Sentinel Blogs

After a successful debut last summer, Heritage High School is bringing back the Centennial vs. Continental Challenge boys basketball tournament.

Overland guard Reggie Gibson played for the Trailblazers in last season’s Centennial vs. Continental Challenge boys basketball tournament in the summer. Gibson and Overland went on to win the Class 5A state championship. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

In a message from Heritage head coach Jentry Byleveld, who started the tournament last season, the two powerhouse conferences — which combined to have seven of the final eight teams in the Class 5A state tournament, three of the Final Four teams and the state champion in Overland — will get together June 17-19 at Heritage in Littleton.

Sixteen teams will be in the field, which won’t be exclusively from the two leagues this time, however, as Lakewood was added to make up for the absence of the Continental League’s Castle View and Highlands Ranch, who each made coaching changes in the offseason.

Byleveld believes adding Lakewood will keep the tournament — which features a round robin format of league vs. league — will “keep this the most competitive summer tourney in the state.”

The tournament schedule isn’t finalized yet, but play is set for 8 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.

The Continental League earned bragging rights at last season’s tournament as all eight of its teams finished with at least a .500 record and ThunderRidge 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.

Peter Anderson, right and Eaglecrest finished 4-2 at the inaugural Centennial vs. Continental Challenge boys basketball tournament last summer. The Raptors went on to make the 5A Final Four. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Eaglecrest posted 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 state championship team played in last season’s tournament.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

June 27, 2013

It’s been a banner week for whacky American sex talk. In Denver, former state Sen. John Andrews, who has a rich history of neo-con-stipation, stepped in it while explaining why he fought a gay Republican group’s effort to attend a national GOP event here last week.

After telling the Log Cabin Republicans they weren’t Christian enough to do anything but give the GOP money, Andrews said he and his fellow Neos actually welcome any Judeo-Christian types, even those afflicted with “alternative lifestyles.”

Is being heterosexual a “lifestyle” and homosexuality an “alternative?” Like living off the grid in a teepee or something? Do gay couples not have to pay bills, clean toilets, argue about loading the dishwasher, talk crap about the neighbor’s vicious dog and laugh out loud whenever Texas Sen. Ted Cruz opens his mouth?

Not to be outdone, the loser lawyer from Utah who lost the gay-marriage case in that state, essentially starting the dominoes that fell all the way to the Supreme Court this week, said yesterday that legalizing gay marriage will lead to 900,000 abortions. That’s because dudes marrying dudes will discourage other dudes from marrying anybody, and straight hook-ups tend to make for more abortions, and so there you go. Arguments like that make it pretty clear that, well, the homophobes just don’t have a better argument than that.

But my very favorite homophopithycus blarb this week came from some gack at the Family Research Council who said marriage is meant to “domesticate” men, make them go to church more and lower their testosterone levels. They argue that women like to be subservient to men, and it’s important for men to oblige them. That women are happier when Daddy is the big breadwinner and Mommy stays home and does the ironing. Two mommies or two daddies couldn’t possibly figure all that out, and there would just be testosterone everywhere.

What we need is a diversion for the Neos. So I’m starting a support group for gay and lesbian cross-dressing Muslim illegal immigrant cat collectors from Cuba who came here for the sole purpose of enrolling in Obamacare and getting food stamps.

Dave Perry

You may not like the brutally weird and insensitive things oddball Colorado Springs state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt inflicts on all of us, but you’ve got to love the irony this politician has brought down on himself.

The first-term Republican has made himself a recent Household name for his extremist anti-gay and anti-abortion-rights rhetoric. Sometimes as a member of the state House of Representatives, but mostly as his YouTube alter-ego, Dr. Chapps. Chapps is a fiery clerical persona that spews punctiliously scriptural nonsense for his for-profit ministry, “Pray In Jesus’ Name.” Last week, he told his faithful that the pregnant Longmont woman who was viciously attacked by a woman who cut her unborn child from her body was a curse sent from God because of bad human behavior.

The comments created a firestorm at the Capitol, where Republicans said Klingenschmitt was embarrassing the Republican Party and Democrats said he was embarrassing the human race.

So Klingenschmitt’s own House leadership removed him from one of his two committee seats as punishment.

The irony? Msr. Klingenschmitt was the state rep who sponsored a bill earlier allowing the deeply religious to discriminate against gays, if the Good Book tells them so. While the bill failed, plenty of Republicans rallied for the measure, saying it kept the government from infringing on First Amendment rights.

Well, well, well. Looks like it was the GOP, not some gay couple looking for a wedding cake that was behind forcing Klingenschmitt to apologize and essentially abandon his deeply held religious views, however kooky and offensive the rest of his fellow Republicans and others found them.

Cries of foul by some fellow Republicans are pretty well founded, I’d say. Klingenschmitt made his comments outside of the Capitol, actually, and not in an official capacity as a state representative, but as the whacky Dr. Chapps. KlingenChapps is pretty much the same now as he was when his Colorado Springs constituents elected him first in a GOP primary last year and then as the Republican candidate.

Of course this is all politics. And he serves on committees at the pleasure of the democratically created House rules, which say that if you piss off leadership, they can jack with your committee assignments. Klingenschmitt can consider himself jacked.

In the mean time, he’s learned a little contrition. He said he’s muting Dr. Chapps until the end of the session, and he’s faithfully voting his party’s ticket until the end of the session.

It’s political theater. The real show will take place at home in Colorado Springs, where his own constituents can either “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” him into better behavior, and probably elect him to a second term next time around. Apparently in a state House district like his, with great responsibility comes great freedom.

— Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook


Now this is enough to make your Bull-Crap-O-Meter hit the red-line.

In an effort to keep the entire world from black-listing all of Indiana for obtusely enacting a new gay-hate law “allowing” those so religiously inclined to discriminate against homosexuals if their Good Book tells them so, this dizzying spin has spun out of the religious right across the country: It’s not about discrimination, it’s about protecting the free speech and reverent rights of business owners.

If you can’t tell the right from the left here, just try this. Here’s the right’s explanation of how innocent this whole thing is as written by Tobin Grant at the Washington Post today:

“(The Religious Freedom Restoration Act) was a way for the Indiana legislature to do something in response to the same-sex marriage ruling. RFRA was seen as a way to give residents and businesses that objected to same-sex marriage a way around having to cater to same-sex couples”

Now just replace “same-sex” with “interracial.”

“(The Religious Freedom Restoration Act) was a way for the Indiana legislature to do something in response to the interracial marriage ruling. RFRA was seen as a way to give residents and businesses that objected to interracial marriage a way around having to cater to interracial couples”

How about this:

“(The Religious Freedom Restoration Act) was a way for the Indiana legislature to do something in response to the Jewish marriage ruling. RFRA was seen as a way to give residents and businesses that objected to Jewish marriage a way around having to cater to Jewish couples”

Here’s the deal. Gay couples are like anyone else, they don’t want to give their money to people who hate them or make fun of them or just think God will smite them. Given a choice, we all will give our money to businesses that treat us well instead of treat us poorly.

A workable solution here would be to allow any business to discriminate against anyone on a religious basis. All they would have to do to get the “permit for discrimination” is to post it prominently on every door of their establishment, on order forms and menus, and on websites and print advertisements. Given their fervent pious convictions, there’s no doubt they’ll be proud to share them with the entire world. It would be sacrilegious and hypocritical to be a faithful bigot and hide that from people who don’t share your fervor, just for the sake of making a buck. I have it from good sources that all the holy ones frown on such things. So then let the public decide, too, who their religious and ethical convictions should shell out cash to. I know I would use something like this as a daily touchstone. No service to gays, blacks, immigrants or Muslims? See ya.

Colorado lawmakers saw the folly of this nonsense and nipped it in the budding bigotry a few weeks ago. They don’t learn so quickly in the Midwest.

Now, it would be hugely rewarding to walk inside a bakery and ask about a wedding cake for 500 and then say, “Oh, you discriminate against gays? Never mind.” But if it’s the only game in town, that’s another story. If it’s the only hotel on the road turning away blacks or lesbians because Jesus told them to do it, that becomes a real problem. Can you imagine what Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would do if the last gas station for the next 100 miles said over the loud speaker at pump no. 5, “I’m sorry, sir, but God won’t let me serve your kind” because my religion is offended by White Anglo Saxon Protestants. And may someone else’s God bless you.

No. Probably best go with the idea that if you serve the public, you have to treat all of the public the same: blacks, whites, Canadians, gays, teachers and even Republican governors and state lawmakers that still have some growing up to do. Well, maybe not Canadians. We’ll see.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Facebook and Twitter or email at

Texas' Clark Smith, left, celebrates on the victory stand after winning the 500-yard freestyle during the NCAA men's swimming and diving championships, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa. The former star at Aurora's Regis Jesuit High School posted the second-fastest 500 freestyle time in school history and finished in front of Florida's Dan Wallace, right. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Texas’ Clark Smith, left, celebrates on the victory stand after winning the 500-yard freestyle during the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa. The former star at Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School posted the second-fastest 500 freestyle time in school history and finished in front of Florida’s Dan Wallace, right. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Clark Smith and Hennessey Stuart hadn’t competed in the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships before, but the former Regis Jesuit High School and Denver Swim Academy club teammates made the most of their chance once they got there.

Smith, a sophomore at the University of Texas, was the big winner among locals in the March 26-28 meet at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa, as he won both an individual and team national championship.

Among six individual event titles for the Longhorns came Smith’s championship on the opening night of the meet, as he became the second-fastest 500 yard freestyle swimmer in school history with his time of 4 minutes, 9.72 seconds, which put him at the wall in front of Florida’s Dan Wallace (4:10.48). Smith, who came into the meet as the No. 5 seed with a top time of 4:13.32, had dropped a 4:11.17 in the prelims early in the day.

Smith earned NCAA gold the same as both of his parents, John — part of the Longhorns’ 400 medley relay champion in 1984 — and Tori (Trees), individual 1985 champion in the 200 backstroke. Both of Smith’s parents swam for longtime Texas head coach Eddie Reese.

Texas swimmers celebrate with the trophy after winning the team title at the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships, Saturday, March 28, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa. Two former Aurora prep swim stars — Regis Jesuit grad Clark Smith and Grandview grad John Martens — contributed to the Longhorns’ 11 all-time national title. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Still coaching the team, Reese guided Texas to the program’s 11th all-time national champion and first since 2010. The Longhorns laid waste to the field with 528 points to finish well in front of defending champion Cal’s 399 points, which helped Reese to CSCAA Swimming Coach of the Year honors.

Clark Smith also made the championship heat of the 200 breaststroke as the No. 4 seed, but was disqualified for a one-hand touch on the wall.

Grandview grad John Martens swam in three events for Texas at the NCAA meet, but did not advance out of prelims in any of them, with his best result a 23rd-place finish in the 400 individual medley. He came in before a pair of other former Colorado prep stars as Cherry Creek grad Jake Markham of Georgia finished 24th and Legacy alum Steve Schmuhl (Indiana) came in 27th.

Pomona grad Nolan Tesone (Louisville) had the top result among former Colorado prep swimmers when he qualified for the consolation finals in 15th and moved up a spot with a 14th-place finish.

Stuart — Smith’s former Regis Jesuit teammate — contributed to North Carolina State’s eighth-place team showing, best for the program in 39 years.

Stuart was the lone freshman to make the championship final of the 200 backstroke, taking the third-fastest time from prelims in the final. Stuart touched the wall in 1:40.39 to finish seventh in his first NCAA championship final.

Though he failed to make the championship or consolation finals in his other two individual events, Stuart improved in both. Coming in as the 55th seed in the 200 individual medley, he rocketed up to the 28th spot in prelims and he finished 22nd in the prelims of the 100 backstroke after coming in seeded No. 26.

Two swimmers from Aurora high schools also were part of a team championship the previous week at the NCAA D-I women’s championships, as Regis Jesuit grad Missy Franklin and Smoky Hill grad Caroline Piehl each were part of Cal’s winning squad.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt

OK. You tell me. What is it about the air, the water, the experimental mind-control waves leaking out of Cheyenne Mountain that produces such a vibrant crop of political whack-jobs in the Colorado Springs area?

You know it’s not just me. For years, you’ve seen and heard these odd tubers rise into the light and clamor for attention.

This, dear reader, is the part of the state that produced the one, the only, the unlovable tax-protesting, reporter-kicking, government-despising star of the El Paso Republican Party, Mr. Douglas Bruce. For those of you who don’t know Mr. Bruce by his reputation, you know him as the guy who created the most unworkable tax-laws in the world, which Colorado voters swallowed hook, line and sinker about 20 years ago.

Just when you thought weird and mean couldn’t get any louder, Colorado Springs sends a message straight from God to the state House this session. Enter state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt. This self-appointed man of the cloth and man upstairs — he goes by Dr. Chapps as a Bible-thumping, brimstone-roasting scolder of humanity on YouTube — in just a few days managed to incense the world by saying that God was behind the recent horrific attack on a pregnant woman in Longmont, cursing humans for their sins.

“Part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open,” according to a 9News story.

Oy vey, dude. Get a grip. Get a life. Somebody get that man a 72-hour hold.

Not happy yet, today down at the Capitol during a hearing for a bill that would let transgender residents change their birth certificates to reflect what sex they are, despite what sex they were born, Klingenshmitt just could not hide his crazy hate for such a thing.

First he wanted to know whether they could change their birth sex and their birth date. Finally, he just said, “It’s one thing to ask someone to pretend, It’s another thing to ask the government to agree with that pretense.”

Such a sensitive soul. Such a leader. Of course he’s much, much more than just two days worth of hate. This is the guy who tried his damnedest to allow Colorado businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians if the Good Book told them to. The bill failed miserably, but a measure just about like it passed today in Indiana. Immediately, the rest of the world started calling for Indiana boycotts. Pretty scary for them, if anyone did any real business with Indiana, I suppose.

Klingenshmitt never met a gay issue he didn’t hate. But the hate doesn’t stop there. He’s compared Planned Parenthood to ISIS. Yes, really. He said the Supreme Court will make good on its conservative leaning and the gays will all go to fiery hell. Yup. And Obamacare? Don’t get him started. He said that causes cancer. Most of that came out BEFORE Colorado Springs voters elected Dr. Chapps to heal liberal sickness under the gold dome. Do they not have TV down there?

These two are just a couple in a long list of questionable politicians sprouting up in the shadow of the Garden of Gods.

There’s current Congressman Doug Lamborn, who started his Congressional career so unethically that former Congressman Joel Hefley publicly said how disgusted he was. Since then, Lamborn has made a name for himself calling President Barack Obama a ‘tar baby.’ His most recent claim to fame is angering a world of military officials and contractors by publicly bragging that he’s urging active-duty U.S. generals to resign right away to undermine the Obama administration. What a patriot.

Just as patriotic is my personal favorite, Sheriff Terry “Happy Pants” Maketa. The guy who ran his own personal law enforcement agency to accommodate his pals and sexual liaisons, and had the selfies to prove it. He just never had the nerve to step aside after he got caught.

Past and current Colorado Springs politicians frequently move in and out of the sphere of Focus on The Family, the far-right conservative world that just wants to focus on your family. They say they don’t so much hate gays, as they just wanted to send them to straighten-up brainwashing therapy, soon to be illegal in this state despite Colorado Springs critics of the measure.

I don’t even recognize the Colorado Springs that gave this state attorney John Love, who was the embodiment of moderation as governor. It was he who signed a bill that made Colorado the first state in the nation to legalize abortion in the 1960s.

And now, the Springs sends us Klingenshmitt. No, thanks. Send him back.

— Dave Perry. Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook

University of Texas sophomore Clark Smith, a Regis Jesuit High School graduate, is seeded in the top five of two events going into the March 26-28 NCAA men's swimming championships in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo from

Three former Aurora prep swim stars will take aim at the NCAA Division I men’s championship meet starting Thursday.

University of Texas sophomore Clark Smith, a Regis Jesuit High School graduate, is seeded in the top five of two events going into the March 26-28 NCAA men’s swimming championships in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo from

Regis Jesuit grads Clark Smith and Hennessey Stuart and Grandview grad John Martens — who won a slew of Class 5A individual and relay state championships in high school among them — are among the 270 participants (235 swimmers, 35 divers) set to compete in the March 26-28 meet at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa.

All three former Aurora standouts compete in the NCAA championships for the first time in their careers.

Smith, a sophomore, and Martens, a junior, have a chance to be part of a men’s championship, as their Texas team is considered one of the favorites to win the title. The Longhorns — who will try to win  an 11th national championship for coach Eddie Reese, who coached Smith’s parents John and Tori (Trees) at Texas as well — finished second behind Cal last season and the two teams expect fight it out for the crown again this season.

Stuart, a freshman on an up-and-coming North Carolina State team that won the ACC championship after a 25-year drought, has a chance for individual glory as the No. 2 overall seed in the 200 yard backstroke.

Swimmers from Aurora schools set a high bar last week at the NCAA women’s championships, as Regis Jesuit grad Missy Franklin and Smoky Hill grad Caroline Piehl each contributed to Cal’s national team championship.

Individually, Smith is seeded fourth in the 200 yard butterfly with a best time of 1:41.42 coming into the meet, while he’s also the No. 5 seed in the 500 yard freestyle (4:13.32) and sits 17th in the 200 freestyle (1:34.07).

Martens, meanwhile, is the No. 18 seed in both the 400 individual medley (3:42.82) and the 200 butterfly (1:43.05), plus was among 40 swimmers invited to compete in the 200 IM, where his time of 1:44.74 ranks 34th in a field of 71 entrants.

Stuart already owns the North Carolina State school record in the 200 backstroke and won the ACC championship in the event, while his time of 1:39.37 puts him second only to Cal sophomore Ryan Murphy, who checked in with a 1:38.34. Stuart is also seeded 26th in the 100 backstroke (46.42) and 55th in the 200 IM (1:46.32).

The prelims of the 500 freestyle and 200 IM are contested on Thursday in a session beginning at 10 a.m. MT, with the finals slated for 6 p.m.

The 400 IM and 200 freestyle prelims take place in the 10 a.m. MT session Friday, with finals at 6 p.m. MT, while the 200 backstroke is scheduled for the 10 a.m. MT session Saturday, with finals at 6 p.m. MT.

Other former Colorado prep swimmers in the meet include Jake Markham (Cherry Creek-Georgia), Nolan Tesone (Pomona-Louisville) and Stephen Schmuhl (Legacy-Indiana).

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes

So within 5 minutes on the Denver-area radio station I was listening to today, the advertisements were for:

• Men with low testosterone –“which can result in those dreaded sexual problems”

• Parents with stupid children  — “My daughter’s very smart but just can’t keep up in school. At 32, the other kids make fun of her trouble with math.”

• Putting Mama in a home — “Just shut up and get in the car”

• Men getting the hair permanently removed from their backs, FOR HER — “I’m still not touching you.”

• A way to lose 30 pounds in 30 days from those trouble spots and never feel hungry once! — “Ask-your-doctor-first-before-undergoing-an-induced-coma-not-all-patients-regain-conciousness-risk-of-permanent-death-and-or-brain-damage-is-considerable-after-10-days-in-a-coma-patients-must-agree-not-to-sue-anyone”

• And finally, an ad for better bifocals that don’t look like bifocals so no one will know how old you are even though you’re fat, bald, stooped and hold your iPhone upside down all the time and order nothing but the daily specials because you couldn’t read the tiny print on those damned menus even if they did turn up the lights.

The station used to rock. Sounds now like they’re rocking a bunch of fat, limp, hairy, nearsighted, losers living in their parents’ basements. Go, Deadheads.

— Follow Dave Perry on Twitter and Facebook @EditorDavePerry


Aurora’s Congressman Mike Coffman came out of another battle victorious this week.

The 21-year military veteran and three-term Republican congressman got into a war of words with VA Secretary Robert McDonald a couple of weeks ago during a House committee hearing on why the Aurora VA boondoggle hospital and similar over-budget, over-deadline boondoggle projects are still over-budget and nowhere near complete.

The heated hearing went nuclear while Coffman pressed McDonald to know whether he’s cleaned up the “corruption” and   “incompetence” at the Veterans Affairs administration. McDonald blew a gasket, giving Coffman the who-do-you-think-you-are-? treatment and shot back, “I’ve run a large company, sir. What have you done?”

That prompted Coffman to post this on his congressional website:

“Let me start by telling you something I haven’t done. I have never run a federal agency that tolerates corruption the way the VA has. I’ve never built a hospital that’s years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. And I’ve never been a shill for inept bureaucrats who allowed American heroes to die on a medical waiting list while waiting for medical care.”

Ouch. After a brief time when all sides were looking for a way to quit shifting blame and start moving building materials, clearly, the shill is gone, just not from his VA post.

Coffman fought in both Iraq wars and helped run elections in that war-torn country while he was Colorado Secretary of State, and he gets a lot of mileage from his veteran’s veteran status. So then the sniping started about whether Coffman was a real combat veteran, or just did time in a tent in the desert.

Coffman said he won that battle this week when the Washington Post took Coffman to task about what his military record really was. They gave the Aurora native a green check-mark o’ truth, confirming that he was indeed honored by the U.S. Marines for being in real battle during his first tour of duty in Iraq. To get the distinction, you have to be somewhere the enemy is shooting and you have the opportunity to shoot back. No word on whether Coffman did that, but he’s firing back at McDonald by spreading the word of the Washington Post. Your move, Secretary McDonald.

And the Aurora VA hospital? Yuck.

— Follow Editor Dave Perry on Face Book and Twitter, he’s EditorDavePerry



Good, Godspell. It’s back again.

In the push to revive revived revivals from the days of long hair and madras, “Godspell,” revived, comes to the Miners Alley in Golden for a healthy run starting in March.

If you don’t remember the musical, you’ll remember the songs and music: “Day by Day,” “Godspell,”  “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” and “By My Side” made charts in some markets.

The biblically based show, popular in the era of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” et al, is based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. In the show, Jesus spreads The Word using songs, games, stories and jokes.

The cast includes Matt Kok (Jesus), Drew Horwitz (Judas/John the Baptist), Jacquie Jo Billings, Ashley Brown, Jenna Haimes, Leslie Randle, Felicia Tuttle, Ian McCauley, Gabriel Morales and Carter Edward Smith, according to publicist Gloria Shanstrom. The show’s directed by Brenda Worley Billings.

The Golden production is a regional premier of the most recent Broadway revival, which received good national press for trimming and some new arrangements. The 2,000-year-old story remains the same.

Godspell, the Revival

At the Miner’s Alley in Golden March 27 through May 3

Fri. and Sat. @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun @ 6 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sun., May 3)

$26 Adult – $23 Senior and Youth – $$15 Children under 12

Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave. in Golden

303-935-3044 or

— Dave Perry, staff writer