Photo by John Leyba

VOLLEYBALL NEWS
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Season ends with 4A regional losses

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Injuries are part of the deal in sports. Just ask those associated with the Mullen volleyball program.

The injury bug not only bit the Mustangs during the 2018 season, they just about devoured them.

“That’s one of the biggest stories how our season ended, unfortunately,” Mustangs second-year head coach Jeff Oliver said.

All told, Mullen ended 12-13 overall. The Mustangs also were 2-5 in the Class 5A-based Centennial League. They were able to advance to the 4A regional rounds, but went out in straight sets to Niwot and Thomas Jefferson.

“We were down four starters,” Oliver said. “But I still thought we had some really good play even being down those girls. A lot of them were close matches and we were still competing.”

Plus, the Mustangs again faced a demanding schedule. In addition to the strong league teams such as Cherokee Trail, Cherry Creek and Eaglecrest, Mullen took on the likes of Colorado Academy, Palmer Ridge, Silver Creek, Arapahoe, which is another league member, Coronado, Doherty and Silver Creek.

“Look at our league,” Oliver said on Saturday while attending the state tournament at the Denver Coliseum. “Down here at state, Eaglecrest and Cherokee Trail are in the top four (of 5A). We played a lot of really good teams this year.”

In addition to the injuries that included losing high-end team members such as Morgan Wills and Anna Murdy, the Mustangs will head into 2019 without graduates Wills, Murdy, Becky Brazelton, Bri Gonzalez, Makenna Guthrie and Liz Zapien.

However, Oliver said, the good thing about having injuries, if there is one, is additional players earn experience that they probably wouldn’t have been able to attain, as he looked toward the future.

“We have some other kids who got additional playing time to handle some of those rolls,” Oliver said. “I think next year we should still be pretty good. Other kids got some experience and that should help them. We’ll just need some kids to step up.”

As for the program’s lower levels, Oliver said “they’re pretty good. We did better this year than last year and we’re starting to build up the level of play that we want.”

 

Mustangs head to Niwot for regionals

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

No extra motivation is required.

“The girls are very excited. It’s regionals,” Mullen volleyball coach Jeff Oliver said.

The Mustangs are heading into the Class 4A postseason on Friday, when they will meet host Niwot at 2 p.m. They will follow with a match against Denver’s Thomas Jefferson before Niwot and TJ meet.

One team will advance out of the pool and into the state tournament from Nov. 8-10 at the Denver Coliseum.

Niwot is seeded third and is 20-3, the third-best record in the class. TJ and Mullen both are 12-11, although the Spartans are No. 22 and the Mustangs No. 34.

Despite playing in the 5A-based Centennial League, Mullen didn’t really benefit from its schedule, although it didn’t help itself the past weekend in the Palmer Ridge tournament. The Mustangs went 1-3.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t do as well as we wanted,” Oliver said. “We had two matches that we lost by two points and it could have boosted us up, but that was kind of the downside.”

In addition, the injury-plagued Mustangs will be shorthanded again, missing front-liners Anna Murdy, Sophie Post, Henri Rasmussen and Morgan Wills.

“We have to adjust on the fly and that’s the way sports goes sometimes,” Oliver said. “We just have to find a way to win a couple of matches.”

Mustangs senior Makena Guthrie, who leads the team in assists (147), said “I think the whole team is excited. It’s one of those things where you’re a senior and regionals are here and you’re just glad your season isn’t over.

“We’re going up there to beat Niwot and come home as winner of our regional.”

Mullen falls to Arapahoe 3-1

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It certainly began quite well. Mullen, in the final round of the Centennial Challenge, looked sharp and was riding high.

However, the Mustangs ultimately found themselves running on fumes and dropped a 3-1 match to Arapahoe on Tuesday night at Hutchison Fieldhouse. The Warriors moved to 10-9 in taking a 15-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 victory.

Class 4A Mullen has seen the last of its 5A Centennial League foes. It played each of them once before being grouped in the lower half for a kind of round-robin near the end of the regular season.

And the Mustangs did it with three front-liners sidelined with injuries and a couple of others on school Kairos retreats.

“So we basically were down five starters,” Mustangs head coach Greg Oliver said. “We had big Senior Night energy, but we struggled again in the second set. I thought we did a good job playing hard and fighting.”

In the league season, Arapahoe had little trouble at home against the Mustangs (11-8), winning 25-12, 25-13, 25-12. On Tuesday, Mullen, with the likes of Sydney Wills, Liz Zapien and Anna Murdy heavily involved in the play, grabbed the first game much to the delight of a loud home crowd and gave signs of returning the favor to the Warriors.

However, Arapahoe gradually took command, weathered any moves by the Mustangs and was superior in ball placement.

“They were scrappy,” Oliver said of the Warriors. “And I thought the girls from our (junior-varsity) did a good job of stepping in and playing.”

The Mustangs next will head to Monument on Saturday for the Palmer Ridge Tournament, a mixed-class gathering. Oliver said they will be in a pool with Montrose and Doherty. In addition to the host Bears, the likes of Bayfield, Coronado, Discovery Canyon and Ralston Valley will be on hand.

Mullen entered Tuesday 28th in RPI qualifying. Thirty-six teams will advance to regionals. They will be confirmed on Monday.

 

Mustangs win hard-fought 5-setter

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Down a couple of key players, locked into a part of the schedule that won’t be of much help to their playoff positioning and trying to stay sharp, Mullen’s Mustangs find themselves grinding at the end of the 2018 season.

Competing in the second gathering of the three-match Centennial Challenge, the Mustangs earned a hard-fought 3-2 decision at Overland in Aurora, winning 25-17, 17-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12.

The Mustangs are 11-7, near the bottom of Class regional seeding (31st in a 32-team qualifying field) and nervous a bit about their play as well as positioning.

But Tuesday’s victory was a step in the right direction, head coach Jeff Oliver said, and in multiple ways.

“It was exciting, more than we wanted,” he said. “We played (the Trailblazers) at home last week and won in four, won in under-15 (in two of the three games), but we played with a lot of heart and a lot of passion. You have to learn how to win matches, right?”

They do and they did it the hard way. With top outside hitter and senior Morgan Wills questionable to return for the rest of the season and junior middie Sophie Post definitely out until next season, Mullen will have one more Challenge game before finishing its regular season a couple of weekends ahead in the Palmer Ridge Tournament in Monument. The thing is, Mullen is in bottom half of the Centennial League loop and won’t get significant RPI points.

“We need them,” Oliver said of obtaining victories. “That’s the only thing we can control – getting wins. And the girls did a good job of doing that.”

Mullen cruised to a first-set victory before the Trailblazers (5-13) returned the favor by the same score. Overland also grabbed Game 3 and was leading Game 4 before some lights came on for the Mustangs. They got close, stayed there and passed the Trailblazers.

They never trailed in the deciding match.

Liz Zapien, Sydney Wills and Sarah Evans had good outings for the Mustangs, Oliver said.

“All we can do now is win,” he added.

The Mustangs will host Arapahoe on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6:45 p.m.

 

Injuries factoring into net finish

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They are into the tough part of their schedule and it really doesn’t have anything to do with the difficulty of their opponents.

No, Mullen Mustang volleyball is about to enter the Centennial League Challenge, which won’t really help in terms of their RPI playoff positioning, and they’ll be doing it without two top players who are sidelined with injuries.

“We’re doing OK, but it’s tough,” head coach Jeff Oliver said.

First, the injuries – senior and outside hitter Morgan Wills may be done for the season with an ankle injury suffered during a blocking drill in which she landed on another player’s foot, and middle hitter Sophie Post, a junior, tore a ligament in an elbow in an accident away from volleyball.

Wills was to have an MRI to clarify the injury and her playing status, and Post is done for the season.

As for the team’s next three matches, which will begin on Thursday at home against Smoky Hill, the end-of-the-season league outlay – in place of teams playing home-and-away – sets teams in upper and lower pools, and clearly hinder teams in the lower half for playoff seeding.

“It just gives you three more matches and doesn’t affect the league standings at all,” Oliver said. “Hopefully, we can win them.”

The Mustangs will end the regular season later in the month by participating in the Palmer Ridge Invitational in Monument.

Mullen began 2018 with a 4-0 start, and won just two of seven league games against Class 5A competition, but recently defeated Smoky Hill and Overland in succession. The Mustangs are 9-7 overall.

Oliver realizes his team, which qualified for the 4A state tournament a year ago by knocking off host and favored Evergreen in regionals, is being tested, but refused to complain.

“Hopefully,” he said. “it will end well. Every season has its own challenges.”

Below is the schedule for the league gathering:

All matches at 6:45 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 11

Eaglecrest at Cherry Creek

Grandview at Cherokee Trail

Overland at Arapahoe

Smoky Hill at Mullen

Tuesday, Oct. 16

Arapahoe at Smoky Hill

Cherokee Trail at Eaglecrest

Cherry Creek at Grandiew

Mullen at Overland

Tuesday, Oct. 23

Arapahoe at Mullen

Cherokee Trail at Cherry Creek

Grandview at Eaglecrest

Overland at Smoky Hill

 

Talented Cougars roll Mullen in 3 sets

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Sometimes your opponent is very good and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Mullen volleyball experienced that very scenario on Tuesday night, when it was schooled by Cherokee Trail at home at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

In Centennial League play, the Mustangs fell 19-25, 7-25, 12-25 as the Cougars, clearly one of the top teams in Class 5A, made it look easy, winning in about an hour.

Mustangs head coach Jeff Oliver, whose team dipped to 7-5 overall, 0-3 in league, didn’t argue.

“It was a rough one,” he said. “Yeah, (the Cougars are) a top-five team in 5A, one of the top teams competing for state. They’re awesome, no doubt about it.”

Cherokee Trail (10-2, 3-0) gave a quick glimpse of what it could do early, running to a 6-1 lead. It was right before Mullen enjoyed its best stretch in which it tied the score three times at mid-match.

“I thought we played awesome that first set,” Oliver said. “Defense, serving, back row …”

But the Cougars, who earlier this season took a five-setter against two-time defending 4A state champion Lewis-Palmer – the Rangers also won 59 consecutive matches – gradually pulled away to win by six points.

As for the next two sets, the Cougars passed well and killed even better, winning by a combined 31 points.

“It wasn’t a great second and third set, but you still have to find a way to overcome those points,” Oliver said. ”It’s part of us getting better against these top teams.”

Mullen will resume play on Thursday, a league roadie at Arapahoe in Centennial, 6:45 p.m.

 

‘Stangs put up a fight before falling 3-1

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It ended 3-1, although the result probably will be eclipsed by the ramifications.

Cherry Creek, the 2017 Colorado runner-up in Class 5A, left a fairly loud Hutchison Fieldhouse on Monday night with a 22-25, 25-11, 25-15, 31-29 decision of Mullen to open Centennial League play, but the 4A Mustangs took plenty with them.

For one, they showed pretty well against a big-school power.

For another, they were sharp early, then regrouped nicely after getting spanked by the taller, longer Bruins in the middle sets.

And for still another as well as probably the most-important aspect, they proved to themselves that they can match up with the game’s heavyweights.

“The kids showed awesome heart and fight coming back,” head coach Jeff Oliver said. “We had a lull in those middle two sets, but we proved we can play with anybody in our league. We just need some consistency.”

Both teams entered 7-2. Mullen, behind the likes of Morgan Wills, Sydney Wills, Becky Brazelton, Liz Zapien, Anna Murdy and junior Katie Hammond, who was in her first match after an ankle sprain, scored eight of the first game’s final 12 points to surprise the Bruins.

However, with seven of their 12 players at 5-foot-10 or taller, including interesting 6-7 freshman Carter Booth, the Bruins grabbed firm command over the next two. Headed by senior Katie Sherman, Cherry Creek ran away for a bit before Mullen made a move early in the fourth.

With Cherry Creek leading 11-8, the Mustangs, who drew another active student section, scored eight consecutive points. Still, Cherry Creek didn’t go away. And while both teams had multiple opportunities to win, including into extra rounds, the Bruins ended it on a Booth block in the middle.

“Their outside players are good and that’s a really good team,” Oliver said. “They had to work and it was a really good effort.”

Mullen next will be in action on Thursday, when it travels to Eaglecrest for its second league match, beginning at 7 p.m.

 

Mustangs sweep host Denver South

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It has already been an interesting season for Mullen volleyball and it’s about to get even more interesting.

The Mustangs wrapped up the early portion of 2018 on Tuesday night, sweeping host Denver South 25-18, 25-21, 25-22. It came on the heels of a 2-2 showing in the Silver Creek Tournament in Longmont in which they were minus multiple players because of ACT testing.

In addition, Mullen, now 7-2, began the season 4-0, used an improbable, late rally to down Colorado Academy and took three-of-four games with parochial-rival Regis Jesuit.

And what’s ahead? The Centennial League schedule will begin on Monday, when the Class 4A Mustangs will host regular 5A power Cherry Creek beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Good thing the Mustangs received multiple contributions on Tuesday night in downing the Rebels (3-7). They will need them in the coming weeks.

“Yeah, it has been interesting,” Mustangs senior outside hitter Morgan Wills said. “And I’m glad we came out strong this year in nonleague play. We’re looking forward to playing (Cherry Creek) on Monday and we’ll definitely be practicing hard to help us prepare.”

The Mustangs ultimately broke free in the first game by taking eight of the final nine points. Wills, who had eight of the team’s 30 kills, practically dominated the second game and the Mustangs held a 23-16 lead in the third before settling for the three-point victory.

Indeed, Wills again led the way, but Mullen, also playing in front of a small but spirited student section that made the trip and, among other things, performed an assortment of exercises as the Mustangs’ point totals increased, seemed to have the brunt of its roster take turns when grabbing command of the games. Becky Brazelton, Makena Guthrie, Anna Murdy, Sophie Post, Henri Rasmussen, Macy Schiefelbein, Bella Wallrath, Sydney Wills, Liz Zapien and Molly Zink each offered significant contributions, everything from aces to kills.

“It was great to get this win,” Mullen head coach Jeff Oliver said.

And he knows what awaits. So do his players.

“We’re going to play the top teams in league in Cherry Creek, Eaglecrest and Cherokee Trail, and they’re all very good teams,” Morgan Wills said.

Mullen, which was 5-4 at this point a year ago, also will be at Eaglecrest on Thursday, Sept. 20, as the league rotation begins.

Volleyballers 4-0, at Silver Creek next

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

In getting to 4-0, Mullen volleyball took down parochial-rival Regis Jesuit on Thursday at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

The Mustangs beat the Class 5A Raiders, who had gotten off to a 6-0 start, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 in nonleague a couple of days after handling Jefferson County’s Arvada West 3-0 on the road, also in nonleague.

Over the four matches, the Mustangs own an aggregate 12-4 edge in games.

On Thursday, senior Morgan Wills led Mullen with 15 kills. Sydney Wills added seven, and Sophie Post and Macy Schiefelbein had six each. Anna Murdy contributed four blocks.

The Mustangs will be back at it on Saturday, Sept. 8, in Longmont at the Silver Creek Invitational, an all-day gathering.

 

Brazelton caps ‘Stangs’ epic comeback

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Becky Brazelton saw it, wanted it, called for it and drilled it.

The Mullen senior’s rocket cross-court spike ended what was turning into an epic volleyball match with all kinds of ebb and flow on Thursday night at Hutchison Fieldhouse, the point that capped a 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 24-26, 16-14 thriller in nonleague.

Mullen moved to 2-0 with a victory in its home opener and CA fell in its debut in 2018.

“Oh, I’m still on Cloud nine, still trying to, like, process it,” Brazelton said. “It’s amazing.”

Said Mullen head coach Jeff Oliver: “We wanted to give the crowd as much for its money as we could..”

They did. Brazelton nailed the clincher off a set from Makena Guthrie that crowned a comeback to remember in the early season. Mullen trailed 13-8 in Game 5, but rallied to take eight of the final nine points.

“I was calling for it, hoping she would get it to me,” Brazelton said, “so I could do my best, do my part … it  could have gone either way.”

In both matches to date, Mullen has had its struggles, particularly with hitting on Thursday, but it found a way to deal with it and win. And don’t think for a second that Mullen players didn’t know what was happening.

“It gets frustrating when you’re down on yourselves,” Brazelton said of her teammates. “Volleyball is such a mental game. Most people don’t know that.”

Mullen does, as its ups and downs were apparent. It would go on a binge, then have a lapse … get it together again, then lose it.

“The girls fought super hard,: Oliver said. “We shouldn’t have let it get to that point, but finishing the way it did was awesome.”

Morgan Wills had another strong game and Anna Murdy stepped up, Oliver said. So did Molly Zink, who played libero after regular Liz Zapien was injured.

And Brazelton turned in a series of plays, notably the winner.

“It was the first home game, so you really lay it out on the floor,” she said. “And I think it shows the character of this team the way it dug out of that hole.”

 

Mustangs overcome shaky start, win 3-1

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

LITTLETON – It was opening night, so there were problems with nerves and anxiety … stage fright, really.

In the first game, they held an eight-point lead and only needed seven more to win, yet blew it.

But Mullen didn’t blink, didn’t panic and wasn’t overwhelmed. The Mustangs regrouped and opened their volleyball season on Tuesday night with 22-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-22 victory at Class 5A Dakota Ridge.

Head coach Jeff Oliver agreed afterward that his 4A group, a state qualifier a year ago, could have gotten shaky and walked out of the Eagles’ gymnasium with a loss, but felt good about its resilience that was required immediately.

“A lot of nerves, it was our first match of the season and it was (the Eagles’) second,” he said. “You saw a lot of girls real tense.”

However, he added, “I was really proud of how they finished. They did an awesome job of finishing.”

Mustangs senior Morgan Wills agreed about her team’s tepid start.

“Oh, yeah,” she said, “but we stayed calm. We just got down and made a couple of mistakes, but we didn’t get down.”

Mullen immediately trailed 2-0 before roaring back to take command and an 18-10 lead. It was on its way to an easy first game, right? Wrong. Dakota Ridge, which opened its season late the past week with a 3-1 victory at Vista Ridge, went on a couple of binges to surprisingly take the game 25-22.

The Mustangs didn’t flinch, though, and grabbed the next three games, enjoyed multiple contributions and withstood assorted runs.

“Our defense was working really well and got some balls up (off service) that frustrated (the Eagles),” Oliver said. “And that team had some good runs on us, but we stopped them. We did a good job of staying confident.”

Dakota Ridge is a “good 5A school,” he said, and earning a road victory there is a strong way to begin.

He cited Morgan and Sydney Wills, Anna Murdy, Sophie Post, Becky Brazelton and Macy Schiefelbein for having solid openers.

“I just think we kept the energy up,” Morgan Wills said. “Even our bench was super loud. We never quit, just because we were pressing. We didn’t give up.”

The Mustangs will have their season debut at home on Thursday against Colorado Academy, 6:45 p.m.

 

FALL ’18 PREVIEW

Mullen netters crave another state run

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

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

Minus five players from a year ago, Mullen volleyball, which was probably a surprise to advance to the Class 4A Colorado tournament, wants to do it again.

And not be considered a surprise.

“That’s definitely the plan,” second-year coach Jeff Oliver said. “We have high goals and we can definitely do them. I think we should have a solid team. We need to fill in the spots (opened by graduation) with some really good players.”

Senior outside hitter Morgan Wills figures to be among the team leaders. There’s also libero Liz Zapien. Becky Bazelton, Anna Murdy and Sophie Post also return and all three played in the middle the past season, although Oliver said he “plans to move some of them.”

A transfer and others either getting increased court time and/or moving up from lower levels will complete the roster.

Once again, the Mustangs will be in the 5A-based Centennial League, where at least three teams figure to stay within the top 10.

“Obviously, last year the hard part was getting into the postseason, so you never know,” Oliver said.

Mullen ended 15-12 in 2017, but finished strongly. It stood at 8-10 late in the regular season before going on a 7-2 binge that included winning a regional at Evergreen and advancing to the state tournament. One of the losses during the span was to regular power Lewis-Palmer, which again gained national recognition.

The volleyball regular season will run through Oct. 27. Regionals will be completed by Nov. 3. Once again, the state tournament will be Nov. 8-10 at the Denver Coliseum.

Mullen will begin its season on Aug. 28, a road trip to Dakota Ridge In Jefferson County, 6:30 p.m.

 

With a sweep of Roosevelt, Mullen finishes at 15-12

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

There really wasn’t that much urgency, not that much at stake and there was going to be nothing afterward but down time.

So Mullen called it a volleyball season on Saturday morning at the Denver Coliseum, sweeping Roosevelt 25-18, 25-21, 25-21 to cap its Class 4A pool play and top a 15-12 campaign. The Mustangs can now look back at a 12-11 regular season, including a 3-4 mark in the 5A-based Centennial League; a gratifying sweep in regionals that was highlighted by knocking off host Evergreen while entering as a No. 28 seed; a 1-1 effort at state (the loss was to top-seeded and nationally ranked Lewis-Palmer); and lots of anticipation after turning around a program that needed it under first-year coach Jeff Oliver.

The coach acknowledged that his team’s final match didn’t have much in the balance – Lewis-Palmer had already won the pool to advance to the semifinals –“but I think we just matched up better against these (4A) teams. And it’s always great to play at state and get a win. That’s awesome.”

In ending Roosevelt’s season at 17-10, Mullen had regular exchanges with the No. 8-seeded Roughriders, got everyone in the games and made just enough plays to go out on a high note. The Mustangs never panicked, modified urgency with a calm determination, and left a crowded Coliseum floor with smiles on their faces.

“It was fun and I’m glad we won our last (match),” said outside hitter Kendall Malone, one of five Mustangs seniors. “We were just having fun for our last match and we played a lot better than I think we thought it was going to be.”

Playing well against the Cherry Creek-dominated league certainly helped Mullen develop, Malone said, “because we got used to playing faster teams and better blockers.”

Citing the play of Malone, Morgan Wills, Sophie Post and Shannon Stone – “Everybody, really,” Oliver said -- and with his team advancing the farthest into a state tournament of any of Mullen’s fall entries, the coach said he’s “absolutely looking forward to next year. Playing here will make it easier for next year.”

11.10.17

Mustangs fall to national volleyball power Lewis-Palmer

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen ran into the resident truth in Class 4A volleyball and there were consequences.

The Mustangs were swept by the powerful Rangers on Friday in pool play at the Denver Coliseum, losing 14-25, 12-25, 20-25. And it’s nothing new – Lewis-Palmer is the two-time defending 4A champion, has now won 55 matches in succession, been in the past five championship matches and lost only five games all season.

Those cold facts aside, the Mustangs (14-12) were seeking more on Friday. Indeed, they all agreed that the Rangers of Monument are good; but were anticipating a better showing.

“They’re just quick, they have a lot of Division I athletes,” Mustangs senior Shannon Stone said.

Mullen head coach Jeff Oliver, who has overseen a program turn-around this season, couldn’t argue.

“That was rough and they’re hard to stop,” he said of the Rangers and he added: “they’re picked to win state, the top team in the state … I just wish we competed better.”

Stone pointed to some nerve issues, the fact that this was the first state-tournament experience for team members “and we were scared to mess up.”

But the one thing both Stone and her coach agreed on was the pace of play forced by Lewis-Palmer.  It was a gear new to the Mustangs.

“The speed of the game hurt us the most,” Stone.

There were several examples. Lewis-Palmer went on point binges in all three games, particularly when the Mustangs were hanging around early.

In Game 1, Mullen led 7-3 before the Rangers, mostly juniors and led by the likes of Kessandra Krutsinger and McKenna Sciacca, ran off the next seven points and 17 of the next 22.  

In Game 2 and at 3-3, the Rangers won 17 of the next 24.

And in Game 3, Mullen led 4-0 and 5-1, and were attempting to gain a measure of satisfaction in becoming just the sixth school in 26 matches to win a game against a team that’s ranked 10th nationally by USA Today and fifth by MaxPreps. However, the Rangers snagged 19 of the next 23 points.

Yes, there is a pattern here.

“The hard thing to adjust to was their speed, they played faster than anyone we played all season,” Oliver said. “We made some really good plays, but it’s just hard to lose. They all wanted to win.”

Stone, Kendall Malone, Morgan Wills, Liz Zapien and others tried to pull off what would have been the top upset of the tournament in years, but the Rangers have the records and results they do for reasons.

Lewis-Palmer was to play Roosevelt later in the day. A victory for advancement to cross-bracket pool play (semifinals) would render Saturday early matches inconsequential, but Mullen’s meeting in pool play against Roosevelt on Saturday has purpose either way. The Mustangs have secured their first above-.500 mark in three seasons and a strong finish would be a fitting cap.

“If we get second in the pool, we could maybe argue we finished tied for fifth,” Oliver said.

11.06.17

Seeded 12th, Mullen opens state volleyball vs. 4A power

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

His team is playing well and he knew this matchup was coming, so Mullen head coach Jeff Oliver figured he could kid around and be sarcastic.

The Mustangs will open Colorado’s Class 4A volleyball tournament on Friday at the Denver Coliseum against the reigning power, Lewis-Palmer. All the Rangers have done is won the past two titles, three of the past four and are going for their sixth consecutive title match. They also have won 54 consecutive matches.

“I was afraid of that,” Oliver said on Monday, when the pools and pairings were released. “We’re the lowest-seeded team.”

The Rangers also are 25-0 and have only lost five games this season, three during the regular season.

“They have lost a few sets this year,” Oliver said with a wink. “No matches, but they have lost a few sets ... anybody but them.”

Seriously, Oliver added, “oh, well, it’s not the best matchup, but that’s the way it goes. If you’re going to win at state, you have to beat the No. 1 seed, so here we are.”

The Mustangs, who will enter state play at 14-11, have won six matches in a row and six of seven. They were only 3-4 in the 5A-based Centennial League and struggled to stay above .500, but got hot late and eliminated the Nos. 9 (Evergreen) and 16 Thompson Valley seeds in regionals. They also finished third in the season-ending Palmer Ridge Tournament.

Kendall Malone (264) and Morgan Wills (172) lead the team in kills. Stone is tops in ball-handling (610). And Liz Zapien is first in service aces (34) and digs (154). But virtually every Mustang on the roster contributes in some form, a fact not lost on Oliver.

“Oh, it has been awesome,” he said. “It’s good to have that sort of depth.”

Plus, Mullen, he said, has grown mentally throughout 2017 in terms of accepting the good with the bad.

“I think a really big thing is we’ve done a much better job on focusing on that one point,” Oliver said. ”We might get blown away by 10 straight points and lose the game, but we come back to focus on the next point or game. The girls have done a really good job of that.”

Mullen is in Pool I, also with (9) Roosevelt. The Mustangs’ match against Lewis-Palmer will be second on Friday and probably won’t start until after 9:30 a.m. Mullen also will play the second match on Saturday, against Roosevelt. There will be eight pool-play matches on Friday, four on Saturday, followed by th semifinals, the title game at 7 p.m.

Below are seeds, pools and the match schedule:

POOLS and SEEDS

Pool I – (1) Lewis-Palmer; (8) Roosevelt; (12) Mullen

Pool II – (2) Valor Christian; (7) Pueblo West; (11) Cheyenne Mountain

Pool III – (3) Holy Family; (6) D’Evelyn; (10) Ponderosa

Pool IV – (4) Niwot; (5) Palmer Ridge; (9) Discovery Canyon

SCHEDULE

At the Denver Coliseum

FRIDAY
Note: First match begins at 8 a.m.

Discovery Canyon vs. Niwot

MULLEN vs. Lewis-Palmer

Cheyenne Mountain vs. Valor Christian

Ponderosa vs. Holy Family

Palmer Ridge vs. Niwot

Roosevelt vs. Lewis-Palmer

Pueblo West vs. Valor Christian

D’Evelyn vs. Holy Family

SATURDAY
Note: First match begins at 8 a.m.

Discovery Canyon vs. Palmer Ridge

MULLEN vs. Roosevelt

Cheyenne Mountain vs. Pueblo West

Ponderosa vs. D’Evelyn

SEMIFINALS: After pool play, Pool I vs. Pool IV; Pool II vs. Pool III

CHAMPIONSHIP: 7 p.m.

11.04.17

At No. 28, Mullen not alone in lower 4A seeds

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Most of the top favorites in Class 4A volleyball advanced through Saturday’s regionals.

In fact, the top six seeds and seven of the 12 will be in the Colorado tournament Friday-Saturday at the Denver Coliseum.

However, Mullen’s surprising takedown of favored Evergreen and a defeat of Thompson Valley weren;t alone in terms of upsets.

The Mustangs (28) will be the lowest seed in the 4A field and be joined by Roosevelt (17), Discovery Canyon (18), Ponderosa (25) and Cheyenne Mountain (26).

The seeds and pools for state will be released on Monday.

Below are the regional winners with seeds:

Region 1: Lewis-Palmer (1)

Region 2: Valor Christian (2)

Region 3: Holy Family (3)

Region 4: Niwot (4)

Region 5: Palmer Ridge (5)

Region 6: D’Evelyn (6)

Region 7: Discovery Canyon (18)

Region 8: Roosevelt (17)

Region 9: Mullen (28)

Region 10: Pueblo West (10)

Region 11: Cheyenne Mountain (26)

Region 12: Ponderosa (25)

11.04.17

Surprise! 28th-seeded Mullen advances to 4A state field

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

EVERGREEN – Here’s yet another example of why sports seasons are considered as journeys. And if you wonder why they go ahead and play the games after seedings and rankings and such, keep reading.

Consider Mullen volleyball … the Mustangs were coming off consecutive losing years, were up-and-down like an elevator throughout much of the season, looked good at times, look bad at others and got thumped regularly by the high-end, Class 5A powers of the well-known Centennial League.

They were seeded 28th of 36 teams that qualified for 4A regionals and paired with No. 9 Evergreen, which arguably has as considerable of a volleyball history as any in-state program as well as the very talented Claudia Dillon, a Missouri commit, and No. 16 Thompson Valley, Eagles who toil in the always elite Northern League.

So what happened on Saturday? Mullen got off to an early lead and never buckled before going the distance to take out Evergreen, then swept Thompson Valley. Indeed, the Mustangs’ 25-21, 22-25, 15-25, 25-17, 15-13 decision of the host Cougars was epic; their 25-17, 25-20, 24-19 victory over the Eagles was quick, but just as thrilling at Lo Hunter Gymnasium.

More numbers -- Mullen improved to 14-12 on the season, got it done at a gorgeous surrounding with an altitude of 7,220 feet, received contributions from every player who saw action and is one of 12 teams that will open Colorado championship play on Friday at the historic Denver Coliseum.

Head coach Jeff Oliver couldn’t have been much happier.

“Oh, it was awesome,” he said. “The girls really came together late in the season and they really clicked.”

It has been an effort balanced at both ends of the emotional spectrum.

“I knew we could do it, but I am shocked,” senior Shannon Stone said. “It’s great.”

Said junior Liz Zapien: “It was really hard, a long road to state, but it was worth it. To be honest, I didn’t think (we could advance), but once I saw the effort and what we could do, I knew we could.”

Stone, Zapien, Emma Bourgain, Becky Brazelton, Morgan Wills, Sophie Post, Kendall Malone and Molly Zink took most of the turns to help the Mustangs advance. They also knew where Dillon was at all times in the first match and it was obvious – if she was in the back row, Mullen faired well; if she was up front, her teammates found her for rocket kills and decisive blocks.

“We just took advantage of when Claudia was in the back row,” Stone said. “She’s so good and she was our main problem there. Everyone just worked super hard.”

Down 2-1 and facing elimination in the fourth game of the opening match, Mullen grabbed command on key plays by Stone and Wills. The Mustangs trailed 4-2, then went off -- they quickly made it 12-6, then 20-10. And when the Cougars (15-8) closed to within 21-14, Mullen won four of the next seven points.

Back and forth they went in the deciding game with Mullen taking the lead for good at 9-8. Ultimately, a bad serve by the Cougars ended it.

As for the match against Thompson Valley, it was about Mullen binges. In the opener, the Mustangs led 13-12 and scored eight straight points. In Game 2, Mullen scored six of eight points to take a commanding 15-9 edge. And in Game 3, Thompson Valley led 19-18, but the Mustangs ran the table, winning the final seven points.

“We’re not stunned, but I think some of the other teams are stunned,” Wills said. “We came in as the lowest seed. But I think we knew we could do this.”

The state seeding will be released on Monday. And Mullen will be in it.

“It was awesome and I felt good coming in today,” Oliver said.

10.30.17

Seeded 28th, Mustangs headed to Evergreen for regionals

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The excitement of qualifying for the postseason is real and so is the history concerning Mullen’s destination.

Seeded No. 28 in the Class 4A regionals, the Mustangs, who won just 13 matches combined over the past two seasons, are headed to Evergreen, where early entries for females into the National High School Record Book were regular occurrences a quarter-century ago.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s awesome,” head coach Jeff Oliver said. “I wish we were a little higher, but I think we’re still in a good spot.”

Now 12-11, Mullen is grouped in Region 9 with the host Cougars (15-7) of Jefferson County and seeded No. 9, and No. 16 Thompson Valley (12-11) of Loveland. All matches are Saturday.

Schedule: Mullen vs. Evergreen, 10 a.m.; Thompson Valley vs. Mullen, 11:30 a.m.; Thompson Valley vs. Evergreen, 1 p.m.

The winner will advance from the region to join the state field that will play Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum.

Oliver said he hasn’t seen either team play, “I’ve just been watching what they’ve been doing (through wins and losses) ... but it should be tough. I know both teams are really good.”

Evergreen finished in third place in the 4A Jeffco League and Thompson Valley tied for third in the 4A Northern.

All 12 sites will follow a three-team pool-play format as in Team 1 vs. Team 3, Team 2 vs. team 3, Team 1 vs. Team 2.

Plus, the Mustangs are headed to where the Cougars used to own the game, not only here but nationally. The great Lo Hunter coached them from 1972-95 and rang up a 503-83 career mark; her 1984 team never lost a game; and they won 182 consecutive matches and nine state titles.

“Yeah, they had quite the run there,” Oliver said.

Concerning his team, it’s a smaller turn-around for his Mustangs, and it has a chance to be even better.

“Absolutely,” Oliver said. “It’s awesome, the girls are really pumped and we should be ready to go.”

Below are region sites and seeds, top seeds host:

Region 1: Lewis-Palmer (1); Berthoud (24); Battle Mountain (36)

Region 2: Valor Christian (2); Mountain View (23); George Washington (35)

Region 3: Holy Family (3); Air Academy (22); Elizabeth (34)

Region 4: Niwot (4); Eagle Valley (21); Canon  City (33)

Region 5: Palmer Ridge (5); Erie (20); Widefield (32)

Region 6: D’Evelyn (6); Fort Morgan (19); The Classical Academy (31)

Region 7: Windsor (7); Discovery Canyon (18); Greeley Central (30)

Region 8: Longmont (8); Roosevelt (17); Vista PEAK (29)

Region 9: Evergreen (9); Thompson Valley 16); Mullen (28)

Region 10: Pueblo West (10); Palisade (15); Montrose (27)

Region 11: Thomas Jefferson (11); Glenwood Springs (14); Cheyenne Mountain (26)

Region 12: Durango (12); Pueblo County (13); Ponderosa (25)

10.28.17

Mustangs take 3rd in tourney, seeking 4A playoff berth

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

MONUMENT – The resurgence of Mullen’s volleyball team continues.

With a sharp, third-place showing among 12 teams on Saturday in the Palmer Ridge Tournament, the Mustangs also climbed above .500 and probably sealed their spot in next weekend’s Class 4A regionals. They were 3-1 for the day and figure to be inside the team cutoff mark of 36 in the RPI-qualifying race to advance to the postseason.

The Mustangs will find out on Monday, but it should be academic.

At 34th entering the week, “of the teams we played today,” Mustangs first-year head coach Jeff Oliver said, “Montrose was 15th and we beat (the Indians), and Air Academy was 24th and we beat (the Kadets), so we should be in.”

Mullen, now 12-11, opened by beating Montrose 25-17, 25-20, then Air Academy 27-25, 25-13. A two-set setback to host Palmer Ridge by 26-28, 18-25 followed, but the Mustangs responded with a comeback 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 victory over Ralston Valley at the Bears’ Cave.

It may have been indicative of how Mullen has grown – it got down early, flirted with blowing a second-game lead, then won going away.

In citing the play of Shannon Stone and Kendall Malone, Oliver said “we switched a few things, changed around our defense and we’re just playing better.”

With combined efforts from the likes of Stone, Malone, Sophie Post, Becky Brazelton, Morgan Wills, Liz Zapien and Molly Zink, Mullen actually closed to within 20-21 of the opening game, but the Mustangs scored the final four points.

In Game 2, Mullen took command 18-9, only to have Ralston Valley rally to get within 21-20. However, Mullen didn’t blink before winning, then won Game 3 easily. Ralston Valley, which is 5A in Jefferson County, flirted down the stretch of Game 4 to force a deciding round – there were constant, back-and-forth exchanges from 4-4 to 22-20 – before succumbing.

Mullen was 7-16 the past season, 6-16 in 2015, so pardon this year’s players for standing on the brink of excitement.

“It went really well,” Post, a sophomore, said of Saturday’s effort. “I think it’s partially the coaching staff and that every girl on the team really wants to win. We all just fight for it.”

Malone concurred: “I think it’s really cool. I don’t think a lot of people thought we would be as good as we are. I think we just wanted to win and we’re playing as a team.”

She also said playing in the 5A-dominated Centennial League doesn’t hurt. And now’s the time for the experience to appear.

“I think it helped a lot because we were playing a lot of the top 5A teams,” Malone said. “I think we’ve learned from the competition. And I think we can trust each other and help each other while we’re down.”

10.24.17

Mullen volleyballers headed to Palmer Ridge Tournament

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Next up for Mullen volleyball – the Mustangs will participate in the Palmer Ridge Invitational in Monument on Saturday.

They will join 11 other Class 4A teams in one of the invitationals across the classification that have taken over in favor of district rounds the past few seasons. The play will factor into the RPI system that will ranks slightly more than half of the 68 4A teams into next week’s regional rounds. Heading into the Palmer Ridge tournament, Mullen, which finished the regular season at 9-10 and competed in the 5A-dominated Centennial League, was 34th. The Mustangs need to be within the top 36.

Under new coach Jeff Oliver, Mullen, which was 3-4 in league play, is coming off a decision of Aurora’s Smoky Hill. It has surpassed the victory totals of the past two seasons and is bidding to make the 4A state field for the first time since 2014, when it won 17 matches.

On Saturday, the Mustangs are seeded third in Pool A with 1. Montrose; and 2. Air Academy.

Pool B: 1. Broomfield; 2. Palmer Ridge; 3. Pueblo South.   

Pool C: 1. Silver Creek; 2. Doherty; 3. Ralston Valley.

Pool D: 1. Coronado; 2. Discovery Canyon; 3. Bayfield.

Matches will begin at 8:30 a.m. After pool-play matches, teams will be seeded into three separate four-team brackets. Final rounds will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Next week’s regionals will have 12 groups of three teams. Only regional champions will advance to the state championships at the Denver Coliseum from Nov. 10-11.

10.19.17

Mullen volleyball ends regular season at 9-10

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Behind a 3-1 decision of Smoky Hill in Aurora on Thursday night, Mullen completed its regular season.

The Mustangs beat the Buffaloes 25-14, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18 in their final match in the Centennial Challenge. It put them at 9-10 as they already have superseded last season’s seven victories.

Junior Morgan Wills had 10 of Mullen’s 38 kills. Kendall Malone and Liz Zapien each had two service aces and Shannon Stone contributed 14 digs and 33 assists.

Smoky Hill is 5-14.

Next up for Mullen is heading to next week’s Palmer Ridge tournament, beginning of the Class 4A postseason.

10.17.17

Mullen edged by Eaglecrest in Centennial Challenge

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It was tight, close and worth watching … and heart-breaking.

Mullen volleyball fell at home to Eaglecrest on Tuesday night at Hutchison Field House, a 3-2 setback that was as back-and-forth as the scores suggest. The Raptors won 17-25, 25-9, 25-23, 17-25, 15-11 in the second of the matches in the Centennial Challenge.

Class 4A Mullen slipped to 8-10 on the season. It had handled 5A Eaglecrest, now 12-6, 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-15) in regular league play on Oct. 5.

Kendall Malone had 15 kills to lead the Mustangs. Morgan Wills had seven and Becky Brazelton added six. Liz Zapien recorded six aces and Shannon Stone compiled 30 assists.

The Mustangs will be at Smoky Hill in Aurora on Thursday, 6:45 p.m., to wrap up the Centennial Challenge portion of their schedule and cap their regular season at 19 matches. They will follow by heading into the Palmer Ridge Tournament to qualify for the 4A playoffs.

10.14.17

‘Stangs drop Centennial Challenge opener; two more to go

Heading into the stretch of the regular season, Mullen dropped its first matchup in the Centennial League Challenge, but is due two more.

On Thursday, the Mustangs were swept Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village 25-16, 25-18, 25-16.

The Bruins won the regular season with a 7-0 league mark. Cherokee Trail was runner-up at 5-2, and Eaglecrest tied with Arapahoe at 4-3. Mullen tied with Grandview at 3-4; Smoky Hill was 2-5; and Overland 0-7.

Matches in the Centennial Challenge do not count in league standings – instead of having the traditional home-and-away durin the regular season, league members opted for just one league matchup and a season-ending, three-match series based on league standings. League members wanted to stay away facing each other twice during the regular season in order to help playoff positioning.

In Thursday’s match, Cherry Creek, now 15-2 overall, maintained control throughout against the Mustangs, who dipped to 8-9. Mullen’s Kendall Malone had nine kills and Morgan Wills 5. Shannon Stone contributed 12 digs and 20 assists.

The Mustangs will host Centennial’s Eaglecrest on Tuesday (Oct.17), varsity at 6:45 p.m., then be at Smoky Hill on Thursday (Oct.19), also at 6:45 p.m.

--- Neil H. Devlin

10.10.17

Mustangs fall to Arapahoe in Centennial volleyball

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen closed out its Centennial League regular season on Tuesday night.

The Mustangs lost on the road in Centennial to Arapahoe 19-25, 25-16, 13-25, 19-25 in Sitting Eagle Gymnasium. Mullen is now 8-8 overall and finished 3-4 in league.

Kendall Malone (13) and Morgan Wills (12) led the Mustangs in kills and Shannon Stone piled up 31 assists.

Next up for the Mustangs is the Centennial League Challenge, a league-designed, season-ending gathering to bring teams to the allotment of 19 regular-season matches.

Cherry Creek (7-0) won the league with Cherokee Trail (5-2) second and Eaglecrest tied with Arapahoe (4-3) for fourth.

10.7.17

Volleyball climbs above .500, earns week’s 2nd sweep 

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Significant showing for Mullen volleyball on Thursday with a couple of notable achievements under new coach Jeff Oliver ... at home at Hutchison Field House, the Mustangs swept Eaglecrest 25-18, 26-24, 1=25-15 in Centennial league play.

The victory improved Mullen’s overall mark to 8-7, which is one more than it had the past season. It was 7-16 in 2016. In addition, it evened the Mustangs’ league record at 3-3.

Kendall Malone had 16 kills, Morgan Wills had four serving aces and Shannon Stone piled up 30 assists.

The past Tuesday, the Mustangs also swept Overland 25-15, 25-9, 25-23.

On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the Mustangs will be at Arapahoe in Centennial for a 6:45 p.m. match. It will complete the league season and is to be followed by what basically is a season-ending league tournament to account for the allotted 19 regular-season matches.

9.27.17

Mullen swept by Creek, Mustangs on a 1-5 skid

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It’s not like Mullen can’t get any momentum. The Mustangs certainly have displayed some of it to date in the 2017 volleyball season.

However, the trick is to sustain it and lately the Mustangs have struggled in that key area.

It was relevant again on Wednesday night at home against always powerful Cherry Creek. The Mustangs were swept by the Greenwood Village Bruins 20-25, 15-25, 12-25 in a Centennial League match.

Now under .500 for the first time this season, Mullen is 6-7 overall, 1-3 in league.

Having dropped five of their past six matches, they have heard this song before.

“Sometimes when our focus is there, we can play with anybody,” head coach Jeff Oliver said. “And sometimes when we lose a little focus, we just fade away.”

On Tuesday, Mullen dropped the first two games to Smoky Hill, then rallied nicely to force a deciding game that ended in a two-point setback. And on Wednesday, Mullen made the Bruins (11-2, 4-0), who remain tied for the Centennial lead with Cherokee Trail – the two will play on Oct. 5 – work in the first game, before suffering a series of miscues, in every area from serving to hitting and blocking, that resulted in two one-sided games.

Plus, the Bruins are pretty good.

“Cherry Creek is in first place, the top team,” Oliver said.

Said junior Morgan Wills: “(The Bruins) are good … it’s like we make one mistake and it kind of brings our momentum down.”

Mullen, which began 5-2 and is within a victory of matching last season’s total of seven, knows its problem, but finding the answer hasn’t been easy. Oliver said his group remains determined.

“When we’re on our game, we can play with anybody,” he reiterated. “We just can’t keep our consistency. It’s just a matter of learning and learning how to win.”

Three league matches remain for the Mustangs, two on the road. They will be at Overland in Aurora on Oct. 5 and at Arapahoe in Centennial on Oct. 10. In between will be a home match against Eaglecrest on Oct. 5.

9.26.17

Mustangs drop a five-setter at home to Smoky Hill

By Eli Hernandez

For mullenhigh.com

Mullen fell to Smoky Hill 3-2 in a very close volleyball match on Tuesday night at the Mustangs’ Hutchison Field House.

The ebb and flow, and momentum swings kept it entertaining. The Mustangs had a late rally fall short. The Buffaloes prevailed by 18-25, 19-25, 25-14, 25-12, 13-15 in Centennial League play. It was the Mustangs’ fourth loss in five matches.

Now 6-6 overall and 1-2 in league, the Mustangs rallied behind Shannon Stone. In the third and fourth games, she led the Mustangs to two decisive victories with eight assists and seven kills. In the third game, she had a diving save that led to a point and in the fourth another dive produced a volley that the Aurora Buffaloes, now 4-8, 1-2, couldn’t handle.

Kendall Malone, Morgan Wills and Sophie Post also had strong efforts. Stone’s included an ace. In forcing a deciding game, the Mustangs never trailed in the fourth.

Mullen first-year head coach Jeff Oliver noted his team’s slow start was killer and the comeback proved draining.

“We had a good third and fourth set, and then we started to get it, but then faded away in that last set,” he said. “It wasn’t our best match.”

The Mustangs will be at it again on Wednesday at home against Cherry Creek, the perennial power tied for the league lead with Cherokee Trail, the 2015 state champion.

“Hopefully, we come out really ready to go (Wednesday),” Oliver said. “It’s going to be a tough match … we will find a way to beat those guys (the Bruins) and put us in a good spot.”

9.19.17

Mustangs earn league split, including rare victory over Grandview

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Centennial League volleyball opened for Mullen this week and the Mustangs earned a split against recent Class 5A state champions.

On Monday, the 4A Mustangs fell in Aurora to host Cherokee Trail, the 2015 state winner, in a tight one by 17-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18, 14-16.

Kendall Malone led Mullen with 12 kills. Morgan Wills added 10 and Sophie Post had six. Shannon Stone added four service aces and Post had three blocks.

And on Tuesday, the Mustangs handled visiting Grandview, the 2013-14 5A champions, 19-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-22. Better yet, it was Mullen’s first victory over the powerful Wolves since 2008.

Malone and Wills again led the Mullen kill parade with 14 and 10, respectively. Stone added seven. Stone served three aces.

Mullen stands 6-5 overall, 1-1 in league, and is within one victory of matching its 2016 total.

The Mustangs will be idle for a week, next hosting Smoky Hill on Sept. 26 in a league match.

9.14.17

Valor Christian handles host Mustangs 3-1

By Eli Hernandez

For mullenhigh.com

Mullen dropped its second consecutive match, losing three of four games to visiting Valor Christian on Thursday at home.

The Mustangs fell 18-25, 18-25, 25-21, 18-25 to the Highlands Ranch Eagles to complete their nonleague outlay.

Now 5-4 – Mullen also lost a recent 3-0 match to Thomas Jefferson – rallied in the third game behind Morgan Wills, who scored five consecutive points, Kendall Malone and Shannon Stone.

“I thought we played really well at times, we were just a little bit to on a roller coaster,” Mustangs head coach Jeff Oliver said. “ But besides that I thought there was some great volleyball. We just have to keep on fighting and competing.”

Mullen next will head into the 5A-dominated Centennial League. The Mustangs will be at Cherokee Trail in Aurora on Monday, then turn around and host Aurora’s Grandview on Tuesday.

9.5.17

Big rivalry battle ends in large volleyball victory

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It was a struggle, but why wouldn’t that be the case?

It was Regis Jesuit vs. Mullen. Sure, it was in volleyball, but would it have really mattered any more if it were in checkers, a video game, odds and evens or drawing straws?

Probably not.

As it was, the host Mustangs finally won out, taking down the Raiders 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-9 on Tuesday night in nonleague play. Mullen improved to 5-2. 5A Regis Jesuit remained winless at 0-7, but it certainly played like a team hungry for a victory, something not lost on Mustangs head coach Jeff Oliver.

And the fact that it’s an old parochial-school rivalry certainly didn’t hurt.

“It was a bit of struggle, but we found a way to fight through and win it,” Oliver said. “It’s a big rivalry. (The Raiders) will play their best game ever against us.”

Junior Morgan Wills, who had a big night hitting and passing, concurred: “Especially against us … yeah, it will be this way.”

Ultimately, Mullen grabbed the lead in the decisive game. Wills and Kendall Malone did a lot of the leading as they did in earlier games, but Mullen also received additional contributions, notably from the likes of Shannon Stone, Liz Zapien, Becky Brazelton and Sophie Post.

“Everybody really hustled for the ball,” Wills said.

The Mustangs enjoyed leads of 6-1 and 10-3 in the final game, although the Raiders scored five of six points to climb within 14-9 and keep Mullen uncomfortable. But Post made a play in the middle to clinch it.

It was much of the same in the first four games. Mullen shot out to leads, only to have Regis Jesuit, which Oliver noted the high-end play of Brooke Vercauteren and a good core of middle blockers, fight back. The Raiders also went on runs, but Mullen had just enough to answer.

“Everybody played and stepped up,” Oliver said. “We had a lot of contributions.”

The Mustangs also were coming off a 3-1 showing in the past weekend’s Aurora Central Tournament. Fresh from a 3-0 beating by 5-0 Chatfield, 4A Mullen earned victories over Centaurus, Central (G.J.) and the host Trojans. The one setback was to 5A Pine Creek.

“We were neck-and-neck with (the Eagles of Colorado Springs),” Wills said. “We played well.”

Next up for Mullen: A Thursday meeting in nonleague down East Hampden Avenue against the Denver Prep League’s Thomas Jefferson, scheduled for 6:15 p.m. The Mustangs then will be idle for a week before taking on Valor Christian (on Sept. 14), then slipping into the vaunted Centennial League on Sept. 18. The first match will be at Aurora’s Cherokee Trail.


Volleyball  Blue match on Tuesday against Regis Jesuit

The Volleyball Blue Out match will be Tuesday, Sept. 5, at home against rival Regis Jesuit.

The varsity will begin at 6:45 p.m. Junior varsity will be at 5:30 p.m.; Freshman-Sophomore at 4:30 p.m.

Here’s an opportunity to pull for Mullen and wear blue.

The first 100 fans will get something blue to show their spirit. Plus, look for cool blue items at the snack shop.

8.30.17

Mustangs fall 3-0 to 5A Chatfield

Mullen fell to a hig-ender in volleyball on Tuesday. The Mustangs lost 3-0 to Class 5A contender Chatfield

Playing on the Chargers home floor, 4A Mullen dropped to 1-1 on the season after losing 25-14, 25-12, 25-17.

Of the Mustangs statistical leaders, Shannon Stone had 31 assists, Kendall Malone registerd 13 kills and Sophie Post had five blocks.

Mullen will next be in action on Saturday in a tournament at Aurora Central.

--- Neil H. Devlin

8.24.17

Volleyball opens with solid home victory against A-West

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

For starters, it probably couldn’t have gone any better.

Mullen’s straight-game home victory over visiting Class 5A Arvada West on Thursday night at Hutchison Fieldhouse was complete, thorough and rousing. The Mustangs won 25-13, 25-12, 25-18 and it was necessary for a program under a new coach and itching to get back to challenge the 4A elite.

“That’s a great way to start the season, it was very exciting, very fun,” Mustangs head coach Jeff Oliver said.  

Mullen only trailed twice and weathered any hints at moves by the Jefferson County Wildcats. Save for a stretch at the outset of the second game and a late move in Game 3, Mullen remained comfortably in command.

Bolstered by effective play by their outside hitters, the Mustangs also had success at the net, serving, throwing in some dinks and getting to most balls A-West was able to return.

“For the first game, I thought we came out with a lot of energy and anticipation, and we really wanted to win,” junior outside hitter Morgan Wills said. “We had a few bumps, but overall I think we kept the energy.”

Senior outside hitter Kendall Malone agreed: “I think tonight’s game was a good start and it just shows that we can play at a high level.”

Mullen grabbed an early lead in the first game and breezed. Even when the Wildcats seemed to settle in and went up 7-3 in Game 2, the Mustangs didn’t blink and scored 16 of the final 18 points.

“If you can just keep away from lulls,” Oliver said.

Mullen had one late in Game 3. A-West kept it just close enough to warrant attention, but Wills, Malone and the likes of Sarah Evans, Shannon Stone, Emma Bourgain and Becky Brazelton offered stability.

Wills said that “it was nice to have all of the fans out here. It helped to keep the energy.”

Said Malone: “We’re happy with the way we played.”

The Mustangs next will be at Chatfield on Tuesday.

 

8.23.17

Mustangs want to Get Back ... as in back to the playoffs 

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

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

Get back.

No, it’s not a reference to The Beatles’ classic tune. It’s actually what Mullen wants to do this volleyball season – play extra matches, as in returning to the postseason.

“Last year, we didn’t make the playoffs,” first-year Mustangs coach Jeff Oliver said. “We have to get back to that.”

Mullen was a dismal 7-16 a year ago and 6-16 in 2015. (It’s last winning record was 17-10 in 2014.) Oliver, a 1978 Mullen graduate, is the program’s second head coach in four seasons and said he is itching to turn it around.

“I’m pretty excited about this group,” he said.

Oliver cited 62 hopefuls who showed up for tryouts and he said he will field four teams. He called the inner core of his team “a mix” that will include seniors and juniors.

Of the 12th-graders, he pointed to setter Shannon Stone, and outside hitters Kendall Malone and Emma Bourgain. Juniors Liz Zapien (libero) and Morgan Wills (outside hitter) also are being asked to contribute regularly.

“Our league, obviously, is the challenge,” Oliver said.

He’s not kidding – the Centennial League, as in other sports, not only rules the suburbs, but also Class 5A. The loop had Doherty interrupt a three-year stranglehold on the big-school crown. Cherokee Trail won in 2015 and Grandview from 2013-14.

Mullen is in 4A and undoubtedly will appreciate the competitive edge gained by playing upper-class powers. It will go through the league once as opposed to home-and-away matches,

“It’s not the greatest league for us, but great for the experience,” Oliver said. “We just have to go through that to get to the playoffs.”

It begins Thursday (Aug. 24) for the Mustangs, when they will host Jefferson County’s Arvada West. Next will be Jeffco’s Chatfield, away, on Aug. 29, then at Aurora Central for a tournament on Sept. 2. Of additional note, there will be a home match against rival Regis Jesuit on Sept. 5 before league begins in mid-September.

The regular season will end on Oct. 28. Regional pairings will be released on Oct. 30 and will be completed Nov. 4.

As usual, the state tournament for all five classes will be held at the fabled Denver Coliseum, from Nov. 10-11.

“We’ve been working hard and we’re excited,” Oliver said.


New volleyball head coach, Jeff Oliver

Mullen High School is pleased to announce Mr. Jeff Oliver as its new head volleyball coach.

Mullen’s Athletic Director, Mr. Vince Massey states, “Mullen High School is very excited to welcome back one of its own, Mr. Jeff Oliver, as our new head volleyball coach.  He brings a wealth of experience and a passion for volleyball that will be very welcomed at Mullen.

A longtime player of both indoor and outdoor volleyball, Coach Oliver is a former Mullen student (‘78) who has coached volleyball for 15 years.  Jeff began his high school coaching at D’Evelyn High School where he worked his way up the ranks from the lower level programs to varsity head coach where his team won a 4A league championship.  Coach Oliver, also, has extensive experience coaching on the club level having worked with multiple clubs over the past 15 years and with various age groups ranging from U13 teams to U17 teams and everything in between.  Currently, Jeff is with the Colorado Volleyball Association working as the head coach with the U15 teams.

One who is eager to develop the student athletes to become better volleyball players, Jeff is equally committed to their development as responsible young ladies beyond the volleyball court.  Jeff states “I am very excited about the opportunity to be the head coach of the Mullen volleyball program, and I am looking forward to sharing my love and passion of the sport.

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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: http://www.maxpreps.com/tournament/6Vry2uOcEeiAxKkkK9HIDg/71MqJ-OcEeiAxKkkK9HIDg/girls-basketball-winter-18-19/2019-chsaa-girls-basketball-state-tournaments----class-4a.htm

 

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 www.sportswomenofcolorado.org/banquet.

 

WINNERS

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 www.colochsa.org.

--- 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:

Thursday

Thompson Valley vs. Pomona, 7 p.m.

Friday

 Pomona vs. Mullen, 7 p.m.

Saturday

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.

 

Football

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.

 

Softball

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.

 

Volleyball

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

I

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

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

The Denver Broncos.

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

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

Here is a schedule:

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

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

Children's Hospital tent giveaway before the game.

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

Northglenn is 5-4, 1-3.

 --- Neil H. Devlin

 

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

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

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

It was held at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona.

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

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

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it’s not working.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Heads have to roll everywhere,” Guglielmo said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

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

The dominoes effect is under way for fall state championships.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

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

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

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

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a Denver defender, one who’s ordinarily a high-character guy, knocked down a quarterback, got up, reached out to lend a hand to help up the quarterback, then suddenly pulled back as if to say: “Psych!” He was given an unsportsmanlike penalty that helped lead to a loss.

They weren’t alone as for some reason seemingly every tackle, sack, knocked-down pass, catch, pass, rush, return, block or kick on every Sunday of every month of every season apparently needs to be “celebrated” so that players “can have fun.”

However, if the Fun Boys suddenly insist they are principled and stand together in what just recently was a more-divided NFL, and want to display a stand on something, it would be easier to take them much more seriously if their self-centered shenanigans all about I, me and mine (and their money) didn’t set such a horrid example of how to act on the field for kids, notably high-school players who frequently hang on their every action.

A bad example is a bad example and suddenly stating principles doesn't mask them.

Period.

--- Neil H. Devlin

Cherry Creek knocks off Mustangs 2-1 in Centennial softball
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mullen dropped its second consecutive Centennial League softball game on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village.

The Mustangs dipped to 7-6 overall, 0-2 in league.

“We left too many runners on base and didn’t have the timely hitting,” Mustangs head coach Greg Hogan said.

The Mustangs stranded seven runners and didn’t back up the six-hit pitching of sophomore Marissa Sanchez, including making two throwing errors.

A very busy week awaits the Mustangs, four games in six days, three in league. On Monday, they will be at Cherokee Trail in Aurora; home against Smoky Hill on Tuesday; at Air Academy on Thursday; and home against Overland on Saturday.

“We’ve got to get some ‘W’s’, got to get it going,” Hogan said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Don't blink, the first postseason event of 2017-18 is upon us
Monday, September 18, 2017

Time flies.

Don’t argue.

Believe it or not, the postseason for 2017-18 begins Tuesday (Sept. 19). Mullen’s boys golfers will be in Colorado Springs competing in regional rounds, the step before the state tournament.

I know, I almost can’t believe it, either. But the boys golf season is short, begins in August and here we are.

It could be interesting for Mullen, perhaps right away as well as long term. The Mustangs will be sending one sophomore (Cole Reister) and three freshmen (Mario Dino, Thomas Hicks and Rhett Johnson) to the Country Club of Colorado. All have enjoyed assorted moments this season and they did well as a group by keeping within range of Centennial League powers Arapahoe and Cherry Creek.

They will be playing in Class 4A Region 2 along with members from Air Academy, Arvada, Cheyenne Mountain, D’Evelyn, Elizabeth, Green Mountain, Littleton, Mitchell, Ponderosa, Pueblo County, Standley Lake, Wheat Ridge, Valor Christian, Vista Ridge and George Washington.

And they have an opportunity to send one, two, three or all four players to the 4A championship, Oct. 2-3 at Raccoon Creek G.C. In Littleton.

So, yes, it goes by quickly.

Pay attention before you miss it.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Soccer match postponed after Silver Creek bus in an accident
Saturday, September 02, 2017

Mullen’s boys soccer home match on Friday against Longmont’s Silver Creek was postponed after an accident.

The Raptors were travelling to the match and their bus was involved in an accident, according to Mullen coach Matthew Guglielmo.

However, no injuries were reported, Guglielmo said.

A makeup date has not been announced.

The match was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.   

--- Neil H. Devlin

Mullen falls to reigning power Valor in softball
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mullen fell to three-time defending Class 4A state champion Valor Christian on Wednesday.

The Mustangs lost the road game 4-3 to fall to 1-2 on the season.

In continuing their demanding schedule – they earlier faced 4A power D’Evelyn and emerging 5A Regis Jesuit – the Mustangs also were outhit 10-7.

Jessica Haley had two of Mullen’s hits. Marissa Sanchez, a sophomore who also took the pitching loss, Cakey McKune and Tatum Maloney each drove home runs for Mullen.

Mullen next will be in action this Thursday (Aug. 31) and into the weekend in the Erie Tournament.

--- Neil H. Devlin

Boys soccer drops first match in 2017, 5-2 to JFK
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A first-half barrage was too difficult for Mullen to overcome on Monday.

The Mustangs suffered their first loss of the season, 5-2 to the Denver Prep League’s John F. Kennedy.

Now 1-1-1, host Mullen was hit for five goals in the first half of the Class 4A nonleague match.

Freshman A.J. Gamueda and senior Michael Jimenez scored for the Mustangs. Junior Patrick Rooney added an assist.

Mullen will return to action on Friday, 4:30 p.m., at home against Longmont’s Silver Creek in another 4A nonleaguer.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Boys soccer ties 2-2 at Steamboat Springs
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mullen hit the road into the mountains on Saturday and earned a tie.

The Mustangs drew at host Steamboat Springs, 2-2, in their second match of the season, a Class 4A nonleaguer.

Ryan Irvine and Christian Rapp scored for Mullen, which now is 1-0-1 on the season.

The Mustangs next will see action on Monday, in their home opener, 4:30 p.m., against nearby John F. Kennedy of the Denver Prep League.

Former K/P JK Scott alive and kicking at Alabama
Friday, August 25, 2017

Remember JK Scott? The tall, lean kick/punter who starred for Mullen from 2010-13?

He has been punting since his freshman season for perennial power Alabama. In his three seasons for the Crimson Tide, the 6-foot-6, 204-pound Scott has averaged 48.0, 44.2 and 47.2 yards per punt … basically at sea level.

For his career, Scott has punted 189 times for an average of 46.3.

It may get better for the former Mustang very soon – he will remain the team’s punter, coach Nick Saban said, but it’s a possibility Scott may also combine kicking off and being the Alabama man for long field-goal attempts.

Below is a link for an interesting story – including quoting Mullen head coach Tom Thenell – on what lies ahead for Scott this season.

The story, from BAMAinsider.com, suggests Scott could save the Cromson Tide’s kicking game.

https://alabama.rivals.com/news/jk-scott-could-solve-alabama-s-kicking-problems  

 

 

Boys golfers again take 3rd in Centennial League meet
Friday, August 25, 2017

Boys golfers took third as a team and fared well individually at the second Centennial League gathering of the season.

Playing on Thursday at Aurora’s Murphy Creek Golf Course, always a tough track, the Mustangs took third in the eight-team league field. They totaled 304.

They also were third in the first match of the season, at Aurora Hills G.C.

Better yet, Mullen had two players shoot 1-over par – Mario Dino and Thomas Hicks each fired 73s. They tied for third place. Cole Reister contributed 78. Rhett Johnson shot 80 and Nic Mayhan had 88.

In junior varsity, Mullen also finished third, scoring 351. Individuals -- Sean Wallace 82, Eli Marquez 84, John Wallace 89 and Jakob Beckish 96.

Next up on the schedule – another league gathering, on Wednesday at South Suburban G.C.

 

Boys soccer wins debut, 1-0 at Vista Ridge
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mullen opened the boys soccer season on Thursday night with a 1-0 victory against Vista Ridge in Colorado Springs in nonleague.

The only score of the game came from Andrew Seaman. He was assisted by Grant Reuter.

The Mustangs next will be at Steamboat Springs on Saturday.

Wednesday roundup: Boys tennis, softball earn victories
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mullen’s boys tennis opened its season on Wednesday and earned a 5-2 victory dual-match over Air Academy at the U.S. Air Force Base above Colorado Springs.

In the debut of new coach Jacob Ohrman, the Mustangs won one of three singles spots and all four doubles placings.

At No. 2 singles, Mac Caldwell won 6-0, 6-2. In doubles, J.P. Starkey-Tanner Amman won 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 1; Ben Logan-Thomas Logan won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2; Charley Manta-Johnny Grow won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3; and Dominic Jablonsky-Ethan Hart won 6-4, 6-3.

At No. 1 singles, George Henry Hanzel dropped a tight one, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, and at No. 3, Dante Dino fell 6-1, 6-1.

The Mustangs will return to face the Kadets and others in the Air Academy tournament Friday-Saturday.

In softball, the Mustangs, who dropped a one-run decision to Class 4A D’Evelyn on Tuesday, came back on Wednesday and downed host Regis Jesuit 3-0. Now 1-1, Mullen plated a run in the third inning and two more in the fifth.

The Mustangs permitted only three hits. They next will be at 4A power Valor Christian on Sept. 30.

 

 

Come and support the Mustangs on Friday
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A message from the Mullen football staff:

Come out and support the Mullen Mustangs as they take on Pomona Friday, 7 p.m., at the North Area Athletic Conplex (NAAC, Hwy. 93 and 64th in Arvada).

All students who are wearing a Mullen t-shirt and have their Mullen ID get free pizza at the gate.

We will be located in the southeast corner of the stadium parking lot.  Come cheer on the 2017  MUSTANGS!!

The game will also be televised live on the NFHS network,

Boys golfers finish 11th at Cherry Creek Invitational
Monday, August 21, 2017

Mullen boys golfers finished 11th as a team in the Cherry Creek Invitational on Monday at Buffalo Run Golf Course in Commerce City.

The Mustangs totaled 236 strokes to finish 11th in a 23-team field.

There were two four-man teams for Mullen.

Mullen Blue -- Thomas Hicks 77, Eli Marquez 78, Sean Wallace 81 and Joseph Long 89.

Mullen White -- Mario Dino 78, Nic Mayhan 79, Rhett Johnson 79 and Cole Reister 82.

 

JV golfers take third place at Heather Ridge
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Competing at Heather Ridge Golf Course in the Bishop Machebeuf Invitational, Mullen players faced a par-70. It’s a tight course built in 1972 that was private, then purchased by surrounding homeowners in 2010 and turned public.

The Mustangs posted individual scores ranging from 77 to more than 110, according to head coach Jerry Koehler.

Leading the way was Eli Marquez, who also was Mullen’s top scorer earlier in the week in varsity at The Broadlands G.C. in Broomfield. He shot 9-over-par 79 and finished third. Joseph Long was fourth with 80; Blake Good 20th with 90; and Jakob Beckish 24th at 92.

The varsity will play on Thursday at Meadow Hills G.C. in Aurora, the first Centennial League match of the season.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Precious few days remain for summer down time, so why panic?
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

 A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N … is making them wait.

With precious few days before the widespread start of fall practice as well as the first day of school, what’s a fall student-athlete to do?

Cram for a bunch of workouts and weight-room sessions? Go for long runs or sprints? Or nab a little – and probably much-needed – down time before the beginning of a busy stretch?

These are the thoughts that must be crossing the minds of teenagers not only here, but across the country.

Call it part of the process, including growing up.

So fret not. Preseason practice (Aug. 14) soon will be here. And so will the first day of school (if they haven’t started already).

And enjoy.

 

 


Links

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