Published: December 28, 2013
A look back at the top 10 stories of the high school sports year 2013 from the Pikes Peak region.
10. Back-to-back Air Academy boys' swimming crowns. The 2012 Class 4A state title might have been a surprise. The 2013 title wasn't. The Kadets rallied in the penultimate event in 2012 to claim their first crown since 1999. In 2013, they won by a margin of 85 points.
9. Surprising Doherty football season. Following running back Zach Young and his state-best 41 touchdowns, the Spartans won the 5A Pioneer League and reached the second round of the playoffs.
8. Lewis-Palmer boys' basketball repeats as Class 4A state champs. After the departure of Josh Scott and back-to-back losses in late December, it wasn't a foregone conclusion the Rangers would repeat as state champs. They did it anyway, going 18-1 the rest of the season.
7. Cheyenne Mountain girls' golf claims first title. For all the accolades at Cheyenne Mountain, the 2013 Indians' girls' golf squad claimed a new one, bringing home the program's first crown. The Indians edged second-place Valor Christian by two strokes.
6. Manitou Springs football and volleyball bring small respite from floods. As the football team won its conference for the first time and the volleyball program rode a string of rallies into the state championship match, their combined success brought a small consolation for a community ravaged by summer floods.
5. Colorado Springs as a whole is impressive again in the state wrestling scene, as six Pikes Peak region wrestlers take home state titles. Trent Watson (106 pounds) and Jess Hankin (113) of Coronado (Class 5A), Geordan Martinez (138) and Alex Smith (152) of Pine Creek (5A), AJ Rees (120) of Discovery Canyon (4A), and Andrew Register (138) of TCA (3A) all claimed crowns.
4. Three area soccer teams claim state titles. Pine Creek and Cheyenne Mountain won boys' soccer state titles, as four of the six boys' teams in the three classification championship games were from Colorado Springs. Meanwhile the Cheyenne Mountain girls' soccer team also claimed a title, as two of the six finalists were from the Springs.
3. Vista Ridge boys' track and field team wins the school's first state title. Noah Gabel, Aaron Johnson, Pierre Copeland and Darrian Morgan put an exclamation point on the title by setting a 4A state meet record in the 1,600-meter relay - the final event of the day - to solidify the crown.
1. Wasson boys' basketball carries hopes as school prepares to close. It was a dream season for the Thunderbirds' boys' basketball team as the nightmare of its school shutting down became reality. But for a few months over the winter, the Thunderbirds ran up 25 victories on their way to a magical run through the Class 4A state semifinals, only to succumb to eventual champ Lewis-Palmer.
Lewis-Palmer girls' volleyball won its first title since 2002, the second crown under Susan Odenbaugh as head coach. The Rangers swept Air Academy, a surprise opponent as the Kadets came out of nowhere this season.
Cheyenne Mountain girls' tennis claims fifth consecutive title. The Indians didn't even need to show up on the final day of the three-day tournament, claiming the crown on Friday as they placed teams in the finals of all seven events.
Discovery Canyon finishes second in 4A wrestling. The second-place finish is the young program's best.