Three Aurora football players were among elite company around the state honored Monday night by the Colorado chapter of the National Football Foundation.
At the chapter’s annual banquet held at the Denver West Marriott, 16 of the state’s top senior student-athlete football player were recognized, a group that included locals in Logan Brook of Cherokee Trail, Grandview’s Malique Singleton and Eaglecrest’s Braden Miller.
Singleton, a defensive back, (Wyoming) and Miller (a Michigan State-bound offensive lineman) have both signed with Division I programs, while Brook — a quarterback — is going the DII route with Colorado State-Pueblo.
The 16 seniors were picked by a selection committee from approximately 2,000 players across Colorado according to NFF/CHF official Clair Gausman. The criteria for selection was All-State selection by a media outlet, a current composite 3.2 Grade Point Average or alternative grading system and meeting the “standards of citizenship and sportsmanship” verified by a school administrator.
Honorees received an award plaque and another to go to their respective schools, a commemorative football with the names of the recipients and a canvas action photo.
Full list of Colorado’s NFF honorees and their college programs: Jackson Adams (Arapahoe), LB, Air Force; LOGAN BROOK (CHEROKEE TRAIL), QB, CSU-Pueblo; George Fitzpatrick (Cherry Creek), OL, Ohio State; Alec Falk (Palmer Ridge), OL, Air Force; Bryce Johnson (Lutheran), DB, South Dakota State; Connor Jones (Palmer Ridge), OL, Michigan; Jake Maikkula (Valor Christian), OL, Stanford; BRADEN MILLER (EAGLECREST), OL, MICHIGAN STATE; Cade Palmer (The Classical Academy), RB, Air Force; John Pastore (Erie), OL, Kansas State; Keegan Patterson (Longmont), QB, Southern Cal; Gavin Sawchuk (Valor Christian), RB, Oklahoma; MALIQUE SINGLETON (GRANDVIEW), DB, WYOMING; Miles Sprague (Holyoke), LB, CSU-Pueblo; Braelon Tate (Legacy), RB, Colorado School of Mines; Caleb Thiesen (Erie), RB, Western Colorado
SATURDAY, APRIL 16: Five weeks ahead of the state track meet, Aurora teams provided a glimpse of the performances that might be ahead at the finish line.
Between Thursday and Saturday, city teams won team championships at the Don Osse Lakewood Invitational (Regis Jesuit boys and girls), Littleton Lion Classic (Grandview boys and girls) and Mountain Range Invitational (Cherokee Trail boys and girls), while individuals dazzled at the loaded Pomona Invitational.
Cherokee Trail junior sprinter Symone Adams had the meet of the weekend as she won the 100 and 200 meter dashes at the Mountain Range Invitational, while her time of 12.11 seconds in the 100 put her atop the state in the event regardless of classification. At the same meet, the Cougars’ 4×100 meter relay took the Colorado lead with a time of 48.98 seconds. Cherokee Trail bested Eaglecrest’s Pomona Invitational time of 48.99 by 0.01 of a second.
The Raptors tied with Chatfield for first place in that event and after contributing to that, senior Haley Esser went on to win the 400 meters with a time of 57.44 that ranks third in the 5A classification thus far.
Regis Jesuit senior Fabiola Belibi didn’t better her 5A-leading marks in the 100 meter hurdles (14.31 seconds set at the Legend Track Clash) and long jump (19 feet, 1 inch, achieved at the Aurora City Championships), but she won both at the Don Osse Invitational at Jefferson County Stadium, home of the state championships.
Belibi — the reigning 5A state champion — did pop a long jump of 18-7 1/4 that established a meet record, as it easily surpassed the previous mark of 17-10 1/4 set in 2011 by Lakewood’s Lauren Brunsdale. Belibi won the 100 hurdles in 14.81, which gave her a 2.5-second cushion.
Vista PEAK junior Kendall McCoy topped a large field in the 100 meter hurdles at the Pomona Invitational with a time of 14.80 seconds that was just off her 4A-leading time of 14.76 established at the Aurora City Championships.
On the boys side, Grandview junior David Maldonado swept the sprint championships at the Littleton Lions Classic at Littleton Public School Stadium to lead a commanding effort by the defending 5A state champions that saw wins in nine events. Junior Andrew Fox also grabbed two titles by winning the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
The Cherokee Trail boys won the Mountain Range Invitational by 53.5 points after an effort that saw a sweep of the four relay events in addition to individual wins for Peyton Sommers (200 meters), Reuben Holness (1,600 meters) and Hunter Strand (3,200 meters).
At the Don Osse Invitational, the state’s 100 meter dash leader — Regis Jesuit junior D’Andre Barnes — lost to Chatfield’s Hayden Marx in the race by a lean (0.04 of a second), but contributed to a Raiders’ victories in the 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes