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CCSD Athletics: Highlights from the week of May 27, 2024

5A State Baseball - CCHS State Champs

5A State Baseball: Cherry Creek and a storybook ending

The Cherry Creek High School baseball team is the 2024 Colorado State Champion. The Bruins won three straight elimination games this past weekend to take the title. The championship was the ninth for retiring 52-year head coach Marc Johnson, and emotions were high after the game.

“This was quite a story,” a humble Johnson said. “I could write a book on this final season. But it’s about the players. In my whole 52 years, I never made a play. I was the jockey who rode the horse. I told the players to play as hard as they could, and for whatever reason, it worked out for me.”

The Bruins’ quest for the trophy began on May 31, as they took on Grandview, the team that eliminated Prairie View 6-1 in the day’s first contest. Wolves junior Nick Martensen got the complete game win to advance.

Cherry Creek was cruising in Friday’s second contest, leading the Wolves 11-3 going to the 7th. Grandview rallied for six runs in the final frame but fell short, falling to the Bruins 11-9. GHS finishes a great season at 19-11. The Creek victory advanced the Bruins to the championship round against the Regis Raiders on June 1. The task was daunting as the Bruins had to defeat Regis twice in the double-elimination format.

5A State Baseball TrophyIn Saturday’s first contest, Bruins junior Wyatt Rudden held Regis to one run on five hits for an 11-1 victory over the Raiders in five innings. Senior Eddie Esquivel led the Creek attack with six RBIs. Junior Connor Larkin also went deep for the Bruins, helping advance Creek to Saturday’s second winner-take-all game.

CCHS completed the championship journey with runs in the 5th, 6th and 7th innings, on the way to a title-clinching 5-2 win over Regis. Junior Ryan Falke went the distance, capping the season – and a career - on a high note for Coach Johnson.

“We knew our backs were against the wall,” Johnson said. “We had to win three games, they (Regis Jesuit) had to win only one. I told my players, ‘There’s no team that I know of in our state that could do it but this one.’ I have no idea why everything aligned the way it did, but I’m very thankful for that.”

Coach Marc JohnsonCoach Johnson’s retirement was not lost on his players.

“This is awesome,” said senior 2nd baseman Brayden Yasuzawa. “This is what we’ve been working and training for all year. You know, he’ll always say it was about us, but I think this year it was really about him and sending him off on a good note. Once the playoffs started, we always made sure that we were going to do this for him, basically. It’s good. We did it.”

Senior outfielder Edison Esquivel agreed.

“Throughout the season, we always wanted to do it for Coach J, to support him and make sure he goes out the right way,” Esquivel said. “It’s a feeling unlike any other everyone on this field has ever had. This is probably one of the greatest things that will ever happen to any of us. I love it. It’s fantastic.”

Head Coach Marc Johnson said things could not have worked out any better.

“It’s been an awesome run,” he said. “I’ve loved every second of every day that I have coached, every kid I have ever coached. I had guys here from the ‘70s, from the ‘80s, from the ‘90s, from the 2000s. They are guys who are just part of the family, and they wanted this as bad as we did. Every coach that has coached for me; every parent, every kid, they were all a part of my career. I needed a lot of help to get here. So, I thank God, I thank my family, my team, and everybody who believed in us.”

The Bruins finished a remarkable season at 25-5-1.

Congratulations to Coach Johnson on an incredible career, and to the 2024 Colorado State Champion Bruins!

Spring Sports: More All-State Teams are announced

All-State Teams for girls lacrosse and girls soccer were released by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) on May 31.

Honorees in each sport were nominated and chosen by coaches across Colorado.

See the girls lacrosse honorees here.

See the complete list of girls soccer recipients here.

Congratulations to all our district athletes on a great season!

Posted 5/3/2024.