Mullen-Creek football will be keeping their chins up

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

No doubt the rivalry between Mullen and Cherry Creek, particularly in football, has been terrific, hotly contested, of major interest to Coloradans and stood the test of time.

The next chapter, to be written early next season, will include a military sense. The game, to be played Sept. 7 at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village, will be part of the Great American Rivalry Series.

Headed by the U.S. Marine Corps, the program has visited various Colorado programs over the years and remains popular here and nationally.

Part of the festivities will include chin-ups, as in how many each school can produce. A couple of days before the game, the Marines will visit Mullen during lunch periods for chin-up tallies, others will test those on the campus of Cherry Creek and there will be a challenge involving fans for the respective schools before the game. A trophy will be presented to the winning school at the end of the third quarter of the nonleague game.

Mullen and Cherry battled for decades in the Centennial League, faced each other in the Class 5A championship game as well as in assorted rounds of the playoffs, and have attempted to keep the rivalry going since new league outlays had been implemented the past two seasons and for the next two. While the two didn’t face each other in 2017, Mullen has won 11 of the past 14 meetings. The Bruins won the most-recent head-to-head matchup, 34-17 in the 2016 big-school quarterfinals.

New Mustangs coach Vincent White welcomes and endorses any kind of positive excitement for the schoolboy level.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “It’s a great idea, great for the schools and we’re looking forward to it.”

JK Scott nabbed in 5th round by Green Bay

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

JK Scott already knew about Wisconsin and Cheeseheads.

Now, he’ll be up close and personal with the entire Green Bay Packers organization.

The former Mullen High School punter who just completed one of the best careers at the position while at Alabama, was chosen on Saturday by the Packers in the fifth round, No. 172, of the NFL Draft.

“Honestly,” Scott told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I had no idea what to expect because none of the teams were telling me anything as far as where I could go.”

It was in line with what he had told a day earlier. He said teams that actually talked with him were mum about everything. So his surprise by being chosen by the Packers was accompanied by joy in being taken by the team he has had experience following. His family was into the Pack, too.

“I just went into this process just hoping for the best and, yeah, it’s crazy how this happens,” Scott said.

As their son was drafted by Green Bay, Scott’s parents were working on their cabin in the area’s Lake Owen. In additional to multiple Pack Fans in the Scott family, his father, Kim, was considered a stand-out pole-vaulter at Madison West High who later competed at the University of Madison. Scott also has a sister, Christi, a five-time sprint champion for the Mustangs who went on to Harvard and awaits medical school, and a brother, Charlie, who prepped at Cherry Creek and is the punter and holder at Air Force.

But JK’s accomplishments stand well within his family. He played in a whopping 58 games; owns several Crimson Tide records, including a 45.6-yard career average; appeared in seven playoff games, including three National Championship games, winning two; was selected all-SEC and All-American multiple times; and was a Ray Guy finalist twice.

Scott will compete with Justin Vogel, an undrafted free agent who set the team single-season record for average (44.4) a year ago.

Also capable of kicking off, converting long field goals and serving as the holder, Scott’s experience at Alabama, high-end action for four years, readies him to try and take the job.

“I think it’s definitely been such a great opportunity for me to play at Alabama since we’re going to the playoffs every single year,” Scott told the Journal Sentinel. “I played in three National Championship games. So, definitely, there have been a lot of really great games. It has definitely helped me very much. Really, I’ve been able to look at every game the same.”

Scott graduated from Alabama in December with a degree in business and was recently married.

The Packers, who don’t play the Broncos in 2018, will celebrate 100 years of playing football this coming season.

Scott was one of five Colorado schoolboys chosen in the Draft. Falcon’s Kalen Ballage was taken in the fourth round by Miami; The Classical Academy’s Daniel Carlson, fifth round, Minnesota; Sam Jones, ThunderRidge, sixth round, Broncos; and Jake Martin, Cherokee Trail, sixth round, Seattle.

Former Mustang JK Scott awaits NFL Draft

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

So what have you have done lately?

The whirlwind that is JK Scott’s life continues.

Just in recent months, the former Mullen punting and kicking star graduated from Alabama, helped the Crimson Tide to another National Championship, got married, had the well-publicized prayer session with President Trump, hired one of the few female agents involved in professional football and is preparing for the NFL Draft.

Still, the deeply religious Scott said he’s fine and handling everything leading up to what could be a satisfying and lucrative career punting a football on Sundays.

“I’m actually pretty normal about it,” Scott said on Wednesday when reached in Tuscaloosa. “I’m normal because I’m happy where I’m at right now and I trust God has me where I’m supposed to be.,”

He added he “has no sense” if he’ll be drafted. “They’re not saying much at all,” he said. Historically, punters have been few and far between for NFL teams to actually burn a selection, although he said he’s also willing to attempt to make a roster as a free agent.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Scott said his choice of agent, Alexa Stabler, daughter of Ken Stabler, the late Oakland Raiders quarterback who also played at Alabama, just fell into place.

“She also went to Alabama and she basically was one of the agents who reached out to (him and his family), we interviewed and one thing led to another,” Scott said.

A four-year starter at Alabama, Scott, who earned a degree in business, was highly recruited and a favorite of coach Nick Saban. Scott’s career is full of national and Alabama records and awards. For instance, he appeared in 58 games, including seven of seven-of-eight playoff games and three title games, winning two. His career punting average is 45.6 yards. He was all-SEC and an All-American multiple times. He also can punt, kick off, kick extra points and field goals, and serve as a holder.

At Mullen, he was All-Colorado and a state champion, and a sister, Christi, was a five-time sprint champion who went on to Harvard and will begin medical school in July. A brother, Charlie, attended Cherry Creek and is finishing his sophomore year at the Air Force Academy, where he is the starting punter and holder.

The NFL Draft will last over three days.

“We’ll see what happens,” JK Scott said.

Mustangs’ Vivens, Scott prominent among NFF annual awards

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary on Monday night at the Denver West Marriott and Mullen players figured prominently in the program.

The Mustangs were represented by senior A’Jon Vivens, one of 13 scholar-athletes recognized in the current class; J.K. Scott, a former Mustangs punter soon to graduate from Alabama as a part of the organization’s 25th Anniversary Team; and the two helped bring Mullen’s NFF scholar-athlete total to nine.

“It was a great night,” said Vivens, who made multiple All-Colorado teams following the 2017 season and will play wide receiver at Colorado State. “It’s a great honor, something I’ll never forget and just to be recognized as one of these great scholar-athletes is very important for me and very important for my family.

“I’m glad to represent my school and my family.”

Regarded as a leader on the Mullen campus as well as on the football team, Vivens played multiple skill positions, was all-league three times and accumulated 1,380 yards as a senior. He averaged 14.3 yards per reception. For his career, he had 99 receptions and 2,650 all-purpose yards, and will letter four times in track. He signed with the Rams last December, during the inaugural early signing period, and was one of three students chosen to serve on the committee to find a new school principal. Vivens remains extremely active in community service, notably volunteering with the disabled and Children’s Hospital.

Vivens joined a significant NFF class, along with Hunter Bergstrom, Strasburg; Willy Boatman, Kent Denver; Max Borghi, Pomona; Blake Carette, Arapahoe; Zach Cozzolino, Pueblo South; Jake Heimlicher, Regis Jesuit; Ryan Marquez, Pomona; Trey McBride, Fort Morgan; Jalen Mergerson, Eaglecrest; Keland Rumsey, Chatfield; Blake Stenstrom, Valor Cristian; and Jaylen Thomas, Vista Ridge.

“A’Jon is just a great kid,” Mullen athletic director Vince Massey said. Massey was part of the Mullen administration that supported Vivens at the banquet along with President and CEO Carl Unrein; principal Janell Kloosterman; associate athletic director Hank Hooper; and new Mustangs head football coach Vincent White.

Scott, who recently graduated early from Alabama and is preparing for the NFL Draft, was unable to attend, but represented by his parents. His place on the NFF’s team was warranted by four years of stellar punting at Alabama, where he was a national champion twice and played in a possible seven of eight college-playoff games.

He was a semifinalist or finalist all four years for the Ray Guy Award; three-time all-Southeastern Conference; three-All-American; and set numerous marks, notably a 45.6-yard career average. He can also place-kick and hold on snaps. As a Mustang, he was All-Colorado multiple times as well as a state champion and All-American.

Scott joined a who’s-who list of outstanding Colorado schoolboys who went on to excel in college and beyond on the NFF quarter-century group – Jeff Byers, Loveland High, USC; Reed Doughty, Roosevelt High, Northern Colorado; Joel Dreessen, Fort Morgan High, CSU; Clay Garcia, Alamosa High, Colorado Mines; Collin Klein, Loveland High, Kansas State; Nate Kvamme, Windsor High, CSU; Christian McCaffrey, Valor Christian High, Stanford; Jesse Nading, ThunderRidge High, CSU; Nate Solder, Buena Vista High, Colorado; and Dustin Sprague, Holyoke High, CU.

Additional awards:

NFF Collegiate Coach of the Year – John Wristen, CSU-Pueblo.

Collegiate Offensive Player of the Year – Phillip Lindsey, CU.

Collegiate Defensive Player of the Year – Dean Wenger, Colorado Mines.

Collegiate Special-Teams Player of the Year – Virnel Moon, Colorado Mesa.

Collegiate Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Colin Peter, Colorado Mines.

ARC Special Champion Award – Taylor Shelsta, a special-needs cheer member and national champion.

Joe Kearney Service Award – Larry Zimmer, for contributions to football.

John Adams Officiating Award – Jeff Bergstrom, overall contributions to officiating.

Jim Turner Award – Rev. Leon Kelly Jr., service to Colorado youth football.

Keith Jensen Award – David Plati, service on behalf of the NFF Chapter.

Heimlicher spoke on behalf of the prep recipients, Byers spoke from the anniversary team, and Dave Logan, a former Mullen coach now at Cherry Creek, and Marcia Neville, formerly of KCNC-TV, shared master of ceremonies and introductions.

The NFF also offered All-Colorado teams for college as well as players of the week.

NFF Colorado Chapter executive director Dick DeWire called it “always a special night for Colorado football.”

Mullen now has nine prep scholar-athletes – Mike Burke, 1996; Jon Dubravac, 1997; Thomas VanBuskirk, 2000; Stephone Robinson, 2002; Hunter Foraker, 2009; Conor Brady, 2012; Scott, 2013; Marcus McElroy, 2016; and Vivens, 2017.

The Mustangs are tied with Columbine for second-most prep scholar-athletes behind Limon, which has 11.

Said Vivens; “It’s nice to see that your hard work pays off and not only on the field, but off of it ... I’m looking forward to going to Colorado State.”


2018 football schedule set for Mustangs

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen will open the Vincent White era of football on Aug. 24, the first of a 10-game schedule for the regular season that will include being in a new league.

“We have some very good competition against good football coaches and programs,” White said. We’re looking forward to it.”

In all, Mullen will have a split of home-and-away games, five at Brother Bernard Kinneavy De La Salle Stadium and five on the road. Eight of the opening kickoffs will be at 7 p.m., two at 4 p.m.

White, the 1979 Mullen alumnus, Stanford running back and USFL Denver Gold player who recently took over as new head coach after decades on the college level, will have his Mustangs begin against Denver’s Far Northeast Warriors at home on Aug. 24.

Week 2 will have another home game, Aug. 31 against Doherty of Colorado Springs. Weeks 3 and 4 will have road games, at Greenwood Village’s Cherry Creek (Sept. 7) and rival Regis Jesuit in Aurora (Sept. 14). It will be the Mustangs third –consecutive game at the Raiders’ Lou Kellogg Stadium – a year ago, Mullen won a thriller in the regular season, then dropped a tight one in the preliminaries of the Class 5A state playoffs.

The Mustangs will host Aurora’s Grandview on Sept. 21 to complete their nonleague schedule. Three of the five programs made the 2017 playoffs, Chery Creek, Regis Jesuit and Grandview.

Now in a new league with Jefferson County schools, Mullen will start with always good Columbine (Littleton) in Week 6 at Jeffco Stadium, a 4 p.m. kickoff. Week 7 (Oct. 5) will have another away game, against Arvada’s Ralston Valley at the North Area Athletic Complex, also in Arvada, then the Mustangs will host defending 5A state champion Pomona on Oct. 12.

Two road games will complete the regular season – Oct. 19 vs. Arvada West at the NAAC and Oct. 26 against Lakewood at Trailblazer Stadium, 4 p.m.

All five league foes made the playoffs a year ago and will complete another demanding schedule for the Mustangs.

Below is a game-by-game listing:



Week 1 Aug. 24
Mullen vs. Far Northeast
At Mullen, 7 p.m.

Week 2 Aug. 31
Mullen vs Doherty
At Mullen, 7 p.m.

Week 3 Sept. 7
Mullen vs. Cherry Creek
At Stutler Bowl, Greenwood Village, 7 p.m.

Week 4 Sept. 14
Mullen vs Regis Jesuit
at Mullen, 7 p.m.

Week 5 Sept. 21
Mullen vs. Grandview
at Mullen, 7 p.m.

Week 6 Sept. 28
Mullen vs. Columbine
at Jefferson County Stadium, 4 p.m.

Week 7 Oct. 5
Mullen vs Ralston Valley
at North Area Athletic Complex, Arvada, 7 p.m.

Week 8 Oct. 12
Mullen vs. Pomona
at Mullen, 7 p.m.

Week 9 Oct. 19
Mullen vs. Arvada West
at North Area Athletic Complex, Arvada, 7 p.m.

Week 10 Oct. 26
Mullen vs. Lakewood
at Trailblazer Stadium, Lakewood, 4 p.m.


White to be feted by Mayor, business leaders

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The first honor has rolled in for Vincent White since his return to Denver.

Newly appointed as Mullen head football coach, White will be feted by the African-American Business Leaders Reception in June. To be hosted at Cableland, White and others will be acknowledged as leaders in the African-American Denver community for their accomplishments in their careers and to welcome individuals who have recently moved to Denver to introduce them to the community.

White grew up in the Park Hill area and became one of the first teenagers from his neighborhood to attend Mullen in southwest Denver. White became an outstanding student and a three-sport star who displayed outstanding character. He later was a graduate of Stanford, where he was an all-Pac-10 Conference and All-America honorable mention running back who played with eventual NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway. A sixth-round draft choice of the New York Jets, White instead played three seasons for the Denver Gold of the United States Football League.

A college coach for decades, including at Arizona State, Fordham, Pitt and SMU, White recently was named head coach of the Class 5A Mustangs after saying he wanted to return home. He now heads Mullen alumni at the school.

In addition to White, the luncheon will welcome Eulois Cleckly, Executive Director, Department of Public Works, City and County of Denver; Chiquita Vaughn, Producer, 9News; Michael Ford, Chief Operating Officer, Regional Transportation District; Dr. Rasheda Jones, Director of Nursing Education and Research, Denver Health; Murphy Robinson, Executive Director, General Services, City and County of Denver; and Terrance Carroll, General Counsel, Denver Public Schools.

Honorees will be hosted by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Dawn Bookhardt, Attorney at Law, Butler Snow LLP; and Elbra Edgeworth, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health.

The reception will be June 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Tom Thenell moves to Smoky Hill football

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Former Mullen coach Tom Thenell became one of the final parts of the annual shuffling of the Class 5A football off-season.

The Mustangs quarterback from the late 1970s accepted the head-coaching job at struggling Smoky Hill in Aurora on Wednesday.

He was not reached for comment, but told the Aurora Sentinel: “Ready to take on a new challenge with a new group of kids and see what I can do with it. I'm just a regular guy who likes to work with kids and loves football.” 

Thenell had resigned as Mullen head coach in January after six seasons. Also, a longtime figure at Bear Creek in Lakewood, he was 34-31 with the Mustangs and is 183-112 in his career. He is a 1980 graduate of Mullen, was part of state-title teams from 1978-79 and was a Mullen assistant from 1985-91.

Vincent White, a former Mustangs running back who went on to play at Stanford with John Elway as well as with the old USFL’s Denver Gold, has taken over the Mullen program. White has coached for decades in college. He also now heads the Mullen alumni program.

Thenell, who continues to teach at Mullen, has taken over a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 1990.

His move hasn’t been the only one in recent days. Rod Sherman, who was a part of multiple state championships while at Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, has taken over at Arapahoe in Centennial. Former Douglas County state-champion coach Jeff Ketron has come out of retirement to head Chaparral in Parker. Former Smoky Hill coach John Trahan is now in command at Highlands Ranch. And former Arapahoe boss Mike Campbell now heads 2A Englewood.

White completes circle, returns to Denver, Mullen

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

A couple of weeks ago, Vincent White revisited Mullen High School’s campus.

It was decades after he was a Mustang. There were different buildings, faces and times, but White nearly felt like he had stepped through a time portal when returning to a very special place that he openly admits changed his life.

“I do agree with what it did for me and I’m glad I got to walk around and meet people,” he said. “I got the same feeling as when I went there. Very genuine, very nice, very caring and it felt like when I was there in the ‘70s.”

As a Coloradan, White, an African-American, went from Denver’s Park Hill to Mullen, which was very unusual 40 years ago. Then it was on to the high-end Stanford in California and the short-lived Denver Gold of the United States Football League before years of nomadic existence as a football coach, hopping from one college to another, most recently Delaware State.

But Vincent White, one of Mullen’s favorite sons, has not only returned to Colorado, but has come back to the Mustangs as its new football head coach.

Gradually into his coaching career, he frequently dreamed about returning to his boyhood home, settling in and giving back before retiring.

“I did and the funny thing was that I had gotten let go (at Delaware State) and (wife) Jen always thought we should have gone back to Denver, and she always thought this was great for me,” White said. “As a Coloradan, I always talked about it.”

Now, he gets to live it.

White has long been known for his outstanding combination of character, academics and athletics … and in that order, according to those who know him, also pointing to his commanding presence.

“I’ll tell you this,” said Bob Caton, a veteran Colorado figure who just completed his first season heading Mustangs boys basketball, “I was his seventh grade (physical education) teacher at Smiley Junior High and he was the greatest student I’ve ever had in my life.”

Said White: “I loved it (at Mullen). It was hard at first, travelling there and going to an all-boys school. But I would have never gotten to Stanford if I didn’t go to Mullen.”

He remembers working hard in class and with homework, and reveled in the challenge. Sister Diane, White said, a Mullen teacher at the time, “was as tough as they came.”

This was a young man who was born in Kansas City, Mo.; became a Coloradan in the Denver area; was a national sprint champion as a youth; excelled in Police Athletic League football; was under the tutelage of the popular Emmett Wallace and followed the likes of Doug Jones and Dean Christian to Mullen from northeast Denver; and a teenager who lived at 2645 Fairfax St. and had to take three bus transfers to and from 3601 S. Lowell Blvd. (Mullen) each school day in order to better himself.

Even while attending almost exclusively white Mullen, White said he “was very accepted, it was very inclusive and I never felt any racism, never felt anything like that there. I’ve got great friends today I call and talk to. It has been great. I never felt like I should not belong. I grew up not knowing that. I just grew up knowing there are good people and bad people, nice people and not nice people. It’s not about the color of your skin. I grew up and was brought up with that.”

White even returned to Stanford to finish his degree after leaving early to play pro football. It was as important to him then as it is today for him and Jennifer to oversee their three children’s school work.

“I just loved Stanford, everything about it,” White said.

It’s why White considers himself a teacher as opposed to a coach.

“How exciting!” Mullen associate athletic director Duan Ruff said. ”Another Mullen alumni is able to use this game of football to equip these young men with tools to help them prepare and boldly embark on their journey toward adulthood.”

Ruff, a Mustangs running back who went on to play at Colorado State, also grew up in White’s area and followed the path to Mullen.

White’s hiring has created a buzz and players are eager to get back at it (previous coach Tom Thenell resigned in January).

“I haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things and I’m excited,” junior quarterback Dom DePizzol said. “It has been a long, delayed process. I can’t wait to meet him.”

Junior defensive back Vaughnn Stitt said “it will be great to have a Mullen legend who has been here and gone through everything.”

When informed that White played in the same backfield at Stanford with John Elway, Stitt added: “That’s really good. He knows a lot. I’m eager to meet him and I know he wants to coach us.”

Athletically, White was a three-sporter for the Mustangs, adding basketball and track. “He was fast and quick,” Caton said of the guard, who also could cover 100 yards in 10.6 seconds.

White also left significant football marks in terms of historical, unusual and dubious distinctions.

For one, he had a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the playoffs for the 1977 Mustangs that remains a Colorado schoolboy record. It may never be surpassed as the rule that prohibits returns once the ball crosses the goal line on kickoffs (and punts) and results in touchbacks remains firmly in place, particularly in this era of concussion concerns.

For another, White and the rest of Mustangs in the 1978 Class 3A championship game won in front of virtually no followers. Talk about a road game and home-field advantage … the title matchup was in Montrose against the Indians on the Western Slope “in the snow and our parents took the bus,” he said. “They came at end of the game. We flew over and the parents took the bus and it never made it to the game (on time). We had no fans on the sideline.”

And for still another, White played in the infamous “Band Game” for Stanford.

“I get asked about it every year,” he said while shaking his head, half-smiling and half-still angry. “And they can stop asking.”

It was Nov. 20, 1982. A guy named Elway, a promising quarterback, had just led Stanford on what would be one of his many comeback drives as a player. Under strict orders from the Stanford coaching staff, Elway called timeout with 8 seconds to play. It was the team’s first mistake. A 35-yard field goal was converted to give Stanford a 20-19 lead over California’s Bears with 4 seconds remaining and its celebration resulted in a 15-yard penalty. It was its second mistake as Stanford kicked off from the 25-yard line instead of the 40, a squib kick to a Cal team that also had only 10 players on the field instead of 11.

Multiple laterals later, Cal players had made their way into the end zone and through the 144-member Stanford band that had prematurely come on to the field thinking the game was over. It wasn’t. Cal’s Kevin Moen memorably ran into – and crushed – a Stanford trombone player on the way to a TD that won the game for Cal 25-20 with no time remaining on the clock.

“I’m tired of replaying that game,” said White, who scored two touchdowns in the third quarter on receptions of 2 and 43 yards.

The manner in which the outcome arrived continues to be felt, White said, as “if you had to replay that game today, you go down to 4 seconds and then call timeout. We kicked a field goal and there were still 4 seconds left and that’s why you see people (today) run it down to 3-to-4 seconds. The game‘s over (with the kick).”

Before deciding on Stanford, the highly recruited White also visited Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska and SMU. The Mustangs were well on their way to the NCAA “death penalty” with blatant recruiting violations at the top of the list. All White allowed was “I had a story on that trip.”

Indeed, he had “given thought to staying home, but I really loved Stanford. It was a beautiful place.”

It showed. All told, White had more than 3,400 yards rushing and receiving for 30 touchdowns at Stanford. The New York Jets grabbed him in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, but he instead signed with the hometown Gold, compiling 739 yards rushing and 1,051 receiving for a total of 10 TDs as well as assorted injuries over three seasons in a classic maverick league that had now President Donald Trump as a team owner in New Jersey.

White actually began his coaching career in the schoolboy ranks, serving as an assistant at Rangeview in Aurora in 1985. What followed were 17 different college-coaching changes at 14 schools.

Brought up on football during a very different era of Denver, he said the game’s effect in the ‘70s “was a social issue. I would tell my wife that when the Broncos played, nobody was on the streets. You could go to the store and park anywhere.”

Other than his one-season stint at Rangeview and small tastes of middle-school ball, White doesn’t shy away from admitting that “this is my first time coaching in high school, but I won’t be recruiting and all of that stuff. I think it’s challenging, but a great challenge. You get them when they’re not too old. You get them when they’re young and you can mold them.

“When you get them in college, they may have been through too many things, but here you can teach them the right way.”

And even for a guy who has made so many college stops, White vows coming home to Mullen will be a fitting cap to an illustrious playing and coaching career, and a return to where it all started.

So why not end it here?

“I really hope it is my last job,” White said. “I want it to be. I want to make Denver my home and that will be it.”

Mullen welcomes back Vincent White

Legendary Mustangs 3-sporter returns as head football coach

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen has reached back into some of its glory days for a new leader of its football program.

Vincent White, a legendary Mustangs student-athlete and figure from the late 1970s who also played collegiately with John Elway and the old Denver Gold of the United States Football League, has agreed to become head coach. He was a unanimous choice of the school’s search committee that received nearly 70 applicants.

“I’m excited, I’m very excited and I think it’s a great opportunity,” White said.

He takes over for Tom Thenell, another Mullen alumnus who resigned in January after six seasons.

It was important, White said, for him to return to Mullen. He wanted “to come home.” White has extensive coaching experience in college and when the Mustangs job came open “it piqued my interest, very much so. Sometimes you know when the timing is right ... I always talked about (coming home).”

His appointment has sparked interest on campus and attracted interest throughout the area.

“Mullen High School is excited,” athletic director Vince Massey said. “We welcome Vincent back home with open arms and are excited to move forward with him at the helm. His accomplishments in the sport of football speak for themselves.”

Fittingly, one of the school’s most well-known graduates also will head the Mullen Alumni Relations Department, President and CEO Carl Unrein said, “and I share the athletic-department enthusiasm in welcoming Vincent back to serve Mullen.  Vincent’s knowledge and commitment to the Lasallian Mission, developing students on the athletic field and long history of interacting with families will enhance our ongoing relationships with decades of Mullen alumni.”

White will begin his alumni duties on Friday.

Said Janell Kloosterman, Mullen principal: ”I am looking forward to Vincent White coaching the X’s and O’s of football, and also teaching our young men what it means to be Lasallian.  Vincent White will be a transformational coach in the lives of our young men and serve to support not only the athletes under his charge, but the whole of the Mullen Lasallian community.”

Elway, speaking at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, said of White: "He was a great player. He had great speed and was a really good guy. It's great to hear that he's back in Denver and he got that job. It will be interesting to see how he and (new Valor Christian High coach) Ed (McCaffrey) do."

Said Mullen junior quarterback Dom DePIzzol: “I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. I understand this was a desired spot for him. I’m excited that he wants to be here.”

As one of the first African-American teenagers from the Park Hill area to attend Mullen, White moved on from Gove Junior High and enrolled as a 10th-grader in 1976, back when it was an all-boys school of about 300.

“I loved it there,” he said of a Mullen campus that only had two buildings.

Mullen associate AD Duan Ruff, also an alum and who followed White’s path from Park Hill, said “Vincent White understands what it means to be a Mustang. He embodies it, he lived it as a student and he can communicate that experience to the current student-athletes at Mullen.”

A 5-foot-8 running back who starred in the Police Athletic League. White first played with the Mustangs and the likes of coaches Ed Kintz and Dave Sidwell. He excelled and was a big part of Mullen’s 1978 team as a senior that capped a state title (Class 3A) on the road in Montrose. He also starred in basketball and as a sprinter in track.

Most importantly, White said, he embraced the academics offered at the school and went on to Stanford, where he played in the same backfield with – and was a favorite target of -- Elway. All-Pac -10 Conference, All-America honorable mention and a sixth-round draft choice of the New York Jets, White actually left the Cardinal a year early to play for the Gold and his coaches included Red Miller, Craig Morton and Mouse Davis. He later returned to Stanford to earn a degree in sociology.

White has had several stops on the college trail, most recently as associate head coach/offensive coordinator at Delaware State. He had been making a considerable commute from his home in Pottstown, Pa. He and wife Jennifer have three children – Isaac, a sophomore at Malvern Prep, Pa., who plays football and basketball; Avery, an eighth-grader who plays basketball and soccer; and Ashly, a fifth-grader who plays basketball, soccer and lacrosse. Not surprisingly, White proudly said all three offspring also excel in the class room.

“It doesn’t get any better than Vincent White,” first-year Mullen boys basketball coach Bob Caton said.

Busy familiarizing himself with the 5A landscape and building a staff that will include his younger brother, Brian, also a Mustangs alum, White will take over a program that was 5-6 in 2017 and dropped a first-round playoff game at rival Regis Jesuit in Aurora. The Mustangs were 34-31 under Thenell and their best mark during his tenure was 9-3 in 2016, losing at home in the quarterfinals to Cherry Creek.

From 2016-17, White was surprised to learn Mullen was part of the controversial big-school waterfall outlay, another change in the classification  plan that bypassed traditional leagues in all other sports and was based on recent, average performance. It has since been scrapped.

Beginning in 2018, the new two-year plan has Mullen in a Class 5A six-team league with Jefferson County schools. The Mustangs will be with Arvada West, Columbine Lakewood, Pomona and Ralston Valley.

No matter where the Mustangs play, White said, he’s thrilled to return to Colorado as well as to the special place he said helped him understand how to excel, beginning as a teenager. Now, it’s his turn to give back to a special place.

“I think it’s great,” White said, “especially when you get young men and can make a difference.”


Broc Langren headed to All-State Football Game

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Broc Langren, a center on Mullen’s football team for the past four seasons, will play in the Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State Games.

To be held at Adams State College in Alamosa, Langren will join others from the seven classifications for an all-star game on Friday, June 8, 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Five-foot-11, 300 pounds, Langren was all-league multiple times and enjoyed assorted academic honors. He has a 3.8 grade-point average. A winner of Mullen’s Torch Award, Langren also is in the National Honor Society.

A member of the Mustangs’ Engineering Club, Langren also was with the Young Republicans in addition to volunteering his time with the Denver Rescue Mission and Childrens Hospital.

Langren, who also plays lacrosse, will play football at South Dakota Mines and Tech in Rapid City.

The games will be held from June 5-9. They have been in existence for decades and been offered in a variety of Colorado spots, including in Denver and Aurora. They continue to battle other events and sports among larger schools in the off-season as well as early graduation and college administrators discouraging participation, but remain widely popular at the mid-range level through small schools.

They are viewed as a last-hurrah of sorts for prep athletes before they head to college or join the work force.

Mustangs add four to national signing day

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Two football players and one each in baseball and boys soccer made up Mullen’s class of student-athletes on Wednesday for the traditional national signing day.

Three football players signed in December in the new early signing period.

As for the latest, the Mustangs’ Nathan Deitrick signed to play football at Colorado Mesa; Henry Haen is headed to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs for baseball; Broc Langren will play football at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; and Grant Reuter will be on the pitch for Augustana.

Dietrick, a defensive lineman, played four years of varsity for the Mustangs. Five-foot-11, 230 pounds, his three years of all-league honors included honorable mention, second team and first team.

“It seemed like the best place where I could excel in learning and playing football,” he said.

The Mustangs baseball manager in the spring, Dietrick has a 3.0 grade-point average, plans to study sports management and participate fully in the outdoors Grand Junction has to offer.

Langren, a 5-11, 300-pound center, also plays lacrosse. He played four years of varsity as a starter, enjoyed an array of all-league and academic honors, and still maintained a 3.8 GPA. He is a Mullen Torch Award winner and is in the National Honor Society. He also joined the Engineering Club, the Young Republicans and volunteered his time with the Denver Rescue Mission and Children’s Hospital. He will study engineering.

“It was everything I wanted,” Langren said of South Dakota Mines and Tech in Rapid City.

Haen is another two-sporter, also playing football. The first baseman was academic all-state and in football a two-time honorable mention all-league choice. A three-time Torch Award winner, he has a 4.0 GPA, was a three-time Student Ambassador Award winner and is with the Young Republicans. It will be mechanical engineering for him as a major.

“They said they’d like to have me there and it’s a brand new campus, gorgeous and not far from home (just down Interstate-25),” Haen said.

For Reuter, a defenseman, he played three years of varsity for the Mustangs as well as a year of lacrosse. He won a Les Schwab Academic All-State Award and was all-Centennial League. Also a lifeguard, Reuter had a 3.0 GPA, earned subject awards in Bio Ethics, Chemistry and Political Science, and plans to have computer science as his major.

“When I visited, I just fell in love with the place,” Reuter said of the campus in Rock Island, Ill.

Tom Thenell resigns as head football coach

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Tom Thenell, a longtime figure at Mullen and former player, has resigned as head football coach. He will remain on staff as a physical-education teacher.

The native of Milwaukee, Wis., made his announcement on Tuesday and informed his players in the afternoon.

“I will always be thankful to the people who selected me, for allowing me the opportunity to lead the Mullen football program these past six years,” Thenell wrote in a letter to the school administration and community. “There was never a day during that time that I felt entitled or a sense that I had ‘arrived.’ I was very cognizant of the high expectations that were part and parcel with this positon of leadership. Ironically, I held myself to an even higher standard. It was my personal commitment to live out a life lesson believing that I had an obligation in this life to ‘leave a place better than I found it.’”

Vince Massey, Mustangs athletic director, said “what do you say when a guy like Tom Thenell resigns? He’s a tremendous coach with a lot of success, obviously, and has played a big role in a lot of young men’s lives.

“We respect his decision and thank him for his work with the football team.”

A 1980 graduate of Mullen, Thenell, a quarterback, twice was part of Mustangs’ state-title teams, from 1978-79, and was named all-state as well as an All-American. He went on to play at Colorado State in Fort Collins.

He was an assistant and offensive coordinator with the Mustangs from 1985-1991. He went on to become head coach at nearby Bear Creek from 1992-2011, when the Bears were known for top quarterback play. They made the playoffs 18 times and advancing to the title game twice.

Overall, Thenell’s record is 183-112, 34-31 with the Mustangs. They were 9-3 in 2016, advancing to the state quarterfinals, and 5-6 the past season, losing in the preliminaries.

“When I first met him,” Massey added, “I was a dean and there was something about him that drew me to him instantly.

“Tom is passionate about football, but even more passionate about making a difference in the lives of young men. He will be sorely missed leading the football program.”

Thenell’s teams also were known for regularly facing the best competition Colorado had to offer, as well as travelling for games out of state. The past fall, the Mustangs played in Bothel, Wash.

“I was eager to respond to the challenge given me to create the Mullen football program in accordance with the teachings of St. John the Baptist de La Salle,’ Thenell wrote. “Still, I was nowhere near satisfied and I believe there is still much work to be done. I am confident that I leave this area of the program better than I found it.”

From the past season, Mullen had three players sign during the new early period – outside linebacker Adrian Jackson is headed to Oregon. and offensive lineman Florian McCann III and back A’Jon Vivens will play at Colorado.

Thenell also thanked his son, Zach, who has served as an assistant and coordinator with his father for multiple seasons, the Mullen community and its players.

“Gentlemen, it was a joy to coach you,” Thenell indicated to his players. “You never gave up, never lost hope, you stayed side-by-side and kept improving. I still believe you can achieve football greatness … I believe you are great young men that will experience greatness in life.”


Jackson very visible in UA All-America Game

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

You almost couldn’t miss him.

Indeed, Mullen senior Adrian Jackson got himself noticed among the top 100 12th-graders nationally on Thursday while competing in the 2018 Under Armour All-America football game. Held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., Jackson was part of Team Highlight that ran to an early lead, then held on to down Team Spotlight 23-21.

In fact, Jackson, an outside linebacker who has signed with Oregon, ended the game by making a big hit on the sideline, one of his four tackles, one for loss. He also began the game by making the first tackle.

“I thought he had a good game,” said Mustangs head coach Tom Thenell, who made the trip to the game. “He had to play man-to-man in this game and I thought he did a good job with it.”

Listed at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, Jackson is rated the 10th-best outside linebacker nationally. According to, Jackson, a multiple all-stater in Colorado and recently named to Mile High Sports Magazine’s All-Colorado defense, received a B+ grade “and he’ll bolster an Oregon defense that needs improvement at linebacker.”

Jackson’s head coach for the game was NFL Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders.

The Mustangs’ regular starter the past three seasons took advantage of the first early signing period for seniors the past month. He chose the Ducks over other offers from Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, TCU, Southern California and Wisconsin, among others.


Mustangs’ Big 3 part of historical recruiting process

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It’s new, it’s different and everyone generally agreed that it had to happen, but excitement and dream realization were still the order of the day.

Three Mullen senior footballers signed to play in college on Wednesday at Hutchison Fieldhouse amid family, friends, teammates, officials and sheet cake. Adrian Jackson, Florian McCann III and A’Jon Vivens not only accounted for Colorado’s premier haul, but also took center stage in the new early signing period.

For the first time, from Dec., 20-22, an additional signing period prior to the traditional first Wednesday in February landed locals here and nationally with their college programs. It was designed to help offset the larger time gap between the game’s end of season and national signing day that can turn excruciating for both sides as well as prevent some of the underhandedness that usually accompanies the process.

In addition, it puts football in line with other sports that had early signing periods and is a welcomed addition.

“It’s historic,” Mullen associate athletic director Hank Hooper said. “And we have a pretty good one.”

Jackson signed with Oregon, and McCann and Vivens were inked with Colorado State to highlight local signees.

Mustangs athletic director Vince Massey said “it’s always exciting when you have signing day and you see your athletes making their decisions and formulating their futures … and this one is for the football players, giving them their own stage to do that on.”

Tom Thenell, Mullen head coach, called it a smart move and pointed to the coming weeks before February that now also will come with uncharted ground.

Already, he said, “it has been an interesting process for both sides, a first-time experience, so no one knows what January or February will look like whether you’re in high school or college.”

At the end of the college regular season, the turnover in coaching was hastened dramatically, notably filling the positions to be ready for this new signing period.

As for Mullen players, each said he got where he wanted to go and appreciated the switch.

Jackson, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker with sprinter’s speed and who has sat atop various recruiting lists, said it was a relief to sign with the Ducks and said “the last month was probably the hardest process I’ve been in.” There was the possibility of coaching-staff changes at Oregon, but once it settled down, Jackson said, “I think the new signing period is beneficial. Things can get crazy in January and people start flipping schools.”

He will major in sports management.

McCann, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive lineman, left little doubt that “CSU is where I want to be.”

As for signing earlier, McCann added: “I liked the way it went. It happened quicker and it was just awesome.”

His major will be kinesiology and sports medicine.

And Vivens, a two-way back who was on most recruiting lists as an athlete, said “I like it up there (in Fort Collins), I like the coaching staff and it’s where I want to be.”

A quicker process for him, he said, was better “and I’m glad I didn’t have to wait (until February). It was straight to the point.”

Vivens will center on international studies.

All three Mustangs were all-league multiple times and named to various all-state teams. Jackson can play linebacker or in the secondary. He rushed, caught passes and punted. McCann also comes with the frame coveted by college coaches. And Vivens, comfortable at lining up in the backfield or on the perimeter as a receiver, also is a returner.

Thenell pointed to high ceilings athletically for Jackson and McCann, and said Vivens is the kind of “player you want on your team, the kind you win with, the kind you can coach.”

And formerly on the high-school committee for the American Football Coaches Association, Thenell said he wouldn’t be surprised if the next move toward simplifying and policing recruiting would be to specifically designate offers.

There will be additional Mustangs as well as others nationally to sign in the next period, but the three who took advantage of the new process hope to be more than the answer to a trivia question.

Thenell said they can only benefit from it.

“One of the good things they got to experience was the business side of it,” the coach said. “With the talk of coaches leaving or staying, or already being somewhere else, already being at Tennessee …  they got to deal with some of it. That way they could say they were going to Oregon because I wanted to go to Oregon or they wanted to go to CSU because I wanted to go to CSU. That’s a big step forward,

“And they got to deal with it at a young age.”


Early signing period here for Mullen footballers

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Three Mullen players will take advantage of the new early signing period for footballers on Wednesday.

All three will agree to play in Division I – linebacker Adrian Jackson will sign on the dotted line with Oregon’s Ducks and both Florian McCann III, an offensive lineman, and A’Jon Vivens, a two-way back, will sign with Colorado State in Fort Collins.

Jackson, who did a little of everything for the Mustangs in the 2017 season, is a talented 6-foot-3, 210-pounder who also played in the secondary, punted, rushed and caught passes.

McCann, 6-5, 270, seems to have a very high ceiling with a significant frame and Vivens, who defended, rushed and caught passes, clearly was one of the better, all-around backs the past season.

To date, the three have been listed on multiple all-state teams.

Jackson was listed highly in Colorado among various recruiting-service reports – a couple had him as the state’s top recruit – and McCann and Vivens also made every significant listing.

This is the first year of the new signing period, which was designed to ease the confusion and gaps in football recruiting. It also was the reason why there was a mad shuffle of sorts in late November and into December, particularly within the SEC, in college-coaching ranks.

The three Mullen student-athletes will sign on Wednesday at 12:16 p.m. at the Hutchison Fieldhouse.


Mullen football headed to Jeffco for 2018-19?

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Nothing’s official yet, but the football layout for the next two seasons has been proposed and Mullen, in a huge switch, would be with the high end of Jefferson County, including defending Class 5A state champion Pomona.

The two-year waterfall system is being replaced after piles of complaints, notably weak league competition, the end of longtime and popular rivalries, teams driving past dozens of schools to take on unusual opponents that also unnecessarily increased travel, and too much of an emphasis on the playoffs at the expense of the regular season.

For the 2018 and 2019 seasons, there would be five six-team leagues among big schools mostly based on geography in addition to a group of 10 that historically have struggled, bringing the class to a total number of 40. The top two leagues that have dominated big schools the past four decades, the Centennial and Jeffco, would be modified; the two other top private schools other than Mullen, Regis Jesuit and Valor Christian, also would be realigned; and Colorado Springs-area 5A programs would play up in Douglas County.

Mullen, just like in the waterfall system (in the Mt. Cameron League), again would be in arguably the most-demanding group. The Mustangs would be with Arvada West, Columbine, Lakewood, Pomona and Ralston Valley. All of the other five made the 2017 playoffs.

Below are the proposed leagues for 5A, one that has yet to be named, and the layout has moved to be voted on next month:

North --  Fairview, Horizon, Legacy, Fossil Ridge, Poudre, Rocky Mountain.

Metro West – Arvada West, Columbine, Lakewood, MULLEN, Pomona and Ralston Valley.

South – Chaparral, Doherty, Douglas County, Fountain-Fort Carson, Legend, Regis Jesuit.

Metro South – Castle View, Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge, Valor Christian.

Metro East – Arapahoe, Cherokee Trail, Cherry Creek, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland.

10 – Adams City, Boulder, Denver East, Far Northeast, Mountain Range, Northglenn, Prairie View, Rangeview, Smoky Hill, Westminster.



Regis Jesuit knocks off Mustangs, ends their season at 5-6

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA – The meeting during the regular season was a thriller as Mullen won a shootout in Week 2 40-39 with a comeback in the final seconds.

Friday’s night’s matchup nine weeks later in the Class 5A preliminaries was a fight, a physical struggle with lots of defense and an assortment of offensive problems, although it, too, came down to the final seconds.

Ultimately, it was Regis Jesuit advancing 17-10 at a cold, crowded Lou Kellogg Stadium, the latest entry into the storied Catholic-school rivalry that has lasted for decades and justified its attraction as easily the most-anticipated big-school, first-round matchup.

Mullen was about to enter the Raiders red zone with less than a minute to play as sophomore quarterback Kyle Remington was going to be sacked. As he tried to go airborne and avoid the pressure, he was hit, fumbled, Regis Jesuit recovered with 44 seconds to play and the cap to a frustrating season for the Mustangs was screwd on tightly.

In a microcosm of the 2017 season, untimely penalties, key injuries, mistakes, giving up big plays and failure to generate offense when needed haunted Mullen. Opportunities were there. And the Mustangs didn’t cash in their chips.

“It was difficult,” coach Tom Thenell said.

Seniors Adrian Jackson and A’Jon Vivens, the Mustangs top skill players, were game, but never able to get it going. The Mullen offensive front fared well for a while, but mistakes didn’t help. Physically, the Mustangs seemed to have the advantage, but the Raiders, now 10-1 and winners of nine consecutive games, also dug in when needed.

After a first half filled with penalties and turnovers, the Raiders led 3-0 and made it 10-0 early in the fourth quarter on a Jake Heimlicher 16-yard catch and run. Mullen, in ending 5-6, responded with a field goal by Vincenzo Saurini, only to give up a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff return.

Remington capped the Mustangs’ lone touchdown drive with a toss to sophomore A.J. Naha to set up another tight finish, which got even tighter when the Raiders had to punt on the next series, but Mullen’s failure to answer was something seen throughout the season against another batch of high-end competition.

A distraight Vivens lamented the fact that his season was over and tackle Florian McCann III said “we never got it going.” Both will be going to Colorado State.

Defensively, sophomore noseguard Aidan Ikaika-Keanaaina enjoyed assorted moments, including an interception deep in Mullen territory while on a pass rush, and had help from the likes of Nathan Deitrick, Damien Quiroz (also had an interception) and Silas Daffin.

But Regis Jesuit now will go on to the quarterfinals next weekend against Columbine and Mullen finished its second losing season since 2014.


Mustangs in the football playoffs 11/10

What: Colorado’s Class 5A preliminaries

Opponent: Regis Jesuit Raiders

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Lou Kellogg Stadium, Regis Jesuit, 6400 S. Lewiston Way, Aurora, CO 80016

Coaches: Tom Thenell, Mullen; Danny Filleman

Telecast: CET Sports will be there to film highlights for a show on Xfinity on Sunday, 10 p.m.; the game also will be carried by Regis Jesuit on the NFHS Network

The last time: In Week 2, visiting Mullen trailed 39-26 with less than 3 minutes to play before rallying by going touchdown, recover onside kick, touchdown for a 40-39 victory, its first after beginning the season 0-2..

Last week: Mullen ended Mt. Cameron League play with a 49-13 home romp over Northglenn. Regis Jesuit thumped visiting Bear Creek 42-6 to sweep the Mt. Antero.

On the line: A trip to the quarterfinals. Mullen made it there the past season, losing 34-17 at home to Cherry Creek. Regis Jesuit eventually made the semifinals, falling 24-7 to Pomona on the road.

Recent history: Recent history? These two have extensive history between them. But since the beginning of the decade, when Mullen and Regis met in the 5A championship game with 13-0 records (the Mustangs won 37-6), Mullen owns a 4-3 edge in the series.

Key players: Mullen – Damien Cearns, So., RB, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds; Wind Henderson, Jr., WR, 6-0, 150; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Kyle Remington, So., QB, 6-3, 170; Damien Quiroz, Sr., DL, 6-0, 230; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185. Regis Jesuit -- Ben Hecht, Sr., LB, 6-0, 205; Jake Heimlicher, Sr., DE, 6-4, 215; Justin Lamb, Sr., QB, 6-5, 185; Aubrey Marschal-Parker, Sr., RB, 6-0, 160; Kiahn Martinez, Jr., RB, 5-9, 175; Tama Tuitele, Sr., LB, 6-1, 230.

What’s going on: Mullen has gone 5-3 after a 0-2 start against a very heavy schedule, heavy enough that it included several key injuries along the way, many in the early weeks along with junior QB Dom DePizzol breaking a thumb late in a practice. However, Jackson and Vivens have played big down the stretch. The Mustangs also have been more productive up front and the defense has been generating turnovers, something that was missing for weeks. The demanding schedule is proving beneficial.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs’ late victory in September has kept the Raiders from an undefeated regular season, and don’t think for a moment that they don’t know it. And other than their 25-20 season-opening 25-20 victory over Cherry Creek, every Raiders victory has been by at least 23 points. Averaging 38.1 points per outing, Lamb and Martinez have carried the offense and the defense, which has permitted only 58 points the past eight weeks, has enjoyed playing with the lead.

---- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin



Mullen seeded 11th in 5A football, rematch with Regis next

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

We have seen this before … and we’ll see it again.

Mullen’s playoff appearance was confirmed Sunday, when the Class 5A football bracket was released, and the Mustangs will begin the 16-team bracket against a familiar foe.

The Regis Jesuit Raiders.

 In addition to the decades of storied battles between the parochial-school rivals, the latest entry, just weeks ago, was fantastic. A late rally by the Mustangs on Sept. 8 led to a 40-39 thrilling victory in the final seconds. Playing at the Raiders’ Lou Kellogg Stadium, which also will be the site for the preliminary-round game, Mullen trailed 39-26 with less than 3 minutes to play.

All told, there were 136 snaps from center and 855 yards of offense.

It was Mullen’s first victory after beginning 0-2, the losses coming to Pomona in Zero Week, then to Valor Christian.

However, a lot has changed since the first meeting. Regis (9-1) has won eight games in a row, a streak onloy superseded by the 10 each by two-time defending 5A champion Valor Christian and Eaglecrest, the two undefeated teams that were seeded first and second, respectively.

And Mullen (5-5) has experienced a veritable litany of injuries, notably to quarterback Dom DepIzzol and running back Alonzo Moon. Hence, the Mustangs and head coach Tom Thenell have opted for more of a rushing attack, including implementing the wildcat formation, with `A’Jon Vivens getting lots of carries and using the gifted Adrian Jackson at receiver.

In addition, Mullen has fared much better defensively. Over an eight-quarter stretch, the Mustangs generated seven turnovers.

Ever-present Columbine and Pomona, runner-up the past two seasons, account for the third and fourth seeds and opposed to the past season, when two teams with losing records advanced, there is just one in 2017, Fountain-Fort Carson.

And here’s another item the so-called waterfall proposal, which is expected to go away, failed to provide over its two years, but officials hoped would -- variety. Of the 16 teams in this year’s field, 13 were here a year ago.

Below are the matchups and seeds, dates and times TBA:

(In bracket order)



(16) Chaparral (7-3) vs. (1) Valor Christian (10-0)

(9) Lakewood (8-2) vs. (8) Grandview (8-2)

(13) Poudre (6-4) vs. (4) Pomona (8-2)

(12) Arvada West (7-3) vs. (5) Fairview (9-1)

(14) Highlands Ranch (6-4) vs. (3) Columbine (9-1)

(11) Mullen (5-5) vs. (6) Regis Jesuit (9-1)

(10) Ralston Valley (6-4) vs. (7) Cherry Creek (8-2)

(15) Fountain-Fort Carson (4-6) vs. (2) Eaglecrest (10-0)


SEMIFINALS: Nov. 24-25



Football scores/ Class 5A Week 10


Mt. Cameron League

Columbine 41, ThunderRidge 6

Mt. Elbert League

Horizon 49, Fossil Ridge 14

Mt. Lincoln League

Poudre 21, Highlands Ranch 14

Mt. Wilson League

Ralston Valley 34, Rocky Mountain 3

Rangeview 31, Castle View 21



Mt. Antero League

Regis Jesuit 42, Bear Creek 6

Legacy 42, Westminster 7

Mt. Cameron League

Fairview 56, Mounbtain Range 19

MULLEN 49, Northglenn 13

Mt. Elbert League

Prairie View 36, Denver East 33

Mt. Evans League

Chaparral 36, Hinkley 20

Mountain Vista 41, Rock Canyon 7

Pomona 48, Cherokee Trail 12

Mt. Lincoln League

Lakewood 20, Legend 9

Valor Christian 42, Fountain-Fort Carson 13

Mt. Massive League

Doherty 47, Boulder 0

Grandview 23, Overland 6

Mt. Wilson league

Eaglecrest 35, Arvada West 7



Mt. Antero League

Douglas County 37, Aurora Central 18

Mt. Elbert League

Cherry Creek 42, Far Northeast 7

Mt. Massive League

Arapahoe 51, Smoky Hill 0


Mustangs blow out Northglenn, await big-school bracket

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

For a finale, it was marvelous.

Mullen enjoyed its senior night. Its star, Adrian Jackson, was honored with a jersey and ceremony for being named to the Under Armour All-American Game. The Mustangs secured a Class 5A postseason spot in their final home game of the regular season.

There’s more – Jackson, Damien Cearns and A’Jon Vivens, Mullen’s top backs, each scored multiple touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Kyle Remington got a little more comfortable at the controls. A young man with autism was honored for his determination, perseverance and character.

And the Mustangs evened their record at 5-5 overall with a decisive 49-13 blowout of Northglenn on Friday night at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de la Salle Stadium. In a Mt. Cameron League final – the state is expected to return to more of a traditional big-school outlay for 2018, which is undoubtedly another positive occurrence – Mullen also climbed to 3-2 and won eight of 10 matchups over two seasons in what was widely considered as the best of the so-called waterfall groups.

On Sunday, Mullen will know its postseason spot and opponent in the 16-team bracket, and will enter extra football on an upbeat note after assorted injuries and defensive problems against arguably 5A’s most-demanding schedule made for an up-and-down, 10-game test.

“Yes, sir, definitely,” said Jackson, a two-way back headed to Oregon. “It was pretty crazy tonight. I didn’t expect senior night to be this good.”

It was. Jackson caught two passes from Remington – filling in for the injured Dom DePizzol, who has a broken thumb on his throwing hand, but actually saw some time at safety during the running clock – in the second quarter to officially make it a run-away.

“We’re playing better, Kyle’s getting better and, obviously, we have the two-headed monster going,” head coach Tim Thenell said. “I kind of like to be one-dimensional the other way (passing), but we’ve had to make those adjustments, we did and it is what it is.”

What it is is a steady doses of rushing mixed with passing. Cearns rushed for two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 90 yards for another. And Vivens, who has been on a rushing roll of late, broke a run for a touchdown on the Mustangs’ first play from scrimmage for the second week in a row for the first of his two scores.

“And we’ve made our defensive adjustments; we’ve played better the last month,” Thenell added, pointing to a series of late, inconsequential scoring down the stretch of the league season.

Remington, grasping the offense as well as embracing running it, said he’s “getting in rhythm with the guys, but I think right now we’re only getting better from here.”

Improved up-front play also has been a factor, tackle Florian McCann III said, and “of course, this is awesome. Something clicked. We needed the season to quit going downhill; now, it’s going uphill.”

The Mustangs will have a Saturday of anticipation before focusing on an opponent they will learn about beginning on Sunday.

“Now, all we do is look forward to playoffs, go out there and ball, and see what we can do,” Jackson said.



Northglenn 0 0 0 13 – 13

Mullen 14 21 7 7 – 49


M – A’Jon Vivens 60 run (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 11:39.

M – Damien Cearns 51 run (Saurini kick), 2:32.


M – Adrian Jackson 39 pass from Kyle Remington (Saurini kick), 11:57.

M – Jackson 16 pass from Remington (Saurini kick), 3:01.

M – Cearns 32 run (Saurini kick), 0:09.4.


M – Vivens 68 run (Saurini kick), 6:58.


N – Caleb Leialoha 14 run (Sergio Escobar kick), 11:49.

M – Cearns 90 kickoff return (Saurini kick), 10:49.

N – Andrew Martell 1 run (run failed), 0:00



Adrian Jackson named to Under Armour All-American Game

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

A special opportunity for Adrian Jackson – the Mullen senior has been named to the latest version of the Under Armour All-American Football Game.

Jackson will receive a jersey in a ceremony at halftime on Friday night, when the Mustangs will host Northglenn in a Mt. Cameron League matchup at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de la Salle Stadium to wrap up the regular season.

“He was very excited,” said Avery Smith, manager of events and operations for the game.

Mullen head coach Ton Thenell said “I think it’s a terrific honor for any kid; it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. I mean, that’s a big-time deal.”

Jackson, who will sign with Oregon in February, is a gifted safety at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. He is tied for second on the team by being in on 48 tackles, has two interceptions and a fumble recovery, and has led a Mustangs defensive surge that has produced seven turnovers over the past eight quarters. Speed-wise, he’s also a member of Mustangs relays in track.

As one of approximately 100 players chosen nationally, Jackson will play in the 10th anniversary of the game to be held on Thursday, Jan. 4, in Orlando, Fla., at Camping World Stadium, formerly the Citrus Bowl. To date, Jackson is the only Coloradan to be named to the team and he will join the likes of previous locals such as Curtis Cunningham (Columbine), Jon Major (Ponderosa) and Jonathan Van Diest (Cherry Creek) to be named an Under Armour All-American.

“It’s well-deserved,” Thenell said.


This Week in Mustang Football 11/3

Opponent: Northglenn Norse, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium, Mullen High, 3601 S. Lowell Blvd., Denver CO 80236

Last week: The Norse fell 40-0 to Fairview in Week 9. It was their third straight loss in Class 5A Mt. Cameron League play – they are 5-4 overall, 1-3 in league – after a crisp and welcomed 5-1 start, as they have been outscored by a combined 107-16 over 12 quarters. Mullen (4-5, 2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak in league by handling ThunderRidge 34-21 on the road. The Mustangs also crawled closer to a probable playoff spot as they moved to 13th in the RPI qualifying.

On the line: A Northglenn victory would ensure just the program’s third winning season since 2005. The Norse were 6-4 in 2010 and 7-4 in 2011. As for the Mustangs, they’d love to level their record and enter the postseason on an upbeat note. The general feeling is, despite their considerable injuries, they will be a very tough out for someone in the first round.

Recent history: Mullen won last year’s meeting 35-14 in Week 10 on the way to taking the Mt. Cameron undefeated at 5-0. Before the past season, the previous matchup between the two programs was on Nov. 7, 2007, when the Mustangs rolled the Norse 44-7 in the preliminaries of the 5A 32-team playoff bracket. Mullen went on to lose 21-14 to Douglas County in the semifinals. The Huskies would fall a week later to Grandview in the finale.

Key players: Northglenn – Bennet Beamer, Jr., MLB, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds; J.J. Gomez, Jr., RB-FS, 5-7, 160; Caleb Leialoha, Sr., RB-LB, 5-11, 170; Andrew Martel, Jr., B-DE, 5-6, 155; Hector Ortega, Jr., WR-QB-DB, 6-2, 170; Devin Scudder, Jr., QB, 6-2, 185; Henry Smith, Sr., T-DE, 6-2, 250; Mullen – Damien Cearns, So., RB, 5-9, 160; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Kyle Remington, So., QB, 6-3, 170; Damien Quiroz, Sr., DL, 6-0, 230; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185.

What you may not know: It will be Senior Night for Mullen as well as the Broncos high school game of the week. There will be Broncos cheerleaders and alumni, the Super Bowl L Trophy and a Children’s Hospital giveaway tent: most festivities, including tailgating, beginning at 6 p.m. In addition to a radio broadcast of the game, the Mullen broadcast network (MBN) will have the matchup on the NFHS Network. Also, Jackson will receive a jersey as part of being named to the Under Armour All-American Game.

Norse coach Matthew Dean on the Mustangs: “Well, they’re Mullen. You know, typical -- big up front, athletic … they’ve got some pretty amazing athletes, big-time football players that get recruited to the big-time programs, so they’re not lacking there. We’ve seen some changes to what they’re schematically doing on defense and they’re big, athletic and tough, and they like football. I mean, they’re one of the toughest games on our schedule, for sure.”

---- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Thin Mustangs handle ThunderRidge, remain in 5A playoff hunt

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

HIGHLANDS RANCH – At the moment, these are not be the Mullen Mustangs everyone usually expects to see.

They can’t be – injuries have robbed the Mustangs of a lot of their firepower on offense and a few key spots on defense.

So running the ball and trying to hang in there on defense will have to do ... for at least a while.

It worked on Friday night, when Mullen handled host ThunderRidge 34-21 at Shea Stadium in Week 9, a Mt. Cameron League victory. The Mustangs moved to 4-5 overall and evened their league mark at 2-2. And they still remain in Class 5A’s 16-team postseason chase – entering the round they were 15th in the RPI standings that will set the field.

With backup quarterback Kyle Remington, a sophomore, asked to run the show because of a thumb injury a couple fo weeks ago to junior starter Dom DePizzol,, head coach Tom Thenell has opted to increase his running attack, headed by Colorado State commit A’Jon Vivens. All he did was rush 22 times for 214 yards and two touchdowns, one on an 80-yarder to open the game and set a tone.

“Kyle got a little better tonight and we’re going to keep getting better as he gets better,” Thenell said. “We had to go with that two-tailback monster there and those (offensive-line) kids stepped up. They were good. We played hard and played physical.”

In knocking the Grizzlies to 3-6, 1-3, Mullen never trailed, didn’t seem to be in any serious trouble and banged heads regularly.

“Oh, yeah,” said Mustangs safety Adrian Jackson, “we just went out there and beat on them as much as we could.”

Headed by Vivens, the Mullen rushing attack was thorough. And the line also opened holes for sophomore Damien Cearns, who had 12 carries for 64 yards and a TD while lining up with Vivens. In addition, fullback Zach Krause handled most of the rushing load late, going nine times for 37 yards and another TD.

Plus, Remington had a key 40-yard completion to the speedy Wind Henderson to set up Cearns’ score that made it 21-0 and Henderson nabbed a 36-yarder for another TD in the third quarter.

All told, including interceptions by Henderson and Silas Daffin, and a fumble recovery early, it was a pretty complete victory for the Mustangs, who have battled injuries as well as one of the most-demanding schedules in the state.

In Week 10, Mullen will have just its third home game in 2017 to close out the regular season, Friday against Northglenn at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium.   

“I think our schedule has just prepared us to keep getting stronger,” Vivens said.

And Jackson, who has clearly upped his game over the past month, said “no matter who we play, we’re coming out strong.”

The Mustangs also took another hit in the injury department – sophomore defensive lineman Aidan Ikaika Keanaaina, who has had a big season, missed a good portion of the game with an ankle problem. The severity was unknown after the game.

“It has been a tough year and when you play the schedule that these kids have played, it’s tough,” Thenell said. “We played the second half without (Keanaaina) … but we’re doing the best we can with it and we’re still in good position.”



Mullen 14 6 7 7 – 34

ThunderRidge 0 7 7 7 -- 21


M – A’Jon Vivens 80 run (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 11:47.

M – Vivens 28 run (Saurini kick), 8:49.


M – Damien Cearns 1 run (kick failed), 2:55.

T’R – Wyatt Hamm 23 from pass from Taylor White (Bookman kick), 1:45.


M – Wind Henderson 36 pass from Kyle Remington (Saurini kick), 9:40.

T’R – Hamm 46 pass from White (Bookman kick), 8:18.


M – Zach Krause 1 run (Saurini kick), 9:16.

T’R – Ryan Gilmore 6 run (Bookman kick), 0:56.6.



This Week in Mustangs Football 10/27

Opponent: ThunderRidge Grizzlies, Highlands Ranch

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Shea Stadium, 3270 Redstone Park Circle, Highlands Ranch 80129

Last week: The Grizzlies played one of their best games of the season, blitzing Mountain Range 46-6. Meanwhile, the Mustangs had their hearts handed to them, an 18-16 home loss to Boulder’s Fairview on the final play of the game.

On the line: Both teams are 3-5 overall. The winner of the Mt. Cameron League (each program is 1-2) matchup will have a shot at a .500 record in the regular season. ThunderRidge will end at home in Week 10 with Jefferson County’s Columbine, the probable league winner and automatic qualifier for the Class 5A postseason. Mullen also will finish at home, with Northglenn.

Recent history: Doug Nisenson, a former Grizzles player and assistant coach, has taken over as head coach. And no one knows more about the tough act he has to follow – 16-year head coach Joe Johnson won 152 of 200 games at ThunderRidge, was 78-36 the previous decade and took three Class 4A titles. And Mullen won last year’s meeting 55-21.

Key players: ThunderRidge – Tayven Bray, Sr., OL-DL, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds; Michael Dahman, Sr., T, 6-3, 255; Ethan Frasier, Jr., LB, 6-1, 215; Spencer Lambert, Jr., RB, 5-9, 175; Jaret Strasheim, Sr., LB, 5-11, 170; Mullen – Damien Cearns, So., RB, 5-9, 160; Wind Henderson, Jr., WR, 6-0, 150; Aidan Ikaika-Keanaaina, So., DL, 6-3, 283; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Kyle Remington, So., QB, 6-3, 170; Damien Quiroz, Sr., DL, 6-0, 230; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185.

What you may not know: ThunderRidge moved up to 5A in 2008 and generated a 10-1 mark. The Grizzlies’ first big-school game was an overtime victory over Douglas County and their first loss also was to Douglas County, 59-26 in the second round of the playoffs.

Nisenson on the Mustangs: “I know (the Mustangs) are supremely talented, as usual, and I know they’ve lost some games to some really good football teams. They’ve kind of been up and down.”

---- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Football scores/Class 5A Week 8


Mt. Antero League

Bear Creek 35, Legacy 28

Mt. Cameron League

Columbine 47, Northglenn 7

Mt. Lincoln League

Legend 10, Fountain-Fort Carson 7

Mt. Wilson League

Arvada West 30, Rocky Mountain 20

Eaglecrest 41, Castle View 13

Ralston Valley 42, Rangeview 6



Mt. Antero League

Regis Jesuit 55, Aurora Central 0

Douglas County 35, Westminster 21

Mt. Cameron League

Fairview 18, MULLEN 15

ThunderRidge 46, Mountain Range 6

Mt. Elbert League

Cherry Creek 42, Horizon 21

Far Northeast 398, Prairie View 14

Mt. Evans League

Chaparral 20, Rock Canyon 14

Cherokee Trail 49, Hinkley 0

Mt. Lincoln League

Valor Christian 48, Highlands Ranch 7

Mt. Massive League

Arapahoe 35, Boulder 16

Grandview 42, Doherty 2

Overland 28, Smoky Hill 0



Mt. Elbert League

Denver East 20, Fossil Ridge 12


Mullen falls on game’s final play to Fairview

By Neil H. Devli
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

There was no blowout. No letting the score get away from them. No lack of effort. And no shortness of drama.

But Mullen went down again on Friday, this time in annoyingly, gut-wrenching fashion. The Mustangs were hit for a field goal on the final play of the game to lose 18-16 to Boulder’s Fairview at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium.

“It happens,” Mustangs junior wide receiver Wind Henderson said.

In dropping to 3-5 overall, Mullen is 1-2 in league and has lost three of its past four games. The defending league champions, the Mustangs will be spending a lot of time over the next two weeks scoreboard watching to see their standing within the RPI system for playoff qualification.

Fairview is 7-1, 2-1.

The Knights’ Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl converted a 33-yard field goal on the game’s last snap to win it.

Schuettpelz-Rohl also had one of three completions by quarterback Aidan Atkinson on the final drive, his a key 33-yarder in traffic.

Mullen had taken the lead with 2:31 to play on a 1-yard dive by A’Jon Vivens.

But the Mustangs couldn’t keep the Knights down. Starting at their own 20-yard line, they used seven plays to get within field-goal range, the last a 4-yard rush by Mariano Kemp to the 16.

In attempting to overcome a rash of injuries to key players, notably at the skill positions, Mullen came up with a determined, if not productive, effort. The Mustangs ran out of the wildcat formation. On defense, they generated four turnovers, including three interceptions, two by Oregon-bound Adrian Jackson. He turned one of them into a electrifying 60-yard return for a touchdown only to have it wiped out by penalty. The defense allowed the second-fewest points it had all season.

And the Mustangs used a fumble recovery late to take their 16-15 lead.

“It was a fight,” Kemp said.

 Said Henderson: “We just can’t seem to get over the hump.”

Sophomore Damien Cearns scored Mullen’s first touchdown, a 55-yard run 1:12 before halftime. Vincenzo Saurini contributed a 36-yard field goal. Both came in the second quarter.

Next up for Mullen is another road game, its seventh of the regular season, Friday, Oct. 27, vs. ThunderRidge at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch.



Fairview 7 0 8 3 -- 18

Mullen 0 9 0 7 -- 16


F – Matt Greenwald 43 pass from Jake Sheerin (Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl kick), 7:56.


M – FG Vincenzo Saurini 36, 4:09.

M – Damien Cearns 55 run (kick failed), 1:12.


F – Mariano Kemp 2 run (Miles Morton pass from Aidan Atkinson), 4:49.


M – A’Jon Vivens 1 run (Saurini kick), 2:31.

F – FG Schuettpelz-Rohl 33, 0:00.



This Week in Mustang Football 10/20

Opponent: Fairview Knights, Boulder County

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium, Mullen High, 3601 S. Lowell Blvd., Denver CO 80236

Last week: Fairview (6-1 overall, 1-1 in the Mt. Cameron League), responding from its first loss of the season (a 35-14 setback to Columbine), took down visiting ThunderRidge 31-21; Mullen (3-4, 1-1) was thumped by Columbine 41-24 on the road at Jefferson County Stadium.  

On the line: It’s a fair bet that the winner is the probable Mt. Cameron runner-up (to Columbine). However, it goes deeper for Mullen. The Mustangs were in the No. 15 spot for the 16-team playoff bracket heaing into the week and winning out to get to 6-4 is the goal (and assumed necessity).

Recent history: Since 2013, when the Knights were state runners-up, they are 39-5 in the regular season, one of the best marks on any level in the state. And since 2004, Mullen is 6-0 against the Knights, most recently winning 37-30 a year ago.

Key players: Fairview – Aidan Atkinson, So., QB, 6-foot-3, 198 pounds; Bryce DesJardins, Jr., WR-DB, 6-0, 170; Matt Greenwald, Jr., WR-DB, 6-2, 180; Mariano Kemp, Sr., RB-DL, 5-10, 230; Kody Soben, Sr., OL-DL, 6-3, 280; Mullen – Damien Cearns, So., RB, 5-9, 160; Wind Henderson, Jr., WR, 6-0, 150; Aidan Ikaika-Keenaaina, So., DL, 6-3, 283; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Kyle Remongton, So., QB, 6-3, 170; Damien Quiroz, Sr., DL, 6-0, 230; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185;

What you may not know: Kemp, who has been offered by Indiana State, is the younger brother of former Fairview star Mariano Kemo, a defensive lineman who is in his second year at Michigan. Their grandfather is Sam Pagano, the legendary Fairview coach who recently was named to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Fairview head coach Tom McCartney on the Mustangs: “Start with their size, they definitely have size in the trenches and have a headliner (McCann) going to CSU. Look at Adrian Jackson, how talented he is and to have him with 2 Division Is, with Vivens and Henderson, is something special. They’ve got playmakers and have had some tough injuries. But I believe they have tremendous talent athleticism, size and coaching. They’re a tremendous team. Look at their schedule.”

---- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Football scores/Class 5A Week 7

Mt. Antero league

Regis Jesuit 47, Douglas County 0

Mt. Cameron League

Columbine 41, MULLEN 24

Mt. Elbert League

Cherry Creek 56, Denver East 28

Far Northeast 22, Horizon 21

Fossil Ridge 17, Prairie View 7

Mt. Evans League

Chaparral 39, Mountain Vista 14

Mt. Massive league

Grandiew 47, Smoky Hill 0



Mt. Antero League

Legacy 44, Aurora Central 0

Bear Creek 31, Westminster 10

Mt. Cameron League

Fairview 31, ThunderRidge 21

Mountain Range 20, Northglenn 9

Mt. Evans League

Cherokee Trail 24, Rock Canyon 14

Mt. Lincoln League

Highlands Ranch 38, Fountain-Fort Carson 24

Valor Christian 41, Lakewood 7

Mt. Massive League

Boulder 28, Overland 13

Doherty 28, Arapahoe 7

Mt. Wilson League

Eaglecrest 48, Rangeview 7

Ralston Valley 20, Arvada West 14

Rocky Mountain 17, Caste View 14



Mt. Evans League

Pomona 42, Hinkley 7

Mt. Lincoln League

Poudre 29, Legend 19


Columbine easily rushes, passes past Mullen 41-24

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

LAKEWOOD – It’s getting to the point in which Mullen is about as beaten up as a 1961 Buick, but no one in Class 5A football is anywhere close to feeling sorry for the Mustangs.

Columbine certainly didn’t on Thursday night, when the Rebels blitzed them 41-24 in a Mt. Cameron League matchup at Jefferson County Stadium that was every bit a blowout. The Rebels, now 6-1 overall, 2-0 in league, simply rolled the Mustangs, who once again fell below .500 and are 1-1 in league.

Among a half-dozen starters who remain sidelined as well as others banged and bruised, the Mustangs were without senior running back Alonzo Moon, who was on crutches after tearing a ligament last week against Mountain Range, as well as starting quarterback Dom DePizzol, a junior, who suffered an injury on the last play of practice on Tuesday. He has a broken right thumb.

There were no excuses from Mullen head coach Tom Thenell.

“Life in the big city,” he said.

As it was, sophomore Damien Cearns, a transfer who became eligible just last week, had some moments at running back, but sophomore Kyle Remington basically was thrown in the fire, Thenell said. He only had one practice, “and that was a walk-through,” offensive tackle Florian McCann III said.

However, a familiar killer for this season’s Mustangs again reared its ugly head – they have given up points in binges and this time it was 38 consecutive points from early in the first quarter to late in the third. Mullen had an inconsistent night tackling as well as covering in the secondary.

“It’s tough right now and we can’t seem to stop anybody,” McCann said.

Mullen has been hit for 254 points, an average of 36.4 permitted.   

Remington was picked off three times, twice in the first half, but the Columbine rush regularly harassed him and the Mustangs had a few dropped balls. A lost fumble also didn’t help and after Mullen returned the opening kickoff to the Columbine 25-yard line, it had to settle for a field goal.

Columbine scored three plays later on third-and-2 from its own 28 on a rush as well as on its next four possessions to take a 31-3 halftime lead. What's more, the Rushin' Rebels also threw for two touchdowns.

The defending Mt. Cameron champion, Mullen had won six consecutive league games.

Afterward, Thenell challenged his team to come back strong for the final three regular-season games, the next one at home at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium against Boulder’s Fairview on Oct. 20.  Columbine beat the Knights a couple of weeks ago.

“We’ve got to play through it,” McCann said. “Being my senior year, we have to do what we have to do to get back to playing Mullen football. We know we’re better than this. We have a whole new week of practice and we’re already moving on to the next game.”



Mullen             3 0 7 14 -- 24

Columbine    10 21 7 3 --  41


M – FG Vincenzo Saurini 18, 8:40.

C – Conner Snow 72 run (Logan DeArment kick), 6:52.

C – FG Dearment 32, 0:11.


C – Dearment 5 run (DeArment kick), 10:05.

C – Ted Mullin 13 pass from DeArment (DeArment kick), 5:01.

C – Luis Rodriguez 38 pass from DeArment (DeArment kick), 0:47.


C – Snow 30 run (DeArment kick), 7:02.

M – Damien Cearns 4 run (Saurini kick), 2:05.


C -- FG DeArment 26, 4:46.

M – Cearns 5 run (Saurini kick), 3:54.

M – Max Ward 1 run (Saurini kick), 0:36.


This Week in Mullen Football 10/12

Opponent: Columbine Rebels, Jefferson County

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: Jefferson County Stadium, off Sixth Avenue and Kipling Street, Lakewood.

Last week: The Rebels (5-1 overall) have responded after their setback to Fairview – they won their second straight game, 35-14 over previously undefeated Fairview in a Mt. Cameron League opener last week. The Mustangs (3-3) outlasted Mountain Range 55-41 on the road, a back-and-forth slugfest in every sense.

On the line: Early league shuffling is going on as is Class 5A playoff-positioning. Plus, it’s usually one of the must-see games in the regular season or playoffs.

Recent history: Starting with its first title in 1999, the year of the massacre, Columbine has won five titles. And since Columbine beat Mullen 13-10 in a memorable big-school final in 2006, the Rebels own a 4-3 edge in head-to-head meetings, all since 2010 and all in the regular season. Mullen, which has taken four state titles since 2004, won 28-27 in overtime a year ago.

Key players: Columbine – Logan Dearment, Jr., QB, 5-9, 165; Evan Durbin, Jr., T, 6-4, 290; Andrew Gentry, So., T, 6-8, 285; Corbin Leyshock, Sr., G, 6-3, 225; Kevin Singer, Sr., G, 6-6, 268; Kai Valentino, Sr., C, 6-3, 330; Mullen – Damien Cearns, So., RB, 5-9, 160; Dominic DiPizzol, Jr., QB, 6-0, 180; Wind Henderson, Jr., WR, 6-0, 150; Aidan Ikaika-Keenaaina, So., DL, 6-3, 283; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185.

What you may not know: Senior RB Alonzo Moon went down with a leg injury last week and Cearns stepped in nicely. Plus, the head coaches, Mullen’s Tom Thenell and Andy Lowry, now in his 24th year heading Columbine, have been going at it since the 1990s (Thenell was formerly at Jeffco’s Bear Creek).

Lowry on the Mustangs: “They are a good football team and they’ve played everyone who could challenge them in nonleague. It has been pretty special with all of their big games. They’re just uber-talented. Their offensive line is good and so are their skill kids, with Henderson and others … their defense is physical and aggressive.”

---- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Football scores/Class 5A Week 6 




Mt. Antero League

Bear Creek 34, Douglas County 13

Mt. Cameron League

MULLEN 55, Mountain Range 41

Mt. Evans League

Mountain Vista 50, Hinkley 6



Mt. Antero League

Regs Jesuit 32, Legacy 7

Westminster 50, Aurora Central 14

Mt. Cameron League

Columbine 35, Fairview 14

Northglenn 14, ThunderRidge 7

Mt. Elbert League

Cherry Creek 56, Fossil Ridge 7

Horizon 43, Prairie View 7

Mt. Evans League

Chaparral 35, Cherokee Trail 0

Mt. Lincoln League

Fountain-Fort Carson 31, Poudre 28

Valor Christian 44, Legend 7

Mt. Massive League

Doherty 29, Smoky Hill 14

Grandview 45, Boulder 6

Overland 47, Arapahoe 28

Mt. Wilson League

Arvada West 40, Rangeview 7

Eaglecrest 40, Rangeview 7

Ralston Valley 27, Castle View 0



Mt. Evans League

Pomona 62, Rock Canyon 21

Mt. Lincoln League

Highlands Ranch 35, Lakewood 28



Mullen outlasts Mountain Range 55-41 in league opener

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

WESTMINSTER – It probably wasn’t what was expected.

It took nearly 3 hours, there were 16 scores, not much defense and 917 combined yards from scrimmage, and certainly didn’t reflect a traditional power that won by 42 points a year ago against a newer program still trying to find itself.

As it was, Mullen ultimately got past host Mountain Range 55-41 on Thursday night at Adams 12 North Stadium, a Mt. Cameron League opener that was quite different from a year ago, when Class 5A opted for the so-called waterfall outlay and featured a weekly series of blowouts in the second half of the regular season.

Both teams are now 3-3 overall.

The lack of defense aside, Mullen played a lot of different players, two who provided unexpected attention. One was sophomore Damien Cearns, a transfer from Cherokee Trail in Aurora,. The running back scored twice in the second quarter – one rushing, the other receiving – provided another option and helped handle the load when senior Alonzo Moon went down with a knee injury.

The other was fullback Zach Krause, a 5-foot-9, 200-pounder who barreled his way to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Cearns, forced to sit out Mullen’s first five games per state-transfer rules, said “it went pretty good, but we’ve got some stuff to work on.”

Finally getting to play, he added, “was a lot of fun.”

Mullen’s big plays proved decisive. Mountain Range, which recently suffered through consecutive losing seasons. grabbed the lead a few times and kept trading punches, but Adrian Jackon’s 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Colorado State pledge A’Jon Vivens’ two scoring receptions were the kinds of plays that kept the points piling up.

Junior quarterback Dom DePizzol threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns, and was picked off twice, once that resulted in an 80-yard return for a score, and the Mullen running game generated 251 yards.

Some late pressure from the Mullen defensive front also helped to keep Mountain Range chasing and the gifted Jackson, bound for Oregon’s Ducks, also powered his way for two first downs on fake punts.

Mullen next gets Jefferson County’s Columbine in a week (Oct.12) at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood as it will be the team’s sixth road game in seven outings. In all, seven of Mullen’s regular season games will be away from Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De la Salle Stadium.



Mullen 7 19 15 14 – 55

Mountain Range 14 6 14 7 – 41


MR – Bryce Levinson 40 run (Tommy Widera kick), 9:04.

M – Adrian Jackson 92 kickoff return (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 8:48.

MR – Nicholes Arneson 24 pass from Evan Brodnik (Windera kick), 1:06.


M – Alonzo Moon 8 run (run failed), 9:17.

MR – FG Widera 26, 7:06.

M – Damien Cearns 3 run (pass failed), 3:56.

M – Cearns 22 pass from Dom DePizzol (Saurini kick), 0:42.

MR – FG Widera 32, 0:00.


MR – Levinson 80 int. return (Widera kick), 9:23.

M – A’Jon Vivens 27 pass from DePizzol (pass failed), 8:02.

M – Safety, Mountain Range snapped ball out of end zone, 6:40.

M – Vivens 65 pass from DePizzol (Saurini kick), 6:19.

MR – Ricky Valadez 56 pass from Brodnik (Widera kick), 2:06.


M – Zach Krause 1 run (Saurini kick), 11:57.

MR – Brodnik 4 run (Widera kick), 7:37.

M – Krause 1 run (Saurini kick), 3:35.



This Week in Mustang Football 10/5

Opponent: Mountain Range Mustangs

When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Where: Adams 12 North Stadium, behind Mountain Range High School, 12500 Huron St., Westminster, CO 80234

On the line: Both school mascots are Mustangs, so it’s the last time you’ll read that word in this report. It’s a Mt. Cameron League opener. Mullen is 2-3 and coming off a bye week. Mountain Range is 3-2 and has won two straight games, most recently a 28-7 decision over Douglas County in Week 5.

Recent history: Mullen won last year’s meeting 45-3. After going 9-2 in 2013, Mountain Range had consecutive 0-10 seasons, lost 21 games in a row and was 2-8 a year ago.

Key players: Mullen – Dominic DiPizzol, Jr., QB, 6-foot, 180 pounds; Wind Henderson, Jr., WR, 6-0, 150; Aidan Ikaika-Keenaaina, So., DL, 6-3, 283; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Alonzo Moon, Sr., RB, 5-10,180; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185; Mountain Range – Evan Brodnik, Jr., QB, 6-2, 180; Michael Fenton, Sr., C-DT, Bryce Levinson, Sr., RB-FS, 6-0, 185; Alec Van Horn, Sr., WR-FS, 6-2, 175.

What you may not know: All indications are this will be the final league meeting between the two programs. The Mt. Cameron, and the other six big-school leagues created through the so-called waterfall outlay are expected to end after the current two-year cycle is completed early in November. Popular conversation has a return to previous leagues in 2018 and possible sticklers involve where to place Valor Christian as well as Mullen, potentially in the Centennial or Jefferson County leagues.

Mountain Range head coach Kevin Donnalley on Mullen: “Gosh, Mountain Range kind of aspires to lay the foundation of building blocks and trying to build a program like Mullen has. It has been such a longstanding history of excellence there … we’re just trying to establish some foundational building blocks to have a program like that. We’re still going through the building process.”

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Class 5A football scores/Week 4


Doherty 24, Westminster 20

Legacy 16, Horizon 7

ThunderRidge 10, Rock Canyon 3


Bear Creek 36, Fossil Ridge 23

Bothell, Wash. 31, MULLEN 28

Chatfield 35, Columbine 14

Cherry Creek 40, Grandview 20

Douglas County 33, Northglenn 20

Eaglecrest 28, Cherokee Trail 14

Fountain-Fort Carson 23, Castle View 13

Mountain Range 37, Aurora Central 0

Mountain View 24, Arapahoe 21

Overland 42, Rangeview 21

Ralston Valley 35, East Bakersfield, Calif. 14

Valor Christian 34, Pomona 21


Arvada West 49, Smoky Hill 0

Boulder 26, Lakewood 19

Chaparral 21, Legend 13

Denver East 50, Hinkley 19

Fairview 68, Prairie View 0

Regis Jesuit 24, Highlands Ranch 0



Mustangs fall late in Bothell, Wash., drop to 2-3

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The wild ebb and flow of Mullen’s football year that has reached the halfway point of the regular season continued Friday night in the Great Northwest.

The Mustangs fell to host Bothell, Wash., 31-28 at Pop Feeney Stadium in another thriller, one on cable television as part of the ESPN High School Football Showcase. Mullen began the season by getting handled by the Class 5A runner-up and state champion from the past two years, enjoyed a wmemorable comeback against longtime-rival Regis Jesuit and waxed Westminster.

And, yes, draw comparisons to the game being a microcosm of sorts of the season. The Mustangs jumped out to a 14-0 lead, gave up 28 consecutive points, climbed back to tie it at 28, gave themselves a chance by holding the Cougars to a late field goal, then got to the Bothell 3-yard line in the closing minutes only to have it negated by a penalty.

This one had its moments. Bothell quarterback Jacob Sirmon, rated as high as the No. 2 pocket-passer nationally and a senior who has numerous offers, including from Alabama (he has pledged to Washington), was on display, throwing for more than 350 yards and three touchdowns, and running for another. And Mustangs senior running back Alonzo Moon had a whopping 40 carries for 197 yards and three touchdowns.

Mullen’s last gasp ended near the Bothell goal line. On fourth down and 32 yards to go, DePizzol’s pass was picked off at the 1, his third of the game. It came a few plays after Moon had rushed to the Cougars 3 for a first down, only to have it brought back on a holding penalty.

Ultimately, two other penalties on Cougars scoring drives also were detriments and Mullen benefitted from a series of injuries that seemed to soften the Bothell defensive front and help pave the way for Moon’s big night.

But Sirmon’s ability to throw on the run, and a big, two-way effort by wide receiver-defensive back Da’viscious Wilson were too difficult to overcome.

 Interestingly, Mullen had its way early, mainly behind its offensive front and Moon in addition to some key completions by DePizzol. The Mustangs scored the first two times they had the ball before Sirmon started to roll. By the third quarter, he had rushed for his TD and thrown scoring passes covering 31, 10 and 13 yards.

But as Mullen began to have success rushing, its defense also came alive, notably behind Adrian Jackson, sophomore Aidan Ikaika Kesanaaina, Cooper Johnson and Damien Quiroz. Plus, Wind Henderson contributed a couple of key receptions, including a 40-yarder on the scoring drive that tied it.

Mullen, which was to return to Colorado on Saturday, will have a bye in Week 5 after beginning its season in Zero Week. The Mustangs will open defense of their Mountain Cameron League title – they were 5-0 a year ago – at Mountain Range in Westminster on Oct. 5.



Mullen 14 0 7 7– 28

Bothell 7 14 7 3 – 31


M – A’Jon Vivens 7 pass from Dom DePizzol (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 10:01.

M – Alonzo Moon 3 run (Saurini kick), 5:31.

B – Jacob Sirmon 1 run (Kyler Parris kick), 3:46.


B – Riley Morrison 31 pass from Sirmon (Parris kick), 10:34.

B --  Da’viscious Wilson 10 pass from Sirmon (Parris kick), 4:32.


B – Christian Galvan 13 pass from Sirmon (Parris kick), 10:34.

M – Moon 6 run (Saurini kick), 2:53.


M – Moon 1 run (Saurini kick), 7:41.

B – FG Parris 31, 6:47.


Anatomy of an out-of-state trip – it’s not difficult to set up

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It was one of those things. Two high-school teams needed a football game.

+Never mind one is in Colorado and the other in Washington state.

So Mullen and Bothell got together, will play on Friday night at the Cougars home field, Pop Feeney Stadium (north of Seattle), at 8 p.m. MST, and it was that quick and simple to set up another out-of-state matchup that became popular in the late 1990s.

“They needed a game and so did we,” Mullen head coach Tom Thenell said.

Bothell had an opening on its schedule as its Northshore District unveiled a new school, North Creek. Mullen played Orange Lutheran, Calif., a year ago and was trying to fill a 10th game.

After a posting on a website, some browsing and a few phone calls, another Colorado team was headed to play out of state.

And the resemblance between the two programs is striking.

“They have a history of their quarterbacks being like ours, and the offenses and defenses are similar,” Thenell said. “They play the same style, the same way.”

The Cougars’ Jacob Sirmon is 6-foot-5, 229 pounds, has offers from the likes of Alabama and UCLA, has committed to Washington and in some circles is as high as the No. 2-rated pocket passer nationally. He also has thrown for 808 yards and seven touchdowns, and rushed for 99 yards and another score. Mullen QB Dom DePizzol has passed for 887 yards and 11 TDs.

There’s more. Through four Mustangs games, they have scored 110 points and allowed 141 – it’s 83 and 77 for the Cougars through three games -- so everyone should feel right at home.

Both teams have experience playing out of state. Thenell’s travels began when he was at Bear Creek and it included stops in Texas, Baltimore and California. The Cougars and head coach Tom Bainter have travelled to or faced teams from Idaho, Alaska, Oregon and California in addition to going across country and competing in Florida.

It’s a win-win situation for all, both coaches agree, pointing to taking a trip, facing an out-of-state opponent, making it feel like a bowl game, experiencing other areas, etc.

“We always look forward to playing somebody different and good,” Thenell said.

Bainter said he and his staff “believe in this and understand the benefits of it.”

In addition, the late matchup was so interesting that it was picked up by ESPNU for telecast.

“We kind of look throughout the country and had our eye on the Bothell quarterback because of his ranking,” said Robin Kelner, senior regional manager for the Paragon Marketing Group that books games for ESPN.

The first prep telecast in this regard was in 2003 and Kelner said his organization is always “looking for compelling interstate matchups.”

They also have dealt with Valor Christian, Kelner said, and “you guys in the Denver area have a good track record.”

The recruiting tie-in, he added, is large as well as appealing to viewers.

One of the differences for Mullen, Thenell said, will be the approach to the game, as in there will be no sightseeing or side trips as in years past.

“We’ll get in and get out,” he said.

Said Mustangs fullback Zach Krause: “We’re excited, but we know from our experience last year (a 49-33 loss to Orange Lutheran), it’s a business trip. We have to go out and take care of business. Not a lot of horse play this year, we’re going out Thursday afternoon and coming home Saturday.”


This Week in Mullen Football 9/22

Opponent: Bothell Cougars in Bothell, Wash., about a dozen miles north of Seattle on the north shore of Lake Washington.

When: Friday, 8 p.m. MST.

Where: Pop Keeney Stadium, Bothell, Wash.

Last week: Mullen had visiting Westminster under the mercy rule (a 40-point deficit results in a running clock) by halftime in a 41-16 victory in their home debut of the season. The Mustangs are 2-2. Bothell downed Skyline of Sammamish, Wash., 34-27. The Cougars are 2-1 overall and in the KingCo District. 

On the line: State honor will be relevant in a first-ever meeting. Plus, the programs, one parochial and one public, are said to be similar in terms of offensive approach. And having the game shown on ESPNU can’t hurt. The exposure is invaluable.

Recent history: Longer term, Mullen has been a big-school contender since Colorado’s expansion to 6A in 1990, also the freshman season of touted quarterback Ryan Clement. Five of the Mustangs’ titles have occurred since 1998. As for the Cougars, they won a Washington 4A title in 2014, finished second in 2006 and 2007, and made the state playoffs 16 times in 18 seasons under coach Tom Bainter.

Key players: Mullen – Dominic DiPizzol, Jr., QB, 6-foot, 180 pounds; Wind Henderson, Jr., WR, 6-0, 150 pounds; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Alonzo Moon, Sr., RB, 5-10,180; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185; Bothell – Christian Galvan, So., RB, 5-7, 178; Joey Inghram, Sr., LB, 6-1, 197; Darius Kubalanza, Jr., DB-WR, 6-0, 171; Jaelan Percival, Sr., LB, 6-1, 201; Jacob Sirmon, Sr., QB, 6-5, 229; Hunter Smith, Sr., OL-DL, 6-6, 273; Da’vicious Wilson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-3, 163.

What you may not know: Where have you heard this before? Bothell’s enrollment took a hit when the new North Creek High School was opened this school year in the Northshore District.

Bainter on the Mustangs: “Their history is great. They have great talent and are a well-coached private school. It should be a cool game.”

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin



5A football scores/Week 3



Doherty 63, Palmer 12



Arvada West 37, Boulder 17

Cherokee Trail 41, Overland 7

Columbine 50, Bear Creek 0

Eaglecrest 21, Grandview 14

Highlands Ranch 20, Chaparral 13

Horizon 28, Mountain Range 0

Lakewood 52, Hinkley 15

Legacy 38, Prairie View 0

Legend 42, Castle View 6

MULLEN 41, Westminster 16

Northglenn 22, FNE Warriors 7

Pomona 44, Ralston Valley 20

Poudre leads Fossil Ridge 31-6, 7:30 to play, ppd. lightning, school officials to decide on Monday to call it or complete it

Regis Jesuit 35, Rangeview 12

Rock Canyon 22, Denver East 21

Smoky Hill 27, Aurora Central 16

ThunderRidge 42, Mountain Vista 34



Cherry Creek 48, Arapahoe 31

Fairview 24, Rocky Mountain 6


Mustangs romp 41-16 over Westminster, level record at 2-2

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Everyone knew what was going on.

And everyone acted accordingly.

Mullen’s 41-16 victory over Westminster on Friday night at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium was as predictable as it was business-like when considering it was a recognized power against a program working diligently to stay competitive.

Mullen did its job by reaching the mercy rule by halftime, when it led 41-0, and Westminster handled its thing by playing hard and staying as competitive as it could.

And there were no complaints before or after by either side.

“Oh, we’ll show up,” Wolves coach Kerry Denison said prior to kickoff.

Said Mustangs head coach Tom Thenell: “Kerry’s a great guy and does a great job with those kids.”

Thenell also enjoyed the fact that the Wolves, now 0-3 this season and 1-12 over the past two after having four consecutive years of .500 or better, were able to score twice in the second half and his players who don’t ordinarily see any action got some under the lights after halftime.

Three previous matchups against the likes of Pomona, Valor Christian and Regis Jesuit that resulted n a couple of losses before a victory have helped the Mustangs develop some callous in terms of being prepared for anything and any team.

“One of the highs in the first half was we played good, but we didn’t play great,” Thenell added. “But we’ve been playing at a high level and it’s hard to match that … so, yes, I think we’re getting better and I think the kids sensed the fact that (the Wolves) don’t play at the level we had been playing. It’s just a fact.”

Fullback Zach Krause said “we were aware of them, but they’re still a team we have to compete against. We prepared for them the same, we could have lost. We’re all aware there are trap games like this after three big games. We practiced hard, we saw how we could handle failure … now, this week we had to handle success.”

On a night that included Mullen’s first home game of the season as well as the debut of its new scoreboard, quarterback Dom DePizzol threw four touchdown passes, three to A’Jon Vivens; the Mustangs took advantage of multiple Wolves turnovers; and Krause and Alonzo Moon added rushing scores.

“It was just like every other week for us,” DePizzol said. “We have things we definitely need to work on, so we have a lot to get better about. The first three weeks kind of built us to this. We can only become a better team.”

Said Thenell: “It’s part of learning how to handle success as well as failure. Teaching kids to handle success is every bit as important as handling the failure.”

Next for the Mustangs is a trip to the Northwest, where they will visit the Bothell Cougars in Washington on Sept. 22.



Westminster 0 0 8 8 -- 16

Mullen       13 28 0 0 -- 41


M – Alonzo Moon 4 run (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 8:44.

M – A’Jon Vivens 8 pass from Dom DePizzol (kick failed), 7:02.


M – Vivens 34 pass from DePizzol (Saurini kick), 8:38.

M – Wind Henderson 50 pass from DePizzol (Saurini kick), 3:21.

M – Zach Krause 3 run (Saurini kick), 1:47.

M – Vivens 2 pass from DePizzol (Saurini kick), 0:30.


W – Joe Quinones 1 run (Quinones run), 3:56. 


W – Quinones 3 run (Nic Lopez run), 6:22.


 This Week in Mullen Football 9/15

Opponent: Westminster Wolves, Adams County School District 50

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium, Mullen High, 3601 S. Lowell Blvd. Denver CO 80236

Last week: The Wolves dropped to 0-2 in a 31-14 setback to Parker’s Legend. Westminster also fell 28-0 to Loveland in Week 1. As for Mullen, its 40-39 victory in Aurora at parochial-rival Regis Jesuit was thrilling and in many ways. The Mustangs rallied from a 39-26 deficit in the final 2-plus minutes. They scored the winning touchdown and conversion kick with 2 seconds to play. Dom DePizzol threw six TD passes. Wind Henderson caught four of them. And the Mustangs, after losing to Pomona and Valor Christian, took down a Class 5A power, which was large from a mental standpoint.

On the line: It’s nonleague, of course, as big schools will have five weeks of it before the last of the waterfall-league layout begins. It’s also Mullen’s home opener – the Mustangs will have only three during the regular season – and get ready for the debut of the new scoreboard and all of its bells and whistles.

Recent history: Head-to-head, Mullen won last year’s meeting 41-0. The Wolves were 1-9 in 2016, the only victory coming over 4A Aurora Central.

Key players: Mullen – Dominic DiPizzol, Jr., QB, 6-feet, 180; Wind Henderson, Jr., Wr, 6-0, 150; Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-3, 210; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Damien Quieroz, Sr., LB, 6-0, 230; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185; Westminster – Matt Harris, Jr., DB, 5-8, 140; Nic Lopez, Jr., QB, 5-10, 160; Tanner Sisco, Jr., OLB, 5-8, 160.

What you may not know: From 2011-15, Westminster enjoyed four winning seasons and the one exception was 5-5 in 2012. And DePizzol’s six TD tosses last week occurred on only 18 completions.

Westminster head coach Kerry Denison on the Mustangs: “They’re a good football team. Like I said, we’ll play the game, we don’t mind battling. (The Mustangs) play hard, they’ve got good speed, got good wide receivers and they threw the heck out of the ball. Defensively, I’m shocked, I thought they played well in the first quarter and a half against Pomona. Against Valor, you just never know. But they’ve got team speed and they’re big as usual, their lines are big. Defensively, they’re better than what it shows.”

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Football/Class 5A Week 2 scores


(All are nonleague)


Arvada West 30, Mountain Range 20

Cherokee Trail 33, Denver East 0

Horizon 40, Overland 0

Lakewood 28, Bear Creek 14

Mountain Vista 52, Rangeview 24

Poudre 45, Fort Collins 19


Arapahoe 28, Heritage 13

Chaparral 56, Prairie View 0

Cherry Creek 34, Doherty 27

Eaglecrest 38, ThunderRidge 13

Fairview 57, Boulder 20

Garden City, Kan., 16, Castle View 7

Grandview 34, Legacy 0

Hinkley 28, Thornton 18

Legend 31, Westminster 14

MULLEN 40, Regis Jesuit 39

Northglenn 31, Aurora Central 24

Pomona 42, Fountain-Fort Carson 7

Ponderosa 44, Douglas County 0

Rocky Mountain 30, Fossil Ridge 0

Valor Christian 26, Greater Atlanta Christian 22


Rock Canyon 41, Smoky Hill 7



40-39 thriller over Regis Jesuit one for the annals

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA --- Maybe the old-timers who have watched this state’s parochial-member football for decades have seen better games and finishes than what transpired on a glorious Colorado Friday night at a crowded Lou Kellogg Stadium.

Then again, maybe not.

This one was lots of things. Crazy. Wonderful. Heart-breaking. Wild. Gut-wrenching. Peculiar. And definitely worth watching to the end.

By virtue of a comeback that probably will be talked about for some time, the latest entry into the Mullen-Regis Jesuit annals was prominent. The Mustangs used a 26-point fourth quarter and scored the winning points with 2 seconds to play to escape with a 40-39 thriller in Class 5A nonleague.

In nabbing its first victory of the season – they are now 1-2 – the Mustangs not only staved off their longtime rival, but they may have saved their season from a psychological standpoint as well justified their presence among Colorado’s elite. They were coming off losses to two-time 5A champion Valor Christian and two-time runner-up Pomona.

Beating Regis Jesuit (1-1) also was large in that the Raiders were fresh from handling perennial power Cherry Creek.

Add it up and Mullen answered the bell when it mattered, and did so in dramatic fashion.

“You’ve seen a lot of my games like this,” Mustangs head coach Tom Thenell said.

A relieved A’Jon Vivens, a Mustangs senior, said “It’s all about the ‘W’, baby.”

As for how they got the ‘W’ … well, this one was fairly complete with about everything that can happen in football this side of a safety.

For Mullen, quarterback Dom DePizzol threw six touchdown passes, four in the fourth quarter and four to Wind Henderson, which, of course, meant the Raiders had trouble adjusting to The Wind. Plus, DePizzol was picked off three times, once in the end zone. The Mustangs gave it over on downs twice and lost two fumbles, one that was returned 76 yards for a touchdown. They also never led until the final 2 seconds. And the winning point was scored by place-kicker Vincenzo Saurini, who had his first two attempts blocked, including one in the fourth quarter.

Not to be outdone, Regis Jesuit looked terrific for much of the game, answered whenever Mullen made a move, ran the ball well, fared very well up front and rode the hot passing of Justin Lamb. However, the Raiders also fumbled when it had a chance to run out the clock, threw an incompletion on a key third down late that stopped the clock when they wanted it to run, collapsed late defensively and failed to cover the key onside kick. In addition, they had difficulty finishing drives by coming away with field-goal attempts three times. And the personal-foul and pass-interference penalties were killer, as they helped make Mullen’s last gasp a reality.

“These kids didn’t quit,” Thenell said.

The Mustangs appeared to have their rallying hopes blow up when Vivens fumbled and the Raiders returned it 76 yards for a touchdown (but missed the conversion kick) with 2:56 to play and a 39-33 lead. It seemed even worse when the Mustangs quickly drove deep into Raiders territory and DePizzol was intercepted in the end zone with less than 2 minutes to play.

But the Raiders coughed up a fumbled and DePizzol connected with sophomore Jason Franco with 51 seconds remaining to get within a touchdown. And they didn’t respond well to Mullen’s onside-kick attempt on their left side. The recovery was followed by a mix of a few runs with shorter passes that brought the Mustangs to the Regis 7-yard line on fourth down. DePizzol found running back Alonzo Moon open on the right side to tie it at 39.

Saurini made the conversion kick and all Mullen had to do was cover the kickoff. It did and the pandemonium that follows great prep finishes occurred.

 “This feels good,” Vivens said. “And Wind was phenomenal.”

Said Thenell: “Ya think? … All I know is, we had one play and Zach (his son, an assistant) called it and there it is, baby.”

Henderson caught scoring passes of 52, 6, 61 and 35 yards.

”I see the opportunities and just go for them,” he said. “It has been tough for us, but we just have to keep grinding.”

Saurini refused to blink when he found himself with a chance to win the game with a final kick.

“I just wanted to get it up and through,” he said.

And Moon, who spent most of his first three years being patient and awaiting his turn, seems to be taking full advantage of his chance.

“This was crazy,” said Moon, adding he also was relieved. “I knew I was open from the start, but give all the props to the line. Things just finally clicked tonight and we got the ‘dub’.”


Mullen – 0 6 8 26 -- 40

Regis Jesuit – 13 7 6 13 -- 39


RJ – FG Pierce Thrasher 25, 10:17.

RJ – Jake Heimlicher 16 pass from Justin Lamb (Thrasher kick), 3:38.

RJ – FG Thrasher 36, 3:38.


M – Wind Henderson 52 pass from Dom DePizzol (kick blocked), 6:22.

RJ – Aubrey Marchel-Parker 16 pass from Lamb (Thrasher kick), 0:28.


M – Henderson 6 pass from DePizzol (Moon run), 7:05.

RJ – Kiahn Martinez 5 run (run failed), 3:20.


RJ – Heimlicher 10 pass from Lamb (Thrasher kick), 7:52.

M – Henderson 61 pass from DePizzol (pass failed), 7:38.

M – Henderson 35 pass from DePizzol (kick blocked), 5:03.

RJ – Geno Macias 76 fumble return (kick failed), 2:56.

M – Jason Franco 11 pass from DePizzol (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 0:51.

M – Moon 6 pass from DePizzol (Saurini kick), 0:02.






Arvada West 30, Mountain Range 20

Cherokee Trail 33, Denver East 0

Horizon 40, Overland 0

Lakewood 28, Bear Creek 14

Mountain Vista 52, Rangeview 24

Poudre 45, Fort Collins 19


This Week in Mustang Football 9/8

Opponent: Regis Jesuit Raiders, Aurora, member of the Class 5A Mt. Antero League.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Lou Kellogg Stadium, 6400 S. Lewiston Way, Aurora, CO 80016.

Last week: Mullen dropped to 0-2 after falling 34-7 to two-time defending Class 5A state champion Valor Christian. The Mustangs also lost in Zero Week to two-time 5A runner-up Pomona by 52-22. As for the Raiders, they looked good in downing perennial power Cherry Creek 25-20 in their season opener at home.

On the line: It’s nonleague and another chapter in one of the state’s oldest – and most-followed -- parochial rivalries. It’s Mullen vs. Regis Jesuit. Serious feeling will be involved. It’s that simple.

Recent history: Since meeting in the 2010 5A title at the Broncos home field – Mullen won 37-6 for its third straight title and went on to win 34 consecutive games – the Raiders have taken three of the five meetings. Mullen won a year ago, 17-0. Since the beginning of 2011, Regis Jesuit is an impressive 50-20. Mullen is 38-30.

Key players: Mullen – Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Dominic DePizzol, Jr., QB, 6-0, 180; Alonzo Moon, Sr., RB 5-10, 170; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185; Regis Jesuit – Ben Hecht, Sr., LB, 6-0, 205; Jake Heimlicher, Sr., DE, 6-4, 215; Justin Lamb, Sr., QB, 6-5, 185; Kiahn Martinez, Jr., RB, 5-9, 175; Tama Tuitele, Sr., LB, 6-1, 230.

What you may not know: It’s the third consecutive road game for the Mustangs, who have only three home games during the regular season.

Regis Jesuit head coach Danny Filleman on the Mustangs: “Up front, they have got some athletes and I know they will be hungry .. being 0-2, they’re not an easy 0-2 team. They will be tough. And, absolutely, there’s a lot of history, being the Catholic schools here. It’s pretty special and there’s a lot of mutual respect. Both teams have had their fair share of runs and it’s a fun time for everyone.”

---- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin

Nothing junior about football program’s relief gift

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The final score was Mullen 41, Valor Christian 0, but neither number came close to being the most-important the past Saturday.

The Mustangs’ victory over the Eagles in junior-varsity football paid major dividends, most notably a contribution to the victims in the Houston area of Hurricane Harvey. A total of $679 from concessions and donations from the stands during the game was raised and will be transferred to a relief fund in the area.

Mike Marcoux, president of Mullen’s End Zone Club, said wife Sue came up with the idea. After it was cleared through Mustangs head coach Ton Thenell and his assistants, the generosity began.

“I think it’s cool,” Mike Marcoux said.

Thenell said he was all for it “and this is the kind of stuff (the End Zone Club) should be doing.”

After some research, it was decided to have the school’s business office send a check to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese pf Galveston-Houston. Below is the organization’s information.

The website is:

To offer a gift by mail, send a check to Catholic Charities
of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, 2900 Louisiana Street,
Houston, Texas 77006.

To make a gift by telephone, it’s 713-874-6654.



Mustangs fall to 0-2, lose 34-7 at Valor Christian

 By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

HIGHLANDS RANCH – There was a similar disparity on the scoreboard, but the overall result was quite different.

Indeed, Mullen was handled by host Valor Christian, the two-time defending Class 5A state champion, on Friday night in nonleague, losing 34-7, but the Mustangs left the nearly packed stadium with a crowd that was estimated at more than 5,000 feeling better than the previous week.

A 52-22 whipping at the hands of Pomona in Zero Week was ridiculous in many ways. At least, the Mustangs’ most-recent setback, which dropped them to 0-2, came with improved effort and play, as well as the feeling that they competed.

“We don’t know how to overcome our mistakes very well yet,” Mustangs coach Tom Thenell said. “Then we had some awkward moments. (But) we had a bunch of positive stuff and we’re playing the best teams in the state right out of the box. It will make us better and that’s what we’re counting on.”

It was Valor’s first victory over the Mustangs. Mullen had entered the game 2-0 against the Eagles, the only in-state program to have a winning record over multiple games against them.

For the second consecutive week, Mullen gave up a string of points that decided the game. Last week, it was 31 in a row. On Friday, it was actually 34.

Still, Mullen had its chances. The Mustangs had the ball for 16 minutes in the first half, moving the ball on three drives. And Colorado State-bound A’Jon Vivens had a large first half, connecting with quarterback Dom DePizzol for five receptions for 113 yards, most of them of the acrobatic variety.

But they trailed 21-7 heading into the third quarter as Valor’s Luke McCaffrey, a junior and the last of four very talented brothers, came alive. The Eagles, now 2-0, also were without University of Colorado pledge Blake Stenstrom, who suffered a concussion last week in a victory over Faith Lutheran of Nevada, but no problem – McCaffrey ran for two touchdowns, the first on a 61-yard bolt on an option play (a newer wrinkle for Valor) that tied it at 7 on the final play of the first quarter.

McCaffrey probably could have had three TDs, but after his helmet was ripped off on a play near the goal about 3 minutes before halftime, Valor third-string quarterback Cole Bott came in and scored on a 1-yard plunge that gave the Eagles the lead for good.

When Valor squeezed out a scoring drive from its own 16-yard line that began 1:26 before halftime, its 21-7 bulge seemed difficult to understand ... and handle. Mullen, which also missed an early field goal, couldn’t generate any more scoring opportunities and the Eagles front lines held various levels of control.

“Kids graduate and new guys come in,” Thenell said. “We thought we could control the football and make some plays. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough points ... we’re getting better, maybe it’s who we’re playing. There are a lot of 2-0 teams out there now who haven’t played anybody yet.

“We’re trying to make our guys pay for their mistakes and improve and get better. Right now, we’re paying for our mistakes.”

Sad Vivens: “We’ve got to focus on putting it (in the end zone) and finishing the drive. That starts in practice.”

Eagles coach Rod Sherman said he was “proud of our guys” for hanging in there early. He sensed they could have been in trouble after a few series, but instead settled in and took command. He added he was “surprised” the Eagles fared as well as they did on the perimeter against the Mullen defense and his “greatest joy, I thought, was how we played on the offensive and defensive lines. We started slow and I think the option game got us going.”

 It gets no easier for Mullen, which will be at Regis Jesuit in Aurora in a week. The raiders are coming off a 25-20 victory over Cherry Creek.

Vivens makes no apologies or wants any change from the demanding schedule.

‘This is something that we want,” he said. “We want to play these teams. play the best teams, and we will continue to do that.”



Mullen ………………………..7 0 0 0 -- 7

Valor Christian ………7 14 10 3 -- 31


M – Wind Henderson 8 pass from Dom DePizzol (Vincenzo Saurini kick), 0:53.

VC – Luke McCaffrey 61 run (Brian Brogan kick), 0:00


VC – Cole Bott 1 run (Brogan kick), 3:33.

VC – Joshia Davis 2 run (Brogan kick), 0:03.


VC – McCaffrey 1 run (Brogan kick), 8:01.

VC – FG Brogan 32, 4:27.


VC – FG Brogan 32, 4:50.



This Week in Mustang Football 9/1

Opponent: Valor Christian Eagles, located in Douglas County

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Valor Christian Stadium, 3775 E. Grace Blvd., Highlands Ranch

Last week: Both teams opened in Zero Week. The Eagles downed Faith Lutheran, Nev., 30-21; Mullen fell 52-22 to Pomona.

On the line: A Week 1 nonleague matchup between teams in hot pursuit of a state title. In the second year of the so-called waterfall outlay – it’s expected to go away next season – big-school powers in the know regularly seek out the toughest competition they can find. Such is the case here. It’s Class 5A nonleague. Plus, these kinds of games are always a draw. It will be televised by Altitude.

Recent history: Valor has won seven titles in eight years over three classes, including the past two in 5A. So, yes, they have been, are, and probably will continue to be the team to beat. However, here’s an interesting fact to know and share – Mullen is 2-0 against the Eagles. No other team can state that. “I know we haven’t beaten them,” Valor coach Rod Sherman said. “They physically outplayed us in both games.”

Key players: Mullen – Adrian Jackson, Sr., S-WR, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds; Florian McCann III, Sr., T, 6-5, 275; Alonzo Moon, Sr., RB 5-10, 170; Dominic DePizzol, Jr., QB, 6-0, 180; A’Jon Vivens, Sr., WR-DB, 6-0, 185; Valor Christian – Joshia Davis, Jr., RB-DB, 6-0, 190; Luke McCaffrey, Jr., QB-WR, 6-2, 180; Roger Rosengarten, So., DL, 6-7, 250; Blake Stenstrom, Sr., QB, 6-3, 200; Trevor Szilagyi, Sr., DE, 6-4, 250.

What you may not know: Stenstrom suffered a concussion last week, but is doing very well. The University of Colorado pledge, who took about a quarter of the snaps a year ago even while backing up Dylan McCaffrey, remains a possibility to play. If not, the Mustangs will see the final McCaffrey under center. Plus, the Eagles had a 99-yard scoring drive last week.

Sherman on the Mustangs: “Both offensively and defensively, (the Mustangs) are very stout at the line of scrimmage. They have really good size up front. Defensively, they might be the biggest team in the state across the front. I was pretty surprised with their score last week. Mullen, (Cherry) Creek and Pomona are by far the most athletic teams in the state and I think they have a nice roster.”

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin


Mullen to be on two Altitude telecasts

On Wednesday, Altitude announced the 11th season of its high-school football game of the week. And Mullen will be featured on two of the eight telecasts, both road games, the first this Friday (Sept. 1).

The Mustangs will be at two-time defending Class 5A state champion Valor Christian at 7 p.m. Their second televised game will be Oct. 12 against Columbine, 7:30 p.m., at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.

Friday’s game will be nonleague; the Oct. 12 game will be in the Mt. Cameron League. The Mustangs are 0-1 after losing in Zero Week to Pomona by 52-22.

“We are proud to offer a great lineup of high-school football programming to fans and families,” said Ken Miller, executive vice president and general manager/executive producer of Altitude. “… and we look forward to showcasing the student-athlete’s dedication, team work and passion for the sport.”

The telecasts began last week, when Valor hosted Faith Lutheran of Nevada. The Eagles won 30-21. Also look for another round of Valor-Pomona, a rematch of programs in the past two title games; Cherry Creek-Valor Sept. 29; and a couple of doubleheaders, including the Mullen-Columbine matchup.

A full list of channels is at

--- Neil H. Devlin


Pomona whips Mustangs in Zero Week opener

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

ARVADA -- What else could have gone wrong?

Probably not much.

In a Zero Week opener on a glorious late-August night at the North Area Athletic Complex, Pomona erupted and routed Mullen 52-22 in a Class 5A nonleague matchup that drew lots of interest to get the 2017 season going.

The Panthers’ Ryan Marquez had a large night adeptly running the offense, completing passes and scrambling, and junior running back Therious Robison had his own personal coming-out party of sports, piling up four touchdown runs.

Even Pomona head coach Jay Madden was a bit taken back by the sizeable difference in the outcome.

“Yeah, it was a good one,” he said. “I knew we could do the stuff throwing the ball and moving the ball with Ryan, but no one knew that Therious was going to go off like that. He has shown it in practice against the scout team … (but) you don’t know.”

Mullen actually led twice early, by 7-0 and 14-7, but the Panthers went on a 31-point binge that all but settled it.

Mustangs senior A’Jon Vivens, like the rest of his teammates, had a look of being stunned and disappointed on his face, but knew he had to face up to a waxing.

“Yeah, you know, things happen sometimes and at this point we’ve just got to focus on working hard and bouncing back,” the two-way back said. “And I know we can do that.”

Robison, a junior, scored on runs of 69, 18, 1 and 34 yards. Marquez, a senior, threw for three TDs, each to a different receiver. Plus, Max Borghi, the speedy, talented running back who first committed to the University of Colorado before switching to Washington State, didn’t see any action. Madden said he decided to rest Borghi, who’s returning from knee surgery. The Panthers will be idle in Week 1.

Senior Alonzo Moon, in his first start as the Mustangs’ regular ball-carrier, scored two of the game’s first three TDs, both in the first quarter that served as bright spots.

However, Mullen’s laundry list of miscues and problems was considerable. Missed tackles were near the top of the defensive woes as was questionable coverage of Panthers’ receivers. The Mustangs also lost three interceptions, had a fake punt net minus-4 yards and were spotty up front on both sides.

“We just made mistakes,” Vivens said. “We have to learn from them and at this point we’ve just got to focus on working hard and bouncing back. I know we can do that.”

Next up for Mullen, which has only three home games during the regular season – a Friday meeting at Valor Christian, the two-time defending 5A champion and winner of seven titles over eight seasons and three classes.


Mullen – 14 0 8 0 -- 22

Pomona – 7 24 7 14 -- 52


M – Moon 5 run (Saurini kick), 8:25.

P – Muller 24 pass from Marquez (Mallory kick), 6:55.

M – Moon 1 run (Saurini kick), 0:10.


P – Robison 69 run (Mallory kick), 9:25.

P – Robison 18 run (Mallory kick), 4:32.

P – Govan 23 pass from Marquez (Mallory kick), 2:26.

P – FG Mallory 36, 0:00.


P – Pospisil 34 pass from Marquez (Mallory kick), 10:33.

M – Moon 2 run (Moon run), 3:40.


P – Robison 1 run (Mallory kick), 10:44.

P – Robison 34 run (Mallory kick), 9:20.


Experienced Mullen footballers ready to rock

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

(Sixth in a series of fall previews for the Mustangs.)

This season’s Mullen Mustangs appear to be a direct reflection of head coach Tom Thenell.

And it could be a very, very good thing.

“This is a typical team of mine,” the coach said. “We’re kind of a little more blue-collar-ish that plays into our strengths and yet we have good ability. We have some playmaker guys and it’s up to me to get them the ball in the right places.”

The Mustangs are coming off a 9-3 2016 in which they won six consecutive games before falling at home to rival Cherry Creek in the Class 5A quarterfinals. They also ran through the new Mt. Cameron League at 5-0 and outscored their new and unusual opposition (Columbine, Fairview, Mountain Range, Northglenn and ThunderRidge) by a combined 200-95. Still, it was viewed as the toughest of the new leagues by far in the waterfall makeover for big schools. And there is expected to be a return to more traditional leagues in 2018.

Some 15 starters, including eight on offense, return for Mullen and 27 seniors highlight the roster.

Three to date have committed to Division I programs, two locally. Tops is the very gifted Adrian Jackson, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder who will contribute at safety and wide receiver … or linebacker or wherever else Thenell assigns him. Also a member of the Mustangs’ spring squad in track, Jackson has pledged to Oregon.

A’Jon Vivens (6-0, 185), who’ll play at wide receiver and defensive back, and Florian McCann III (6-5, 275), a tackle, both are headed to Colorado State and are being counted on heavily to handle the leadership load.

They’ll have help, potentially lots of it. Offensively, Dominic DiPizzol, who stepped in and played well at quarterback to replace an injured Jovan Tafoya the past season before going down himself, is ready to go for his junior season. A year ago, he threw for 934 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions over five games. Plus, senior Alonzo Moon is getting his chance to handle the load at running back.

Up front, Broc Langren is staring at his fourth season and center Ivan Rodriguez is in his third year as the starter. Wind Henderson, a junior, is ready to rock at wide receiver as is senior Jake Bielat, who plays at virtually all ball-handling positions, including returner.

On defense, Nathan Dietrick (6-0, 230) returns for his fourth year as a starter on the line. So does Ty Mitchell (6-0, 225). Four seniors are at linebacker – Henry Haen (6-0, 220), Damien Quiroz (6-1, 235), Cooper Johnson (6-0, 210) and Zack Krause (5-9, 200), who’ll also see time at fullback.

“Both our size and speed should be above average,” Thenell said, noting that many of this year’s linemen have slimmed down and should offer more athleticism. “And we should be mature.”

Once again, Mullen will have a demanding nonleague schedule before heading into the Mt. Cameron. The Mustangs will open with Pomona on Friday (Aug. 25) at the NAAC; be at two-time defending state champion Valor Christian on Sept. 1; travel to Aurora on Sept. 8 at rival Regis Jesuit; and take a trip to Bothell, Wash., on Sept. 22.

The Mustangs will have only three home games in the regular season, which ends on Nov. 4.

As for playoffs, the preliminaries will begin Nov. 11. Once again, the championship game will be Dec. 2 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.



By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Truth be told, Adrian Jackson has had Oregon on his recruiting radar since he was a youth.

So when the Ducks started to make a serious pitch for Mullen’s gifted outside linebacker/safety, it was a done deal. A couple of weeks ago, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Jackson gave a verbal commitment to the Ducks, one of the few in-staters for the 2017 season who has declared. “I basically had them as my No. 1 since they started recruiting me,” Jackson said of the Ducks before track practice on Tuesday. “ I definitely had to go up there on a trip.” Jackson also got to view the Oregon spring game as well as the campus and facilities and said, “Yes, this is the place I want to be, so I decided to commit.”

Impressive physically, Jackson also runs an 11.05-second 100 meters and has been nominated by Mustangs head coach Tom Thenell, who calls Jackson the top returning defender in Colorado, for the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. It would put Jackson within the top 100 players nationally and Thenell said he’s there.

“His talent, competitiveness and desire to be great the characteristics that set him apart from his peers,” Thenell said of Jackson. In addition, the longtime in-state coach said Jackson “has a fun personality, he does still have some innocence to him.”  Calling his commitment “rock solid,” yet aware that other schools will continue to recruit him, Jackson acknowledged Colorado and Colorado State still entertain interest and said he will take remaining recruiting trips to be sure.  Getting out of Colorado “and trying new things,” he said, also was a huge factor in settling on the Ducks.

Jackson’s major will be sports management and said he continues to work hard in the class room.  The Mustangs were 9-3 a year ago in Class 5A the work toward his senior season has been ongoing. I’m excited,” he said.


2016-2017 Football Schedule - MaxPreps

Mustangs in the News

-Suffocating defense helps Mullen football shut out Regis 17-0
-Mullen inches back to former perennial prep football power status
-Defensive Back Christian Cumber Sets Official Visits to Michigan State and Wisconsin 
Mullen Football is All Real
-JK Mullen is back huh?, huh!?






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Poms activity under new head coach Carrol Christmann D'Elia
Thursday, May 03, 2018


New information for poms:



Wednesday May 16, 4-6 p.m.,  Hutchison Gym

Thursday May 17, 4-6, Hutchison Gym




Wednesday May 16, immediately following the clinic.




Saturday, May 19, 9-11, Hutchison Gym


Spring has sprung: Mullen set for Season No. 3
Monday, February 26, 2018

There’s still snow on the ground throughout much of Colorado, so it can only mean one thing concerning high schools – the spring sports season is here.

Mullen will join hundreds of in-state schools in opening preseason practice on Monday, Feb. 26.

The third of three sports seasons in the school year includes seven sports and the Mustangs will field entries in all of them – baseball, girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, boys swimming and diving, girls tennis, and boys and girls track and field.

There will be three new head coaches for the Mustangs – Jim Alexander in baseball, Melynda Brown in girls lacrosse and Ashley Tait in girls golf.

Weather permitting, girls golf and girls tennis may open competition on Thursday, March 1. All others are slated to open on Thursday, March 8.

Below is a spring schedule outline for Mustangs by sport:

Baseball: Regular season runs through May 8; 5A districts to be completed, May 12; 5A Championship Series, May 18-19 and May 25-26, All-City Field.

Girls golf: Regular season runs through May 4; regionals to be completed by May 11; 3A state championship, Elmwood Golf Course, Pueblo, May 21-22.

Boys lacrosse: Regular season runs through May 5; 5A boys lacrosse playoffs, May 10-May 18, final at Mile High Stadium.

Girls lacrosse: Regular season runs through May 5; playoffs May 9-23, final at University of Denver.

Girls soccer: Regular season runs through May 5; 4A playoffs May 8-23, final at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Boys swimming and diving: Regular season runs through May 12; 4A championships, May 18-19, U.S. Air Force Academy.

Girls tennis: Regular season runs through April 27; regionals to be completed by May 5; 4A state championships, May 10-12, Pueblo City Park.

Boys and girls track and field: Regular season runs through May 12; 4A state championship May, 17-19, Jefferson County Stadium.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Maddi Lane to receive rugby award from Sportswomen of Colorado
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

It’s a busy time for Maddi Lane.

The senior at Mullen is on the mend from suffering three concussions. She’s training to keep up her rugby skills. She’s dealing with keeping her grade-point average above a 4.0. She’s headed out of state to visit some college campuses.

And she won an award from Sportswomen of Colorado.

Lane will receive the rugby award from the organization that annually highlights female athletics. She will join other winners in the 44th annual awards program on Sunday, March 11.

“I’m nervous and I didn’t know what to expect,” Lane said in commenting on her application being sent in, then recognized. “I didn’t think I would win it.”

Lane, whose mother, Karen, is an administrative assistant in Mustangs athletics, played for the West Side Swarm Club team the past fall that finished second in Colorado. She said she’s “not sure if I’ll play this spring. The plan right now is to lay low. I’ve gotten the three concussions within the past year and I really want to play in college. I’m just trying to take a recovery break.”

Her spring team is the Rocky Mountain Rebels and her primary positon is scrum-half.

As for colleges, Lane said, “I’m kind of all over.” Academic-wise, she said, her applications to Montana State and St. Mary’s, Calif., have been submitted. She’s also accepted at Long Island University-Post and Kutztown, Pa., and both have offered. She’ll also be checking out Queens in Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m looking east for rugby,” Lane said. “It’s more dominant on the East Coast … I just don’t know if I want to be that far away.”

If not, she also has applied to Regis Jesuit. Her GPA is 4.1 and remains undecided on a major, although international studies is an option “to help people.”

The banquet will take place at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. Susie Wargin and Marcia Neville will handle the microphones. Sportswomen received a record number of nominations and will present 57 awards, plus the Sportswoman of the Year. More information at



Michaela Onyenwere - Basketball - High School (Grandview High School) 

Kennedy Leonard - Basketball - College (University of Colorado) 

Elizabeth Constien - Cross Country - High School (Battle Mountain High School) 

Dani Jones - Cross Country - College (University of Colorado) 

Julie Lyons - Cycling (Greenwood Village, CO) 

Jennifer Valente - Cycling - Track (Colorado Springs, CO)

Sally Ann Foscha - Barrel Racing (Calhan, CO)

Kristina Matthews - Equestrian - Hunter/Jumper - (Denver, CO)

Emma Domich - Field Hockey - High School (Kent Denver School) 

Hailey Schalk - Golf - High School (Holy Family High School)

Mary Weinstein - Golf - College (Regis Jesuit High School) 

Kaylie Berens - Gymnastics - High School (Pomona High School) 

Meilan Haberi - Ice Hockey (Air Academy High School) 

Beth Goralski - Ice Climbing (Gypsum, CO)

Liz Anderson and Hailey Roberts - Competitive Jump Roping (Denver, CO)

Bridget Sutter - Lacrosse - High School (Colorado Academy) 

Sarah Brown - Lacrosse - College (University of Colorado)

Becky Wade - Marathon (Louisville, CO) 

Madison Lane - Rugby (Mullen High School)

Libby James - Running - Masters (Fort Collins, CO)

Carson Saabye - Shooting Sports - Air Pistol (USA Shooting/Palmer Ridge High School) 

Petra Hynčicová - Skiing - Nordic - College (University of Colorado) 

Stacy Gaskill - Snowboard - Freeride (Golden, CO)  

Lindsay Horan - Soccer - Professional (Portland Thorns (NWSL), USWNT) 

Haley Schueppert- Soccer - High School (Mountain Vista High School) 

Jalen Tompkins - Soccer - College - DI (University of Colorado)

Emily Garnier - Soccer - College - DII (Colorado School of Mines) 

Kaley Wilson - Softball - High School (Eaglecrest High School) 

Haley Hutton - Softball - College (Colorado State University)

Zoe Bartel - Swimming - High School (Fossil Ridge High School) 

Bailey Andison - Swimming - College (University of Denver) 

Kathy Garnier - Swimming - Masters (Littleton, CO)

Sarah Thomas - Swimming - Open Water - Marathon (Conifer, Colorado)

Ky Ecton - Tennis - High School (Poudre High School) 

Samantha Martinelli - Tennis (Denver, Colorado) 

Maya Evans - Track & Field (Field - Jumps) - High School (Lutheran High School) 

Arria Minor - Track & Field (Track - Sprints) - High School (Denver East High School) 

Brie Oakley - Track & Field (Track - Distance) - High School (Grandview High School)  

Mel Heri - Track and Field - Field (Chadron State College)

Alija Konieczek - Track and Field - Track (Western State University)

Joanne Marriott - Track and Field - Field - Masters (Arvada, CO)

Rose Namajunas - UFC - Professional (Denver, CO) 

Courtney Dauwalter - Ultra Distance Running (Golden, Colorado) 

Keely Davis - Volleyball - High School (Rock Canyon High School) 

Alexa Smith - Volleyball - College (University of Colorado)

Soliel Gaylord - All-Around - Telluride High School/USA Mountain Running (Telluride, Colorado)

Jim Turgeon - Coach of the Year - College (Colorado State University - Pueblo - Basketball) 

Mary Mosher-Stathes - Empowerment (Rosie's Ranch - Englewood, CO) 

Joy Rondeau- Inspiration (Grand County, CO) 

Caryn Jarocki - Milestone (Highlands Ranch High School)

Abby Farrell- Para-Olympic Athlete of the Year (University of Illinois/Colorado Springs, CO)

Jennifer Jansonius - Perseverance (Broomfield, CO)

Jessie Banks - Dorothy Mauk Pioneer Award (Pueblo, Colorado) 

Geneva Gray - Trailblazer  (Bacone College - Oklahoma)

Six honorees will become members of the hall of fame for receiving three awards in the same sport over the years. They join an impressive list, including Mikaela Shiffrin, Ellen Hart, Emma Coburn, Jenny Simpson and Missy Franklin.

Hall members are not eligible to receive awards in their sport in future years, but will remain eligible for Special Awards and Sportswoman of the Year.

Maya Evans - Basketball

Lindsay Horan - Soccer 

Samantha Martinelli - Tennis

Michaela Onyenwere - Basketball 

Carson Saaybe - Shooting 

Bridget Sutter - Lacrosse

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin

Busy sports weekend to include ice hockey gathering and tribute to Sawyer Dow
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Despite no classes because of parent-teacher conferences at the end of the week, Mullen winter sports will have a busy couple of days, notably on Saturday, when the Mustangs will host a tribute to Sawyer Dow.

Before the Mustangs’ ice hockey game at the Edge Ice Arena against Pueblo County, there will be a moment of silence for Dow, a senior who was killed recently in Clear Creek Canyon. The community is invited to come out and celebrate his life with Mullen students, share some pizza and swap memories while enjoying the Highlands Conference game.

The puck will drop at 8:30 p.m. Mullen is 3-8 overall, 2-6 in conference. Most recently, it blitzed Woodland Park 9-0. The Hornets are 9-1, 8-0, and right behind conference-leading Valor Christian (10-0 in the Highlands). The two teams will have the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday, 2:30 p.m., at Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena.

The Mustangs boys and girls basketball teams also held moments of silence for Dow earlier this week in addition to players either wearing T-shirts in his honor or marking themselves as a show of support for him.

On Friday, basketballers will take on Overland in the Centennial League. In boys, where the Trailblazers have rallied after a 1-7 start to even their overall mark and race to a 5-0 league start, are currently in command of the Centennial. They beat Grandview by a point on a 3-point buzzer-beater on Wednesday. Mullen, now 8-5, 3-2, is coming off a 66-40 home victory against Cherokee Trail and matched its most league victories since the 2009-10 season.

And in girls, the Mustangs are 6-8, 3-2, and fresh from a 62-51 victory at Cherokee Trail. The Trailblazers are 4-7, 2-2.  

As for wrestling, the Mustangs will be in the dual meets at Jefferson on Friday, then head to Kersey on Saturday for a series of duals at Platte Valley.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Mullen sports action to resume on Jan. 2 and include grade-school play
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome back.

The second half of the 2017-18 sports year for Mullen will begin on Jan. 2 despite classes not resuming until Jan. 8.

On Tuesday, boys basketball will host Aurora’s Grandview, tip-off at 6 p.m. It will be the first of three meetings for Mullen with the Wolves – the two will meet twice later in the Centennial League, but this one will fill a previously open spot for both programs and be nonleague.

Ice hockey will have two demanding games in the week. First, the Mustangs will host regular-challenger Valor Christian on Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., at the Edge Ice Arena, then travel to Family Sports Center Hamilton on Friday to meet always powerful and longtime-rival Regis Jesuit.

On Thursday, boys and girls basketballers on all levels will open league play against Arapahoe, with the boys being on the road and girls at home at Hutchison Fieldhouse. Varsity games will start at 7 p.m.

Girls swimmers will compete in the GrandVista Invitational at Littleton from Friday-Saturday that also will include Lotus School for Excellence, Northridge, Platte Canyon, Ralston Valley, Rampart, Evergreen and Grandview.

Saturday competition also will involve boys and girls basketball at Eaglecrest – boys varsity at 4:30 p.m. and girls at 6 p.m. – as well as the Mustangs Invitational for wrestling, an all-day gathering that will feature finals matches at approximately 4 p.m.

In addition, on Jan. 2 Mullen will have Celebrate the New Year Basketball Games prior to its matchup against Grandview. Several top club teams on the grade-school level as well as feeder teams for Mullen will be in action and coached by familiar names.

Below is a schedule:

2 p.m., Hutchison, girls, The Edge Sixth Grade, coached by Mike O’Connell, vs. Colorado Skills Sixth Grade, headed by Gabe Trujillo.

3 p.m., Old Gym, boys, Legend Third Grade (Dan Simington) vs. Mustangs Third Grade (Vince Valdez).

3 p.m., Hutchison, boys, D’Evelyn Eighth Grade (Enrique Aguilar) vs. Mustangs Eighth Grade (Brian Davis).

4 p.m., Old Gym, boys, Pro Skills Fifth Grade (Ross Schraeder) vs. Mustangs Fifth Grade (Dom Martinez).

4 p.m., Hutchison, boys, ThunderRidge Eighth Grade (R. Ray) vs. Mustangs Eight Grade (Brian Davis).

--- Neil H. Devlin


Mustangs' Caton, Schenbeck to join CHSCA hall of fame in March
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bob Caton and Tony Schenbeck, each with Mullen ties, have been named to the latest hall of fame class of the Colorado High School Coaches Association.

Caton is in his first season of heading Mustangs boys basketball and Schenbeck had two long stints in Mullen coaching and administration.

A Denver West graduate and familiar figure on city-area basketball sidelines for decades, Caton uniquely played in the CHSCA all-state game – in 1967 in Pueblo – as well as coached in it, in 1985 and 2011. A man who has more than 500 victories with other stops at Manual, Denver West, George Washington, Aurora Central and Highlands Ranch, Caton’s teams own two state runner-up finishes, six trips to the final four and 14 times to the quarterfinals. He’s also a former team captain and MVP at Colorado State.

When he took over the Mustangs program to start the 2017-18 season, athletic director Vince Massey referred to Caton “a legend.”

As for Schenbeck, the Nebraskan and Northern Colorado graduate started his career at Mead Junior High before landing at Mullen, where his 10-year stint included leading the baseball program to a state title (1978) and a runner-up finish (1972). A 20-year run as baseball coach and athletic director followed at the new Overland in Aurora and included the 1990 championship and 1989 semifinals appearance. Then it was back to Mullen for another nine years (with a semifinals showing in 2002). All told, his teams were 398-269, he had 40 years on the jobs and he coached in the all-state game six times, three at Mile High Stadium, where the Denver Bears played.

Caton and Schenbeck are joined in the class with Swink’s Al Blanc, who coached boys basketball for nearly 50 years; Prairie’s Maggie Kilmer, a stalwart in volleyball who was there at the outset of female sanctioning; and Simla’s Al Snyder, well-known in small-school girls basketball and who will join his wife, Sue, in the hall.

Induction ceremony will be March 24 at the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast in Aurora, 5:30 p.m. Tickets and additional information can be found at

--- Neil H. Devlin


Boys hoops tourney set for Thursday-Saturday
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Mullen Holiday Classic Tournament for boys basketball has been set.

It will be played Thursday through Saturday at the Hutchison Fieldhouse.

Host Mullen will play on Friday, 7 p.m., against Pomona, then on Saturday, 2 p.m., against Thompson Valley.

Below is the complete schedule:


Thompson Valley vs. Pomona, 7 p.m.


 Pomona vs. Mullen, 7 p.m.


Thompson Valley vs. Mullen, 2 p.m.

Pomona vs. Denver West, 3:30 p.m.


Several Mustangs honored as all-league in fall
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Several Mustangs have been honored as all-league in fall competition.

Below is a sport-by-sport list:


Boys cross country

First team all-Centennial – Bryce Maderis.

Second team – Will Locasio.



First team all-Mt. Cameron – Damien Cearns, Wind Henderson, Adrian Jackson, Aiden Keenaaina, Broc Langren, Florian McCann III, Taye Mitchell, A’Jon Vivens.

Second team – Damien Quiroz, Ivan Rodriguez, Vincenco Saurini, Vaughnn Stitt.

Honorable mention – Silas Daffin, henry Haen, Cooper Johnson, Zach Krause, Dante Silva.


Boys golf

First team all-Centennial – Mario Dino.


Boys soccer

First team all-Centennial – Andrew Zeaman.

Honorable mention – Grant Reuter.



First team all-Centennial – Tatum Maloney, Marissa Sanchez.

Second team – Elena Garcia, Caley McKune.

Honorable mention all-state – Tatum Maloney, Marissa Sanchez.

Senior all-state game – Tatum Maloney.



First team all-Centennial – Kendall Malone.

Second team -- Shannon Stone.

Honorable mention – Morgan Wills.

All-State Game by Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports – Kendall Malone.

 --- Neil H. Devlin




Ready, set, begin … Winter sports set to rock on Wednesday
Monday, November 27, 2017

Sports season No. 2 on the annual docket, winter, will begin competition on Wednesday (Nov. 29).

Mullen will field teams in boys and girls basketball, ice hockey, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling.

There are two new head coaches this season – longtime Colorado figure Bob Caton now is in command of boys basketball and John Howes, a former assistant to Vince Massey and longtime figure in Jefferson County, has taken over wrestling. Frank Cawley remains as head girls basketball coach, Susan Stone continues to lead Mustangs in the pool and Devon Brady heads ice hockey.

As usual, winter sports will overlap with the final three football titles of the fall season, which will be played on Saturday (Dec. 2), and shut down over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. First state titles will be contested in February, then wrap up in mid-March.

Mullen competitors will have a busy first week.

Boys basketballers will have two home games, opening on Wednesday against Abraham Lincoln, then hosting longtime parochial-rival Regis Jesuit on Saturday. Tip-offs will be 7 p.m.

In girls basketball, opening night will be Thursday. The Mustangs will meet Broomfield at 5:30 p.m. at the ThunderRidge-Castle View Tournament to be held in Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock. They’ll also play in the Douglas County District-sponsored gathering on Friday and Saturday, times and foes TBD.

Concerning wrestling, Mullen starts with a dual meet on Thursday, 7 p.m., at Grandview in Aurora. The Mustangs also will be in the Golden Tournament on Saturday, an all-day affair.

In the pool, Mullen will begin with a meet at Arapahoe on Thursday, 5 p.m., then travel to ever-present Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village on Saturday.

And on the ice, Mullen will host Denver East on Saturday, 8:30 p.m., at the Edge Ice Arena.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Winter sports set to begin practice on Friday
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Season No. 2 can open practice on Friday.

Boys and girls basketball, ice hockey, boys and girls skiing, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling are set to open winter sports. Preseason practice will last for nearly three weeks.

Winter’s regular season may begin on Nov. 29 as there once again will be overlap with the end of the fall season.

As usual, the holidays will interrupt winter play from before Christmas until after New Year’s Day.

Below are key dates and sites for each sport as related to Mullen:

Boys and girls basketball – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 17. Playoff brackets to be released on Feb. 18. Championship March 10 at the Denver Coliseum.

Ice hockey – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 17. Playoff bracket to be released on Feb. 18. Championship March 5.

Boys and girls skiing – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 17. State championship May 22-23 hosted by Lake County.

Girls swimming and diving – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 3. State championship Feb. 9-10 at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Thornton.

Wrestling – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 3. Regionals Feb. 9-10. State championship Feb. 15-17 at the Pepsi Center.

--- Neil H. Devlin 


Max Thenell, a special guy, honored with a special award
Saturday, November 04, 2017

Mullen honored senior Max Thenell, a popular football team member who has autism, with an award on Frifday night in the game against Northglenn.

He was presented with the Brandon Burlsworth Award, which goes to a senior player who demonstrates great team character and sportsmanship.

It is for an individual who is an outstanding teammate and expects very little in return.

The players gets recognition for hard work and contributions to the team, yet gives his all every single day.

It was presented to him by his uncle, head coach Tom Thenell, in a ceremony on the field before the game. It was Senior Night.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Northglenn at Mullen will be Broncos high school game of the week
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In its final home game of the regular season, Mullen football will have an interesting partner of sorts for pregame festivities in Friday Night Lights.

The Denver Broncos.

The Mustangs’ game in Week 10 of 2017 against Northglenn in the Class 5A Mt. Cameron League will also be the Broncos high school game of the week. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., tailgating at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium will include the Broncos Cheerleaders, Super Bowl Trophies and Children’s Hospital Colorado/Broncos giveaways. In addition, the game can be heard on iHeartRadio.

Here is a schedule:

Pictures and autographs with Broncos cheerleaders as well as Broncos alumni, 6-6:50 p.m.

Pictures with Super Bowl L Trophy, 6-7 p.m.

Children's Hospital tent giveaway before the game.

The Mustangs, 2016 league champions and state quarterfinalists, are 4-5 overall, 2-2 in league. They currently stand 13th in RPI playoff-qualifying through their considerable schedule that included games against the likes of Pomona, two-time defending 5A state champion Valor Christian, Bothell, Wash., Columbine and Fairview. Sixteen teams will be announced in the Class 5A postseason bracket on Sunday.

Northglenn is 5-4, 1-3.

 --- Neil H. Devlin


Parris again played on All-Academic Team in Arizona Classic in baseball
Friday, October 13, 2017

Mullen baseballer Reggie Parris recently played in the Arizona Senior Fall Classic on the All-Academic Team.

It was the second straight year Parris played in the game. He made it through his club team, Slammers Martin.

It was held at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona.

In the spring, Parris helped the Mustangs to a 10-10 mark in the Class 5A Centennial League. He pitched, played 1st base and in the outfield.

In 10 pitching appearances, he was 3-2 on the mound with a 3.20 earned-run average. He also was 2-for-6 batting with 4 RBIs, according to statistics posted by the Mustangs.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Like others, Mustangs on the pitch embarrassed by U.S. Soccer failure
Thursday, October 12, 2017

I laughed as much as I was disgusted a few years ago, when U.S. Soccer suddenly decreed that promising teenagers playing the high-school game were considered as completely wasting their time and the people who ran the national pitch insisted that they switch to academy play.

It was supposed to help U.S. standing among world soccer powers.

But on Tuesday night, when the good, ol’ U.S. was unceremoniously ousted from World Cup qualifying, I had pretty much the same feelings, although laughter probably had a comfortable edge.

Not only was our country in a weak qualifying group, but the U.S. fell 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago. Not some soccer juggernaut such as Brazil or Germany or Italy, but Trinidad and Tobago.

For those of you just joining us, Trinidad and Tobago.

Mullen soccer folks can spot a joke when they see one.

“Who even knows where Trinidad and Tobago is?” Mullen senior and leading scorer Andrew Seaman wondered. “A lot of kids can’t find it on the map. I had a world report on it and had never heard of it.”

ESPN led the assault on the national program, ripping everyone from the director to the players. And why not? The sport that was supposed to sweep our country for at least the past five decades hasn’t even come close. The alleged beautiful game suddenly has an ugly following ... if anything resembling a following at all.

“I don’t think that a couple of people tweeting about it or having a theory fully covers the breadth and scope of what’s wrong,” Mullen head coach Matthew Guglielmo said.

The coach laments the lack of people of color not playing the game in this country as well as the astronomical costs of entering young players into the clubs and academies, turning it into an upper-class sport versus what is considered more of a sport for the poor across the planet.

And it’s not working.

“Something’s wrong,” Guglielmo said. “We’re trying to use a European or South American model that can’t be constructed.”

Discarding high-school soccer also is a ludicrous, he added: “It will never be the end of high-school soccer, but they haven’t done their jobs.”

Said Seaman: “I don’t get it, either. Soccer is soccer, whether you’re playing a good team or a bad team, or in club.”

And not knowing what to do with top prospects or how to develop them has been an American problem for generations. It has been underlined – the rest of the world plays real soccer; what happens in the U.S. is something else entirely.

“If my kids are studs, really good and boys, I’ll just send them to Italy or France,” Guglielmo said. “It’s not happening here. We don’t have the funding for it, it’s not on (television), people don’t care …”

Seaman termed it as “an embarrassment. We have no soccer teams and for the people who watch it’s really bad. The MLS (Major League Soccer) is, like, the laughingstock of soccer.”

And while U.S. head coach Bruce Arena was on TV attempting to deflect criticism and remain resistant to massive changeover, practically everyone else screamed for wholesale, sweeping change.

That is, if they cared., a fact U.S. Soccer officials must now consider.

“Heads have to roll everywhere,” Guglielmo said.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Keep up and pay attention, or you'll fall back
Monday, October 09, 2017

The dominoes effect is under way for fall state championships.

So pay attention to the information below and try to keep up …

Beginning with Saturday’s climax of boys tennis championships, the mad dash is on for the fall postseason.

In addition to tennis, softball will have regional action on Saturday.

Keeping the train moving, on Oct. 16 the state softball pairings will be released with play from Oct. 20-21 at the Aurora Sports Park. Oct. 21 also is the day for final, regular-season play in boys soccer and volleyball, as well as 6-man football.

And on it goes … soccer pairings will be released on Sunday, Oct. 22. The field hockey title will be decided on Oct. 26. The cross country championships will be Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.

More? State gymnastics from Nov. 3-4 at Thornton High. Larger-class football will end its regular season on Nov. 4. Soccer championships on Nov. 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. And, lest we forget, winter sports will begin practice on Nov. 10. They can play for keeps on Nov. 29

The top two classes of football will decide crowns on Dec. 2 at the Broncos’ Stadium.

Busy? You bet. It’s the way of the Colorado student-athlete at this time of year.

--- Neil H. Devlin


5 Mullen facts to know heading into state golf
Friday, September 29, 2017

Here are five facts to know about Mullen heading into Colorado’s Class 4A boys golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday:

  1. It will be contested at Raccoon Creek Golf Course in Littleton that has hosted two girls championships and one other for boys. The Mustangs got in a practice round on Friday.
  2. It will play at par-72 and about 7,000 yards. Think “Caddyshack.” “Big hitter, the Lama … l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g.”
  3. First-day Mullen tee times, all on No. 1 tee – Mario Dino, 8:30 a.m.; Thomas Hicks, 8:39; Rhett Johnson 8:48; Cole Reister, 8:57.
  4. Ground is being cleared for a new clubhouse at the course.
  5. The head professional is Pat Tait, father of Ashley Tait, a Mustang who was medalist three times in the early-to-mid-2000s. The elder Tait has been a pro for 29 years (also at The Meadows G.C.), the past 20 at Raccoon Creek.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Suddenly stating principles doesn't mask bad behavior and examples
Monday, September 25, 2017

Certainly, unless you were under a rock and missed Sunday football, you saw what happened across the NFL.

Players and others in the league refused to traditionally stand for the National Anthem. Some stayed in the locker room. Others knelt. A few displayed raised, clenched fists.

The debate rages on as to whether or not you stand with the President and his comments or if you side with the players, who also were a bit divided as to why they actually were trying to protest and if Sunday was the end of it or there would be more.

But there is zero debate about the following – even with players insisting they were concerned about making social change, they certainly did little to even hint at making a switch in their on-field antics that clearly have gotten way out of hand.

To wit (and without bothering to name names because you know who they are):

A New York Giants receiver who has been hurt and whining about his salary scored his first touchdown of the season and promptly went to all fours and pretended to defecate on the field like a K-9. Afterward, he was quoted as saying “I’m a dog.”

A Chicago defensive back had a blocked field goal fall right in between the numbers on the front of his jersey. He took off to run for what should have been an easy 71-yard touchdown, but in order to be ready to celebrate and let the crowd and world know what he did, he slowed near the 5-yard line, was caught from behind and had the ball knocked out of his hands, thereby erasing what would have been a sure score. “I thought I was in,” he said. “But, you know, obviously, I wasn’t.”

And a Denver defender, one who’s ordinarily a high-character guy, knocked down a quarterback, got up, reached out to lend a hand to help up the quarterback, then suddenly pulled back as if to say: “Psych!” He was given an unsportsmanlike penalty that helped lead to a loss.

They weren’t alone as for some reason seemingly every tackle, sack, knocked-down pass, catch, pass, rush, return, block or kick on every Sunday of every month of every season apparently needs to be “celebrated” so that players “can have fun.”

However, if the Fun Boys suddenly insist they are principled and stand together in what just recently was a more-divided NFL, and want to display a stand on something, it would be easier to take them much more seriously if their self-centered shenanigans all about I, me and mine (and their money) didn’t set such a horrid example of how to act on the field for kids, notably high-school players who frequently hang on their every action.

A bad example is a bad example and suddenly stating principles doesn't mask them.


--- Neil H. Devlin

Cherry Creek knocks off Mustangs 2-1 in Centennial softball
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mullen dropped its second consecutive Centennial League softball game on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village.

The Mustangs dipped to 7-6 overall, 0-2 in league.

“We left too many runners on base and didn’t have the timely hitting,” Mustangs head coach Greg Hogan said.

The Mustangs stranded seven runners and didn’t back up the six-hit pitching of sophomore Marissa Sanchez, including making two throwing errors.

A very busy week awaits the Mustangs, four games in six days, three in league. On Monday, they will be at Cherokee Trail in Aurora; home against Smoky Hill on Tuesday; at Air Academy on Thursday; and home against Overland on Saturday.

“We’ve got to get some ‘W’s’, got to get it going,” Hogan said.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Don't blink, the first postseason event of 2017-18 is upon us
Monday, September 18, 2017

Time flies.

Don’t argue.

Believe it or not, the postseason for 2017-18 begins Tuesday (Sept. 19). Mullen’s boys golfers will be in Colorado Springs competing in regional rounds, the step before the state tournament.

I know, I almost can’t believe it, either. But the boys golf season is short, begins in August and here we are.

It could be interesting for Mullen, perhaps right away as well as long term. The Mustangs will be sending one sophomore (Cole Reister) and three freshmen (Mario Dino, Thomas Hicks and Rhett Johnson) to the Country Club of Colorado. All have enjoyed assorted moments this season and they did well as a group by keeping within range of Centennial League powers Arapahoe and Cherry Creek.

They will be playing in Class 4A Region 2 along with members from Air Academy, Arvada, Cheyenne Mountain, D’Evelyn, Elizabeth, Green Mountain, Littleton, Mitchell, Ponderosa, Pueblo County, Standley Lake, Wheat Ridge, Valor Christian, Vista Ridge and George Washington.

And they have an opportunity to send one, two, three or all four players to the 4A championship, Oct. 2-3 at Raccoon Creek G.C. In Littleton.

So, yes, it goes by quickly.

Pay attention before you miss it.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Soccer match postponed after Silver Creek bus in an accident
Saturday, September 02, 2017

Mullen’s boys soccer home match on Friday against Longmont’s Silver Creek was postponed after an accident.

The Raptors were travelling to the match and their bus was involved in an accident, according to Mullen coach Matthew Guglielmo.

However, no injuries were reported, Guglielmo said.

A makeup date has not been announced.

The match was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.   

--- Neil H. Devlin

Mullen falls to reigning power Valor in softball
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mullen fell to three-time defending Class 4A state champion Valor Christian on Wednesday.

The Mustangs lost the road game 4-3 to fall to 1-2 on the season.

In continuing their demanding schedule – they earlier faced 4A power D’Evelyn and emerging 5A Regis Jesuit – the Mustangs also were outhit 10-7.

Jessica Haley had two of Mullen’s hits. Marissa Sanchez, a sophomore who also took the pitching loss, Cakey McKune and Tatum Maloney each drove home runs for Mullen.

Mullen next will be in action this Thursday (Aug. 31) and into the weekend in the Erie Tournament.

--- Neil H. Devlin

Boys soccer drops first match in 2017, 5-2 to JFK
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A first-half barrage was too difficult for Mullen to overcome on Monday.

The Mustangs suffered their first loss of the season, 5-2 to the Denver Prep League’s John F. Kennedy.

Now 1-1-1, host Mullen was hit for five goals in the first half of the Class 4A nonleague match.

Freshman A.J. Gamueda and senior Michael Jimenez scored for the Mustangs. Junior Patrick Rooney added an assist.

Mullen will return to action on Friday, 4:30 p.m., at home against Longmont’s Silver Creek in another 4A nonleaguer.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Boys soccer ties 2-2 at Steamboat Springs
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mullen hit the road into the mountains on Saturday and earned a tie.

The Mustangs drew at host Steamboat Springs, 2-2, in their second match of the season, a Class 4A nonleaguer.

Ryan Irvine and Christian Rapp scored for Mullen, which now is 1-0-1 on the season.

The Mustangs next will see action on Monday, in their home opener, 4:30 p.m., against nearby John F. Kennedy of the Denver Prep League.

Former K/P JK Scott alive and kicking at Alabama
Friday, August 25, 2017

Remember JK Scott? The tall, lean kick/punter who starred for Mullen from 2010-13?

He has been punting since his freshman season for perennial power Alabama. In his three seasons for the Crimson Tide, the 6-foot-6, 204-pound Scott has averaged 48.0, 44.2 and 47.2 yards per punt … basically at sea level.

For his career, Scott has punted 189 times for an average of 46.3.

It may get better for the former Mustang very soon – he will remain the team’s punter, coach Nick Saban said, but it’s a possibility Scott may also combine kicking off and being the Alabama man for long field-goal attempts.

Below is a link for an interesting story – including quoting Mullen head coach Tom Thenell – on what lies ahead for Scott this season.

The story, from, suggests Scott could save the Cromson Tide’s kicking game.  



Boys golfers again take 3rd in Centennial League meet
Friday, August 25, 2017

Boys golfers took third as a team and fared well individually at the second Centennial League gathering of the season.

Playing on Thursday at Aurora’s Murphy Creek Golf Course, always a tough track, the Mustangs took third in the eight-team league field. They totaled 304.

They also were third in the first match of the season, at Aurora Hills G.C.

Better yet, Mullen had two players shoot 1-over par – Mario Dino and Thomas Hicks each fired 73s. They tied for third place. Cole Reister contributed 78. Rhett Johnson shot 80 and Nic Mayhan had 88.

In junior varsity, Mullen also finished third, scoring 351. Individuals -- Sean Wallace 82, Eli Marquez 84, John Wallace 89 and Jakob Beckish 96.

Next up on the schedule – another league gathering, on Wednesday at South Suburban G.C.


Boys soccer wins debut, 1-0 at Vista Ridge
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mullen opened the boys soccer season on Thursday night with a 1-0 victory against Vista Ridge in Colorado Springs in nonleague.

The only score of the game came from Andrew Seaman. He was assisted by Grant Reuter.

The Mustangs next will be at Steamboat Springs on Saturday.

Wednesday roundup: Boys tennis, softball earn victories
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mullen’s boys tennis opened its season on Wednesday and earned a 5-2 victory dual-match over Air Academy at the U.S. Air Force Base above Colorado Springs.

In the debut of new coach Jacob Ohrman, the Mustangs won one of three singles spots and all four doubles placings.

At No. 2 singles, Mac Caldwell won 6-0, 6-2. In doubles, J.P. Starkey-Tanner Amman won 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 1; Ben Logan-Thomas Logan won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2; Charley Manta-Johnny Grow won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3; and Dominic Jablonsky-Ethan Hart won 6-4, 6-3.

At No. 1 singles, George Henry Hanzel dropped a tight one, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, and at No. 3, Dante Dino fell 6-1, 6-1.

The Mustangs will return to face the Kadets and others in the Air Academy tournament Friday-Saturday.

In softball, the Mustangs, who dropped a one-run decision to Class 4A D’Evelyn on Tuesday, came back on Wednesday and downed host Regis Jesuit 3-0. Now 1-1, Mullen plated a run in the third inning and two more in the fifth.

The Mustangs permitted only three hits. They next will be at 4A power Valor Christian on Sept. 30.



Come and support the Mustangs on Friday
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A message from the Mullen football staff:

Come out and support the Mullen Mustangs as they take on Pomona Friday, 7 p.m., at the North Area Athletic Conplex (NAAC, Hwy. 93 and 64th in Arvada).

All students who are wearing a Mullen t-shirt and have their Mullen ID get free pizza at the gate.

We will be located in the southeast corner of the stadium parking lot.  Come cheer on the 2017  MUSTANGS!!

The game will also be televised live on the NFHS network,

Boys golfers finish 11th at Cherry Creek Invitational
Monday, August 21, 2017

Mullen boys golfers finished 11th as a team in the Cherry Creek Invitational on Monday at Buffalo Run Golf Course in Commerce City.

The Mustangs totaled 236 strokes to finish 11th in a 23-team field.

There were two four-man teams for Mullen.

Mullen Blue -- Thomas Hicks 77, Eli Marquez 78, Sean Wallace 81 and Joseph Long 89.

Mullen White -- Mario Dino 78, Nic Mayhan 79, Rhett Johnson 79 and Cole Reister 82.


JV golfers take third place at Heather Ridge
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Competing at Heather Ridge Golf Course in the Bishop Machebeuf Invitational, Mullen players faced a par-70. It’s a tight course built in 1972 that was private, then purchased by surrounding homeowners in 2010 and turned public.

The Mustangs posted individual scores ranging from 77 to more than 110, according to head coach Jerry Koehler.

Leading the way was Eli Marquez, who also was Mullen’s top scorer earlier in the week in varsity at The Broadlands G.C. in Broomfield. He shot 9-over-par 79 and finished third. Joseph Long was fourth with 80; Blake Good 20th with 90; and Jakob Beckish 24th at 92.

The varsity will play on Thursday at Meadow Hills G.C. in Aurora, the first Centennial League match of the season.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Precious few days remain for summer down time, so why panic?
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

 A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N … is making them wait.

With precious few days before the widespread start of fall practice as well as the first day of school, what’s a fall student-athlete to do?

Cram for a bunch of workouts and weight-room sessions? Go for long runs or sprints? Or nab a little – and probably much-needed – down time before the beginning of a busy stretch?

These are the thoughts that must be crossing the minds of teenagers not only here, but across the country.

Call it part of the process, including growing up.

So fret not. Preseason practice (Aug. 14) soon will be here. And so will the first day of school (if they haven’t started already).

And enjoy.



From any smartphone text the message @MullenFootball to the number 805-918-4211. This will automatically enroll you into the MHS Football text alert system. 

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