Sports

Top 10 Jeffco sports stories of 2013

State titles, runners-up, a firing and feel good stories fill our list

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Wheat Ridge slugger Ann Marie Torre and coach Marty Stricklett hi-five after a huge defensive stop against Broomfield.
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Faith Christian football isn’t officially a Jeffco program but all of Jeffco can certainly respect the incredible season the Eagles had.
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Faith Christian football isn’t officially a Jeffco program but all of Jeffco can certainly respect the incredible season the Eagles had.
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Posted

It is always fun to look back and reminisce on the good old days ... of earlier this year.

But in sports to reflect on recent accomplishments, especially in preps sports, always warms the holiday heart. And in Jeffco sports this season both boys and girls the long-time league had a banner year.

Here is a look at the top 10 stories in Jeffco sports from 2013.

10) Ralston Valley boys’ golf; The Mustangs made a run at a team state title at the state golf tournament at Murphy Creek Golf Course.

Ralston Valley finished second in state as a team with scores of 221-227 — 448, 23 strokes behind state champion Regis Jesuit 212-213—245.

Neil Tillman led the charge for Ralston Valley shooting back-to-back 74s and finished +4 (74-74—148) and Keegan Sheard shot well both days finishing +5 (73-76—149).

9) Pomona football; The Panthers made a run all the way to the state quarterfinals where they played No. 1 Fairview, and after holding an early lead fell 35-24.

It was the second meeting between the two schools; Fairview beat Pomona 33-30 in overtime in Week 8.

Fairview went on to the state championship game, but Pomona once again proved itself as one of the best programs in the state.

8) Soggy spring sports season; Schedule makers scattered to reschedule soccer, lacrosse, tennis, baseball and track and field after one of the wettest springs seasons and snowiest April’s in history.

The Colorado High School Activities Association estimated more than 1,000 cancellations and postponements and assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann called this season the worst in 25 years.

7) Scotty Lubkeman graduates from Golden; The iconic Demons’ alum played basketball, was an excellent student and was one of the most popular kids in school.

Lubkeman also just happens to have Down syndrome. But that certainly has never slowed Scotty down. Lubkeman is now a Golden boys’ basketball assistant coach.

6) Faith Christian football; The Eagles are not technically a Jeffco school, but they are certainly in the Jeffco district. And all their football team did this year was run all the way to the state championship game where they were beaten by Platte Valley 28-19.

But their incredible run at a title included beating No. 1 ranked Brush 24-14 on their home field, all while averaging 67.5 points per game over the their 10 win season.

5) Reid Kahl dismissed from Wheat Ridge; The longtime Wheat Ridge coach was dismissed from his head coaching position and transferred to Jefferson High School after making inappropriate remarks to a student on his Facebook page.

Kahl has fought to get his job back and has had ample support, but his actions made the decision easy for the school district.

However, without Kahl the football program which was regarded as one of the best in the state is impacted. Kahl won two state titles in his eight seasons with the Farmers.

4) Jefferson Saints football; The resurgence of the Jefferson Saints program is perhaps the feel good sports story of the year.

After Jefferson football won only 2 games in 10 years going 2-77, alum Anthony Rankin took over the program and took it to the playoffs for the first time since the 1980s and gave them their first winning season since 1996.

A scheduling flap cost Jefferson a forfeit and nearly cost them a playoff berth. However, someone was watching over the Saints and they qualified for the playoffs as a wildcard and one of the best teams in 2A football.

3) D’Evelyn girls’ hoops; The Jaguars were a force last season and ran all the way to the state championship game before falling to Pueblo South 66-42.

D’Evelyn had lost only two game the entire season finishing 26-2 (14-0 in 4A Jeffco) and they were good enough to win a state title. Pueblo South was just better that day.

2) Jeffco at state wrestling; There were too many standout performers to mention but Jeffco wrestling in 2012-2013 needed to be high on this list.

Not only did Pomona win a 5A state team title but Jeffco produced state titles from all over the district including Aaron Cisneros who at 126 pounds won Jefferson’s first ever state championship.

In addition, Bear Creek’s P.T. Garcia scored a 10-5 victory over Devon Zavala of Denver East in the 5A 132-pound final to capture his second consecutive state championship.

1) Wheat Ridge softball; After barely falling short of a state title in 2012, the 2013 Lady Farmers put it all together and beat Erie 4-0 to win a 4A state championship.

Coach Marty Stricklett put another ring on his ringer and another banner in Wheat Ridge’s gym after the Farmers’ 24-1 record (7-0 in 4A Jeffco).

Star sluggers sophomore Ann Marie Torres and junior Analece Apocada provided the power and senior Jessica Salbato was the ace that put it all together.