A lot of outstanding boys golf has been played in the Centennial League in recent years.
Still, a hole-in-one hadn’t been seen in league tournament play for more than a decade until Smoky Hill sophomore Paul Cleveland aced par 3 Hole No. 16 Aug. 15 at Saddle Rock G.C. in the second tournament of the new season.
Using a 7-iron, Cleveland drained his tee shot from 178 yards away for the first hole-in-one Centennial League coaches could remember in at least the last 12 years.
Cleveland’s tee shot was on a perfect line the whole way, landed 10 feet below the hole, took a big hop and slowly rolled into the cup as his playing group — which included Grandview’s Devyn Solano, Overland’s Joe Slocum and Mullen’s Evan Redd — watched from the elevated tee box.
“I’ve played that course a couple of times, so I knew where to hit it,” Cleveland said. “Really all I wanted was to get maybe a par or birdie, so I just took a 7 iron and swung easy. It landed in the middle and I thought it would stop maybe three feet short and it just kept on rolling.
“When I saw it go in, I looked at the other guys for a few seconds and they just were just jumping up and down.”
Cleveland — the first person in his family to record a hole-in-one — got to take his scorecard home to show his mother, who was in disbelief, while the rest of the family — including his older brother Joey, who played on Smoky Hill’s varsity last year — found out about it through Twitter.
The ace wasn’t wasted, either, as it was part of a round of 75 that put Cleveland in a tie with Solano for third place individually behind medalist Will Matthews of Cherry Creek (70) and Arapahoe’s Sam Marley (71).
Solano again led the Wolves, who used their familiarity with their home course of Saddle Rock to finish second in the team standings behind Cherry Creek.
Seniors Kyle Carr and Chad Tam each recorded 77s to help Grandview, which moved into a tie with Cherokee Trail for third place in the overall Centennial League standings through two tournaments.
• Rangeview finished fourth to lead city teams in the first of two EMAC boys golf majors on Aug. 15 at Meadow Hills Golf Course.
Senior Dillon Joye shot an 88 to lead the Raiders, while sophomore Raymond Simanjuntak and senior Tyler Hayes were a stroke back with 89s.
Gateway finished sixth in the nine-team tournament, followed by Aurora Central in seventh.
• Senior catcher Emily Sparks went 4-for-4 — including a two-run home run and a double — and drove in five runs as the Cherokee Trail softball team overwhelmed Lakewood 10-3 Aug. 20 in a non-league season opener.
Seniors Zoe Hinton and Chelsea Clay and freshmen Skylar Higens and Haley Peffer had two hits each for the Cougars, who saw starting pitcher Taylor Leill earn the win by allowing two runs in 3 1/3 innings.
• Sophomore Angela Cordova homered among a 4-for-4 performance in the Rangeview softball team’s 14-4 victory in five innings Aug. 20 at Denver East.
Cordova belted a three-run shot to right field in the first inning, then doubled in a run in the third and singled in another in the fifth to help Rangeview avenge an 11-6 loss to the Angels last season.
Senior starting pitcher Danae Bushman survived a shaky fifth inning from her fielders that allowed Denver East to score four times, but induced a bases-loaded double play finished by shortstop Haylee Fleck to the end the game.
• Eaglecrest opened the softball season with a decisive 13-0 victory in five innings at Regis Jesuit Aug. 19.
The Raptors had 13 total hits, with junior Mikayla Faulkner racking up two of them along with 5 RBI and sophomore Destynee Morgan going 3-for-3 and scoring three times.
Sophomore pitchers Sarah Bushman and Alexa Romero combined to allow three hits to the Raiders.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel