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Winning Some, Losing Some

How Fall Played Out For The Angels

By Adam Uribes and Reid Neureiter, Greater Park Hill News

East junior defender Maggie Morrison tracks down a loose ball against Cherry Creek during East’s home match on Sept. 5

Another season has come to an end and the East Angels accounted for themselves well, with several of their teams reaching the playoffs in their respective sports.

The girls’ volleyball team capped a 20-win season that saw the Lady Angels win another Denver Prep League title with a perfect 4-0 record inside of the conference. East earned a spot in this year’s state playoffs that saw them fall to Chatfield in the first leg in the tournament and Eagle-crest in the consolation bracket. Despite the somber end to the season, the team still finished as one of the better units in Colorado, as the tenth-ranked team in the state.

Head Coach Tarah Olmstead loses team leader in Qairo Bentley, Lexi Blair and three more seniors to graduation, but figures to have talent coming back into the fold with three juniors and four underclassmen on next year’s team, including freshman aces and assists leader Ashley Harris. As one of the perennial contenders inside the conference, East figures to be in the hunt again next year.

Excruciating end in soccer

East Varsity Volleyball at the state qualifying tournament on Nov. 2. Photos by Reid Neureiter

It was an excruciating end to an otherwise brilliant soccer season for the 4th-ranked Denver East Angels, as they fell on penalty kicks to #13 seed Broomfield in the state playoff round of 16 after the score was tied at two apiece after 30 minutes of extra time.

The game was a rematch of last year’s 5A state finalists, and East twice led through goals by senior forward Langston Hood, only to be pegged back each time. Hood almost ended the match with a golden goal 30 seconds into the first extra period after rounding the Broomfield keeper, only to see his shot rebound off the left goal post. East dominated the extra periods with multiple good chances, but the game winner proved elusive. When penalties came, East’s prior exertions seemed to have exhausted them, as three of East’s first four penalty kicks were saved, while Broomfield did not miss.

An objective observer would say that Broomfield was fortunate to have escaped with the win. Hats off to the entire East team, which finished the season with a 15-2 record.

Hard-fought football game

East blockers Ashley Harris (#3) and Lexi Blair (#9) defend against Fruita Monument in the State 5A regional qualifying tournament on Nov. 2.

Finally cracking into the state tournament, the Angels football team made its return into the second season. On the heels of an 8-2 regular season record and finishing second in the 5A Metro 10 conference, the Angels were granted an at-large selection and booked a date in the first round with the Fairview Knights. On paper, this looked like a matchup of strengths, as the Angels brought an aerial based attack, guided by conference leading passer Myles Patterson and a defense that had been stout all season, going up against a Knights team boasting its own conference-leading passer in Aidan Atkinson.

The Angels went into halftime with some momentum, as Patterson found junior Aaron Franklin on a 75-yard catch-and-run that would cut the deficit to 21-7. After a scoreless third quarter, the Angels ran out of gas and the season ended as the rain began to fall on Recht Field in a 31-7 loss that didn’t tell the whole story of a hard-fought game by the Angels.

With juniors Franklin and Jaylin Graham coming back next season, East hopes to build on this year’s success.

Softball on a tear

East senior midfielder Marko Babiak controls the ball in the Round of 16 meeting with Broomfield.

At first glance, an 8-17 record doesn’t look especially noteworthy. But that record doesn’t tell the story of the girls’ softball team at East that saw the club go on a tear within the conference to the tune of 8-1 and coming within one game of dethroning eventual DPS leader, Thomas Jefferson.

Most important, the Angels still managed to make the regional section of the playoff field before falling to Cherokee Trail and Douglas County. The resolve shown by the Angels to accomplish as much as they did after a seven-game winless streak, is an embodiment of the hustle and enthusiasm shown in high school sports.

The Angels can take positives and experience into next season with a team that will return its hitting and stolen bases leader. in Helen Moses and sophomore pitchers Grace Cooper and Grace Cummings.

Signs of sustained success

The Angels girls’ field hockey team also made its way into the postseason on the strength of another season over .500 at 8-7-1. While the team’s season ended in the first round to second-seeded Kent Denver, Coach Katie Morris continues to build a program that shows signs of sustained success in the coming years.

While Morris does lose senior stalwart Maddie Darre after this year, the team figures to bring back leading goal scorer in junior Luna Rosenzweig and assists leader Lucy Mchugh.

Rounding out the fall postseason honors is Will Daley (2nd team All-State, Cross Country), Ryan Sangchompuphen (2nd team All-State, golf) and number three doubles Jack Abbey and Barry Dechtman (1st team All-State, tennis).

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