GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

  • Arapahoe's Adam Hangland (14) heads the ball away from Monarch Luke Barnocky (10) during the first half on October 26, 2017 of their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Adam Hangland (14) heads the ball away from Monarch Luke Barnocky (10) during the first half on October 26, 2017 of their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Chris Grauberger (20) kicks the ball away form Monarch's Blake Barber (20) during the first half on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Chris Grauberger (20) kicks the ball away form Monarch's Blake Barber (20) during the first half on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Cameron Gail (7) goes up to control the ball during the firsts half of their game against Monarch on October 26, 2017 in 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Cameron Gail (7) goes up to control the ball during the firsts half of their game against Monarch on October 26, 2017 in 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Jack Sanders (9) and Monarch's Blake Barber (20) battle for the ball during the second half  on October 26, 2017 in 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Jack Sanders (9) and Monarch's Blake Barber (20) battle for the ball during the second half on October 26, 2017 in 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Cameron Gail (7) goes up and gives a shove in the face on Monarch's Macklin Harrington (13) during the first half on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Cameron Gail (7) goes up and gives a shove in the face on Monarch's Macklin Harrington (13) during the first half on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Zach Westerman (5) celebrates his goal during the first half with teammates on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Zach Westerman (5) celebrates his goal during the first half with teammates on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Zach Westerman (5) celebrates his goal with Zach Tripp (2) during the first half on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Zach Westerman (5) celebrates his goal with Zach Tripp (2) during the first half on October 26, 2017 during their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

  • Arapahoe's Ben Davis (6) and Monarch's Luke Barnocky (10) scramble after the ball during the first half on October 26, 2017 of their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

    (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

    Arapahoe's Ben Davis (6) and Monarch's Luke Barnocky (10) scramble after the ball during the first half on October 26, 2017 of their 5A state playoff game in Littleton, Colorado at LPS Stadium.

of

Expand
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

The Class 5A boys soccer tournament, which began on Thursday, is again the Front Range League’s to win as the conference advanced six of its eight qualified teams into the second round, including defending champion Boulder.

And while the Denver Prep League, with No. 1 Denver East and No. 2 Far Northeast, also has clear challengers for the crown, it’s the Centennial League that’s poised to steal the playoff thunder.

The Centennial qualified five teams, and the three that advanced with first-round wins — No. 5 Grandview, No. 9 Arapahoe and No. 10 Cherry Creek — are all talented and experienced enough to challenge the Front Range’s vice grip on the trophy, as Boulder and Broomfield have combined to win four of the last five 5A titles.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the Front Range League is the most difficult league in the state right now,” Arapahoe coach Mark Hampshire said. “But this game is so fickle, and all it takes is an odd bounce and a team that’s clicking. Right now, for the three of us Centennial teams, all three of us have a chance to go to the show.”

Centennial champion Grandview (14-2), which won the league by way of a tiebreaker over Arapahoe and Cherry Creek, is paced by junior striker Angelo Mujica and senior keeper Eddie St. Martin for a Wolves team that has its sight set on Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

“The biggest thing is you have to show up every day, ready to play, and you have to deal with adversity,” Grandview coach Brian Wood said. “The boys were pretty down after losing to Arapahoe early in the season, and we felt the league title was going to slip away from us, then all of a sudden, Creek beat Arapahoe and we were right back in it. So we’ve learned to learn to deal with adversity, and learned how to move on from it.”

As for Hampshire’s Warriors (13-2-1), it’s been business as usual despite the return of only two starters from last season. Forward Cameron Gail is A.B.K.’s spark, as the junior ranks first in 5A in goals (25) and third in points (53), with senior forward Chris Grauberger and senior defender Zach Tripp also providing leadership.

“I like our chances, but we’re a group that has to play well together to win,” Hampshire said. “We’ve had games we’ve been stellar, and things have really clicked, and we’ve had the total opposite, too. It all depends on effort and organization with this crew, and all of our big guns stepping up.”

And at Cherry Creek (10-6), 19th-year head man Chelo Curi, the Centennial’s longest tenured coach, also believes in the feasibility that each of the league’s remaining teams, all in separate quadrants, can advance to the semifinals.

For his Bruins, Curi noted the Go 4 The Goal national tournament in Burlington, Iowa — where Cherry Creek suffered half of its losses — has prepared his team for the state tournament, as did grueling conference matches against Arapahoe and Grandview.

“In the Arapahoe game, we gave away a lead late in the game, so we’ve improved our ability to hold a lead,” Curi said. “From the Grandview game, we learned we need to be better prepared, because all of us played bad that day. And in the out-of-state tournament, we learned to be ready right from the first whistle, because we got scored on in the first minute there.”

There are, of course, marked differences between the three teams — as Wood noted, “Arapahoe’s strength is up front, Creek’s really good in the midfield, and we’re really good in the back” — but each program has bore a common burden to get to this point: having to play against each other.

Only the tournament will tell if that burden prepared Grandview, Arapahoe and Cherry Creek well enough to get them to the second week of November.

More in Preps

  • Pomona running back Max Borghi is ...
  • Each week, Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman releases his power rankings for Class 5A and 4A boys basketball, girls basketball and hockey. Records are current as of Monday, and this is the last set of rankings until teams get back in action following the holiday break.
  • Pomona RB Max Borghi Dec. 14, ...
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><var id="usEQpNZ"></var></span></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"></var>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></var><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><video id="usEQpNZ"></video></var>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins><ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></var>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><video id="usEQpNZ"><menuitem id="usEQpNZ"></menuitem></video></var>
<var id="usEQpNZ"></var><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><var id="usEQpNZ"></var></span></ins><del id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></del>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins>
  • 5331005 2018-01-23
  • 8542781004 2018-01-23
  • 2874891003 2018-01-23
  • 9365221002 2018-01-23
  • 2736411001 2018-01-23
  • 9552531000 2018-01-23
  • 34828999 2018-01-23
  • 588792998 2018-01-23
  • 221736997 2018-01-23
  • 74981996 2018-01-23
  • 644478995 2018-01-22
  • 759976994 2018-01-22
  • 105321993 2018-01-22
  • 185428992 2018-01-22
  • 752715991 2018-01-22
  • 227689990 2018-01-22
  • 745640989 2018-01-22
  • 746707988 2018-01-22
  • 678338987 2018-01-22
  • 822338986 2018-01-22