Coach: John Sullivan, 1st season
2014 record: 4-6 overall, 4-3 in 3A Colorado 7 (missed 3A playoffs)
Players to watch: Dylan Holt, 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, WR, jr.; Alex Hawkins, 5-10, 150, WR, sr.; Khris Wright, 6-4, 235, OT/LB, jr.; Brandon Turner-Frazier, 6-2, 240, TE, jr.; Marcus Hart, 6-1, 220, OL, jr.; Damien Wilson, 6-2, 195, LB, sr.; Elijah Reed, 6-5, 285, DL, jr.; Terrell Jones, 6-1, 210, DE, sr.; David Martinez, 6-2, 175, LB, jr.; Trexal Smith, 6-4, 200, OL, sr.; Derrick Smashum, 5-11, 170, QB, soph.; Daniel Smashum, 5-11, 170, WR/RB, soph.; Justin Davis, 6-2, 175, RB, sr.
2015 outlook: John Sullivan was part of a winning tradition with the Rangeview football team for 15 years and he hopes to establish a similar type of winning tradition with another Aurora Public Schools school, Vista PEAK. Sullivan spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the Bison under Pat Rock, who was let go after three varsity seasons and a 12-18 overall record, and inherits a young team he hopes to lead to the program’s first winning record. Living in the neighborhood surrounding the most distant APS school has been to Sullivan’s advantage, though the summer group he worked with constantly changed with players not always able to make it out to workouts. Still, there were a lot of positives from the summer, including some competitive showings in 7-on-7 tournaments put on by the Denver Broncos and others. Three of Vista PEAK’s four All-Colorado 7 first team selections graduated, but one returns in junior wide receiver Dylan Holt, a 1,000-yard receiver who will have a major impact when he returns from an offseason injury. Holt and senior Alex Hawkins are multi-sport athletes who combined for 1,500-plus yards receiving and nine touchdowns. Those two will be quality weapons for promising sophomore quarterback Derrick Smashum, who follows all-league first teamer Noah Butler under center. Smashum, who also can throw to twin brother Daniel in the passing game, has size, a strong arm and an appearance that resembles Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks according to Sullivan. Senior running back Justin Davis is a transfer from Harrison – where he accounted for nearly 600 yards of total offense (352 rushing, 241 receiving) and five touchdowns last season — and showed speed and breakaway ability over the summer, which Vista PEAK needs with the graduation of all-league first team runner Chris Mitchell. Marcus Hart and Khris Wright return along the offensive line, while Brandon Turner-Frazier is a big target at tight end and is also the teams’ returning leading tackler. Defensively, four starters return in linebackers Damien Wilson and David Martinez and linemen Elijah Reed and Terrell Jones. Schedule: Vista PEAK went winless in three non-league games a year ago against Eagle Valley, Grand Junction Central and Mead and will face the same three teams in 2015, though two of them will be home games. The Bison fared fairly well in Colorado 7 play with a 4-3 mark, but would like to close the gaps on teams like Fort Morgan (which they lost to by 42 points) and Lutheran (a 27-point defeat), which they will play back-to-back on Oct. 17 and Oct. 24.
Schedule: Home games in all caps (played at Aurora Public Schools Stadium): Saturday, Sept. 5 — EAGLE VALLEY, 1 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 12 — at Grand Junction Central, 11 a.m.; Saturday, Sept. 19 — MEAD, noon; Saturday, Sept. 26 — WELD CENTRAL, 1 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 2 — at Skyview, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 10 — ENGLEWOOD, 1 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 17 — FORT MORGAN, noon; Saturday, Oct. 24 — at Lutheran, 2 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 30 — at Fort Lupton, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 7 — ELIZABETH, noon
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel