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Gazette file

Vanguard senior Dominique Clifford, with ball, has verbally committed to play basketball for the University of Colorado. He is expected to sign his national letter of intent in November.

‘Nique’ Clifford headed to CU

The Vanguard boys’ basketball team will hold its first official CHSAA-sanctioned practice of the fall in less than six weeks on Nov. 18. The Coursers will hit the hardwood with one of the state’s top recruits — Dominique “Nique” Clifford — likely having signed his national letter of intent with the University of Colorado by that time.

Clifford, a senior and four-year starter, announced in September via Twitter that he committed to the Division I school in Boulder. The early signing date for Division I recruits is Nov. 13.

“Basketball-wise, it’s going to be a lot different with the competition levels, but it’s been my goal all my life,” Clifford said. “I’ll be ready for it when the time comes.”

The 6-foot-5 Clifford added that CU coaches have told him they believe he could contribute to the team as a true freshman.

“They see me playing combo guard and they honestly think I could take them to the next level as a program,” Clifford said. “Of course, it all has to be earned. But it’s the big time and big goals for me so I’m on the grind to prove them right.”

Clifford played a key role in Vanguard’s run to the Class 3A state championship game last March. He scored a team-high 23 points in the finals against Manuel as the Coursers lost 80-68 and finished with a 24-3 record.

Vanguard was 21-3 Clifford’s sophomore year and lost in the state quarterfinals. The Coursers were 15-8 his freshman campaign.

In three years as a starter Clifford has averaged 9.7, 14.1 and 18.9 points per game, respectively.

Clifford received 11 D-1 offers, including from Stanford, Denver, Northern Colorado, Colorado State and Wyoming. He went on official visits to CU, CSU and Wyoming. He narrowed his final decision to Wyoming, CSU, Stanford and CU.

“All of the places I visited were super nice, but Colorado had the best campus, and on my visit I just felt at home,” Clifford said.

INDIANS HEAD SOUTH FOR FINALE

The Cheyenne Mountain softball team will close out its schedule today (Oct. 16) with a non-league game at Pueblo South.

The Indians (3-18, 1-6 in the 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference), are led offensively this season by senior Olivia Unger (.344 batting average), sophomores Weatherly Hall (.357) and Alex Long (.323). and junior Mia Hedman (.292).

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN RUNNERS SHINE IN MINNESOTA

The Cheyenne Mountain boys’ cross country team competed in the Roy Griak Invitational in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Sept. 28.

Indians sophomore Erik LeRoux finished 10th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 10.90 seconds in the prestigious Gold Race that featured top runners from around the nation. Le Roux was 24 seconds behind winner Oliver Paleen from Saint Paul Highland Park.

The next Indians runners were also all sophomores: Nicholas Huger (87th), Enzo Knapp (152nd), Cedar Collins (156th) and Knox Exton (169th).

- Compiled by Danny Summers

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