Kadet Kickoff Tennis Tournament

File, The Gazette

If it’s time for the boys’ state golf tournaments – which take place Monday and Tuesday – then one thing is for certain.

Boys’ tennis isn’t far behind.

This week, regional tournaments will take center stage as state berths will be up for grabs across the state, and Cheyenne Mountain once again will play host to the 4A Region 6 event, tentatively scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

“I couldn’t tell you exactly, but I think it’s been at our place at least 20 years,” said Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams, who began coaching at the District 12 school in 1987. “Once we got our facility built and we had eight courts, things moved in our direction.”

The Indians have claimed the region trophy the past three years and finished third overall in the final team standings at the state tournament at Pueblo City Park in 2017.

Air Academy snapped a long Cheyenne Mountain winning streak when it snagged the region crown in 2014.

“Playing on our home court is somewhat of an advantage, but at the end of the day, the lines are the same,” Adams said. “The strongest teams usually prevails.”

In addition to host Cheyenne Mountain and longtime rival Air Academy, players representing Colorado Springs Christian School, Coronado, Harrison, Sand Creek, The Vanguard School and Widefield will converge on the Indians’ courts for the tournament.

Other regionals will take place at Pueblo City Park (Region 7) featuring Canon City, Fountain Valley and Mesa Ridge, with Palmer Ridge and Lewis-Palmer (Region 1) and Discovery Canyon (Region 3) also competing in Class 4A.

In 5A, Palmer (Region 1), Rampart (Region 3), Doherty (Region 5), Pine Creek (Region 6) and Liberty and Fountain-Fort Carson (Region 8) will be competing at sites in the Denver Metro area.

Area football teams choose midseason bye weeks

After the Colorado High School Activities Association voted to align its schedule with the National Federation of High School Associations, the shift allowed football programs to start early and take a bye week prior to the start of the league season.

A number of local schools took advantage of that.

“The season was extended by a week, so we had an opportunity to build in a bye,” Discovery Canyon coach Shawn Mitchell said. “In the past, if you wanted a bye, you had to play a Zero Week game, and you always had to scramble to get ready for a game that early. Now, you can build a week off midway through the season, and I thought that would work best for us.”

Discovery Canyon (5-0), in addition to Pine Creek (4-1), Rampart (3-2) and Palmer Ridge (3-2) took last week off after starting their seasons a week before most on Aug. 24-25.

“Most of us had a rigorous nonconference schedule,” said Mitchell, whose team played top 3A foes Pueblo South. Holy Family and Pueblo East the past three weeks. “We needed a week off to heal and recuperate and maybe get that mental and physical break from playing a lot of football.”

Doherty cross country learns by not running

Cross country team members representing Doherty didn’t take part in a race over the weekend but came away with a winning experience anyway.

Nearly two dozen runners manned a pair of aid stations at the Colorado Springs Marathon on Saturday.

“It was a good week to lay back and give back to the running community that gives back to us,” longtime Spartans cross country and track coach Rob Duensing said. “We have so many kids who want to get involved. They thought it was so cool that the runners were thanking us for being there. We had a good time cheering them on.”

The teams still got their training in, despite a wakeup call at 4:45 a.m.

“It didn’t end after the race,” Duensing said. “At about 11, we all went on our run. It’s all about a lifelong love of running. I like to win, but when those kids come back, and they’re still running, that’s the good stuff.”

Rampart names new girls basketball coach

Justin Abbott was recently named girls’ basketball coach at Rampart, replacing Ashley Miller, who recently took an assistant post with the women’s basketball squad at Air Force.

Abbott, 26, had served as junior varsity girls’ coach at Lewis-Palmer the past two seasons. He’s in his third year as a history teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School, a Rampart feeder school.

“I’m definitely very excited for the season to start, and this is a great opportunity that presented itself,” said Abbott, a graduate of Northern Arizona University. “There’s a great culture at Rampart, and I’m expecting 100 percent effort every day. My mindset is how we can grow and putting forth as much effort as we can.”

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