The proposed rule for boys and girls basketball would start a running clock if a team leads by 40 points or more at the end of the third quarter. The clock would stop only for timeouts or injuries.
If the board adopts the mercy rule, it would be enforced for the 2016-17 season.
Administrators and coaches are lining up on both sides. Those in favor of implementing the rule argue it could spare the losing team the humiliation of a major blowout. Those against the rule contend it takes time away from players who might not see action in a close game.
"I'm in favor of it," said Mark Duitsman, Lutheran girls basketball coach and athletic director. "I have been on both sides of a lopsided score and I see teachable moments in both circumstances, but I don't see the rule impacting those lessons."
Many coaches don't like the proposed rule change.
"I'm not in favor of changes," ThunderRidge boys coach Joe Ortiz said. "When we get up a lot on an opponent, we sub out. I hate giving up the playing time for our subs that don't get very much playing time."
Cherry Creek girls coach Chris Curneen agrees.
"Every minute of court time is valuable," he said. "Once I get up by a comfortable margin, I usually use the extra minutes to get some of my younger players some valuable playing time."
Highlands Ranch girls coach Caryn Jarocki brings up another point against the mercy rule.
"Teams can work on things regardless of the score and regardless of if they are winning or losing," she said. "On a lesser note, the mercy rule affects teams in regard to the record books. All records have been derived from teams playing full games for a full season, not shortened ones. Those teams/players are essentially being penalized with shortened games."
Blue night scheduled
It is gratifying when differences and rivalries are put aside in a show of support for a person or issue.
Legacy received well wishes and support from schools in the state and outside of Colorado after the Sept. 11 crash that killed bus driver Kari Chopper.
And Chaparral plays Legend Sept. 22 at EchoPark Automotive Stadium in Parker with Wolverines fans wearing navy blue and Titans fans donning royal blue to honor American military personnel. Any service member in uniform will be admitted free and will help crown Chaparral homecoming royalty at halftime.
There will also be donation jars around the stadium to raise money to support Detective Dan Brite and his family. Brite was shot by a suspect Sept. 2 and has been hospitalized since then.
Local team wins hockey tourney
Members of the Castle View High School hockey team combined with the Arapahoe Midget Major AA travel team to form the Castle View/Arapahoe Midget Major club, which won the Regis Twisted Wrister tournament on Sept. 17.
The Castle View/Arapahoe team, made up of players 18 and under, was coached by Tim Walsh and notched a 2-1 title victory over Westminster Hyland Hills.
Valor softball to face tests
Thomas Jefferson and Valor Christian, two undefeated softball teams, played Sept. 17 in Highlands Ranch.
Valor improved to 11-0 with another mercy-rule win and downed the Spartans (12-1) in a 12-2 non-league victory.
In 11 games, the Eagles have outscored opponents 122-5 and coach Dave Atencio isn't concerned that Valor hasn't been tested yet.
With Jeffco 4A league play starting, the Eagles play Wheat Ridge Sept. 22 and the Farmers were the only team to beat state champion Valor last season.
"Our kids continue to play with poise and with determination," Atencio said. "We start league play against rival Wheat Ridge. They are a formidable program and will give us all we can handle. D'Evelyn and Mullen will also be tough for us."
Nance goes out on top
Coach Ralph Nance, who helped Faith Christian win the Class 3A baseball championship last spring, announced his retirement as baseball coach but will remain as the Eagles' football coach.
Jim Polson was hired to replace Nance as baseball coach. Polson has coached as an assistant at Pomona, Ralston Valley, Fairview and Mountain Range.
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-566-4083.
« Dimitri Stanley, football, junior, Cherry Creek: He scored three touchdowns in the Bruins' 28-3 win over Arapahoe on Sept. 15. He rushed twice for 13 yards and a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
« Juliet Burke, volleyball, senior, Valor Christian: She had an 85.7 kill percentage with six kills and a block in the Eagles' 3-0 win over Highlands Ranch on Sept. 13.
« Kobe Eller, football, senior, Highlands Ranch: He rushed for 277 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons' 31-28 double-overtime victory over Chaparral on Sept. 16.
« Tate Wildeman, football, junior, Legend: Wildeman sparked the Titans' defensive effort in a 27-7 win over Castle View on Sept. 15. He had three sacks and recovered a fumble.
Colorado Community Media selects five athletes from high schools in the south metro area each week as "Standout Performers." Preference is given to athletes making their debut on the list. To nominate an athlete, contact Jim Benton at email@example.com
Who is your favorite professional or collegiate athlete (past or present)?
Bianka Bell (LSU softball). She is a beast and reaches out to fans. She is also a leader.
Why do you participate in sports?
I'm a competitive person, and I'll always have my teammates' backs.
What is your favorite type of music and who is your favorite artist/group?
Pop, and my favorite group is Parachute because they help me relax right before game time.
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
I drink a root beer before every game, and my right sock is always inside out.
What is your favorite subject in school?
Language arts. It helps me express and free my mind.
What is your favorite book?
"Peak." It's about a boy who trains hard to climb Mount Everest and overcame all his fears.
"Keeping Score With..." is a Q&A with high school athletes in the south metro area. Email Colorado Community Media sports writer Jim Benton at jbenton @coloradocommunitymedia.com if you or someone you know would like to participate.
The ground under the 5-kilometer course that looped around Elizabeth High School Stadium shook as hundreds of runners took part in the competition on Sept. 13. Runners representing 26 schools entered the competition. There were four different races: boys and girls open divisions and boys and girls varsity races.
The course began and ended in the stadium, following a circular course up and down the hills in the area.
"We are a young team, but our numbers are growing," Pirates coach Ryan Wess said before the meet. "Two years ago we had three runners, last year we had 12, and this year we have 18 athletes on the roster. The turnout for the boys has been good with 14 runners on the team. Unfortunately, we only have four girls, so we don't have enough runners to enter as a team. We just keep trying to convince more girls to join us. But the girls who are running with us are competing as individuals."
He said the program is growing and the growth is aided by the fact that Englewood now has a summer cross country program, which brought success as the Pirates finished first in the two five-team meets they ran earlier in the season. But he said this will be a tougher test because the Pirates will be going against good runners from a lot of different schools.
Cross country is an individual and a team competition. The first runner across the finish line is the medalist. But runners also earn team points according to where they finish in the field. The first finisher gets one point and the 10th finisher gets 10 points. A team can enter seven runners but the points earned by the top five finishers make up the team total and the team with the lower score wins the meet team title.
The sun was shining as the boys open race started but clouds rolled in from the west as the day went on. The varsity boys were on the course when there were sprinkles of raindrops. However, because of the possibility of lightning, the girls race was started early, and about halfway through the girls race it was announced there was lightning within six miles of the stadium and people were urged to go into the high school building. The light rain fell on and off but the girls race was finished without another lightning warning.
Englewood was one of 21 teams competing in the boys varsity race. D'Evelyn won the team trophy with 80 points and Englewood finished 18th with 473 points. Sophomore Trevor Fama was the first Pirate across the line as he finished 56th in the field of 141 runners with a time of 20:13. Freshman Dustin Trevino came in second for Englewood, as he was 84th. The other Pirates in the race and their places were Zach Avjean, 106th, Joris Alawoe, 116th, John Altenhofen, 130th, Chase Coupe, 132nd, and Ethan Cuenca, 141st.
Milagros Hernandez-Vasquez was the only Pirate to finish the girls varsity race as she was 100th in the field of 121 with a time of 27:40.
They said it
Trevor Fama said he likes to run and got started in middle school.
"I enjoy the feeling I get when I run with my teammates and I like the feeling I get when my time in a race is better than the time I had in the race before," he said.
He said cross country requires a lot of training and dedication to be able to set and keep a pace but still have the energy to pick up the pace in the home stretch.
He said he hoped to keep improving his time so he can help his team qualify for state.
The Pirates' only home meet, the Windjammer Invitational, will be held Oct. 8. The five-kilometer course will begin and end at locations in the Hosanna Sports Complex north of the Englewood High School campus. Traditionally, 20 to 25 teams take part in the meet.]]>
The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with the children's parade, a first-time event for the celebration. At 10 a.m., the "Sheridan Celebrates the Wild, Wild West Parade" makes its way south on Federal Boulevard before turning west on Oxford Avenue.
LaVaughn Gillespie, retired city treasurer, is the grand marshal for this year's parade and the parade will include 60 members of the Westernaires precision youth equestrian drill team.
There is no admission charge as, after the parade, the focus and the crowd move to the Sheridan City Hall Lawn at Oxford and Federal. There will be free entertainment on the main stage, including a performance by Shotgun Lullaby, a six-member country rock band.
Shopping is a big part of Sheridan Celebrates as about 90 vendors will be set up and offering merchandise or services for sale. Most vendors will set up canopies on both sides of the walkways that weave through the area. Food trucks will be set up offering attendees an opportunity to purchase a variety of food and beverages
This year, Sheridan Celebrates also will have a free petting zoo and free pony rides. Also at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon the local Supersonic Frisbee Dogs will put on free performances.]]>
The two-weekend event provided Englewood, Littleton and Sheridan residents an opportunity to properly get rid of hard-to-properly-dispose-of household materials like car batteries, lawn chemicals and oil-based paint.
The roundup also offered the opportunity to recycle items like computers, printers, fax machines, desktop copiers, inkjet and toner cartridges and cell phones free of charge. Computer monitors and TV sets were also accepted for a $20 fee per television or computer monitor.
Harold Stitt, Englewood senior planner, was helping with check-in.
"This is the second Saturday for the event and we had 180 vehicles check in last week," he said. "The traffic today has been pretty steady so I expect we will have as many or more vehicles check in today."
Stitt explained vehicles were classified as those just dropping off electronics and those dropping off electronics and household hazardous waste.
"The count for Sept. 10 was 84 vehicles dropping off just electronics and 81 vehicles dropping off both types of waste for a total of 175 vehicles total that day," he said. "On Sept. 17, we had 123 vehicles dropping off electronics and 171 dropping off both types of waste for a total of 294 vehicles served."
Littleton resident Kathy Hunter dropped off electronics and some chemicals.
"I had a lot of big, awful stuff in the garage and, until now, no way to get rid of it because it couldn't be put in the trash," she said. "It is a wonderful service to resident and it is good for our environment."
Englewood resident Dan Rogers agreed.
"I really appreciate the city providing this service to our community," he said.
Englewood, Littleton and Sheridan work together to put on the event. Stitt and volunteers from Littleton and the Keep Englewood Beautiful Commission staffed the event.]]>
"Starting construction has been a long time coming as we began working on this project about three and half years ago," Troy Gladwell of developer Medici Communities said. "We are doing the construction in phases to keep as much parking open as possible. The construction of the first building is in the south end of the Acoma parking lot. We expect the building to be completed in about a year."
Medici proposes to develop 1.8 acres, purchased primarily from the Englewood Urban Renewal Authority, that includes the vacant lot on the southwest corner of South Broadway and Englewood Parkway as well as the land west of the alley along the east side of the 3400 block of South Acoma Street.
Gladwell told those at the Sept. 15 groundbreaking that the project is a public-private partnership. He said the project moved forward when Medici was granted federal and state tax credits because the project included affordable housing. The plan is to make the project meet affordable housing rules by renting the apartments to people earning 60 percent of the area's median income.
He said the partners include the state agency that approved the tax credits, the private companies that bought the tax credits, the firm that provided the remainder of the financing and the City of Englewood, which helped Medici work through the process to purchase the land for the project.
The majority of the land along Acoma that wraps around to Broadway has belonged to the Englewood Urban Renewal Authority since the 1980s and the unsuccessful Trolley Square project. The city also owned a small part of the land planned for the project.
Several companies proposed projects to develop the site, and Medici was selected.
The Medici Communities concept is to construct a mixed-use development that includes 12,000 square feet of commercial space and 111 apartments.
The concept is to have commercial space that will include the ground floor of the building on the corner of Broadway and Englewood Parkway. Russell said the goal is to seek tenants including restaurants.
In addition, the proposal is to construct two buildings that will include 111 one- and tw0-bedroom apartments.
The first apartment building now under construction will face Acoma Street. The ground floor will be for parking and there will be apartments on the upper floor.
The developers have tried to address the parking concerns expressed by merchants of businesses on the west side of the 3400 block of South Broadway.
The second of the two brick and steel five-story apartment buildings will be designed to face Englewood Parkway. It is designed with retail space on the ground floor with apartments on the upper four floors. There will be one- and two-bedroom apartments in the complex and the anticipation is that many of the tenants will work in the city of Englewood.
Mayor Joe Jefferson said the project has the potential to help revitalize downtown Englewood.
"This is a project offering affordable housing for workers as well as strong commercial development," he said. "It is a quality project that I feel will be a valuable addition to our community."]]>
"A few of us had an inkling something was fishy because they stopped taking new students in," the Westminster resident said.
He said school staff would get defensive when asked if there were problems.
Westbrook was one quarter shy of earning an associate's degree in network systems administration at ITT Tech's Westminster campus, one of two Denver-area campuses of the for-profit college that closed on Sept. 6 after being barred by the Department of Education from accepting federal student aid and loans in August.
About 430 students attended ITT Tech in the area, mostly at a campus in Aurora. Nationally, more than 40,000 students attended the school at its 130 campuses.
ITT Tech could not be reached for comment. The school's website does not list a phone number at which officials can be contacted, and a phone number that previously was promoted as a way to contact the school no longer was in service.
Since the shutdown, the Colorado Community College System has taken steps to inform displaced students of their option for continuing education. Westbrook was one of two former ITT students who attended an information session at the Westminster Campus of Front Range Community College on Sept. 17.
Because ITT wasn't regionally accredited, transferring credits to a community college is not simple. Howard Fukaye, Arapahoe Community College's director of student recruitment and outreach, said the college's departments will analyze students' coursework from ITT to see what can be accepted.
"We're a lot different type of entity than ITT Tech," he said.
Bitsy Cohn, director of credit for prior learning for the Colorado Community College System, said there are ways besides directly transferring credits that ITT Tech students' prior learning can be assessed, such as portfolio reviews, challenge tests and assessments of workforce or military experience.
"We want to make sure they get some credit for what they've learned," she said.
Former ITT students also have the option of discharging their student loans, but they cannot do so if they transfer credit to another school.
ITT Tech had faced criticism for its marketing strategies and for leaving students with high levels of debt upon graduation. Westbrook said he was told by recruiters that with an ITT degree, he would make more money than with a degree from a community college.
Fukaye said the school was known for targeting unemployed people and those who were uneducated about the higher education system, with infomercials on daytime or late-night TV and recruiters at government work centers. However, the tuition at ITT Tech was significantly higher than at community colleges, he said, reaching about $5,000 per quarter, compared to $1,745 per semester for a full-time student at ACC.
Only small numbers of former ITT Tech students have attended information sessions at area community colleges since the shutdown. While no more open houses are planned, Cohn said more inquiries may trickle in during coming months.
Westbrook said he will likely enroll at Front Range Community College in a computer-related field.
"I'm frustrated," he said, "but enough time has passed that I'm not as mad as I was."]]>