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Athlete signs up for something big


National Signing Day was Feb. 1, when high school athletes autographed letters of intent with colleges to play at the next level.

Some athletes signed in the fall, but most football and soccer players made official commitments Feb. 1. There is another signing date on April 12.

Castle View lineman Nathan Laufenberg didn't sign a letter of intent. Instead, he signed a certificate of intent, since he plans to attend and play football at the Air Force Academy.

The certificate of intent is a nonbinding agreement that signifies an athlete's commitment to follow through with the cadet appointment process and allows them to participate in signing day for publicity purposes. The certificate is signed by athletes who are recruited and plan to attend Air Force, Navy or Army.

Laufenberg's uncles and grandfather were in the Air Force and he is already working out to be in top shape for the grueling six weeks of Basic Cadet Training this summer. That includes training in the rural Jacks Valley center on the academy grounds in Colorado Springs.

"I'm getting in shape now," Laufenberg said. "I felt like the Air Force Academy was a good opportunity - it is close to home and everything seemed to fit."

Full court press for mercy rule

The ball is now in the court of the Colorado High School Activities Association's Legislative Council on whether a mercy rule for boys and girls basketball will be adopted.

We'll find out in April if the legislative council approves the mercy rule that was tweaked and unanimously agreed on by the basketball committee. It was passed to the legislative council for endorsement.

The legislative council has 72 members made up of league representatives, Colorado Association of School Executive reps, Colorado Association of School Board reps and representatives of the Colorado Athletic Directors Association.

If the proposal is approved for the 2017-18 season, a running clock will start when there is a 35-point or more differential in scores entering the fourth quarter. The clock would be stopped for injuries, timeouts and free throws - a concession to coaches who didn't want to give up playing time for little-used reserves and younger players.

According the CHSAA, 17.2 percent of girls games this season have ended with a margin of 35 points or more. And 12.8 percent of boys games have been decided in excess of 35 points.

Caddies earn scholarships

Three area young men were among 11 high school caddies from the state of Colorado who were awarded an Evans Scholarship on Jan. 18.

The scholarship is a full, four-year-housing and tuition grant that is valued at more than $100,000 over four years. The recipients will begin college in the fall at the University of Colorado.

The three area winners were Quinton Kelly of Littleton, who attends Dakota Ridge High School; Lakewood's Richard Biggs, a Bear Creek student; and Faith Christian's Joshua Garcia, who lives in Denver.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton


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