Most Viewed Stories
- Prep notebook: Memorial Day all-star baseball games for top prep players
- Ramsey: Cheyenne Mountain should be tough to beat again in 2014
- State track and field notes
- TCA misses chances in 1-0 2OT loss to Peak to Peak in 3A girls’ soccer final
- Ramsey: Distraught TCA misses chances in 3A girls’ soccer final
Trio of area's best hopes to invigorate offense at Northern Colorado
Links to the rest of The Gazette's signing day stories.
In a matter of minutes Wednesday afternoon, Northern Colorado’s offense received an immediate upgrade, thanks to signatures from three of the Pikes Peak region’s most prolific and game-changing athletes.
Running backs Anthony Davis, of Fountain-Fort Carson, and Brandon Cartagena, of Vista Ridge, and Wasson receiver DJ Hanes were among 19 athletes to sign their national letter of intent to the Greeley school.
All three were selected to the 2012 Gazette 5A-4A first team, and Davis earned honors as the division’s Peak Performer of the Year.
“There’s a lot of good talent going up there from Colorado Springs,” Hanes said. “Hopefully, the three of us will give them something to watch and enjoy in the future.”
Davis gained 1,677 yards during the 2012 season in which he guided the Trojans into the second round of the 5A state playoffs. He scored 19 touchdowns and averaged 152.5 yards.
Cartagena, a top-three finisher in both the 100 and 200 meters at last spring’s 4A state track and field championships, also rushed for 19 touchdowns, galloping for 1,582 yards on 195 carries. Like the Trojans, the Wolves also won a game in the 4A playoffs before bowing out in the next round.
Hanes, a first-team, all-state selection, ranked sixth in Colorado in all classes with 984 receiving yards. Overall, he hauled in 51 catches, including 10 touchdowns.
“I hope this sets the tone to get more attention for athletes in Colorado Springs,” Davis said. “We played a lot of Denver schools, and I think that helped get the exposure I needed.”
Northern Colorado, a member of the Big Sky Conference, plays in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA. The Bears posted a 5-6 record last season but ended on a high note, winning their last three.
“I think this could be the best class, to this date, that we’ve signed,” Bears coach Earnest Collins Jr. said in a release. “I said that about last year’s class, but if we keep doing that, we keep signing better, we’re going to have no choice but to get better on the field."
While Davis and Cartagena verbally committed within days of each other in late January, Hanes didn’t visit the campus until last weekend. That was all he needed.
“Northern Colorado was one of my favorites all along, and I was impressed when I went on my visit,” Hanes said. “I committed on Sunday. I really wanted to stay close to home.”