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 firstname.lastname@example.org:
May 19: Dottie Biggs, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 95 yards. Witnesses: Lala Bomholt, Judy Peters.
May 27: Alyssa Nance, Springhill G.C., No. 17, 120 yards. Witnesses: D.J. Fuller, Cornell Heaps.
June 4: Jason Allen, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 7, 195 yards, 5 iron. Witnesses: Brian Howley, Sarah Boggie, Robert Lee.
June 8: Deon Williams, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 136 yards, pitching wedge. Witness: Keith Vaughan.
June 10: John Thomas, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, 104 yards. Witnesses: Gregory Curry, Ron Henry, Larry Coles.
June 12: Gail Kloppel, Saddle Rock G.C., No. 5, 109 yards, 7 wood. Witness: Rita Bartels.
June 12: Brandon Stepter, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, 85 yards, 60 degree wedge. Witness: R. Rishmanehi.
June 12: Grant Wolfe, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 124 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Jackson Lamb, Robert Seaman.
June 20: Don Keeley, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, yardage UA, lob wedge. Witnesses: Carla Stonbreaker, Kendra Schurich, Merl Steel
June 21: Cliff Schopf, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 5, 153 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Todd Smith, Daryl Fengler, Dean Kirsch.
June 25: Kent Wilmes, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 13, 178 yards, 8 iron. Witnesses: Jim Damon, Bryan Hogan.
July 7: Jon Dialk, Saddle Rock G.C., No. 14, 169 yards, 7 iron. Witnesses: Willy O, Turk, BC.
July 12: Peter Brandner, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 5, 138 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Matthew Berry, Kathy Freibarghaus, Rob Vogt.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes
Near the end of the second half, in the waning minutes of a tie game, a curious voice pipes up over the drone of chatter and forks colliding with knives collecting straggling bits of gravy.
“So what happens now?”
Three voices reflexively answer, albeit slight variants of each other.
“Overtime. Two, 15-minute halves. PK’s after that if no one scores.”
If conventional wisdom dictates that Americans have a limited appetite for soccer, someone forgot to tell everyone at Helga’s German restaurant in Aurora. Granted during a World Cup final, in the middle of a German restaurant, you’re likely to find a few scholars of the sport — probably akin to asking Home Depot shoppers how far apart wall studs should be spaced. But appetites are why most people are here anyway. Potatoes cover the bar. Gravy covers the potatoes and everything else, maybe except for the beer. If watching the World Cup requires nearly three hours of concentration, that easily spans one meal. Helga’s can serve you the caloric equivalent of three, on the same plate.
I don’t get the feeling that Milton Hunholz counts calories in the same way I do. Which is not to say the Aurora man (who is a dead-ringer for actor Bill Murray’s quasi-famous brother Brian) is a big man. The rancher, who lives in Aurora and raises cattle in Watkins on his family farm, says he eats Helga’s food 3-4 times a week and I get the feeling he doesn’t count leftovers.
Hunholz is friends of the family: Helga, her brother and their mother, who died a few years ago. He can remember going to Helga’s many years ago, when it was a Hoffman Heights restaurant that collected native German-speaking Aurorans in the tiny dining room with 12 tables. Back then, Helga’s was a place that German immigrants in Aurora could gather over bowls of goulash. Now, nearly 100 people crowd the restaurant near the Town Center at Aurora transfixed to the television broadcasting Germany vs. Argentina in the world’s most-watched sporting event. Swarm or not, Hunholz says the family atmosphere is the same now as it ever was, evidenced by the regulars that cycle in and come to shake his hand on the way to their seats.
“Doesn’t take long when everyone comes in, has good beer and good food. You get to know everybody,” he says.
For that reason, Hunholz is the best navigator for my three hours of fandom for Die Mannschaft, German beer, German food and the transmogrification of a potato into 12 different foodstuffs.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I am personally a fan of Italian soccer. Long ago when I covered sports, I divorced myself for personally rooting for any team because I thought it mattered. Now, as I get older, I understand that my news judgment is neither clouded nor consequential if I “root” for a team in a bar for three hours in a game that has less consequence than a U.N. resolution. The short of the long: No one cares.)
Pointing to the empty hooks above the bar, Hunholz shows me where regulars hang their steins. Considering very few of them are up I’m guessing that it’s mostly a familiar crowd today.
“I know some of these people, not a lot though,” he says.
I stand corrected.
“There’s just a lot of people here,” he replies.
There’s no referendum on whether soccer can survive in America at Helga’s. Tim Andre, the manager, is equal parts host and cheerleader in a German soccer jersey. Donald Ellis, who lives in Aurora, waxes on whether Germany benefits from taking the game to penalty kicks — the most-fair and least-fair way of deciding a game in all of sports right now. Soccer is alive, it’s way beyond surviving.
Hunholz is more than a casual fan of the game, he knows the intricacies even if he doesn’t know some of the players’ names. When German striker Miroslav Klose, the most prolific goal scorer in World Cup history, exited the game for likely the final time in his career, Hunholz’s big, weathered hands clapped the loudest.
When Manuel Neuer, Germany’s outstanding goalkeeper, sent another goal kick into sub-orbit, Hunholz paid attention: “Maybe the Broncos could sign that guy.”
But as my guide, Hunholz navigated the game, his history and his lifelong connection to Helga’s for 117 minutes, paying close attention to details like what beer I should drink, throughout.
Then, as Germany scored the winning goal, in the 11th hour of the final game, Hunholz stopped being my lone guide and started hosting the group of people who had come to shake his hand earlier.
“So, what now?” I ask.
“We get another round. Want one?”
Christians from churches in Castle Rock and Elizabeth decided to protest “everything that Planned Parenthood stands for.”
It’s always hot but it’s always worth it! Congrats Rangeview for winning this year’s competition!!
The annual R.J. Demps Memorial 3-on-3 basketball tournament has moved to Oct. 4.
The 3-year-old tournament commemorating the life of late Regis Jesuit High School boys basketball player R.J. Demps had been scheduled for July 5, but Will Cobb — Demps’ former teammate and one of the tournament organizers — said the hope was shifting the date to during the school year and holding it on the weekend of Regis Jesuit’s alumni homecoming could generate more teams participating.
Entry fee is $100 for teams looking to enter any of five categories: youth, high school recreational and high school competitive, adult recreational and adult competitive. Proceeds raised go towards the RJ Demps ’09 Memorial Scholarship.
Visit the tournament page here, to register. Play begins promptly at 9 a.m. Oct. 4.
One of two senior starters on the Regis Jesuit team that won the Class 5A boys state basketball championship in the 2008-09 season, the well-liked Demps helped launched what turned out to be a three-peat for the Raiders and coach Ken Shaw, who Demps followed to Regis Jesuit from Smoky Hill.
On Dec. 21, 2011, midway through his sophomore year at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., the 20-year-old Demps and a teammate were in a one-car crash on MO Highway 45 near Weston.
Demps was killed in the accident police believe was caused by slick roads, while his teammate survived. The pair were on their way to the Kansas City International Airport to return home for the Christmas holiday. Three days later, Demps’ family, friends and former teammates packed the Regis Jesuit gymnasium to remember him and the basketball team room was renamed in his honor.
The team room in the Regis Jesuit Boys Division gym was renamed in Demps’ honor and his jerseys hang both outside and inside the room.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes
Regis Jesuit High School grad Bud Thomas and his Mercer University teammates got their One Shining Moment with their upset of Duke in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and they looking for just a little bit more time in the spotlight because of it.
Thomas was one of five senior starters for the Bears, a No. 14 seed that knocked off third-seeded Duke — one of the most tradition-laden programs in college basketball — 78-71 on March 21 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Mercer, the Atlantic Sun Conference champion, became the 18th team all-time as a No. 14 to knock off a No. 3 and it put them in the running for the award for an ESPY award for Best Upset of 2014.
The annual ESPYs award show is scheduled for July 16 in Los Angeles and Thomas, his fellow seniors and coach Bob Hoffman plan to be there to see if they can top the two other candidates in the Best Upset category: Connecticut’s victory over Florida in the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game and Chris Weidman’s upset knockout of 10-time UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Fans can vote online for a variety of ESPY awards until July 16. To vote for Thomas and Mercer, click here and find the Best Upset category.
— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor
Restoration Christian Fellowship is holding a basketball camp this week at Hoops Park. I certainly got sucked in watching the little tykes dribble and shoot balls half their size!
I FINALLY got to go inside the old Red Cross building on Anschutz Medical Campus this morning. I don’t know what it is about deteriorating and abandoned buildings, but I sure do love them.
Dear fellow employees:
The noble Supreme Court decision this morning, ensuring that the Creator and not the Obamanator dictate your health care plan, brings good news — to us.
I’m sure you’re aware that the better-than-average-people who own the Hobby Lobby women’s emporium were saddened and dismayed that Obamanation Care forced them to offer birth control to female employees, who have graciously been offered positions there. They, like the rest of us who not only read the Good Book but live it, know that birth control for womenfolk means two things: wanton tarts doing salacious things when they’re not at work, and uppity wives empowered to decide when the brood should arrive, rather than the man of the house or the Man Upstairs.
It’s not that Hobby Lobby, nor I, would dare to intervene in your personal lives, because as devout-ees, we’re rugged individualists. In respect for my religion, however, I must thank the five, clear-thinking Supreme Court Justices who get it — the religious thing. They understand that things like ulcers, alopecia, Saturday night headaches and erectile dysfunction are medical problems that warrant real medical care. And they understand that a little pill that interrupts Aunt Rosie visits or casual uterine implants have nothing to do with medicine, any more so than does a woman who just can’t handle her monthlies and keep them to herself. The Good Book makes it clear that it was women’s original sin that brought cramps and endometriosis upon their kind, not The Company.
Thanks to Justice Scalia et al, I think you’ll understand now that it isn’t The Supervisors who need to intervene in what is and isn’t covered in health care, it’s The Guy.
So I’m sure you’ll all agree with me that nothing but good will come from our decision to require our health-care provider to drop coverage for any drinking-related ailments, as well as any treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Likewise, any treatment needed for smoking or tobacco-related issues is not covered by our medical plan. If you have been smite with lung cancer or COPD for your irresponsible and evil ways, we suggest you repent rather than undergo costly chemotherapy. Clearly, medical attention for those vices and sins is offensive to even tepid believers. The Supreme Court understands why The Company shouldn’t have to pay for the loose morals of employees, so should you. On a related note, you might not previously have been aware of the Sin of Sloth. You will be soon, because our insurance company has been instructed to deny claims for anyone whose maladies include or are related to being fat and lazy. If your body mass index is above 22, you need to pray for strength or good genetics.
Similarly, we have instructed our insurance company to not pay claims for non-church-related injuries that occur on the Lord’s Day. If you choose to ski or bike on Sundays rather than repent your evil ways, as instructed throughout the Good Book, then you can either wait until Monday to get your twisted knee looked at or pay out of pocket. There are no exceptions for Jews and their erroneous sabbath. They are, however, not excluded entirely from the plan in ways other than are all heathens.
Rest assured, however, that good men injured in the acts of The Truth, such as stoning their adulterous wives or trying to wrestle Satan from the naked bodies of homosexuals, will certainly be eligible for proper treatment.
We thank the high court for understanding that when corporations are people, and when companies are people, all the right things happen, and they will soon be happening to you.
— Aurora Sentinel Editor Dave Perry
It was still tough to ask about the scars.
I’d been a guest at the Cheley/Children’s Hospital Burn Camp in Estes Park for three days, and I was just starting to feel like an adopted member of a very impressive family. It was 2010, and photographer Gabriel Christus and I had made the trek up to the picturesque Cheley Campsite just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. We came as strangers, a pair of journalists looking to get a good story about this summer camp specifically dedicated to young burn victims. But after spending a full weekend with these 84 campers and 20 counselors, the trip no longer felt like a regular newspaper assignment.
Teenagers with burn scars crisscrossing their face, arms and hands welcomed us at campfires and mess tables. Camp veterans in their early 20s — some with similar marks — never missed a beat when we asked to join a rock-climbing expedition or take a front seat for the weekend talent show. Most impressively, no camper ever refused when I asked about their injuries. No refusals came when I demanded with no small amount of hesitation, “Can you talk to me about your burns?”
That note of uncertainty still underlined my questions on this last day, as I sat with Lorin Smith, a 15-year-old camper from Oregon. His face bore the red and pink traces of flames that had burned him eight years before, and my obvious nervousness didn’t get in the way of forthrightness. He was calm and confident and honest, qualities he chalked up to his four years at this camp. “It makes you realize that your scars are nothing,” he told me. “It’s how you feel, it’s how you deal with them.”
Smith eloquently summed up the most durable and inspiring lesson of the weekend for me. The note of perseverence was one that I tried to convey to readers in the resulting story, and it’s one that I’ve since worked to apply to other realms of my life.
When I try to sum up my six years as a reporter at the Aurora Sentinel, Smith’s story of courage and conviction is only one of hundreds that come to mind. It’s the nature of this job. Whether you’re covering city hall, education or arts and culture, you’re working as a storyteller. The tales of others are your currency; telling your own stories isn’t how you earn your paycheck.
I’ve spent nearly every single week of the past six years and four months unearthing tales about this city of more than 300,000 where I grew up. I reported to my first day of work at an office that was a mere 10-minute drive from my childhood home. I sat through city council meetings and school board meetings near where I used to ride my bike as a kid. I met mayors and city council members, I quizzed county commissioners and school board members. I tried to keep up with every single theater production, concert or gallery opening that involved an actor, musician or artist that boasted even the slightest connection to the city.
Forget the cherished and noble objectivity of the trade for a moment. That kind of day-in, day-out interaction with a place can’t help but change you. Keeping libraries and pools open during budget shortfalls suddenly seems important. Standardized test scores from neighborhood schools start to really matter. The devoted artists who hustle and starve to bring culture to the community begin to take on the aura of heroes. And when tragedy erupts in the form of a vicious, bloody assault in a movie theater that’s within sight of your office window, you grieve and mourn with the victims in a way that leaves nightmares.
But other people’s stories are only one part of this job, albeit the part that drives the endless string of long nights spent reporting, writing and copy editing. I’m a different person than I was six years ago, largely because of the other storytellers I’ve had the privilege to meet in this newsroom.
They’re the ones who’ve kept me in check, who’ve always been willing to read over copy and offer blunt advice. They can jab with the most inappropriate and tasteless jokes, and I always know I can take it as a sign of affection. They can move to the other end of the country and still hold the honored status of a best friend.
I’ll still be able to call myself a storyteller when I move on to a new role at the Cherry Creek School District, working to tell the tales of teachers, students and all the other people who make that massive organization work. I’ll still be able to glean new insights about my own childhood roots, about the city I called home as a kid (My new office is at my old high school). What I won’t be able to do is laugh, gab, argue and commiserate with some of the world’s most talented writers, editors and photographers on a daily basis.
They’ve helped me write my own story, one that’s been made much richer by my six years at the Sentinel.