Titans made a name for themselves in ’08-09 | PostIndependent.com

Titans made a name for themselves in ’08-09

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

FORT COLLINS, Colorado ” Dropping 3-pointers from all corners of the court and playing a physical brand of basketball that belied its typical finesse approach, Coal Ridge went down swinging on Friday.

The Titans gave Aspen everything it could handle late in the day’s Class 3A boys basketball state consolation semifinal, cutting a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit down to just five in the game’s waning moments.

And there’s no shame in going out like that, Titans coach Paul Harvey said. His team didn’t phone anything in down the stretch as it wrapped its best season in school history.

“There’s a lot of positive attitudes in the locker room now,” he said. “They’re happy with what they’ve accomplished coming where they came from. I saw them at their first practice as freshmen back in summer ball. They’ve come a long ways.”

A long ways is an understatement.

The 4-year-old Coal Ridge boys basketball program made major strides in 2008-09, winning 21 games and making the Great Eight for the first time in school history.

And, though the Titans’ stay at Colorado State University was short, they went out with a bang.

“It was a lot of fun,” senior Eric Schmitz said. “It was good to see (us come back). We were all down and then came back up. We were playing hard. I think that’s the way it should be in your last game. I think we made them a little nervous.”

Nervous enough for Aspen coach Steve Ketchum to call a timeout and bring his starters back in after they sat for a brief stretch in the fourth quarter.

“Give Coal Ridge all the credit for the end,” Ketchum said. “They made it fun.”

Having fun was Harvey’s chief goal coming into the season. When he took over as head coach prior to the season, he wanted a program that’s endured its fair share of drama in the past to simply enjoy the game of basketball.

In doing so, Harvey and Coal Ridge accomplished big things.

“I just hope they had fun,” Harvey said. “I hope this is a crowning achievement on our seniors’ career, that they can always look back with fond memories.”

And the six seniors leaving the program this year ” Schmitz, Alex Klein, Jonathan Roessler, Adam Miller, DaLin Murphy and Robby Rausin ” hope their younger teammates are able to carry the torch into future seasons.

“I think we made a name for Coal Ridge on this side of the mountain,” Schmitz said. “Hopefully the younger guys can make a name for us next year and in the coming years.”

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