Photo by John Leyba


Aidan earns an ‘A’

Photo by John Leyba, Mullen Sports Photographer

Mullen junior Aidan Keanaaina, 76, announce don Wednesday that he has chosen Notre Dame as his college destination.


Keanaaina announces his recruiting choice and it’s Notre Dame

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Of course, Aidan Keanaaina “was always a big kid,” according to his father, Stacey.

The younger Keanaaina, pronounced kay-aw-nah-EYE-nah, “gained 30-to-35 pounds every August from the time he was 6 or 7 years old and all the way up through tackle football, and all the way to eighth grade. He was always the heaviest kid,” said his father.

It was as natural as calculated for the son of a college-football tight end. So when it was time to choose a high school, the Brighton resident meticulously did his homework with his parents and opted for Mullen as the best place for academics, football and developing his character. Now 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, he used the same principles in selecting a college in which he had two dozen offers from major schools.

Today, on his 17th birthday, Keanaaina, a junior, announced he has committed verbally to Notre Dame. And the interior defensive lineman confirmed that he foresees it as an extension of his high-school setting. Smaller. Friendlier. Religious. And serious about meeting goals.

“They’re similar,” Keanaaina said, “and I love Notre Dame and how it runs and it’s why I love it. People are there to be successful in life. They work so hard and it’s what I wanted to be surrounded by ... and why? Well, I mean, a part of me knew where I wanted to go. And I got the same, exact feeling (as when he chose Mullen). This is what I want and the culture I like.”

In insisting his commitment is “pretty much set in stone,” Keanaaina said he will sign with the Fighting Irish in December.

Certainly, he and his family are aware that he may be the only junior football player you’ve heard of who is committing so early – he is pledging 10 months before he can make it official in the third year of the new signing period. It has changed everything. Previously, football players would commit during the summer at the earliest, which was unusual, or during their senior seasons or anywhere from December to the first Wednesday in February.

However, the late-December time to sign has been viewed as a positive switch here and nationally; a signing period was needed closer to the end of a football season than having 12th-graders waiting as many as three months; almost all of the high-enders have been taking advantage of it; and Keanaaina has pushed the proverbial envelope a little further. Call it progress – he is committing nearly a year earlier than seniors during previous rules.

And he’s fine with it.

“It’s hard to just keep it in and keep deciding,” he said. “It’s a lot that goes along with it. Coaches are calling and reaching out, and people asking you … that’s definitely a big rock to get off my chest.”

And from a practical standpoint, he said, “I knew where I wanted to go. I’m not going to wait. There was no reason to wait, no other thing I was waiting for.”

As well, Keanaaina had to aift through a considerable list and try to make sense of it. Alphabetically, Air Force, BYU, Cal-Berkeley, Colorado, Colorado State, Florida, Iowa, Kansas State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, UCLA, Utah, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin and Yale offered rides, all but one of them free, to some of the best academics and football available.

He admits he was tempted by Ohio State and Florida, but the chance to be at Notre Dame was too enticing.

“As a (former) college-football player, I know how hard it is to earn a scholarship, to get to that level,” said Stacey Keanaaina, who was a walk-on tight end at Colorado State under head coach Earle Bruce and had Urban Meyer (wide receivers) and Tony Alford (running backs and formerly of Doherty High) as Rams assistants.

His father, a native of Hawaii, attended high school in Europe and played against another Army Brat you may have heard of – Shaquille O’Neal. “I always wanted to meet him again later in life,” he said.

In coaching his son for nearly a decade heading into Mullen, Stacey said he repeatedly heard ‘He’s how old?’ as Aidan always dwarfed virtually every other youth, “but for him, how good he’s doing with his spirit and getting his name out there and film and everything, he was able to get all of these offers.”

And they took them seriously. While Keanaaina never made public the paring of his list, his father said they did it “internally” and they took nine unofficial visits.

“We always talked about going to five schools, three schools, then just one school,” the elder Keanaaina said.

And they did.

“The time came, I knew what I wanted and I just pulled the trigger,” Aidan said.

Said Mullen football head coach Vincent White: “Great decision, a great academic institution combined with football.”

A year ago, Keanaaina was second on the Mustangs with 69 tackles, a team-high 12 for loss, as most opponents found it more productive to run away from him. He also had 4.0 sacks, caused three fumbles, recovered another and had an interception. He has played varsity since his freshman year and pointed to a game three years ago against Columbine as his coming out party of sports.

“It was my big game and showed who I was,” he said.

He was named Class 5A all-Metro West League as well as to the All-Colorado team by Mile High Sports magazine. He is considered within the top-four prospects in Colorado for 2020 and a three- or four-star recruit depending on the service.

With a 4.1 grade-point average, Keanaaina said he hasn’t decided on a major, but knows there is plenty of time to choose one.

As for his senior year, he said he “plans on enjoying it,” will appears in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii in 11 months and compete in Mustangs track and field, throwing the shot put and discus.

He knows Notre Dame can be a wonderful walkway to his adult life.

“Whether it’s that I go to the NFL and after that use the rest of my life based off that or, sadly, not making it there and having a degree, it’s a great college,” he said.

“In the end, I think it’s the best choice. I’m happy with my decision.”


Majors roaming through our halls


                                                                                                                                   Photo by John Leyba, Mullen Sports Photographer

Aidan Keeanaaina, top, and Isaac White, below, are making recruiting noise for the 2020 Class.


By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen SPorts Information Specialist

Mullen football prospects usually attract college interest.

It’s no secret. The Mustangs have been sending a reasonably steady stream of talent to big-time ball for decades.

Recently, recruiters have almost had to take a number and get in line as the push continues to acquire players on the next level.

Mullen head coach Vincent White knows a little about it. He’s a former Mustangs three-sport star who went on to Stanford, where he played with John Elway, was drafted by the New York Jets and finished his career as a running back for the Denver Gold of the old United States Football League.

Even he’s excited about the recruiters and coaches who are going through the halls of the school.

They include: Air Force. BYU. Cal-Berkeley. Florida. Northwestern. Notre Dame. South Carolina. Stanford. UCLA. Virginia. Wisconsin. Wyoming. Utah. And Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is due in Denver.

While the recruiting rules and landscape have been modified – we are in Year II of the new early signing period in December that also accounted for most of the high end of the 2019 Class here and nationally – the previous traditional signing day for football, the first Wednesday in February, is next week and should include virtually all of the top recruits.

Mullen also has a couple of members of the 2020 Class who are attracting attention. Defensive lineman Aidan Keanaaina has more than two dozen offers. And the Mustangs’ Isaac White, a wide receiver/defensive back, is another commanding attention.

In addition, both are A students and are just as high in the character department.

The Mustangs, who also had some non-footballers sign the past December, will have another wave hosted at a signing party at lunch time on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and involve signees across the board in sports.

--- Neil H. Devlin


On the recruiting trail

Mustangs’ Keanaaina has many offers in which to choose

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Getting recruited for Aidan Ikaika Keanaaina had been happening at his pace and it was quite enjoyable.

“It’s going well right now,” the Mullen junior defensive lineman said in December. “It’s a dead period, of course, and quiet, and there have been some coaches at school.”

However, we are now in January, the holidays are over, the second year of the new early signing period last month all but secured the 2019 Class, and Keanaaina (pronounced Kay-aw-nah-EYE-nah) and others in the elite of the current junior group now brace for their first official onslaught.  

The race is on and it’s a highly competitive one.

“It will really kick up and they’ll start focusing on the 2020s,” Keanaaina said. “I’ll be slammed and will be prepared for that.”

The new signing period, Mustangs head coach Vincent White said, “has sped up the process. Tremendously. Now, (college recruiters) are done with the ’19 class. When they go out (this month), they’ll come out with their 2020 kids. Now, they’re done with the ‘19 class.

“And now, if they lose a kid who’s leaving or they didn’t get everybody or other than that, they’re concentrating on the 2020 class.”

The offers will be piling up even more  for the 2020s, although Keanaaina is doing fine in that department, thank you. Offers? The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder has nearly two dozen. In no particular order, Oregon, Colorado, Nebraska, BYU, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Penn State, Cal-Berkeley, Colorado State, Ohio State, Virginia, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Utah, UCLA, Air Force, Florida, Yale and Iowa are among those seriously interested in his commitment.

Obviously, he is enjoying the process and has turned toward a decision.

“I want to commit before the (2019) season, whether it’s the spring or summer,” Keanaaina said. “I want to take a couple of official visits and want to be committed so I can go out and play.”

No, he said, he doesn’t have his choice down to a select few as “I’m getting down to certain teams, seeing things I like and seeing some other things ... I’m starting to figure out things I didn’t know before and it’s helping to make my decision.”

Keanaaina said he has a 4.1 grade-point average, so it won’t be an issue. And though he’s also undecided on a major, he said “that’s the hardest thing. I’m looking at a broad range.”

Recognized in recruiting circles such as ESPN, Rivals and 247, Keanaaina is a 4-star recruit who can climb to 5-star. He also has named to the 2020 Polynesian Bowl to be played in Aloha Stadium in Oahu in about a year.

For now, he’s concentrating on his decision and all that comes with it, including tense moments. But he foresees the end of it.

“It is a stress,” he said of the recruiting trail, “but most of the time I feel like it’s fun and a lot of people don’t get this experience.

“Yes, at times it’s stressful, but I have to think of it as a benefit to have this amazing opportunity. It’s a gift to be able to have this amazing problem to decide on and come to the one place I want.”


First year under White in the books

Mistakes, little depth hurt, but coach says future is bright for Mustangs

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Year I is in the books, albeit early, for head football coach Vincent White and Mullen.

The Mustangs ended 4-7 after last week’s 33-24 loss at home to Legacy in the Class 5A playoffs, a first-rounder in the new 24-team bracket. Mullen was seeded 12th and Legacy 21st.

The coach and 1979 Mustangs graduate ran into a fair gamut of situations, including the very good to the very bad, and assessed his program’s status through a season.

“I thought we got better as the year went on,” White said. “I thought we understood what we can and cannot do offensively, defensively and on special teams.”

Developing depth and avoiding the top tier of his team’s players seeing significant time on both sides of the ball had to be addressed.

“Guys going both ways, it becomes difficult during the week,” White said. “You have to build depth every day. It becomes important in practice when you’re trying to put something in. When you go 3 days (in between games) and you’re just practicing on defense (as opposed to doubling on offense), you become a better football team. It’s hard going both ways.”

Fortunately, he added, “during the year, we got it down to only a few guys going both ways.”

Other problem areas included turnovers and penalties.

“We have to eliminate them,” White said. “You can’t win with them, you can’t give away the ball.”

Touted lineman Aidan Keanaaina and two-way backs Damien Cearns and Isaac White will head next year’s senior class. The Mustangs will lose only a dozen 12th-graders from this year’s team and a developing cast that frequently had to play out of necessity this year will return more seasoned.

One obstacle for White, whose career has been based coaching in college, was “here (in high schools) you don’t have a lot of time to put in systems … but it’s not much different if you run a good program with the students and so forth.”

Taking some lumps at 4-7 that included a five-game losing streak and 0-5 record in the new Metro West League, and an early exit from the playoffs was challenging, White said, “but our kids never quit, they kept playing …

“We’re a young football team that played lot of young guys, which bodes well for the future. The future’s bright here at Mullen. We want to continue to grow on and off the field.

“I’m encouraged. We’ve got some good, young players and we have put in a system on offense, defense and special teams. We’re getting used to all of it. And we’re looking forward to it.”



OFFENSE (11 games, 4-7 record)


                                                Mullen       Opp.

Total yards                             2,978          3,758

Passing yards                         2,127          2,017

Passing yds. per game          193.36       183.36

Passes Comp.-Att.                 144-278     146-254
Comp. Pct.                               51.8%        57.48%

Passing TDs                              16              18

Rushing yards                           851           1,741     

Rushing yds. per game            77.36        158.27

Rushing plays/Avg.                  319-2.67   377-4.62

Rushing TDs                               14               31

3rd-down conversions              24.46%       34.09%

4th-down conversions               30%             45.83%

First downs                                  139              181

Turnovers                                      23                21

Sacks                                               25                41




DePizzol  121-217  1,719 yards  80 long  12 TDs  10 Int.

Remington 20-53  369 yards  90 long  4 TDs  4 Int.

Moore  1-2  12 yards  12 long  0 TDs  0 Int.

White 0-1  0 yards  0 TDs  1 Int.

Totals 144-278  2,127 yards  16 TDs  14 Int.




Cearns  149-762  85 long  10 TDs

Smith  22-80  18 long  1 TD

Hoskins-Mitchell  23-30  14 long  0 TDs

Hearty  4-17  11 long  1 TD

White  11-12  10 long  0 TDs

Marcoux  2-9  12 long  0 TDs

Moore  2-minus-11  7 long  0 TDs

DePizzol  80-minus-25  12 long   2 TDs

Remington  20-minus-28  8 long  9 TDs

Totals  315-851   2.67 average  14 TDs



White  43-706  69 long  4 TDs

Henderson  34-579  80 long  5 TDs

Marcoux  17-243  38 long  3 TDs

Cearns  15-218  90  1 TD

Rogers  6-115  38 long  0 TDs

Stitt  6-72  22 long  1 TD

Hearty  4-19  10 long  0 TDs

Hoskins-Mitchell  4-19  17  1 TD

Smith  3-13  5 long  0 TDs

Nepple  1-5  5 long  0

Totals 138-2,039  15 TDs



Lehman  12-14 PATS  2-2 FGs  Long 53  18 points

Yee  13-14 PATs   1-1 FGs   35 Long  16 points


15 Int., 8 fumbles lost

Total  22


Cearns 5, Remington 2, DePizzol 1


DEFENSE (Tackles--Solo-Assists)

Bialecki  102—44-58

Keanaaina  77—40-37

Mitchell  56—30-26

Apodaca  43—33-10

Silva  43—21-22

Kirking  38—18-20

White  35—23-12

Daffin  31—15-16

Stitt  31—19-12

Hearty  29—10-19

Riley-Combs  27—21-6

Difeo  24—14-10

Naha  24—16-8

DePizzol  23—6-17

Nolte  20—7-13

DeNezza  17—2-15

Villanueba  10—7-3

Rogers  9—5-4

Hoskins-Mitchell  8—6-2

Henderson  7—6-1

Stanford  6—5-1

Cearns  5—4-1

Martinez  4—1-3

Thompson  4—2-2

Damian  4—3-1

Marcouz  4—4-0

Smith  3—3-0

Ells  3—2-1

Malone  3—0-3

Nepple  2—2-0

Gaudet  2—1-1

Lacey 2—1-1

Robbins  1—1-0

Barden 1—0-1

Bowen  1—0-1

Lehman 1—0-1

Peters 1—0-1



Daffin 4, Keanaaina 4, Bialecki 3, Kirking 3, Nolte 2, Apodaca 1, Damian 1, DeNezza 1, Hearty 1, Mitchell 1, Silva 1



Keanaaina 11, Bialecki 7, Mitchell 4, Daffin 3, Hearty 3, Kirking 3, Riley-Combs 3, DeNezza 2, Nolte 2, Silva 2, White 2, Apodaca 1, Damian 1, Difeo 1, Ells 1, Hearty 1, Martinez 1, Rogers 1, Smith 1, Stitt 1, Villanueba 1.



Mitchell 2, Apodaca 1, Barden 1, Cearns 1, Difeo 1, Keanaaina 1, Naha 1, Stitt 1, White 1



Bialecki 2, Riley-Combs 2, Keanaaina 1, Kirking 1, Stitt 1, Thompson 1


Keanaaina, Apodaca


Lehman 22-911  76 Long   44.41 avg.

Moore  17-569  61 Long  33.47 avg.

White  4-136  Long 40  34.0

Yee  22-436  48 Long  19.82 avg.


Cearns  23-328  Long 39  14.26 avg.

Heil  7-103  Long 28  14.71 avg.

Hoskins-Mitchell  2-40  Long 22  20.0 avg.

Smith  1-13  13 Long 13.0 avg.

Barden  1-8  8 Lon   8.0 avg.


White  9-44  24 Long  4.89 avg.

Marcoux  1-34  34 Long 34.0 avg.

Heil  1-19  19 Long  19.0 avg.


‘Stangs knocked out of playoffs

33-24 first-round home loss to Legacy ends rough season at 4-7

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It was a difficult season and it ended in fitting fashion.

Mullen dropped its first-round matchup in the Class 5A playoffs on Friday night, a 33-24 setback to Legacy at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium. The Mustangs, seeded No. 12 in the new 24-team bracket, finished 4-7 in dropping six of their final seven games.

Broomfield’s Legacy, seeded 21st, won its fifth consecutive game, improved to 5-6 and will take on No. 5 Grandview, which had a bye, next weekend in the second round at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.

A familiar theme of turnovers once again handcuffed the Mustangs and first-year head coach Vincent White knew it.

“You can’t turn the ball over,” a disappointed White said.

The Mustangs were guilty of three turnovers – two lost fumbles and an interception – and two of them were killer down the stretch. Mullen had scored twice within 1 minute, 57 seconds late in the third quarter to climb within 30-24.

However, a fumble on the first play after Legacy narrowly missed a 37-yard field goal led to the Lightning being able to extend its lead to 33-24 with 7:41 to play. Legacy recovered the fumble at the Mullen 19-yard line.

And after the field goal, Mullen drove from its own 15 to the Legacy 21 with 4:42 to go. However, quarterback Dom DePizzol’s attempt on the run was tipped and intercepted. Legacy took possession at its own 8 after a taunting penalty and reeled off nine rushing plays to run out the clock.

The Mustangs had been trailing 30-10 before climbing to within six points, only to fall short.

White agreed that “we showed some life there, but you can’t turn the ball over and expect to win in the playoffs.”

Mullen twice had early leads. It capped its second drive with a 53-yard field goal by sophomore Aidan Lehman, his second of more than 50 over the past two weeks, for the games’ first score and Isaac White grabbed a 35-yard pass from DePizzol for a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Legacy came right back to take a 14-10 lead and extended it to 21-10 at halftime it climbed to 30-21 9 minutes into the third quarter before Mullen responded on an 80-yard catch-and-run by Wind Henderson and a 10-yarder between Henderson and DePizzol.

The Mustangs played like they could smell a comeback victory on defense before the two turnovers ended their hopes.

Defensively, Mullen had cover lapses in the secondary, but earned multiple stops down the stretch. Wilson Bialecki, A.J. Naha, Aidan Keanaaina, Dante Silva and Isaac White led the charge.

Offensively, DePizzol threw for 362 yards and the three scores. Damien Cearns rushed for 74 yards, caught five passes for 55 yards and added an interception on defense to go with his two lost fumbles. Henderson had seven catches for 154 yards and White four for 91 yards.

The two teams combined for 903 yards of offense, 453 by Mullen.



Legacy  7   14   9   3   –  33

Mullen   3   7   14   0   –  24

First quarter

Mullen – FG Aidan Lehman 53, 3:11.

Legacy – Dakota Key 59 run (John Hoyland kick), 2:9.

Second quarter

Mullen – Isaac White 35 pass from Dom DePizzol (Lehman kick), 11:43.

Legacy – Jaiden Peterson 63 pass from Nicholas McCarthy (Hoyland kick), 10:14.

Legacy – Jack Smith 13 pass from McCarthy (Hoyland kick), 0:09.6.

Third quarter

Legacy – FG Horland 39, 6:40.

Legacy – Jayden Wingfield 1 run (kick failed), 3:32.

Mullen – Wind Henderson 80 pass from DePizzol (Lehman kick), 3:19.

Mullen – Henderson 10 pass from DePizzol (Lehman kick), 1:22.

Fourth quarter

Legacy – FG Hoyland 30, 7:41.



Total plays

Mullen 66, Leg. 83

Total yards

Mullen 453, Leg. 450

Passing yards

Mullen 364, Leg. 272

Rushing yards

Mullen 89, Leg. 178

First downs

Mullen 20, Leg. 22

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 3-10, 30%, Leg. 10-18, 66%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 0-2 0%, Leg. 1-1 100%


Mullen 8-80, Leg. 10-94


Mullen 3, Leg. 1


Mullen 2, Leg. 0

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 1, Leg. 1




Passing -- DePizzol 20-29, 362 yards, 3 TDs, 1 int., 80 long.

Rushing – Cearns 20-74, 12 long; DePizzol 6-9, 12 long; Hoskins-Mitchell 1-3, 3 long; White 1-3, 3 long.

Receiving – Henderson 7-154, 2 TDs, 80 long; White 4-91, 1 TD, 46 long; Cearns 5-55, 22 long; Roger 2-52, 33 long; Martinez 1-7 7 long; Nepple 1-5, 5 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Bialecki 9-7-0-1, Naha 5-3-0-0, Silva 3-4-0-0, Cearns 2-0-0-0, White 2-2-0-1, Kirking 2-2-0-0, Keanaaina 2-1-0-0, Villanueba 2-0-0-0, Difeo 1-1-0-0, Riley-Combs 1-1-0-0, Heil 1-0-0-0, Robbins 1-0-0-0, Hearty 1-1-0-0, Mitchell 1-2-0-0, Damian 1-0-0-0, Apodaca 1-0-0-0, Peters 1-0-0-0, DeNezza 0-1-0-0.

Interception – Cearns.

PATs – Lehman 3-4.

FGs – Lehman 1-1.





This Week in Mullen Football, 11/2



WEEK 11: Vs. Legacy Lightning  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium

Status: Class 5A first-round playoff

Records: Mullen 4-6; Legacy 4-6

Head coaches: Vincent White, first year with Mullen; Corey Heinz, first year with Legacy

History:  Since Broomfield’s Legacy made the jump from 3A to 5A in 2002, it has only faced the Mustangs three times, all in the playoffs and twice while Mullen was on its way to the final. In 2009, the Mustangs put out the Lightning 42-7 in the second round on the way to a 14-0 season. In 2007, Mullen beat Legacy 22-6 in the quarters. And in 2005, Mullen beat Legacy 36-7 in the preliminaries  before losing to Douglas County in the title game.


Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
22, Damien Cearns, RB-DB, 5-10, 170
3, Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295
12, Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-1, 191

Last week: Legacy got past Horizon 42-40 and Mullen ended a five-game skid with a rousing 39-28 victory over host lakewood.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 858th game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 585-254-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

In the postseason, Mullen (seeded 12th) is 63-22-1. Its last postseason victory was in 2016, when it beat Fountain-Fort Carson 53-28 in the prelims. …

No. 21 Legacy dropped its first six games of 2018 before rallying to win its past four to take second place in the Front Range League behind Fairview. …

The Mustangs rang up 506 yards of offense last week, throwing it only 14 times. Cearns had 258 yards and scored on runs of 46, 60 and 49 yards. He had 30 carries. DePizzol had his best game, going 10-of-14 for 255 yards, two TDs (to Henderson and the younger White) and no interceptions. ...

Aidan Lehman was 4-of-4 in PATs and booted a 51-yard field goal last week. …

Mullen was hit for 566 yards against Lakewood as well as the four TDs, but got stops when it sorely needed them through a series of contributors, including Keanaaina, Bialecki, Isaac White, Jonah Villanueba, Silas Daffin, Matthew Mitchell and Lorenzo Riley-Combs. …

Henderson has three TD catches in 2018, one in each of the three past games. …

Cearns, who has missed multiple games,  is at 1,142 yards total offense and counting. …

Mullen has a combined 19 turnovers -- 14 interceptions and five lost fumbles. …

The Mustangs’ 350 points permitted put them 36th of 40 teams in the regular season.

Coachspeak from White

On facing Legacy in the first round of the playoffs:

“Legacy is a good football team, it does a lot of things well. I think every team you play in the playoffs will be good.”

On last week’s 39-28 victory over Lakewood to cap the regular season:

“Our kids played hard, executed and I thought they did a lot of things well. Every week we’ve gotten better and better, and that’s encouraging.”

On the team’s overall growth from the first day of drills in August to practicing before the first playoff game:

“I think we’ve grown in a lot of areas, coming back when we’ve had to and making plays when we’ve needed them. We’ve grown in a lot of areas as a team as well as a staff. We’ve gotten better throughout the year and that’s what you have to do.”

On getting comfortable enough with his first Mustangs roster and seeing enough development and improvement to avoid having too many of his players go both ways:

“We’ve gotten into a groove not having guys go both ways. And it has helped us. As a staff, we’ve been able to work together and understand who we have and who we’re playing with … we don’t have a lot of depth, so we’ve had to develop some.”


What’s next

The winner will face Grandview in the second round. The Wolves will host at Legacy Stadium in Aurora. .

Playoff preliminaries schedule

(1) Valor Christian, (2) Columbine, (3) Cherry Creek, (4), Eaglecrest, (5) Grandview, (6) Ralston Valley, (7) Pomona, the defending state champion, and (8) ThunderRidge have byes in the 24-team field.

(17) Smoky Hill (10-0) vs. (16) Regis Jesuit (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m., Lou Kellogg Stadium

(24) Denver East (8-2) vs. (9) Fairview (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Recht Field

(20) Lakewood vs. (13) Arapahoe (5-5), Saturday, 1 p.m., Littleton Public Schools Stadium

(21) Legacy vs. (12) Mullen (4-6), Friday, 7 p.m., Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium

(18) Doherty (5-5) vs. (15) Highlands Ranch (3-7), Friday, 7 p.m., Shea Stadium

(21) Legend (5-5) vs. Arvada West (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m., NAAC

(19) Fountain-Fort Carson (5-5) vs. (14) Castle View (7-3), Saturday, 1 p.m., Douglas County Stadium

(22) Poudre (4-6) vs. (11) Cherokee Trail (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium

(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang


Playoff History

All-time Playoff record: 63-23-1 
8 State Championships in 10 appearances
(Championship scores in bold)
5A First Round - Legacy 33, Mullen 24
5A First Round - Regis 17, Mullen 10
5A Quarterfinals - Cherry Creek 34, Mullen 17
5A First Round - Mullen 53, Fountain Fort Carson 28
5A Second Round - Cherry Creek 38, Mullen 6
5A First Round - Mullen 21, Rocky Mountain 7
5A Second Round - Cherokee Trail 24, Mullen 21
5A First Round - Mullen 25, Overland 20
5A Third Round - Pomona 23, Mullen 22
5A Second Round - Mullen 21, Bear Creek 14
5A First Round - Mullen 42  Mountain Vista 0
5A Championship - Mullen 37, Regis 6
5A Semifinals - Mullen 41, Grandview 7
5A Third round - Mullen 35, Chaparral 7
5A Second Round - Mullen 41, Cherry Creek 24
5A First Round - Mullen 45, Rampart 7
5A Championship - Mullen 27, Pomona 24
5A Semifinals - Mullen 27, Arvada West 0
5A Third Round - Mullen 41, ThunderRidge 7
5A Second Round - Mullen 42, Legacy 7
5A First Round - Mullen 44, Boulder 0
5A Championship - Mullen 20, Cherry Creek 16
5A Semifinals - Mullen 48, Poudre 21
5A Third Round - Mullen 38, Rocky Mountain 21
5A Second Round - Mullen 38, Chaparral 17
5A First Round - Mullen 41, Fort Collins 6
5A Semifinals - Douglas County 21, Mullen 14
5A Third Round - Mullen 22, Legacy 6
5A Second Round - Mullen 42, Chatfield 7
5A First Round - Mullen 44, Northglenn 7
5A Championship - Columbine 13, Mullen 10
2006 5A First Round - Mullen 48, Rangeview 21
2006 5A Second Round - Mullen 49 Cherry Creek 21
2006 5A Semifinals (OT) - Mullen 41, Douglas County 38
2006 5A Third Round - Mullen 41, Chaparral 12
5A Championship - Douglas County 35, Mullen 13
5A Semifinals - Mullen 58, Arvada West 38
5A Second Round - Mullen 35, Bear Creek 14
5A First Round - Mullen 36, Legacy 7
5A Championship - Mullen 30, Cherry Creek 9
5A Semifinals - Mullen 35, Fort Collins 14
5A Second Round - Mullen 45, Poudre 12
5A First Round - Mullen 49, Fairview 14
5A Semifinals - Ponderosa 14, Mullen 0
5A Second Round - Mullen 14, Columbine 0
5A First Round - Mullen 35, Boulder 14
5A Second Round - Columbine 38, Mullen 14
5A First Round - Mullen 54, Regis 27
5A Semifinals - Fairview 38, Mullen 14
5A Second Round - Mullen 61, Cherry Creek 21
5A First Round - Mullen 28, Arapahoe 3
5A Semifinals - Columbine 22, Mullen 21
5A Second Round - Mullen 31, Dakota Ridge 13
5A First Round - Mullen 49, Regis 7
5A Second Round - Cherry Creek 12, Mullen 3
5A First Round - Mullen 26, Loveland 14
5A Championship - Mullen 23, Cherry Creek 14
5A Semifinals - Mullen 42, Highlands Ranch 14
5A Second Round - Mullen 38, Montbello 10
5A First Round - Mullen 47, Northglenn 14
5A First Round - Arvada West 31, Mullen 15
5A Semifinals - Cherry Creek 37, Mullen 35
5A Second Round - Mullen 33, Heritage 14
5A First Round - Mullen 53, Widefield 7
5A Semifinals - Cherry Creek 36, Mullen 21
5A Second Round - Mullen 19, Thornton 13
5A First Round - Mullen 30, Columbine 25
6A Second Round - Rangeview 22, Mullen 19
6A First Round - Mullen 45, Abraham Lincoln 13
6A Third Round - Bear Creek 21, Mullen 14
6A Second Round - Mullen 51, Westminster 20
6A First round - Bye
4A Semifinals - Pomona 49, Mullen 7
4A Third Round - Mullen 17, Thornton 14
4A Second Round - Mullen 8,  Arvada West 7
3A Championship - Mullen 21, Broomfield 8
3A Semifinals - Mullen 27, Grand Junction Central 14
3A First Round - Mullen 12, Greeley West 9
3A Championship (Tie) - Broomfield 22, Mullen 22
3A Semifinals Mullen 21, Loveland 0
3 First round - Mullen 46, La Junta 34
3A Championship - Mullen 25, Montrose 20
3A Semifinals (OT) - Mullen 20, Fruita Monument 17
3A First Round - Mullen 23, Centaurus 22
3A Second Round - Fairview 47, Mullen 19
3A First Round - Mullen 44, Fort Morgan 0
3A Second Round - Arvada West 28,  Mullen 18
Week 10/Class 5A Scores


Arapahoe 44, Overland 7

Columbine 53, Arvada West 27

Eaglecrest 28, Cherokee Trail 14

Mullen 39, Lakewood 28



Boulder 14, Adams City 0

Doherty 30, Fountain-Fort Carson 7

Fairview 57, Rocky Mountain 7

Grandview 28, Cherry Creek 21 2OT

Legacy 42, Horizon 40

Legend 24, Chaparral 14

Northglenn 21, Mountain Range 14

Poudre 35, Fossil Ridge 14

Ralston Valley 38, Pomona 26

Regis Jesuit 49, Douglas County 6

Rock Canyon 28, Mountain Vista 24

Smoky Hill 35, Westminster 28

ThunderRidge 24, Castle View 14

Valor Christian 25, Highlands Ranch 15



Denver East 57, Rangeview 21

Prairie View 14, Far Northeast 13


Mustangs to host Legacy in 5A playoffs

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They’re in and they’re excited.

It’s official -- Mullen’s Mustangs qualified for the Class 5A football playoffs and were seeded 12th as the bracket was released on Sunday. The Mustangs (4-6) are the 12th seed and will host Broomfield’s Legacy (4-6), the 21st seed.

Mustangs head coach Vincent White said on Sunday the game will be on Friday, 7 p.m., at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium.

White said he didn’t know much about the Lighting, in its first year under new head coach Corey Heinz, but it also played Lakewood – Legacy lost to the Tigers 37-24 and the Mustangs recently beat them 39-28 – and the Mullen staff already is working on a game plan.

 Mullen began its season 3-1, dropped its first four games in the 5A Metro West League on the way to a five-game losing streak, then looked as good as it has all season in winning its season finale at Lakewood the past Thursday.

As for the Lightning, it was 0-5 in nonleague, got blown out in its Front Range League opener against Fairview, then won its past four games to finish league runner-up to the Knights.

White, also in his first season, said the Mustangs are looking forward to the postseason.

“Oh, yeah, we’re excited,” he said. “It’s great for our kids, great for our program. I just think it’s very good.”

The winner of Friday’s game will be on the road in the second round against Aurora’s Grandview – the Wolves beat the Mustangs 56-3 in nonleague -- and probably will play at Legacy Stadium, adjacent to Cherokee Trail.

Big schools are in the first year of yet another new playoff format. The top eight seeds have byes, so (1) Valor Christian, (2) Columbine, (3) Cherry Creek, (4), Eaglecrest, (6) Ralston Valley, (7) Pomona, the defending state champion, and (8) ThunderRidge will join the (5) Wolves in being idle in the opening round.

The Mustangs are in the bottom left quadrant along with Eaglecrest, which will play the winner of (20) Lakewood-(13) Arapahoe.

Here is a link to the bracket:  


Mustangs’ 5-game slide ends

Mullen wins regular-season finale 39-28, awaits 1st-round foe

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Director

LAKEWQOD -- A-a-a-a-a-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Pardon the above release. Mullen football needed it, deserved it and certainly can breathe again.

The Mustangs halted their five-game slide on a pleasant late-October Thursday night in taking a back-and-forth 39-28 victory over host Lakewood to cap their regular season and get on the board in the Class 5A Metro West League. In improving to 4-6 overall, 1-4 in league, they also may have cemented a first-round playoff home game next weekend at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium in the new 24-team playoff bracket. Sixteenth in the RPI playoff format entering the game, their spot will be confirmed on Sunday, when pairings are set.

Above all else, Mullen was able to gain a measure of much-needed confidence and played like it against the very game Tigers (3-7, 0-5).

And if the Mustangs had forgotten how good it feels to win, they certainly had plenty of recall in a complete effort.

“I thought offensively, defensively and special teams that they all played well,” Mustangs head coach Vincent White said. “The kids played their tails off, they really did.”

Said junior running back Damien Cearns, who had a monster game with 30 carries for 258 yards and three touchdowns: “The game was great and we kept in there. We were working all week for this. It’s a win we needed.”

After a 3-1 start to the season had been mostly forgotten with a five-game losing streak that included one-sided routs to the hands of multiple regular powers and dropped the Mustangs to the bottom in big-school offensive and defensive scoring, Mullen put up its second-best point total of the season, rang up a 2018-high 506 yards of offense, bulled its way to five sacks and had only one turnover.

The Mustangs also grabbed their first lead in six games by scoring on the game’s opening drive, capped by a 46-yard, zig-zag run by Cearns. Lakewood actually grabbed the lead by scoring on consecutive drives, but Mullen responded with a 21-point second quarter to retake command.

“We came back and that’s the mark of a good program,” White said.

Quarterback Dom DePizzol easily had his best outing of the season, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns, both after Mullen trailed. DePizzol somehow avoided a big Tigers rush to get free and lob a soft throw to Wind Henderson (he finished with five catches, 160 yards), who got behind the defense and scored untouched on a 54-yard catch-and-run. And DePizzol followed with a quick, 15-yard out to Isaac White to make it 21-14 in favor of Mullen.

While Lakewood again was able to tie it, at 21-all, Cearns ripped off a 60-yard run for a 28-21 Mullen didn’t relinquish.

Cearns scored his final TD, a 49-yarder on Mullen’s first possession after halftime. And after an also resilient Lakewood got within 36-28, sophomore Aidan Lehman took his turn to get into the act, nailing a 51-yard field goal that seemed to take a fair amount of steam out of the Tigers midway through the fourth quarter.

And even though they got to the Mullen 1-yard line inside the final 2 minutes, the Tigers fumbled with 1:08 to play.   

“Yes, it’s a relief,” said Isaac White, who had a strong game in the secondary in addition to three receptions for 73 yards. “It was fun and feels good to finally win again. Obviously, we have some things to do to get better, but I’m happy about the win. It’s very uplifting going into the playoffs.”

Defensively, Mullen had been a sieve over its previous 20 quarters, but stood tall throughout Thursday, mostly stopping the Lakewood running game, getting a pass rush and making key plays when necessary. The Mustangs’ list of contributors was long and included Aidan Keanaaina, Trevor Kirking, Wilson Bialecki, the younger White (who added an interception), A.J. Naha (also had an interception) and Silas Daffin. Virtually every Mustang who took the field on defense made a play.

“I mean, we’d been hurting after these five games and we’ve been down,” Keanaaina said. “But this week, we had a great week of practice and we just really wanted this game, needed it for the playoffs.

“It felt good. We changed things up, we mixed it up (he played some defensive end in addition to noseguard) and it was fun. I’ll play wherever they need me and I’ll just try to do my best.”

The elder White, slowly attempting to make some changes and improvements throughout the program, felt particularly good certain aspects.

“The kids played well when we needed it and the offense protected the ball,” he said. “Those were huge.”

Throughout weeks of mistakes and injuries, the Mustangs struggled, but were rewarded for diligence on Thursday. Little things such as getting a lead, coming back from a deficit and patiently performing their assignments were again relevant as well as rewarding.

Now, they eagerly await their next matchup.

“Oh, yeah, getting that lead was nice, scoring on the first drive,” Kirking said. “Then we fixed some mistakes and came back to get the lead, and we held it down. We kept the momentum going.

“This is, like, the best situation we could have had going into the playoffs.”



Mullen   7   21   8   3   –  39

Lakewood   14   7   7   0   – 28

First quarter

Mullen – Damien Cearns 46 run (Aidan Lehman kick), 9:38.

Lakewood – Kegan Hufford 9 pass from Pierce Holley (Dylan Ladd kick), 7:36.

Lakewood – Charlie Ross 23 pass from Holley (Dylan kick), 3:49.

Second quarter

Mullen – Wind Henderson 54 pass from Dom DePizzol (Lehman kick), 11:16.

Mullen – Isaac White 15 pass from DePizzol (Lehman kick), 8:33.

Lakewood – Ladd 1 run (Ladd kick), 5:26.

Mullen – Cearns 60 run (Lehman kick), 4:44.

Third quarter

Mullen – Cearns 49 run (White run), 9:49.

Lakewood – Hufford 48 pass from Holley (Ladd kick), 7:35.

Fourth quarter

Mullen – FG Lehman 51, 5:54.


Total plays

Mullen 64, Lake. 87

Total yards

Mullen 505, Lake. 566

Passing yards

Mullen 255, Lake. 399

Rushing yards

Mullen 250, Lake. 167

First downs

Mullen 18, Lake. 25

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 4-10, 40%, Lake. 5-14, 36%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 0-2 0%, Lake. 1-4 25%


Mullen 1, Lake. 3


Mullen 14-186, Lake. 10-143


Mullen 1, Lake. 1

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 0, Lake. 2




Passing DePizzol 10-14, 255 yards, 2 TDs, 54 long.

Rushing – Cearns 30-258, 3 TDs, 60 long; White 1-3, 3 long; Hoskins-Mitchell 1-1, 1 long; DePizzol 7-minus-12, 5 long.

Receiving – Henderson 5-160, 1 TD, 54 long; White 3-73, 1 TD, 44 long; Cearns 1-25, 25 long; Hoskins-Mitchell 1-minus-3, -3 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – White 5-3-0-0, Bialecki 4-10-0-0, Keanaaina 4-7-2-3, Villanueba 4-2-0-1, Riley-Combs 4-0-0-0, Hoskins-Mitchell 3-2-0-0, Silva 3-6-0-0, Mitchell 2-5-0-0, Kirking 1-1-1-1, Daffin 1-2-1-1, Difeo 1-0-0-0, Damian 1-0-1-1, Naha 1-0-0-0, DeNezza 0-5-0-0, Ells 0-1-0-0, Hearty 0-2-0-0.

Interceptions – Naha, White.

Kickoff returns – Cearns 2-29 avg., 32 long.

Punt returns – White 3-6 avg., 17 long.

PATs – Lehman 4-4.

FGs – Lehman 1-1.



This Week in Mullen Football, 10/25


WEEK 10: Vs. Lakewood Tigers  
WHEN: Thursday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Trailblazer Stadium, Lakewood

Status: Class 5A Metro West League, regular-season finale

Records: Mullen 3-6 overall, 0-4 league; Lakewood 3-6, 0-4

Head coaches: Vincent White, first year with Mullen; Jeff Braun, fifth year with Lakewood

History:  Only recently have they seen much of each other. Since 2012, they have split four games -- Mullen sandwiched victories in 2015 and 2012 around losses from 2013-14. The Tigers have had winning records in three of their past four seasons and the last time they made the state-championship game was in 2012, losing to Columbine at the Broncos’ Mile High Stadium


Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

27, Jordan Apodaca, Sr., DB, 6-feet, 155 pounds
32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-9, 180
22, Damien Cearns, RB-DB, 5-10, 170
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295
10, Ben Marcoux, Jr., WR, 5-10, 155;
12, Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-1, 191

Last week: In league, Mullen lost 37-16 to Arvada West  and Lakewood lost 51-19 to Ralston Valley.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 859th game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 586-254-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

Lakewood is 26-25 with Braun in command. …

The Mustangs have dropped five straight games after a 3-1 start. They have been outscored by an aggregate 228-52 over their past 20 quarters and have not had a lead. …

Funny how these things work out -- Lakewood also has dropped five consecutive games after a 3-1 start. Over the span, the Tigers have been outscored 215-119, including a wild 40-39 setback to Arvada West. ...

Keanaaina continues to attract attention and hit the recruiting trail. The defensive lineman recently took an unofficial visit to Wisconsin. …

The younger White, coming off consecutive strong games at wide receiver as well as in the secondary, also is showing up on college radar. He has gotten a look at Stanford drawn some interest from the Air Force Academy. …

Mullen entered the week No. 16 in the RPI qualifying system. It’s the final spot for teams to host a first-round game. The top eight seeds will begin with byes, 9-through-16 will host and 17-through-24 will be on the road. …

Mullen had one of its better statistical efforts in last week’s loss to A-West. The Mustangs had an edge in total yards, 414-412, but also had three turnovers to the WIldcats’ two. Individually, Isaac White and Wind Henderson each had eight receptions, with White totaling 177 yards, including a 69-yarder for a TD. Keanaaina, Matthew Mitchell and Lorenzo Riley-Combs each were credited with six tackles.


Coachspeak from White

On meeting Lakewood’s Tigers, who have the same record:

“Lakewood is a good, scrappy team. (The Tigers) play hard and are a lot like us. They don’t have a lot of depth. But they’re a well-coached team.”

On his team being hungry for a victory and what kind of growth he has seen:

“We want to try to get a win. We need to do everything we can to get a win. I think we’ve grown and have started to learn how to be a football team, yes. I can see the growth from our younger players to our older guys. Yes, we’re growing.”


Next for Mullen

Class 5A first-round playoff game, TBA


Thursday’s Class 5A games

Arvada West vs. Columbine, 6 p.m.

Arapahoe vs. Overland

Eaglecrest vs. Cherokee Trail, 7 p.m.


Friday’s Class 5A games

Boulder vs. Adams City, 7 p.m.

Cherry Creek vs. Grandview, 7 p.m.

Douglas County vs. Regis Jesuit, 7 p.m.

Fountain-Fort Carson vs. Doherty, 7 p.m.

Highlands Ranch vs. Valor Christian, 7 p.m.

Legacy vs. Horizon, 7 p.m.

Legend vs. Chaparral, 7 p.m.

Mountain Range vs. Northglenn, 7 p.m.

Poudre vs. Fossil Ridge, 7 p.m.

Ralston Valley vs. Pomona, 7 p.m.

Rock Canyon vs. Mountain Vista, 7 p.m.

Rocky Mountain vs. Fairview, 7 p.m.

Westminster vs. Smoky Hill, 7 p.m.


Saturday’s Class 5A games

Rangeview vs. Denver East, 1 p.m.

Prairie View vs. Far Northeast, 1 p.m.

(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Week 9/Class 5A Scores


Arvada West 37, Mullen 16

Castle View 20, Rock Canyon 3

Denver East 14, Northglenn 12

Eaglecrest 35, Arapahoe 7

Fairview 56, Poudre 14

Legacy 29, Fossil Ridge 24

Regis Jesuit 45, Fountain-Fort Carson 14

Valor Christian 38, ThunderRidge 17


Cherry Creek 35, Cherokee Trail 14

Columbine 35, Pomona 14

Douglas County 22, Chaparral 21

Far Northeast 38, Boulder 10

Grandview 51, Overland 21

Highlands Ranch 25, Mountain Vista 14

Prairie View 54, Adams City 21

Rocky Mountain 31, Horizon 16

Smoky Hill 49, Mountain Range 0

Westminster 48, Rangeview 7


Doherty 24, Legend 14

Ralston Valley 51, Lakewood 19


Mustangs can’t stop A-West, fall 37-16

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It’s Week 9 and late in the regular season, although the lessons are still there for Mullen as are the difficulties and problems that must be addressed.

The Mustangs, desperate to end their slide, fell to Arvada West 37-16 on Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. They dropped their fifth consecutive game and are now 3-6 overall, 0-4 in the Class 5A Metro West League.

Head coach Vincent White has been patient in trying to change the culture of the program and the way it operates, even in the face of being handcuffed by a lack of size up front as well as overall depth and injuries, and was frustrated with his group’s recent showing.

Mullen, much as it has done throughout the past five weeks, had ample opportunities to deal with the Wildcats (6-3, 2-2), but couldn’t generate enough on either offense or defense, and a fair amount of it was self-generated.

“It’s hard to generate stuff when guys don’t want to listen and they want to do their own thing,” he said.

It began early as Mullen was whistled for a couple of penalties for players not having their knees covered, a violation on the schoolboy level.

In falling behind 28-0 in the first half, Mullen fell victim to three touchdown passes by the Wildcats’ Johnny Krutsch, all of them catch-and-runs in which the Mustangs secondary missed chances to keep them to shorter gains.

White said he had no problem with the effort.

“We played hard to the end, but you can’t come out and miss all of those tackles.” He said.

In suddenly showing life in the final minute of the first half, Mullen was awarded a safety when A-West was called for a penalty in the end zone during a punt, and following the free kick Kyle Remington found Wind Henderson for a 21-yard scoring pass to have the Mustangs get within 28-9.

However, their biggest chances came in the third quarter, when there were a combined nine possessions – a high number for a schoolboy game – and they came up empty, despite strong defensive stances.

Ultimately, “the missed tackles hurt,” White said.

Overall, the Mullen defense up front was about as solid as any other segment of its performance, and Ben Marcoux and Isaac White both turned in highlight catches. The younger White also transformed a simple, short pass play into a 69-yard TD.

But a football team that has had its problems, and a fair amount of them self-generated, still is trying to fight through them. If it wasn’t a missed tackle, it was a missed block. Or a bad throw. Not making a play on a ball. Dropping the snap. Being too slow in coverage. Not handling the rush. Or being guilty of a penalty.

“We’re hard-headed sometimes and we hurt ourselves,” Coach White said.

Mullen’s schedule has proven difficult and it’s at the basis of a playoff spot that will be confirmed in a couple of weekends. The Mustangs had been hoping for a home game in the first round (the top eight seeds will have byes; the ensuing eight will host) and will wrap up the regular season in a week against Lakewood at Trailblazer Stadium.



Mullen  0   9   0   7  --  16

Arvada West  14   14  0   9   --  37

First quarter

Arvada West – Cory Carignan 40 pass from Johnny Krutsch (Michael Vandenberg kick), 4:54.

Arvada West – Isaiah Ocana 39 pass from Krutsch (Vandenberg kick), 2:46.

Second quarter

Arvada West – Tony Cass 22 run (Vandenberg kick), 11:53.

Arvada West – Cameron Wilbur 42 pass from Krutsch (Vandenberg kick), 4:50.

Mullen – Safety, AW penalty in end zone, 0:44.7.

Mullen – Wind Henderson 21 pass from Kyle Remington (Aidan Lehman kick), 0:02.7.

Fourth quarter

Arvada West – Oliver Petelo 3 run (kick failed), 8:19.

Arvada West – FG Vandenberg 42, 4:35.

Mullen – Isaac White 69 pass from Dom DePizzol (Lehman kick), 3:48.


Total plays

Mullen 79, AW 70

Total yards

Mullen 414, AW 412

Passing yards

Mullen 366, AW 299

Rushing yards

Mullen 48, AW 113

First downs

Mullen 18, AW 18

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 4-17, 24%, AW 3-11, 27%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 2-7 28%, AW 1-3 33%


Mullen 3, AW 2


Mullen 2-10, AW 5-35


Mullen 1, AW 0

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 2 AW 2




Passing DePizzol 16-31, 277 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int., 69 long; Remington 6-14, 62 yards; 1 TD, 19 long; White 0-1, 1 int..

Rushing – Hoskins-Mitchell 7-19, 14 long; Remington 3-7, 8 long; White 4-4, 12 long; DePizzol 6-3, 7 long.

Receiving – White 8-177, 1 TD, 69 long; Henderson 8-70, 1 TD, 19 long; Marcoux 3-60, 38 long; Rogers 1-16, 16 long; Hearty 1-3, 3 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Keanaaina 6-1-0-1, Mitchell 5-2-0-1, Daffin 5-0-0-1, Riley-Combs 4-2-0-1, Naha 4-1-0-0, Silva 1-2-0-0, Bialecki 1-2-0-0, Apodaca 1-2-0-0, Villanueva 1-1-0-0, Ells 1-0-0-1, DeNezza 0-3-0-0, Kirking 0-2-0-0,.

Interceptions – Mitchell.

Punt returns – White 1-7 avg., 7 long.

PATs – Lehman 2-2.



This Week in Mullen Football, 10/18



WEEK 9: Vs. Arvada West Wildcats  
WHEN: Thursday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: North Area Athletic Complex, Arvada

Status: Class 5A Metro West League

Records: Mullen 3-5 overall 0-3 league; Arvada West 5-3, 1-2

Head coaches: Vincent White, first year with Mullen; Brad Pyatt, fifth year with A-West

History:  They really haven’t played each other that much -- since 2005, there have been four meetings, all won by Mullen, most recently a 55-14 spanking in 2015. There also were two in playoffs, both in the semifinals, with Mullen winning 27-0 in 2009 on the way to a second-consecutive title and during a 34-game winning streak, and in 2005, winning 58-38 before falling to Douglas County.


Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

27, Jordan Apodaca, Sr., DB, 6-feet, 155 pounds
32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-9, 180
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295
10, Ben Marcoux, Jr., WR, 5-10, 155
5?, Dante Silva, Sr., LB-OL, 6-2, 220
12, Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-1, 191

Last week: In league, Mullen lost 48-20 at home to defending state champion Pomona and Arvada West outlasted Lakewood 40-39.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 856th game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 584-253-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

A-West senior QB Johnny Krutsch now is the program’s all-time leader in passing yards. Last week, he overtook Steve Cutlip. Krutsch has 8,312 yards in his career. Cutlip, widely considered one of the best QBs of recent decades, had 8,307 from 1994-97. The all-time leader is Justin Holland of Bear Creek, 10,565 from 1997-2000. Mullen’s Ryan Clement (1990-93) had 9,273 and ranks fourth. Krutsch is sixth. …

Hearty missed last week’s game, but Silva returned and was active on defense. …

The younger White, Mullen’s top receiver, grabbed his first scoring pass last week, an 8-yarder in the second quarter. …

Mullen was 16th in RPI entering the week. The top eight seeds will have first-round byes. The Mustangs still have a chance to host a preliminary-round matchup -- seeds 9 through 16 will host 17 through 24. …

In a stretch of three-of-four games on the road, Mullen also will finish away, a rare matchup at Trailblazer Stadium, usually the site for lower-level games. …

The Mustangs’ 285 points allowed puts them 36th of 40 teams. A-West is 27th  …

A-West’s victory last week snapped a three-game losing streak in which it gave up a combined 133 points, including 50 to Eaglecrest, the 2017 5A state runner-up. …

Mullen is attempting to avoid its second-consecutive losing season. It was 5-6 a year ago. The MUstangs also were 3-7 in 2013 and 4-6 in 2014.

Coachspeak from White

On his team understanding that they need a couple of victories to secure a home playoff game:

“I think they do. It’s a short week, so we;ll stretch a little more. We have to get a win so we can host. It’s exciting for everybody.”

On assessing the Wildcats:

“They’re pretty good on offense. They throw the ball around and have a good football team. If we don’t turn the ball over, we have a chance to win the football game.”

On what he’s looking for over the next two games:

“Against Pomona, I thought we played hard and that’s what you want to see for four quarters. We need to be mistake-free and if we don’t turn the ball over and play hard, that what we want and what we have to do.”

Next for Mullen

Away vs. Lakewood in the Metro West, Thursday,  Oct. 25, 7 p.m., Trailblazer Stadium

Thursday’s Class 5A games

Castle View vs. Rock Canyon, 7 p.m.

Fairview vs. Poudre, 6 p.m.

Arapahoe vs. Eaglecrest, 7 p.m.

Denver East vs. Northglenn, 7 p.m.

Fossil Ridge vs. Legacy, 7 p.m.

Regis Jesuit vs. Fountain-Fort Carson, 6 p.m.

Valor Christian vs. ThunderRidge, 7 p.m.

Friday’s Class 5A games

Westminster vs. Rangeview, 6:30 p.m.

Chaparral vs. Douglas County, 7 p.m.

Cherokee Trail vs. Cherry Creek, 7 p.m.

Far Northeast vs. Boulder, 7 p.m.

Horizon vs. Rocky Mountain, 7 p.m.

Mountain Vista vs. Highlands Ranch, 7 p.m.

Overland vs. Grandview, 7 p.m.

Prairie View vs. Adams City, 7 p.m.

Pomona vs. Columbine, 7 p.m.

Smoky Hill vs. Mountain Range, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Class 5A games

Doherty vs. Legend, 1 p.m.

Ralston Valley vs. Lakewood, 3:30 p.m.


(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Week 8/Class 5A scores


Boulder 20,  Rangeview 0

Columbine 29, Ralston Valley 14

Grandview 42, vs. Arapahoe 14

Legacy 34, Rocky Mountain 21

Smoky Hill 48, Adams City 0


Castle View 41, Highlands Ranch 28

Cherokee Trail 36, Overland 24

Cherry Creek 14, Eaglecrest 13

Fountain-Fort Carson 42, Chaparral 21

Legend 35, Douglas County 14

Fairview 48, Fossil Ridge 21

Poudre 26, Horizon 21

Arvada West 40, Lakewood 39

Prairie View 35, Mountain Range 7

Valor Christian 48, Mountain Vista 7

Westminster 35, Northglenn 12

Pomona 48, Mullen 20

ThunderRidge 52, Rock Canyon 7


Denver East 10, Far Northeast 7

Regis Jesuit 41, Doherty 1 5

Defending champ tames Mustangs 48-20

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

In running into the final heavyweight of its regular-season schedule, Mullen revisited recent problems and trends Friday night that seem like recordings.

Mistakes, turnovers, injury problems, being outmanned up front and out-experienced overall again arose as the Mustangs were handled 48-20 by defending Class 5A state champion Pomona in the Metro West League. Playing in the final home regular-season game of 2018 at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium, Mullen’s losing streak reached four games and dropped it to 3-5 overall, 0-3 in league.

The Mustangs have now gone against – and lost to -- four consecutive elite foes (Grandview, Columbine, Ralston Valley and the Panthers) who own an aggregate 27-5 record to date.

Four interceptions proved killer and magnified other current issues of injuries, starting multiple freshman and a lack of depth.

“We turned the ball over and when you turn it over, you don’t win football games,” head coach Vincent White said.

His guys did, however, make a move late in the first half that got them within 28-13 and could have been better had it not been for a pass-interference penalty that would have forced a punt and showed opportunity for good field position.

But the penalty kept the Pomona drive alive and the Panthers, now 6-2, 3-0, kept possession long enough to run out the clock. Plus, they scored on the first possession of the third quarter to re-establish order, much as they did in the first quarter, when they rang up touchdowns on three-of-four possessions and squeezed in an interception return for another TD in less than 6 minutes.

Three of Mullen’s four thrown interceptions led to Pomona scores.

However, in addition to showing legitimate effort throughout the game and doing what they could to turn around a month-long spin as well as narrowly missing on a couple of chances that could have kept it interesting, Mullen had its defense force regular doses of Pomona three-and-outs and was only hit for a couple of big plays.

Plus, the Mustangs welcomed back lineman Dante Silva, one of multiple 12th-graders who celebrated Senior Week and Night. And with league games in Weeks 9 and 10 against Arvada West and Lakewood, respectively (the two are a combined 8-8), there is still time to position themselves appropriately for a first-round postseason game.

“I mean, we just need to execute our game plan and everybody needs to stay focused and keep a positive attitude,” said Silva, who returned from a shoulder injury.

Mullen received nice production from multiple players, including two-way lineman Aidan Keanaaina and wide receiver-defensive back Isaac White, both juniors, as well as from senior linebacker Wilson Bialecki, who has seen his share of program ups and downs over his four years.

“We made a lot of mistakes tonight, but when you have so many injuries for the amount of kids we have … I think we’re just short-staffed,” Bialecki said. “And you can’t make mistakes against the defending state champions. I think we played five or six freshmen.

“It’s tough, but on the defensive side every guy gives their all and it’s fun. We had nine three-and-outs. I’m just out there having fun with my friends. And for the way we played, I think we have hope.”



Pomona  28   0   14   6   –  48

Mullen   6   7   0   7  –   20

First quarter

Pomona – Billy Pospisil 68 pass from Riley Welch (Lily Thimsen kick), 6:07.

Mullen – Wind Henderson 71 pass from Kyle Remington (run failed), 5:50.

Pomona – Dominic Bettini 1 run (Thimsen kick), 3:42.

Pomona – Bettini 18 run (Thimsen kick), 2:59.

Pomona – D.J. Killion 61 pass from Welch (Thimsen kick), 0:15.4.

Second quarter

Mullen – Isaac White 8 pass from Dom DePizzol (Aiden Lehman kick), 4:46.

Third quarter

Pomona – Bettini 13 run (Thimsen kick), 9:20.

Pomona – Trent Padia 43 interception return (Thimsen kick), 8:13.

Fourth quarter

Mullen – Zaide Hoskins-Mitchell 17 pass from DePizzol (Lehman kick), 5:20.

Pomona – Ben Cruz 80 run (kick failed), 4:20.



Total plays

Mullen 52, Pom. 54

Total yards

Mullen 198, Pom. 376

Passing yards

Mullen 199, Pom. 198

Rushing yards

Mullen minus-1, Pom.178

First downs

Mullen 8, Pom. 12

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 2-12, 17%, Pom. 2-10, 20%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 0-2, 0% Pom. 1-1 100%


Mullen 4, Pom. 2


Mullen 5-168, Pom. 4-30


Mullen 0, Pom. 2

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 4, Pom. 0




Passing DePizzol 11-25, 128 yards, 2 TDs, 3 Int., 37 long; Remington 1-2, 71 yards; 1 TD, 1 Int., 71 long.

Rushing – Hoskins-Mitchell 12-6, 10 long; DePizzol 8-0, 4 long; White 2-minus-1, 2 long; Reminton 2-minus-6, 0 long.

Receiving – Henderson 4-132, 1 TD, 71 long; White 5-45, 1 TD, 15 long; Hoskins-Mitchell 3-22, 1 TD, 17 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Keanaaina 6-2-0-1, Mitchell 5-1-0-0, Silva 4-2-0-1, Marcoux 4-0-0-0, Daffin 3-0-0-0, Bialecki 2-2-0-0, Kirking 2-1-1-1, Riley-Combs 2-0-0-1, Stanford 2-0-0-0, White 1-1-0-1, Naha 1-0-0-0, Heil 1-0-0-0, Apodaca 1-0-0-0, Ells 1-0-0-0, Thompson 0-1-0-0.

Fumble recovery – Riley-Combs.

Kickoff returns – Heil  4-15 avg., 22 long; Hoskins-Mitchell 2-20, 22 long.

Punt returns – White 2-1 avg., 2 long.

Punts – Lehman 7-40 avg., 42 long.

PATs – Lehman 2-2.




 This week in Mullen football, 10/12


WEEK 8: Vs. Pomona Panthers  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium

Status: Class 5A Metro West League

Records: Mullen 3-4 overall 0-2 league; Pomona 5-2, 2-0

Head coaches: Vincent White, first year with Mullen; Jay Madden, 16th year with Pomona

History: Since Mullen beat Pomona 27-24 to win the 2009 championship, the Panthers have won four of the past five meetings, including 23-22 in the 2011 quarterfinals that ended the Mustangs’ run of three consecutive state titles as well as seven straight seasons of at least 11 victories. The Panthers most recently beat Mullen 52-22 in the 2017 opener.


Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

27, Jordan Apodaca, Sr., DB, 6-feet, 155 pounds
32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-9, 180
3, Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295
10, Ben Marcoux, Jr., WR, 5-10, 155;
12, Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-1, 191

Last week: In league, Pomona beat Arvada West 41-27 and Mullen lost 45-0 to Ralston Valley, both games at the NAAC.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 855th game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 584-252-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

Pomona, the defending state champion, has been in the past three big-school championship games. They fell to Valor Christian in 2015 and 2016 before beating Eaglecrest in the second-highest scoring championship game (56-49) in state history. The Jefferson County Panthers of Arvada were 12-2. …

Overall, Pomona is 2-6 in title games, previously winning in 1988. …

Madden has had a terrific run heading Pomona. He’s 141-47 with the Panthers and two weeks ago won his 200th game, joining an exclusive, in-state club. Overall, he’s 201-77. …

The Mustangs welcomed back the younger White a week ago and he had eight receptions for 82 yards, including a sparkling one-hander on the game’s opening drive. …

Keanaaina led the Mustangs with six tackles, including one for loss. Bialecki, another consistent defender, was in on five. …

Pomona, like the Mustangs and so many other 5A schools, has had its own litany of significant injury problems. Heading into Week 8, the Panthers were to be without six starters, including up front, at wide receiver and in the offensive backfield. …

Mullen was held to minus-11 rushing yards the past week, mostly due to seven quarterback sacks. …

It’s Senior Week for Mullen and the final, regular-season home game for 10 12th-graders, a lower number relative to the class.

Coachspeak from White

On meeting always good Pomona, one of 5A’s most-consistent teams for more than a decade :

“(The Panthers) are a very good football team, a well-coached football team that can throw the ball, run it and they’re very physical. They also have two very good receivers and you can see why (they’ve been good for a long time.)”

On what kind of improvement he’s looking for as his team seeks to snap a three-game losing streak and rebound from a one-sided shutout:

“We’re looking for effort and attitude. You’re going to make mistakes, but make them at full speed. Effort and attitude is what we’re looking for and to play the whole game.”

On his team’s injury situation, losing players and having others return:

“(Lineman) Dante Silva will be back this week, but we have a lot of kids who have to play both ways and we just have to be able to play through the injuries.”

Next for Mullen

Away vs. Arvada West in the Metro West, Thursday,  Oct.18, 7 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Boulder 20,  Rangeview 0

Columbine 29, Ralston Valley 14

Grandview 42, vs. Arapahoe 14

Legacy 34, Rocky Mountain 21

Smoky Hill 48, Adams City 0

Friday’s Class 5A games

Cherokee Trail vs. Overland, 7 p.m.

Cherry Creek vs. Eaglecrest, 7 p.m.

Douglas County vs. Legend, 7 p.m.

Fossil Ridge vs. Fairview, 7 p.m.

Horizon vs. Poudre, 7 p.m.

Lakewood vs. Arvada West, 7 p.m.

Mountain Range vs. Prairie View, 7 p.m.

Mountain Vista vs. Valor Christian, 7 p.m.

Northglenn vs. Westminster, 7 p.m.

Rock Canyon vs. ThunderRidge, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Class 5A games

Denver East vs. Far Northeast, 1 p.m.

Regis Jesuit vs. Doherty, 1 p.m.


(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang


Week 7/Class 5A Scores


Castle View 42, Mountain Vista 27

Doherty 17, Chaparral 0

Eaglecrest 51, Overland 8

Fairview 55, Horizon 28

Pomona 41, Arvada West 27


Cherry Creek 2, Arapahoe 0, CC wins by forfeit

Columbine 41, Lakewood 16

Fossil Ridge 24, Rocky Mountain 21

Fountain-Fort Carson 41, Douglas County 7

Grandview 28, Cherokee Trail 0

Legacy 35, Poudre 21

Northglenn 13, Rangeview 7

Prairie View 32, Boulder 7

Ralston Valley 45, Mullen 0

Regis Jesuit 36, Legend 7

Smoky Hill 30, Denver East 20

ThunderRidge 18, Highlands Ranch 13

Westminster 33, Mountain Range 6


Far Northeast 40, Adams City 0

Valor Christian 42, Rock Canyon 0


Slide continues, Mustangs go down 45-0

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

ARVADA – They are down in a hole and having trouble climbing out of it.

Mullen’s losing streak reached three games on Friday night after a 45-0 whipping to Ralston Valley at a North Area Athletic Complex that featured the first cold-and-wet conditions of the early fall season.

Mullen dropped to 3-4 overall, 0-2 in the new Class 5A Metro West League, and its frustration was evident as it left the field.

In feeling unlucky and snake-bitten, Mullen is desperate to change its fortunes and all coach Vincent White and his Mustangs can do, he said, is to keep at it.

“We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot,” a disappointed White said after a turnover-, mistake-filled spell in which the Mustangs have been outscored 143-16 over the past three games. “We just didn’t play well.”

The thing about it, White knows, is Mullen miscues are occurring at inopportune times and perpetuating their current plight.

It started early again against Ralston Valley, now 6-1, 0-2. Mullen had big catches turned in by Wind Henderson and Isaac White, who had missed the previous two games with injury, on its opening drive, only to have quarterback Dom DePizzol hit by the rush on a pass attempt. It fluttered, was intercepted and returned to the Mullen 3-yard line. Ralston Valley scored a play later.

Mullen fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Ralston Valley recovered and got a field goal.

Punting problems were next, as in a couple of short ones and another that was tipped that led to a 24-0 bulge. A bad pitch on an option resulted in a lost fumble, and a misfire in the end zone on fourth-and-goal didn’t help ... nor did the rain, which made for a sloppy second half.

Ralston Valley, which had a lot of success at the line of scrimmage, had Mullen under the mercy rule (a differential of 40-or-more points and the clock only stops for timeouts or injuries)..

It was a tough night.

“No question,” White said. “(The mistakes) are hard to overcome. We have to play perfect footbsall games to be in football games. When we make turnovers, they cost us.”

So many of the errors are unforced, White knows, so it’s particularly bothersome. Mullen tries to get going early, but it has a penalty. Or fumbles. Or can’t handle opposing pressure. Or fill in the blank …

“We make mistakes that make no sense, they make no sense and they come from nowhere,” White said.

Mullen finished with only 198 yards of total offense, just 33 rushing. DePizzol had 137 yards passing on 12 completions. The younger White had eight receptions for 82 yards and Henderson had three for 39. Colin Rogers added a 38-yard catch.

“All we can do is keep working,” Coach White said.

Next up is the final, regular-season home game, on Friday, October 12, 7 p.m., against Pomona, the defending state champion.

“That’s a very good football team,” Coach White said.



Mullen  0   0   0  0   –  0

Ralston Valley  10  21  14  0  – 45

First quarter

Ralston Valley – Brad Roberts 3 run (Mason Miller kick), 7:56.

Ralston Valley – FG Miller 37, 7:02.

Second quarter

Ralston Valley – Chase Wilson 1 run (Miller kick), 10:55.

Ralston Valley – A.J. Jergensen 18 pass from Walker Brickle (Miller kick), 9:33.

Ralston Valley – Parks Jones 12 pass from Brickle (Miller kick), 5:44.

Third quarter

Ralston Valley – Wilson 76 pass from Brickle (Miller kick), 5:06.

Ralston Valley – Wilson 6 run (Miller kick), 2:33.


Total plays

Mulle 53, RV 44

Total yards

Mullen 174, RV 221

Passing yards

Mullen 185, RV 122

Rushing yards

Mullen minus-11, RV 99n

First downs

Mullen 8, RV 10

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 2-12, 17%, RV 4-8, 50%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 1-3, 33% RV 0-0, 0%


Mullen 3, RV 1


Mullen 10-44, RV 6-34


Mullen 2, RV 1

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 1, RV 0




Passing DePizzol 12-17, 131 yards, 1 Int., 38 long; Remington 3-11, 54 yards; 26 long.

Rushing – Remington 3-3, 3 long, 1 fumble; Hoskins-Mitchell 1-1, 1 long; Cearns 5-0, 6 long; DePizzol 10-minus-15, 11 long.

Receiving – White 8-82, 26 long; Henderson 3-39, 31 long; Rogers 1-38, 38 long; Marcoux 3-26, 15 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Kirking 5-1-0-0, Bialecki 3-2-0-0, Mitchell 3-0-0-0, White 2-1-0-0, Keanaaina 2-4-0-1, Apodaca 2-0-1-1, DePizzol 1-0-0-0, Hoskins-Mitchell 1-0-0-0, Rogers 1-0-0-0, Nolte 1-3-0-0, Heart1 1-1-0-0, Difeo 1-1-0-0, Stitt 0-1-0-0.

Fumble recovery – Keanaaina.

Kickoff returns – Cearns 4-15 avg., 39 long.

Punts – Lehman 6-48 avg., 76 long.








WEEK 6: Vs. Ralston Valley Mustangs  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: North Area Athletic Complex, Arvada

Status: Class 5A Metro West League

Records: Mullen 3-3; Ralston Valley 5-1

Head coaches: Vincent White, first year with Mullen; Matt Loyd, 19th year with Ralston Valley

History: The two programs really haven’t played that much until recent seasons. Ralston Valley joined 5A in 2010. The two played for three consecutive seasons, from 2013-15. Ralston Valley has won every time with the scores being, in order, 43-0, 55-14 and 31-21. And it will be their first meeting since being together in an earlier version of the Jefferson County l]League.


Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
22, Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-10, 170
3, Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295
10, Ben Marcoux, Jr., WR, 5-10, 155;
4, Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195
12, Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-1, 191

Last week: Both teams had the score of 42-13. Go figure. Mullen dropped a roadie to Columbine, its second consecutive loss, in its league opener and Ralston Valley blitzed Arvada West at the NAAC.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 854th game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 584-251-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

Loyd needs a victory for No.  200 in his career. He enters 199-62 in his career. The native of Glenwood Springs also was head coach at Golden from 1994-99. …

Mullen will welcome back the younger White from injury this week. He had a joint problem with his right shoulder, but has been cleared to play. …

Coach White also showed his son a glimpse of Stanford, his alma mater, the past weekend, when Mullen was working toward an alumni gathering in the San Francisco area. The elder White was a star running back for the Cardinal. …

Stitt caught a 22-yard pass from DePizzol and C.J. Smith ran 18 yards to account for Mullen’s two TDs the past week. …

Mullen rushed for 143 yards yards last week, topped by Cearns’ 65. His 430 on the season heads the team as does his seven TDs. …

Including Ralston Valley, four of Mullen’s five opponents during this stretch own an aggregate 22-2 record. …

Ralston Valley;s lone loss was by 21-17 to Loveland, which is undefeated in 4A. …

Defensive end Isaac Townsend, 6-6, 240, has committed to Oregon  and the Ralston Valley senior is rated as high as the No. 3 prospect in Colorado’s class of 2019. …

Keanaaina visited Notre Dame the past weekend and met Irish and NFL great Joe Theismann.

Coachspeak from White

On meeting an always interesting Ralston Valley:

“(Ralston Valley’s) only loss came to Loveland. It’s a good football team. I think it does a lot of things on defense, it comes at you from a lot of different ways that you don’t know about … you don’t know where it’s coming from.:

On his team improving and learning weekly from its mistakes as it goes through its schedule:

“When we showed them the film, we showed them that we should have more, and they see that, They received it very well. They want to learn. And they responded very well to what we were showing them.”

On his team possibly making a positive move over the final month of the regular season:

“Oh, yeah, we’re playing better and I think you’ll see that we’ll play very well this week.”

Next for Mullen

Away vs. Pomona in the Metro West, Oct.12, 7 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Castle View 42, Mountain Vista 27

Doherty 17, Chaparral 0

Eaglecrest 51, Overland 8

Fairview 55, Horizon 28

Pomona 41, Arvada West 27

Friday’s Class 5A games

Arapahoe vs. Cherry Creek, cancelled, CC wins by forfeit

Columbine vs. Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.

Fountain-Fort Carson vs. Douglas County, 7 p.m.

Grandview vs. Cherokee Trail, 7 pm.

Legend vs. Regis Jesuit, 7 p.m.

Mountain Range vs. Westminster, 7 p.m.

Prairie View vs. Boulder, 7 p.m.

Poudre vs. Legacy, 7 p.m.

Rangeview vs. Northglenn, 7 p.m.

Rocky Mountain vs. Fossil Ridge, 7 p.m.

Smoky Hill vs. Denver East, 4 p.m.

ThunderRidge vs. Highlands Ranch, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Class 5A game

Adams City vs., Far Northeast, 4 p.m.

Valor Christian vs. Rock Canyon, 4:30 p.m.


(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Mullen falls to Columbine

But White, Mustangs feeling better with effort, improvement

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

LAKEWOOD – The lessons continued for Mullen on a much-cooler Friday afternoon.

At Jefferson County Stadium and in their debut in the new Class 5A Metro West League, the Mustangs fell 42-13 to ever-present Columbine.

It dropped them to 3-3 overall, although the mark wasn’t nearly as important as the continued learning, the experience gained and the sense that their improved effort was starting to show some results. Mullen’s schedule remains challenging and head coach Vincent can live with all of the above.

However, further proof that self-generated miscues can’t be tolerated also was on display more than once and White said it was the next step – eliminating mistakes has turned into a must.

“Yes, that’s what I told them,” he said. “If we can cut out the mistakes, we can be OK because we moved the ball. We can run the football. We have to read when it’s the right read and do all of the mechanical things.”

Plus, White liked the effort.

“I thought our kids played hard, so I was proud of them,” he said.

And in unusual twists for both sides, Mullen, which has thrown it around the field, opted for the rush and Columbine, now 6-0 overall and long in love with running the football, experimented regularly with passing.

“We wanted to run the football and make it a game that comes down with the clock,” White said. “And we did that for a while, but we’d make a mistake. We just have to eliminate those mistakes. (But) we’re getting better. It’s a process. We got into our playbook a little deeper today, so it was good.”

Mullen was significantly more game up front, where the Rebels usually rule, and junior running back Damien Cearns had assorted success behind it. But, as White noted, the Mustangs would get going a bit before suffering an error.

A missed connection on an attempted handoff ended the first drive on fourth-and-1, and Columbine immediately answered to take a 7-0 lead. Failure to connect on third-and-short preceded a 14-0 deficit. A low snap in punt formation set up a short field for a 21-0 Columbine lead and was followed by a short punt that helped push the Rebels’ bulge to 28-0.

Cearns, like other Mustangs, is all-too familiar with the pattern.

“We can keep up with any team in the state if we play well,” he said. “We just need to stop the mistakes.”

The Mustangs had a 90-yard drive that was capped with a Dom DePIzzol-to-Vaughnn Stitt 22-yard scoring pass 12.5 seconds before halftime before the Rebels used a quick strike for a passing touchdown and superiority up to grind out an 11-play, 57-yard drive to cap their scoring and lead at 42-6.

C.J. Smith bolted 18 yards for Mullen’s final score late in the fourth and the Mustangs eventually left the field feeling much better than after last week’s 56-3 home debacle against Grandview.

“Yeah, yeah, during (the week’s) practice, we picked up the intensity and told the linemen to know their assignments and they did,” Cearns said. “I think we’re getting there. We take one step at a time and that’s what we need to do.”

Mullen again suffered a few key sacks that hindered drives and was victimized a couple of times across its defensive front, but talented junior Aidan Keanaaina, who will visit Notre Dame this weekend, led a better charge. Significant injuries also have hampered an inner group asked to play both sides of the ball, but White said his son, Isaac, a junior wide receiver-defensive back who will visit Stanford early next week, may be able to return from a sternoclavicular (SC) joint injury for Week 7.

Next up: On the road against Ralston Valley, 7 p.m., Oct. 5, at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada.

Even better: Mullen embraced the process against the Rebels, an established power for most of coach Andy Lowry’s 25 years, and craves more.

“I thought we played well up front for as big as they were,” White said in referring to the Rebels. “I thought we did a good job. We moved the ball and we’ll get better.”



Mullen  0  6  0  7 – 13

Columbine 7  21 14  0 -- 42

First quarter

Columbine – Braeden Hogan 4 run (Adam Tasei kick), 6:38.

Second quarter

Columbine – Dean Hives 16 pass from Logan DeArment (Tasei kick), 11:02.

Columbine – Tanner Hollens 2 run (Tasei kick), 7:31.

Columbine – DeArment 18 run (Tasei kick), 4:10.

Mullen – Vaughnn Stitt 22 pass from Dom DePIzzol (kick failed), 0:12.5

Third quarter

Columbine – Hollens 58 run (Tasei kick), 11:08.

Columbine -- Adam Harirngton 8 run (Tasei kick), 1:57.

Fourth quarter

Mullen – C.J. Smith 18 run (Aiden Lehman kick), 5:36.



Total plays

Mullen 64, Col. 50

Total yards

Mullen 205, Col. 314

Passing yards

Mullen 62, Col. 75

Rushing yards

Mullen 143, Col. 239

First downs

Mullen 14, Col. 16

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 16-12, 40%, Col. 5-8, 63%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 1-3, 33% Col. 1-1, 100%


Mullen 0, Col. 0


Mullen 13-155, Col. 7-40



Passing DePizzol 3-8, 32 yards, 1 TD, 22 long; Remington 2-5, 30 yards; 18 long.

Rushing – Cearns 19-65, 17 long; DePizzol 12-31, 13 long; Smith 4-22, 1 TD, 18 long; Remington 6-13, 8 long; Marcoux 1-12, 12 long.

Receiving – Stitt 5-62, 1 TD, 22 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Hearty 4-0-0-1, Stitt 3-3-0-0, Keaanaaina 3-1-0-0, Hoskins-Mitchell 2-0-0-0, Mitchell 2-4-0-0, Bialecki 2-3-1-1, Kirking 2-0-0-0, Smith 1-0-0-0, Nolte 1-3-0-0, Riley-Combs 1-1-0-0, Apodaca 1-1-0-0, Naha 1-0-0-0, Stanford 1-0-0-0, DePizzol 0-3-0-0, Difeo 0-3-0-0, Lacey 0-1-0-0, Lehman 0-1-0-0.

Kickoff returns – Heil 3-15 avg. 28 long; Cearns 2-9 avg., 30 long.

Punts – Lehman 3-31 avg., 40 long; Yee 2-14 avg., 39 long.

Kicking – Lehman 1 PAT, Yee 0-1 PAT.






WEEK 6: Vs. Columbine Rebels  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 4 p.m.  
WHERE: Jefferson County Stadium, Lakewood

Status: Class 5A Metro West League

Records: Mullen 3-2; Columbine 5-0

Head coaches: Vincent White, first year with Mullen; Andy Lowry, 25th year with Rebels
History: The Rebels have won three of the past nine meetings over a dozen years, beginning with the fabled big-school final in 2006, when Columbine and touted lineman Ryan Miller knocked off a very loaded Mustangs group that included the very athletic Devin Aguilar and Phillip Morelli 13-10 at Mile High Stadium. The Rebels also have won four of the past five head-to-head meetings, most recently last year’s 41-24 decision.


Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
22, Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-10, 170
3, Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295
10, Ben Marcoux, Jr., WR, 5-10, 155;
4, Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195
Last week: Mustangs were rolled at home by Grandview 56-3; Rebels handled visiting Olathe North (Kan.) 48-12.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 853rd game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 584-250-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

Lowry has one of the great won-loss records in Colorado history, a sparkling 254-65. His Rebels have won state titles in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Better yet, Columbine has had all of one losing record in his time -- it was 5-6 in 2014. …

It’s both teams’ opener in the new Metro West. They are grouped with Arvada West, Lakewood, Ralston Valley and defending state champion Pomona. …

Officially, Mullen was held to 32 yards of offense the past week. The Mustangs ran 51 plays and threw for 74 yards, but were charged with minus-42 yards because of several sacks. …

Mustangs junior Aidan Keanaaina was in on seven tackles against Grandview, three of the solo variety. Matthew Mitchell and Brennen Nolte each had tackles for losses. …

Marcoux, who had his best game the previous week with four receptions for 79 yards and two TDs, led the Mustangs with two catches for 21 yards. Cearns, Hearty, Colin Rogers and Wind Henderson also had two receptions. …

Columbine has round team numbers - it has scored 200 points and surrendered 50. The Rebels are fifth in scoring and fourth in preventing points. …

The Mustangs had four of their five nonleague games at home. So, yes, you guessed it -- four of their five league games will be on the road. …

Wilson Yee accounted for all of Mullen’s points last week with a 35-yard field goal. …

The one who really makes Columbine go is QB Logan DeArment, who missed a couple of games with injury, but is back and a threat both rushing and passing.

Coachspeak from White

On what he has learned about his team to date:

“I think we have a resilient team, one that plays hard. We’ve got to look at ourselves and win some games. We are learning that we can’t win games if we make mistakes.”

On assessing the Rebels, who everyone knows almost always has size up front as well as a rushing attack that’s difficult to stop:

“They’re big, physical and they play in a phone booth. Coach Lowry has been around a long time, he’s a very good football coach and runs a very good program.”

On being in the new Metro West League with Jefferson County schools:

“I like where we are, I like the league. It’s a very good league, a very competitive league, one of the best conferences in the state. And I like that.”

Next for Mullen

Away vs. Ralston Valley in the Metro West, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Doherty 42, Douglas County 0

Fairview 67, Legacy 33 .

Far Northeast 49, Mountain Range 0

Ralston Valley 42, Arvada West 13

Regis Jesuit 35, Chaparral 0


Friday’s Class 5A games

Arvada West vs. Eaglecrest, 7 p.m.

Cherokee Trail vs. Arapahoe, 7 p.m.

Eaglecrest vs. Grandview, 7 p.m.

Fossil Ridge vs. Horizon, 7 p.m.

Highlands Ranch vs. Rock Canyon, 7 p.m.

Lakewood vs. Pomona, 7 p.m.

Legend vs. Fountain-Fort Carson, 7 p.m.

Overland vs. Cherry Creek, 7 p.m.

Poudre vs. Rocky Mountain, 7 p.m.

ThunderRidge vs. Mountain Vista, 7 p.m.

Valor Christian vs. Castle View, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Class 5A game

Boulder vs. Smoky Hill, 1 p.m.


(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Week 5/Class 5A Scores

Arapahoe 52, Douglas County 6

Cherry Creek 49, Chaparral 7

Pomona 42, Highlands Ranch 14.

Mountain Vista 34, Legacy 7.

Rangeview 35, Adams City 14


Castle View 42, Legend 21

Columbine 48, Olathe North, Kan. 12

Denver East 44, Mountain Range 6

Doherty 28, ThunderRidge 27

Eaglecrest 50, Arvada West 0

Fairview 49, Rock Canyon 7

Fort Collins 20, Poudre 14

Fountain-Fort Carson 58, Overland 18

Grandview 56, Mullen 3

Horizon 26, Regis Jesuit 22

Northglenn 35, Prairie View 14

Ralston Valley 49, Fossil Ridge 0

South Warren, Ken. 46, Rocky Mountain 0

Valor Christian 27, Menlo-Atherton, Calif. 0

Westminster 40, Boulder 0


Cherokee Trail 49, Lakewood 28

Smoky Hill 35, Far Northeast 34


Mustangs humbled by Grandview 56-3

Wolves impressive in dropping Mullen to 3-2

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Merriam-Webster, which has been providing definitions of words since 1828, lists ugly as offensive to the sight or unpleasant and hideous to any sense.

Friday’s Mullen football game drew comparisons. In wrapping up their nonleague season, the Mustangs were walloped 56-3 by Aurora’s Grandview at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium on the last day of summer and amid the first real sense of chill after dark that the seasons are changing.

True, the Mustangs, who were playing their fourth game at home in five weeks and dipped to 3-2, were outmanned up front and injuries certainly played a part in the type of player it was able to deploy, but this wasn’t the effort or result first-year head coach Vincent White had envisioned.

And he told his players about it afterward.

Getting blown out is one thing; looking like the effort wasn’t there is quite another. And totally unacceptable.

“At the end, at the end, yeah, I thought it was not very good,” Mustangs head coach Vincent White said of his team’s late performance. “We’ve got to grow, got to learn, got to get better and find out what kind of football team we are.”

The game, televised by Altitude Sports, started out promisingly enough, as two-way junior lineman Aidan Keanaaina said, “with a good tempo and we got a three-and-out” against the Wolves, who are now 5-0, and after Mullen had its own three-and-out.

Plus, the Mustangs recovered a fumble on Grandview’s next series.

However, here’s where the wheels not only came off, but flew off for Mullen. Two plays later, junior quarterback Kyle Remington, who had a rough night like so many other Mustangs and was coming off being idle following a concussion suffered against Cherry Creek, fumbled it right back. Grandview took over at the 10-yard line and scored in two plays.

The rout was on … the Wolves went on to build a 35-3 halftime lead by nabbing three interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns, and totaling the five touchdowns with just 118 yards of offense. Short or long drives, the Wolves scored quickly and frequently.

After halftime, it was just a matter of when Grandview would be able to implement the 40-point rule. It did with 1:31 to go in the third quarter.

The Mustangs’ injury and up-front problems were magnified and senior quarterback Dom DePIzzol was sacked seven times. When he was taking snaps, Remington found himself up close and personal with assorted Wolves defenders. Running back Damien Cearns was held scoreless for the first time all season and was bottled up like traffic on nearby Hampden Avenue during rush hour.

“When it didn’t go well, we started going into the tank,” White said.

His players didn’t disagree.

“No, it didn’t go well, not at all,” said DePizzol, a team leader. “We had a poor week of practice and I think it was reflective.”

Keanaaina agreed, pointing to episodes of lightning the past Wednesday that forced the Mustangs inside and to watch film only – others were using the school’s all-purpose green room – and interfering with any serious physical preparation.

“We didn’t get anything accomplished and I think it showed today,” he said.

As for the overall effort, DePizzol also wanted more, but balked at the suggestion the team threw in the towel well before the final whistle. And his assessment was coming from basically running for his life on every play out of the shotgun.

“My guys (up front) were playing hard, but we have to get some X’s and O’s figured out,” he said. “Like I said, it was how we prepared. I think it’s a natural feeling when you lose by that much (to assume his team gave up), but our guys kept their heads up for the most part.

“There’s a lot of football left, but you can’t turn the ball over.”

Mullen will be like the other 39 teams this week in starting league play in new groups. They will be in the Jefferson County-based Metro West. First up for the Mustangs: always physical Columbine, 4 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 28 at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood. Four of the Mustangs’ five league games will be on the road.

“We have to intensify for league, which matters for the playoffs and we want to make the playoffs,” Keanaaina said. “We still have a chance and we just need to forget this one.”

For Coach White, it’s time to regroup.

“We’ll get better,” he said. “I thought (the Wolves) were a good football team. I thought if we didn’t do what we were supposed to do it wouldn’t be a surprise (if his team got blown out).

“We just have to get back to work.”



Grandview  14  21  14  7  –  56

Mullen  0   3   0   0   --  0

First quarter

Grandview – Jordan Billingsley 6 run (Cobi Wood kick), 2:45.

Grandview – Jack Rogers 36 interception return (Wood kick), 1:09.

Second quarter

Grandview -- Billingsley 40 run (Wood kick), 10:04.

Mullen -- FG Wilson Yee 38, 8:01.

Grandview – Ty Hussey 30 interception return (Wood kick), 6:00.

Grandview – Cade Bruckman 1 run (Wood kick), 3:08.

Third quarter

Grandview – Noah Schmidt 47 run (Wood kick), 7:12.

Grandview – Schmidt 28 run (Wood kick), 1:31.

Fourth quarter

Grandview – Roman Anderson 30 run (Wood kick), 0:38.



Total plays

Mullen 51, G 51

Total yards

Mullen 32, G 315

Passing yards

Mullen 74, G 12

Rushing yards

Mullen minus-42, G 303

First downs

Mullen 5, G 15

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 1-12, 6%, G 6-11, 55%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 0-1, 0% G  2-2, 100%


Mullen 4, G 3

Fumbles lost

Mullen 1 G 3

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 3, G 0


Mullen 5-37, G  4-33



Passing – DePizzol 9-18, 52 yards, 1 int., 15 long; Moore 1-2, 12 yards, 12 long; Remington 1-5, 2 int. 10 long.

Rushing – C. Smith 3-10, 13 long; Cearn 7-4, 5 long; Remington 1-minus-7, Minus-7 long; T. Moore 2-minus-11, 7 long; DePizzol 7-minus-37, 1 long.

Receiving – Marcoux 2-21, 12 long; Cearns 2-14, 15 long; Hearty 2-12, 10 long; Stitt 1-10 10 long; Rogers 2-9, 6 long; Henderson 2-8, 4 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Apodaca 3-2-0-0, Keanaaina 3-4-0-0, Stitt 2-1-0-0, Difeo 2-2-0-0, Stanford 2-0-0-0, Naha 2-3-0-0, Hearty 1-2-0-0, Bialecki 1-5-0-0, Mitchell 1-0-0-1, Nolte 1-5-1-1, Riley-Combs 1-0-0-0, DePizzol 0-2-0-0, Rogers 0-1-0-0, Denezza 0-3-0-0, Thompson 0-1-0-0, Kirking 0-1-0-0, Martinez 0-1-0-0,.

Fumble recovery – Thompson, Kirking.

Kickoff returns – Cearns 4-95 avg., 27 long; Smith 1-13, 13 long.

Punts – Moore 7-46, 61 long.

Kicking -- Yee, 1 FG.




WEEK 5: Vs. Grandview Wolves  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium

Status: Final Class 5A nonleague matchup in 2018
Records: Grandview 4-0, Mullen 3-1

Head coaches: John Schultz, 15th year with Grandview; Vincent White, first year with Mullen
History: It’s an underrated rivalry that began in the Centennial League. Mullen has won seven of the 11 meetings with the Wolves since Schultz, a former Valedictorian at Central Catholic High in Grand Rapids, Mich., took command in 2004. Actually, Grandview has won the past three meetings, beginning with a 12-7 decision in 2011 that halted the Mustangs’ 34-game winning streak.Their most-recent meeting was in 2013, _________________________________________________

Mullen Players to watch:

No., Name, Yr., Pos., Ht., Wt.

32, Wilson Bialecki, Sr., LB, 5-9, 180;
22, Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds;
3, Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200;
5, Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205;
1, Wind Henderson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-1, 160;
76, Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295;
10, Ben Marcoux, Jr., WR, 5-10, 155;;
4, Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195;
Last week: Wolves crushed Ftn.-Ft. Carson 49-7; Mullen outlasted Regis Jesuit 28-21.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 852st game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 584-249-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

Schultz is 131-43 leading Grandview, including the 2007 5A championship. He’s also a former engineer who decided to join the teaching ranks…

The Wolves were 5-5 in Schutz’s first season, and have had a winning record for the past 13 and won at least nine games 10 times. …

Cearns has rushed for seven TDs while compiling 361 yards on 68 carries. …

Injury  bug? Sure it has bitten Mullen as three more starters have been sidelined.  Said Coach White: “We need a bye week.” …

Marcoux had his best game last week, grabbing four receptions for 79 yards and two TDs, the scoring plays covering 30 and 27 yards. …

Grandview stands fourth in 5A points permitted, 41. …

This will be Mullen’s fourth home game in five outings. So once play begins for the Mustangs in the new 5A Metro West League next week, four of their games in the Jefferson County-based loop will be away. …

Jordan Apodaca, Keanaaina, Trevor Kirking, Matthew Ells and Stitt either piled up tackles or made key defensive plays for the Mustangs last week …

DePizzol was 13-of-23 for 187 yards, two TDs and an interception. …

After three games in which it had double figures in penalties, the Mustangs knocked it down to a more-reasonable six (for losses of 25 yards). …

Historically, Grandview starts slowly on offense, but it stands sixth in 5A points (150) and is headed by senior RB Jordan Billingsley and his 631 yards rushing and six TDs.

Coachspeak from White

On his team downing parochial Regis Jesuit:

“it was good. The kids sometimes have to learn how to win and we found a way to win. But there’s another game and we’ll see how we come back.”

On gaining confidence, but fighting injuries into a fifth week:

“Confident? I hope so. I think so. We keep losing players. … We have to get guys to step up and we have to play with who we’ve got.”

On meeting Grandview’s Wolves:

“They do a good job of coming at you on defense. They’re well-coached, (Schultz) does a good job.”

On his team moving forward:

“I hope we are. It’s interesting. You have to put a staff together and have everybody on the same page and making sure the younger programs are learning the same as the older programs. You need continuity and everybody to see how we do things. And it’s important to have good coaches. These kids need to be coached.”

Next: Away vs. Columbine, Sept. 28, 4 p.m.

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Arapahoe 52, Douglas County 6

Cherry Creek 49, Chaparral 7

Pomona 42, Highlands Ranch 14.

Mountain Vista 34, Legacy 7.

Rangeview 35, Adams City 14

Friday’s Class 5A games

Arvada West vs. Eaglecrest, 7 p.m.

Denver East vs. Mountain Range, 7 p.m.,

Fairview vs. Rock Canyon, 7 p.m.

Fossil Ridge vs. Ralston Valley, 4 p.m.

Horizon vs. Regis Jesuit, 7 p.m.

Legend vs. Castle View, 7 p.m.

Menlo-Atherton, Calif. vs. Valor Christian, 7 p.m.

Northglenn vs. Prairie View, 7 p.m.

Olathe North, Kan. vs. Columbine, 7 p.m.

Poudre vs. Fort Collins, 7 p.m.

Rocky Mountain vs. South Warren, Ken.

ThunderRidge vs. Doherty, 7 p.m.

Westminster vs. Boulder, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Class 5A games

Lakewood vs. Cherokee Trail, 6 p.m.

Far Northeast vs. Smoky Hill, 7 p.m.

(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89 Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Mustangs hang on against Regis Jesuit

Two big defensive stands late seal 28-21 rivalry victory

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Go ahead. Exhale!

A year ago almost to the day, Mullen turned in one of the great comebacks in its fabled parochial rivalry against Regis Jesuit, going for 26 points in the fourth quarter to win 40-39.

On Friday night, the Mustangs almost found themselves on the other end before fending off the Raiders’ furious rally in front of a very well-attended Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium, the best crowd of the first month of the season. Mullen nearly blew a 21-point lead before turning in two large defensive stands, one at its 2-yard line, the other at the 30 with just 36.5 seconds to play.

So the Mustangs’ 28-21 decision of the Raiders in Class 5A nonleague was particularly big on Homecoming weekend, came after a physical pounding in a wipeout loss to Cherry Creek, pushed them to 3-1 and perhaps proved to a beaten-up roster that it can win when almost everything appears bleak.

“They found a way to finish, a way to get it done, which is really important,” Mustangs head coach Vincent White said. “They played their tails off down the stretch and did a great job.”

After the Mullen offense stalled, Regis Jesuit, now 1-3 and dealing with inexperience of its own, rode a terrific performance by senior running back Kiahn Martinez that almost led to victory. He ended up rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for another off a double-reverse play, although he twice nearly tied the game.

However, the first of two Mullen defensive stops led to deciding the matter. On the first, after Mullen’s Wilson Yee couldn’t handle a low snap in punt formation and it resulted in first-and-goal at the Mullen 10-yard line with 6:50 remaining for the Raiders, Mustangs defensive back Vaughnn Stitt came up and halted Martinez at the 2 on fourth-and-1.

“I just went and reacted, and everyone got to the ball and we made a play on it,” Stitt said.

And on the second, after a clutch punt by Yee form the back of the end zone, a couple of missed kill sots by Mullen (it tried to pass deep twice) and a Regis Jesuit penalty, the Raiders couldn’t get it done from the Mullen 38 beginning with 2:07 to go. They managed a first down, but junior Matthew Ells finally tracked down elusive-and-effective Raiders freshman quarterback Nicco Marchiol for a game-ending sack.

“I just stayed home, cut back and took him down,” Ells said. “It was nice. It felt good.”

Mullen took possession and knelt in victory formation.

Its collective sigh of relief was hard-earned.

“Anything can happen in a rivalry game,” Stitt said.

A lot did. Mullen looked good as well as in command through three quarters. Junior running back Damien Cearns ran for a couple of touchdowns to highlight the ground game and Isaac White grabbed six catches through the air attack that was augmented by a big effort by Ben Marcoux, who had two scoring receptions, the second a 27-yarder in which he outfought a Regis Jesuit defender for the ball and gave Mullen a 21-7 lead just seconds before halftime.

Even the thin Mullen fronts enjoyed assorted moments in a matchup that tested more than a few wills.

Linebacker Trevor Kirking said, “it was pretty intense, it was a fight. It was getting pretty close there for a while, but we rallied up.”

Wilson Bialecki, another linebacker, called Martinez “the No. 1 back in the state.”

He also appreciated how the Mustangs seemed to take turns making plays on both sides.

“Absolutely,” he said. “When our offense was down, our defense picked it up. When our defense was down, our offense picked it up. This is the game we had to win and we pulled it out.”

For Coach White, the two defensive stops told him something about his team.

“They made a play down on that first drive, then the second time they made another play,” he said. “That’s playing good team football. I’m proud of them and we found a way to win.

“And they played hard. They did a great job of just hanging in there.”

Next up for Mullen: It will host Grandview in a week, the fourth game at home in five weeks for the Mustangs and the cap to the nonleague season.



Regis Jesuit  0  7  0  14  – 21

Mullen  7  14  7  0  – 28

First quarter

Mullen – Ben Marcoux 30 pass from Dom DePizzol (Wilson Yee kick), 7:31.

Second quarter

Mullen – Damien Cearns 5 run (Yee kick), 9:47.

Regis Jesuit – Nicco Marchiol 34 pass from Kiahn Martinez (Mariano Adame kick), 2:37,  

Mullen – Marcoux 27 pass from DePizzol (Yee kick), 0:07.4.

Third quarter

Mullen – Cearns 6 run (Yee kick), 0:18.6.

Fourth quarter

Regis Jesuit – Martinez 16 run (Adame kick), 9:57.

Regis Jesuit – Martinez 2 run (Adame kick), 6:50.


Total plays

Mullen 65, RJ 68

Total yards

Mullen 303 ,RJ 247

Passing yards

Mullen 187, RJ 185

Rushing yards

Mullen 116, RJ 62

First downs

Mullen 16, RJ 12

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 2-12, 17%, RJ 2-13, 15%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 1-3, 33% RJ  1-5, 20%


Mullen 1, RJ 1

Fumbles lost

Mullen 0 RJ 1

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 1, RJ 0


Mullen 6-25, RJ  9-65



Mullen – DePizzol 13-23, 187 yards, 2 TD, 1 int., 62 long.

Mullen – Cearns 24-108, 2 TDs, 22 long; DePizzol 8-12, 18 long; C. Smith 3-3 5 long; White 2-minus-7.

Receiving – White 7-100, 62 long; Marcoux 4-79, 2 TDs, 30 long; Cearns 2-8, 8 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Apodaca 8-1-0-0, Kirking 5-6-1-1, Keanaaina 5-6-1-3, Stitt 4-1-0-1, Nolte 4-2-1-1, Bialecki 3-8-1-1, White 2-1-0-0, Riley-Combs 2-0-0-0, Thompson 2-0-0-0, Hearty 2-4-1-1, Daffin 1-3-1-1, DeNezza 1-2-1-1, Mitchell 1-1-1-1, Difeo 0-2-0-0, Martinez 0-1-0-0, Barden 0-1-0-0, Rogers 0-2-0-0, Stanford 0-1-0-0.

Fumble recovery -- Riley-Combs. 

Kickoff returns – Cearns 1-15 avg., 17 long; Barden 1-8, 8 long.

Punts – Yee 6-31 avg, 48 long; Lehman 3-37 40 long.

Kicking -- Yee, 4 PATs. 







WEEK 4: Vs. Regis Jesuit Raiders  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium

Status: Class 5A nonleague
Records: Regis Jesuit 1-2; Mullen 2-1

Head coaches: Danny Filleman, fourth year with Regis Jesuit;  Vincent White, first year with Mullen
History: This rivalry goes back to the 1930s and the old Parochial League. A Regis Jesuit-Mullen matchup always comes with feeling and goes back for generations. And it has been competitive -- in the 2010s alone, the two programs have split eight meetings, most notably the 2010 5A final at Mile High Stadium. Both teams entered undefeated, the crowd was the largest since the big-school title game was moved to the Broncos site and the Mustangs won handily, by 37-6.  


Players to watch for Mullen:

Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds;
Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200;
Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205;
Wind Henderson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-1, 160;
Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295;
Luke Malone, Jr., TE-DL, 6-1, 215;
Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195;
Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-0, 191;

Last week: Both are coming off losses. Mullen was handled easily by host Cherry Creek 35-8 and Regis Jesuit lost 20-17 in overtime at home to Highlands Ranch.

Notable: This will be Mullen’s 851st game since first playing in 1936. The Mustangs are 583-249-18 in their history with eight state titles as well as seven Parochial state titles, the first in 1945.. …

Filleman is 31-9 heading the Raiders. …

The rivals split two games in 2017, with Mullen staging one of the top comebacks in head-to-head history by winning 40-39 in Week 2, then the Raiders held on 17-10 in the state preliminaries. Both were in Aurora. …

Cearns leads the Mustangs in rushing yards (253) and TDs (five).He also has 449 yards from scrimmage.  …

The younger White is tops on the team with eight receptions for 138 yards. …

The Mustangs’ Wilson Bialecki has been in on a team-leading 38 tackles. Dante Silva has two sacks. …

Regis Jesuit has been going with freshman QB Nicco Marichiol, who is 32-of-59 for 347 yards, three TDs and two interceptions. The Raiders leading rusher is senior Kiahn Martinez with 262 yards and all four of the team’s TDs on the ground.  Martinez also is tops in Regis Jesuit receiving with 10 catches for 132 yards and three of the team’s four TDs through the air. …

Mullen’s final six opponents of the regular season entered Week 4 with winning records. …

After one more week of nonleague, the Raiders will open in the new 5A South League with Chaparral, Douglas County and Legend, plus the only two big-school entrants from Colorado Springs, Doherty and Colorado Springs. …

It’s Homecoming week for Mullen, complete with alumni and athletic awards, a pep rally, dance, carnival and assorted fund-raising.

Coachspeak from White

On his first loss at Mullen:

“You know, when you’re building a program, you’ve got peaks and valleys, and I don’t like to lose in anything, but you can also learn from losing. I think it was a good lesson in a number of different areas. It will make us a better football team. When you win, you have a lot of positives and negatives, and the same with losing, but you have to get in there and stay on the same path to build the culture in your program.”

On assessing his team through three weeks:

“As a team, we need depth, We need  to be able to spell our guys and we don’t have a lot of it up front to spell our guys, even in the secondary. We need some depth so when our second-unit guys go in there and we don’t tail off against whoever it may be. When you have to play your guys both ways, there is no breather for them, they have to play the whole football game.”

On coaching in the Regis Jesuit-Mullen rivalry:

“It’s another game we have to win, but it is Homecoming and we want to win Homecoming. I don’t get too caught up in the Regis-Mullen part, but I have to have my team ready to play. It’s a great opportunity to get back into the win column. I think (the Raiders) are very well-coached and they have a young football team. It’s big thing for the schools and there’s a lot of (feeling) at both schools. It’s a good rivalry.”

Next up: Week 5, Home vs. Grandview, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Cherry Creek 35, Pomona 34 OT

Loveland 21, Ralston Valley 14

Mountain Range 20, Rangeview 14

Rocky Mountain 27, Mountain Vista 14

ThunderRidge 41, Horizon 20

Westminster 42, Adams City 6

Friday’s Class 5A games

Castle View (2-1) vs. Douglas County (0-3), 7 p.m.

Chaparral 1-2) vs. Lakewood (2-1), 7 p.m.

Columbine (3-0) vs. Highlands Ranch (1-2), 7 p.m.

Doherty (0-3) s. Fairview (1-2), 7 p.m.

Eaglecrest (3-0) vs.Legacy (0-3), 7 p.m.

Overland (1-2) vs. Fossil Ridge (1-2), 7 p.m.

Pine Creek (3-0) vs. Valor Christian (3-0), 7 p.m.

Poudre (1-2) vs. Cherokee Trail (3-0), 7 p.m.

Prairie View (1-2) vs. Smoky Hill (3-0), 7 p.m.

Rock Canyon (1-2) vs. Arapahoe (2-1), 7 p.m.

Wheat Ridge (1-2) vs. Arvada West (3-0), 7 p.m.

(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)

Twitter: Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89
Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Week3/Class 5A scores


Arvada West 42, Fossil Ridge 23

Lakewood 37, Legacy 24

Legend 37, Rock Canyon 21

Overland 20, Aurora Central 0

ThunderRidge 28, Fairview 24



Boulder 14, Mountain Range 0

Castle View 36, Wasatch, Utah 35

Cherokee Trail 28. Horizon 14

Cherry Creek 35, Mullen 8

Columbine 49, Fountain-Fort Carson 6

Denver South 34, Douglas County 9

Eaglecrest 46, Rocky Mountain 0

Grandview 35, Mountain Vista 7

Heritage 28, Arapahoe 24

Highlands Ranch 20, Regis Jesuit 17

Oakdale, Calif. 28,Chaparral 20

 Pine Creek 44, Doherty 13

Ralston Valley 35, Poudre 10

Smoky Hill 21, Northglenn 6

Valor Christian 14, Pomona 6

Westminster 28, Prairie View 14



Denver East 42, Adams City 6


Mustangs blitzed, fall 35-8 in prime time

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist


Mullen ran into the tall, thick wall known as this season’s Cherry Creek on Friday night.

And there was a thud.

The Mustangs fell 35-8 to the Bruins at a crowded Stutler Bowl in nonleague that also was spiced with the Great American Rivalry Series on hand to highlight the two longtime rivals.

Mullen had won 11 of the past 14 meetings in the series that goes back for decades and involves league, nonleague and significant playoff meetings. How much so? More than a generation before any of today’s players were even considered, the Mustangs ended the Bruins’ 27-game winning streak in 1984 after Colorado’s largest high school had taken command of big-school play.

First-year Mullen head coach Vincent White openly wondered about “not getting some calls,” including an ejection on his team’s third series in which junior quarterback Kyle Remington was levelled and took a head shot on a scramble, but pointed out that “we started getting tired, which we’re going to do with our guys going both ways.”

As it was, Cherry Creek, behind dominating lines and regular plays at skill positions – notably by Iowa-bound quarterback Alex Padilla – scored the first three times it had the ball. It also squeezed in a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter to take a commanding 28-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Mullen struggled. The Bruins defense permitted only 111 yards over the first two quarters, regularly got to Mustangs quarterback Dom DePizzol and forced three punts, a give-over on downs and an interception.

For all practical purposes, it was over early in the third quarter after the Mustangs held the Bruins at the 13-yard line, only to have DePizzol get drilled on an unblocked rush from the right side that caused a loose ball in the end zone and was recovered by Cherry Creek for a 35-0 lead.

To that point, Mullen had multiple chances, certainly enough of them to at least interrupt the Bruins wave, but didn’t handle their rush, failed to connect on a number of deep balls to open receivers and was only able to cross midfield a couple of minutes before halftime. Only an 85-yard burst for a touchdown by junior running back Damien Cearns late in the third quarter prevented the shutout.

“Missed opportunities,” White said. “We just didn’t get it done. There were opportunities.”

He added that the Bruins “were good and they execute well. But we have to make the plays when we have to make the plays.”

Junior Aidan Keanaaina, one of the corps of Mustangs being asked to perform on both sides of the ball without much spelling, concurred.

“I mean, we made mistakes and we have to fix those,” he said. “We saw a different team today, a better team, a good team with a good coach, but we need to play better teams to get better. We have to watch film, be authentic and get better after this loss.”

White is sure meeting the Bruins was beneficial.

“We got better and we’ll keep getting better, and keep growing,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get healthy and do what we can do.”

Mullen will return home in a week against rival Regis Jesuit, which split two games with the Mustangs a year ago.



Mullen – 0   0   8    0  --  8  

Cherry Creek  14  14  7  0   – 35

First Quarter

Cherry Creek – Alex Padilla 1 run (Mac Willis kick), 7:22.

Cherry Creek – Marcus Miller 42 pass from Padilla (Willis kick), 4:58.

Second Quarter

Cherry Creek – Miller 12 pass from Padilla (Willis kick), 10:25.

Cherry Creek – Vance Brazile 4 pass from Padilla (Willis kick), 0:46.

Third Quarter

Cherry Creek – Cormier Euell fumble recovery in end zone (Willis kick), 8:07.

Mullen – Damien Cearns 85 run (Isaac White run), 3:29.


Total plays

Mullen 62, CC 68

Total yards

Mullen 169 ,CC 441

Passing yards

Mullen 82, CC 90

Rushing yards

Mullen 87, CC 151

First downs

Mullen 9, CC 25

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 2-13, 15%, CC 3-10, 30%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 1-3, 33% CC  1-2, 50%


Mullen 2, CC 0

Fumbles lost

Mullen 1 CC 0

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 1, CC 0


Mullen 10-110, CC  2-18



Mullen – DePizzol 15-31, 82 yards, 0 TD, 1 int., 28 long.

Mullen – Cearns 8-87, 1 TDs, 85 long; Hearty 3-6, 4 long; C. Smith 3-minus-1, 3 long; DePizzol 5-minus-5, 7 long.

Receiving – White 4-40, 28 long; Henderson 5-16, 9 long; Cearns 2-13, 9 long; C. Smith 2-8, 4 long; Marcoux 1-1, 1 long.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – White 7-2-0-0; Bialecki 7-1-0-0; Stitt 6-1-0-0; Apodaca 5-2-0-0; Henderson 4-0-0-0; Silva 4-1-0-0; Keanaaina 3-4-0-0; Difeo 3-2-0-1; DePizzol 2-0-0-0; Cearns 2-1-0-0; Nepple 2-0-0-0; Naha 2-0-0-0; Smith 1-0-0-0; Mitchell 1-2-0-0; Martinez 1-1-1-0; Hearty 0-3-0-0; Kirking 0-2-0-0; Rogers 0-1-0-0.

Kickoff returns – Cearns 6-6 avg., 17 long.

Punts – White 4-34 avg., 40 long; Yee 4-31 avg, 40 long.






WEEK 3: At Cherry Creek Bruins  
WHEN: Friday,  Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Stutler Bowl, Greenwood Village

Status: Class 5A nonleague
Records: Mullen 2-0; Cherry Creek 2-0

Head coaches: Dave Logan, seventh year with Bruins;  Vincent White, first year with Mullen
History: There is gobs of it, starting with the fact that since big schools went to a 6A -- and when Mullen joined the Centennial League -- for four years in 1990, this is far and away the best rivalry among Colorado’s high end. Notably, there were three meetings in the state final, with Mullen winning all three, as well as two superb semifinals earlier in the 1990s. They also were must-see in the Centennial until 2010, when the state began to break up the suburban-power league. Plus, Logan is a former Mullen head coach who won four state titles and led a 34-game winning streak.


Players to watch for Mullen:

Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds;
Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200;
Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205;
Wind Henderson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-1, 160;
Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295;
Luke Malone, Jr., TE-DL, 6-1, 215;
Kyle Remington, Jr., QB-DB, 6-3, 185;
Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195;
Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-0, 191;

Last week: Mullen needed three overtimes to get past visiting Doherty 35-28 as Depizzol made a strip and Stitt had the fumble recovery; Cherry Creek went out to California and outlasted Santa Margarita 21-14.

Notable: Cherry Creek has won nine Colorado titles, which ties it for fourth in Colorado history, and Mullen has grabbed eight, tied with two others for fifth. …

This will be Mullen’s 850th game since first playing in 1936 in the old Parochial League. The Mustangs are 583-248-18 in their history. …

In nine years leading Mullen, Logan’s Mustangs teams were 110-12. …

Of the past 14 head-to-head meetings, Mullen has won 11 of them. …

Logan has won seven titles at four different schools (also with Arvada West and Chatfield). …

When the Spartans made a concerted effort to take the younger White out of the game last week ( one reception for 17 yards), the Mustangs opted for Henderson, who had six receptions for 88 yards and a stellar grab in the end zone for a touchdown. …

Mullen had 22 penalties in its opener and cut it in half last week, 11 against Doherty. …

Cearns has rushed for four TDs. …

Senior linebacker Wilson Bialecki was in on 17 tackles against Doherty. … Jordan Apodaca was in on seven tackles and contributed an interception. …

Mullen was 2-for-2 on fourth downs against the Spartans. …

Logan (Wheat Ridge) and the elder White (Mullen) starred in the 1970s and are considered among the elite in state annals, including off the field.

Coachspeak from White

On surviving a 3OT game at home against Doherty:

“I thought the kids played hard. They learned how to finish. I was very proud of them. They never quit the whole game and they kept coming back.”

On meeting Cherry Creek, which appears to be most everyone’s No. 1 team:

“(The Bruins) are probably the best team in the state. They have great athletes. They will be a challenge for us and we look forward to the challenge against the best team in the state of Colorado.”

On the Mustangs developing an identity and maturing as they go through the week-by-week, big-school schedule:

“We’re comfortable with what we have to do with what we have. We need to utilize our guys to the best of our abilities. We have a lot of guys going both ways, but that’s what we have to do. We don’t have a lot of depth. But our kids are playing hard on every snap and they have to play hard. They’re growing and they’re maturing, and they believe in each other. And they’re beginning to make each other accountable. They believe they can win every football game we play.”

On getting into the meat of the schedule and regularly meeting one of Colorado’s high-end programs, a fact of life for the elite:

““Every week, it’s a challenge. It’s hard to win football games, but it’s certainly gratifying, so every week is a challenge. When you play the best, you have an opportunity to win.”

Next up: Week 4, Home vs. longtime parochial-rival Regis Jesuit, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Arvada West 42, Fossil Ridge 23

Lakewood 37, Legacy 24

Overland 20, Aurora Central 0

ThunderRidge 28, Fairview 24

Legend 37, Rock Canyon 21

(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)


Neil H. Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89
Mullen High School @mullenmustang

Week 2/Class 5A Scores


Columbine 27, University, Orange, Fla. 14

Fairview 43, Evans, Orlando, Fla. 0

Mountain Range 14, Adams City 12

Pomona 49, Bear Creek 6

Poudre 21, Legend 7

Ralston Valley 45, University, Orlando, Fla. 12

ThunderRidge 49, Lakewood 12


Arapahoe 28, Castle View 7

Arvada West 27, Horizon 23

Bothell, Wash. 40, Legacy 13

Boulder 19, Northglenn 16

Chaparral 18, Rocky Mountain 10

Cherokee Trail 38, Mountain Vista 21

Cherry Creek 21, Santa Margarita, Calif. 14

Denver East 27, Prairie View 26

Fossil Ridge 14, Fort Collins 6

Grandview 28, Highlands Ranch 27

Mullen 35, Doherty 28 3OT

Regis Jesuit 23, Overland 7

Rock Canyon 29, Douglas County 0

Smoky Hill 42, Rangeview 35

Valor Christian 30, Ponderosa 6

Westminster 42, Far Northeast Warriors 13

Mullen grabs 3OT thriller from Doherty

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

For much of it, a throwback to football from decades ago appeared to be the theme, complete with a wishbone attack on offense, defenses dominating, a 14-14 tie after regulation and a couple of teams cautiously trying to establish themselves in the early going of the Class 5A season.

But darned if today’s standards didn’t come into play, what with the overtime format, senses of desperation and urgency, and the exhilaration of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat ... and Mullen reveled in all of it.

The Mustangs escaped from generally getting handled up front, a last-second, 47-yard field-goal attempt in regulation that fell short and a Doherty team that obviously was angry and embarrassed from getting spanked in its opener to visiting Cherry Creek lasy week. They grabbed a triple-overtime 35-28 victory on Friday night at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium to move to 2-0 and display some inner resilience that even they didn’t know they had.

It took a play on the sixth possession of overtime, a strip by senior Dom DepIzzol on a Spartans running play and fumble recovery by Vaughnn Stitt, to seal it, but color the Mustangs excited and relieved.

“We were tired up front with guys going both ways, we looked really tired,” Mustangs head coach Vincent White said. “But they didn’t give up. I think it’s great. They could have died and rolled over and they never did. That’s what we have to do. Wel learned that we can play and not quit, and keep on playing.”

DePizzol, who also started at quarterback, came up from his strong-safety spot on a blitz and stripped Doherty’s Brian Mosley on the Spartans’ first play from the 10-yard line. Vaughnn Stitt fell on the loose ball and the Spartans slipped to 0-2.

”I was just going for the tackle and got my hand in there,” DePizzol said.

Stitt said his eyes lit up when he saw the fumble and the ball on the ground, “and I just dove on it and tried to squeeze it as tightly as I could.”

Tied at two touchdowns apiece at the end of regulation, the Mustangs felt fortunate, especially after giving up the equalizing score halfway through the fourth quarter, then withstanding a couple of other drives after stalling on offense themselves.

However, junior Damien Cearns began extra football with a 10-yard scoring run, DePizzol hooked up with Wind Henderson on a 10-yard toss for a score in which Henderson made the grab with a Sparatns defender all over him and DePizzol ran one in from the 1.

Quarterback Brandon Becker, who gave the Mustangs fits regularly, scored both of Doherty’s touchdowns in regulation. Cearns and Ryan Hearty had rushing scores for the Mustangs.

Defensively, Aidan Keanaaina, Wilson Bialecki, Dante Silva, Jordan Apodaca and Matthew Mitchell were additional Mustangs who turned in big plays on defense.

“We’ve had two interesting games,” Keanaaina said.

Hearty added: “This one showed our resilience, especially up front.”

Henderson’s emergence, after a quiet opener, also was key as Doherty decided to take away junior Isaac White.

“They doubled him over the top,” coach White said. “Wind played well. We’ve got two guys who can play and you can’t cover all of them. And I’m proud of all of them.”

The Mustangs will have their first road game, on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village against longtime nemesis Cherry Creek.

But for at least a while, they can enjoy their late rally,

”This one says we have a bunch of heart,” DePoizzol said. “We’re definitely undersized as a team, but we have the bigger heart.”



Doherty 0  7  0  7  7  7 0   –  28

Mullen 0  7  7  0  7  7  7 --  35


Doherty – Brandon Becker 1 run (Gaboric Decker), 6:12.

Mullen – Damien Cearns 2 run (Wilson Yee kick), 0:18.5.


Mullen – Ryan Hearty 11 run (Yee kick), 2:43.


Doherty – Becker 2 run (Decker kick), 6:05.


Mullen – Cearns 10 run (Yee kick).

Doherty – Becker 10 run (Decker kick).

Doherty – Gage Vanaman 10 run (Decker kick).

Mullen – Wind Henderson 10 pass from Dom DePizzol (Yee kick).

Mullen – DePizzol 1 run (Yee kick).



Total plays

Mullen 58 Doherty 77

Total yards

Mullen 191 Doherty 244

Passing yards

Mullen 131 Doherty 84

Rushing yards

Mullen 60 Doherty 160

First downs

Mullen 10 Doherty 14

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 3-11, 27% Doherty 5-16, 31%

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 2-2, 100% Doherty 1-2, 50%


Mullen 1 Doherty 2

Fumbles lost

Mullen 0 Doherty 1

Interceptions thrown

Mullen 1 Doherty 1


Mullen 11-130 Doherty 10-126



Mullen – DePizzol 6-12, 110 yards, 1 TD, 43 long; Remington 4-9, 21 yards, 1 int., 11 long.

Mullen – Cearns 17-63, 2 TDs, 22 long; Hearty 1-11, 1 TD; Remington 2-1, 6 long; DePizzol 5-minus-12, 1 TD, 2 long.

Receiving – Henderson 6-88, 1 TD, 43 long; White 1-17; Cearns 2-13, 11 long; Marcoux 1-13.

Tackles (T-A-S-TFL) – Bialecki 4-13-0-1; Silva 3-5-1-1; Apodaca 3-4-0-0; Mitchell 3-4-0-0; Keanaaina 2-6-0-0; Stitt 2-6-0-0; Rogers 2-0-0-0; DePizzol 1-6-0-0; White 1-4-0-0; Diefo 1-6-0-0; DeNezza 1-0-0-1; Hearty 0-2-0-0; Henderson 0-1-0-0; Daffin 0-5-0-0; Kirking 0-2-0-0; Malone 0-1-0-0; Damian 0-1-0-0; Bowen 0-1-0-0.

Interceptions – Apodaca.

Fumble recovery – Stitt.

Kickoff returns – Cearns 1-26.

Punts – Moore 4-27.0, 40 long.

PATS – Yee 5-5.





WEEK 2: Vs. Doherty Spartans, Colorado Springs  
WHEN: Friday, August 31st, 2018 | Kickoff 7 p.m.  
WHERE: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium
Status: Nonleague
Records: Mullen 1-0; Doherty 0-1

Head coaches: Jeff Krumlauf, fifth year with Spartans;  Vincent White, first year with Mullen
History: The Spartans are one of the few Colorado Springs-area teams that are still counted among big schools. The majority of the two dozen-plius schools in their southern area are 4A and lower. And these two programs really don’t see much of each other -- the last meeting between them  was on Sept. 14, 2001, or before most of the current players were born, when the Mustangs won a road game, 48-14 in Week 3 at Garry Berry Stadium.


Players to watch for Mullen:

Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds;
Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200;
Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205;
Wind Henderson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-1, 160;
Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295;
Luke Malone, Jr., TE-DL, 6-1, 215;
Kyle Remington, Jr., QB-DB, 6-3, 185;
Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195;
Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-0, 191;

Last week: At Garry Berry Stadium, Doherty was whipped 56-7 by most everyone’s top team, Cherry Creek. The Spartans trailed 35-0 at halftime and were held to 157 yards of offense, just 12 passing. … For Mullen, in Coach White’s debut, a 48-10 blowout of the Far Northeast Warriors began slowly, but erupted in the third quarter. The Mustangs rolled to 340 yards of offense, enjoyed a 28-point quarter and displayed some defensive prowess.

Notable: Doherty is 28-13 under Krumlauf. …

Under the new two-year alignment, the Spartans are in the Class 5A South League along with Chaparral, Douglas County, Fountain-Fort Carson, Legend and Regis Jesuit. …

This will be Mullen’s 849th game since first playing in 1936 in the old Parochial League. The Mustangs are 582-248-18 in their history. …

The elder White has elected to play two quarterbacks. Last week, DePizzol, the starter, was 6-of-9 for 101 yards and an interception; Remington was 3-of-7 for 121 yards and two TDs. …

The younger White had three catches for 81 yards, including one stellar effort in which he took away what appeared to be a sure interception by a Far Northeast cornerback. …

Junior Damien Cearns ran for 46 yards on the game’s first play and he finished with 103 yards on 19 carries along with two TDs. …

Mullen overcame 22 penalties last week. … Far Northeast had nine. …

Vincent Difeo and Aidan Keanaaina each contributed interception returns, Keanaaina’s coming off the defensive line. …

Cearns added a 90-yard catch-and-run TD off a short toss from Remington.


Coachspeak from White

On his team’s effort in his first game:

“It was good, we played hard, the kids played hard for four quarters. We made plays when we had to make plays. We didn’t let the penalties get to us, we continued to play and push on. We kept on fighting and kept playing, which I really liked.”

On the Mustangs’ 22 penalties last week:

“Some of them I didn’t understand, I didn’t get, but you know, we had 20 on the line of scrimmage. (Officials) told us we didn’t have enough people on the line of scrimmage and players were wearing other numbers … we put an eligible number on him, but they (called) two penalties before telling us what the problem was … and we got two penalties for cussin’ … 22 is too many. We can fix that.”

On facing Doherty:

“Doherty is different offensively, (the Spartans)  run more of kind of wishbone set like they ran against Cherry Creek. They’re a give-and-take team on offense. On defense, they play four down (linemen) and lay a cover-1 on you. And they have good size up front.”

On getting a sense of what it takes to play prep ball in Colorado:

“I got a little feel for it, watching Doherty and Cherry Creek on film gives us a perspective of where we are in Colorado football … we need to Improve each week, just keep getting better. We can cut down on the penalties and our mistakes, just try to clean it up on film. The biggest jump you make in your program (every season) is from Week 1 to Week 2. The first game is to see how you play and what you need to change and execute and how to execute it.

“I’m encouraged.”

Thursday’s Class 5A scores

Columbine 27, University, Orange City, Fla. 14

Fairview 43, Evans, Orlando, Fla. 0

Mountain Range 14, Adams City 12

Pomona 49, Bear Creek 6

Poudre 21, Legend 7

Ralston Valley 45, University, Orlando, Fla.

ThunderRidge 49, Lakewood 12

(Photo by John Leyba |  Instagram @mullenfotoz1)


Neil Devlin @neildevlin
John Leyba @presto89
Mullen High School @mullenmustang

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Specialist

WEEK 1/ Class 5A Football Scores



Cherokee Trail 26, Rock Canyon 9

Cherry Creek 56, Doherty 7

Fountain-Fort Carson 21, Horizon 14

Grandview 38, Chaparral 6

Pomona 32, Oak Ridge, Fla. 14



Arapahoe 52, Adams City 6

Barron Collier, Fla. 29, Regis Jesuit 20

Broomfield 55, Legacy 14

Eaglecrest 49, Highlands Ranch 35

Fairview 42, Boulder 7

Fort Collins 9, Rocky Mountain 3

Lakewood 38, Bear Creek 13

Legend 20, Ponderosa 7

Mountain Range 14, Douglas County 3

Mullen 48, Far Northeast 10

Northglenn 28, Thornton 6

Ralston Valley 51, Mountain Vista 0

Smoky Hill 19, Overland 0

ThunderRidge 43, Rangeview 0

Valor Christian 35, Faith Lutheran 0


Mustangs take opener, roll FNE Warriors 48-10

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

For openers, it was a predictable grab bag of occurrences, such as the good and bad, the uplifting and frustrating, the thrilling and galling, and lined with the early mistakes of first-game football, notably penalties, lots of them.

Nevertheless, Mullen will take it, thank you. The Mustangs made their season debut on Friday night, they gave new head coach Vincent White a victory in his first game to begin a new era and they finally ended up spanking the Far Northeast Warriors 48-10 at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium.

The Class 5A nonleague victory was pre-empted by anticipation, new faces and new ideas, but it ultimately came down to playing and the Mustangs appeared motivated.

“Well, for the first time really playing somebody else, I thought we did a good job,” White said. “We have to cut down on the penalties and personal fouls, we had two of them for cussin’, and that’s stuff we can’t have. But if we do that, we can be a good football team.”

All told, officials’ laundry littered the playing field like a mother in a busy household. Mullen was handed 22 penalties for 148 yards in losses and the Warriors had nine for 103.

“We had a lot of penalties in the first half, but we cleaned it up,” said Isaac White, playing his first game in Colorado after being at Malvern (Pa.) Prep.

“It was great,” he added about his first game at Mullen. “Great fun, good energy for our team. I just had fun playing.”

Mullen ended with a relatively modest 329 yards of offense and was aided by six Far Northeast turnovers, five in the second half, when the Mustangs erupted for a 28-point third quarter to take command.

Junior running back Damien Cearns, relegated to a half-season in 2017 after transferring, opened the game with a 46-yard run on the first play to set up Mullen’s opening score. Cearns rushed for 103 yards and two TDs, and had an 90-yard catch-and-run for a TD.

“It was our first game and with a new coach, but I thought it went great,” he said.

Interesting lineman Aidan Keanaaina, a junior who has piled up 13 college offers, may get more after his first prep TD, an 12-yard interception return of a tipped ball.

“I saw it, (the Warriors quarterback) threw the ball, it got tipped and it was like I got the ball, and paused for a millisecond,” he said. “Then it was Run!”

It was his second career interception.

Quarterbacks Dom DePizzol and Kyle Remington generally rotated with Remington finishing 3-of-7 for 121 yards and two TDs. DePizzol was picked off once, but also rushed for a TD. The younger White had three receptions for 80 yards.

Vince Difeo added an interception return for a TD.

“We’ve got some guys who can make some plays,” Coach White said.

The Mustangs will be back at it in a week, Friday, Aug. 31, at home against Colorado Springs’ Doherty, kickoff at 7 p.m. But they’ll do it after actually having played a game.

“Guys had a lot of cramps, playing both ways,” the coach said. “They have to take care of their bodies during the week to be ready.”



Far Northeast 0  3  7  0 -- 10

Mullen  7  6  28  7 -- 48

First quarter

Mullen – Damien Cearns 6 run (Wilson Yee), 7:47.

Second Quarter

Mullen – Cearns 5 run (run failed), 2:57.

Far Northeast – FG Eric Delgado 39, 0:04.1.

Third Quarter

Mullen -- Dom DePizzol 2 run (DePizzol run), 7:57.

Mullen – Aidan Keanaaina 12 interception return (kick failed), 7:43.

Mullen – Vince Difeo 32 interception return (Yee kick), 5:52.

Far Northeast – Dachaun Davis 14 run (Delgado kick), 3:52.

Mullen – Cearns 90 pass from Kyle Remington (Yee kick), 2:15.

Fourth Quarter

Mullen – Ben Marcoux 28 pass from Remington (Yee kick), 8:00.


Total plays

Mullen 74, FNE 64

Total yards

Mullen 334, FNE 172

Rushing yards

Mullen 112, FNE 91

Passing yards

Mullen 222, FNE 86

First Downs

Mullen 15, FNE 13

3rd-down efficiency

Mullen 4-14, FNE 2-12

4th-down efficiency

Mullen 1-3, FNE 2-3


Mullen 1, FNE 6

Fumbles lost

Mullen 0, FNE 2


Mullen 1, FNE 4


Mullen 22-148, FNE 9-81


Rushing – Cearns 19-103; C.J. Smith 9-46, White 1-10, DePizzol 6-1, Marcoux 1-minus-3, Remingotn 3-minus-39.

Passing – Remington 3-7, 121 yards, 2 TDs; DePizzol 6-9, 101 yards, 1 int.

Receiving – White 3-81, Marcoux 3-43, Cearns 1-90, Smith 1-5, Wind Henderson 1-3.

Punting – Trevor Moore, 3-21.0.

Kicking – Yee 4.



Mullen – Cody Nepple 9-3-1-3, Matthew Mitchell 5-4-0-1, Lorenzo Riley-Combs 4-1-0-1, Dante Silva 0-2-1-3, W]ilson Bialecki 4-3-1-2, Keanaaina 4-1-0-2, Jordan Apodaca 3-0-0-0, Colin Rogers 2-0-0-0, Silas Daffin 1-2-0-0, DePizzol 1-1-0-0, Smith 1-0-0-0, David Bowen 1-0-0-0, Logan Gaudet 1-0-0-0, Trevor Kirking 0-1-0-0, Trevor Moore 0-10-0, Stitt 0-1-0-0.


Mullen -- Barden, Difeo, Keanaaina, Stitt.

Fumble recoveries

Mullen -- Barden, Bialecki.




Opponent: Far Northeast Warriors, Denver

When: Friday

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Where: Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium

Status: Nonleague, home opener for the Mustangs

Records: It’s the season opener for both teams.

Head coaches: Tony Lindsay, second year with Far Northeast; Vincent White, first year with Mullen

History: The Warriors are the remnants of the old Montbello of the Denver Prep League that was once a power. They draw from seven schools in the area, multiple schools in the original building. Mullen has won the past four meetings against the Warriors and they haven’t met in 11 years. The last head-to-head matchup occurred on Sept. 6, 2007. Mullen won 47-15.


Players to watch for Mullen:

Damien Cearns, Jr., RB-DB, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds;

Dom DePizzol, QB, Sr., 5-11, 200;

Ryan Hearty, Jr., 6-1, 205;

Wind Henderson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-1, 160;

Aidan Keanaaina, Jr., DL-OL, 6-3, 295;

Luke Malone, Jr., TE-DL, 6-1, 215;

Kyle Remington, Jr., QB-DB, 6-3, 185;

Vaughnn Stitt, Sr., DB-WR, 6-2, 195;

Isaac White, Jr., WR-DB, 6-0, 191;


Notable: It’s the debut of new head coach White for the Mustangs. A former three-sport star for the Mustangs and 1979 graduate, White was a running back at Stanford and played behind quarterback John Elway. He later played for the Denver Gold of the old USFL for three seasons. It’s White’s first head-coaching job on the prep level. …

Since 2013, Far Northeast has had five head coaches …

The Warriors program made three consecutive big-school title games, from 1989-91, under the late Ben Gregory. …

The previous head coach of the Mustangs was successful in his debut heading the program, and in a big way felt across the classification. In 2012, former Mustangs player Tom Thenell came over from Bear  Creek and led his team to a hard-fought, 14-13 victory at Valor Christian in a game that was televised by ESPN. …

This will be Mullen’s 848th game since first playing in 1936 in the old Parochial League. The Mustangs are 581-248-18 in their history.

With three losing seasons over their past five, the Mustangs had enjoyed 23 consecutive winning seasons since joining the new Class 6A in 1990. …

Far Northeast or Montbello hasn’t won a state title. Mullen has won eight sanctioned titles and seven in the old Parochial group. …

With Colorado opting for yet another new outlay for big-school play, the Mustangs are in the new Metro West League along with Jefferson County schools Arvada West, Columbine, Lakewood, defending state champion Pomona and Ralston Valley. Far Northeast is in the new Metro 10, a group of programs that have struggled in 5A play. Others in the loop are Adams City, Boulder, Denver East, Mountain Range, Northglenn, Prairie View, Rangeview, Smoky Hill and Westminster. It is a two-year outlay and most league play will not begin until late September.


Coachspeak from White

On his first game at his alma mater:

“I’m very excited. You know, you feel the atmosphere and it brings you back to old times. You get excited. You get butterflies and you feel the tradition Mullen had and you want to carry it and be successful. …. Being the head coach and it’s the first game you want to put on a good show. We play to play hard, play the right way and get after it on offense, defense and special teams.”

On some of the differences from coaching in college to high school:

“It’s a lot more involved when you’re the head coach in high school. You have to put a lot more into it because there’s a lot more to do. You have to have a lot more control. It’s a lot more work, but I enjoy it. It’s great. And you’re in it for one thing -- to make sure our young men are better on and off the football field.”

On coming in blindly from Pennsylvania and Delaware:

“My anxiety is, I don’t know how we play or the level of play for the other teams. I think we’ll come to play and we’ll battle, but I don’t have that feel yet.”

On some of his concerns:

“We have a lot of guys going both ways. We don’t have enough depth. So how long we can do it will be a test of our conditioning, to see if it’s good enough.”


On Far Northeast head coach Lindsay, who also is an uncle to Phillip Lindsay, the former University of Colorado and Denver South running back fighting to earn a spot on the Denver Broncos:

“We grew up together and ran track together. I used to recruit his kids out of South.”


Next up for Mullen: It will host Doherty of Colorado Springs on Friday, Aug. 31, another nonleaguer.


Thursday’s Class 5A Scores

Cherokee Trail 26, Rock Canyon 9

Cherry Creek 56, Doherty 7

Fountain-Fort Carson 21, Horizon 14

Grandview 38, Chaparral 6

Pomona 32, Oak Ridge, Fla. 14

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Specialist


Grandview-Mustangs football will be on Altitude TV

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen will hit the prep-football television circuit this season.

In their first season under new head coach Vincent White, the Mustangs will host Aurora’s Grandview on Altitude TV. The game will be played on Friday, Sept. 21, at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium, 7 p.m.

The game will be nonleague between the former Centennial League rivals. In the first year of a two-year new outlay, Mullen will enter the Class 5A Metro West, primarily consisting of Jefferson County District schools, after hosting the Wolves. Grandview will be in the Metro East, which contains most of the programs that were in the Centennial.

The Mustangs will be playing in one of eight games televised. Highly touted Cherry Creek will be on three times, and 2017 Class 5A runner-up Eaglecrest, defending 5A state champion Pomona and perennial power Valor Christian will each be featured twice.

Below is a full schedule, home team listed second:

Sept. 7, 7 p.m., Pomona vs. Valor Christian

Sept. 13, 7 p.m. Pomona vs. Cherry Creek

Sept. 21, 7 p.m., Grandview vs. Mullen

Sept. 28, 7 p.m., Cherokee Trail vs. Arapahoe

Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Arapahoe vs. Cherry Creek

Oct. 12, 7 p.m., Cherry Creek vs. Eaglecrest

Oct. 18, 7 p.m., Valor Christian vs. ThunderRidge

Oct. 25, 7 p.m., Arvada West vs. Columbine


Altitude officials indicated the Cherokee Trail-Arapahoe and Cherry Creek-Eaglecrest games may be swapped for other matchups.   


Mullen’s Keanaaina piling up the offers

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Don’t blink. You may miss an offer thrown Aidan Ikaika Keanaaina’s way.

There goes one now … and his Twitter blows up regularly, as does his Hudl account.

Keanaaina, having just completed his sophomore year at Mullen, is getting deeper and deeper into a very unique position -- he may have more offers to play big-time college football than a man who has been banned from driving and is forced to unload his vintage, split-rear-window Corvette Stringray.

The noseguard is in the middle of a baker’s dozen of schools itching to get his signature on a letter-of-intent with two important seasons as a Mustang in front of him.

Every 16-year-old should have this problem … but it’s actually not a problem for Keanaaina, who ravenously eats up the attention, yet doesn’t permit it to it turn his head into a hot-air balloon.

“I’m enjoying it,” he said. “I am. I can definitely say that.”

Who wouldn’t? And who wouldn’t want Keanaaina, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound specimen who can move, has a 1960s muscle-car motor, a straight-A report card and an even better attitude? And is he still growing?

As for the offers, Oregon came in first, when Keanaaina was a ninth-grader. And who makes a pledge to a freshman defensive lineman? Next, in order, were: BYU; Cal-Berkeley; Colorado; Colorado State; Kansas State; Nebraska; Notre Dame; Ohio State; Penn State; Utah; Virginia; and Wisconsin.

“Honestly,” Keanaaina said, “it’s awesome and an extraordinary experience for me. I’m really enjoying the process. I’m talking to people and getting ideas about different colleges.”

With an eye toward the future, Keanaaina already is weighing the benefits of staying in Colorado or heading elsewhere.

“Of course, I’d love to see the rest of the county; then again, I like my home sports,” he said. “I love it here and everything about Colorado. It would be close for my family to watch the games.”

And with a 4.12 grade-point average, Keanaaina said he also is getting closer to nailing down a major, perhaps business or engineering.

A year ago, he was fourth on the team – behind three seniors – in total tackles with 56, including four sacks and a fumble recovery.

In 2018, new head coach Vincent White, a Mullen legend who was in the backfield with John Elway at Stanford and played in the USFL with the Denver Gold, also foresees Keanaaina getting time on the offensive line. To date, he has watched it develop quickly for Keanaaina and supports him.

“I think it’s great for a sophomore,” White said of the attention. “I think he’s a great kid, he likes playing, is very respectful and it’s well-deserved.”

Keanaaina can’t wait to suit up with White in command, saying “I am very excited with coach White. He will bring some new things to Mullen that will benefit us. His new outlook and some changes will push us farther this season.”

Keanaaina will visit Nebraska on June 12 and add a trip to Wisconsin during the month. Ultimately, he’d like to decide on a school late in his junior year, from May into June.

But until then, why not enjoy the ride? Keanaaina is not unlike the big people you see on our roads riding a Harley-Davidson. Who’s having more fun than them?

“I was hoping and praying this would be happening for me and when it did, it threw me off track,” he admitted. “But it made my year, actually. Every day I will have the chance to meet another coach and have a fun day.

“I’m just trying to stay humble for all of this.”


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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Mullen’s first football year was in 1936, when it joined the old Parochial League (it began in 1923) and finished 1-4-1. The Mustangs went on to win seven Parochial State Championships before becoming state-sanctioned. They have followed with eight Colorado titles to date. Overall, Mullen is 8-2 in Colorado championship games. Since joining big schools in 1990, the Mustangs also have made the playoffs 23 times and compiled a 267-84 won-loss mark. They were 89-26 in the 1990s and 117-17 in the 2000s, and have been 61-41 in the 2010s for an aggregate mark of 585-255-18, including 63-23-1 in the postseason (see story on left side of the page). Below is Mullen’s year-by-year record since joining the old 6A, playoff information and scores from their state-title games as well as those in the former Parochial ranks. Compiled by Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Specialist, and Dan Corrales, former Mullen student and prep historian:



Year – Record  Finish

2018 -- 4-7 Preliminaries

2017 – 5-6  Preliminaries

2016 – 9-3  Quarterfinals

2015 – 7-4  Second round

2014 – 4-6

2013 – 3-7

2012 – 6-5  Second round

2011 – 9-3  Quarterfinals

2010 – 14-0  Championship

2009 – 14-0  Championship

2008 – 12-2  Championship

2007 – 12-1  Semifinals

2006 – 13-1  Runner-up

2005 – 11-3  Runner-up

2004 – 13-1  Championship

2003 – 12-1  Semifinals

2002 – 10-2  Quarterfinals

2001 – 9-4  Semifinals

2000 – 11-2  Semifinals

1999 – 10-2  Quarterfinals

1998 – 13-1  Championship

1997 – 9-2  Preliminaries

1996 – 10-3  Semifinals

1995 – 10-3  Semifinals

1994 – 5-4


1993 – 5-4

1992 – 7-3

1991 – 10-2  Second round

1990 – 10-2  Quarterfinals



1945 – 9-0-1

Title game: Mullen 19, St. Mary’s, Walsenburg 14

1950 – 9-0-1

Title game: Mullen 13, Pueblo Catholic 13, tie

1956 – 10-0-1

Title game: Mullen 13,  Canon City Abby 6

1958 – 8-4-1

Title game: Mullen 12, Pueblo Catholic 12, tie

1964 – 11-0-1

Title game: Mullen 7, Pueblo Catholic 7

1965 – 11-0

Title game: Mullen 13, Pueblo Catholic 0

1966 – 11-0

Title game: Mullen 27, Regis 0


1978 – 10-2

Title game: Mullen 25, Montrose 20

1979 – 12-0-1

Title game: Mullen 22, Broomfield 22, tie

1980 – 11-2

Title game: Mullen 21, Broomfield 8


1998 – 13-1

Title game: Mullen 23, Cherry Creek 14

2004 – 13-1

Title game: Mullen 30, Cherry Creek 9

2008 -- 12-2

Title game: Mullen 20, Cherry Creek 16

2009 – 14-0

Title game: Mullen 27, Pomona 24

2010 – 14-0

Title game: Mullen 37, Regis Jesuit 6


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'Stangs garner winter awards
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Winter-sports awards have rolled in for Mullen and there are several.

In girls basketball, where the Mustangs (20-8) won their first Class 4A Colorado championship since 2006, four players were recognized for outstanding play.

In the 5A-based Centennial League, sophomore point guard Megan Pohs was named to the first team for the second consecutive season. She was the team’s leading scorer at 11.6 points per game, shot 50 percent from the field, made a team-high 52 3-pointers and was tops in free-throwing shooting (85 percent).

Freshman Imani Perez was named to the second team and was right behind Pohs in scoring (10.6 points), and first in rebounding 5.7) and blocked shots (1.6).

Freshman Gracie Gallegos, a starter, and Alexa Dominguez, a sophomore reserve, were listed as honorable mention.

In addition, sophomore guard Elaina Martinez has been named to The Show Top 40 games to be played March 23 at Metropolitan State.

Concerning boys basketball, junior Isaac Ondekane was first team all-Centennial. The 6-foot-8 center was second on the team in scoring (13.2 points) and led the Mustangs in rebounds (12.2) and blocked shots (1.7). He also was named to The Show games.

Guards Christian Davis and Isaac White were named to the second team. Davis, a senior, averaged a team-leading 13.4 points and made 69 3-pointers on 3-point shooting. He also had a 55-ppint game in December against Chatfield and was named to the team for the second time. White, a transfer from Malvern Prep in Pennsylvania, started slowly after football season and was injured, but eventually grabbed control down the stretch, averaging 19 points over the final 10 games of the season.

The Mustangs were 16-10.

And in ice hockey, the Mustangs were named winner of the Les Schwab Tire Centers Academic Team award, surpassing a 3.5 grade-point average. The Mustangs also qualified for the state playoffs. Senior defenseman John Witwer made the Senior All-Star Game. And forwards Utah Bryant, Robby Witwer and Nick Gilbert, and goalie Connor Mahon were named honorable mention all-state by Colorado Hockey.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Pool play: Mustangs girls swim into multiple all-state selections in Class 4A
Thursday, March 07, 2019

Mullen girls swimmers and dive were pool sharks in the winter season.

They finished fourth in the Class 4A state meet – up from sixth a year ago and 20th the year before – and had Sofia Zinis win the 50-yard freestyle, the program’s first swimming title since 2008.

As well, Zinis, Gabrielle Zinis, Claire Chahbandour and Lindsey Sowitch teamed to win the 200 free relay, the program’s first relay win since 2007.

Interest also is up -- just a few years ago, only 13 girls were in the program. Some 65 showed up for tryouts the past season.

And for a (swim) cap, Chahbandour, Sowitch and Gabrielle and Sofia Zinis have bene named first team all-state; Micaela Clode and Julianna Zinis were second team.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Mustangs girls hoopers tied for lowest seed of any class still alive in playoffs
Monday, March 04, 2019

Excitement about Mullen girls basketball making the Class 4A final four permeated through the campus as quickly and effectively as the recent frigid cold.

The Mustangs also are the 14th seed. No other girls team alive in this week’s rounds is relatively close in terms of lower seeding and of the top three classifications in boys, only the No. 14 Pueblo East Eagles can match Mullen’s designation.

For Mullen, is it a case of poor seeding, the Mustangs playing over their heads, just dumb luck or all of the above? The Mustangs are 18-8 on a six-game winning streak and won eight of their past nine games. Their only in-state losses are to Cherry Creek and Grandview (twice) and Regis Jesuit. All three are in the 5A final four. And they beat two-time defending 4A state champion Evergreen. And in the bracket, they won at No. 3 Pueblo West and No. 6 Montrose.

The Mustangs will face No. 2 Holy Family in their half of the final four on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Denver Coliseum. The other half is No. 4 Pueblo South vs. No. 1 Air Academy, 5:30 p.m.

Below are the final fours and quarterfinals with seeds for the top three classes that will crown titles this week:

5A boys: 1. Chaparral; 2. Mountain Vista; 3. Rangeview; 5. ThunderRidge.

4A boys: 1. Lewis-Palmer; 2. Longmont; 4. Holy Family; 14. Pueblo East.

3A boys: 1. Lutheran; 2. Sterling; 3. Manual; 4. Vanguard; 5. Delta; 7. Montezuma-Cortez; 8. Denver SS&T-Stapleton; 11. Resurrection Christian.

5A girls: 1. Highlands Ranch; 2. Regis Jesuit; 4. Cherry Creek; 6. Grandview.

4A girls: 1. Air Academy; 2. Holy Family; 4. Pueblo South; 14. Mullen.

3A girls: 1. St. Mary’s; 2. C.S. Christian; 3. Pagosa Springs; 4. Delta; 5. Eaton; 6. Lutheran; 9. Alamosa; 10. Centauri.

Here is a link to the 4A girls bracket:


Mustangs boys headed to No.1 Chaparral for a Sweet 16 matchup
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mullen’s best playoff run in years is still going. And to keep it going, Mustangs boys basketball will have to take down the top seed.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. the Mustangs will roll into Parker to meet No. 1 seed Chaparral, which also has been atop assorted Class 5A polls for much of 2018-19. The Class 5A Sweet 16 matchup should prove to be interesting.

For Mullen, which is 16-9 and a game from matching its best mark in 12 seasons, the 17th seed battled throughout the Centennial League, which was considered to have the best big-school group and verified it with a Colorado-leading six of the round’s teams(to the Continental’s five).

A mix of seniors and juniors has been doing it for the Mustangs. Senior shooting guard Christian Davis (14.0 points) is about as smooth as they come from the perimeter. Point guard Brady Parris, off guard Vaughnn Stitt and forward Matt Veen have been making assorted contributions. Of note, Veen has been rising of late, including blocking a 3-point attempt in the final couple of seconds the past round at Castle View. Parris has been running the offense and Stitt has been effective from the perimeter as well as going to the basket.

Juniors Isaac Ondekane and Isaac White have proved vital. The 6-foot-8 Ondekane, limited the first two rounds because of illness, is expected to be back at full strength. He averages 13.3 points and 11.4 rebounds. And don’t be fooled by White’s 11.5 scoring average. He started the season slowly, was injured and went out of state to visit his family in Pennsylvania, but has scored 31, 20, 18, 9, 17, 17 and 19 points in his past seven outings.

In addition, 6-6 senior Connor Riepma has contributed inside play and scoring.

Overall, Mullen’s defense has picked up and coach Bob Caton also has preached ball movement.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Caton said of the matchup.

For Chaparral, 20-4, the Wolverines were second to Regis Jesuit in the Continental. And the rest of big schools spent a lot of time looking up at them.

Junior Kobe Sanders (16.7 points) and seniors Bryce Matthews (12.4 points, 6.5 rebounds) and Tanner Giles (10.7 points) head Chaparral.

The winner will play the (24) Cherry Creek-(8) Fairview survivor in the Great 8.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Tough matchup awaits Mustangs, but they pronounce themselves ready for the Class 4A Sweet 16
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

It is a tough matchup, easily the most-enticing of the round, and more than a few observers are wondering why it is occurring this early in the bracket.

But Mullen understands it and realizes what’s awaiting its Mustangs on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Class 4A Sweet 16 -- the Pueblo West Cyclones, the No. 3 seed, a program that has had a winning record for 12 consecutive seasons and a contender over two classifications.

“We’re aware,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said. “And we know we have to play.”

Disappointed with their designation as the No. 14 seed, the Mustangs’ only in-state losses were to two-time defending state champion Grandview and Cherry Creek (twice each), and Regis Jesuit. All are Class 5A powers. Plus, the Mustangs are 16-8 and were 10-4 in the 5A Centennial League, in addition to showing very well in a January scrimmage against Holy Family, which is seeded second, in a salute to the old Parochial League.

Sophomore point guard Megan Pohs, an all-league performer a year ago, heads Mullen. Bigger – and taller – news has been the additions of freshmen Imani Perez, a 6-foot-2 center who has played well on both ends, and Gracie Gallegos, a versatile, emerging forward who has regularly guarded the opponents’ top player. Another dynamic has been the overall play off the bench by senior Iliana Perez.

Cawley said his group “remains a defensive team first,” and will need it against the Cyclones, who also draw well and are 21-3, including 9-1 in the South Central League, the same marks held by rival Pueblo South, the No. 4 seed. The two programs split their two matchups this season.

The Cyclones, who have won at least 21 games in six of eight seasons, are led by 5-8 junior Hannah Simental, who averages 22.2 points.

Tuesday’s winner will meet the winner of the (11) Ponderosa-(6) Montrose matchup on Friday.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Spring sports are open as preseason practice is under way
Monday, February 25, 2019

Spring will be sprung on Monday  … at least, it will be for in-staters set to compete in the third of three seasons offered during the school year.

Participants in spring sports have the go-ahead to begin preseason practice.

As usual and with snow on the ground virtually across the state, baseball, girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, boys swimming and diving, girls tennis, and boys and girls track and field can open drills.

Thursday will have opening scrimmages for girls golf and girls tennis, and others may follow on Friday.

Here are dates to keep in mind:

--- Baseball: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through May 14, state championships May 31-June 1.

--- Girls golf: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through May 4, regionals May 10, state championships May 20-21.

--- Boys and girls lacrosse: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through May 4, state championships (boys, May 17, and girls, May 22).

--- Girls soccer: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through May 4, state championships May 21-22.

--- Boys swimming and diving: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through May 11, state championships May 16-18.

--- Girls tennis: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through April 25, state championship May 9-11.

--- Boys and girls track and field: Regular season begins March 7 and runs through May 11, state championships May 16-18.

---  Neil H. Devlin


No individual placers for Mustangs at state wrestling tournament
Sunday, February 24, 2019

Mullen was shut out form individual placers in last week’s Colorado wrestling tournament held at the Pepsi Center.

The Mustangs qualified two competitors in Class 3A, John Sumner, a 145-pounder, and Angelo Damian a heavyweight.

Both went out in consolations and were 2-2 in the classification.

Sumner, a junior who finished 43-9 and was the team’s top producer all season, was 2-2 against the field, first losing in Friday’s quarterfinals. His two losses were by one and two points, respectively, in his first state appearance.

Damian, a senior who ended 38-13, dropped his opening match by pin before getting into three consolations, two of which he won by pin. It was his second state showing.

As a team, Mullen was 33rd of 50 with 11 points. Alamosa was tops with 141.5.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Mustangs Icemen headed to hills for playoff meeting against Battle Mountain, a first-rounder
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

With its first winning record since going 10-9-1 in the 2012-13 season, Mullen will participate in Colorado’s ice hockey playoffs beginning on Wednesday.

The Mustangs are 10-7-2, seeded No. 21 and will meet host and No. 12 Battle Mountain at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Ice Rink.

After an 8-3 start, Mullen was 2-4-2 in its past eight games and will be taking on a Huskies team that finished second to Crested Butte in the Peak Conference. However, the Titans are No. 13. Top scorers for the Huskies are Parker Nash (17 goals, 13 assists), Harry Green (16 goals, 13 assists) and Joey Beveridge (12 goals, 13 assists).

For Mullen, which only has two seniors on the roster and mainly consists of sophomores, Robby Witwer, Utah Bryant and Nick Gilbert have combined for 34 of the team’s 67 goals.

And in goal, junior Connor Mahon has been standing on his head for two seasons and registered a sparkling 2.61 goals-against average as his team often was outshot.

Denver East (14-4-1), the No. 5 seed and which downed the Mustangs twice during the regular season in the Highlands Conference, awaits the winner.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Wrestlers headed to Jefferson in Edgewater for state qualification
Friday, February 15, 2019

Mullen wrestlers will be on the postseason mats Friday and Saturday.

The Mustangs will be at Jefferson in Edgewater for Class 3A Region 3.

Along with Arvada, Alameda, Conifer, Eale Valley, Eaton, Elizabeth, Englewood, the host Saints, Middle Park, Sheridan, Skyview, Strasburg and Weld Central, the Mustangs will be attempting to place within the top four spots of each class for qualification for next week’s state tournament at the Pepsi Center.

The wrestling pairings will be released Sunday.

Mullen's top wrestlers are John Sumner, Noah Linares and Angelo Damian.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Grandview sweeps Mustangs in girl-boy doubleheader
Saturday, February 09, 2019

Mullen dropped a basketball doubleheader to Grandview in the Centennial League on Saturday at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

Mustangs girls fell to the Wolves 72-59 and the boys dropped a 52-42 decision.

Grandview is two-time defending Class 5A champion in girls and won last season’s boys crown.

In girls, Mullen led 21-14 after a quarter only to have the Wolves go on a 23-2 run to take a commanding 27-23 halftime lead.

Mullen girls, who are nearing an official spot in the 4A playoff bracket, are 12-8 overall, 7-4 in league. Grandview is 17-3, in command of the league at 11-0 with a one-game lead and has won 11 consecutive games.

In boys, the Mustangs defense was relevant and they held an early lead. However, the Wolves took scoring edges in each of the final three quarters.

Mullen is 13-7, 6-5. Grandview is 14-6, 9-2, and has a one-game league lead.

Entering the final week of the regular season, the Mustangs will have three games before the brackets are released on Sunday, Feb. 17, beginning with a girl-boy doubleheader against Eaglecrest at home on Monday (girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7).

Smoky Hill will be at Mullen on Wednesday for another doubleheader and the Mustangs will complete their 23-game slates with a doubleheader at Overland in Aurora on Friday.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Wrestlers drop 37-35 home dual meet to Chatfield; Overland next
Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Wrestling dropped a 37-35 dual meet to visiting Chatfield on Tuesday in nonleague.

The Mustangs won six of the matches.

Winning by fall were: Noah Linaries, 113 pounds; Aaron Gonzales, 126; Nick Machock, 132; and Cole Nading, 152.

Junior John Sumner won a technical fall in the first period at 145 and senior Angelo Damian won by forfeit at heavyweight.

The Mustangs will complete their regular season schedule on Thursday, 7 p.m., when they will host Overland in a Centennial League dual.

Class 3A regionals will have Mullen at Jefferson Feb. 15-16 and the state championships will be Feb. 21-23 at the Pepsi Center.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Wrestlers drop 1-point dual to Smoky Hill; 3 still ranked in 3A
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mullen wrestling dropped a 37-36 dual meet to Smoky Hill on Thursday, a tight Centennial League setback held at the Old Gym.

The Mustangs also suffered another loss – heavyweight Angelo Damian sustained a knee-ligament injury in his bout and may be sidelined for a couple of weeks.

As it was, several Mustangs earned victories, five by pin.

Max Gonzales (106 pounds), Aaron Gonzales (126), Blake Elms (138), John Sumner (145) and Cole Nading (160) won by fall. Noah Linares (113) won via forfeit.

The Mustangs next will host Chatfield in a nonleague dual match on Tuesday, 7 p.m., at the Old Gym.

In addition, Linares (fourth), Sumner (fifth) and Damian (eighth) are ranked in their respective weights in the latest offerings by On The Mat.

---  Neil H. Devlin


Mullen Softball Alumni to host Jan. 26 gathering
Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Mullen Softball Alumni will host a gathering on Jan. 26 from 3-5 p.m. at Old Chicago in Lakewood.

The still new coaching staff and alumni will meet for appetizers and drinks at 3550 S. Wadsworth.

There also will be free Mullen Softball Alumni T-shirts for attendees and families.


Sumner's 8th place tops Mustangs at Jimmy John's NCCT in Loveland
Sunday, December 16, 2018

John Sumner finished eighth at 145 pounds on Saturday, the only Mustang to place at the always strong Jimmy John’s Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament contested in Loveland.

Now 17-4, the junior topped Mullen, which scored 44 points to tie for 46th with Castle View and Overland in the 72-team field that included out-of-state teams.

Mullen will be idle through the holiday break and resume competition in a home tournament on Saturday, Jan. 12, with Alameda, Bear Creek, Evergreen, Grandview, Lotus School for Excellence, Mesa Ridge, Plate Canyon and University.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Mat matters: Mustangs grab 2nd dual win, beat Bear Creek 50-18
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In earning its second dual-meet victory, Mullen beat Bear Creek 50-18 on Tuesday night in the Old Gym.

Five Mustangs were the better wresters head-to-head in the 14-weight meeting that also was laced with forfeits.

Taking quick pins against the Jefferson County Bears to top the local list were freshman Mark Troni (120 pounds) in 27 seconds and Aaron Gonzales (126) in a second fall in less than a minute, 56 seconds. Cullen Martinez (220) earned a third mat slap for Mullen late in the second period, winning in 3:57.

At 113, Noah Linares won by technical fall and Nick Machock may have turned in the match of the night, winning 7-6 in the final seconds on a reverse.

Four other weights resulted in forfeit victories for the Mustangs and there was a double no-entry at 106.

Another dual will precede the final tournament before the holiday break – the Mustangs will be in Aurora on Thursday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m., to meet Cherokee Trail in the Centennial League. Saturday, Dec. 15, will be the always interesting and loaded Old Chicago Northern Colorado in Loveland.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Early winter efforts bring back a buzz around campus
Monday, December 03, 2018

It was only the first week and there’s certainly no need to begin entertaining state-championship ideas.

Then again, early promise, a wave of returnees and increased interest has Mullen winter-sporters and their followers rather excited.

To wit:

--- Boys basketball is off to a 2-0 start. The Mustangs waxed two Jefferson County teams through a combination of improved and tight seniors, plus a dab of newbies. At first glance, they seem to be able to regularly offer the full gamut of an inside-outside game, easily getting into transition, defending and containing a rotation without losing much whoever is on the floor.

--- Girls basketball won a season-opening tournament, is dominated by underclassmen with a sprinkling of talented freshmen, and looks as if it’s playing without fear. Even better, the Mustangs also offer height, a glaring void in 2017-18. It’s no small point – they can now play man-to-man defense instead of sitting in a zone. Height matters.

--- Hutchison Fieldhouse was fairly crowded for the first two boys hoops games and it appears attendance will remain on the upswing, including for girls. Coaches and athletes are sincerely following – and rooting for – peers in other games and events.

--- Girls swimmers and divers have gotten a bunch of state-qualifying out of the way and showed well in an eight-team meet in which the other seven school entrants were Class 5A (the Mustangs are 4A). They were sixth at the state meet in 2018 and are staring at getting higher,

--- Wrestlers have more than two dozen Mustangs on the roster and they contain some experienced and newer talent. There are still some holes in assorted weight classes, but there’s quality to offset the lack of quantity.

--- On the ice, Mustangs hockey players now number enough to field something of a junior-varsity team and all of the underclassmen from a season ago are back to seriously challenge for a playoff spot. You should have seen their opener, in which they fell late to Columbine – the stands were packed and students lined one side of the boards.

--- And as for the winter coaches? If there is a more-excited group around Hampden Avenue and Lowell Boulevard, show us. From the head folks to the assistants, there’s bounce in their steps, purpose in their direction, and life in their statements.

Of course, it was only the first week, there are many more to handle, there’s a holiday break to deal with and nothing’s promised.

But for openers, it was the kind Mustangs winter-sporters and their followers needed.

The buzz around school is real.

---- Neil H. Devlin


Holy Family-Mullen, Regis Jesuit-Arapahoe highlight highlight extra hoops
Monday, November 26, 2018

It basically amounts to an extra game, although it won’t count in the standings and the statistics will be meaningless. However, opportunity to play for a cause and purpose as well as participating in extra basketball couldn’t be ignored.

Mullen will have its chances, on Jan. 19 at Hutchison Fieldhouse against Holy Family, and rival Regis Jesuit and its girls will have theirs, Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Arapahoe to provide an ealry peek at the event.

Mustangs head coach Bob Caton will be watching.

Opportunity for a 24th game, Caton said, “was brought up in the coaches clinic and you can do whatever you want with it.”

While the Regis Jesuit-Arapahoe boys won’t play, the girls will at 7 p.m. and have opted to focus on mental-health issues and proceeds from the game will go toward the cause in the wake of multiple teen suicides this school year for the Warriors in Centennial. In Mullen’s case, there will be both boys and girls games, lower-level games, feeder-school games as well as a unified game. Its focus will be on a salute to the old Parochial League.

“It doesn’t count on your record or in the RPI (qualifying) and you can’t list it (in the team schedule), and you still only get 23 legitimate (regular-season) games, but this gives you the 24th and everyone is doing it differently,” Caton said. “We’re making it (a real game), so kids get to play another game.

“While we’re honoring the old Parochial League, others are trying to make it a fundraiser … and that’s great what Arapahoe and Regis are doing for suicide prevention.”

A fee to the state organization was required for the chance to host the events and the amount depended on how many games were to be played, but Caton added that there will be regular referees and most everything that is necessary to host games, as well as bringing back a number of coaches and players from the old Catholic-school group. It’s a salute to Mullen’s beginnings in athletics against a lot of schools that no longer exist.

“Not a lot of other people are doing it,” Caton said, “but I would do 25 if they let us. Kids love to play games. I think it’s a good idea.”

--- Neil H. Devlin


Games on! Winter competitors begin practice as it’s open season
Monday, November 12, 2018

Today, Monday, Nov. 12, is the day for winter-sporters across Colorado.

Season No. 2 on the annual high-school sports docket, winter, may officially begin practice today. Mustangs competitors in boys basketball, girls basketball, ice hockey, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling will begin preseason drills after today’s classes, and boys and girls skiing will begin soon.

Practice will run into the final week of the month before contests may begin on Nov. 26.

The Mustangs will field teams and individuals in all sports, save for skiing competitors, who may co-op with other schools.

Opening day for winter competition will be in two weeks, Nov. 26. 

The first portion of winter play will run into the third week of December. As usual, it will be interrupted by the holiday break, from Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, which will contain only limited practice.

Play will resume in the first week of 2019.

Below are general winter outlines with Mustangs class designations:

Boys basketball – Class 5A regular season runs through Feb. 16; playoffs Feb. 18 through March 9, final rounds at the Denver Coliseum.

Girls basketball – 4A regular season runs through Feb. 16, playoffs Feb. 18 through March 9, final rounds at the Denver Coliseum.

Ice hockey – One class, regular season runs through Feb. 16, playoffs Feb. 19 through March 5, championship game at the Pepsi Center.

Boys and girls skiing – One class, regular season runs through Feb. 16, state championship Feb. 21-22 at Purgatory.

Girls swimming and diving – 4A regular season runs through Feb. 2, state championship Feb. 7-8 at VMAC in Thornton.

Wrestling – 3A regular season runs through Feb. 9, regionals Feb. 15-16, state championship Feb. 21-23 at the Pepsi Center.


Locascio, McIntire strong at Englewood's Windjammer
Saturday, October 06, 2018

Mullen junior Will Locascio took advantage of cooler temperatures for a hotter time.

In finishing in 16 minutes, 16 seconds, Locascio took third place on Saturday at the annual Windjammer Invitational at Englewood.

He led the Mustangs to 10th place in the 25-team field. Nick Espinola (54th, 17:55); Owen McCarter (79th, 18:33); Jack Tolbert (87th, 18:43); and Aidan Schwarz (99th, 18:43) also accounted for the scoring.

In girls, Hallie McIntire turned in another strong race, ending in 20:31 and taking 15th place. She led the Mustangs to ninth place (of 17 teams) and was backed by Madison Wainscoat (41st, 21:09); Alicia Muller (56th, 21:43); Anika Rosengarten (65th, 22:00); and Morgan Atwell (75th, 22:15).

---  Neil H. Devlin


J.P Starkey's mini odyssey: From Harvard to Pueblo
Thursday, October 04, 2018

It nearly cost him a chance at making the state tournament for tennis, but J.P. Starkey visited the hallowed ground of Harvard the past Sunday.

The Mullen junior was part of perhaps 100 lacrosse hopefuls who flocked to Cambridge, Mass., that were getting a look-see by the Crimson staff.

It was just about a slice of Heaven for Starkey, who plays attack for the Mustangs.

“We stayed in Harvard Square across from the sports complex,” Starkey said. “It was a cool place and we got to walk on campus a bit. The sports complex is off the charts. The facilities they have there are impressive. We didn’t get to play in the stadium. We played on the rugby field. But it’s really cool.”

A member of the Colorado Fire lacrosse team, Starkey said he received an e-mail to set up his tryout that included drills and competition, but it also came with an injury. He fell and injured his left wrist at the beginning of the day.

A trip to the doctor diagnosed it as a sprain or broken growth plate and it made it interesting heading into Wednesday’s Class 4A regional play. Starkey plays No. 1 doubles with Dante Dino and the pain followed him into the opening round.

How did he handle it?

“With a brace and a bunch of tape and Advil,” Starkey said.

He said he was able to get through the first set of play and “I had to figure out how to hit with it. But Dante played extremely well and we got through it.”

Starkey and Dino wound up winning the No. 1 doubles spot to qualify for next week’s 4A tournament, including 6-1, 6-1 in the final.

Ultimately, Starkey-Dino helped Mullen to account for six of the seven berths by the Mustangs for the 4A tournament that will run from Oct. 11-13.

“Glad I’ll be there,” he said.

--- Neil H. Devlin


Tuesday wrapup: Softball goes 2-0; boys soccer and volleyball continue skids
Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Mullen won recent, back-to-back, one-run decisions in softball; boys soccer dropped a third consecutive Centennial League game; and volleyball lost another league sweep in recent Mustangs sports news.

The softball team, which had lost nine games in succession, snapped the long drought with a 5-4 victory at home against Grandview on Saturday before getting past host Smoky Hill 7-6 on Thursday. Both were in the Centennial.

Junior Marissa Sanchez earned the weekend pitching victory and was 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored, but had lots of help and it went beyond the Mustangs being guilty of only one error. Tiffanie Brieno had a double, RBI and run scored. Avery Panozzo singled and scored as did Bella Hawkins. Margaret Bertsch tripled, scored a run, sacrificed and drove home two. And Bella Sevier singled and had two RBIs.

Sanchez went the distance and was touched for eight hits, but struck out 10 and walked only one.

At Smoky Hill, Hawkins had two doubles among three safeties to pace a 12-hit attack. Hawkins also scored a run. Brieno scored twice, had two hits and walked two times. Emma DiGiacomo doubled, singled and scored two runs. Sanchez doubled, singled and drove home two runs. Bertsch had a single and RBI. Sevier contributed two singles, a run scored and RBI.

Sanchez was touched for nine hits, three home runs among them, and the six runs, but battled through and struck out four.

The Mustangs improved to 6-14 and next will host Overland on Thursday, first pitch at 4 p.m., to wrap up league play, where they are 2-4.  They will travel to Fairview in Boulder on Saturday, 4 p.m.

In boys soccer, coach Matthew Guglielmo’s Mustangs fell 4-1 at home to Cherokee Trail to remain winless in league play.

Sophomore Patrick Keeley had the only goal for Mullen, now 6-4 overall, 0-3 league.

The Mustangs will resume play on the pitch on Thursday against powerful Arapahoe (9-0-2, 3-0) at Littleton Public Schools Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

As for volleyball, the Mustangs lost 19-25, 16-25, 10-25 at home to Grandview. It was their fifth consecutive loss and kept them winless in league at 7-7 overall, 0-5 in league.

Mullen, which also has lost its past three matches by sweeps, will be at Smoky Hill on Thursday, 6:45 p.m.


Volleyball drops a close one, 3-1 at Eaglecrest in Centennial League play
Friday, September 21, 2018

Mullen volleyball dropped a close on the road on Thursday night, 3-1 to host Eaglecrest in Centennial.

The Mustangs fell 19-25, 21-25, 25-23, 20-25 in Centennial League play.

In falling to 7-4 overall, 0-2 in league, Mullen stayed within range, but was unable to finish.

The Raptors climbed to 9-2, 2-0.

Next up for Mullen will be another league match, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at home against Cherokee Trail, 6:45 p.m.


'Stangs dip to 4-11, fall to Creek in league opener
Thursday, September 20, 2018

The learning experience for a younger Mullen softball team continued on Thursday in a 9-1 home setback against Cherry Creek.

In their Centennial League opener, the Mustangs fell to 4-11 overall. They have dropped nine of their past 11 games and been outscored by a combined 117-60 on the season.

Cherry Creek (11-7, 2-0) banged out 10 hits against two Mullen pitchers.

Mullen’s lone run came in the third inning on a triple by Emma DiGiacomo and a ground out.

First-year Mustangs head coach Alan Colglazier said reloading the program continues to be a process and insists his group is improving.

Mullen will resume play on Saturday at Eaglecrest, which is 13-3. First pitch will be at 11 a.m.



Mullen boys tennis enjoying its emergence
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Indeed, Mullen boys tennis was spanked recently by Colorado Academy. CA won 6-1.

However, it was a gradual improvement from a year ago and Mullen appreciates the climb.

No. 1 singles player George Henry Hanzel, a sophomore on the underclassmen-dominated team, is enjoying the ride and is realistic about it. He fell 6-1, 6-2 to a very good Richter Jordaan and felt much better about his play. Jordaan was the runner-up at Class 4A No. 1 singles as a freshman and last year was third at No. 1 singles.

Jordaan also is considered a top player in the five state region, Hanzel said, “and you have to know he’s better than you, but you still give 100 percent. It’s the very point. Otherwise, there’s no point in playing the match if you don’t even try.”

The growth evident in the early part of the season that is emerging despite being in the heavy part of its schedule has been there for Mullen.

“I think last year we were just getting the hang of it, but now this year we’re bigger and stronger and everything, and we have a better of chance of being competitive with (the likes of) Kent Denver, Arapahoe an CA,” Hanzel said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

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, 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.