Prep notebook: Former TCA coach takes reins at girls' soccer rival Manitou Springs
Mike Fox spent six seasons building the girls’ soccer program at The Classical Academy before stepping away near the height of its success. After three seasons away from coaching while focusing on his family, Fox is returning to the sidelines next season at one of TCA’s main rivals, Manitou Springs.
Ironically, Fox’s last game was a 3A state quarterfinal loss to Manitou Springs in May 2009. TCA won the 3A state title the next season under current coach Blake Galvin.
“This is the right opportunity to get back into coaching,” Fox said. “I had two daughters at TCA then, and it was a good time to stop coaching then. It was time for my family. Now that my girls are out of college, I’m looking forward to coaching again.”
In five seasons of varsity play, Fox led TCA to the state quarterfinals three times.
“His experience really caught my eye,” Manitou Springs athletic director John McGee said. “He has coached at the 3A level successfully for a number of years.”
The Mustangs, who reached the 3A semifinals in 2009-10, went 12-6 last season before falling to St. Mary’s in the state quarterfinals.
Fox will replace Maurissa Mursch.
Lewis-Palmer’s McKinstry hits coaching milestone
Russ McKinstry, the fifth-year boys’ basketball coach at Lewis-Palmer, chalked up his 400th victory of his 25-year coaching career Tuesday and made sure to cherish it.
Taking a few years off to fight cancer certainly puts things in perspective.
“I’m so grateful to be around to share my 400th with my family and coaches,” said McKinstry, taking a moment off from breaking down tape of Thursday’s opponent, D’Evelyn. “It’s pretty special.”
Prior to the 2008-09 season, McKinstry was offered the position at Lewis-Palmer after the fight of his life. The Colorado native had coached at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., when he was diagnosed with cancer. McKinstry had previously coached at Lewis-Palmer in 1990-93 before his journeys took him to Greeley Central and Smoky Hill.
Last year, the Rangers won the 4A crown after three consecutive setbacks in the state semifinals.
“I’ve been very lucky,” McKinstry said. “I’ve been very blessed to have these great players, great assistant coaches and the support of my family. I’ve been in the right place in the right time and have been very lucky.”
Professional basketball team takes tour to Falcon
The Harlem Wizards, a professional entertainment basketball team, is taking its act to Falcon at 7 p.m. Jan. 23. The event is a comedic take on a regular basketball game, and the Wizards, a traveling extension of the Harlem Globetrotters, have toured the world with players with collegiate and professional experience.
The Wizards will hold a promotional visit from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 23 at Falcon and iConnect Zone schools.
For tickets or other information, visit harlemwizards.com
Area grapplers head to Greeley for annual tournament
The Old Chicago Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament marks its 14th year, and once again, the state’s and region’s top wrestlers will compete for titles Friday and Saturday at Greeley’s Island Grove Event Center.
Coronado, Discovery Canyon, Doherty, Lewis-Palmer, Liberty, Palmer Ridge and Pine Creek will represent the Pikes Peak region and are among the field of 60 teams and 680 competitors from Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.
“Short of the state tournament, this is probably the best pound-for-pound individual tournament across the Front Range and Rocky Mountain region,” Liberty coach Shawn Springsteen said. “Part of the reason why it’s on our schedule is that we want to demystify the state tournament by hitting another big tournament, and we’re hoping this is a springboard to the Pepsi Center. But this will be a reality check on how ready our guys are, or aren’t.”
From Colorado, 18 participating teams are ranked in the top 10 in their respective classes, along with 190 individuals in the top 10 that also includes 30 top-ranked wrestlers.
Falcon standout receiver, defensive back to retain mascot in college
Brodie Hicks spent the past four years being a Falcon. He’ll spend the next four years as a Falcon, too.
Hicks, the talented playmaker on both sides of ball at Falcon as a wide receiver and defensive back, recently accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy.
“You couldn’t ask for a better kid,” Falcons coach Trevor Hudson said. “He’s a leader and example of a great young man and was a dream and honor to coach. You don’t get kids like that every year.”
Last season, Hicks caught 12 passes for 225 and four touchdowns, rushed for 103 yards and two scores and also led the team with three interceptions.