Notebook: 5A softball only grows more confusing by the week

Brighton Grandview softball

Brighton softball is among the many contenders in Class 5A. (Matt Mathewes/

A little more than three weeks ago, Eaglecrest softball went to Dakota Ridge and easily handled the Eagles.

The final was 8-1 that day. They'd already beaten Douglas County, a quarterfinal team last season, as well as Rock Canyon, another quarterfinalist in 2013. No one is going to anoint a state champion after three games — but Eaglecrest sure looked like a favorite at that point.

Well, here's the state of Class 5A softball at this moment: Dakota Ridge is ranked No. 1, Eaglecrest is now No. 9. And both are still very much in contention for the No. 1 overall seed come next month.

The classification has been crazy. Consider that there ceased to be an unbeaten team in 5A softball on Sept. 11 — less than three weeks into the season.

But what makes it all the more confusing is the sheer amount of parity.

Chaparral shot up to No. 5 in this week's ranking after 10-consecutive wins. The Wolverines dropped their first two games this week.

After Eaglecrest's 3-0 start, the Raptors lost to Brighton. Two games later, Brighton lost to Columbine. Columbine turned around and lost to Mountain Vista. Mountain Vista then fell to Cherry Creek. Two games after that, Cherry Creek lost to Lakewood, which then lost to Chatfield.

Dakota Ridge is currently the No. 1 team in the state. They have won four games in a row, but have the loss to Eaglecrest and another to Mountain Range. Two games after beating Dakota Ridge, Mountain Range lost to Fossil Ridge.

Fossil Ridge Mountain Range softball

Another 5A contender: Mountain Range. (Pam Wagner)

"When the committee sits down to figure out head-to-head, it's going to be: 'What week?'" joked Bud Ozzello, CHSAA's assistant commissioner who administers softball. "That's how good this classification is."

So who will end up as the No. 1 seed? Who knows. What's clear is that there's no clear-cut favorite.

Dakota Ridge has a win over Legend, which beat Douglas County, which has beaten Columbine, which has topped Brighton, which owns a win over Grandview, which beat Eaglecrest — which, of course, beat Dakota Ridge.

The classification has become a snake eating its own tail.

Ultimately, what this regular season is proving is that it likely won't even matter much who gets the No. 1 overall seed. Or the Nos. 8, 9 or 10, for that matter.

Because in order to reach the state tournament, and move on once there, "You're going to have to battle," Ozzello said.

Short stuff

  • The first of the new championship trophies were delivered last week: boys golf. The rest have since been delivered, and now dot CHSAA's hallways until their championship dates.
  • Berthoud football is off to a 3-0 start, and ranked No. 10 in 3A this week. This may be a case of those special graduating classes that come through schools at one time or another. According to John Hall of the Berthoud Surveyor, this year's junior class was a stellar bunch dating to their youth, including winning the Northern Colorado Championship.
  • Due to low numbers, Deer Trail will forfeit its game to Peetz this week. Deer Trail was down to five guys.
  • Pinnacle's football team beat Jefferson 55-18 last week, and in doing so snapped an 18-game winning streak. Their last win came in Sept. 2012.
  • Castle View's Savannah Heebner threw a perfect game in a 14-0 win over Highlands Ranch last week. She struck out 10 in five innings, and is now 10-1 with a 0.77 ERA in 11 games. She has four shutouts.
  • It was quite the weekend for Fairview's athletic department. The volleyball team won the Bruins Classic on Saturday, capped by a 2-1 win over Cherry Creek. On Monday, the volleyball team cracked the 5A rankings at No. 8. Also over the weekend, the boys tennis team also tied Cherry Creek in winning the Cherry Creek Invitational. That followed a win over Cherry Creek in a dual earlier in the week.
  • Steamboat Springs JV boys soccer goalie Andrew McCawley scored a goal off a long punt. Here's video.
  • Following Valor Christian's loss last week, 8-man's Dayspring Christian owns the state's longest football winning streak at 16 games.
  • After going 3-4 last week, Colorado football teams are now 20-11 against out-of-state competition this season.
  • Three Broncos players visited local football programs on Tuesday. Corey Nelson stopped by Horizon, Ben Garland went to Legacy, and Montee Ball was at Gateway.
  • Englewood's student-athletes spent time at a local elementary school on Wednesday.
  • The NFHS Network previewed the Chaparral-Legend volleyball match, which is Thursday night.
  • Cherry Creek wideout Joseph Parker committed to Wyoming on Monday.
  • Colorado boys lacrosse has two highly-ranked sophomores in the Class of 2017. Per Inside lacrosse, Mountain Vista's Colin Munro (a North Carolina commit) is No. 4 nationally, while Fossil Ridge's Jake Frane (Notre Dame) is No. 17.
  • Highlands Ranch hired longtime assistant Joe Gleason as its baseball coach.
  • Mullen turned to Matt Guglielmo to coach its girls soccer team. He's also the school's boys coach.
  • Valor Christian alum Max McCaffrey had two touchdowns for Duke football in its win over Kansas last week. He's now the team's leading receiver this season with 178 yards.
  • Grandview alum Kevin Gausman was part of the Balitmore Orioles squad which clinched the AL East on Tuesday.
  • A Colorado legislator is considering a proposal which "would require public schools to change Indian-themed mascots that the Native American community found offensive." The threat of losing state funding would hang over those schools which don't change it, according to the proposal.
  • If you missed it Wednesday, our Brian Miller detailed the story of Hugo Falco, a Brazilian exchange student who is playing 6-man football at Stratton/Liberty.
  • How about this rushing performance from Alaska: 516 yards, eight touchdowns.
  • More national stuff: A Pennsylvania football team won on a last-second hook and ladder play.
  • Really interesting piece here: The Death of the Multisport Athlete.