The week ahead in Aurora prep sports, 9.21-9.27

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AURORA | A look at some of the key games, tournaments and happenings in Aurora prep sports from Sept. 21-27:

• Friday Night Lights for week 4 of the football season on Sept. 21 includes another strong all-Aurora matchup when Cherokee Trail visits Regis Jesuit at 7 p.m. in a rematch of the 2010 Class 5A state semifinals won by the Raiders. Coach Monte Thelen’s Cougars are Aurora’s lone 3-0 team, while Mark Nolan and the Raiders are one of five 2-1 city teams.

In a 4 p.m. matinee, Smoky Hill has won its past two games since an opening loss and will try to go for a third straight when it faces 3-0 Standley Lake at the blustery North Area Athletic Complex in Golden.

• The 55th running of the Aurora Invitational cross country meet is Sept. 21, with Rangeview playing host to the meet at the Aurora Sports Park. Fairview swept the boys and girls team titles last season. The boys varsity race is scheduled for 4:50 p.m., followed by the girls varsity at 4:55 p.m.

On the same day, Cherokee Trail and Smoky Hill head to the Broomfield Invitational, hosted by former Buffs coach Greg Weich and the Eagles at Broomfield Commons Park.

• The Overland Invitational gymnastics meet is Sept. 22, as the defending 5A state champion Trailblazers try to defend their home floor. Cherry Creek won last season’s championship, edging Overland by just 0.25 of a point. The ‘Blazers could also get another crack at Broomfield, which took first at the Loveland Invitational.

• The Cherokee Trail boys soccer team visits Arapahoe at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25 as the Cougars try to continue the momentum of their non-league success — a 5-0-1 mark in their first six contests — into Centennial League play. The Warriors won just 1-0 in 2011.

At 4:30 p.m. on the same day, Brighton is Gateway in a key early game in the EMAC chase, which will also be affected by Hinkley’s 7 p.m. visit to top-ranked Adams City.

• Cherry Creek visits Eaglecrest at 6:15 p.m. Sept. 26 in a non-league preview of a top Centennial League volleyball showdown. The Bruins topped the Raptors in four sets in the only meeting last season. Cherry Creek opened 8-1 this season, while Eaglecrest won seven of its first eight matches.

• Eaglecrest visits Grandview at 4 p.m. Sept. 27 in a Centennial League softball showdown of teams at or near the top of the standings. The Raptors, who were one game of the pace set by the Wolves and Cherokee Trail, won the first meeting 2-1 on Sept. 11.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555