Coal Ridge preview: Titans look to youth this winter | PostIndependent.com

Coal Ridge preview: Titans look to youth this winter

Jon Mitchell
jmichell@postindependent.com
Coal Ridge High senior Mariela Martinez looks to pass the ball around fellow senior Bernice Ponce during practice at the high school in Peach Valley on Wednesday. Martinez is the Titans' only returning starter from last season.
Jon Mitchell / Post Independent |

COAL RIDGE TITANS

BOYS BASKETBALL

Head coach: Paul Harvey (Seventh season).

Last season: 11-12 overall, 10-6 Class 3A Western Slope League (Fourth place), lost to St. Mary’s in first round of Class 3A state playoffs.

Returning starters: Ruben Ruiz, Sr., PG.

Others to watch: Hunter Gerber, Soph., SG; Jake Solinger, Jr., PG; Greyson Keener, Jr., F; Sergio Cano, Sr., F; Mike Solis, Sr., F; Dan Schouten, Jr., F; Zen Gross, Sr., G/F.

Outlook: Without Winkler and Bowles hanging around the paint this season for the Titans, Coal Ridge figures it will need to run more instead of remaining in half-court sets for most of the game. A catalyst for that could be Gerber, who Harvey said has long-range shooting ability and the ability to remain consistent during the game. The Titans will be tested in its first week, opening against Class 5A Rock Canyon in Highlands Ranch today before playing Paonia on Friday and Cedaredge on Saturday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Head coach: Steve Young (First season).

Last season: 13-9 overall, 10-6 Class 3A Western Slope League play (Fifth place); Lost to Gunnison in fifth-place game of 3A WSL district tournament.

Returning starters: Mariela Martinez, Sr., PG.

Others to watch: Jenny Call, Jr., SG; Kaitlyn Detlefsen, Jr., F; Kyrie Foreman, Sr., F; Cortnay Young, Jr., SG; Alexandria Winkler, Jr., F; Karissa Feese, Jr., F.

Outlook: Young had close to a decade of coaching experience at the middle school level in Parachute, so the Coal Ridge job is his first gig as a prep hoops head coach. He’s very impressed with the girls he’s got on his squad, stating that they have the ability to post a strong record in the 2014-15 season. “I’m really hoping that by the end of the season we’ll be competing for the top spot in the league,” Young said.

WRESTLING

Head coach: Kalvin Deere (Second season).

Last season: Sent two individuals to Class 3A State Championships, none of whom placed.

Key returners: Nick Carbone, Sr., 182; Lane Nelson, Jr., 126/132; Rudy Devora, Sr., 285.

Others to watch: Noah Gurule, Soph., 126; Jacx Power, Fr., 145; Marshall Grivy, Fr., 120; Kolby Lord, Fr., 113; Couy Harrington, Fr., 195; Danny Wenzel, Jr., 106; Eddy Baer, Soph., 152.

Outlook: Deere’s two state qualifiers from a year ago are gone, as Cristian Keith (170) graduated and Tristain Charboneau (126) moved to Kansas. Still, the coach is very confident in the 22 wrestlers who are out this season, but he’s also hanging on to cautious optimism because of the new-look region that brings former 4A schools Rifle, Delta, and Eagle Valley into the region to go against the Titans.

PEACH VALLEY — Kalvin Deere’s problem, he feels, is a nice problem to have.

The second-year coach of the Coal Ridge High School wrestling team has a lot of young wrestlers who will be competing for time at the varsity level. And that added young talent has already made the Titans wrestlers much better this season.

“They came in and, based on what I saw, were ready to compete at the varsity level right away,” Deere said. “They’re making everyone better in the process.”

Those newcomers and younger wrestlers will try help Coal Ridge get better after last season, which saw the Titans qualify two wrestlers for the Class 3A State Championships. Both of those wrestlers have not returned this season, however, meaning the remaining upperclassmen and up-and-coming wrestlers will need to step up for the Titans to either match, or exceed, that performance.

Meanwhile, Coal Ridge has another newcomer in Steve Young, who takes over for Damon Martinez as the new head coach of the school’s girls basketball program. It’s a program that, although it missed the Class 3A state playoffs a year ago, had reached the postseason two of the previous three seasons before that.

“I don’t want to change a lot,” said Young, a 1981 Glenwood Springs High graduate who is coaching high school basketball for the first time. “I truly feel honored to be here, and I want to keep Coal Ridge’s winning tradition in place by changing as little as possible.”

Seventh-year Coal Ridge boys basketball coach Paul Harvey watched as the team he had last season go 11-12 overall, which was nearly three times better than the previous season’s four-win campaign. The Titans are going to try to continue that improvement without Andy Bowles and Richie Winkler, two high-end frontcourt players who graduated this past spring.


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