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Palmer boys’ tennis has share of first league title since 1993 in sights

This week the Palmer boys’ tennis team looks to break a nearly three-decade-long drought by winning a share of the Class 4A Region 6 regular-season championship.

The Terrors remain undefeated heading into a make-up match against Widefield on Monday, and Palmer coach Todd Nelson said his team was in "good position" to take the win before rain postponed the match.

Should Palmer come out with a win the team will claim a share of its first league title in 27 years.

A 4-3 win over Coronado on Thursday kept Palmer in the running thanks in part to an important No. 4 doubles win by senior Finn Smith and sophomore Taka Montez.

Nelson said Smith had practiced hard through the winter and hit consistently in the snow and cold, which proved to be instrumental in the midst of a September cold snap.

“Coronado is always really good, so that was a hard-fought win for us,” Nelson said.

Giles Lewis and Leo Gillickson claimed tough three-set wins at Nos. 2 and 3 singles, respectively, while Sawyer Tankersley and Jacob Puett claimed a 7-5, 6-0 victory at No. 1 doubles to help the Terrors earn their fourth straight league win.

Nelson said his senior leadership, which extends through his top seven players, will make a huge impact as Palmer heads to the Region 6 championships this week.

Lewis-Palmer, James Irwin softball among top 4 scoring teams in the state

More than halfway through the regular season, Lewis-Palmer and James Irwin have solidified themselves as two of the top hitting teams in the state.

With 122 runs through nine games the Rangers rank third in the state and have won every game they’ve scored three or more runs.

James Irwin ranks fourth with 116 runs in 10 games and has scored 19 or more runs three times this season.

The 7-2 Rangers lean on consistency from its lineup, which features four athletes with 10 or more RBIs this season, including freshman standout Grace Lendt, who is tied for first on the team with 12, and also has two home runs. Senior Rachel Sears has 17 hits and 12 RBIs, while sophomore Ava Vander Weit has 21 hits including eight for extra bases.

James Irwin, which has had an up-and-down season despite some nights of hot hitting, is led by junior Layla Paet who has a staggering 21 RBIs, good for third in the state. Paet is hitting .500 on the season through 10 games and has two home runs. The Jaguar with the next-highest RBI count is freshman Natalie Peters with 10.

Cheyenne Mountain ranks No. 7 in runs scored with 112 through 10 games.

Lead in 5A/4A PPAC softball up for grabs Monday

Just two teams remain undefeated in 5A/4A PPAC softball, and they will battle head-to-head Monday as Discovery Canyon travels to Air Academy.

The Thunder are 5-0, while Air Academy is 3-0 in league play. The Kadets will look to break a four-game losing skid after a rough weekend at the Berthoud Tournament. Discovery Canyon aims to keep its momentum following a walk-off PPAC win over Rampart on Friday.

Boys’ tennis regional schedule announced

Although it feels like the season started yesterday, area teams will be battling in region tournaments this week with the 2020 state championships just two weeks away.

Find the regional schedule and locations for Pikes Peak region teams below.

CLASS 5A

Region 1

Dates: Sept. 16-17

Location: Fairview

Local team: Doherty

Region 3

Dates: Sept. 16-17

Location: CAC Monaco (Denver)

Local teams: Fountain-Fort Carson, Rampart

Region 5

Dates: Sept. 16-17

Location: Redstone Park

Local team: Liberty

Region 6

Date: Sept. 17

Location: Valor Christian

Local team: Pine Creek

CLASS 4A

Region 1

Dates: Sept. 16-17

Location: Colorado Academy

Local team: Lewis-Palmer

Region 2

Dates: Sept. 16-17

Location: TBD

Local team: Palmer Ridge

Region 3

Date: Sept. 16

Location: Mullen

Local team: Discovery Canyon

Region 6

Dates: Sept. 17-18

Location: Cheyenne Mountain

Local teams: Air Academy, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs Christian, Colorado Springs School, Coronado, Mitchell, Palmer, Sand Creek, Vanguard

Region 7

Dates: Sept. 17-19

Location: Pueblo City Park

Local teams: Canon City, Fountain Valley, Mesa Ridge