Notebook: Award for Mesa Ridge coach, charity fundraisers and a decorated new wrestling coach

August 14, 2012
photo - Mesa Ridge coach Rob Braaten was one of 14 nationwide winners of the NSCA's Strength of America Award. Photo by MIKE CHRISTY, THE GAZETTE
Mesa Ridge coach Rob Braaten was one of 14 nationwide winners of the NSCA's Strength of America Award. Photo by MIKE CHRISTY, THE GAZETTE 

Mesa Ridge football coach Rob Braaten sought out the National Strength and Conditioning Association to improve his knowledge and better the school’s overall fitness programs.

Now the NSCA has honored Braaten for implementing the lessons he’s learned.

Braaten was among 14 national recipients of the NSCA’s Strength of America Award, joined by repeat winner Bob Tim of Widefield.

To be honored, coaches or teachers must join the association and provide documentation that their schools are meeting standards in supervision, education, program and facilities.

“It was fun to be a part of it and see where we’re at,” Braaten said.

Braaten has broadened his Olympic-style weightlifting program since becoming involved with the program and has put an emphasis on nutrition.

“We focus on education and, particularly, educating the parents,” Braaten said. “You have to get the parents. In our parents’ meetings we talk about nutrition on game day and after practices. It’s a big part of what we do.”


Air Academy to hold fire fundraiser Friday

Air Academy is holding a faculty basketball challenge Friday along with several other District 20 schools to benefit the five Kadet families who lost their homes during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

There will be a 6 p.m. game between Rampart and officials from the District 20 office, a 7 p.m. game between Discovery Canyon and Pine Creek and an 8 p.m. game between Air Academy and Liberty.

Admission is $2.

"This is going to be too much fun," Air Academy girls' basketball coach Bob Wingett said.

Among those scheduled to play are Pine Creek girls' and boys' basketball coaches Kelley and Duke Stewart, Liberty softball coach Astrid McGill, Air Academy baseball coach Bernie Moncallo, Wingett and Kadets boys' basketball coach Barry Clark.

There will also be a silent auction, a 50/50 drawing and concession sales put on by the Air Academy volleyball team. An officiating crew from the Colorado High School Activities Association will work the game and donate the check to the cause.


Falcon football fighting cancer with jerseys

Football players at Falcon will wear sponsored pink jerseys Oct. 12, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

For $100, a jersey can be bought in honor of someone fighting the disease, a survivor or a victim. The person’s name will be on the back of that jersey (which will be worn during the game against Ponderosa), and after the game the jerseys will be presented to any of those honorees present.


Fountain-Fort Carson hypes new wrestling coach

Former Fountain-Fort Carson wrestling coach Chris James sent out a recent social media post to announce his replacement, Marcel Cooper.

Among Cooper’s credentials that James pointed out were New York state champion, two-time senior national champion, 10-time world champion, Pan American champion, 1999 Armed Forces Athlete of the Year and an assistant with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, where he coached three 2012 Olympians.

“I am stoked for our kids and the program,” said James, who stepped down as wrestling coach when he accepted an assistant principal position at the school.

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