Out In Leftfield
BY BRUCE WARREN
Zach LaBorde (Niwot) has once again earned the prestigious Scholar-Athlete Award at the Universty of Puget Sound. LaBorde will be a senior pitcher for the Loggers next spring. This is the third consecutive year he has won the honor.
David Bote (Faith Christian), son of former NHS coach Bob Bote, hit a three-run homer for the Arizona League Cubs in his professional debut, leading the team to a 5-4 win over the Angels. Bote, a shortstop, hit the long ball in his second at bat. He also walked and stole a base, and made a nice defensive stop gunning the ball to first base for the out. After 11 games, Bote is hitting .237 with one homer and six RBI’s. His teammates include Shawon Dunston, Jr., son of the former Cubs shortstop of the same name, and Trevor Gretzky, son of hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
Cody Lahman (Niwot) and Eric Van Dyke (Silver Creek) are playing and training with the Impact Sports Collegiate Baseball program in Broomfield this summer. Lahman is a pitcher who plays at Colorado Mesa University, while Van Dyke is a second baseman-pitcher who plays for Missouri University of Science and Technology. Van Dyke hit .256 as a sophomore last season at the college level, and is hitting .280 with one homer and 19 RBI’s this summer. He has also pitched seven innings, with a 4.70 ERA. Lahman leads the team with 32 innings pitched, and has posted a record of 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA. He also leads the team with 34 strikeouts while giving up 19 walks.
Lahman helped Impact Sports secure a berth in the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series, held in Wichita July 28 to Aug. 11. With only three teams left in the double elimination Rocky Mountain Baseball League tournament, the winner of the semi-final game between Impact Sports and the Arvada Colts would qualify for the World Series along with the third team, the Colorado Sox, which qualified by winning the regular season title.
Lahman was expected to relieve the starting pitcher in the fourth or fifth inning, but the starter was in trouble early, and the game was tied 5-5 after two innings. Lahman came on in relief in the third inning and shut down the Colts for the rest of the game, which Impact Sports won 6-5. Lahman had six strikeouts in his five shutout innings. Lahman also pitched the first game of the tournament, beating the Denver Cougars 9-4 in a complete game effort with 12 strikeouts.
Ryan Strufing (Niwot) is also on the Impact Sports team, but is only participating in the workout program in an effort to rest his arm after the Long Beach State collegiate season. NHS grad Connor Messinger, who was injured most of last season for Northeastern College, is playing for the Denver Cougars. Forrest Carpenter (Niwot), a pitcher-outfielder from Metro State, is playing for the Arvada Colts this summer. All three teams compete in the Rocky Mountain Baseball League.
Niwot High School’s JV summer team won the Northern Colorado Wood Bat Baseball League championship July 22 at Erie against Rocky Mountain High. The young Cougars won in five innings by the mercy rule, 14-2.
Drew Pasma pitched a complete game for the win. Kai Halsey-Mendez came back from an injury to contribute to the win. Aldair Cintora received a cut above his eye while safely sliding home for the Courgars. The team, coached by Roger Fisher (who was filling in for Craig McBride) and Jose Soto, started the season slowly, and entered the tournament as the sixth seeded team. At the end, the Cougars went 4-0, including wins over Eaton, Cheyenne and Fossil Ridge. Coach McBride was absent attending the wedding of his son and former Cougar player, Layne McBride, to former Cougar soccer player Courtney Davidson. The couple met when both were at Niwot. Craig McBride explained that his son’s teammates knew he liked Davidson, so they would deliberately throw baseballs up on to the soccer field so he could retrieve them. He also noted that soccer balls seemed to regularly end up on the baseball field that spring.
Former Niwot High Head Coach Ron Tesone, who resigned last spring, will coach defensive backs at Boulder High next fall. Two former long-time NHS assistant coaches will return this fall to assist new head coach Josh Brewer at Niwot. Tom Kajiwara will be the defensive coordinator, and Allen Stabe also returns as an assistant coach.
Former NHS coach John Heller passed away in July after a short battle with cancer. Heller coached football at Niwot for seven years under Tesone, and also coached track for four years. His last coaching position was at Frederick High School in both football and track. Heller was very popular with the players. His daughter, Sarah Heller, is the head coach for girls swimming at Niwot.
Niwot High students Eli Negrelli and Scott Rutherford and Silver Creek student Michael Simboski are part of the U17 Buff Elite squad which won the Denver University Team Camp, High School Select Division tournament, attended by top clubs from around the country. “The Buffs had to avenge two earlier losses to win, knocking off a top Minnesota team in the semifinals,” Eli’s father Chuck Negrelli reports, “and then beating a team made up of ringers, kids who attended the DU camp as individuals to showcase themselves to college coaches, from all over the place in the finals. It was one of the grittiest team efforts I’ve witnessed. The kids left it all out there on the very hot artificial turf.” Eli Negrelli will be a junior in the fall, and plays attack, while Rutherford will be a senior, and plays defense. Simboski will also be a senior, and plays midfielder.
Adara Pauluhn, a 14-year old sophomore at Niwot High next fall, qualified to compete in the Optimist International Junior Golf Tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Pauluhn was the top golfer for the St. Vrain Valley School District’s combined Skyline team last spring. This is the second time she has qualified for the Optimist International as she also qualified two years ago. Pauluhn played her qualifying round July 21 as one of 40 top golfers from around the world, finishing tied for ninth with a 79, seven strokes off the pace. She was very consistent all day, finishing the front nine holes with a 39 and the back nine with a 40. She had a bogey on seven holes and shot par on the rest.
Pauluhn shot an 84 and 80 in the second and third rounds to finish with a 243 total, which tied for 17th overall. She tied for eighth best among all U.S. golfers.
Kali Haas (Niwot) was one of 56 Colorado State University students to receive Scholar-Athlete awards from the Mountain West Conference for her work in the classroom during the 2011-12 academic year. Haas was one of only 25 athletes throughout the conference to post perfect 4.00 cumulative grade-point averages, and one of only five CSU athletes with a perfect GPA. She will be a junior pitcher next fall majoring in business administration.
Julie Stenz, a board member of Niwot High School Boosters, Inc., notes that this fall marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of Niwot High School. As a way to increase school spirit and community involvement, the boosters are working with the school and community groups to promote the NHS mascot, the Niwot Cougar. Three students have been selected to wear the mascot costume, and three more students will serve as helpers. One of the goals of the boosters is to raise enough funds to purchase a new mascot uniform, followed by a name-the-mascot contest.
The mascot team of six students will attend a mascot camp July 26-28 at Logan’s Gym, across from Sunset Middle School, to work with Keystone Mascots, a national professional mascot training company. Stenz said, “The camp includes safety & liability training as well as interacting spontaneously with crowds, dealing with children, and performing.” Paul and Kim Logan, owners of the gym and parents of an incoming NHS student, have provided the facility. “They graciously agreed to host the mascot camp at their gym,” Stenz said.
The mascot team will also participate in mascot races on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder Aug. 9 and Aug. 30, which are sponsored by 5430 Sports. “We really want to promote community involvement,” Stenz said. “We want it to be a service-oriented team as well.” Look for them at Rock N Rails, Nostalgia Day and other Niwot events.
Each October and May of the school year, Colorado high school tennis coaches nominate select seniors who have played at the state 4A or 5A level at least once during their high school careers to the Colorado All State Tennis Team. Nominees must submit an application including their GPA, their involvement in academic and extra-curricular activities in school, and their leadership in the community as a volunteer. Applications and personal letters of recommendation are reviewed by a committee of tennis coaches who vote on the athletes who best represent these standards. Among the 16 athletes selected this year are NHS student-athletes Jesse Jones, Connor Mulshine, Matt Londa and Michael Ogez.
The Colorado Rapids U-18 Development Academy team defeated the Dallas Texans in the third and final match of group play of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in Texas. The Rapids squad was undefeated, and moved on to a berth in the Academy Finals in Houston July 16-23. Niwot grad Chris Gurule, a defender-midfielder, went down with an injury when he was clipped from behind in the fifth minute and twisted his knee. Defender Jason Pillard of Niwot went down with an injury in an earlier match. Alex Braman and Ben Braman, both defenders, are also on the team.
In Houston, the Rapids squad opened July 17 with a 2-2 tie against De Anza Force of California. Alex Braman scored the go-ahead goal off a header for a 2-1 advantage which did not hold up. Ben Braman and Gurule also played for the Rapids. The team lost to the North Carolina Fusion, 4-2, with Alex Braman scoring one goal. The Rapids tied the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-1, and lost the fifth-place game, 4-1 to Baltimore Bays Chelsea with the same lineup.
Dana Maydew, who will be a junior at Niwot High School, ran a personal best 2:21.40 in the 800M at the USATF Region X Junior Olympic Championship, finishing fourth overall. The meet was held at the University of Texas El Paso July 8. Maydew’s performance earned her a berth in the Junior Olympics.
Lauren Daly (Niwot), who plays for the Minnesota Valkyries, was one of only 100 players invited to the Women’s National Team program summer camp at the University of Northern Colorado June 30 through July 7. The program included three games and is designed to help evaluate players. Forty players will be selected for the National Team’s fall tour to Europe.
Luke Lahman (Niwot) was named to the USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All-America Sevens second team. The press release noted, “The
All-Americans are recognized for their excellent on field performance, a result of their tireless efforts balancing the responsibilities of being an elite college athlete and the academic demands of being a student.” The athletes were evaluated predominantly during their performances at the National Championship, USA Sevens Las Vegas Invitational and the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship. Lahman plays for the University of Colorado Club Team.
Michael Sdao of Niwot recently completed the NHL Prospect Development Camp with the Ottawa Senators. Sdao will be a senior at Princeton in the fall, and was drafted by the Senators prior to beginning his Princeton career. A photo of Sdao currently highlights the Princeton Hockey website.
Courtney Fick, daughter of Niwot High grad Terry Fick, has transferred to Colorado State University-Pueblo for her junior season. Fick, a catcher from Ramona, Cal., transferred from Southern Utah University.
Eric Fischer (Niwot) was named a College Swimming Coaches Association of America Spring 2012 Scholar Honorable Mention All-American in Division III for his swimming and academic performance at Denison University. Fischer was one of only three Denison swimmers honored for academics and swimming. He will be a junior majoring in philosophy and international studies. In the pool, Fischer’s main events are freestyle and backstroke.
Meghan Heimstra (Silver Creek) has rejoined Colorado State University’s women’s basketball team. Heimstra announced in March that she was leaving the program, in spite of the fact that she had one year of eligibility remaining. Heimstra has been part of the CSU program for the last four years, but spent the 2010-2011 year on the sidelines as a medical redshirt while recovering from a hip injury.
Despite being named the Mountain West Conference Sixth Player of the Year last season, Heimstra did not plan on coming back, citing the need to complete a 600-hour internship as part of her degree requirements in health and exercise science. CSU finished with a 13-17 record last year under coach Kristen Holt.
In April, Athletic Director Jack Graham announced that Holt would not be returning as coach. Team captains Sam Martin and Hayley Thompson, as well as Graham, met with Heimstra even before a new coach was hired.
Graham hired Ryun Williams as the new head coach. Williams came to CSU after four years at the University of South Dakota, which happens to be the alma mater of Heimstra’s parents. Graham convinced Heimstra that things would be different under coach Williams. Heimstra was able to work out a way to accommodate her internship program, which she expects to finish by early November. And she realized how much she missed her teammates.
As a result, Heimstra re-signed with CSU, where the 6’1” forward is expected to be a major contributor. Last season, despite coming off the bench, she was the third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder on the squad. She is already back on the court, working out and playing pickup games with her teammates.