AURORA | The discussion since the advent of the controversial “waterfall” alignment for Class 5A football two seasons ago bore fruit Thursday at the Colorado High School Activities’ football committee meeting. The experiment that reclassified teams with little to no history with each other into divisions — which created logistical challenges, hurt attendance and sacrificed district and neighborhood rivalries — came to an end and a return to a more traditional set up is now favored by the football committee.
AURORA | Mike Schmitt didn’t quite get to have the quintessential storybook ending to his football coaching career at Eaglecrest High School, but it was good to the very last page. Just two days after leading the Raptors to the brink of a historic Class 5A state championship in a 56-49 loss to Pomona at Mile High Stadium, Schmitt informed his players on Tuesday morning that he was stepping down after eight years with the program.
DENVER | Photo gallery from the 2017 Class 5A state football championship game played between Eaglecrest and Pomona on Dec. 2, 2017, at Mile High Stadium.
DENVER | Forty-nine points would have been enough to win 23 of the 25 Class 5A state football championship games since Eaglecrest won its state title in 1993. Unfortunately for the Raptors, one of the two instances when it wasn’t enough came Saturday night, when Pomona put up 56 points at Mile High Stadium to beat Eaglecrest 56-49 in the highest-scoring 5A state championship game in history.
AURORA | A capsule look at the 2017 Class 5A state football championship game matchup between No. 2 Eaglecrest and No. 4 Pomona.
For the past two seasons, the Eaglecrest football team has been determined to control its own fate on the field. Since the Raptors missed out on the 2015 Class 5A state playoffs because of the effect of another team’s transgressions, they’ve worked to be the author of their own story.
AURORA | Photo gallery from the Class 5A state football semifinal contest between second-seeded Eaglecrest and third-seeded Columbine played on Nov. 25, 2017, at Legacy Stadium.
AURORA | The last bit of adversity the Grandview football team faced in 2017 turned out to be the only thing it couldn’t overcome. Coach John Schultz’s Wolves lost four of its top players — two on both sides of the ball — to injury and suffered through a rare two-game losing streak earlier in the year, only to work their way into Class 5A’s semifinals for the sixth time in program history.
AURORA | The 2017 Class 5A state football playoff scoreboard and schedule.
AURORA | With a trip to the Class 5A state championship game hanging in the balance, Eaglecrest football coach Mike Schmitt made a calculated gamble, same as he has on several occasions in the past. Schmitt knew his defense wouldn’t hold up for much longer in overtime after four-plus quarters of pounding against an ultra-physical Columbine team.