Salute to players of the year

Colorado Community Media honors prep athletes from area

Jim Benton
jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/20/22

It seemed like things were almost back to normal for the 2023 fall sports seasons with no major COVID setbacks. However, there were a few changes, such as both an individual and team state …

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Salute to players of the year

Colorado Community Media honors prep athletes from area

Posted

It seemed like things were almost back to normal for the 2023 fall sports seasons with no major COVID setbacks.

However, there were a few changes, such as both an individual and team state championship tournament in boys tennis and some state venues changes. For instance, the girls state volleyball tournament returned to the Denver Coliseum and the girls field hockey title game was played at the Stutler Bowl.

The following are the Colorado Community Media Players of the Year for the 2023 fall sports seasons.

Boys golf

Highlands Ranch senior Aiden Krusoe finished tied for fourth place in the Class 5A state golf tournament after carding a 4-under-par 66 on the final day of the tourney at City Park. Krusoe had a 2-under-par 70 and was second in the Southern regional state qualifying tournament.

Girls cross country

Valor Christian senior Brooke Wilson set a 5A girls course record of 16:59.2 in winning the individual state championship.

Boys cross country

Drew Costelo, a senior at Valor Christian, was second in the 5A boys state title race with a time of 15:23.3.

Boys tennis

Cherry Creek junior Kristian Kostadinov was the No. 3 individual singles champion at the Class 5A state tournament and won his match as the Bruins captured the state team title in a dual meet against Valor Christian. Kostadinov, who was also the regional champion, finished the season 16-0.

Softball

Lutheran junior left-handed pitcher Hailey Maestretti helped the Lions win the Class 4A state title. Over four state tournament games, the Utah State commit allowed only two earned runs, gave up nine hits and struck out 43 batters in 27 innings pitched. She ended the season with a 27-1 record, a 0.94 earned run average, two no-hitters, nine shutouts and 271 strikeouts.

Boys soccer

Zac Brooks, a senior at Valor Christian, had a banner season with 17 goals and eight assists for 42 points. He ranked among the top four Class 5A scorers in the state.

Field hockey

Arapahoe senior Brynn Dzengelewski finished the season with 19 goals and 16 assists for 54 points and she also had 86 steals.

Girls volleyball

Erin McNair will be heading to Princeton to play volleyball and study next season after wrapping up her senior year at Valor Christian by helping the team go undefeated, 29-0, and win the state championship. McNair had a season total of 283 kills, 46 aces and 293 digs and had a team-high nine kills in the 3-0 state title win over Rock Canyon.

Football

Cherry Creek senior linebacker Blake Purchase had 66 total tackles and was the tops in 5A with 18 sacks for 149 yards in losses as he helped the Bruins win their fourth straight 5A championship.

The Oregon commit was picked as the defensive Player of the Year. He is the younger brother of Myles Purchase, who is now playing for Iowa State and was the 2020 defensive Player of the Year.

Sophomore Austyn Modrzewski of Mountain Vista is the offensive Player of the Year. He led the state in passing with 3,341 yards, an average of 303.7 yards per game, a .643 completion figure, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. And he put up those numbers with an offensive unit comprised with one senior, one junior, eight sophomores and one freshman.

aiden krusoe, brooke wilson, kristian kostadinov, hailey maestretti, zac brooks

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