Air Academy Kadets
Coach: Barry Clark, 13th season
Last year: 13-12 (8-6 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Ryder Banks, so., G; Grant Featherston, so., PF
Other top athletes: Finn Horsfall, so, PG; Nick Marshall, sr., PG
Outlook: “We are excited to move up to 5A,” Clark said. “The players are excited for the challenge every night. Since we are new to 5A we do not know what to fully expect.”
Notes: Featherston is the top returner after the Kadets graduated three of their top four scorers. Featherston averaged 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman. Ryder Banks averaged 6.4 points.
Coach: Eric Steinert, 4th season
Last year: 14-10 (9-3 5A/4A CSML)
Returning starters: Brody Gish, sr., G; AJ Guiao, sr., G; Schafer Reichart, sr., G
Other top athletes: Christian Drummond, so., G; Tyler Mahle, sr., G; Drew Reichart, jr., P
Outlook: “We have a core group of seniors that have been playing since sophomore year, they are great leaders and great people. Each will have an opportunity to play at the next level. We also have a sophomore guard, Christian Drummond, who is a top-five player in the state for the 2023 class. He will be young but very exciting to watch — will grow into a legitimate Division I guard over the next few years,” Steinert said.
Notes: Schafer Reichart is the Spartans’ top returning scorer. He averaged 13.4 points and 4.3 rebounds last season, less than a year after being placed on life support after a case of the flu turned deadly. Now a senior, Steinert said he believes Reichart is one of the best players in the league. Guiao neared a double-figure average as a junior with 8.2 points per game.
Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans
Coach: Paul Mileto, 4th season
Last year: 14-11 (7-5 5A/4A CSML)
Returning starters: Tripp Beatty, sr.; Divante Lynch, sr.; Kaleb Mitchell, jr.; Braydon Smith, jr.; Isaiah Thompson, sr.
Other top athletes: Nassim Martin, sr.; Noah Muna, sr.
Outlook: “We have a unique team with size, speed, and strength this season,” Mileto said. “The majority of our team has played together for several years and they have worked extremely hard to get to this point. As freshmen this group of players lost one game by one point finishing their season 18-1. We are truly blessed and excited to have a season in light of our circumstances.”
Notes: The Trojans graduated their top scorer, but return Thompson who averaged a double-double with 15.1 points and 12.2 rebounds. Thompson has signed to play at CSU-Pueblo.
Coach: Roy Vieux, 2nd season
Last year: 7-16 (4-8 5A/4A CSML)
Returning starters: Landen Dvorsky, jr., G; Jordan McKay, jr., G; Damian Nicholson, sr., G; Josiah Sewell, sr., G
Other top athletes: Isaha Ballard, jr., G; Kenny Barnes, sr., G; Tate Byrum, jr., G; Will Grantz, jr., G; Aiden Swanson, jr., F
Outlook: “This may be our deepest squad in several years,” Vieux said. “They have really bought into our team-first mentality, they really believe in having each other's back on and off the court.”
Notes: McKay returns after a standout sophomore year in which he averaged 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds. Sewell also had a double-figure average last year with 11.3 points.
Coach: Jimmy Grantz, 16th season
Last year: 8-15 (3-9 5A/4A CMSL)
Returning starters: Kolben Barney, sr., G/F; Jaiden Flowers, jr., G; Jaelyn Robinson, jr., G
Other top athletes: Giles Lewis, sr., G; Xavier VanDemark-Conway, jr., F/C
Outlook: “I am just excited to have a chance to play, I really like my team's commitment to hard work and dedication to each other,” Grantz said.
Notes: Barney averaged 14 points to lead the Terrors as a junior and returns his senior year after a productive offseason.
Coach: J’on St. Clair, 30th season
Last year: 11-13 (7-5 5A/4A CSML)
Returning starters: Cole Bowen, sr., PG; Cale Cormaney, sr., F; Colby Shepherd, sr., SG; Jaydon Young, sr., F
Other top athletes: Tyler Edwards, SG; Jamil Jones, F
Outlook: “We are excited for the opportunity to play this season out, even if it's only for 14 games,” St. Clair said.
Notes: Rampart’s roster features 11 seniors and the Rams lost just one starter to graduation. Bowen returns after leading Rampart last year averaging 12.7 points.
Coach: Elgin Fitzgerald, 6th season
Last year: 21-3 (12-2 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Brad Helton, sr., G; Wade Jones, sr., G; Blake Lewis, sr., G
Other top athletes: Jack Osinski, sr., F; Miles Wagner, sr., F
Outlook: “I’m looking forward to watching a great senior class finish strong,” Fitzgerald said.
Notes: Boasting nine seniors the Cheyenne Mountain roster is full of experience. Fitzgerald said this is the largest senior class he’s had in his time at Cheyenne Mountain. The team graduated a huge force in Javonte Johnson, who averaged 30 points in 2020, but Jones returns after averaging 15.3 as a junior.
Coach: David Thomas, 6th season
Last year: 4-19 (1-11 5A/4A CSML)
Returning starters: Jalen Austin, sr.; Kris Walters, sr.; William White, sr.
Other top athletes: Rayzel Cunningham, jr.
Outlook: “These young men have stayed focused over the past year on improving while not knowing if there would be a season,” Thomas said.
Notes: Coronado lost its top two scorers to graduation. White is the top returner from 2019-20 after averaging 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Discovery Canyon Thunder
Coach: Paul Campbell, 5th season
Last year: 14-11 (8-6 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Trent Pasvovel, jr., G/F; Justin Pruitt, jr., G/F; Ethan Smith, jr., G
Other top athletes: Robert Usevitch, sr., F
Outlook: Campbell said he is happy to have the opportunity to coach during the pandemic.
Notes: The Thunder graduated two double-figure scorers, but Smith and Pasvovel were not far off a double-figure average as sophomores, averaging 9 and 8.4 points, respectively. They are Discovery Canyon’s top returners for 2021.
Coach: Aaron Hedman, 5th season
Last year: 11-12 (7-8 4A CSML)
Returning starters: Tristan Smith, sr., SG; Sam Speicher, sr., G
Other top athletes: Jace Perez, jr., G; Jason Weber, so., G
Notes: Smith led the Cardinals averaging 19.3 ponts and 7.1 rebounds as a junior.
Coach: Donald Wood, 1st season
Last year: 4-19 (2-12 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Mason Black, jr., G; Mason Hamlin, jr., F
Other top athletes: Jason Chambers, sr., F; Clay Sanger, sr., G
Outlook: “I’m excited to have a season and see these boys do what they love,” Wood said.
Notes: Black neared a 20-point average as a sophomore and returns to lead the Falcons. Hamlin neared a double-figure average with 8.2 points per game.
Coach: Eric Kaiser, 3rd season
Last year: 19-5 (13-2 4A CSML)
Returning starters: None
Other top athletes: Isaiah Abeyta, so., SG; Kahar Briggs, jr., PG; Kenny Jones Jr., fr., G; Jaseim Mitchell, sr., F; Terence Richey, sr., F; Donovan Sterling, jr., G; Jamison Taylor, so., F
Outlook: “I’m grateful for the kids to get an opportunity to compete on and off the floor!” Kaiser said. “Relationships that get developed and the training that goes into becoming the best selfless student, person and player they can become.”
Notes: Harrison lost its top six contributors to graduation or transfers. Kaiser said his team received a boost from a few football players who bring a “physical dimension” to an inexperienced varsity-level team. “(They) will contribute to the chemistry and an attack-first mentality in the classroom and on the court,” he said.
Coach: Bill Benton, 13th season
Last year: 15-10 (9-5 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Brady Jones, jr., F/C; Cam Lowe, jr., G; Noah Ragsdale, sr., G; Eddie Speller Jr., sr., F; Colin Westfall, sr., G
Other top athletes: Breckin Davis, sr., G/F; Caden Dewey, jr., F; Connor Johnson, jr. G
Outlook: “I’m excited for a new league. It will be a challenge every night,” Benton said. “We have a strong group of guys returning with talent and we have had the chance to bond and work on the chemistry within this group. They’re a tight-knit, close group that can compete. They can play big, play small and play fast. Multiple skill sets for a lot of these guys.”
Notes: The Rangers return all of their top contributors, including four scorers who had double-figure averages in 2019-20. Westfall and Speller averaged more than 14 points. Speller neared a double-double average, pulling down 7.6 rebounds per game. Lowe and Jones averaged 11.5 and 10.8 points, respectively.
Mesa Ridge Grizzlies
Coach: Yantz Robinson, 10th season
Last year: 2-10 (1-14 4A CMSL)
Returning starters: JJ Dickerson, sr., G; Nate Richardson, sr., PG
Outlook: “I'm excited to see our players back on the court and for our seniors to have a season even though it is shortened,” Robinson said.
Notes: Dickerson and Richardson finished second and third on the team in scoring last year, averaging 9.3 and 7.5 points, respectively.
Palmer Ridge Bears
Coach: Nick Mayer, 12th season
Last year: 8-16 (6-8 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Gabe Hanson, sr., G; Tucker Terlizzi, sr., F
Outlook: “I’m excited for the challenge of moving into a 5A league and trying to compete at the highest level against all these great teams and coaches,” Mayer said.
Notes: The new 5A/4A PPAC will feature Class 5A teams such as Doherty, Liberty, Fountain-Fort Carson, Pine Creek and Rampart. The Bears lost four of their top five scorers to graduation. Hanson is Palmer Ridge’s top returner. He averaged 9.4 points last year.
Sand Creek Scorpions
Coach: Rob Hawkins, 5th season
Last year: 16-9 (9-5 5A/4A PPAC)
Returning starters: Greg Garnett, sr., PG; Colin Hawkins, so., SG; Konner Morgan, sr., C
Other top athletes: Icko Deleon, jr., PG; Judah Montoya, jr., SG; Cameron Thomas, SG
Notes: Hawkins averaged eight points as a freshman, while Morgan returns after nearing a double-double average as a junior with 7.8 points and 8.1 rebounds.
The Classical Academy
Coach: Garrett Holmes, 1st season
Last year: 20-5 (12-3 4A CSML) TCA had a historic season in which the Titans made it to the state semifinals for the first time, but the tournament was canceled before the semifinal due to the pandemic.
Returning starters: Kobe Katayama, sr., PG; Garrett Kautz, sr., F; Travis Kautz, sr., F
Other top athletes: Cade Palmer, jr., G; Cade Wiedey, jr., G
Outlook: “We graduated an experienced class last year. There's new opportunities for growth and leadership and I'm excited to see who steps up into those roles,” Holmes said.
Notes: TCA graduated its top three scorers, all of whom averaged double figures in 2019-20. Katayama is the team’s top returner after averaging 5.2 points per game.
Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy Stallions
Coach: Wes McKenzie, 4th season
Last year: 16-2 (independent schedule)
Returning starters: Vinny Benitam jr., G; Nate Early, jr., C; Nick Jones, sr., F; Zane Kitzmiller, sr., G; Tyler Vergara, sr., G
Other top athletes: Joseph Bjegovich, fr., G; Alex Thompson, jr., G; Kevin Weaver, jr., F
Outlook: “We're excited about the chance to compete with some of the best programs in the state. I'm thrilled for our kids to have the chance to play for something and to validate all the work they've put in over the past 3-4 years as we've built our program,” McKenzie said.
Notes: Banning Lewis joins the Class 3A Tri-Peaks league in the program’s first season as a CHSAA-member school. Last season wa the program’s first varsity season, in which the Stallions finished 16-2 in an independent schedule. Vergara is the top returner. He averaged 20.7 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 steals.
Colorado Springs Christian Lions
Coach: Dave Erickson, 2nd season
Last year: 13-11 (7-5 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning starters: Nathan Davies, so., P; Joe Dunn, sr., G; Caleb Stockton, sr., G
Other top athletes: Mason Jensen, sr., G; Andrew Knedler, sr., W
Outlook: “I'm excited to see our large senior class complete what has been a fun four-year ride,” Erickson said.
Notes: Stockton returns for his fourth and final varsity season after having averaged 18 points, 4.8 rebounds and six assists in 2019-20.
James Irwin Jaguars
Coach: Jerry D White, 33rd season
Last year: 6-14 (5-7 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning starters: Kaleb Gallegos, jr., PG; Jalen Higgs, sr., G
Outlook: White said he is excited to get his young squad on the floor “in spite of these COVID times.”
Notes: Higgs led the Jaguars averaging 16 points per game last year.
Manitou Springs Mustangs
Coach: Brian Vecchio, 3rd season
Last year: 19-5 (12-0 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning starters: Caleb Allen, jr., G; Joah Armour, sr., F; Lars Marquardt, sr., F; Isaiah Thomas, sr., G
Other top athletes: Ethan Boren, jr., G; Thor Flett, sr., G; John Maynard, so., F
Outlook: “We return eight out of 12 players from last year on a team that went 19-5 and won the Tri-Peaks League. We are excited about our underclassmen and the challenges that a COVID season will present,” Vecchio said.
Notes: The Mustangs return two of their three double-figure scorers, and four of their five top contributors from 2019-20. Armour led the team averaging 14 points, followed by Thomas with 12.
St. Mary’s Pirates
Coach: Jim Masterson, 3rd season
Last year: 19-5 (10-2 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning starters: Sam Howery, jr., PG; John Klein, sr., F; Andon Mindrup, jr., G/F; Luke Stockelman, sr., G/F
Other top athletes: Everett Ellis, jr., G; Carson Faber, jr., F/C; Max Howery, fr., PG/SG
Outlook: “We get to play — hip, hip, hooray!” Masterson said. “This year’s senior class is good, and our junior class is really solid.”
Notes: Sam Howery returns after averaging 20.5 points and more than 24 minutes per game as a sophomore. This year he will be joined by his brother, Max, for his freshman year. Stockelman was second on the team in scoring last year, averaging 16.7 points.
Coach: Joe Wetters, 11th season
Last year: 22-3 (11-1 3A Tri-Peaks)
Returning starters: Juan Bustamante, sr., G; Ryan Lair-Douchinsky, sr., F; Gabe Skur, sr., G
Other top athletes: Caleb Hanson, jr., F; Nathan Morris, fr., G; Henri Mueh, jr., G; Jayden Paul, sr., C; Cameron Rowney; fr., G
Outlook: “Our seniors are the last class from the highly successful group that we have had over the last three years. They want to continue the high level of play after winning three consecutive district championships, and want to close out senior year with a fourth,” Wetters said.
Notes: Vanguard is 34-1 in 3A Tri-Peaks play dating back to the 2017-18 season, and the last two seasons the Coursers have made it to the state quarterfinal and appeared in the state championship, respectively. Lair-Douchinsky is the top returner from Vanguard’s quarterfinal appearance last year. He averaged 10.1 points and five rebounds.
Woodland Park Panthers
Coach: John Paul Geniesse, 7th season
Last year: 4-19 (3-13 4A CSML)
Returning starters: Sonny Ciccarelli, so., G; Tyger Ciccarelli, sr., G
Outlook: “I am excited to watch our players compete in the ultra competitive 3A Tri-Peaks conference,” Geniesse said. “There are great players and coaches in this league and we look forward to the competition it will present nightly.”
Notes: Woodland Park moves down from 4A to compete in the 3A Tri-Peaks league. Sonny Ciccarelli averaged 7.3 points as a freshman and is the top returner after the Panthers’ top three scorers graduated. Tyger Ciccarelli averaged 3.3 points.
Coach: Ryan Carter, 8th season
Last year: 9-14 (3-4 2A District 8)
Returning starters: Ryan Campbell, jr., G; Brandon Eglinton, sr., F; Logan Glaser, sr., F; Hunter Gotschall, so., G; Zach Peterson, jr., G
Other top athletes: Odiahus Bishop, jr., G
Outlook: Carter described his team as short, quick and scrappy. “They’re hard workers, young and getting better,” he said.
Notes: Eglinton is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 8.3 points and 5 rebounds as a junior.
Colorado Springs School Kodiaks
Coach: DeLovell Earls, 1st season
Last year: 10-10 (4-3 2A District 8)
Returning starters: Andrew Hedden, so., G; James Holman, jr., G; Ben McCurdy, sr., F; William Sobral, sr., F
Other top athletes: Landon May, so., G; Nathan Sobral, fr., G; Tristan Toy, so., G
Outlook: “This year's team is loaded with great athletes, some who are playing for their first season. It will be exciting to watch them evolve into a team this year as these newcomers mold with our veterans.”
Notes: DeLovell Earls returns to CSS to coach the boys’ basketball team 13 years after he helped the Kodiaks to the program's first state championship in 2008. McCurdy is the team’s top returner in 2021 after averaging 12.9 points and eight rebounds as a junior.
Coach: Jedd Sims, 6th season
Last year: 19-6 (6-1 2A District 8)
Returning starters: Gibby Gellerman, jr.; AJ Lashley, jr.; CJ Lashley, jr.; Brennen Meyers, sr.; Gavin Miller, sr.
Other top athletes: Evan Neumeier, jr.; Logan Nickel, so.
Outlook: “I’m excited to build upon the previous years,” Sims said. “With so many returning players we are hoping to build upon last year’s success.”
Notes: The Panthers didn’t graduate any of its top players, and return leading scorers Meyers and Miller who averaged 11 and 10.2 points last year.
Thomas MacLaren School
Coach: Jeff Cook, 4th season
Last year: 10-9 (5-2 2A District 8)
Returning starters: Chris Ambuul, so., G; Max Ambuul, sr., G; Steven Ambuul, so., G; Tomas Baltzar, jr., P; Michael Brophy, jr., F; Johnny DeCellas, jr., G; Kieran McGuire, sr., G; Andrew Osko, jr., G; Ian Osko, jr., F; Joel Shorey, sr., G
Other top athletes: Jack Siebert, sr., G
Outlook: “Our team has now been under the same program for four years and we have the entire team returning,” Cook said.
Notes: The Highlanders return two double-figure scorers in Brophy and Max Ambuul, who averaged 12.4 and 10.6 points, respectively. Brophy flirted with a double-double average as a sophomore with 8.1 rebounds per game. Ambuul averaged 6.3 boards.
Evangelical Christian Academy
Coach: Bob Wingett, 4th season
Last year: 19-4 (5-1 1A District 7)
Returning starters: Jonah Aragon, sr., F; Michael Kim, so., G
Other top athletes: Jon Bunker, jr., G/F; Michael Mann, jr., P; Samuel Ross, so., G; RJ Wagner, jr., G/F; Vito Yacavoni, jr., G
Outlook: “We are a new team full of young men who work hard and improve every day. We have good size overall and a genuine desire to work hard for their brothers,” Wingett said. “I am excited by the challenge of working with these young men to build this team.”
Notes: ECA graduated its top three scorers, but Aragon returns after averaging 5.7 points and 7.2 rebounds as a junior.
Note: Teams not listed did not submit preview information by deadline.