four-team DICK’s tournament field includes two ranked teams in No. 10 Riverdale (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and No. 18 Miami Senior (Fla.), plus unranked Freemont (Utah) and Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.).

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

Boys Basketball

OAKES: Keenon Clement gets one for family against Ken Shaw

Smoky Hill boys basketball coach Keenon Clement loves to call his father, Royce, on his way home from a game to talk about how his team did that night.

Clement knew his dad would be particularly glad to hear about what happened Saturday, as his seventh-seeded Buffs upset second-seeded Regis Jesuit 47-46 in a Class 5A second round state playoff game on senior Unwana Ekiko’s buzzer-beating layup.

Of particular note for the family is the fact Keenon got the better of a Raiders team coached by Ken Shaw, who played for Merino against a Bayfield team Royce Clement played on in the 1970 Class A state championship game. Shaw and Merino won the state title 68-52 that year.

“Ken Shaw is a legend and a great guy; what’s pretty awesome is my dad played him in 1970 for the state championship when he was with Merino,” Keenon Clement said. “I’m going to call my pops. He said he’s going to come over for the last game. He didn’t come for this one, he had confidence our kids would win, so we’ll have to catch up with him later.”

Royce Clement — who lives in Palisade, where he served as an assistant on Keenon’s staff when he coached there — is expected to attend the Great 8 round on March 7 at the Denver Coliseum if Smoky Hill can get past Arapahoe in its Sweet 16 game Wednesday.

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

OAKES: Grandview volleyball team gets state championship rings Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Grandview volleyball team gets state championship rings

The shiny cherry on top of the Grandview volleyball team’s state championship-winning season came Thursday.

The Wolves — who won the Class 5A state championship with a 25-22, 25-12, 25-17 sweep of Arapahoe on Nov. 9, 2013, at the Denver Coliseum — received their long-awaited championship rings at the school.

Each ring has a stone surrounded by Grandview’s Royal Blue school color and is engraved with “GHS 2013″ and “V-Ball” on one side plus the individual players’ first name and number on the other side.

“I love them! They are exactly what we wanted and I think everyone is very happy with them,” senior outside hitter Morgan Montgomery said.

Grandview volleyball coach Patty Childress now needs to just one more ring for the thumb. She’s collected 5A state championship rings in 2004, 2005, 2007 and now 2013.

She appreciated the current ring a bit when she saw it

“I really like the 2013 version a lot,” Childress said. “A nice size and design, large enough to notice, but not largely arrogant. The Grandview blue is awesome!!”

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

Blogs

OAKES: Rangeview honors its top 30 boys basketball players of all-time

AURORA | With only two coaches in 30-plus years of boys basketball, putting together a list of Rangeview’s top 30 players wasn’t as much of a challenge as it might be for some schools.

Only Terry Taylor Sr. and current coach Shawn Palmer have roamed the sidelines for the Raiders since the school opened in 1983, making the compilation of the best players to wear a Rangeview uniform in the last three decades a virtual slam dunk.

During halftime of Friday’s 7 p.m. non-league home game against George Washington, Rangeview will recognize 30 players selected by Taylor Sr. and Palmer who have helped create an illustrious history that includes 15 trips to the Sweet 16 round of the playoffs, 10 times in the Great 8, seven Final Four appearances and one state championship (3A in 1985) in three trips to the final.

“It was a lot easier for us to do than somebody who has to track down a bunch of different coaches,” Palmer said. “For us, it was one conversation and one email. It was really neat to work with Coach Taylor on this and recognize some great moments from the past.”

The two coaches got together and poured over the standouts in three decades of boys basketball at Rangeview, which has seen a stunning 444-258 overall record (a hefty .632 winning percentage), which includes the current Raiders’ 8-2 mark. Only twice in those 30 years did Rangeview fail to appear in the playoffs.

The top 30 list includes 14 players from the 2000s and eight each from the 1980s and 1990s. Eighteen played exclusively for Taylor Sr. — who stepped down after the 2002-2003 season when Palmer took over — while three played at least one season under both coaches and nine played just for Palmer.

“I think it was a pretty good balance,” Palmer said.

Palmer said a number of the players on the list wanted to attend, but many life out of state and can’t make it back for the ceremony.

Aside from two active players — seniors Jeremiah Paige (the school’s newly-minted scoring and blocked shot leader) and Trey Bridges — former players Jamal Wright (2008-2011), Marvin Jones (1991-1994) and Lorenzo Phillips (1985-1988) are scheduled to be in attendance. Taylor Sr., who was on the coaching staff of Class 5A state champion Eaglecrest last season, and his son Terry Taylor Jr., Rangeview’s all-time assist leader and No. 2 scorer in just two seasons (1983-84 and 84-85) also are expected to be there.

The late Curtis Cotton Jr., who played for both coaches and graduated in 2004, will also be recognized. Cotton Jr. died in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 23 and has been remembered at the school for the last two years with a memorial 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the summer.

Rangeview’s also had the same PA announcer (Rich Gomez) and bookkeeper (Bard Curtis) for the past 30 years.

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

Top 30 Players in 30 years of Rangeview Boys Basketball

Andy Gurzick (1998) – All-State ‘98, assists leader / played at Western State; Brandon Bacon (1991) – Honorable Mention All-State ’91 / played at Ft. Lewis; Brian Mueller (1992) – 2nd Team All-State ’92 / played at Southern CO; Bryan Schneider (1990) – All-State Tourney Team ‘89, 2nd Team All-State ’90; Chris Dennis (1987) - All-Conference selection / played at Mesa State; CJ Littlejohn (2005) – Honorable Mention All-State, ’05 / played at Otero Junior College and Bethany College; Curtis Cotton (2004) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘04 / played Western Nebraska and New Mexico Highlands; Gabe Solarin (2012) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘12 / currently playing at Northwest College; Jamal Wright (2011) – Honorable Mention All-State ’11 / currently playing Otero Junior College; James Wilson (1985) – All-Conference selection, All-State ‘85 / played at Hawaii and Youngstown State; Jeffrey Solarin (2011) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘10, 2nd Team All-State 2011, rebounding leader / currently plays for Idaho State; Jeremiah Paige (2014) – Scoring & blocks leader, 2nd Team All-State ‘13 / signed to play at CSU; Ken Turner (1989) – All-Conference selection / played at Metro State College of Denver
; Kellan Mclemore (2008) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘07 and ’08 / played at Carelton College; Kirk Robbins (1990) – All-Conference selection / played at Colorado College; Lars VanEtten (1989) – All-State 87-89 / played at the University of Denver; Lawson Williams (1991) – All-Conference selection, 1st Team All-State ’90; Lorenzo Phillips (1988) – All-Conference selection, All-State ’88 / played at Ft. Lewis; Marcus Holt (2011) – Leader in blocks in a single game / played at Paris Junior College and currently plays at Colorado State; Marvin Jones (1994) – Three point leader, All-State ‘94, All-State Tourney Team ‘93 / played at UNC Greeley; Mike Mcnish (1999) – All-Conference selection / played at Colo. School of Mines; Pat Boyle (1989) – All-Conference selection / played at Denver University; Paul Mayfield (2001) – Honorable Mention All-State ’01/ played at Trinidad State; Reggie Evans (2008) – 1st Team All-State ’08, leader in points in a season and game / played at Metro State College of Denver; Sonny Coleman (1988) - All-Conference selection / played at Fort Lewis; Terry Taylor Jr. (1985) – Leader in scoring average and assists in a season, CO Player of the Year and Steinmark Winner ’85 / played at Stanford University; Tim Koralewski (2006) – Second all-time in rebounds, All-Conference ’06; Trey Bridges (2014) – Second in career assists, Honorable Mention All-State ’13; Terry Davis (1993) – 1st team All-Tournament, leader in charges taken; Yoshio Allen (2009) – Honorable Mention All-State ’10 / played at Otero Junior college and currently plays for Black Hills State

Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Rangeview girls basketball feeder team holding tryouts

AURORA | Middle school girls interested in eventually playing high school basketball for Rangeview High School can try out for the school’s new feeder team, the Rangeview Express, Aug. 23-24.

Coach Chris Dolan — who enters his second season as the Raiders’ varsity head coach — is set to hold tryouts for girls in 7th and 8th grades who plan to attend Rangeview in the 2014-15 school year.

The tryout sessions are scheduled for the Rangeview gymnasium on both days, with the Aug. 23 session running from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and the Aug. 24 session set for 9-11 a.m.

For more information, contact Dolan at odolan@hotmail.com.

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

OAKES: Gateway football team has new look for new season Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Gateway football team has new look for new season

How Ashour Peera’s Gateway football team plays this season is yet to be determined.

Whatever they do, the Olys will look good doing it.

Peera — the first-year head coach who came to Aurora from the powerhouse Miami Northwestern High School program — has rewarded his players for their offseason work by outfitting them with brand new Nike uniforms for the upcoming season, which is just around the corner.

“Look good, feel good,” the coach said Monday as seniors Austin Hall and Calvin Weber got suited up in the new gear.

“Why not go get nice stuff?” he asked. “When I got the job they were talking about how school spirit was lost, so now we’re drumming it up.”

Peera’s previous team at Miami Northwestern — one of several high schools in Florida sponsored by Nike — had eight different uniforms to choose from, so he wanted to bring some variety to Gateway.

The uniforms feature several combinations of the school’s distinctive orange, black and white color scheme and come complete with black helmets with a magnified Olympian logo on one side and a large orange G on the other. The team traditionally wore white helmets with the G logo.

Four players modeled the uniforms for the team last week. They choreographed a routine with music, but got mobbed immediately by teammates when they came out into the remodeled weight room, as shown on this youtube video.

Hall, a promising safety, was one of the players to see the new uniforms for the first time.

“I came in first and brought my shoulder pads to the back room,” said Hall, sporting the No. 12 jersey. “I saw the box of tops and jerseys and I just started screaming. …We are blessed. We’ve never had gear like this, so it feels great.”

Uniforms certainly don’t make the player or the team, however.

Gateway still has a lot to prove on the field this season, especially with the graduation of Colorado State signee Zack Golditch and 26 other seniors from last season’s team that went 7-3 and earned a home game in the Class 5A state playoffs.

The Olys have a new coaching staff, a new system and now, a new appearance.

The new uniforms won’t block or tackle — despite Peera’s joking wish — but they certainly have the team feeling, and looking, the part.

“I’ve only seen jerseys like this in college, so when I saw these, my eyes popped out,” Weber said. “It doesn’t stop with the look. When you look good you have to play good.”

Gateway will debut the new uniforms in full against its former coach Justin Hoffman, who is now at Smoky Hill, as the Olys play the Buffs to open the season on Aug. 30 at Aurora Public Schools Stadium.

The Olys will also have a new look on offense, as Peera’s moved away from the program’s traditional run-heavy veer offense to a spread attack.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555. Follow @aurorasports on Twitter and find the Aurora Prep Sentinel page on facebook.

OAKES: Gateway's Devundrick Walker chases dreams in Detroit Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Gateway’s Devundrick Walker chases dreams in Detroit

Virgil Walker is running on fumes, but come 7 p.m. Friday, he’ll happily slide behind the wheel of his car and point it toward Detroit.

After weeks of scrimping, saving and doing whatever odd jobs he can find, Walker and a carload of family is heading across the country to meet up with his son, Devundrick — aka Booda — a senior-to-be at Aurora’s Gateway High School who is set to compete in the 2013 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Michigan. He is ranked first in the country in both the 800 and 1,500 meter runs.

The trip for the weeklong competition requires airline travel for Devundrick and one of his coaches, Virgil’s sister Latrina Walker, from Austin, Texas — where he’s been training all summer — plus gas money for the Walker family’s cross country drive, lodging and food at a cost of an estimated $3,500.

It’s money the family just doesn’t have in its budget, so Virgil Walker launched an online campaign to help raise funds for Devundrick’s trip in addition to small jobs washing cars, doing mechanic work, working as referee and DJ. The Gateway PTA kicked in with a very generous donation and the Walkers’ Indiegogo campaign had $960 pledged with eight hours to go before its deadline.

Walker is grateful for all the contributions and is looking forward to seeing his son — who told him he had a dream of running in the Olympics at the age of 6 — compete in the Junior Olympics and hopefully catch the eye of some big college track programs.

“I already told my landlord the rent is going to be late. …we might not get everything that we need, but we’re going to make this happen,” Walker said Thursday. “Devundrick is stoked. He told me, ‘Dad, I’m as strong as I’ve been,’ so we’re looking for good things.”

As a junior at Gateway, Devundrick Walker finished second in the 800 meters, 12th in the 1,600 meters and anchored Gateway’s 3rd-place 4×400 relay team at the Class 5A state meet in May.

Shortly after school, he went down to stay with family and run for an old coach in Austin, where’s he improved tremendously. Walker will run at the Junior Olympics under the International Flight club team banner, but has a lot of pride in Aurora and Gateway.

To contribute to Walker’s travel fund, visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/booda-s-olympic-dream

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555

Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Hinkley offering football camp for 2-8 graders

Hinkley High School is offering a camp for youth football players at the school July 25-26.

New Thunderbirds coach Jaron Cohen and his players will offer two sessions from 5:30-8 p.m. both days for boys and girls entering second through eighth grades.

Cost to register is $30 per camper, which includes the camp, a t-shirt and a ticket to a Hinkley football game in the fall.

The camp will cover dynamic warm-up, speed and agility training that can benefit athletes of any gender or sport as well as fundamental football skills.

All proceeds benefit the Hinkley football program.

Contact jaronmcohen@yahoo.com for more information.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555

Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Aurora holes-in-one, June

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 303-750-7699 or email sports@aurorasentinel.com:

JUNE

June 27: Douglas Willson, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, 85 yards, Sand wedge. Witnesses: Unknown.

June 24: Alonzo Curtis, Centre Hills G.C., No. 8, 142 yards, 8 iron. Witnesses: Paris Butler, Steve Dirgo, Tom Hurd

June 18: Harley Wingo, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 143 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Gene Yahn, Dave Melton, Ron Scholes

June 18: Randy Cayce, Springhill G.C., No. 14, 165 yards, 5 iron. Witness: Randy Smith

June 18: David Oakland, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 17, 167 yards, 6 iron. Witness: William Schmit

June 15: John Bergeron, Springhill G.C., No. 10, 124 yards, pitching wedge. Witnesses: Larry Sellers, Kyle Chamberlin, Gary Pierce

June 15: Bob Clay, Centre Hills G.C., No. 5, 109 yards, 9 iron. Witness: Dennis Tubbs.

June 13: Brandon Wood, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 7, 177 yards, 7. Witnesses: Jim Foster, A.C. Smith

June 5: Bruno Vitasovic, Springhill G.C., No. 6, 165 yards, 7 wood. Witnesses: Ed Romero, Jim Pate

June 1: Katrina Pride, Centre Hills G.C., No. 9, 150 yards, 3 wood. Witnesses: Dylan Pride, Scott Pride

June 1: Vic Boffa, Springhill G.C., No. 10, 124 yards, 7 iron. Witness: John Whiteman.

MAY

May 13: Myoung Ho Kim, Meadow Hills G.C., No. 2, 185 yards, 3 wood. Witnesses: Steven Kim, Wan Soon Hong, Chong Rhee

May 11: Doug Thompson, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 8, 190 yards, 6. Witnesses: Jamie Jones, Jesse Stine, Bill Pegler

May 6: Ray Best, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 139 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Dick Johnson, Bill Fricke, Gene Yahn

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555

OAKES: Terry Taylor Sr. enjoys Eaglecrest's run to state championship Courtney Oakes

OAKES: Terry Taylor Sr. enjoys Eaglecrest’s run to state championship

It’s been 28 years since he hoisted a state basketball championship trophy, so Terry Taylor Sr. knows how difficult they are to win.

Fourteen years after he won his first state title as a coach in Utah in 1971, Taylor Sr. guided fledgling Rangeview to the Class 3A boys state basketball championship in 1985. On Wednesday, the Aurora coaching legend was part of John Olander’s staff celebrating the 5A state title Eaglecrest won on March 16 with a 63-44 rout of Denver East in Boulder.

Taylor Sr. took the job coaching the freshman team this season at Eaglecrest — where his grandson Caleb O’Brien plays — and ended up part of a program that won its first-ever state hoops title. If you’re counting, that’s three basketball titles in a span of 42 years, which makes each one very precious.

“They don’t come along very often, that’s for sure,” Taylor Sr. said after Eaglecrest’s celebratory pep rally Wednesday.

“It was really fun to be a part of this; seeing how the kids came together and won a championship,” he added. “I’m sure there were more talented teams out there, but they didn’t play as well together as a team as these guys did. …It’s kindof like going back in time.”

Taylor Sr. had son Terry Taylor Jr. — a star point guard and winner of the prestigious Steinmark Award — on the roster in 1985 when the Raiders routed Loveland 71-45 at McNichols Arena to take the 3A title.

Taylor Sr. also coached the 1992-93 Rangeview team that lost to Chauncey Billups and George Washington in the 6A title game and spent 10 more seasons with the Raiders before he departed prior to the 2003-04 season after two decades.

While working with his grandson and the freshmen this season at Eaglecrest, Taylor Sr. got a front row seat with a team that finished second in the Centennial League standings and make a run through the 5A tournament that included wins over Arvada West and Rangeview, plus three straight No. 1 seeds: Regis Jesuit, Mountain Vista and Denver East.

Eaglecrest had some fortunate breaks in the postseason and one season-changing play: senior TreShawn Wilford’s strip and steal from Regis Jesuit’s Josh Perkins with the game in the balance in the Great 8 round that cemented a 64-57 victory that kept the Raptors alive.

“We were just talking about that key steal against Regis late in the game; who knows what happened if we didn’t get that?” Taylor Sr. said. “All it takes is one big play at the right time and you can play for a state championship.”

Taylor Sr. said he hasn’t decided if he will return to his position at Eaglecrest next season or if he will look to coach anywhere else or not at all.

“Kids have changed a lot in the last 20 years, but basketball is basketball,” he said. “If you can just get kids to love to play, that makes a big difference.”

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555