OAKES: Four more set to join Eaglecrest’s Athletics and Activities Hall of Fame in its fourth class


The fourth class of the Eaglecrest Athletics and Activities Hall of Fame is set to be inducted Nov. 16 as the school continues the recent tradition of honoring some of its past best and brightest.

EAGLECREST HIGH SCHOOL

As selected from a pool of nominees by a panel of school administrators, representatives of the Cherry Creek School District, the community and the media, the Class of 2017 includes four athletes: Sola Abolaji (boys soccer), Jasper Armstrong (football), Nick Harper (boys lacrosse) and Courtney Karst (volleyball).

Those eligible for the Athletic and Activities Hall of Fame must be graduated from Eaglecrest for at least five years and be nominated by a member of the community.

Tickets for the induction event at Heritage Eagle Bend, which includes a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m., can be purchased through the Eaglecrest Athletic Department at 720-886-1083. Cost is $25 per ticket.

A brief bio of the four inductees, listed alphabetically, in the fourth class:

Sola Abolaji, boys soccer (Class of 2003)

Abolaji is the first boys soccer player selected for the Hall of Fame and he had quite an impact on the pitch in his time at Eaglecrest. A four-year varsity letterwinner, he was the program’s first all-state player and also served as a team captain. Abolaji generated plenty of Division I interest, but went to junior college instead out of Eaglecrest and later ended up at the University of Buffalo, where he was the Bulls’ defensive most valuable player as a senior. The Carolina RailHawks used the first pick in the United Soccer League-1 draft on Abolaji, which launched a decade-long professional career in a variety of leagues in the U.S. and abroad. Abolaji currently is a defender for Orange County SC of the USL.

Jasper Armstrong, football (Class of 1996)

Football has a long, strong tradition at Eaglecrest dating back to the early days of the school’s history and Armstrong was one of the key figures at the start. He was a difference maker on the defensive side of the football as a lineman and led Colorado in sacks as a sophomore in 1993, when he was an all-state selection and helped Eaglecrest win the lone state football championship in school history. Armstrong had a three-year run as a first team all-conference and all-state defensive end and remains the program’s career leader in sacks. He went on to play collegiately at both Colorado State and Northern Colorado. Armstrong has since worked in the Cherry Creek School District in a variety of capacities. He is an author and made a run as a candidate for an at-large seat on the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education in 2013.

Nick Harper, boys lacrosse (Class of 2000)

Courtney Karst played four varsity volleyball seasons at Eaglecrest and helped the Raptors reach the Class 5A state final twice. (Aurora Sentinel file photo)

Harper put boys lacrosse on the map at Eaglecrest and remains the program’s most decorated player of all-time. A two-time team captain, he was a three-time all-state selection and sits atop the Raptors’ record books in career goals, career points, single season goals, single season points, single game goals and single game points. Harper parlayed his success into a chance to play at Colorado State University, where he scored more than 200 career points and earned two All-American nods. He was elected into the Colorado State University Lacrosse Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2013. Harper owns a business that raises money for education and non-profits and is now back in the metro area.

Courtney Karst, volleyball (Class of 2008)

Volleyball has become a staple sport at Eaglecrest and Karst is one of the big reasons why, as she was a central force on the team that went undefeated and won the Class 5A state championship in 2006. As a middle blocker, Karst absolutely dominated at the net in her four years on the varsity, an 89-10 run which saw her earn a slew of first team all-conference selections in the rugged Centennial League and make two appearances on the all-state first team as well. The school record for kills still belongs to Karst, who was the MVP of the Raptors’ championship run as a junior in 2006 when they beat rival Grandview and also led Eaglecrest back to the finals as a senior. Karst went on to play four years of Division I volleyball at the University of Arizona, where she earned All-Pac 12 honorable mention honors as a senior and then dabbled with a professional career. Karst — who joins former teammate Kristen Schevikhoven in the Hall of Fame — returned to Eaglecrest as an assistant coach on the staff of her former coach, Tanya Bond.