All Conference Returners

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All Conference Returners

Avery Hill reaches for the finish line.

Avery Hill reaches for the finish line.

Avery Hill reaches for the finish line.

Avery Hill reaches for the finish line.

Braidon Nourse, Sports Writer

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The 2019-20 winter sports season is in session, and our Rangeview Raiders basketball, wrestling, and girls swimming teams are all working hard towards another great season on the court, on the mat, and in the pool.

 

Rangeview’s boys’ basketball team had an excellent state championship run in the 2018-19 season.  Our girl’s basketball team made it to the Sweet 16, girls swimming won their second straight EMAC championship by nearly 100 points, and wrestling had some good performers in their regional meet.

 

Great teams like Rangeview’s are just that–great teams.  But, there are also individuals that are the driving force of the success that our teams enjoy year in and year out. Every year, these standout performers are named to the East Metro Athletic Conference (EMAC) all-league team, meaning that they either placed high enough or were recognized and voted for these top spots by other coaches in the league.  There are three ‘levels’ to all-league selections: first team, second team, and honorable mention.  

 

Rangeview’s winter sports had no shortage of these players.  Not including the stars that graduated last year, there are 8 different all-league Raiders returning this season, listed below:

 

Boys Basketball:  First team: Christopher Speller, Sr. Second team: Christian Speller, Sr.  Honorable mention: Cade Palmer, Jr.

 

Girls Basketball: Honorable mention: Brianna Linnear, Jr., Ny’Era West, So.

 

Girls Swimming: First team: Haley Zant, Sr., Jasmine Johnson, Sr, Avery Hill, Sr.

 

Senior Avery Hill, one of the captains of the girls swim team, was part of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team in last year’s EMAC championship meets en route to the team’s second straight league championship.  Their time in that race qualified for the state championship meet.

 

Having lost a lot of talented swimmers to graduation last year, Hill said that “We did gain some fresh talent, and a lot of returning swimmers have stepped up.”  Hill is optimistic about the possibility of an EMAC three-peat, saying that, “it will be a challenge, but we definitely aren’t out.”

 

Senior Christopher Speller had a breakout 2018-2019 season and was one of the most important pieces to the 2019 CHSAA boys basketball championship team.  He was voted first-team all-league and second-team all-state.

Speller says that in order to get another first-team all-league selection, and perhaps even a first-team all-state selection, he is “just trying to focus on getting better every day in practice and competing as much as I can … and just winning games.”  

 

Christopher is optimistic about the chances of winning the state back to back, and he is just as optimistic about his teammates earning all-league honors.  He said he would like to see “everybody” being voted first-team all-league, but in particular, “my brother (Christian Speller) and Obi (Agbim). I think they should be up there as well.”

 

Brianna Linnear, a junior basketball player, was voted as an honorable mention in last year’s all-league girls’ basketball voting as a sophomore.  The team went on a playoff run that ended in the sweet 16 in a blowout loss to the eventual state champions, Cherry Creek.  

 

“We’ve added a few new offensive plays because last year we relied on transition, which is why Creek was able to stop us,” said Linnear, “and our defense has improved a lot.”  It is clear that the girls’ basketball team has some unfinished business to take care of, and they are working hard to get farther in the playoffs and to win more games this year.

 

Just like always, our Raiders are working day in and day out to get better for their teams and for their school.  Many say the next few years of Rangeview winter sports will definitely be something to look out for if you’re any other school in the EMAC.  Of the 8 returning all-league winners, only 5 will be graduating this year, and even more, will likely be honored in the league this year.

Brianna Linnear (2), waits for a rebound during a scrimmage.