Cheyenne Mountain cherishes the journey in 4A championship game loss to Ponderosa | High School Sports

Cheyenne Mountain mentor Mark Swope just cannot help but feel again to midseason, when, following an excellent start, his Red-Tailed Hawks lost 5 online games in a seven-match extend.

At that moment, he mentioned, the time could have gone either way. Cheyenne Mountain could have continued not actively playing to its prospective and losing online games, or, the Hawks could do the job more challenging, and transform points close to.

They chose the 2nd option.

“We had to reevaluate what our goals seemed like,” Swope mentioned. “But you know what? We did appear collectively. We put the parts of the puzzle collectively. The young ones fought by way of that adversity and ended up in a fairly great place.”

That location was the 4A condition title video game on Saturday at UCHealth Park. But the Crimson-Tailed Hawks couldn’t comprehensive the ultimate stage, slipping to Ponderosa 11-1 in 5 innings, as the Mustangs gained their next straight title. Soon after the match, Swope built a issue to remind his players of the way they turned the season all around.

“I advised them to hold their chin up, mainly because we had a excellent yr,” Swope reported.

The Hawks knew they’d have their function lower out for them from Ponderosa, a staff they confronted once prior to in the postseason. They misplaced that matchup 13-8, and embarked on a route to the championship where a single much more reduction would have despatched them residence.

Ponderosa, meanwhile, cruised as a result of their opponents. The Mustangs topped Northfield 14-2, Erie 19- and D’Evelyn 8-2 before Saturday’s contest.

“They’re an awfully good team,” Swope explained. “And we realized we would have to enjoy flawlessly. We did not. We didn’t engage in very well defensively, and we put some fellas on base. The game got away from us a minor bit.”

Cheyenne Mountain was in striking distance as a result of the first 3 innings, trailing Ponderosa 3-1.

But by the time the fourth inning finished, the Hawks trailed 10-1.

The inning experienced a small bit of almost everything Cheyenne Mountain did not want: walks, errors, handed balls. And a whole whole lot of hitting. The Hawks employed three distinctive pitchers in the inning.

“Their lineup, one particular via 9, is really very good,” Swope reported. “You really do not ordinarily see that in significant university lineups. So you have to be down in the zone, you have to get the job done hitters, you have to make speeds and hope they are not seeing the ball that day. And they were seeing it today.”

It was a disappointing finish to an outstanding time for Cheyenne Mountain. 1 produced even extra difficult due to the fact of the absence of Josh Collier, who died in a automobile crash in Oct 2020. This would have been his senior season.

The Hawks produced certain he was with them just about every action of the way, using his jersey with them on to the field throughout the countrywide anthem just before just about every contest.

“For teens to go via something like that, getting rid of a good friend, and for a whole lot of them, that was the initial time they reduce a person near,” Swope mentioned. “It was rough on the boys, but I imagine it served knowing that we introduced household with us.”

The Hawks preferred to be the kinds celebrating with a canine pile at property plate on Saturday. For on their own, and for Josh. Baseball, like lifestyle, isn’t generally good. But that doesn’t make it any significantly less worthwhile.

“We fought, we scratched, we did every little thing we could to get in this article,” Swope claimed. “I’m happy of them.”

No question, Josh is, much too.