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We don't like to live in the past. But it's time to take a look back on the 2016-17 school year for area sports teams.
Rock Canyon scored four points in the final five seconds to beat Grandview 42-40 in a quarterfinal game. A steal and an ensuing follow tip-in of a missed layup in the final second sent the Jaguars into the semifinals, where the team lost on a free throw with 0.8 second remaining to eventual state champion Eaglecrest.
Vista played eight sets in its final two pool matches and then the Golden Eagles had to win two, one-set playoffs before advancing to the semifinals. Mountain Vista beat Rock Canyon, 3-2, in the semifinals and led 3-1 in the finals against Fossil Ridge before fatigue took its toll.
Vista lost the fifth-set tiebreaker to Fossil Ridge to end as state runner-up after playing 15 sets in one afternoon and evening.
It appeared that last fall might be the season for payback as the Eagles football team started with a 1-3 record. However, after a narrow 10-7 semifinal win over Cherry Creek, the Eagles whipped Pomona 30-14 to win their seventh title in eight years.
Ali Kilponen pitched Valor to its third straight 4A softball title and the boys lacrosse team captured its second straight state crown. The baseball team defended its 4A state title and the boys basketball took home the championship hardware after being the runner-up last year.
There were plenty of area individual state champions, especially in wrestling and tennis. However, there are too many to mention to give them justice. It is hard, however, not to mention a couple.
Valor Christian football and basketball player Dylan McCaffrey was honored by the Denver Athletic Club as its Colorado Male High School Athlete of the Year during a banquet May 31.
Grandview cross country and track athlete Bri Oakley was the Female Athlete of the Year and Denver Broncos Chris Harris Jr. was the Professional Colorado Athlete of the Year.
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-566-4083.
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