Recognize Colorado

Updated: February 17, 2009, 12:39 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Baseball - Rocky Mountain


There will be no Andy Burns for Rocky Mountain this year. There will be no Alex Kelly. But that doesn't mean the Lobos won't be competitive in a quest for a third consecutive state crown this season. "I don't think you get caught up in trying to replace people," coach Scott Bullock says. "If you're working hard, those sorts of things just fall into place."Though the team may struggle initially without the two departed All-Colorado selections, there is more than enough talent to go around. A number of players have already verbally committed to or signed with Division I college programs. Senior Jacob Stewart, a Stanford recruit, is a three-sport athlete and starting center fielder. "He's the type of kid you win championships with," Bullock says. "He's very humble. He's all about the team."Senior Bryan Peters, another multi-sport star, was the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year but will play baseball at Nebraska. "You just don't shake him,"Bullock says of the pitcher. "He's got ice water in his veins." Junior pitchers Marco Gonzales (Gonzaga) and Pierce Trumper (Arkansas) have also been instrumental in the team's success. Gonzales pitched in the team's state championship game two years ago as a freshman. With a roster of just six seniors this year, there's no telling when Rocky Mountain may fall from the top tier of the best teams in Colorado. "I think we can be in the mix this year," Bullock says. "We really like our senior class."



Girls' Tennis - Niwot


The 2008 season marked the first girls' tennis state title in school history for Niwot, and it was a win claimed in convincing fashion. The Cougars scored 51 points, out-pacing Kent Denver by 18 points for the Class 4A crown. A similar finish this year will be challenging, but led by seniors Amanda Lee and Molly Joyce and junior Whitney Vaswig, the Cougars will hope to again challenge for a state championship.



Boys' Swimming - Cheyenne Mountain


The Indians missed out on a Class 4A state crown by just five points last year, but many believe the team will be back and ready to contend again this season. A young but promising team returns many of its best competitors from last year's state meet, including junior Pat Scally, who finished third in the 200 free and second in the 500 free last season. Senior diver Justin Schaeffer will also be a competitor to watch this year.



Girls' Golf - Colorado Academy


By winning last year's Class 4A state title by 20 strokes, Colorado Academy solidified itself as one of the dominant girls' golf teams of all time. Elizabeth Kresock returns as a senior this year after firing a 2-under-par 71 on the final round of the tournament to help her win medalist honors. The No. 2 scorer on the team, Hillary Hoffer, also returns as a senior to give the team a formidable top pair. Senior Bayley Clarke brings experience and depth to the Mustangs.



BREAKOUT TEAMS


BOYS' LACROSSE  LEWIS-PALMER
Senior Brian Cole (70 goals last year) is one of the state's most dangerous scorers.

GIRLS' LACROSSE  AIR ACADEMY
Led by senior Hayley Bernstein, the Kadets will be tough to beat.

BOYS' TRACK  PLATTE VALLEY
Junior Sterling Zehnder is one of the best distance runners in Class 3A.

GIRLS' TRACK  ALAMOSA
Sophomore Nikki DeSouchet and senior Lindsey Sowards are a terrific distance tandem.