Jeffco 5A consists of 9 high schools that all compete at the 5A classification. The majority of the schools are located in Jefferson County just to the west of Denver along the foothills.

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Alrvada West HS 
Wildcats (1750)
 

Coach: Danny Vais - 1st season

 

Returning starters: 5 

2021 Record: 5-11

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level:  Evan Hurlburt- Colorado Northeastern JC

 

Players to watch:  None committed - Mason Hagel-Pitt (SR) MIF, Seth Dreezen (JR) 3B/P, Zach Quimby (SR) C, Tucker Deal (JR) UTIL/P 

 

2022 Outlook: The Wildcats will welcome in first year head coach and alumni Danny Vais. Vais inherits a program that went 5-11 in 2021, finished 9th in Jeffco 5A and has not made the playoffs since 2014. "This will be a new system for these guys so we are looking to just take it one day at a time" Vais said. The Wildcats will rely on Mason Hagel-Pitt (SR) and Brandon Simpson (SR) to lead the charge offensively, as both players are the teams top returning hitters. The pitching staff loses their top 3 arms from 2021 to graduation but bring back Braden Stelley (SR), Seth Dreeszen (JR) and Zach Quimby (JR) who threw minimal innings last season. B. Stelley had the most success of all guys returning with a 2.47 ERA over 11 IP and should be given a shot as the teams #1. Who Vais goes to after B. Stelley at this point is undecided. Some believe this could be a rebuilding year for Arvada West but either way progress will be in the small things for 2022. 

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Bear Creek  HS 
Bears (1560)
 

Coach: AJ Peterson - 2nd season

 

Returning starters: 7   

2021 Record: 4-12

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level:  Adrian Valenzuela - Arizona Christian University

 

Players to watch: None committed - Ace Stebbins (SR) C/1B, Van Cessford (SR) DH/3B, Jessiah Aguinaldo (JR) OF, Sam Coffman (JR) DH/P

2022 Outlook: In his first year Coach AJ Peterson and the Bears stumbled to their worst season since 2012, but expect improvement moving forward. The offense will need to reboot after only hitting .260 with 5 HR's a year ago and for that to happen Bear Creek looks to Kenny Morthland (SR), Ace Stebbins (SR) and Van Cessford. The 3 return as the teams top hitters in both average and power and have the potential to improve on 2021. The pitching staff had some growing pains but everyone is back with a year of experience and maturity under their belt. Michael Salas (SR) and Joe Pigati (SR) tossed the most innings last season but expect junior Sam Coffman (JR) to make a move for the #1 spot in the rotation. Whether S. Coffman ends up as the ace or not this team will need all 3 players to have productive seasons for the Bears to get back on the positive side of .500. Unless some younger unknown players are a surprise in 2022 Bear Creek is still at least a year away from making a push for the playoffs.

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Chatfield HS 
Chargers (1770)
 

Coach: Brett Pieratt - 2nd season

 

Returning starters: 4   

2021 Record: 14-5

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level:  Brandon Schramm - Highland JC,  Colby Cruser - Univ. of Rochester, James Scarpello - College of the Desert, Landry Freerksen - Ottawa Univ., Logan Carlisle - Air Force Academy, Matthew Lighthall - South Mountain JC, Quinton Low - 13th round/Milwaukee Brewers

 

Players to watch: Aidan Mullen (SR) C, Christian Foutch (SR) P - committed to Univ. of Arkansas, Dylan Novotny (SR) 3B, Mason Cowgill (SR) OF, Carson Sherrill (JR) P/OF, Jaxson Samuels (JR) INF/P, Maddox Hodges (JR) C, Mason Lowe (JR) 2B, Parker Murrow (JR) OF/P - committed to Charleston Southern, Sawyer Amato (JR) INF, Brady Snow (SO) 1B/P

2022 Outlook: The Chargers will look to duplicate last years sensational run that included a 14-5 record and Great 8 appearance before losing to Fort Collins just short of that elusive state title opportunity. The difference for 2022 is Chatfield shoots for a Jeffco 5A league championship and shot at state. COBSBL Preaseason League MVP and COBSBL Top 25 Player in CO Christian Foutch (SR) returns and is the go to guy on the mound. The Arkansas commit posted a 2.68 ERA and 34 K's in 16 IP a year ago. Mason Lowe (JR) is a force in the middle of the lineup coming off a huge sophomore season; .400 AVG., 4 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR and 20 RBIs. Both C. Foutch and M. Lowe will receive support on the mound and at the plate from 2 way player Parker Murrow (JR). P. Murrow will be the teams #2 arm along with hitting near the top of the lineup. Brady Snow (SO) could also works his way into the mix after an outstanding summer and fall. Coach Pieratt's excited about the arrival of the 2022 season and hopes the 4 returning starters are hungry for another run at a league and state title.

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Columbine HS 
Rebels (1698)
 

Coach: Lee Martin - 2nd season

 

Returning starters: 6  

2021 Record: 7-9

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level: Weston Wall - Colorado School of Mines, Wyatt Searcey- Miles JC

 

Players to watch:  Aidan Brainard (SR) P, Brock Zanatell (SR) INF, Brody Jellum (SR) INF, Greyson Headrick (SR) OF, Matt Yarish (SR) UTIL, Spencer Searcey (SR) C, Zach Butler (SR) SS

 

2022 Outlook: The Rebels had their ups and downs in 2021 under new head coach Lee Martin finishing 7-9 and 6th in league. The team played well at times beating some quality opponents but also dropped a few they should have won. It has been 4 years since this program has experienced post season play and Coach Lee Martin plans on changing that in the near future. With 6 returning starters and a JV team that had a strong season Martin expects the 2022 team to be very competitive. How soon the young guys mature and Martin can right the ship is yet to be seen but it seems the program is moving in the right direction. 

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Dakota Ridge HS 
Eagles (1530)
 

Coach: Jeff Legault - 26th season

 

Returning starters: 2
2021 Record: 8-9

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level: Thomas Hartman - Hastings College, Reese Randell - Cornell College, Logan Balfanz - Monterey Peninsula College

 

Players to watch: None committed - Connor Doolittle (SR) 1B/P, Gavin Kaiser (SR) 3B/P, Jake White (JR) OF/P, Cade Collins (SO) SS

 

2022 Outlook: The Eagles graduated 9 seniors that featured 3 moving on to play college baseball, so expect to see a much younger Legault squad that returns only 2 starters. Even though the team will be younger the expectations are still high due to the return of a deep pitching staff. Dakota Ridge returns all 3 top arms from a year ago which combined for 68 IP of the teams 111. Gavin Kaiser (SR) and Connor Doolittle (SR) will be the teams top 2 guys in the rotation with Jacob White (JR) being used as occasional starter and in relief. At the plate Cade Collins (SO) led the team in average last season as a freshman and will be the everyday SS in 2022. With a year of varsity experience and getting bigger over the offseason assume C. Collins power numbers will increase. Coach Legault recognizes the batting lineup will be younger and unproven but still anticipates an improvement in both defense and offense from a year ago. The Eagles have played playoff baseball for 5 years straight now and don't be surprised if they make it 6 in 2022.

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Lakewood   HS 
Tigers  (2120)
 

Coach: Derrick Peterson - 12th season

 

Returning starters: 5  

2021 Record: 9-7

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level: Christian Altamirano - Allen County JC, Elijah Borjas - CSU Pueblo Univ., Matt Lucero - Hastings College, Tyson Pallatt - CSU Pueblo Univ.

 

Players to watch: None committed - Jackson Beattie (SR) OF/P, Victor Andrade (SR) 3B/P, Ezequiel Rojas (JR) SS/P

 

2022 Outlook: The Tigers finished 3rd in league and advanced to the playoffs after missing post season play the year before. Much of the offense from 2021 has graduated and moved on and Coach Peterson will need to find new personnel to score runs in 2022. COBSBL Top 25 Player in CO, Eze Rojas (JR) smashed the baseball in 2021 batting .528 with 5 2B's, 2 3Bs and 4 HRs and will again be the anchor to the Tiger offense. Jackson Beattie (SR), Diego Villarreal (SR) and Aizik Wegs (JR) all return from formidable offensive seasons but newcomer Victor Andrade may be a difference maker. V. Andrade was unable to play in 2021 but should help solidify the middle of the lineup. Lakewood's strength should be a solid starting pitching staff but needs to improve from the 7.74 team ERA they posted in 2021. J. Beattie will lead the staff with support from E. Rojas and Tyler Archer (SR). E. Rojas pitched minimal innings last year but has an electric arm and will be a regular addition in 2022.  

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Pomona HS 
Panthers (1432)
 

Coach: Tyler Collins - 1st season

 

Returning starters: 1  

2021 Record: 5-11

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level:  Brady Ritzman - Seward JC

Players to watch: None committed -  Andrew Bowman (SR) P, Austin Nobles (SR) 1B/P, Jarrod Turner (SR) C/P, Jaydin Benavidez (SR) SS, Zach Gulliksen (SR) INF/P 

 

2022 Outlook: The Panthers are under new leadership in 2022 as Tyler Collins takes over a program that graduated 11 seniors in 2021. The road will be tough as it is no cake walk in Jeffco 5A and the team only brings back 1 varsity starter. Coach Collins recognizes the challenges in front of him but is confident the team will mature and hit their stride as the season goes on. Jaydin Benavidez (SR) will play SS, be the teams offensive spark plug and stands alone as the only returning starter. On the mound Pomona looks to Zach Gulliksen (SR) and Andrew Bowman (SR) to eat up the majority of the innings. A lot of the pitching staff will be inexperienced but Collins is counting on everyone to contribute. This is a brand new team with a brand new coach that is looking to start brand new traditions at Pomona HS.

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Ralston Valley HS 
Mustangs (1850)
 

Coach: Brad Madden - 5th season

 

Returning starters: 3  

2021 Record: 9-7

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level: Jacob Hill - Allen County JC, Luke Hoskins - Xavier University

 

Players to watch: Andrew Lapearl (SR) SS/P, Brayden Miracle (SR) C - committed to Univ. of the South, Dylan Huddle (SR) P - committed to Oregon Tech, Ian Baldwin (SR) OF/P - committed to Simpson College, Jake Watkins (SR) OF/P, Kris Levensteins (SR) DH/P, Mark Hamre (SR) 1B, Jace Cattoor (SO)1B/P, Logan Madden (SO) 3B

 

2022 Outlook: Ralston Valley was able to keep its streak of consecutive playoff appearances alive in 2021 but the Mustangs will have to work hard if they want that streak to continue this season. Coach Madden returns 3 starters to a group that is a good mix of young and old but being young and inexperienced in one of the best leagues in the state can often be trouble. The Mustangs top 4 arms are gone to graduation and the team will rely on Ian Baldwin (SR), Jake Watkins (SR), Andrew Lapearl (SR) and Kris Levenstein (SR) for quality innings. All 4 together combined for less than 20 IP at the varsity level last year. Mark Hamre (SR) led the team in HRs as a junior and returns to a lineup that also includes Logan Madden (SO), Brayden Miracle (SR) and K. Levenstein. The 3 had good 2021 seasons offensively and should be better in 2022. The question marks for this group are who completes the remainder of the lineup and how effective will the pitching be. If the young guys grow up fast, a few 2021 role players emerge and everything falls into place Ralston Valley could compete with anyone. 

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Valor Christian HS 
Eagles (1094)

 Coach: Keith Wahl - 12th season

 

Returning starters: 5  

2021 Record: 18-5

 

2021 Srs playing at the next level: Ben Whipple - Univ. of Hawaii, Blake Wilson - Fort Scott JC, Caden Potter - Colorado Mesa Univ., Deacon Nagy - Univ. of St. ThomasRadek Birkholz - Notre Dame, Wyatt Hardy - Washburn Univ.

 

Players to watch: Brant Kragel (SR) P/1B - committed to Walters State JC, Campbell Credeur (SR) OF/3B - committed to Tyler JC, Keenan Proctor (SR) OF - committed to UCLA, Kenan Elarton (SR) 1B/P - committed to Univ. of Arizona, Ben Leikam (JR) LHP, Carson Tinney (JR) C/3B - committed to Notre Dame


2022 Outlook: Expectations at Valor Christian are always high, since arriving on the scene in 2007 they have won 3 state championships, 2 state runner-up and league champs 6 times. How do they follow up a 2021 loss in the state championship game that graduated some of the top players in the state? By reloading rather than rebuilding. Brant Kragel (SR) and Kenan Elarton (SR) are both 2 way players and good at what they do. Both finished as 2 of the top overall hitters and pitchers for Jeffco 5A in 2021. They return to a lineup that also includes Keenan Proctor (SR), Campbell Credeur (SR), and Carson Tinney (SR). K. Proctor hits for average and power, is a threat on the base paths and plays great defense in the outfield. Valor is a well-rounded team that expects to contend again in 2022 for both a league and state championship.

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Special Thanks 
to all the High School coaches that helped make this publication happen by providing league, school and player information to assist with the most accurate and comprehensive Colorado 
High School Baseball publication.
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