Coach Craig Rogers, right, and the Regis Jesuit boys golf team won last season’s Class 5A state championship. Only Walker Fuller, left, returns from a team that will attempt to win the program’s eighth state title in the past nine years. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel)

AURORA | The 2018-19 Colorado prep athletic season opens Monday with practices in all nine fall sports plus spirit.

Boys golf, boys tennis and softball can begin regular season play Aug. 9, boys soccer, volleyball, cross country, field hockey, gymnastics and spirit begin Aug. 16 and football kicks off Aug. 23.

This marks the 98th season of sanctioned by the Aurora-based Colorado High School Activities Association, which begins its second year under the direction of Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green, an Aurora Central High School graduate.

The lone defending Class 5A state champion among Aurora programs from last fall is the Regis Jesuit boys golf team, which won its seventh state title in an eight-year period with a seven-stroke victory at CommonGrounds G.C.

In spirit, the Cherokee Trail cheer team also won a 5A state crown last year.

Aurora’s two school districts have undergone some athletic changes in the offseason, the largest being in the Aurora Public Schools, where district lifer Casey Powell has taken over as athletic director and a number of new facilities have come online.

Cherry Creek Schools has introduced a sparkling new softball field at Overland — where the team has previously played exclusively at Utah Park — but otherwise has a lot of continuity.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports

2017 FALL CLASS 5A STATE CHAMPIONS

Football: Pomona; Volleyball: Castle View; Boys Soccer: Broomfield; Softball: Legend; Boys Cross Country: Mountain Vista; Girls Cross Country: Mountain Vista; Field Hockey: Palmer Ridge; Boys Tennis: Fairview; Boys Golf: REGIS JESUIT; Gymnastics: Pomona; Spirit (Cheer): CHEROKEE TRAIL; Spirit (Poms): ThunderRidge; Spirit (Co-ed): Castle View; Spirit (Jazz): Broomfield; Spirit (Hip Hop): Ponderosa