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The Year in Review

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By Michael Hicks

Both the Evergreen boys and girls basketball teams made some noise at the state tournament, as did the girls soccer program. Madison Tenney just missed a top-20 finish in girls golf and the EHS boys tennis team sent two doubles squads to state. And those were some of the stories that didn’t make the list. The Canyon Courier looks back at 10 stories that highlighted the year of 2013.

FOOTBALL WINS LEAGUE TITLE
Head coach Rob Molholm and his staff have turned around Evergreen High football the past four years. That continued in 2013 when the Cougars went 8-3, including 6-0 en route to a second 3A Metro West Conference title in the past three seasons. Evergreen advanced to the state playoffs for the third time in four years behind six all-conference selections. Joe Danni led the charge, being named the league offensive player of the year. Molholm was chosen as the conference’s coach of the year.

LADY COUGARS REIGN IN POOL
Lexie Malazdrewicz left a legacy like none other with the Evergreen Lady Cougars swim team. The senior swimmer won her seventh, eighth and ninth state titles on Feb. 9 at Thornton’s Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in helping Evergreen to a third-place finish at the 4A championships. She won the 50- and 100-meter freestyle in record time. She also helped EHS, which a week earlier won its first Jeffco League title since 1999, win the 400 freestyle relay in record-shattering time.

BOYS SOCCER MAKES STATE SEMIS
For the first time since 2009, the Evergreen Cougars didn’t win a boys soccer conference title. Wheat Ridge snapped Evergreen’s four-year unbeaten streak in league play with a 1-0 win. Still, the Cougars, behind first-team all-conference choices Alex Wormer and Matt Hornbecker, went 15-3-1, including 5-1-1 in 4A Jeffco play, and reached the state semifinals for the third time in four years. The Cougars’ season ended with a 1-0 gut-wrenching loss to eventual state champion Cheyenne Mountain in the semifinals.

BENDER, EHS OWN THE SLOPES
Evergreen coach Kirk Petrik expected the success from the girls ski team but not so much from the boys’ side. What he got last February at Winter Park was the best of both worlds. Behind state slalom champion Jake Bender, the EHS boys team won an alpine title and finished second overall, while the girls team took first place in the giant slalom, third in the slalom and fifth overall. Bender won an individual slalom state title in a time of 1 minute, 31.28 seconds at Winter Park. He won six of eight races in 2012-13.

BOYS GOLF PLACES 8TH AT STATE
There was a lot left to be desired by the Evergreen Cougars’ boys golf team in 2013, but that’s not to say the year was anything but a success. Far from it. EHS, behind the play of league MVP Kyle Peterson, finished second in the 4A Jeffco League, third at regionals and eighth at the 4A state championships held at Hiwan Golf Club. Peterson, Kyle Malazdrewicz and Liam Short were named all-conference and placed 13th, 30th and 42nd, respectively, at the state meet.

GYMNASTICS TAKES 3RD AT STATE
Chancey Hines’ first year as head coach of the Evergreen Lady Cougars’ gymnastics team saw her team improve as the season went on. Evergreen placed fourth at the Jeffco League meet — second among 4A schools — before scoring a season-high 176 points at the 4A state championship on Nov. 1 at Thornton High School. EHS finished third behind Thompson Valley and Elizabeth. Callie Cohen led the charge with a first place on the balance beam, second on the bars and third on the floor exercise.

EVERGREEN WRESTLER KAY MAKES A STATEMENT
Injuries in recent seasons had kept Jake Kay off the medal stand at the 4A state wrestling championships. That wouldn’t be the case in 2013. The 126-pound senior rallied from down 3-0 in the final 15 seconds to score a reversal and two back points for a narrow win over Pueblo Central’s Brandon Aragon at the Pepsi Center. The win assured Kay (39-9), a Jeffco League champion and third-place finisher at regionals, of placing sixth at state on Feb. 23.

EHS POMS DON’T SKIP A BEAT
Head coach Debbie Cooper unexpectedly moved out of state prior to the season, but the Evergreen Lady Cougars poms team didn’t skip a beat when assistant Monique O’Neill stepped up to fill the role. Instead, EHS continued doing what it does best, winning titles as the Lady Cougars held off Broomfield in the four-team finals to win a third straight 4A state title on Dec. 7 at the Denver Coliseum. It was the ninth title overall for the Lady Cougars. Abigail O’Neill, Monique’s daughter, was an all-state selection.

CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS SUCCEED
Evergreen High School and cross country success go hand-in-hand. Never was that more true than this past year. The Cougars’ boys and girls cross country teams each won 4A Jeffco and Region 1 team championships in October. For the girls team, it was a sixth straight confrence championship, led by the running of Camille Morales and Caitlin Schmitt. The girls went on to place eighth at state. The boys won their first league title since 2010 with five runners in the top 16. They placed 14th at state.

LANE LEAPS TO MEDAL STAND IN LONG JUMP
Andre Lane couldn’t remember much about the previous time he competed in the triple jump at the 4A state track-and-field championships, but the Evergreen senior gave himself a reason to remember his trip in 2013. Lane, who placed 16th at state in 2011, placed eighth this time with his second jump in the preliminary round going for 43 feet, 5 inches. He just missed making the medal stand in the long jump, placing 10th.