MileHigh Prep Report Class 1A Preseason Top 16 Rankings
Class 1A Boys is wide open this year with a great group of seniors graduating. I got to see a ton of these teams play last year at state and regionals and I am excited for another great group of seniors and see which teams step up.
#1 Sangre De Cristo
Last year: 20-6, Qualified for State Tournament and went 0-2. Sangre De Cristo returns every player from last year’s team. This team got a taste and experience with their state tournament berth. Sangre De Cristo played Peetz in the first round and saw first-hand what it will take to win a state championship. Sangre De Cristo returns Cole Christensen Jr. 14.7 PPG 4.2 APG, Manual Lopez Sr. 12.7 PPG, and Jake Slane 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG. This team will need Christensen and Slane to really step up and guide them.
Last year: 17-7, Lost in Regional Final to Heritage Christian. Arickaree/Woodlin loses just 1 senior. Arickaree/Woodlin basically returns their entire team from last year including their Top 8 scorers and Top 5 rebounders. Arickaree/Woodlin has plenty of height returning and they will have to come together as a group. Arickaree/Woodlin returns Kevin Ramirez Sr. 13.6 ppg, 3.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, Andy Miller Sr, 13.0 ppg, 7.7 RPG, and Michael McCaffrey Sr. 9.4 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.7 APG. With all players returning can this group of seniors come together and power them to a State Tournament Berth.
#3 Cornerstone Christian
Last year: 17-8, Finished 5th in the State Tournament. Cornerstone Christian is losing 3 seniors. They are losing their #3 and #4 scorers included in that is their top assist leader which will have to be replaced for them to find success. Returning for Cornerstone Christian is Brandt Vos Sr, 17.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, Christian Lambertson Sr. 12.2 PPG, and Nathan Kascak Sr. 4.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG. Replacing their point guard will be the top priority. I know I saw Lambertson handle the ball, but he is more of their shooter. Cornerstone Christian is returning a lot of talent and size and had success in the tournament last year.
#4 Kit Carson
Last year: 18-5, Lost in Regional Final to Creede (Great Game). Kit Carson is losing 3 seniors from last year’s team. Gone is their #2 and #4 scorers and Top rebounder. Will Hornung was the tallest player on a relatively short team (Tallest player is 6 Ft.). Kit Carson does not require height though with the speed and shooting they have. Kit Carson returns Jayden McCombs-Farmer Jr. 10.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, Brayden Bogenhagen 6.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and Cordell Farmer Jr. 6.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 APG. Kit Carson will have to outrun most teams and Kit Carson does have two 6 Ft players coming back but inexperience could hurt them early on.
#5 Peetz (Defending State Champions)
Last year: 25-1, Won the State Championship. Peetz is losing an amazing senior class of 7 and POY Logan Sircy. Peetz will have to have a lot of seniors this year step up and look to Bryson Long to lead the charge. Peetz is losing 4 of their top 5 scorers and their top rebounder. Peetz will be returning their #2 scorer in Bryson Long 10.6 PPG. Players such as Zach Holtz, Cooper White, Dominic Naegele will have to step up for Peetz to make any sort of run at a state tournament berth and defend their title.
#6 De Beque
Last year: 14-8, lost in Regional final to Cornerstone Christian. De Beque is losing 2 seniors who provided leadership skills to this team. De Beque is returning a ton of talent and size to make a run for a berth. De Beque returns their top 8 scorers and top 3 rebounders. De Beque returns Brennan Rigsby So. 24.3 PPG, Wes Ryan So. 14.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, Dillon Bumgardner Sr. 10.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and Nando Candeleria Sr. 5.4 PPG, 2.9 APG. De Beque will need to find leadership and they should have a real shot at the state tournament.
Last year: 12-11, lost in Regional to Kit Carson. Walsh is losing just 1 senior to graduation and his leadership skill are the main loss. Walsh is returning a lot of talent and size. Walsh will be returning their top 8 scorers and top 5 rebounders. Walsh returns Jacob Wright Sr. 9.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, Dylan Renquist Jr. 9.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, Rylan McCall Jr. 8.7 PPG, and Coy McDonald Jr. 8.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG. Walsh will need a PG to really step up and take over the show this year. Walsh had just 1 player with more than 1 assist per game must find a PG to lead the show.
#8 Haxtun (Class 2A last year)
Last year: 13-8, lost in Regionals to Fowler in OT. Haxtun is dropping from 2A down to 1A and have a solid junior class coming back to make a run. Haxtun is losing 2 seniors from last year’s team and the tallest player on their team. Haxtun is losing their #2 and #3 scorer and their #2 rebounder. Haxtun does have their #1 scorer coming back plus #4 and #5 scorers. Haxtun is returning Joey Gerk Sr. 13.2 ppg, 2.3 APG, Braden Anderson Sr. 10.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and Drew Coffin Sr. 4.6 PPG, 2.5 APG. Haxtun will have to replace two talented seniors, but I expect Anderson and Coffin to fill those roles. Haxtun will be tough their first year in 1A.
Last year: 14-9, lost in regional finals to Peetz. Otis is returning every player from last year’s team. Otis does not have much size coming back but like Kit Carson speed and shooting can make up for the lack of size. Otis will be looking to make a much deeper run this season. Otis is returning Cullen Glosson Sr. 21.3 PPG, 4.2 APG, Ty Hunt Sr. 16.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, Christian Nation Jr. 7.1 PPG, and Bryce Miracle Sr. 5.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG. Otis will need to outrun teams and they could make a deep run.
#10 South Baca
Last year: 21-5, Runner up losing to Peetz in the State Championship. South Baca is losing 5 seniors from last year’s team. South Baca is losing their top two scorers and top rebounder. South Baca though is returning some talent including the #3 thru #5 scorers and #2 and #3 rebounders. South Baca will need some younger kids to really step up this year but have a solid core coming back. South Baca is returning Shadow Varnado Jr. 13.5 PPG, 3.6 APG, Enrique Gutierrez Sr. 9.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and Camden Wilson Jr. 2.9 PPG. Players will have to step up to fill the holes but South Baca has plenty of tradition to make another run.
#11 Front Range Baptist
Last year: 21-5, finished third in the State tournament beating Creede. Front Range Baptist is losing 4 seniors all who made big contributions. Front Range Baptist losses their #1, #3, and #5 scorers from last year team. Their #2 and #3 rebounders are also gone as well as their top two assist leaders. Front Range Baptist is returning their #2 and #4 scorers and some height as well. Front Range Baptist is returning Deric Wood 14.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, Noah Johnson 7.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and Alex Botero 2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG. Front Range Baptist will be looking to replace their guards that they lost last year and will need a few players to really step up.
Last year: 21-5, finished 4th in the State tournament losing to Front Range Baptist. Creede is losing 3 seniors including Isaac Borchers who played outstanding in the state tournament. Creede is losing their Top scorer, top rebounder, and top assist leader. Creede though is returning some talent from last years team. Creede will have their #2 scorer, #4 scorer, and #2 rebounder coming back. Returning for Creede is Casper Freedle Sr. 13.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, Marcos Romero Jr. 7.6 PPG, 1.6 APG, and Colter Simon Sr. 7.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG. Creede will be very competitive still and their success will rely on players stepping up to fill the holes left by Borchers and Leggitt. Freedle, Romero, and Leggitt will need to step up and power Creede this year.
Last year: 10-13, lost in regional to Sangre De Cristo. Cheraw had an up and down season last year but came together at the right time to qualify for Regionals. Cheraw is losing just two seniors and one was the #4 scorer. Cheraw is returning their top 3 scorers and Top 3 rebounders. Cheraw has a lot of talent coming back and could make some noise this year. Cheraw is returning Josiah Vasquez Sr. 10.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 3.0 APG, Colt Honey Sr. 10.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and Gabe Montoya Sr. 9.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG. Cheraw must stay consistent all year and should be very competitive.
Last year: 9-14, lost in regionals to Genoa-Hugo. Stratton/Liberty is losing just 1 senior, but he was also their leading scorer and leading rebounder. Stratton/Liberty has a lot of younger kids who will have to step up and I look to Jaret Lichty and Ethan Richmond to step up to the plate. Stratton/Liberty like I mentioned returns their entire team and they will have to come together to push for a state tournament berth. Stratton/Liberty is returning Jaret Lichty So. 11.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, Ethan Richmond Sr. 10.3 PPG, and Trevor Frank JR. 8.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG.
Last year: 17-10, lost in the Consolation Final in the state tournament to Cornerstone Christian. Genoa-Hugo is losing 3 senior captains and replacing them will be key to this season success. Genoa-Hugo is losing their #1, #3, and #5 scorers. Genoa-Hugo does have their #1 rebounder and #2 and #4 scorers coming back. Genoa-Hugo will need some Sophomores to really step up this season. Genoa-Hugo is returning Ben Miller 11.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, Greg Tidquist Sr. 5.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and Levi Miller So. 4.0 ppg. Genoa-Hugo may be a bit low but replacing 3 senior contributors may hurt early on.
Last year: 9-11, lost in District tournament to North Park. My first team to not qualify for Regionals last year and a traditional power rounds out my top 16. Ouray is losing just 1 senior and have a lot of talent coming back from last year. Ouray is losing their #2 scorer but return the rest of the team. Returning is Scout Manley 11.7 PPG, Griffin Holifield 8.5 PPG, and Zach Briggs 7.4 PPG. Ouray is hoping to bounce back from last year and I think they will.
Other (#16 through #21)
#16 Longmont Christian
#18 Dove Creek