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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

Gun-lovin' sheriff Maketa fires into both feet and his love for patriotic values Dave Perry: Preoccupations

Gun-lovin’ sheriff Maketa fires into both feet and his love for patriotic values

Well, well, well. Yet another righteous righty-tighty at the foot of Pike’s Peak exposed as loving the naughty side of life.

This week, El Paso Sheriff Terry Maketa was caught with his pants down and shirtless-selfie on by the CS Gazette. Yup, that Terry Maketa. The guy who just loves guns and conservative values and guns and Republicans and guns and three women in his office and using public funds for stuff he, um, needs. Did I mention guns and refusing to uphold state law regarding gun registration because Maketa thought it was — immoral?

This is the guy who couldn’t say enough bad about our immoral Colorado community and how liberals were the problem and gun-grabbers were from hell and, well, this missive from the El Paso Sheriff’s Office homepage pretty much sums it all up:

We also need to be focusing on our children and the influences they are exposed to and who and what is shaping their conceptual and analytical skills. (Whatever the hell that means — DP) They should be exposed to positive role models that increase their respect and appreciation for human life. They should not be consumed with influences or activities that devalue a human life….Instead of the Federal Government, mainly Congress, continuing to engage in activities of which they have no authority and erodes our constitutional rights, we should focus on criminals and those who are most likely to commit acts of violence and not target the law abiding patriots of our nation.

Read Gazette reporter Dave Phillips very long and very damning story here. then decide whether Maketa is the kind of role model he had in mind. Pretty easy to see why Maketa is so interested in making sure he’s always armed, because clearly, he’s dangerous.

— Dave Perry, editor

Aurora police trying to depose local king of the Facebook vacant house parties Aurora 911

Aurora police trying to depose local king of the Facebook vacant house parties

Aurora police say they’ve taken a new tact in their drive as illegal-party poopers.

Cops broke up a party last week organized on Facebook that resulted in 55 juveniles and one adult getting ticketed from breaking into a new, vacant house in northeast Aurora.

Police say such vacant-house parties are a thing and are asking residents living in new developments to watch for these break-in bashes and call police.

The Facebook group page is called “Colorado Parties.” Police said the group page is not public, but the list of members is. Even if you’re not part of the group, people can watch the pages of friends and group members to see where parties are.

The Facebook page shows it’s run by Aaron Turn ‘Up Motta and has 1,231 members. Aaron has 4,997 Facebook friends and says he works at Arby’s, according to his Facebook page. Information on the public part of the Colorado Party page says:


This is a group where you can find “Parties and Kickback addresses. Either you post the address or don’t bother posting at all! -NOBODY can see your post only the members in the group can. Page is (SECRET)>>>RULE<<<-Only post Party/Kickback addresses in this group! Nobodies (sic) gonna hit you up for no address JUST POST IT!

Police are urging parents to see if their children are members of this group or if they monitor it. It could mean criminal charges, police said.

During the May 17 party at 137 Kellerman St., police discovered more than 50 people inside the vacant home partying. Everyone there was ticketed for trespassing, curfew and some for alcohol possession charges. An adult at the party was arrested.

Kids at the Aurora party were from all over the metro area, police said, and learned about the event from the Facebook party site.

Police said some of the parties have resulted in thousands of dollars of damage to new, vacant homes.

To report suspicious activity in Aurora call 303-627-3100

— Dave Perry, Sentinel Editor

Romanoff talks college costs at Aurora town hall Aurora Politics

Romanoff talks college costs at Aurora town hall

How to rein in the increasing cost of education was the focus of a town-hall style meeting hosted by Democrat Andrew Romanoff, who is vying to replace incumbent Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, for Aurora’s 6th Congressional District seat in November.

Romanoff spoke with a small panel of K-12 and higher education administrators from the Aurora, Brighton, and Cherry Creek School districts at the Aurora Public Library May 21.

He asked Elena Sandoval-Lucero, who serves as Community College of Aurora’s Dean of Enrollment Management, whether CCA was being affected by higher education costs that he said are increasing at roughly twice the rate of inflation.

She said the biggest issue for CCA has been dwindling state support.

“I’m a Colorado native who received all of my education in Colorado. When I was a student, 65 percent of funding came from the state and 35 percent came from the student,” she said. “Now that is flipped the 35 percent comes from the state and the burden falls on the student to pay the other 65 percent.”

Other educators cited Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, which limits school districts from increasing taxes without a vote of the people, and said there was little Romanoff could do in Washington to remedy that.

“We can always do no harm,” Romanoff said. He took a jab at Congressional incumbents, adding, “If they’re cutting Pell Grants and increasing student loans, that’s worse than doing nothing.”

Immigration reform was also a hot-button issue among the educators, who talked about the difficulty undocumented immigrants face affording college without being able to receive in-state tuition or money through federal financial aid programs.

“Congress decided this week to continue to block any action on immigration reform, even a proposal that would give kids who join the military the chance to earn citizenship,” he said, referring to Coffman’s flailing Military Enlistment Opportunity Act.

“The Senate Bill hasn’t come up for a vote in the House in a year since it passed. It’s really frustrating, everything we’re talking about, these priorities demand support from about 90 percent of the American people, and would be signed into law by the President, and can’t get the time of day in the House.”

— Rachel Sapin, staff writer

Five Aurora girls golfers receive Paul McMullen scholarships Aurora Prep

Five Aurora girls golfers receive Paul McMullen scholarships

Five Aurora girls received the annual Paul McMullen Junior Golf Scholarship from the City of Aurora on Tuesday.

Two players who just wrapped up their final rounds at the 2014 Colorado Class 5A girls state golf championship — Rangeview’s Julia Kim and Cherokee Trail’s Faith Hope — were among the handful of players honored with the McMullen scholarship, which has been awarded by the city every year since 1989.

The McMullen scholarship is named for Paul McMullen, who spent more than 20 years in Aurora golf and created the Aurora Junior Golf Program. Winners of the scholarships — which typically run around $1,000 — are selected by the Golf Course Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

Kim’s Rangeview teammate, Danae Bushman, along with Eaglecrest’s Jenn Danaher and Smoky Hill’s Katie Jeddeloh rounded out the recipients, which were presented by Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Director Tom Barrett May 20 at Murphy Creek G.C.

Kim, who is headed to the University of Illinois-Chicago, was a three-time 5A state qualifier and posted her best career finish Tuesday when she tied for 35th overall in the 84-golfer field after two rounds at Raccoon Creek G.C. Kim — also the East Metro Athletic Conference individual champion — lists Aurora Hills G.C. or Springhill G.C. as her home course.

Hope, a Colorado Christian University signee, qualified for her only 5A state tournament in 2014 as a senior and finished 39th overall. The All-Centennial League second teamer considers her home course either Saddle Rock G.C. or Murphy Creek G.C.

Bushman qualified for the 5A state tournament along with Kim as a sophomore in 2012, but missed out the past two seasons. Headed to Colorado State, Bushman considers Aurora Hills G.C. or Springhill G.C. as her home course.

Jeddeloh was the top player for Smoky Hill and finished one spot short of making second team All-Centennial League this season. The St. Olaf College-bound Jeddeloh plays out of Meadow Hills G.C.

Danaher, who attended Eaglecrest, is set to go to University of Northern Colorado. Saddle Rock G.C. is her home course.

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

Regis Jesuit state champs wrap up season at Froehlicher-Toll All-State Game Aurora Prep

Regis Jesuit state champs wrap up season at Froehlicher-Toll All-State Game

With the Class 5A state championship still fresh in their minds, the Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team puts the icing on the 2014 season with seven players and a coach deservedly selected for Thursday’s Class 5A Froehlicher-Toll All-State Game.

The Raiders — who knocked off Cherry Creek 14-7 last Saturday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to finish the season 18-1 — have players set to suit up for both the Black and Gold teams for the 5A all-state game, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at All-City Stadium, where Regis Jesuit beat Arapahoe in the semifinals.

Senior defender Will Deines, juniors Ben Bechter (attack), Chase Konkel (midfield), Brett Quartuccio (goalie) and sophomore face-off specialist Alec Barnes represent the Raiders on the Black Team, while juniors Matt Soran (attack) and Chet Dunstan (midfield) will oppose them on the Gold Team. One of the Gold Team’s three coaches is Regis Jesuit’s Jim Soran.

Following the 5A game, a presentation of awards is scheduled for 7 p.m. Among those recognized will be 13 All-Americans, 6 Academic All-Americans, the Doc Stabler, Zach Hills and Colin Cassidy awards, the Ken Ranta Sportsmanship award, as well as the Coaches of the Year and Man of the Year.

The 4A all-state game at 7:30 p.m. wraps up the event.



Attack: No. 1 — Jaden Franklin, jr., Kent Denver; No. 2 — Alex Womack, sr., Mountain Vista; No. 3 — BEN BECHTER, jr., REGIS JESUIT; No. 4 — Connor May, jr., Fairview; No. 5 — Griffin Heller, sr., Denver East; No. 6 — Jacob Larsen, jr., Chatfield; No. 7 — Evan Baker, jr., Highlands Ranch; No. 8 — Brandon Jacobs, sr., Boulder

Midfield: No. 9 — Mike Morean, jr., Cherry Creek; No. 10 — CHASE KONKEL, jr., REGIS JESUIT; No. 11 — Zach Runberg, sr., Arapahoe; No. 12 — Evan Wong, sr., Highlands Ranch; No. 13 — Joey Matarazzo, sr., Kent Denver; No. 14 — Brian Hancock, jr., Mountain Vista; No. 15 — Brady Brehm, sr., Mullen; No. 16 — Sam Horning, sr., Palmer

Defense: No. 17 — Trevor Pratt, sr., Colorado Academy; No. 18 — WILL DEINES, sr., REGIS JESUIT; No. 19 — Dylan Johnson, jr., Cherry Creek; No. 20 — Sam Ell, jr., Mountain Vista; No. 21 — Zach Anderson, sr., Rock Canyon

Goalie: No. 22 — BRETT QUARTUCCIO, jr., REGIS JESUIT; No. 23 — Addison Christensen, sr., Cherry Creek

LSM: No. 24 — Kyle Pless, jr., Mountain Vista; No. 25 — Lucas Leyba, jr., Columbine

F/O: No. 26 — Broderick Vitale, jr., Cherry Creek; No. 27 — ALEC BARNES, soph., REGIS JESUIT

D-Midfield: No. 28 — Trevor Halmet, sr., Kent Denver

Coaches: Bryan Perry, Cherry Creek & Jake Herman, Mountain Vista


Attack: No. 1 — Colton McCaffrey, sr., Valor Christian; No. 2 — Ryan Arthur, sr., Cherry Creek; No. 3 — MATT SORAN, jr., REGIS JESUIT; No. 4 — Anthony SanFilippo, sr., Columbine; No. 5 — Jack Thomas, sr., Colorado Academy; No. 6 — William Simonson, sr., Monarch

Midfield: No. 7 — Max Tuttle, jr., Castle View; No. 8 — Nick Philips, sr., Mullen; No. 9 — Colton Jackson, jr., Rock Canyon; No. 10 — Landon Kramer, jr., Columbine; No. 11 — Ryan Schneider, sr., Dakota Ridge; No. 12 — Keaton Komatz, soph., Heritage; No. 13 — Chad Kreuzer, soph., Monarch; No. 14 — TJ Florence, sr., Heritage; CHET DUNSTAN, jr., REGIS JESUIT

Defense: No. 15 — Sean Lavine, sr., Fairview; No. 16 — Jake Sawyer, sr., Denver East; No. 17 — Matt Goettleman, sr., Cherry Creek; No. 18 — Matt Pinto, sr., Kent Denver; No. 19 — Vito Leccesse, sr., Boulder; No. 20 — Ian Lewis, jr., Columbine; No. 21 — Blake Sandman, sr., ThunderRidge

Goalie: No. 22 — Marcus Stears, sr, Kent Denver; No. 23 — Jake Miller, soph., Columbine

LSM: No. 24 — Zack Yoshioko, sr., Cherry Creek; Sam Sweeney, sr., Colorado Academy

F/O: No. 25 — Joe Quatrochi, sr., Highlands Ranch; No. 26 — Dylan Compton, jr., Columbine;

D-Midfield: No. 27 — Larry Munson, sr., Columbine

Coaches: JIM SORAN, REGIS JESUIT & Matt Plitnick, Columbine & Randy Colley, Colorado Academy

— Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor

Size matters: Denver media needs new ways to describe the size of hail stones City Desk

Size matters: Denver media needs new ways to describe the size of hail stones

Hail fire all this rough weather in the metro Aurora area is causing a storm of words. Namely, what word should you use to compare the size of hail stones?

This critical subject came to the forefront in the newsroom yesterday when I became the laughingstock of quickly aging twenty- and thirty-somethings who scoffed, nay, guffawed at my lede on a weather story where I compared the size of Monday’s hail stones to that of  shooter-marbles.

“Man, you’re really dating yourself,” quipped on reporter, who will be surprised to find soon that all the tires on his car need air.

“Grapes,” he told all of us yesterday in defense of his bent against marbles. “Hail stones that size are like grapes.” I’m sure you can see where this is going. Which grapes: Concord? Chardonnay? Thompson Seedless?, you young little wiseacre. Shooters, or bowlers for those even older than I, are a uniform constant. Grapes can be anything from June peas, those grown too late in the season, to an Italian prune, the ones that plump up in wet years.

All this may seem like overkill, but we’re talking weather here, and Coloradans take their weather very seriously. Besides needing a good standard for clarity, with so much goddam hail around here, we really need to be able to mix up a little running what is essentially the same story just about every day.

So when today’s hail stones arrive, as we all hope/dread, I’ve created what I’m sure will soon become the worldwide uniformity standard for the measurement of hail stones in artless stories.

Hail Stoners:

1. Booger-sized hail stones: About the size of a grain of Perlite. Old timers call this sleet, but weather people have ratings to worry about.

2. Car mat pebbles: You know, the ones under the gas peddle that don’t vacuum up very well. Smaller than what was formerly known as pea-sized hail.

3. Viagra tablet: Formerly, “pea-sized” hail. Slightly irregular, about the size of a pea.

4. Dingleberry: Those little balls of poop that get stuck in the fur of your dog’s rear end. Formerly known as “marble sized” hail. No, not shooters.

5. Malted milk ball: Truly a world standard.

6. Rocky Mountain Oyster: These are the ones you wanna run from.

7. Sheep eyeball: Look it up. Formerly, “shooter-marble-sized” hail stone.

8.  Key lime: Formerly known as “ping-pong-ball-sized.” About the size of a ping-pong ball

9. Meatball: Italian, not Swedish. From a neighborhood joint that still makes its own homemade noodles and sauce from premium tomatoes. Maybe a little fresh grated Regiano on top.

10. Cupcake: Not the ones with so much frosting that it’s just stupid, but a little frosting. Formerly, “baseball-sized-hail-stones.”

11. Dollar Store Water Balloon: Only because we’re getting too many food references here. About the size of a grapefruit.

12. Cantaloupe: How visually cool is it to say this even in jest? “The city was besieged by cantaloupe-sized hail stones.”

13. Wrecking ball: One size fits all.

— Editor Dave Perry

Colorado Freedom Memorial steps on the gas this weekend Brandon Johansson

Colorado Freedom Memorial steps on the gas this weekend

As you might expect with Memorial Day just a week away, there’s plenty happening at the Colorado Freedom Memorial.

For one, the memorial, 756 Telluride St., near Beck Recreation Center and Buckley Air Force Base, will host Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 Chevrolet from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Martin Truex, Jr. will race the car, which has the Colorado Freedom Memorial logo emblazoned on its hood, at this weekend’s 55th Annual Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car is part of the Denver-Based Furniture Row NASCAR Racing Team.

The event is timed so personnel at Buckley Air Force Base can check out the car before it heads to North Carolina for the race.

And, fans of local craft beer can celebrate the memorial this week, too. Last week, Aurora’s Dry Dock Brewing unveiled Colorado Freedom Memorial Blonde Ale. For every bottle sold, Dry Dock is donating $1 to the memorial. Score a bottle at Chambers Liquors in Aurora and they’ll also chip in 50 cents per bottle for the memorial.

If the very-American combo of craft beer, NASCAR, and the freedom memorial doesn’t spike something very patriotic in you this week, nothing will.

— Brandon Johansson, staff writer

Aaron Cole

CD-6 WATCH: Candidate events open to the public for May 19-27

Representative Mike Coffman, Republican:

None scheduled. Coffman will be appearing at a Veterans parade on Saturday, but it is not an official campaign event. The parade will be in Downtown Denver at Civic Center Park and begins at 11:30 a.m.

Andrew Romanoff, Democrat:

Romanoff is scheduled to speak at Eritrea’s 23rd Independence Day Anniversary, 7 p.m. May 24 at 4610 E. Alameda Ave., Denver.