Category Archives: Winter Sports

Remembering the Mamba

Zach Gotlieb | January 30th, 2020

On Sunday morning, the world lost an icon. An idol to so many people across the globe. Kobe Bryant was among nine people that died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, leaving behind a wife and three daughters. Words can’t truly express what happened.

I remember the 2009 Western Conference Finals. The only time the Denver Nuggets have made it to the WCF in my lifetime. Of course, it had to be against the Lakers. Of course, we had to play against Kobe. The man who ruined dreams. Carmelo Anthony was amazing, but Kobe was on a different planet. He owned the Nuggets. I was at the games when they played in Denver. The environment, as always, was incredible. I remember it so vividly. Every time Kobe touched the ball, he got booed. Every. Single. Time. It was out of hate. Hate for all of the best reasons. We knew that every time he touched the ball, we’d be down by more than we were before. Even if they didn’t score, somehow, we were down more than we were before. Denver put up a good fight but eventually lost in 6 games. Kobe and the Lakers went on to win the Finals that season.

I know that just about everybody did it. Whether it was on the basketball court, the classroom throwing crumpled up papers into the trash can. Make or miss, there was always one unifying word. “Kobe!!” Every time, in elementary school, we’d pull up and chuck a prayer of a shot you’d hear it. “Kobe!!” For Kobe, it was part his ‘shooters shoot’ “Mamba Mentality.” He’d make some ridiculous shot and just get back on defense. For us, if we made the shot, the game stopped to celebrate. He may be disappointed in the fact that we took the time to celebrate, but this wasn’t our day job. We did it cause we felt, for just one second, like we were him. Our idol.

Kobe played 20 years in the NBA, spending his whole career with the Los Angeles Lakers. In that time, he was a 17-time All-Star, 2-time Olympic Gold medalist, and a 5-time champion among many many more accolades. He was a killer (in a basketball way, of course). The type that made you fear seeing the number 8 or eventually the number 24 in that Lakers purple and gold. You just knew that there was no way he was going to let his team lose. In basketball, we always talk about the clutch instinct. The killer mentality. Kobe was the embodiment of that. There are just so many examples of it. It was only fitting that his last game embodied his whole career. He dropped 60 points, including the daggers that put the Lakers over the Utah Jazz. Truth is, none of that mattered.

Kobe Bryant embodied the very best things about a person. The greatest competitor. A tireless worker. An outstanding father. Just an incredible person. He was a superhero to all. Yes, he may have had his spots and made some mistakes, ones that shouldn’t be glossed over, but he proved that people can change.

He had four daughters. Possibly the most devastating part of the accident was hearing about the fact that one of his daughters was in the crash. His 13-year-old, Gianna. Natalia, his oldest daughter, is a volleyball player. Gianna was the basketball player. The heir to Kobe’s massive throne. Even at 13, she already had all of the tools to be an amazing basketball player. She possessed the very things that Kobe had. Skill, but also the mentality. She already has the killer instinct. The belief that it doesn’t matter who you were, she was going to beat you. Most importantly, she had the undying support of her father.

Their bond came from basketball. After retirement, Kobe took time away from basketball. It was Gianna who brought him back the league. Her love of the game and her ambition. Kobe saw it too. There’s a clip that’s been going viral in recent days when he’s talking about his legacy and his kids taking the torch with Jimmy Kimmel.

“This kid, man. I’m telling you. The best thing that happens is when we go out, and fans will come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me. They’ll be like ‘hey, you got to have a boy. You and V[anessa]. You gotta have a boy to carry on your tradition, the legacy.’ And she’s like ‘oye, I got this. Ain’t no boy for that. I got this.’ And I’m like, that’s right. Yes, you do. You got this,” Bryant said to Jimmy Kimmel.

Gianna dreamed of going to UCONN. One of the most dominant teams in recent history. Then eventually to the WNBA. People believed she would be the unifying force to bring the NBA and WNBA simply because of the legacy that she brought along with the legacy she was creating for herself.

Players believed that Kobe could have ended up being the commissioner of the WNBA. He’s become an ambassador for the game. He’s done everything to try and build up a game that hasn’t been as popular as it should be.

I’ll end it with this, This doesn’t feel real. Kobe Bryant was literally a superhero. Like Superman. He may have had 23 years on me, but he was supposed to outlive me. An immortal. The fact that we have to wake up in a world without the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, is devastating and doesn’t feel real.

KOBE!!

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The Forgotten Sports Teams: Swim Team

Welcome to the Forgotten Sports Teams, Events, and Clubs: Legend, an opinion column in the newspaper discussing some of the smaller sports teams and events in our great school and revealing highlights and accomplishments of each of the programs. In this edition, we will be covering the Swim team and the unique setup of our team.

By Spencer Hughes

Continue reading The Forgotten Sports Teams: Swim Team

Swish!

The Lady Basketball Season Starts off Strong

By Lauren Penington

The Lady Titans basketball team is already up and in action for their winter season. Although their first game ended up with the girls on the losing end, they soon rebounded — winning their second game and restoring their mojo.

With seven seniors leaving the team last year, the team only has two returning members that have played on the varsity level. This has become one of the team’s biggest challenges.

“Our biggest challenge is experience,” senior Ally Lowe said. “We’re working on growing everyone’s skill and making sure we’re all up to varsity level.”

Lowe and her team are under no illusions — the team is not perfect, especially as they work with almost an entirely new line up.

“Obviously we still need to improve — we can work on finishing our shots; making good, smart passes; and not turning over the ball,” Lowe said.

Aware of what they need to work on, the team has continued making conscious strides toward success, hoping to make this season a great one. 

“After tryouts finished, we started practicing and conditioning,” Lowe said. “We’ve been working on plays, strength, and team bonding in order to make sure that we are a close and well connected team.” 

With only two returning varsity players, the seniors have taken on much more of a leadership role. Not only are they leading a group, but they are actively teaching new players the moves and tricks they need to know to succeed. Lowe has not only stepped up as a senior, but has also moved up as team captain. 

“I just love playing basketball because it’s a fun team sport and although it is mentally and physically challenging, the outcome of winning games and working together with my team is very rewarding. It’s a great challenge,” said Lowe.

Even with the loss of their first game, the Lady Titans Basketball team is rearing and ready to go, constantly learning and evolving to better themselves, enhance the team, and prepare for this new season.

A New Regime: Introducing Legend’s New Basketball Coach

Zach Gotlieb

It’s the beginning of a new era for the Legend boy’s basketball program. For the first time since the school opened in 2008, the basketball team will be led by a new head coach. Social studies teacher Mr. Brenning will now also go by Coach Brenning as he begins his first year as the head coach of the program.

Continue reading A New Regime: Introducing Legend’s New Basketball Coach

Boys Wrestling Looks Forward to Growth in the Next Year

By Kyra Ferguson

Wrestlers from Legend competed Feb. 15 in the regional competition in Colorado Springs to qualify for state. Senior Ty Mervin qualified, while senior Chris Enos, and sophomores Adam Aguilar and Kyle Stewart came close.

After qualifying at regionals, Mervin competed at state wrestling tournament at the Pepsi Center on Feb. 21, and while he didn’t place, Mervin did well.

“It went really well. I didn’t do as good, but it was an awesome experience. I’m glad I could do it.” Mervin said.

Coach Nick Rider was pleased with how his team performed this season.

“We have a really young team.” Rider said. “I anticipate that next year we’ll be pretty good, but in two years we’re going to be really good. Our league record improved, we calculate and look at things like total wins versus total losses, total takedowns versus total times we were taken down, and we gained at all the things we look at, which shows that what you’re doing is working.”

Mervin plans on continuing tournaments and joining a team in college.

With the approaching new season and summer training, Rider encourages interested students to take a look at wrestling.

“We have a real extensive summer program. We’ll go to five or six off-season camps and some of these kids will get upwards of 100 matches between now and the next season.” Rider said. “If you’re thinking about doing it, is you should come out for the summer and see if it’s something you want to do over school.”

The Lady Titans’ Hoops Hopes

By Ashley Keller

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 1.16.22 PM

The Lady Titans hosted their first playoff game on Feb. 25, defeating Standley Lake 45-33.  The Lady Titans will play the Poudre Impalas at 6:30 p.m. today, Feb. 28.

In their last regular season game, the Lady Titans defeated the Chaparral Wolverines 40-36 on Feb. 21. It was a tight battle with the game heating up after the second quarter when the teams were tied. By the end of the third quarter, Legend was headed to the win.

In the game against Chaparral, point guard Kristen Gallagher, junior, was named player of the game with 8 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Captain Joey Sale, a junior, also played well with nine points and seven rebounds.  Other standout players include Amanda Benglen and Whitney Jacob for their defensive efforts against the Wolverines.

One of the Lady Titans’ goals at the beginning of the season was to have a winning record and a minimum of 12 wins. With this win, the team ended the regular season with a 12-11 record, eclipsing their record of 9-15 that they held for the previous two seasons.

 “I feel great about how it went. And how we overcame the adversity in the game to finally beat Chaparral. We finally got over the ‘hump,’” Sale said.

Boys’ basketball defeats Loveland, 50-44

Riley Matticks gets around the Loveland defense to get to the basket. Legend won the playoff game Feb. 26, 50-44. Photo by Justin Ehlers
Riley Matticks gets around the Loveland defense to get to the basket. Legend won the playoff game Feb. 26, 50-44. Photo by Justin Ehlers

By Kyle Kercheval

Headed into the 5A State Playoffs, the boys’ basketball team had dropped three straight, including a 70-52 loss to rival, Chaparral Wolverines. However, the blue and white got back to their winning ways, defeating Loveland in their first round contest at home, 50-44.

While the Coliseum Crazies were quick to point out Legend’s size advantage, the Titans’ offense struggled to get the ball into the paint during the first quarter, with big man, senior Zach Mihlaicz, only totaling two points.

However, as the game progressed, Legend’s offensive fluency improved dramatically as they never allowed the Indians to gain serious momentum. Even as Loveland went on a 7-0 run at the end third quarter, senior Elijah Cherrington (“EC”) found the basket for two of his game high 16 points with a big tip-in as time expired.

In the fourth, it was “EC” and Mihalicz again leading Kevin Boley’s offense, as they combined for 12 of Legend’s 15 fourth quarter points.

Although it’s clear Legend didn’t play their best basketball, they came out on top, 50-44, and will take on Dougherty (16-7) on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the second round of the 5A State Playoffs.

Boys basketball falls to Chaparral

Students gather in Chaparral's gym to cheer on the Boys' Basketball Team (Photo by Ashley Keller)
Students gather in Chaparral’s gym to cheer on the boys’ basketball team Feb. 21. Photo by Ashley Keller

By Caleb Friginal

The Wolverines and Titans have met four times in this up and coming rivalry, and not one of those games has been decided by more than six points. Last year’s meeting marked the first time Legend defeated Chap when they took down the Wolverines in the Coliseum behind a sold-out crowd.

This year, the Wolverines came into the meeting with a chip on their shoulder, ready to prove that they were the best in Parker. And they did. Chaparral opened the game with a 9-0 run and never looked back, putting the Titans in a 13 point hole at the end of the first quarter.

Legend managed to make up ground in the second, cutting the Chap deficit to only nine points going into the half. During halftime, Coach Kevin Boley talked to his team about rebounding and turnovers. He said it “was the difference in the game to this point.” Boley wanted his team to “stay calm under the pressure” and get [Chap] “out of the paint.”

The Titans came into the second half firing and cut the Wolverine lead to only two before Chap was able to pull away again. Going into the fourth quarter Chaparral had extended the lead back to nine.

Legend fell apart in the fourth quarter and was outscored by nine. The Titans ended up losing the game by 18.

Chaparral was lead by 6-6 guard Chris Moody. Moody totaled 19 points and shot 6 for 10 from the field. Moody also accounted for two assists and seven rebounds. Chaparral also received help from junior Jake Holtzman who scored 17 points and had six rebounds.

For the Titans it was sophomore Monroe Porter who lead the charge. Porter almost single handedly brought Legend back after making many tough jump shots.

All that’s left for the Titans now is the Colorado state tournament where they’ll take on Loveland on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at home in the first round. Game time is 7 p.m.

Boys basketball looks to rebound

By Kyle Kercheval

The Legend boys basketball team huddles up during a timeout in the third quarter of their win over Ponderosa on Feb. 7.
The Legend boys basketball team huddles up during a timeout in the third quarter of their win over Ponderosa on Feb. 7.

After a big 52-41 victory over cross-town rival Ponderosa and a dominating 67-39 win over a struggling Douglas County, the past week has been a rough go for the now 15-7 Legend Titans boys basketball team.

Headed down the final stretch of the 2013-2014 regular season, Legend has dropped two-in-a-row at home for the first time since the 2011-2012 campaign. The first loss came on Feb. 14 to Highlands Ranch, 60-46, and the second on Feb. 18 to Mountain Vista, 80-66.

Although offense hasn’t been the Titans’ strength all season, during these two losses, Kevin Boley’s team has combined for 112 points while their opponents combined for 140.

But, if you had to put your finger on one key statistic, it would be Legends’ slow first quarter starts. After only scoring six against Highlands Ranch and five versus Mountain Vista they’ve been outscored 37-11.

Going into their final regular game of the season on Friday, against the other cross-town rival in Chaparral, Legend will need to bring their best as the Wolverines have won eight out of their last nine games; including a 63-48 win against one of the top teams in the state, Regis Jesuit, at Regis—a team that Legend lost to back on Feb. 1.

Girls swim shines in state competition

By Taylor Hourigan

After competing in C and B Leagues the weekend before, members of Legend’s Girls Swim and Dive team took to the pool on Friday, Feb. 7 with hopes of making their times for state. Among the swimmers were Lauren Moden, Shilo Syddall, Allyson Malik, Hayley Stauber, Kendra Gardner, Abby Feeder, Chelsea Linton, Alexis Nygaard, Lauren Rogers, and Ryan Sotebeer.

At A Leagues, the Titans shined, with Moden placing 1st in the 200 IM, as well as 4th in the 100 Backstroke. Legend’s 200 Medley Relay, made up of Syddall, Malik, Stauber and Moden, dropped 1.5 seconds off their time to place 6th and qualify for state.

Also, Legend’s 400 Freestyle Relay, made up of Syddall, Gardner, Malik and Moden, dropped two seconds off their time to make 5th place and qualified for state. Swimmers Feeder, Linton, Nygaard, Rogers, and Sotebeer also qualified for state with their respective times.

Over the long weekend of Feb. 14-17, these girls geared up for state competition on Feb. 15 at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. Thirty-four different schools were in attendance that Saturday.

Moden placed 2nd overall in both the 50 and 100 Freestyle, and also made her All-American cuts in both events. Stauber placed 53rd in the 200 Free and 52nd in the 100 Butterfly. Malik placed 38th in the 500 Free and 45th in the 100 Breaststroke, and Syddall placed 37th in the 100 Backstroke and 58th in the 50 Free. Legend’s 100 Medley Relay placed 18th overall, while the 200 Freestyle relay placed 39th and the 400 Freestyle relay placed 17th.

As a team, Legend ranked 18 out of 34 schools in attendance.