Softball: Annual Colorado Fireworks softball tournament opens June 26 all around Aurora

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Cherokee Trail graduate Chloe Knapp (15) returns to the Colorado Fireworks Softball tournament this season with the Colorado Styxx Gold Severtson team she played with last season. The tournament begins June 26 with action at four sites around Aurora. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

One of the staples of the summer in Aurora is the arrival of the annual Colorado Fireworks softball tournament, which brings hundreds of the top prep fastpitch softball club teams (18-under and 16-under) from across the country and a gaggle of college coaches to Aurora for a week.

The Fireworks tournament begins on June 25 and is spread out across a variety of venues around Aurora, with the main action taking place at the Aurora Sports Park, as it makes full use of the facilities’ three outstanding four-field complexes. Highline Park, Horseshoe Park and Olympic Park also will be utilized.

Practice games begin June 25 before play in most brackets the next day.

The elite level tournament is a highly-regarded showcase for much of the country’s top talent and has long been a major draw for college programs. A whopping 308 college programs of various levels — including recently crowned NCAA Division 1 champion Oklahoma — have preregistered to have a coach or multiple coaches in attendance.

Several Colorado teams in attendance feature players from Aurora programs, including the Colorado Styxx Gold Severtson — coached by Pablo Severtson — a team that includes recent Cherokee Trail graduates Chloe Knapp and Emily Bell, who helped lead the Cougars to the Class 5A state championship at the same venue last fall. Eaglecrest senior-to-be Kailey Wilson and Smoky Hill senior-to-be Emilie Roberts also appear on the roster for the Styxx, who play in the 18U Power Pool.

The Colorado Angels Gold team in the 18U Open division also features a slew of players from Aurora programs in Sonoma Olson (also a part of Cherokee Trail’s state championship team), Grandview grad Terran Caldwell, plus Eaglecrest senior-to-be Braelyn Crenshaw.

The Colorado Next Level team in the 18U competition features two more Cherokee Trail grads in Skylar Higens (an Adams State signee) and Audrey Pickett.

A number local players also appear on 16U squads.

Each team is guaranteed to play six games.

The Fireworks tournament is run in conjunction with the Sparkler tournament in Westminster, which draws hundreds more teams.

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