AURORA | A familiar face locally has been added to the coaching staff of the Denver Broncos, as Regis Jesuit High School graduate Klint Kubiak has been hired as the team’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The 34-year-old Kubiak, the oldest son of former Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, served as the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings last season after he was the quarterbacks coach there for two years.
Klint Kubiak joins the staff of new Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett, who also added former Green Bay tight ends coach Justin Outten as his offensive coordinator and picked Butch Barry (formerly of the 49ers) as the offensive line coach.
Klint Kubiak was a multi-sport athlete at Regis Jesuit and went on to play in the defensive backfield at Colorado State. He served as an assistant on the college level at both Texas A&M and Kansas as well as NFL stints with the Broncos (2016) and the Vikings twice.
— On National Girls and Women In Sports Day, the Sportswomen of Colorado announced its list of honorees for its 48th annual awards celebration and four athletes who currently play or have played at Aurora high schools in the past earned spots on it.
The organization has honorees in individual sports and special awards to give out at its awards event scheduled for March 13 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center and the city will be represented among those honored for their accomplishments in 2021.
Among the special award winners are Aurora Central graduate Rhonda Blanford-Green — a track star in her days with the Trojans — who will receive the Joan Birkland Leadership Award, which is named one of the Sportswomen of Colorado’s founders. Blanford-Green is set to retire as Commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association at the end of the year.
Former Grandview High School girls basketball star Michaela Onyenwere is also on the list as the current player for the New York Liberty of the WNBA has been chosen as the Professional Rookie of the Year, the same honor she won for her play in her first season in professional basketball after she was drafted out of UCLA.
Among the honorees for individual sports are senior Ellie Johnson, who helped the Regis Jesuit field hockey team win the state championship in the fall after capturing the previous one a few months earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as Grandview girls basketball star Lauren Betts, a McDonald’s All-American and Stanford University signee.
2022 SPORTSWOMEN OF COLORADO HONOREES
LAUREN BETTS, Basketball, High School (GRANDVIEW HIGH SCHOOL); Allie Navarette, Basketball, College (Metropolitan State University of Denver); Ashten Prechtel, Basketball, College — Division I (Stanford University); Riley Stewart, Cross Country, High School (Cherry Creek High School); Abby Nichols, Cross Country, College (University of Colorado); Jennifer Valente, Cycling, Olympics; Dahlia Allen, Diving, High School — Big School (Lewis-Palmer High School); Victoria Sanders, Diving, High School — Small School (Discovery Canyon High School); Jolynn Harris, Diving, College (Colorado Mesa University); ELLIE JOHNSON, Field Hockey, High School (REGIS JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL); Aubri Braecklein, Golf, High School (Jefferson Academy); Anna Zanusso, Golf, College (University of Denver); Lynnzee Brown, Gymnastics, College (University of Denver); MeiLan Haberl, Hockey, College (Yale and Austrian National Team); Margo Miller, Lacrosse, High School — Small School (Evergreen High School); Jessie Bakes, Lacrosse, High School — Big School (Colorado Academy); Bea Behrins, Lacrosse, College — Division I (University of Denver); Jessica Berg, Lacrosse, College — Division II (Regis University); Megan Torrence, Shooting, High School; Amber English, Shooting, Olympics; Amelia Smart, Skiing, College (University of Denver); Stacy Gaskill, Snowboard/Cross (Golden); Degen Miller, Soccer, High School (Alexander Dawson School); Lila Dere, Soccer, College — Division II (Colorado Mesa University); Jaelin Howell, Soccer, College — Division I (Florida State University); Hailey Maestretti, Softball, High School — Small School (Lutheran High School); Nicole McGaffin, Softball, High School — Big School (Fossil Ridge High School); Shelby Robb, Softball, College (Metropolitan State University of Denver); Anna Shaw, Swimming, High School (Heritage High School); Lily Borgenheimer, Swimming, College — Division II (Colorado Mesa University) Aysia Leckie, Swimming, College — Division I (University of Denver); Elizabeth Marks, Swimming, Paralympian; Anastasija Zolotic, Taekwondo, Olympian; Lauren Manwiller, Tennis, High School (Mullen High School); Anna Riedmiller, Tennis, College (University of Denver); Taylor James, Track and Field, Track, High School (Niwot High School); Agur Dwol, Track and Field, Field, High School (Mullen High School); Sage Hurta, Track and Field, Indoor Track, College (University of Colorado); Mahala Norris, Track and Field, Outdoor Track, College (Air Force Academy); Christel Donley, Track and Field, Masters; Hailey Danz, Triathlon, Paralympics; Carter Booth, Volleyball, High School, Big School (Cherry Creek High School); Taysa Conger, Volleyball, High School, Small School (Merino High School); Rylee Hladky, Volleyball, College — Division II (Metropolitan State University of Denver); Georgia Mullins, Volleyball, College — Division III (Colorado College); Marissa Gallegos, Wrestling, College (Colorado Mesa University)
Ava Kuszak, All-Round; RHONDA BLANFORD-GREEN – Joan Birkland Leadership Award (CHSAA); Molly Little, Bravery; Kelly Christensen, Coach of the Year, High School (Niwot High School); Jenny Glenn, Coach of the Year, College (Metropolitan State University of Denver); Sydney Kennett, Innovator; Gold Crown Foundation, Youth Sports Leadership Award; Carol Callan, Leadership (USA Basketball); AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain, Dorothy Mauk Pioneer Award; Lisa Schumacher, Milestone (Volleyball — Sterling High School); University of Denver Women’s Triathlon Team, Newcomer; Devyn Priselac, Perseverance; Lindsey Horan, Professional Athlete of the Year /Olympian; MICHAELA ONYENWERE – Professional Rookie of the Year; Love, Sweat and Gears, Swede Johnson Spirit Award; Niwot High School, Team of the Year, High School (Cross Country); Metropolitan State University of Denver, Team of the Year (Volleyball); Kathy Jones Heck, Trailblazer
— The full slate of competition for Aurora prep sports teams for Wednesday has been wiped out because of a snowstorm that prompted Aurora Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools and Regis Jesuit all to close for the day.
With the closures of buildings comes the cancellation of all after school activities and competition and it was no small schedule for Aurora teams with five boys basketball games, four girls games and three boys wrestling events affected.
Two Centennial League girls-boys basketball doubleheaders — Eaglecrest’s visit to Overland and Cherokee Trail’s visit to Grandview — were on the schedule, as were home games for the Smoky Hill (vs. Arapahoe) and Regis Jesuit (vs. Castle View) boys teams, while the same matchups stood for the girls on the road.
On the mats, the Grandview and Cherokee Trail boys wrestling teams had already rescheduled their Centennial League dual from the beginning of the season and will be pressed to get it in before the end of the regular season on Saturday. Also lost to the schedule change was Rangeview’s senior night against visiting Canyon and the EMAC Championship dual that was slated to be on the mats at Vista PEAK.
TUESDAY, FEB. 1: A significant storm is anticipated to be in effect as National Signing Day arrives in Aurora on Wednesday, which is already having a major impact on the big day.
Cherokee Trail High School and Grandview High School both chose to shift its ceremonies from Wednesday morning to Friday morning. Grandview will now recognize 37 student athletes in eight sports at 7 a.m., while Cherokee Trail has 33 athletes in 12 sports set to be recognized at 7:45 a.m.
Regis Jesuit’s ceremony shifts to Thursday after the school was closed Wednesday.
— The Colorado State-Pueblo football program is set to harvest a great deal of Aurora’s top talent when National Signing Day arrives Wednesday.
The ThunderWolves have a tradition of looking locally already — with 15 current players listing Aurora as their hometown — and will further bolster those numbers when 10 players from six city programs have committed to sign with the Division II program.
Three of those signees will come from Grandview in Moosah Alsaffar, Evan Johnson and Kahden Rullo, who helped the Wolves make it to the Class 5A state semifinals in the fall. Alsaffar — a standout running back — is also scheduled to sign with Colorado State-Pueblo’s track program at the same time.
The Vista PEAK tandem of Jordan Mayfield and Bryson Torrie also has committed to Colorado State-Pueblo, which is also in line to gain the services of Cherokee Trail’s Logan Brook and Michael Hemingway (who is also to sign for track), Eaglecrest’s Mason Harris, Rangeview’s Austin Appiah and Regis Jesuit’s Jayden Franklin.
The ThunderWolves — coached by John Wristen — finished 6-5 last season.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes