boys golf

Reigning state champs Valor Christian joins 4A Jeffco

Golden poised to compete with Valor; other coaches too

Photo by Dan Williams
Lakewood junior Kevin Liao practices at the driving range.
Dan Williams
D'Evelyn lost several strong golfers to graduation from last season but emerging players like sophomore Nick Michas — who has one of the prettiest swings you'll ever see — have people thinking that the Jaguars won't skip a beat.
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I look at it like now we have a chance to go out there and compete against the best team in the state and that is just going to raise our level of play”
— D"Evelyn Coach Troy Patcher

It may not seem fair but in this case as the saying goes, it is what it is.

Valor Christian has joined 4A Jeffco is every sport except for football for the next two-year cycle, CHSAA decided during the offseason.

That means Valor’s juggernaut golf program has joined D’Evelyn, Golden, Wheat Ridge, Green Mountain, Evergreen and Conifer in 4A Jeffco.

That also means that those original six 4A Jeffco teams absolutely have their work cut out for them if they want to compete with the reigning state champions.

“It’s going to be really tough to compete with Valor, they are really in a league of their own,” Green Mountain coach Derek Van Tassel said.”But we want to continue to get better and be able to compete with them.”

To put things perspective, not only is Valor a really good team but they are one of the great golf teams in the history of Colorado high school golf.

Not only do the Eagles have the five best varsity golfers in the state but they could perhaps crack out 20 golfers that are as good as any of the previously best golfers in Jeffco.

“Everyone knows Valor as a football school, but in reality their best sport just might be golf,” Wheat Ridge coach Tom Dowd said. “They might be able to beat some college teams.”

And coach Dowd is not kidding. Valor has already won four state titles in the school’s short existence and is expected to be one of the best teams in the state again this year.

Defending 4A Jeffco league champion D’Evelyn lost five solid senior contributors to graduation. But the Jaguars are still expecting to give Valor a run for their money as they return a pair of seniors who have both taken steps forward with their games over the summer.

Stud basketball player Grant Witherspoon and Ross Bradley are the new leaders of team D’Evelyn, and along with super-talented sophomore Nick Michas the Jaguars will be solid again this season.

“We lost a lot of really good contributing players to graduation but our two seniors this year have really stepped up and are looking good this year,” D’Evelyn coach Troy Pachner said.

Pachner added that he realizes his team’s days of winning league titles might temporarily be over until his team can find away go compete with Valor but he is actually excited about the Eagles joining 4A Jeffco.

“I look at it like now we have a chance to go out there and compete against the best team in the state and that is just going to raise our level of play,” Pachner said.

While coaches in 4A Jeffco have every right to be upset that the best team in the state is joining their conference and will basically dominated it at least for the first couple years, Pachner shared the same sentiment as the rest of his fellow Jeffco coaches.

“Valor is the best there is no doubt about it but that just means we have to get better. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the league and we hope we can compete with them a little,” Golden coach John Anderson said.

The Demons might be 4A Jeffco’s best bet to challenge Valor as they have four talented returning sophomores and five players who are all capable of shooting in the 70s.