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Cherry Creek High School celebrated its annual spring signing day of student athletes April 17. Photos by Tom Barry
By Tom Barry
There was a joyous atmosphere April 17 around the lunch hour as Cherry Creek High School honored its student athletes in Trophy Hall. Nearly 200 staff, students, parents and honorees packed the lobby area adjacent the main gym.
Eight athletes officially signed letters of intent for their respective colleges where they will attend next fall. The moms of the respective athletes decorated tables with their college colors including balloons, cakes, photos and flowers.
“This is a great group of student athletes that have signed with Division 1 to Division 3 schools,” said Jason R. Wilkins, Creek’s athletic director. “This signing covers a wide range of nine sports.”
Karen Hanlin the department’s administrative assistant coordinated the extensive details of the colorful event that went like clockwork.
Many students throughout the year then gathered together in the gym after the spring signing for a group photo. In many cases, the respective student’s athletic scholarships are supplemented by academic merit scholarships.
Creek twins Dani and Max Urman will attend the Claremont consortium of colleges in California on golf scholarships.
Cherry Creek parents Frank and Evelinda Urman stand with their daughter Dani who will play golf for Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. Dani’s twin brother Max will also play golf on a scholarship with Claremont McKenna College. Max was unable to attend the signing ceremony and popped in for the photos. Both twins have a 4.6 GPA. “They have been golfing together since fifth grade,” said Evelinda. “Dani battled cancer in her first two years of high school and her brother was at her side, as she has fully recovered.”
Twin sisters Morgan and Mackenzie Cohen stand with parents Bob and Kelly. Morgan will attend DePauw in Greencastle, Ind., on a tennis scholarship and Mackenzie will compete on the golf team for Centre College in Danville, Ky. Their older sister Gretchen, a 2010 graduate, swims for University of Denver on an athletic scholarship. Both twins have over a 4.0 GPA and also received academic merit scholarships. Morgan has recently returned from surgery and will compete for the school’s fourth straight state tennis title.
Christylynne Grenz accepted a partial scholarship as a cheerleader at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She was also awarded a partial academic scholarship. Grenz stands with her parents Mike and Traci (far right). Creek Cheerleading Coach Jolene Lucero stands with her captain of the squad, Christylynne. Her GPA is 3.4 and she plans on majoring in kinesiology and tying in special needs.
Hannah Merkle has signed to play volleyball at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga this fall. She is joined by her parents John and Nancy, along with her sister Heather, a senior at Creek who sings in the Meister group. Hannah also plays year round club volleyball specializing in defense and in the back row and played high performance U.S.A. volleyball in the sand last summer at Hermosa Beach in California. She intends to study nursing in college.
Megan Rohrer, a standout on the basketball team, is flanked by her parents Steve and Carolyn. The student athlete will be attending the South Dakota School of Mines to play hoops. Carolyn’s former basketball coach from Roundup High in Montana Michelle Middlesworth (left) and former point guard Lynn Sherpe (right) joined in the special occasion. Megan retrains a 4.1 GPA and hopes to major in industrial engineering.
Kelli Woodman, who won the state’s singles championship last year, will attend the University of Seattle in Washington to play tennis on a scholarship. Her parents Shelly Kingsley and Dave Woodman proudly stand with their student athlete. Kelli maintains a 3.5 GPA and also received an academic merit scholarship and will study international business.
Bruins quarterback Luke Papilion poses with parents Pete and Linda during the spring signing day at Cherry Creek. Papilion will be attending the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota.
Morgan West stands with mom Jill at Creek signing day festivities. The Bruins’ pitcher received an athletic scholarship to play baseball for the Ventura Collage Pirates in Ventura, Calif. West was recruited to play in his junior year. He has worked with a personal trainer and a pitching coach since 6th grade and hopes to play in the MLB one day. West is also a talented musician and plays clarinet and is in Creek’s Wind Ensemble.
A serious-faced David Peterson from Regis from atop the mound stretches at the end of his windup at a game with Ponderosa in Parker April 19.
Over the last four years, we’ve been reading a lot about Missy Franklin, the Olympic swimmer from Regis Jesuit High School, who is also actively involved in the community. Chances are likely that over the next couple of years we will be hearing a lot about David Peterson a “lefty” pitcher from Regis’ boys division.
Peterson, a junior, has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field on Aug. 24. The game is slotted to air live on the MLB Network. This Regis pitcher was one of 36 high school players selected to compete in this elite game.
Peterson was the starting pitcher in a game with Parker’s Ponderosa High and threw for three innings. The Raiders team went on to win 10 to 0 on April 19.
“He keeps me young,” said David’s 89-year-old grandma Leona Peterson, who was in attendance right behind the backstop with his uncle Ron Peterson. “He played every day after school. I would take him to the baseball field.”
“She’s a saint,” said David of his grandmother. “When growing up with divorced parents, she was always there for me. We have a wonderful connection.”
Regis pitcher David Peterson stands with his family after a game in Parker. His uncle Ron Peterson (left) and his 89-year-old grandma Leona attended the game with David’s mom Shannon Dolce. Photos by Tom Barry
‘My best pitch…’
“My best pitch is the one that gets people out, that’s my job,” said Peterson, who hopes one day to play in the Major League.
Most of Peterson’s pitches reach 89 to 91 mph, which include a fast ball, curve ball, a cutter and a splitter.
As the youngest child of seven, Peterson began playing his beloved sport of baseball in Arcadia, Calif. His parents divorced when he was 2 years old and his father Doug passed away when David was 9. The family moved to southeast Denver six years ago.
“My baseball coach was like a second dad and his son Stephen was like a brother to me,” said Peterson of his first coach Rene San Miguel in Arcadia.
“Way to go, Bug,” said David’s mom Shannon Dolce as David tosses the ball over the plate.
Dolce explained that David’s dad trained racehorses including Seattle Slew after his Triple Crown win. “Ever since David was 2 years old and wanted to be a jockey, I called him Bug,” as apprentice jockeys are called “Bug Boys.”
David Peterson, a “lefty,” pitches for Regis and has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field on Aug. 24.
A spring to remember
Recently Peterson attended spring training with his former Regis coach Walt Weiss and his family. Weiss is the new manager of the Colorado Rockies and still has two sons that play for Regis – Brody, a senior, and Bo, a freshman.
“We did some practicing in the batting cages,” said Peterson of his spring training adventure. “I had a good relationship with Walt when he was coaching.”
“We’re excited for Walt,” said Terri Weiss, who was at the game supporting the Regis team. “We do baseball, we are a baseball family.”
Regis recently hired a new baseball coach to replace Weiss. Mike Anderson has extensive coaching expertise and is a native of Eaton and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado where he played as an outfielder on the baseball team. Anderson had been the head baseball coach for the University of Nebraska for 10 years and with the school for 18 years until a parting of the ways.
“It’s all about family,” said Anderson, who is excited about returning to his home state and coaching the Regis team.
Pitcher selects Oregon University
Peterson towers well above his teammates at 6-foot-6, an ideal height for a pitcher. Since pitchers do not typically bat and utilize a designated hitter, he stands at the front of the dugout wearing his uniform jacket – to keep his arms warm – and encourages his teammates who are at the plate.
“Oregon University has one of the best baseball facilities,” said Peterson who has provided a verbal commitment to attend the school after graduation. “I knew it was where I wanted to be. I get this gut feeling when something is right.”
Oregon has a program that many athletes can graduate in three years before going professional in the major league draft.
Peterson intends to study Sports Business or Sports Management.
Mullen sprinters pose after placing in the meet: Amanda Diaz, Devon Case, Taylor Klein and Bridget Schaefer.
On April 13, athletes showed up for Mullen High School’s 16th annual Runners Roost Invitational Meet for a full day of 117 events, split between the girls and boys races and field competitions.
“This meet is probably the largest meet in the state,” said John Hancock, who has coached at Mullen for 28 years.
This meet is a precursor to the state finals in May. Forty-three teams from throughout Colorado brought their top-notch athletes to compete. Athletes competed in a full array of track and field events. Most of the races were close finishes, sometimes a photo review was used to determine the top three places. The field events proved to be close as well.
Coach Tom Southall from Cherokee Trails put together a Unified Team composed of Special Olympic athletes from Eaglecrest, Overland and Cherokee Trail high schools. Nine runners were each awarded medals for their races.
Cherry Creek High School’s freshmen sprinter and hurdler Ashley Miller was awarded several medals and a colorful bouquet of flowers after winning events. Megan McCabe, a fellow Bruin, is the state leader in the pole vault and is ranked 20th nationally. Creek’s girls track coach Sally Moose was selected as the meet’s Coach of the Year.
Vince Greco, a retired Mullen CEO and former teacher and principal, returned to the school to assist with the annual track meet. The track complex is named after him and he was the national track coach of the year in 1968.Photos by Tom Barry
Creek’s Ashley Miller (with flowers), a freshman, stands with competitors in a sprint race that she won at the 16th Annual Mullen Runners Roost track meet April 13.
During the annual Mullen Runners Roost meet, the school honored coaches and track and field competitors which included (left to right) former coach Jack Carson, Rick Brewer, John Hancock – Mullen’s head track coach, an unidentified competitor, Courtney Ranson and Tracy Dorland.
Creek’s Megan McCabe talks with John Carmony, a meet official (left) and her coach David Ladd, a former pole vaulter, whose son is also on the Bruins team.
Cherry Creek Schools fielded the Unified Team composed of Special Olympic athletes that competed in two races at the Mullen Invitational meet. Each competitor was awarded a medal. Athletes attend Eaglecrest, Overland and Cherokee Trail high schools and were joined by fellow athletes and coaches.
Megan McCabe a 16-year-old junior at Creek attempts a vault. McCabe is rated first in the state with a vault of 12.5 feet and ranks 20th in the nation.
Three seats open for the November election
Submitted by Littleton Public Schools
Are you interested in running for the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education?
If so, attend this information session to learn more about what it is like to be a school board member in Littleton Public Schools.
Attendees will have an opportunity to:
• Hear from a representative of the Colorado Association of School Boards regarding the role of a school board member
• Learn about the LPS Board of Education experience from current board members
• Receive information about running for office [election timelines, filing, etc.]
• Ask questions of LPS staff and current board members.
Three seats will be filled during this November’s election. President Bob Colwell, Treasurer Renee Howell and Assistant Secretary Sue Chandler are all finishing their second four-year terms and cannot run again due to term limits.
The information session will be held Tuesday, April 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at the Education Services Center, 5776 S. Crocker St., in Littleton.
RSVPs are appreciated so the district can prepare an information packet for each attendee. Contact Mary Stevens at 303-347-3391.
Arapahoe Community College is hosting “Talking it Out: Getting to Agreement” through April 25. The unique photo and story exhibit is designed to increase public awareness about the many benefits of constructive conflict resolution. Pictured at the opening ceremony are Jennifer Husum, ACC’s Student Affairs coordinator, Mary Zinn, president of Zinn Mediation Associates, Diane Hegeman, ACC’s vice president for instruction, state Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton and ACC President Dr. Diana Doyle. Photo courtesy of Arapahoe Community College
The Centennial League teams participated in the City of Littleton Track and Field Championships, April 5. This was the start of the boys 1,600-meter race won by Martin Christian, a senior at Heritage, with a time of 4:29.98.
Under the warm spring sun April 5, the Centennial League schools competed in the 41st annual City of Littleton Track and Field Championships. The tightly scheduled events went off without a hitch over four hours of competition that began after school and carried on until 8 p.m. This event allows athletes to qualify for the state meet.
Arapahoe High School hosted the event providing the management efforts, score keeping and volunteers who assisted at the concession stand and on the field.
Three Littleton Public Schools, including Arapahoe, Heritage and Littleton, also competed with area rivals from Chatfield, Columbine and Dakota Ridge from Jefferson County. The six teams comprise the Centennial League.
Around 200 family members and friends came to watch the athletes from area high schools compete in a plethora of events ranging from pole-vaulting to sprints.
This annual event showcased 37 track and field events that lasted into the night, as the overhead lights illuminated the Littleton Public Schools Stadium just east of Broadway at Littleton Boulevard. There were track and field events for both the girls and boys at the yearly meet.
Heritage hurdler Alex Motler, a freshman, was in lane 8 competing with other Centennial League runners in the boys 300-meter and hit the hurdle, fell and got up and continued.
There is a rural area adjacent the east side of the Littleton complex that has horses and a barn across the fence on private property. Adjacent the fence there is a runway for the pole vault and the high foam pit at the end. Also, there are two side-by-side runways for triple and long jump events with a massive sand pit on the south end. This can accommodate two events.
The eight lane track was resurfaced last year to accommodate the use by three separate schools and the regular use by Littleton High which shares the campus. There were numerous races on the track from sprints, to distance races to relays involving several runners.
Arapahoe High girls and boys teams placed first in the meet. Heritage placed second in both categories. Littleton girls captured the fifth slot, while the boys landed in the fourth position. The team results from the meet are posted below.
There was a long jump meet record achieved by Amanda Clements of Chatfield jumping 18 feet, and 3.4 inches. Another meet record was recorded by the Arapahoe girls member Devan Foster in the 800 meters 2:18:28.
In the City of Littleton Track and Field Championships the boy’s 3,200-meter race Martin Christian of Heritage won with a time of 10:08.49. Daniel Vavrik of Arapahoe placed second; Ryan Cutter of Dakota Ridge placed third; Dominick Brevig and Nicholas Moore of Arapahoe placed fourth and fifth respectively.
Women – Team Rankings:
19 Events Scored
1) Arapahoe High School 211.25
2) Heritage High School 110.50
3) Dakota Ridge High School 83
4) Chatfield High School 68.25
5) Littleton High School 55
6) Columbine High School 40
In the boys 800 meter (half mile) race competitors from the Centennial League competed in the City of Littleton Track & Field Championships held at the district’s stadium April 5. Six schools, including three from Littleton Public Schools, participated in the annual event. Nathan Moore, a senior at Chatfield, won the event with a time of 2:00.35.
Men – Team Rankings:
18 Events Scored
1) Arapahoe High School 147.50
2) Heritage High School 120
3) Chatfield High School 98.50
4) Littleton High School 88
5) Columbine High School 56
6) Dakota Ridge High School 30
Littleton’s senior Elsie Mangum won the girls shot put competition with a throw of 31-07.50 feet at the City of Littleton Track & Field Championships. Photos by Tom Barry
Kent Denver School’s Scott Yates receives induction into the CHSCA Hall of Fame from Herman Motz. Courtesy photo by Carol MacKay
It is no secret at Kent Denver School that Scott Yates, the head football coach since 1981, is in a class of his own.
Over the past 32 years, he has played an important role in shaping the lives of countless young adults as a coach, advisor and educator. His winning record — an astonishing 273-69 with three state titles — is extraordinary by any measure. He has also presided over one of the state’s most successful athletics programs as Kent Denver’s director of athletics for more than a dozen years.
On March 30, Coach Yates was inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. Head of School Todd Horn and more than 70 Kent Denver alumni, faculty and friends were on hand to celebrate with Coach Yates and his family.
“I wish everyone at Kent Denver could have joined us to honor Scott Yates and to hear his inspiring remarks,” said Dr. Horn. “In short, Coach Yates was honored for bringing out the best in young athletes, bringing out the best in coaches, and bringing out the best in sports.”
Yates joins his late father, Richard “Dick” Yates, who was inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame in 1984. A longtime coach at South High School in Denver, Dick was fondly known as “Old Coach Yates” in his retirement years as he volunteered on the Kent Denver sidelines.
More than 87 percent of Cherry Creek seniors graduated high school in 2012 in four years, up from 84 percent in 2011. Statewide, the overall, on-time graduation rate for 2012 is 75 percent and at nearly 72 percent nationwide.
While all ethnic groups showed gains from the previous year, the on-time graduation rate for Hispanic students rose more than 5 percent to 79 percent. African American students gained one point to reach 84 percent.
Statewide, the graduation rate is 66 percent percent for black students and 62.5 percent for Hispanic students.
White students also saw gains of nearly 3 percent to reach more than 89 percent. The rate for Asian students rose slightly to 90 percent.
Cherry Creek School District Demographics:
• American Indian/Alaska Native: .5 percent
• Asian: 8 percent
• Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: .3 percent
• African American: 12 percent
• Hispanic: 18 percent
• White: 56 percent
• Two or more races: 5 percent
• 27 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch
Despite challenges ranging from overcrowding and under-funding to high numbers of English language learners and students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, 12 public district and public charter schools and 2 public charter management organizations from Aurora, Brighton, Denver, Littleton, and Jefferson County are being recognized for delivering outstanding academic success among their students. All are 2013 winners in the Foundations for Great Schools awards program, which recognizes and encourages success among metro area public schools serving high proportions of low-income students. A total of $435,000 in grant awards will be distributed among the 14 award winners.
Foundations for Great Schools also identifies common success strategies found among them for raising academic performance and student growth. This year, such strategies included focus on school culture; data-driven teaching strategies to meet individual student needs; expanded learning time; and teacher professional development, among others.
The local Great Schools grant award winners are:
Aurora Public Schools:
• Aurora West College Preparatory Academy
• Clyde Miller P-8 (middle school division)
• Montview Math & Health Sciences Elementary
Denver Public Schools:
• DSST Public Schools (Charter Management Organization)
• Marie L. Greenwood Academy (middle school division)
• KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy
• McMeen Elementary
• STRIVE Preparatory Schools (Charter Management Organization)
• Whittier ECE-8 (middle school division)
• Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center Middle College of Denver
Littleton Public Schools:
• East Elementary
Matthew Hoffmann of Englewood earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis.
Steven Kiffor of Englewood graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree in management from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Allana Winsted of Centennial received a Master of Medical Science from the School of Medicine of Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.
Bradley With of Littleton graduated with a BS in Criminal Justice Administration from Bellevue University, Bellevue, Neb.
Marine Corps Pfc. Danielle J. White, daughter of Dawn M. and Scott A. White of Littleton, recently graduated from the Marine Aviation Operations Specialist Course. White is a 2011 graduate of Littleton High School and joined the Marine Corps in December.
Marine Corps Pfc. James M. Todhunter, son of Rebecca and Michael Todhunter, of Centennial, Colo., recently graduated from the Basic Water Support Technician Course while assigned as a student at Marine Corps Engineer School, Camp Lejeune, N. C.
Todhunter is a 2011 graduate of Heritage High School of Centennial and joined the Marine Corps in August 2011
Julie Klotz of Aurora has made the Dean’s List for fall semester at Gonzaga University, located near downtown Spokane, Wash.
Alison Lammers of Centennial will spend spring break on a music tour with the Dordt College Concert Band and Concert Orchestra. DORT College is located in Sioux Center, Iowa. The tour will perform in South Dakota, Montana, Alberta, Washington state, Idaho, and Colorado.
Amanda K. Reish and Jane Good of Littleton, Kelly R. Leach of Centennial and Jennifer D. Cook of Greenwood Village made the Provost’s Honor Roll at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo.
East Elementary School in Littleton was among 12 public district and public charter schools and two public charter management organizations from Aurora, Brighton, Denver, Littleton and Jefferson County that are being recognized for delivering outstanding academic success among their students. East Elementary is a winner in the Foundations for Great Schools awards program, which recognizes and encourages success among metro area public schools serving high proportions of low-income students. A total of $435,000 in grant awards will be distributed among the 14 award winners.
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