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East Sports: Prelude To A Strong Winter

Previews On East Basketball, Hockey, Swimming, Wrestling

By Adam Uribes, GPHN Intern

The temperature is falling outside, but the competition is heating up as sports move indoors for the coming winter session. Always a perennial powerhouse in boys and girls basketball, the East High Angels will be fielding some competitive units in hockey, swimming and wrestling as well.

The boys’ basketball team, led by head coach Rudy Carey, has become an institution in success on the basketball court, churning out prospects including Dom Collier, Sean Ogirri and the University of Colorado-bound Daylen Kountz. Losing talent to the college ranks is not unfamiliar territory for the Angels but this will give other players, like Kwane Marble, a chance to take on a bigger role on the court this year.

After a Sweet 16 finish in last year’s state tournament that ended in an upset loss to Smoky Hill, the Angels are looking to make an even deeper run in 2019. The Angels got the season started Nov. 28 against Poudre High School.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the lady Angels are led by Dezmonea Antwine and Lilly Cleveland, who should once again be considered as a serious challenger to lift the Denver Public Schools league title that they took last season with a perfect 8-0 record inside of the conference.

Coming off a Sweet 16 appearance of their own that saw the girls lose to Fruita Monument, this girls team has the experience and talent needed to make another deep run in the state tournament. Mark your calendars for Dec. 4, as the Angels start their season versus Broomfield High School.


The Denver East hockey team is coming off a campaign that saw them finish in the middle of the pack in the Foothills league standings, with six wins coming against eight losses for a 10-11 finish overall. Head Coach John Kopperud says the experience of holding their own against some of the better teams in the state will give the Angels a boost this season.

“We could make some noise this year,” Kopperud says. “(This is) possibly East’s strongest team in their five-year existence. We should challenge for the conference title and we’ll be looking forward to the state tournament.”

The Angels will be led by multiyear players in Christian Backes, Matt Pence, Will Butterfield, Levi Polon, and Sam Miller in 2019.

Swimming and diving

The girls’ swimming and diving team is looking to continue its run of recent success for a team that returns all but one member of a squad that earned points and experience for a league championship last season.

In seniors Hannah O’Neill and Abba Seman, juniors Lily Shield and diver Chloe Brown, the Angels have upper classmen leadership to pair with sophomore Maddie Crosby and incoming freshmen Erin Nagel, Caroline Kundahl and Sonya Hay. Head Coach David Quintana says that his aspiration for his team this year is, “trying to get as many girls as possible to qualify for the 5A State meet as well as winning the DPS League title.”

The season kicked off on Nov. 28 in the DPS Pentathlon Meet.


The East wrestling team is hoping to continue building a team that has aspirations of sending boys to the state tournament. A promising junior varsity squad that had a good showing at the Bear Creek Invitational will be looked upon to infuse the varsity team that sent four members to state, with one of those coming home with a fourth place finish. The wrestling team is headed by Coach Randy Gallegos.

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