Championship week arrives for CHSAA spring sports — seven sports, 29 team championships over six days – The Denver Post
A Colorado high school sports year that began in the first week of August has finally reached the home stretch in the last full week of June — and what a closing kick it should be.
After four seasons, one “pause” and two sets of football championships, the 2020-21 CHSAA sports year concludes with 29 team championships up for grabs across seven sports starting Monday.
And in the case of six sports, it will mark the first time in two years teams will compete for state titles in each. CHSAA will also hold its first boys volleyball state tournament.
A rundown of the madness that will be championship week:
Championships will be decided in all five classifications, with the 3A and 4A semifinals and finals played at Runyon Baseball Complex in Pueblo on Friday and Saturday, and the 5A semifinals and finals set for Thursday and Friday at Keli MacGregor Field at All-Star Park in Lakewood.
4A semis (Friday): No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain (17-2) vs. No. 4 Holy Family (18-2), 10 a.m.; No. 3 Ponderosa (18-2) vs. No. 8 D’Evelyn (14-5), 12:30 p.m.
Cheyenne Mountain has the most hardware of the remaining programs with 4A titles in 2009 and ’11, and four other state championships between 1958-62. Holy Family is playing for its first 4A title after claiming the 3A crown three times between 2010 and ’14. Whoever comes out of Ponderosa-D’Evelyn will get a shot at its first state crown. Ponderosa scored 26 runs to go unbeaten through the double-elimination bracket last week.
5A semis (Thursday): No. 8 Fairview (16-4) vs. No. 4 Mountain Vista (16-4), 9:30 p.m.; No. 6 Valor Christian (16-4) vs. No. 2 Fort Collins (16-5), 1:30 p.m.
Valor claimed the 4A title in three of its last four seasons. Flamethrower Radek Birkholz (60 strikeouts in 29 innings) should give the Eagles a solid shot at their first 5A crown. Mountain Vista, which won 5A in 2018, went 3-0 last week, but may have to face one of the state’s top pitchers in Fairview right-hander Greyson Carter, a Vanderbilt commit. Fort Collins, which knocked out No. 1 Heritage 6-5 Saturday, is going for its first state title.
The semifinals are set in Class 2A-5A, with the penultimate games scheduled for Wednesday throughout the state followed by all four championship games being played in succession Saturday at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs. The 2A championship is at 9 a.m.; 3A, 6 p.m.; 4A, noon; and 5A, 3 p.m.
4A semis (Wed. at Frederick High): No. 1 Northridge (12-0) vs. No. 12 Holy Family (9-2), TBA; No. 2 The Classical Academy (10-0-2) vs. No. 2 Evergreen (12-0), TBA
Out of the four teams in the semifinals, only The Classical Academy (2011-3A) has won a state title since the turn of the century. And only Evergreen (1990, ’97-4A) has a previous championship to its name. Top-ranked Northridge has been slowly building under coach Tom Beck the past seven years.
5A semis (Wed. at Englewood High): No. 1 Valor Christian (11-0-1) vs. No. 4 Rock Canyon (11-1), 7:30 p.m.; No. 3 Cherry Creek (11-1) vs. No. 2 Broomfield (11-0-1), 5 p.m.
For just the second time since 2015, someone other than Grandview will claim the 5A crown. The four remaining teams have just one loss between them, with top-seed Valor Christian led by Oregon commit Ajanae Respass (17 goals, five assists) and a pair of Texas Tech recruits in Kylie Bahr (six assists) and Peyton Parsons (nine assists).
Tournaments are set for Monday and Tuesday at three separate venues for 3A (Elmwood Golf Course, Pueblo), 4A (Common Ground Golf Course, Aurora) and 5A (City Park Golf Course, Denver). The two-day, 36-hole stroke play events will decide individual and team champions.
The girls lacrosse semifinals are Monday night in 4A and 5A, while the boys championships are already set for Tuesday night at Englewood High. In 4A boys, No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain (11-1) faces No. 2 Evergreen (11-1) at 5 p.m., and the 5A final is between No. 4 Mountain Vista (9-2) and No. 2 Valor Christian (11-1) at 7:30 p.m. The girls conclude their tournaments at the same site and times Wednesday night.
Boys swimming and diving
The 4A and 5A meets are scheduled on successive days at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center in Thornton, with 5A swimmers and divers competing in a one-day meet Thursday followed by the 4A event Friday.
Track and field
All five classifications will compete over three days at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, starting at 8 a.m. Thursday. There will be state titles at stake all three days, with the meet culminating with a flurry of championship races and events Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:40 p.m.
The first CHSAA boys volleyball tournament will be played Friday and Saturday at Rock Canyon High in Highlands Ranch. The quarterfinal matchups for Friday: No. 1 Douglas County (15-0) vs. No. 8 Regis Jesuit (9-6), No. 4 James Irwin (14-1) vs. No. 5 Eaglecrest (12-3), No. 2 Legend (13-2) vs. No. 7 Cherokee Trail (8-7), No. 3 Valor Christian (13-2) vs. No. 6 Cherry Creek (10-5).
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