Taking over as coach for Lewis-Palmer's hockey program was a "no-brainer" for Kevin Margarucci.
The Rangers' longtime assistant accepted the promotion after former coach Hal Jordan resigned last month. His familiarity with the school and hockey program made the decision easy.
"It just seemed right," he said. "I was there from Day 1 when the program started back in 2006. So the opportunity to be head coach and be a part of Lewis-Palmer athletics was just exciting."
Margarucci, who was an athletic trainer and teacher at Lewis-Palmer for nearly 15 years before he was named manager of player safety for USA Hockey in 2015, was also on staff for the hockey program's championships in 2010 and 2011.
His priority is to lead the Rangers back to the semifinals, where they haven't been in six years.
"Every team is going to be different but the goal is to build these kids back up and get back to the Final Four," Margarucci said.
He'll start with a young roster next year. The Rangers graduate eight seniors from a team that lost in the second round of the postseason and are only projected to have four returning seniors in 2017-18.
"For me, it's starting with fundamentals for the kids," Margarucci said. "It's about getting back to the basics and doing all that stuff really well, and getting the kids playing together and competing hard. If we can do that, we'll be successful and have a good year. And then we'll build off that each year after that."
Injured senior finds new role with Pine Creek girls' lacrosse
The Eagles dedicated their 18-4 victory over Aspen on Friday to senior defender Morgan Miller, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
Miller suffered the injury earlier in the week but has since tried to help her team from the sideline.
"She had an MRI on Friday morning and came to the game and kept the scorebook," Pine Creek coach Roger Wallace said. "She was in the huddle, and then she was there when we went to discuss the game with our timeouts and at halftime. So she's there for them and they're there for her."
Brittney White had six goals and two assists as the Eagles avenged last season's postseason loss to Aspen with a lopsided win. The Eagles are 6-1.
"I think last year was a building block for us in regards to where we are right now," Wallace said. "We are re-using our experiences from last year to carry through this season. I know we as coaches, we have some great expectations for this team."
Lewis-Palmer has top three divers in the state
The Rangers swept the top three diving spots at the Indian Invite with the top three 11-dive scores in the state.
Jack Nagle won with a score of 482.95, followed by Aric Althouse's 482.85 and Noah Bettner's 479.65.
Lewis-Palmer coach Alan Arata called it the deepest dive team in program history.
"That's what we want," Arata said. "We want to have a powerhouse diving team. . Every year it seems like we're getting a little bit better."
Bettner took fourth at 5A state last season, while Nagle was ninth.
Air Academy's Powell, Palmer Ridge's distance team make noise at Arcadia
Ethan Powell won the seeded mile in 4 minutes and 18.62 seconds at the Arcadia Invitational (Calif.) on Saturday, while the five Palmer Ridge distance runners also placed at the meet.
Jeremy Meadows led the way for the Bears with a 4:18.50 in the mile invitational and took ninth. Drew Lester was in Powell's event, and took 16th at 4:32.83.
"Overall it was just a great experience for the guys," Palmer Ridge coach Rob Collins said. "It helps me evaluate things with races coming up to hopefully help set these guys up for success down the road."