The 2015-16 season was packed with memorable moments. There buzzer-beaters, powerful pregame speeches and dominating individual performances.

We had emotional championship wins, record-setting streaks coming to an end and high-level athletes finishing their careers in style.

Through all the moments that we saw, we complied a list of some of our favorites moments from the past year.

Cherokee Trail overcomes tragedy to take Class 5A volleyball title

The Cherokee Trail volleyball team began the season dealing with something no high school kids should have to deal with. Before the season, a friend and teammate, Celeste James, passed away.

But the Cougars were able to overcome the loss, come together and win one of the more emotional state championship matches in recent memory.

West Grand gives football coach Chris Brown 306th win

Dove Creek football Chris Brown

Chris Brown. (Jack Eberhard/

Playing with heavy hearts following the death of a teammate earlier in the week, West Grand football gave coach Chris Brown career win No. 306 last fall to tie a state record.

The 8-man team played just three days after quarterback JD Guess was killed in a car accident while driving home from practice.

"The win tonight had little to do with me," Brown wrote in an email afterward. "First, credit goes to Eric Guess [JD's father] and Will [his brother, and a former player at West Grand], our amazing assistant coaches, an unbelievable crowd, and a tremendous effort from our kids."

Brown had won his 300th game earlier in the season.

Christian McCaffrey finishes second in Heisman voting

Christian McCaffrey Heisman

Christian McCaffrey. (Dan Mohrmann/

A whirlwind of a regular season put Valor Christian alum Christian McCaffrey in the national spotlight. The Stanford star was named a finalist for the 2015 Heisman Trophy and finished as the runner-up to Alabama running back Derrick Henry.

McCaffrey was in the national spotlight again less than three weeks later as he helped the Cardinal roll to a 45-16 win in the Rose Bowl. The former Eagle record 368 all-purpose yards in the game and scored two touchdowns.

Holy Family, Chris Helbig has record-setting start to football season

Holy Family Berthoud football

Chris Helbig. (Kai Casey/

The start of the 2015 football season was a sprint, not a marathon for Holy Family quarterback Chris Helbig. The senior set a state record by throwing for 607 yards in the Tigers first game of the year in a win against Mountain View.

Things continued that way for a while, including wide received Joe Golter setting the receiving record.

Helbig's season came to a disappointing end as he tore his ACL and was unable to finish the football season or compete during the basketball season. Despite the injury, Helbig aims to continue his football career at the University of Colorado.

Meeker's T.J. Shelton win fourth wrestling title

Despite trailing early in his match, Meeker's T.J. Shelton became the 19th wrestler in state history to win his fourth wrestling title.

Shelton accomplished the feat with a 16-7 major decision over Centauri's Chris Martin.

Houtsma recovers from crash to win nordic skate

State skiing nordic Graham Houtsma Aspen

Graham Houtsma. (Ryan Casey/

Graham Houtsma took a nasty spill and lost one of his poles when he was leading the nordic skate at the 2016 state skiing championships.

He recovered, was a given a new pole by a teammate, and went on to win the race by one-tenth of a second.

Kent Denver coach Scott Yates wins 300th game

Scott Yates Kent Denver football 300th win

Kent Denver's Scott Yates. (Ryan Casey/

Longtime Kent Denver football coach and athletic director Scott Yates won his 300th career game in October.

"It's not a one-guy deal. That's all there is to it," Yates said after the game. "The school's been great. The program has been a lot of fun. And the coaches and the kids that we've had the pleasure to work with is really what makes it."

Yates was the fourth coach to reach the mark.

But like Brown's 306th win, this milestone came in a wake of school tragedy. Kent Denver teacher Kristin Brown had passed away a week earlier, and the loss weighed heavy on the school.

"I don't know if you heard him after the game, but after winning 300 games, he didn't even talk about that," said Kent Denver running back Will McKissick. "He talked about Ms. Brown, who we lost this week, and he talked about how there are more important things than football. I think that's not your average guy."

Kent Denver advanced to the 2A semfinals in the fall, which puts Yates' career mark at 304-74. The state record, held by Brown and Pat Panek, is 306 wins.

Regis Jesuit boys basketball coach Ken Shaw wins No. 700

Regis Jesuit Overland boys basketball Ken Shaw 700

Regis Jesuit players pose with coach Ken Shaw after he won his 700th game. (Jack Eberhard/

Regis Jesuit boys basketball coach Ken Shaw won the 700th game of his career in January — upsetting No. 1-ranked Overland.

His career record is third all-time, behind Katte and current Denver East coach Rudy Carey Jr.

Erin Sargent sinks difficult birdie putt to win 4A girls golf title

4A girls state golf

Silver Creek's Erin Sargent. (Dan Mohrmann/

The greens at the Pueblo Country Club are no joke. But with a championship on the line, Silver Creek senior Erin Sargent refused to let them stop her from claiming the 4A girls golf championship in May.

She sank a birdie putt on 18 to top Caroline Jordaan and end her high school career as the best 4A golfer in the state.

Mountain Range wins 5A softball title

Mountain Range Pomona softball 5A state title

Mountain Range won the 5A softball championship. (Tim Visser/

The 5A softball title went to a team that had never even reached the state tournament before. Mountain Range started play in 2009 and made the state tournament for the first time in 2015.

The Mustangs made the most out of the opportunity, coming away with the 5A championship with a 12-2 win over Pomona. It was only the second overall state championship in school history.

Valor Christian avenges early-season loss to claim 5A football title

Pomona was good enough to beat Valor Christian in the regular season. But the Eagles proved to be tougher to handle with gold on the line.

Valor forced a turnover with less than three minutes left and was able to capitalize on it to come away with its sixth championship in seven seasons.

“In our program, we don’t want to focus too much on peaks and valleys,” Valor coach Rod Sherman said. “We lost a close game like this last year and tried not to be too devastated about it, and this year we’ll try not to be too over the moon."

Castle View's co-ed spirit title felt like a win for all

In perhaps the year's best example of all for one and one for all, the Denver Coliseum exploded with cheers for Castle View when it was announced the Sabercats had won the 4A/5A co-ed title.

The reason was easy, coach Heather Acampora has become known for actively rooting on all teams at the event, competition or not. With Acampora's desire to see all teams succeed at the highest level, it was easy to be happy for her own team's victory.

Rainsberger caps incredible career

State track Katie Rainsberger Air Academy

Katie Rainsberger. (Ryan Casey/

The 2016 state track meet proved to be the perfect sendoff for Air Academy senior Katie Rainsberger. After bringing home the cross country title in the fall, the Oregon commit swept the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay to end her high school career as one of the top runners the state has ever seen.

Sanford ties record for winning streak

Sanford boys basketball team champions

Sanford won the 2A boys basketball title. (Jeff Tucker/

Sanford boys basketball won its third-consecutive 2A championship in March, and in the process extended its winning streak to 73 games. That ties the state record held by Ridway in 1993-96.

The winning streak dates to the middle of the 2013-14 season.

Sanford beat Resurrection Christian 63-58 in dramatic fashion to win the 2A title.

Oliana Squires ties state tournament scoring record

Sand Creek Longmont girls basketball

Sand Creek's Oliana Squires. (Kai Casey/

Oliana Squires put on an historic performance during the 4A girls basketball Final 4. The Sand Creek senior tied a state tournament record by scoring 43 points in the Scorpions loss to Evergreen.

Valor Christian went on to win the girls 4A title, but the scoring effort by Squires in the semifinals was the standout performance of the tournament.

Gifs used to help pass time for 5A basketball bracket release

I might be tough to recall games off the tops of our heads, but the fun we all had while waiting for the basketball selection committee to release the 5A boys basketball was definitely one of the top moments of the year.

Vista Ridge, Sand Creek produce wild ending in boys hoops

In one of the craziest endings all year, in any sport, Sand Creek battled back from a 20-point deficit in the second half to take its first lead of the game on a Jordan Phillips 3-pointer (video above).

The Scorpions forced a turnover and possessed the ball with 10 seconds remaining, but a steal led to an open shot for Raymon Harper who would knock it down, giving the Wolves a huge win over their district rivals.

Juarez throws a gem to give Holly first baseball title

(Matt Mathewes/

Holly's Ricardo Juarez. (Matt Mathewes/

Seven innings of dominance on the mound gave Holly its first baseball championship in school history, as the Wildcats came away with the 1A crown.

Ricardo Juarez threw seven innings, allowing only four hits while striking out six Fleming hitters in the win.

"Ricardo's been our guys since he was a freshman," Holly coach Dayne Eaton said. "We've been so close. Two years ago we knocked off a great Stratton team and then last year we tried to save Ricardo and got beat by Dove Creek and they went on to win it."

Holly had fallen to Fleming in the 2013 1A title game.

Lewis-Palmer takes care of unfinished business

Lewis-Palmer girls soccer team

Lewis-Palmer girls soccer. (Ryan Casey/

The Lewis-Palmer girls soccer team finally got the state championship that barely eluded them a year ago. After falling to Cheyenne Mountain in penalty kicks in 2015, the Rangers needed to find the back of the net only once in 2016.

Annica Fletemeyer scored the only of goal of the game as the Rangers topped Valor Christian 1-0.

"I didn't want to miss it, that's what was going through my mind," Fletemeyer said. "It was a great ball by Brianna (Alger). I didn't want to miss it because I didn't want to let my team down. It was just such a rushing feeling of emotion, so I'm just really glad I could put it away."

Colorado Academy wins fourth-consecutive field hockey title

Cherry Creek Colorado Academy state field hockey

Colorado Academy field hockey has won 70-straight games. (Lance Wendt/

For the seniors on Colorado Academy's field hockey team, the feeling of not winning a state championship will never be felt.

The Mustangs increased their winning streak to 70 games and captured their fourth state field hockey title in as many years.

"It's definitely not routine," Colorado Academy coach Veronica Scott said. "It's beautiful for the seniors because there's eight girls here who have not lost a game in four years. It's their fourth championship. For them, that's extra special."

Pueblo West finishes quest for first boys basketball title

Pueblo West was not among the early favorites to come away with the 4A boys basketball title. But that didn't stop the Cyclones from storming through the bracket.

Bobby Tyler's bunch never won a game by anything less than 11 points and dominated in the state championship game against Valor Christian.

The win gave the Cyclones their first boys basketball championship in school history.

Fairview girls tennis ends Cherry Creek's 19-year state title run

Girls tennis state Fairview champion

Fairview girls tennis won this year's 5A championship. (Ryan Casey/

For 19 straight years, Cherry Creek was the talk of 5A girls tennis. That run ended in may as Fairview became the first team since the Bill Clinton administration to best the Bruins for the team title.

Thanks to Sophie Pearson's win in No. 3 singles, the Knights edged Cherry Creek by three points. But it took some time for the feat to sink in for Fairview coach Susan Stensrud.

“I’m not one hundred percent,” she said. “I don’t believe it one hundred percent. It hasn’t sunk in, but I’m so glad it’s this team of girls.”

Valor Christian wins twice on a Sunday to capture 4A baseball

(Tom Robinson/

Valor Christian baseball won 4A. (Tom Robinson/

Weather (shockingly) pushed the completion of the 2016 baseball championships back one day. So it was on a Sunday that Valor Christian was able to beat Pueblo West twice to come away with its first baseball championship.

It was the seventh team championship on the year for the Eagles which led all schools.

Limon's sportsmanship helps Rocky Ford en route to softball tourney

(Tom Robinson/

The Rocky Ford softball team returned to Limon in May to thank the community for its sportsmanship. (Tom Robinson/

Rocky Ford softball was on the way to the 3A state tournament last fall, and when it passed through Limon, the team was met with a road block — and a banner directing the team to a parking lot.

The Rocky Ford team had two players who recently lost their parents, and the tragedies were "widely and deeply felt," according to coach JC Carrica.

Limon's community rose up. They prepared goody bags for each player, took the time to talk with the players who recently lost their parents, and then sent Rocky Ford off with honking horns and more banners.

"The girls were hanging their heads out of the bus window, yelling, smiling, of course taking pictures and selfies," Carrica said. "It was just the encouragement and lift we needed. As we left Limon and entered the interstate, there was not a dry eye on the bus."

Limon was honored for its sportsmanship last month.

Loveland ends Pine Creek football's 37-game winning streak

Pine Creek Loveland football

(Josh Watt/

Pine Creek football was a juggernaut this season, storming it was through the 4A ranks.

But then the Eagles ran into Loveland, a No. 13 seed which stunned Pine Creek with a 26-14 win in the semifinals. The loss ended a 37-game winning streak for Pine Creek, which spanned two championships.

Loveland advanced to the 4A title game, where it lost to Windsor.

Regis Jesuit stuns Monarch to win hockey's championship

Regis Jesuit hockey team champions

Regis Jesuit won hockey's championship in the winter. (Ray Chen/

Monarch was the team in Colorado hockey this season, entering with a 21-0 record, and beating teams by a combined score of 20-4 on its way to the championship game.

The Coyotes even took a 1-0 lead 13 seconds into that championship game, against Regis Jesuit in March.

Oh, but. The Raiders stormed back with six unanswered goals to stun Monarch and win the title, 6-1.