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Aurora Prep

Eaglecrest looking for nominations to christen new Athletics & Activities Hall of Fame

Now just shy of 25 years old, Eaglecrest High School is looking to celebrate its big anniversary by honoring some of its best and brightest from the past.

Starting on June 1, the school began to take nominations from the public for the inaugural induction class for the Eaglecrest Athletics & Activities Hall of Fame, which debuts during the 2014-15 school year that begins in August.

Candidates must have graduated from the school 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.

The selection committee includes a number of current Eaglecrest personnel, representation from school parents and the community and one media member, Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor Courtney Oakes.

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 vorlando@cherrycreekschools.org by Sept. 1.

Those selected to be in the first class will be notified and honored during a weekend of events in December.

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.

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

Grandview grad Kevin Gausman earns first Major League win as a starting pitcher Aurora Prep

Grandview grad Kevin Gausman earns first Major League win as a starting pitcher

Grandview High School graduate Kevin Gausman picked up his long-awaited first victory as a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball Saturday night.

Called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Norfolk, the hard-throwing righthander struck out six batters in a career-high seven innings to help the Baltimore Orioles post a 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards.

In his second start of the 2014 season, the 23-year-old Gausman allowed four hits and one run and walked one batter to earn the victory in his seventh career start spanning two seasons. He lasted just four innings in his first start of the year on May 14, as the Detroit Tigers reached him for five runs on six hits.

“It’s always huge when you get a win, especially against a team like the A’s,” Gausman told the Associated Press after the game. “They’re playing great baseball right now. It’s been a fun series to watch so far. Hopefully, we can win the series tomorrow.”

Gausman — the No. 4 overall selection in the 2012 draft and signed a $4.32 million contract — improved his career record to 4-6 overall, as his three previous big league victories came in relief stints in 2013.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter had high praise for Gausman, who reportedly topped out at 99 mph on the radar gun.

“Kevin was good, really good,” Showalter said. “Got his feet on the ground. I thought Caleb (catcher Joseph) and him worked real well together. I wanted Caleb catching him today. He had caught him, obviously, in Norfolk.

“Good split, got enough breaking balls over to show a third pitch, established the inner half of the plate. He’s got pretty good stuff. He got in a couple situations and went and got another level, which was good to see.”

Gausman went 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings as a senior for Grandview, then was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Unable to agree to a suitable contract with the Dodgers, Gausman went on to play at Louisiana State and drastically improved his draft stock when he went 12-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings as a sophomore.

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

PICTURE THIS: Girls club rules Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: Girls club rules

I got the opportunity to photograph Aurora’s top girl prep golfers this morning…had to sneak in a shot of their cute club covers as well!

Aurora Prep

Eaglecrest’s Tory Humphrey coached Colorado Rockies’ 1st round pick Kyle Freeland at TJ

While Tory Humphrey isn’t likely to have any of his Eaglecrest High School baseball players selected over the three days of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, one of his former charges went very early Thursday.

With the No. 8 overall pick in the first round, University of Evansville left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland — who Humphrey coached for three years at Thomas Jefferson High School — went to the hometown Colorado Rockies.

Humphrey was at the family’s Denver home when the news came that the Rockies had taken Freeland, who went 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA and a 128-13 strikeout to walk ratio as a junior at Evansville.

“It’s crazy here,” Humphrey said in a message about the reaction of the 50-60 people gathered to watch the draft.

Humphrey also coached Freeland’s older brother for four years with the Spartans, who appeared in the 2008 Class 4A state championship game.

“Kyle was one of our BP shaggers! He’s come a long way,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey spent nine seasons at Thomas Jefferson, then moved on to a stint as an assistant coach at Metropolitan State College of Denver before he took over the Eaglecrest program prior to the 2012 season,

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

PICTURE THIS: Cloud Mountain Marla Keown

PICTURE THIS: Cloud Mountain

A big burly cloud formed its own mountain on the way to a shoot at red rocks today.

Congressional races

CD-6 WATCH: DREAMers ask for immigration action at Romanoff roundtable

AURORA | Twelve undocumented students seeking citizenship asked Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff if Congress could finally pass immigration reform this summer.

At the June 3 meeting hosted by Romanoff and  held in north Aurora, Hoyer said Congress has a month left to pass a version of the comprehensive Senate bill before the end of this year’s legislative session.

“All we need is some 25 Republicans to say yes to fixing a broken system,” Hoyer said. He said almost all of the 200 Democrats in the House are for the measure.

He added that he has been meeting weekly with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, urging Cantor to move the bill out of committee and onto the House floor. Hoyer placed blame for the stalled bill on the shoulders of House Republicans, including CD-6 incumbent Mike Coffman, who has said he would not support the omnibus Senate bill, but would rather break it apart.

“I support comprehensive immigration reform, and I’m among the few in my party that did. It is a struggle within the Republican Party,” Coffman said in an interview on April 25. “I think at the end of the day, there’s going to be a middle path. And in my view, we need to come up with a permanent solution that we’re not, 20 or 30 years from now, wringing our hands again and saying, ‘We have a broken immigration system.’”

Cruz Torres, a DACA coordinator with Together Colorado, asked Hoyer whether there was any immediate action Democrats could take in the meantime. “There are 1,100 deportations happening daily while the House decides to put (the Senate bill) on the floor,” Cruz said.

Hoyer pointed to a petition House Democrats have been working on to force the speaker to bring the bill to the floor.

An hour after the meeting, Romanoff’s campaign released a new online video that criticizes Coffman’s voting record on immigration, and aligns him with Tom Tancredo.

The video states:

“Like Tancredo, Coffman wants to take away the guarantee of citizenship for kids born in the U.S. He called the DREAM Act a “nightmare for the American people.” And he even voted to restart deportations.”

Coffman has also been running a web ad that criticizes Romanoff’s votes on immigration issues while he was Speaker of the Colorado House in 2006. The ad uses a quote from state Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, who told the Denver post in 2010 that Romanoff threw Latinos under the bus.

Ulibarri has since told Eli Stokols of FOX31 Denver that he strongly supports Romanoff over Coffman and that the ad manipulated his quote. He said Romanoff prevented a far worse measure from being put into Colorado’s constitution that would deny undocumented children emergency room care.

“Speaker Romanoff fought to keep this measure off of the ballot by brokering a compromise during the special legislative session,” Ulibarri told the news station. “This compromise made Colorado law consistent with federal law that denied certain public services to undocumented immigrants with exceptions for children, public health and safety. And while I don’t agree with the bills that were passed, I understand why the deal was made.”

Aurora Prep

Aurora holes-in-one, April & May

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:

MAY

May 28: Dick Dean, Saddle Rock G.C., No. 14, 158 yards, 8 iron. Witness: Rich Silver.

May 27: Ryan Amsbury, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 8, 183 yards, 7 wood. Witnesses: James Anderson, Mike Maloney.

May 26: Scott Little, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 8, 196 yards, 6 iron. Witness: Anthony Glaziano.

May 24: Ed Kelly, Springhill G.C., No. 3, 143 yards, 8 iron. Witnesses: Regina Edmondson, Omar Montgomery.

May 22: Winnie Fleming, Murphy Creek G.C., No. 11, 120 yards, 3 wood. Witnesses: Terry Barbo, DeeAnn Knudsen, Gini Klein.

May 18: Doug Clark, Saddle Rock G.C., No. 16, 175 yards, 8 iron. Witnesses: Trevor Clark, Tyler Clark, Xander Opel.

May 18: Lonnie Olivar, Fitzsimson G.C., No. 9, 139 yards, pitching wedge. Witnesses: Kevin Albien, Chris Bruce, Eric Martin.

May 17: Nick Delap, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 180 yards, 6 iron. Witness: Jeff Smith.

May 10: Kyle Waldschmidt, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 14, 206 yards, 5 iron. Witnesses: Drew Firebaugh, Jim Gordon.

May 7: Wes Sthole, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 11, 200 yards, 7 wood. Witnesses: Denny, Craig, Walter.

APRIL

April 24: Gary Wardlow, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 9, 132 yards, 9 Srixon. Witnesses: Gary Gradosville, Bill Musselman, Scott Quigley

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

Aurora Prep

Retirement party set for outgoing Aurora Public Schools AD Tony Antolini

Aurora Public Schools will bid adieu to one its fixtures of more than three decades with the retirement of district athletic director Tony Antolini.

A retirement party is scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m. on May 3o and will honor the 35 years of service in the district by Antolini, who has served as an assistant principal at Rangeview High School, a gym teacher at North Middle School and most recently the Director of District Athletics and Activities for the district.

The party is open to all former students, coaches or parents who want to wish Antolini well and is scheduled for the district’s Professional Learning Conference Center (PLCC), which is located at 15771 E. 1st Ave. Refreshments will be served.

In late April, APS announced the hiring of Palisade High School athletic director Michael Krueger to fill Antolini’s post.

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

Cherokee Trail caps unbeaten season with state championship in boys volleyball Aurora Prep

Cherokee Trail caps unbeaten season with state championship in boys volleyball

Not to be lost in the parade of state championships won in the last couple of weeks for Aurora prep teams is the Cherokee Trail boys volleyball team.

Coached by Terry Miller, the team with a mix of players from several Aurora schools and others in the Cherry Creek School District finished off an unbeaten season in Colorado Boys High School Volleyball Association play with straight set victories over Ponderosa and Ralston Valley on May 10.

The two victories in the championship tournament at Colorado Springs Christian School finished off a perfect 25-0 season for the Cougars.

“What a season!” said Miller, who coaches the Cherokee Trail girls team in the fall.

Cherokee Trail faced its toughest test in the semifinals, where it outlasted Ponderosa 26-24, 31-29 to set up a meeting with Ralston Valley.

The Mustangs didn’t have much left after defeating the other Aurora team in the field — coach Laura Dunston’s Regis Jesuit team — in the other semifinal and the Cougars rolled to a 25-12, 25-8 victory. The match was punctuated by a big kill from senior outside hitter Matt McLaren, a Grandview student who is headed to play men’s volleyball at Penn State.

Cherokee Trail’s roster included primarily volleyball players along with a sprinkling of multiple sport athletes such as Ryan Swan, who was a key member of the Overland boys basketball team that advanced to the Class 5A semifinals in the winter.

Faith Christian won the CBHSVA’s 3A state championship by defeating The Classical Academy.

Boys volleyball remains unsanctioned by the Colorado High School Activities Association, but holds out hope of inclusion in the governing body’s list of approved sports in the future.

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

International play will have to wait for Grandview basketball star Michaela Onyenwere Aurora Prep

International play will have to wait for Grandview basketball star Michaela Onyenwere

Michaela Onyenwere burst onto the basketball scene as a high school freshman, but her international debut will have to come in the future.

The supremely athletic 5-foot-11 forward from Grandview High School accomplished just about everything a young player could dream of in her first season of high school varsity basketball — setting the school record for scoring average in a season (18.7 ppg), winning a league championship and advancing to the Class 5A semifinals, making the All-Colorado team and winning Most Valuable Player of The Show all-star game played at Pepsi Center — but she was unable to crack the final roster of Team USA’s U17 World Championship Team.

Onyenwere was one of 153 prep players from across the country to attend the tryouts May 23-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where 12 survivors would make up the roster of the USA U17 team, which is set to play in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship tournament June 28-July 6 in the Czech Republic.

Just a few days after collecting four medals at the 5A state track meet, Onyenwere survived the initial cut when the field of 153 players was trimmed to 96 on May 24, but she was among the 26 players let go later in the day when the ranks dropped to 70. Those 70 included just two Colorado players — Kylee Shook of Mesa Ridge and Oliana Squires of Sand Creek — and neither moved on as the numbers shrank to 46 and then to 12.

The 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team will reassemble at the USOTC for training camp June 12-17, before the team departs on June 18 for training and an exhibition tournament in Nogent sur Seine, France, from June 20-22.

From France, the team will travel on June 23 to the Czech Republic for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship that will be played June 28-July 6.

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor