PREP FIFTH QUARTER: While top 5A, 4A football teams emerge, 3A bracket totally busted

November 17, 2013 Updated: November 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm
photo - Manitou Springs linebacker Billy Ryan (22) tackles Platte Valley wide receiver (9-center) on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Manitou Springs HIgh School. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography
Manitou Springs linebacker Billy Ryan (22) tackles Platte Valley wide receiver (9-center) on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Manitou Springs HIgh School. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography 

If the end-of-season wild-card points say anything, normalcy reigns in the 4A and 5A football playoffs. Heading into the 4A semifinals, four of the top five seeds remain in Montrose (1), Monarch (2), Pine Creek (3) and Pueblo South (5).

In 5A, four of the top six teams of the 32-team field have advanced to the semifinals in Fairview (1), Valor Christian (2), ThunderRidge (5) and Cherokee Trail (6).

Then there's the 3A bracket, blown to bits, March Madness style, where being a favorite is nearly a kiss of death. Goodbye big dogs. Hello, underdogs, just like Davidson, George Mason, Valparaiso and Florida Gulf Coast.

No. 6 Coronado is the top seed remaining after upsetting No. 3 Roosevelt on the road Saturday. The night before, TCA, ranked seventh, went way out west and took down No. 2 Palisade. On Saturday, the Cougars and Titans will battle at Garry Berry Stadium for a berth in the state championship game.

"It's a nice thing for Colorado Springs football," The Classical Academy coach David Bervig said. "We won't be on our home field, but we'll still be at home."

On the other side of the 3A bracket, it's even more wide open. No. 13 Delta upset No. 4 Holy Family in the first round, then got past 12th-seeded Glenwood Springs in the quarterfinals. This weekend, Delta will host No. 9 Silver Creek, which crushed eight-seed Evergreen in the first round and ended a run by No. 16 Pueblo East, which knocked off top-seeded Discovery Canyon in the first round.

Coronado PE teacher recalls state run as player on 1982 team

As a track and physical education teacher at Coronado, Curt Christensen has an inside look at shaping athletes who make up many of the teams at his alma mater. Many years ago, Christensen was part of history on the 1982 football team that reached the state finals but fell to Loveland.

Now, he takes even more pride in seeing the football team making its deepest run in the playoff since then.

"After last season, we felt pretty good about having a better season, but I'm not sure about this," Christensen said. "We have some really good athletes on the team, and getting down and not panicking has been the key. It'll sure be exciting around here this week."

Christensen, who missed the second half of the 1982 team due to injury, recalled a sophomore season in which the Cougars went 0-10, followed by a 5-5 year.

Sounds kind of like this year's team.

"It's been a big turnaround for them, just like we did," Christensen said.

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