Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

KIVA Week: The Importance of Cultural Representation
KIVA Week: The Importance of Cultural Representation
Emma Tran and Paige KyleApril 18, 2024

IB Minority Club held its annual KIVA Week in March. This year many cultural clubs participated in events such a food night, a fashion show,...

Ditching the pencils - How students adapt to digital SAT
Ditching the pencils - How students adapt to digital SAT
Edward Tay and Anayla ApolinarApril 15, 2024

  As we continue to submerge into the digital age, some things have undergone significant changes. This year, for example, the SAT has gone...

Spring sports preview

  As the 2024 Spring sports seasons kick off, CT will be busy watching many sports. This includes lacrosse, girls’ golf, girls’ tennis, track, baseball, girls’ soccer, boys’ volleyball, and boys’ swim and dive, with each sport having very different 2023 outcomes.

  The boys’ Baseball team ended last year with an 18-13 record. Having a rough middle part of the season, the Cougars turned it around, making it to the state championship, ultimately losing to Valor 4-0 and ending 2nd in the 5A division. This year, the Cougars feature 2 Division 1 commits. Left-handed Pitcher Carter Wilcox (Iowa), left-handed pitcher Logan Reid (Houston), and many other divisions 2, 3, and NAIA commitments in the Cougars lineup. Junior Brody Ceyrolles said, “I think our chemistry needs to change this year. Last year, we had many clicks, and things need to change this year. I believe we will make it pretty far as long as we play as a team and to the best of our abilities”. With Cherry Creek also having multiple D1 commits, they could be one of the Cougar’s bigger competitors this year.

  Boys Lacrosse ended last season with a 9-8 record. They ultimately lost in the second round of playoffs to Regis Jesuit 14-2. However, they won their first playoff game in a nail-biting game 11-10 against Chatfield. Losing 9 seniors last year the team had some spots to fill with three college commitments belonging to seniors Nate Gilmore, Sam Burnette, Evan Mata, and Ethan Conover. Juniors Dempsey Gibbs and Tommy Nam are also big names to keep an eye out for this year. The returning state champs, Mountain Vista, also hold 3 college commitments at the moment. Mountain Vista, ranked 5th going into playoffs came up as the underdogs, beating Cherry Creek (1), Valor (2), Regis (3), and Legend (4). Junior Cooper Carlise believes as long as the “ effort and attitude” is made better, then “ we can be really good.” 

  Girls’ lacrosse had a very similar season to the boys; having a record of 9-8. However, they are in the 4A division. Also similar to the boys’ team, the girls made it through the first round of playoffs, beating Denver North 15-12. They then went on to lose in the second round to Evergreen 18-7. Losing only three seniors last season, the team had few worries about filling spots. With 2 Freshmen on the team, Emmie Ervin and Sophie Bieker, the team is rather upperclass-heavy. Junior Kennedy Brian believed the team had really good energy before games. “ we were always super hype and just had so much fun before games!” However, she hopes to change “ the intensity of practices so [they] can go further in playoffs.”  The Cougars have a strong squad featuring two college commits to Regis University, Aubrey Benton and Kyla Bieker. Reigning state champions Mead High School, powered through Castle View High School 13-5, crowning them 2022-2023 State champions. The Mavericks, losing only four seniors, still have a strong team. The Cougars lost their first game of the season in a tight match-up against Golden, ultimately losing 8-10.

  The girl’s golf team had a record-breaking season last year. Finishing 4th overall, just ahead of Cherry Creek. With two finishes in the top 15, 8th- Kaleigh Babineaux, and 11th- Bead Boonta, the Cougars placed two places higher than their 2022 finish, and Babineaux placed 30 places higher. Similarly, the Cougars were also the 2023 regional champs for the second year. However, both Babineaux and Boonta no longer attend CT. Sophomore Ashlyn Witkamp believes support was something the team excelled in, “ Everyone encouraged others!” said Witkamp. Valor Christan High School took the 5A state title, overtaking Rock Canyon. Despite this win, Valor only had 2 top-10 finishers, Brenna Higgins, and Elle Higgins. With Elle being a senior and Breena only a junior this year, Valor still features state-winning talent. 

  The Boy’s Volleyball team, a relatively new addition to the Cougars sports, had a strong season, ending with a 23-5 record. Going into the state championships ranked 2, the Cougars ended relatively early, losing to Legend and Eaglecreast. The 2023 team featured nine seniors, leaving the team with many spots to fill. With only one college commitment, John Clinton, the team features a rather young team. Despite this, the Cougars still managed to be ranked 15th in all the western parts of the country, being the only Colorado team on the roaster. Clinton believes the mental strength was something CT lacked this year. This season he says the team “ is working on a lot of mental strength.” said Clinton. Discovery Canyon took home the gold last year for boys’ volleyball. With six seniors, the team also had some gaps to fill. The Cougars have already started their season strong with two wins against Rock Canyon and Thunderidge, only taking them to 3rd. 

  The Boys Track team had an incredible 2022-2023 season, taking home the state championship for the 3rd time. They won, and the boys also 4×400 broke a state record. It featured Peyton Sommers, Kaelan Kombo, Beck Gutjahr, and Kahari Wilbon. Peyton Sommers also went on to win the 200 and the 400. Fourtently for the Cougars, Beck Gutjahr was the only senior from the record-breaking relay. However, the team missed some relay pass-offs, “ our miss communications during the handoffs ruined our times” junior Marquis Jamison said. Kaelan Kombo has also recently committed to the University of New Mexico. The Cougars face a promising future as the season begins, already having won the Aurora city invite. “ We will perfect our crafts so that we make no mistakes for back-to-back state championships.” 

  During their 2022-2023 season, the girls track team faced a tough season. With multiple injuries before the state meet, the girl’s team needed help with depth in events. “we faced a lot of adversity.” said Kaeli Powe. They ultimately finished 8th place in the 5A state championship. Valor Christian pulled away the win, and Grandview followed behind in a close second. The Cougar’s highest finish of the meet went to sophomore Kaeli Powe, earring 2nd  in the triple jump. Powe also finished 6th in the 100-meter hurdles and 4th in the long jump. Powe is not a force to be reckoned with in this upcoming season. Other notable finishes went to junior Sanaai Hancock, placing 3rd in the 100-meter hurdles! Powe believes the team can “ finish in the top 5”. The girls recently took 3rd in the Aurora city invite. 

  The Cougars boys’ swim and dive had a rather underwhelming 2023 season. With a record of 2-6, the boys faced more losses than wins. Facing a mere 16th place at the 5A state championships, the team faced some challenges in depth; however, sophomore Bronson Smother placed a record-breaking 3rd place in the 50 free. This was the cougar’s only placing. Regis Jesuit went on to win the meet with their rather upper-class team, carrying them to the win over Cherry Creek. This 2024 season, brought in a new head coach, Kevin Chatham. Coach Chatham led the girl’s swim and dive team to a record-shattering 9th-place finish during the 2024 season. Along with getting a new coach, senior Josh Woren wants “ to create a better team environment” to further strengthen the team.  Starting this season 2-0, the boy’s swim and dive team has turned a new page.

  With a 10-6 at the end of the 2023 season, the girl’s soccer team had a relatively good season. Having a significant loss to Grandview, 5-1, the Cougars also had some great wins. A few include Regis, 2-0, and Cherry Creek, 2-1. Losing seven seniors, the girls had spots to fill. Junior Giannia Mathenge believes “ the team dynamic” needs to be changed this year.”  However, the number 1 goal scorer from last season, with an average of 3 points a game, Maddyn Walker, is returning this season as a senior. Other seniors include Daniella Iaquinta, who is committed to the University of Nebraska Kearny, and Peyton Water, who is committed to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Recently, the Cougars scrimmed the 2023 state champs, Thunderidge, and tied them 1-1, starting the season strong!

  Having a 4-5 record, the girl’s tennis team had a pretty average season. Winning big against schools like Smokey Hill, the team improved from their 3-6 record from the 2021-2022 season. Having only 13 players and one senior, the Cougars team is underclass-heavy, allowing much improvement. The team is looking to improve in depth in the category with no state qualifiers. Junior Stella Hines believed the team had an amazing effort during practice. Having placed 2nd during the Castle View tournament and having #3/4 team Abby, Kate, and Lauren Armin placing 1st, the girls are already off to a successful season! The girl’s tennis team also had long-time head coach Wipple retire which was bittersweet. However, Hines said the new coach, OD, “ is great!”

  The girl’s lacrosse team recently took advantage of the good weather by practicing during tryouts. Junior Lorelei Gearity (Denver LAX shirt) was the Cougars 3rd highest scorer with 2.5 goals a game.

  Senior Daniella Laquinta recognized her team, family, and coaches during Cherokee Trail’s annual signing day.

  Senior Evan Mata last year before attempting to score against Cherry Creek High School. The Cougars went on to lose this game 14-6.

  Junior Braeden Reichert signals to his teammates during last year’s game at Coors Field. The Cougars went on to win against Eaglecreast   6-4. 

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Ava Zadigian
Ava Zadigian, Team Leader

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