Pirates soccer on a roll
The girls’ soccer team at St. Mary’s is picking up where the school’s championship basketball team left off.
With four players transitioned over from the girls’ hoops team that won the Class 3A title a week ago, the Pirates have combined for 12 goals in two shutout performances to start the spring season.
Seems of late, it doesn’t matter the sport at St. Mary’s -- winning is in.
“I think everybody seems to be a little lighter in their step,” said soccer coach Gregg Braha, pointing to the school’s hoops and cheerleading state champions from this year. “I think everybody is taking a little more pride in who they are and what their athletic achievements are and can be. There does seem to be an optimism surrounding all the athletic programs right now.”
“Success does breed success,”
St. Mary’s soccer has joined in the fun -- at least through two games.
Mary Brummel has five goals for an offense that struggled to score in the preseason. The junior had two in a 7-0 win over Pagosa Springs on Friday night and three more in a 5-0 victory over Bayfield on Saturday morning.
Even more, the Pirates’ defense has allowed just four shots, helping Becca Dunbaugh notch the ninth and 10th shutouts of her career.
“Our defense has been solid and working together very well,” Braha said. “And the offense has seemed to catch up pretty quickly.”
Peyton pitchers everywhere
Peyton is not just chock-full of pitching -- they’re a team of pitchers.
Of the 26 players on roster, every guy spends at least some time working to develop their arms for the mound in Panthers coach Kelly Nickell’s pitch-first, pitch-always philosophy.
“Everybody on our teams works as a pitcher,” Nickell said before stressing, “You have to have pitching.”
Through two games, though, it’s the hitting that has been overwhelming.
Rodney Gregg is 6 for 6 in 10 plate appearances and Jaeden Meyers and Rupert Shaw have each driven in five runs in a collective smashing start to the year.
The Panthers are hoping to get back to the Class 2A quarterfinals for a second straight year, and hopefully further.
They’ll face Simla in a two-game set starting Monday.
Kadets play it close
Air Academy has four straight dual victories to begin the spring girls’ tennis season -- the last three coming by the slimmest of margins.
Following a 7-0 win over Falcon to start the season, Air Academy has beaten each Coronado, Rampart and Discovery Canyon 4-3. Coach Matt Kiser points to his team’s depth as the difference.
“I think we’re deep,” Kiser said. “Our doubles have been pretty strong all the way through four-doubles. There’s four doubles and three singles, so if you can win most of your doubles matches you’re in good shape.”
Air Academy’s doubles teams have won 13 of their 16 matches and No. 1 singles player Cori Campbell has won three of four.
Kiser said the program has grown in numbers to where the Kadets need a JV and a C-team.
Rangers off and running
Early signs are pointing in the right direction for Lewis-Palmer, which has won four in a row to begin the baseball season.
Jason Shuger has struck out 23 in three winning efforts, Marshall commit Brady Choban has the other win, and the Rangers are off and running in 2018.
“I think this year we’re going to be pretty strong,” L-P coach Brett Lester said. “We have a real strong junior class and some good upperclassmen leadership. Even our JV and C-team levels, a lot of guys are pushing to move up. I think we’re going to be pretty strong for a year or two here.”
The Rangers are hoping to improve upon an 11-9 season a year ago, when they finished fifth in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference standings.