Category Archives: Winter Sports

The Fantastic Four

By Taylor Hourigan

This year Legend’s girls swim team has not one, but four fantastic captains.

Shilo Syddall: Tried out for captain because she was a captain last year, and really enjoyed getting to know all the girls and helping out with the team.

Grade: Senior

Started swimming: When she was eight in summer league, started club at 12.

Began swimming for Legend: Sophomore year

Favorite event: 100 Backstroke

Best time: 1.02.06

Meet she’s excited for: State

How she prepares for a meet: Eats good food, gets lots of sleep, and tries to get stress levels down.

What she does outside of swimming: NHS, Link Crew, and she loves spending time with friends.

 

Lauren Moden: Tried out for captain because she wanted to bring a positive atmosphere to the team and help them learn to be successful this season.

Grade: Junior

Started swimming: At age eight, she started on Phenomenon and them moved to TOPS, both competitive teams.

Began swimming for Legend: Freshman year

Favorite event: 50 freestyle

Best time: 24.27

Meet she’s excited for: The Chaparral meet

How she prepares for a meet: Talks to her friends a lot before races, and also drinks a lot of water.

What she does outside of swimming: She’s always swimming!

 

Lauren Rogers: Tried out for captain because she wanted to help make the team the best it can be. Team bonding, meet prep, and just working with this group of girls is what makes being captain special to her.

Grade: Senior

Started Swimming: Has been competitive swimming for seven years.

Began swimming for Legend: Sophomore year

Favorite event: 100 breast

Best time: 1:17.00

Meet she’s excited for: The Chaparral meet

How she prepares for a meet: She likes to pump up the music! Stretching and drinking lots of water are also very important steps.

What she does outside of swimming: She’s a lifeguard and a nanny, and also enjoys running when she gets the chance. Lauren lives to volunteer.

 

Peyton Cottingham: Tried out for captain because she was a captain last year and loved planning fun team bonding activities for the girls. She also enjoys being someone the girls can look up to and come to for help. For her senior year, she wants to be able to impact the swimmers and make sure they enjoy every moment of the season.

Grade: Senior

Started swimming: Swam for six years, moving between competitive and summer league teams.

Began swimming for Legend: Freshman year

Favorite event: 500 freestyle, 200 IM

Best time: 6:32 for 500 free, 2:44 for IM

Meet she’s excited for: The Ponderosa and Chaparral meets

How she prepares for a meet: She works hard at all her practices and hopes that it will pay off in her meets.

What she does outside of swim team: Cross country, track, NHS, Link Crew, and she is the Senior Class president.

Young boys’ basketball team preps for another run

By Kyle Kercheval

Boys basketball has a combined 34-12 regular season record and a 6-2 postseason record the past two seasons; including last year’s state run that landed the Titans in the Colorado 5A State Championship Final Four.
Although only six of last year’s 13 varsity players are returning for the looming 2013-2014 season, the program remains confident that their talented and hardworking team can pick up right where they left off.
Senior Zach Mihalicz will be instrumental in the Titans success this season and not only is the 6-foot-8-inch big man poised to be one of the best in the Continental League, but also in all of 5A Colorado, according to varsity head coach, Kevin Boley.
“[Zach] will be the best big man in the state. He can’t be guarded with his size and skill set. We need to do a better job of getting him the ball in positions to score,” Boley said.
“That statement is humbling,” Mihalicz said. “Everyone strives to be the best at their sport, and more specifically at their position.”
Through hard work on and off the court, number 42 feels like he can outsmart and out physical most people in the state. However, he still plans to approach the season step by step.
“The goal starts during game one, and that’s how I will approach the season—one game at a time,” he said.
While Mihalicz’s numbers speak for themselves, the veteran also understands the leadership role that comes with having the most varsity experience in the program.
“I need to use my experience and maturity to be a leader for the younger kids on the team and in the program. I’m a big believer in being smarter and better prepared than your opponent and it will be my job as a vocal and physical leader to get the team to buy into that theory,” he said.
With a younger varsity rotation this season, senior forward Elijah Cherrington will also play a key leadership role, along with sophomore guards, Riley Matticks and Monroe Porter.
Although Legend lost arguably their best shooter in programs short history, Taylor Jenson, to graduation this past summer, Boley believes that they have a bright future with the sharpshooter, Porter; who he thinks will “set records for three-point shooting before he is done.”
With the combination of Mihalicz’s low-post game and Porter’s shooting touch, the Titan’s offense should be able to space the floor with an overall balanced attack.
However, with all the praise and potential of these young players, comes the growing pain associated with the transition and Legend’s consistent success. For coach Boley, the success not only increases the excitement, but also the competition.
“What [the program’s success] does is put an ‘x’ on our back, as we will now start to see everybody’s best shot,” he said.
While what Boley said was true, Mihalicz feels that the team’s high moral standards are equally as important as the success.
“The program as a whole has a high moral standard and culture for everyone at all levels. This helps mature the younger players and prepare them for when they get their opportunity at the varsity level,” Mihalicz said.
While the average age may be lower, the excitement level is at its peak as boys basketball is back at Legend.
“[I’m] very excited [for this year],” Boley said. “[We have a] very hard working team with a high basketball IQ.”
“It’s exciting to have a young team that is full of energy and enthusiasm for the game,” Mihalicz said. “We believe in each other’s skills and are excited to showcase it at games. Everyone has bought into our goals and we are ready to start the journey.”

Girls’ Basketball Teams Kick off Season with Wins

Junior Kaitlyn Ludwig was the top scorer with 13 points in the varsity team's season opening win against Greeley West Dec. 3. Photo by Ashley Keller
Junior Kaitlyn Ludwig was Legend’s top scorer with 13 points in the varsity team’s season opening win against Greeley West Dec. 3. Photo by Ashley Keller

By Kyle Kercheval

Lady Titans’ Basketball started out their season with a 48-44 win over the Greeley West Spartans at the Coliseum last night.

In a tightly contested battle, Legend was able to out score the Spartans 14-10 in the fourth quarter behind the play of junior Kaitlin Ludwig.

The Titans’ guard totaled 13 points on the offensive end and also contributed on defense with five steals, one of which came in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Junior Kristen Gallagher also sunk key free throws late in the game.

The varsity team’s next match-up will be on the road Dec. 5 against Eaglecrest who will be playing their second night in a row.

Both the JV and C teams won their games against Greeley West by big margins.

Meet Mrs. Johnson

History teacher and swim coach Karen Johnson prepares for her next class during her plan period. Photo by Ashley Keller
History teacher and swim coach Karen Johnson prepares for her next class during her plan period. Photo by Ashley Keller

By Ashley Keller

Many new teachers joined the Legend family this year, including Karen Johnson. She teaches U.S History in room F109 and is the head coach for girls’ swimming. The Forum sat down with Johnson to find out a bit about this new faculty member.

Forum: Why did you become a teacher?

Johnson: I was good at [teaching] and I’ve always like history.

Forum: Why did you decide to teach US History?

Johnson: We kind of get a sign of what we’re going to teach, so we don’t really get a choice.  I liked social studies, but my wheelhouse is actually economics and government. [Legend] had an opening here for U.S History and I’ve done it before.

Forum: How long have you been teaching?

Johnson: Seven years.

Forum:Where were you before you came to Legend?

Johnson: I was at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Georgia before I came to Legend.

Forum: Why did you choose Legend?

Johnson: I was offered a job at Ponderosa and Chaparral, but I chose here because I was really impressed with the school and because they had a swim team.

Forum: What were your initial thoughts on Legend?

Johnson: It’s very different. I taught in a very urban environment in Atlanta. I thought, “Wow there are a bunch of very well adjusted children here.” [Students] weren’t very well adjusted where I came from. And I was really impressed with the leadership here; the administrators and staff are awesome. And I’m very excited to have my own room.

Forum: How is it different from your other school?

Johnson: It’s less diverse. Let’s put it that way. It’s definitely not nearly as diverse as where I came from. It’s a big difference. Also academically, you guys are more advanced.

Forum: Is it hard to keep up with grading with other responsibilities?
Johnson: Yes, definitely. You manage and you figure it. But it can be kind of hard.

Forum: You’re going to be the new swim coach this year. What is your interest and experience with that?

Johnson: I’ve actually been swimming since I was 10. And I’ve been coaching for about 15 years. It’s one of those things that I loved doing and was kind of meant to do. It’s a little nerve wracking, but I’m very excited about it.

Forum: Who’s in your family?

Johnson: I’m married. Two little girls, seven and four. We just moved to Colorado from Georgia.

Forum: What do you like best about Colorado?

Johnson: [I love] how active everyone is. I love having the opportunity to hike a fourteener in the summer because I can. That’s a huge part.  It’s just gorgeous here, that’s why we moved here.

Forum: Favorite movie?

Johnson: I love The Big Lebowski and Lost in Translation.

Forum: If you had a day to do anything, what would you do?

Johnson: I would probably be on Broadway. I was a musical theatre nerd in high school, and if I could [do anything] that would be it.

Forum: Favorite food?

Johnson: Malaysian and Thai.

Forum: What kind of music do you like to listen to?

Johnson: I like all music in general, except country. I love rap. I’m from Atlanta, so I love Jay-Z. I love dirty south rap. I have a very bizarre taste in music.

A Final Four Finish

Legend gave the nationally ranked Denver East Angels a run for their money in the first half of the Final Four match-up at the C.U. Coors Event Center March 15. The game was tied at 26 at half-time, but East came back strong in the third quarter and won the game, 58-45. East advanced to the finals where they were upset by Eaglecrest.  Photos by Bethany Eveleth

By Kyle Kercheval

28 games and 1,069 points later, the Legend Titans Boys’ basketball team can officially call it a season as they fall to the Denver East Angles on Friday night at the CU Event Center during the Colorado 5A State Playoffs.

With a packed student section behind them, Legend held Denver East to 26 points at halftime as the game was knotted up at 26-26.

However, in the second half, the Angles came out hot, outscoring Coach Boley’s squad 32-19 in the second half.

At the final buzzer, Legend’s season came to a bittersweet end, as they lost 58-45.

In the effort, the Titans struggled defensively in the second half, unable to contain Denver East’s high-octane attack, lead by four-star recruit Dominique Collier.

The junior filled the box score with 14 points, five steals, four rebounds and player-of-the-game honors.

It was only the Titans seventh loss of the season, but it will go down as the last contest of Legend’s historic 2012-2013 run.

Basketball Post-Season Review

By Kyle Kercheval 

It has been a historic run for Head Coach Kevin Boley’s squad this season, as the Legend boys’ basketball team is currently preparing for its first Final Four match-up in school history.

The road to this milestone has been anything but a breeze, and anything but a “quick” process. As the Titans themselves reflect and get set for their contest at the Coors Event Center on Friday, let’s take a look at the boys’ journey up to this point.

Round One, Feb. 27: Rocky Mountain (12) @ Legend

Heading into their first postseason matchup, Legend hosted the Rocky Mountain Lobos, coming off of a big 52-50 win against Chaparral to conclude the regular season. Although the Lobos’ record (6-17) was a mirror image of the Titans (17-6), Rocky Mountain Head Coach Jon Rakiecki led his team’s passionate fight through the entire first half, as the Lobos found themselves only down by a bucket at the end of the second quarter, 18-20. However, the momentum quickly shifted in the second half, as the Titans found themselves outplayed and outscored in the third quarter 19-8, and then 19-8 again in the fourth quarter. As the final buzzer sounded, the Titans sent their fans home happy, with a 58-34 victory. Senior John Cosmann—as he has all season—led the way for Legend with 10 points and 50 percent shooting from the field.

Round Two, March 2: @ Grandview (4)

Although the Grandview Wolves had home court advantage and were fresh off of a first round bye, the Legend fans who traveled out to Aurora outnumbered the home supporters—even though they were confined to a small corner of the bleachers. In the first half, Legend came out hot, leading 35-22 at the half. But the number four seeded Grandview wasn’t going to give in so quickly on their home floor. Fueled by their teammates and their crazy student section, they matched the Titans point for point 20-20 in a high scoring third quarter. And although Grandview fought valiantly in the fourth and left it all on the court, Cosmann once again stepped up big in the clutch for the Titans, knocking down four free throws and a breakaway layup to seal the 75-67 win for Legend. Senior Connor Orgil also had a night to remember, grabbing 12 total rebounds and 8 points.

Sweet 16, March 6 @ Chatfield (1)

Although the Legend faithful were outnumbered, they were not outplayed in Legend’s second consecutive trip to the Sweet 16. Coming into the contest, a red-hot Chatfield Chargers team had won 21 consecutive games and had earned one of the number one seeds in the tournament. Even though the Titans were rightly considered the underdog, Coach Boley’s team came out swinging and led at halftime, 29-21. But in the second half, the Chargers began their charge, holding the Titans to only 5 points in the third quarter. After the break and some crazy Coliseum Crazy support, Legend hung on and outlasted Chatfield 51-49. With the win, the blue and white moved on to their first Great Eight appearance in school history. Junior Zach Mihalicz was all over the boards and dominated the match-up by pulling down 10 rebounds and scoring 11 points after the departure of an injured Blake Truman late in the first half.

Great Eight, March 8: Fairview (2) @ the Denver Coliseum

With the game scheduled for 8:30 p.m., Legend students, parents, siblings, and other high school basketball players filled the Denver Coliseum. Unfortunately, the game didn’t tip off until 9:45 due to the Mountain Vista game running over its time slot, into double overtime. Every player and fan took that as a sign of what was to come, and they were right. Despite starting an hour late, both teams came out firing on all cylinders. When the first half came to a close, the Titans faced two situations that they hadn’t faced all post season. They were down by four, 22-26, and leading scorer Cosmann hadn’t made a basket. Headed into the second half, the Titans regained their winning attitude and began to fight back, as they outscored the Knights by three in the third. After some key defensive stops and some quick points, including an inbounds pass dunk from Orgil, Fairview’s last second heave missed by a few inches and the Titans raised the Final Four trophy in front of their fellow students. Undoubtedly, the player of the game for the Titans was senior Taylor Jenson who knocked down Legend’s only three-point shots as he nailed 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Senior Joey Sloan also put up some solid stats, dishing out 10 assists on the offensive end and 3 steals on the defensive end. Although Cosmann never scored a point, his teammates stepped up and collectively won the game.

Final Four, Tonight: Denver East (1) @ C.U. Events Center

Next up for the Titans are the number one team in the state, the Denver East Angels who spot an incredible 24-2 record, with their only losses coming against the number one team in the nation (Lone Peak High School in Utah) and Army-Navy in California. The two teams will battle it out for a spot in the Colorado 5A State Championship Friday at the Coors Event Center in Boulder.

Brandon Champagne: A Leader on and off the Mat

By Andy Sidel

Brandon Champagne, a senior, was deprived of the wish to make it to State one last time with his team. That didn’t keep him away from the Pepsi Center this past weekend. As he sat on the sidelines, wishing he could be in the middle of the Pepsi Center floor, he screamed and shouted for his wrestling teammates on the mat.

During his four-year wrestling career at Legend, Champagne wrestled Varsity and was one of the three Varsity captains each year. As a freshman, Champagne made it to State. As a sophomore, he was out for half of the season because of three serious concussions and has a scary memory gap from November to March of that year.

“Those three concussions could have killed me. That was a scary thought,” said Champagne.

His perseverance and passion, however, forced him to continue to wrestle.

During Legend’s wrestling match with Ponderosa in December, Champagne injured a rib. He continued to wrestle in pain. During the regional match Feb. 16 to qualify for state, wrestling in fourth place, Champagne re-injured the same rib.

Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has a rule in which a wrestle-back is performed between fourth and fifth place finishers if they had not met previously in the regional tournament. If the fifth place wrestler challenges the fourth place wrestler, the fourth place wrestler must accept. Champagne was in this situation.

“Despite what the trainer said, I went out there and wrestled the fifth place guy and gave it my all. Even though I lost, I don’t have any regrets because I put it all out there,” Champagne said.

Champagne went to watch and cheer on his fellow teammates at the Pepsi Center on Feb. 21-23. Senior Colton Fries and freshman Caleb Strahan, both treasured Champagne’s company.

“I went up to State all three days to support my teammates and give them support. It was hard to not be wrestling but I was happy to be there and cheer them on,” added Champagne.

Champagne’s support of his teammates at State was just part of his deep commitment to the team. Before his own match, at regionals in particular, Champagne ensured that everybody else was prepared and mentally stable. According to Juan Aguilar, parent of freshman wrestler Adam Aguilar, Champagne cared about everyone else’s match before he even considered his own.

“I’ve helped coach Cimarron Middle School’s wrestling team as well as Legend’s junior wrestling team and I love to help others. I wanted to make sure that everyone was prepared for their matches and understood what was ahead. As for going to state, I was proud of everyone and wanted to cheer them on,” Champagne said.

Champagne has had four great years with Legend’s wrestling program. Through State, concussions, broken ribs, and his selfless acts, Brandon Champagne made a name and reputation for himself. He set the standard very high for the other wrestlers, but according to Champagne, they can take on the challenge. Players look up to Champagne and enjoy having him teach them things that they don’t know.

“Helping the other kids makes sure they know how to do things and helps us to remember certain things as well,” said Fries.

Champagne will attend Colorado State University in the Fall to study health and exercise science and will try a dual major in another undecided category. From there, he plans to go on to medical school. Champagne will either wrestle, coach youth wrestling, or get into martial arts. Most likely, according to Champagne, he will be coaching youth wrestling.

“I am disappointed that I didn’t make it to state, and it’s sad, but I went to support everyone else that did,” Champagne said. “I love being able to help them and support them. I hope they do just as well next year.”

Boys Varsity Basketball Gets Ball Rolling

by Bethany Eveleth

The boys varsity basketball team played Mullen High School on Dec 11, winning 52-45. The boys have a record of three wins and one loss, which was to Lincoln High School on Dec 7.

“We’re off to a good start,” junior varsity coach James Benson said. “There’s some things we need to fix, but after that we’ll be rolling.”

The boys’ next game is versus Pine Creek High School in the Cherry Creek Classic on Dec 20.