Class 4A Championship
No. 5 Air Academy Kadets
Game data: No. 5 Air Academy (15-4) vs. No. 3 Skyview (17-0-2) ... 4 p.m. Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Media: Follow @KateShefte and @ChhunSun for live updates from the game.
Scouting the Kadets: Two-time defending state champion Air Academy is in a unique situation this time around, considering that it is not the classification's top-ranked team in the playoffs. Even so, the Kadets have proven they're not an easy team to knock off — thanks to boasting members who helped win it all in 2017 and '18. Unsurprisingly, the Kadets are led by senior Thaddaeus Dewing, the reigning Gatorade Colorado Boys' Soccer Player of the Year who is having another standout season with a team-best 28 goals and 16 assists. Air Academy's other offensive weapons are also seniors, in Adin Schwenke (14 goals, nine assists) and Kelton Hooker (12 goals, eight assists). Sophomore goalkeeper Travis Tygart Jr. has been solid, allowing just two goals in four state playoff games. All of the Kadets' losses came against quality teams in Rampart, Pine Creek, Boulder and Lewis-Palmer, which all made deep postseason runs this year.
Scouting the Wolverines: Skyview's only two blemishes on its record are ties against Silver Creek and Fort Lupton. The Wolverines boast two prolific scorers in senior Jared Ramos (23 goals, 10 assists) and junior Luis Reyes (20 goals, 10 assists). Four of Ramos' goals took place in the playoffs to go along with his one assist. But it was senior goalkeeper Brian Fierro who came up big for Skyview in Wednesday's semifinals, as he made a diving stop of a penalty kick by Golden's Joaquin Garfias in the final minute to give the Wolverines a thrilling 1-0 victory. In 18 games, he's recorded 80 saves. This is Skyview's first state title game appearance, going back to 2003, the most recent year on record.