It’s an early spring, and that has nothing to do with Punxsutawney Phil apparently not seeing his shadow earlier this month.

On Monday, practices for spring sports – baseball, girls’ golf, lacrosse, girls’ soccer, boys’ swimming, girls’ tennis and track and field – get started. It’s a week earlier than previous years after a vote last spring by the Colorado High School Activities Association council to align with the National Federation of High Schools calendar.

Perhaps the biggest change to the spring sports season occurs in baseball, where the sport has expanded to its regular season from 19 to 23 games that will push the end of the state tournament into early June, with hopefully more stable summer-like weather to accompany the move.

Among last spring’s highlights in the Pikes Peak region included a first-ever boys’ 4A state lacrosse title for Cheyenne Mountain and track and field state titles by Fountain Fort-Carson (5A boys) and The Classical Academy (3A girls).

The first day spring sports can begin varsity play is Feb. 28 (girls’ golf and boys’ tennis) and the rest on March 7.

Rampart fetes girls’ state champ swim/dive team

Rampart held an assembly Friday to honor its two-time defending 4A girls’ swimming and diving state champions.

During the season, the Rams broke seven Colorado Springs Metro League meet records, eight team marks and two 4A state meet marks.

Rampart’s 200-yard medley relay team and senior Edenna Chen (100 breaststroke) set 4A state meet records en route to state titles, and diver Maggie Buckley also stood on the podium’s top step.

“These girls are special,” Rampart principal Pete Alvarez said. “We’re lucky to have them and blessed to have them part of our community. I can’t say enough about what they do in the pool and in the classroom. They make our school a better place.”

3A-1A hoops brackets delayed by weather

Usually, Sunday would have been a day when coaches, players and fans following small-school basketball in Colorado were printing out regional brackets and looking forward to the next game.

Mother Nature had other plans.

This weekend’s short-lived yet powerful winter storm prevented a handful of district tournaments from finishing as scheduled Saturday. On Sunday, weather-delayed events were completed in Sterling (2A District 2), Durango (2A District 3), Lamar (1A District 2) and Wray (1A District 5).

Two more remain for Monday at Montezuma-Cortez (3A Intermountain) and Lamar (1A District 3).

Regional play begins Friday in 1A, 2A and 3A.

Cheyenne Mountain posts opening for girls’ basketball coach

Cheyenne Mountain on Wednesday began advertising the position of head girls’ basketball coach.

Midway through the season, assistant coach Travion Paillette, a 2013 Sierra graduate, took over for Ben Sherman, who stepped down to what Indians athletic director Kris Roberts called “a personal conflict.”

The Indians went 7-16 this season and qualified for the 4A playoffs as the No. 48 seed but bowed out to Sierra in the first round Feb. 19.

Those interested in the position can contact Roberts at 719-630-4115 or kroberts@cmsd12.org.

BY KEVIN CARMODY

preps@gazette.com

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