Area grads in All-State games
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. For the ones who aren’t going on to play sports in college, this is the end of the competitive road. Sure, some may play their sport of choice in an intramural capacity, but it won’t be quite the same.More than 250 of Colorado’s top senior athletes – seven local players among them – will swarm the University of Northern Colorado campus this weekend for the Colorado High School Coaches Association multi-sport all-state games.From Glenwood Springs, Ryan Foraker and Sam Ciani will take the floor in basketball. They’ll be joined by Roaring Fork’s Kade Gianinetti and Kyle Raaflaub, Grand Valley’s Sam McKinley and Basalt’s Cassie Meyer. Rifle running back Tyler Thompson will take part in the football all-state contest.
Gianinetti will put a storied high school career behind him, lacing up the sneakers and taking to the basketball court one last time. Gianinetti won’t play basketball when he attends the University of Colorado in the fall, so this truly is the end of the line for the 6-foot-1 guard.”I’m really excited to play one more basketball game,” said Gianinetti, also thrilled that he’ll be playing alongside a Ram teammate. “It’s really cool, that Kyle and I got to go to state together all four years and now to the all-state game.”Raaflaub still has basketball life ahead of him. He’ll attend Hastings College next school year in Hastings, Neb., where he’ll play both basketball and baseball. Still, he treasures the chance to take the floor as a prep once more.”It feels pretty good,” he said. “A lot of my best times in high school was playing basketball. This is the last time I’ll be able to play with kids my age. Only 10 guys were selected per class throughout the state, so I’ll be playing with some of the best in Colorado.”
Glenwood’s Foraker and Grand Valley’s McKinley also grace the all-state boys basketball rosters. While Raaflaub and Gianinetti will play for the black team in the four-team all-state tournament, Foraker will suit up for the red team and McKinley the white team. “I think it’s a tremendous honor to be selected for that,” said Foraker, who’s headed to Colorado School of the Mines – but not to play basketball – in the fall. “This is definitely the best way you’d hope to go out as a senior. I think it’ll be a lot of fun to play with all those kids.”For McKinley, who won a Class 2A state title with the Cardinals this past season, the trip to UNC is a trip to the place he hopes to call his scholastic home in the fall. He’ll try to make the basketball team there as a walk-on.”It’ll be nice to play where I want to go to school,” the senior said after last month’s state track and field meet.
Glenwood’s Ciani and Basalt’s Meyer are the lone area representatives in the girls basketball games. Ciani, who helped the Demons to the Class 4A Final Four, will play for the black team and Meyer, a big piece of the Longhorns’ Class 3A state runner-up squad, is on the red team.Basketball all-staters will play a morning semifinal on Saturday, followed by an evening final.In football, Rifle’s Thompson will play for the South in a two-team, finals-only showdown slated for Saturday morning.Other all-state sports taking place at UNC this weekend are volleyball, softball and wrestling.
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