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By Tom Barry
The Arapahoe High School boys’ hoopsters were once again on their way to the Big Dance last week.
On March 6, the Warriors embarked on a trip to Fort Collins to play Fossil Ridge. Arapahoe had just come of a major win the previous weekend against a higher seed Columbine team and felt good about their abilities and capabilities.
In a game that went back and forth like a pingpong match, both teams put on quite the show for the fans that had come together at the near new facility in Northern Colorado.
Fossil Ridge a great close game
Arapahoe led by four points at the end of the first period. Fossil Ridge bested their competitor by three points in the second. Throughout the second half the score was neck and neck.
“It was a great game and close throughout,” said Arapahoe’s head coach Dan Snyder. “We had a nine point lead with two minutes remaining and allowed Fossil Ridge to tie up.”
With moments to go in the game and the score tied, the Warriors Mitch Albyn was fouled. With the weight of the world on his shoulder for that brief moment in time, he sunk both shots from the free-throw line.
Arapahoe beat Fossil Ridge 53 to 51 in what ended up as one of the best games of the season.
“We upset another higher seeded team,” said Snyder.
Arapahoe meets Denver East
That victory propelled the Warriors to the Great Eight, also called the Elite Eight.
The Warriors’ players, always a contender with Snyder, and his assistants were slotted to play Denver East, the state’s top-ranked team that only lost two games all season, each to out-of-state teams.
Throughout the season, Rudy Carey’s Denver East team had never met a serious contender from Colorado. Most basketball aficionados familiar with the state tourney did not give Arapahoe a prayer to succeed against the proverbial powerhouse. East had won 15 straight games leading up to the game with Arapahoe.
“We were a huge underdog,” Snyder said.
Before the game the head coach reminded his team, “They are No. 1 for a reason – the pressure is on East and this is why they play the game. Anything can happen.”
The nearly packed Denver Coliseum was wild. The Warriors and the Angels were playing the second of four games, March 8.
“We played so well at halftime we were ahead by eight points,” said Snyder. “Our kids did great.”
East had never been in this type of a predicament since the season started playing Colorado teams.
In the second half, the Angel’s outscored the Warriors by seven and six points in the respective final periods.
“Arapahoe did not execute well and that was the difference in the game,” said Snyder. “We turned the ball over 14 times during the game, 10 of those times in the second half.”
The Warriors shot 9 of 19 free throws in the effort.
In a hard fought game, the Angels beat the Warriors by five points – 60 to 55. Carey, a longtime highly recognized Denver Public Schools coach, attained his 700th basketball victory.
“Our kids gave a great effort representing our team and our school well,” said. “The game came down to the last 10 seconds. We had way to many turnovers and East was the best talent in the state by a long shot.”
In the last five years, Arapahoe has been to the Elite Eight playoff games each year. They have been in the Final Four games twice in that period and once to the championship game.
Arapahoe’s Matt Glasscock will play basketball next season at Ft. Lewis in Durango. Thomas Trotman is narrowing his choices of where to play. Traven Sparks will play quarterback at Pomona next fall, an elite academic school.
Congratulations to the Cherry Creek School District’s super spellers! They will represent Cherry Creek Schools in the Colorado State Spelling Bee on March 16. Left to right in row one: Allison Xu, Tanzilla Purnota, Isalina Colsman, Ana Gijon Van Linden, Kendra Neumann, Andrew Ying, Grant Miller, Andrew Ker, and Shray Chauman. Left to right in row two: Riley Somo, Anna Ying, Ramshankar Balasubramaniyan, Megan Swierenga, Evan Damato, Daniel Schlatter, Valliappan Chidambaram and Superintendent Mary Chesley. Courtesy photo
Slantindicular, an adjective that means somewhat oblique, was just the word Shray Chauhan needed to win the 2013 Cherry Creek School District Spelling Bee, held Feb. 8 at the Student Achievement Resource Center. Chauhan is an eighth grader at Campus Middle School. Andrew Ker, a seventh grader from Laredo Middle School, took second place, while Grant Miller, a seventh grader from Falcon Creek Middle School, took third place.
Nearly 1,000 students took part in the spelling bee process, which began with school bees held at 47 elementary and middle schools earlier this year. The 203 top spellers then competed in the district bee, which began with a written spelling test, consisting of 50 words. For the third year in a row, the winner of the written test was Andrew Ying, who is now an eighth grader at Campus Middle School. The top 28 spellers then competed in an oral spelling bee.
The top 16 students will represent Cherry Creek Schools in the Colorado State Spelling Bee on March 16.
They are …
• Shray Chauhan –
Campus Middle School
• Andrew Ker –
Laredo Middle School
• Grant Miller –
Falcon Creek Middle School
• Andrew Ying –
Campus Middle School
• Kendra Neumann –
Campus Middle School
• Ana Gijon Van Linden –
Walnut Hills Elementary
• Isalina Colsman –
Cottonwood Creek Elementary
• Tanzilla Purnota –
• Allison Xu –
Cottonwood Creek Elementary
• Valliappan Chidambaram –
Sky Vista Middle School
• Daniel Schlatter –
West Middle School
• Evan Damato –
Cherry Creek Academy
• Megan Swierenga –
• Ramshankar Balasubramaniyan –
Falcon Creek Middle School
• Anna Ying –
• Riley Somo –
Laredo Middle School
The CCSD Spelling Bee is sponsored by the district’s Gifted and Talented Education department.
Superintendent Mary Chesley
“The Science Guy”Steve Spangler
‘The Science Guy’ and retiring Superintendent Chesley to speak
Submitted by CCSD
Steve Spangler will take a break from doing science experiments on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and appearing on 9News as “The Science Guy” to entertain guests at the 19th Annual Cherry Creek Schools Foundation Luncheon, March 15, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, 7800 E. Tufts Ave. The theme of this year’s luncheon is “A Formula for the Future.” Individual tickets are $100 and may be purchased online at www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp. Enter event code CCSF31513.
In his roles as author, professional speaker, toy designer and Emmy-winning television personality, Spangler has perfected the art of making learning fun. Luncheon guests will learn The Art of Flying Potatoes: Secrets to Creating Unforgettable Learning Experiences. Spangler was a science teacher in the Cherry Creek School District from 1991-2003. In 2001, he joined Denver NBC affiliate, KUSA-TV 9News as their Science Education Contributor. Spangler was awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest physics lesson in 2009 and was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame in 2010.
“We are honored to have Steve Spangler share his innovative learning techniques and interactive experiments with the Cherry Creek Schools community,” said Foundation Board Chairman Greg Berger.
Retiring Superintendent Mary Chesley will also be honored for her 24 years of service to the Cherry Creek School District.
Students from Greenwood Elementary will perform at the luncheon, which is presented by the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation and sponsored by FirstBank and EKS&H. The luncheon benefits the Cherry Creek School District and its 51,000 students.
Three of those students will receive special scholarships during the luncheon:
• Two students will receive the AVID Giving Generation Scholarship, which recognizes exceptional AVID students. AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a program that prepares students, especially those in the academic middle, for college eligibility and success.
• One student will receive the Monte C. Moses Future Educator Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student who plans to study education in college and pursue a career in teaching. The scholarship is presented in honor of former Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Monte Moses, who was the 2005 National Superintendent of the Year.
During the luncheon, the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation will also honor district and community members for their support of excellence in education:
• Karen and Bill Fisher will be recognized as the Foundation’s 2013 Champions of Education Honorees for their long-time service and dedication to Cherry Creek Schools and public education. The Fishers have served in leadership roles at the school and district level. They have also been active committee members of the First American State Bank Fitness Festival and Karen currently serves on the Executive Board of the Community Asset Project and Parents’ Council.
• Eric Flor will be recognized as the 2013 Catherine Canny Award Honoree. Flor, currently Assistant Superintendent of Educational Operations, is a U.S. Navy veteran who has served the Cherry Creek School District in many capacities during the past 26 years. He joined the district in 1987 as a teacher at Meadow Point Elementary, then taught at Summit and Peakview elementary schools, before becoming the assistant principal at Mission Viejo Elementary, and principal at Walnut Hills Elementary. In 2000, Flor became executive director of Elementary Education, before taking his current position in 2008.
In the past 18 years, the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation has raised and distributed more than $7 million dollars to support programs that impact student achievement and benefit students and teachers throughout the Cherry Creek School District. For more information about the Foundation or the Foundation Luncheon, call 720-554-4409 or visit www.ccsd
Now through March 2 Cherry Creek High School and the Student Senate will be putting on its 4th annual Wish Week. Every year Creek raises money to be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Wish of a Lifetime foundations.
Half of the money that is raised is used to grant the wish of a suffering child. This year Creek will help grant the wish of 3-year-old Thalia. Thalia suffers from Optic Nerve Glioma. Thalia’s wish is to go to Disney World, and Creek is determined to make that dream come true. Thalia enjoys the color pink, eating lollipops and listening to the music of Justin Bieber. She also loves popcorn, swimming, eating Italian food and playing with her younger sister.
The other half of the money will be donated to the Wish of A Lifetime Foundation, an organization whose goal is to honor those of the older generation by granting their wish. This year, Creek will be raising money to grant LeAnn’s wish. Her wish is to fly in a hot air balloon. Creek’s goal is to make LeAnn’s dream a reality.
The events for the week included Putt-Putt throughout the school on Monday night; a Choir Concert on Tuesday night; a Playoff Basketball game with special guests on Wednesday night; and a Talent Show, on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. There will be an assembly, Friday, March 1, at 2 p.m. in the CCHS South Gym..
If you are interested in making a monetary donation or finding more about the week, please log-on to the Cherry Creek High School website at www.cchs.ccsd.k12.co.us or download the Cherry Creek High School cell phone application from the Apple or Android stores. For further questions, please contact the CCHS Activities Office at 720-554-2393. Thank you for helping the Cherry Creek family in granting life-changing wishes.
Ashley Dolan, a former Cherry Creek High School feature twirler and now featured at the University of Texas, took home top honors in the Collegiate Solo event at the Ninth U.S. Intercollegiate and National High School Baton Twirling Championships. Courtesy photos
Former Cherry Creek High School feature twirler Ashley Dolan, who is now the feature twirler at the University of Texas, took top honors in the Collegiate Solo event at the Ninth U.S. Intercollegiate and National High School Baton Twirling Championships, held Feb. 3 at William Jewell College in Liberty, Miss. Dolan, a 2012 CCHS graduate, also earned second place in the Collegiate 3-Baton and Fight Song events.
Athletes from California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas took part in the competition, which is sponsored by National Coalition for the Advancement of Baton Twirling, an organization working to establish baton twirling as a scholastic sport at the high school and collegiate level.
“These talented twirlers add excitement and entertainment value to the game day experience for thousands of fans at high school and collegiate sporting events across the country,” said Sandi Wiemers, NCABT spokesperson. “At the same time, they are athletes themselves, who train very hard to represent their schools and bring home national honors in the sport of baton twirling.”
As the feature twirler for the University of Texas Longhorn Band, Dolan performs for 101,000 fans at every home football game. This fall, she also performed in the 2012 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, at the Formula I Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, and for University of Texas events honoring former First Lady Laura Bush and former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
This summer, Dolan will represent the United States at the 2013 International Cup Championships, to be held in August in Almere, Netherlands. More than 500 of the world’s best baton twirlers, representing 20 countries, will compete in individual and group events at the championships, which are sponsored by the World Baton Twirling Federation.
Dolan is a freshman at the University of Texas where she majoring in Elementary Education and English.
Sigrid Kite signs to play soccer at Pepperdine University.
Submitted by SMA
St. Mary’s Academy has a nearly 150-year tradition of educating students in Denver with a holistic approach, who have interests and strengths in several different capacities. Recently, four seniors were recognized in three disciplines, which continues a tradition of excellence from a St. Mary’s Academy education and experience.
Two seniors, Blair Batky and Paige J. Stock, have met all of the requirements to advance to finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program. They are two of 15,000 students recognized in the country.
Each year, 1.5 million students become eligible for the scholarship by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Semifinalists then submit a detailed scholarship application, exhibit an outstanding academic record, must be endorsed and recommended by a school official, and earn SAT scores that confirm their qualifying test performance.
From the Semifinalist group, some 16,000 meet Finalist requirements. “All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments–without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference,” as stated by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The scholarships total nearly $35 million and winners represent less than 1 percent of the initial pool of student entrants.
Sigrid Kite started her senior year being the focus of more than two-dozen colleges to play Division 1 soccer. But, her world changed dramatically when she broke her leg in a game with her Colorado Rush Soccer Club. Kite was concerned about the effect this would have on her college prospects. Until she heard from Pepperdine University. They informed her they remained interested in her and wanted to stay in touch during her rehabilitation. On Feb. 6, now at 100 percent, Kite signed with Pepperdine University, 2011 WCC Champions, on National Signing Day. This is the first day a high school senior can sign a letter of intent with a NCAA school. She said it was clear that the university valued her as a person. A dedicated soccer player and determined student.
Last week, senior Danielle Schablitsky received a “Silver Key” for her piece, A Winter Enigma from the Colorado Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Program. This recognition was awarded to only 500 students out of more than 4,000 entries and will have their work displayed at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. In addition to keys and certificates, more than a dozen Colorado colleges and universities award scholarships to participating seniors, last year totaling more than $260,000. Judges look for originality, technical competence and personal voice.
Paige J. Stock is a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program
Danielle Schablitsky received a “Silver Key” for her piece, A Winter Enigma, from the Colorado Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Program.
Blair Batky is a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program
After Creek’s last state wrestling championship match, coaches and two sets of twins from the Finesilver family pose for a photo at the Pepsi Center. Camille DuPont (left), an assistant coach, Josh, Mitch and Zack Finesilver and Bruins Head Coach Mike Luhring (wearing tie), Matt Finesilver and Assistant Coach Marcell Gash celebrate a first and fourth place win for the Finesilvers.
Since last November, two sets of twins from Steve and Brenda Finesilver’s family have actively competed in Cherry Creek High’s wrestling program. Mitch and Zack are 16 year old juniors competing on the Bruins’ varsity team. Their younger brothers Josh and Matt are 14 years old and on the varsity as freshmen. Three older sisters are also graduates of Creek.
The two sets of twins practice with each other and compete throughout the year. The four boys are incredibly close and do nearly everything together. The older boys share a cell phone, along with a car, driving their younger brothers around. The older twins are also remarkably competitive on the mat between each other.
When Zack was asked if he thought his younger brothers could eventually beat the older twins, he said, “I would like to think not,” while laughing.
This year Mitch, Zack and Matt advanced to the Colorado State Wrestling Championship held at the Pepsi Center. Josh had a very challenging district match and was unable to advance to the finals on the big stage.
On Feb. 23, Zack had some tough competition from Payton Tawater, another 126-pound wrestler from Arvada West, and finished in fourth place for the Bruins. He approximates that his record for the season was 41 and 3.
Toward the end of the evening, Mitch competed in the 120-pound weight class against a familiar foe, Adrian Cordova from Coronado High in Colorado Springs.
“It was a season in the making, the third meeting between Mitch and Cordova,” said Mike Luhring, the Bruins head wrestling coach who also teaches physical education and health at the school. “Mitch won the first tournament of the season and Cordova won the second between the two at the halfway point over winter break. The third meeting was last Saturday night.”
The 5A championship match went the full six minutes for the match with both competitors aggressively going after the other as two officials watched over. Two coaches from each team were on opposite corners of the massive mat.
“The game plan going into the match was to push the pace,” said Mitch Finesilver. “We knew the opponent and knew we had to stay aggressive and look for openings – waiting for him to come out of position.”
At the end of the feisty and challenging match, Mitch was declared the victor as one official grabbed his hand and raised it to signify the winner. In a somewhat formal manner, both wrestlers shook the hands of the officials and the opposing coaches and then exchanged well wishes with each other after the hard fought battle.
Mitch then headed off the main floor and to the area under the stands where he hugged his brothers and coaches. An exuberant assistant coach Marcell Gash jumped into the arms of Finesilver to celebrate. Mitch’s record for the season was 44 and 2.
Both of the Finesilver boys then had respective times on the champions stand. When asked why everyone looked so serious when posing for photos, Zack replied, “I was disappointed in winning fourth place and I also wanted to show respect to the sport and the competitors.”
The Finesilver boys excel academically with the older twins maintaining a 4.0 or greater GPA. They hope to become active in the National Honor’s Society their last year and a half in school. They will start considering colleges next year with their main focus on academics and secondly,
on a good wrestling program. They intend to attend the same college and may obtain scholarships.
“I am tremendously proud of the work and effort that all four boys have put into this sport and they have made school and wrestling not just something they do, but a lifestyle,” said Steve Finesilver, who is teacher and coach at George Washington in Denver. “My wife and I have never suggested that they do extra work, they have just taken up wrestling and school and work hard at it.”
Creek placed 11th in state competition with 49 schools competing and had four grapplers advance. The Bruins qualified four wrestlers for the end of the year competition, including Mason Harms who placed fifth in the 152 pound classification.
Creek’s Mitch Finesilver wrestles Coronado’s Adrian Cordova in the state 5A championship match in the 120-pound class. Photos by Tom Barry
Kent Denver’s Speech and Debate places fourth place overall in the 2013 California Invitational Tournament. Photo courtesy of Kent Denver
Submitted by Kent Denver
Kent Denver’s Speech and Debate team performed at an exceptional level and finished in fourth place overall among a field of 237 schools at the 2013 California Invitational Tournament held at the University of California, Berkeley.
A sign that the weekend would go well for the team was the early result turned in by Kent Denver senior Sam Mathews, who arrived in California on Feb. 13 as a competitor in the California Round Robin — an invitation-only tournament that hosted 12 of the nation’s best Lincoln Douglas debaters. After two days of competition, Sam was awarded the Tournament Championship.
After this impressive start, the 48 other students representing Kent Denver contributed to the team’s best-ever performance at the California Invitational, with exceptional programmatic strength across all events.
Since its inception 14 years ago, the Kent Denver Speech and Debate program has grown into one of the premier programs in Colorado and the nation. The team has won 12 state championships and qualified more than 225 individuals to the state tournament. In addition, the squad has earned a top three ranking in nearly every tournament attended since the 2003 season. At the national level, Kent Denver students have taken sixth place at the National Forensics League National Tournament in 2006, third place in Original Oratory at the 2007 National Tournament, fourth place in Policy Debate at the 2008 and 2010 National Tournaments, and sixth place in Lincoln Douglas Debate at the last year’s National Tournament.
Results from the Berkeley tournament
In Humorous Interpretation, in which 184 students from around the country sought the tournament title, Kent Denver advanced eight individuals into the top 48. Sophomore Michael Hudson finished third overall, junior Danny Lovato finished fourth, and sophomore Lane Baumgarten placed fifth.
In DUO Interpretation, four Kent Denver teams advanced to the elimination rounds. Juniors Hannah Monsour and Abbey Walker advanced to the top 14, and the team of Danny Lovato and Bailey Walker finished in fourth place among the field of 106 entrants.
In Original Oratory, five Kent Denver students advanced to the final 48 within the field of 204 speakers, and senior Elise Frank made it to the semi-final round, eclipsing the performance of 93 percent of the field. Frank also advanced to the final round of Impromptu Speaking, where she finished in fifth place overall within the field of 172 competitors. Three other KDS students advanced to elimination rounds in this highly competitive event.
In Dramatic Interpretation, with 176 students competing for the title, four Kent Denver students advanced to the elimination rounds, with senior Sofia Rainaldi and Danny Lovato finishing in the top 14. Lovato is the first Kent Denver speech competitor to enter and advance to elimination rounds in three separate events at the California Invitational (Humor, DUO, and Drama).
Last but not least in the speech events, one Kent Denver student placed 28th among 76 competitors in Expository Speaking, while another placed in the top 24 in Extemporaneous Speaking, surpassing more than 87 percent of the 185-person field.
In the Debate events, senior Jenna Peters became the first Kent Denver student to advance to elimination rounds in Congressional Debate. She concluded in the semi-finals of the 134-person field.
In Policy Debate, senior Alex Patel and a visiting partner, Rohan Jennings, navigated the highly competitive 234-team field to amass a 5-1 preliminary round record and enter elimination rounds as the 29th seed. The team finished tied for 17th overall.
In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 353 debaters vied for the top spot at the podium. After six preliminary rounds, senior James Callison had amassed a perfect record and entered the elimination rounds as the fifth seed. Sam Mathews went 5-1 to claim the 13th seed, and senior David Kading claimed a 51st seed with his 4-2 record in preliminary rounds. Callison and Kading concluded their weekend of debating tied for 17th, while Mathews concluded his tournament in ninth place, losing a very close round to the eventual tournament champion. With this performance, Mathews earned his eighth bid to the prestigious Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky; he is tied as the top-qualifying student to this event, the most prestigious debate tournament on the national circuit.
More than 50 Kent Denver students currently participate in the program.
For regular and timely updates of the Kent Denver Speech and Debate team, please follow @kdsspeech and @kdsdebate on Twitter.
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