For him, ‘every day is a big day’

Column by Jim Benton
Posted 8/1/17

It was meaningful when Steve Haggerty stepped to the tee during the MCPH Celebrity Golf Classic, which was held July 24 at The Ridge at Castle Pines North.

Haggerty, the 64-year-old former …

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For him, ‘every day is a big day’

Posted

It was meaningful when Steve Haggerty stepped to the tee during the MCPN Celebrity Golf Classic, which was held July 24 at The Ridge at Castle Pines North.

Haggerty, the 64-year-old former Arapahoe High School football standout who still resides in Littleton, was among Denver Broncos alumni who played in the charity event that raised money for the nonprofit Metro Community Provider Network.

MCPN helps provide affordable and accessible medical, behavioral health and dental care for low-income, uninsured and underserved people residing outside the City and County of Denver. MCPN clinics serve everybody, even those with private insurance who might fall through the cracks.

Last year MCPN helped 50,502 patients in Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson and Park counties.

Haggerty, who played college football at Colorado and Nevada-Las Vegas plus one game for the Broncos in 1975, knows the importance of having quality health care.

Haggerty is the nephew of the late baseball player in the Detroit Tigers organization and National Football League referee Pat Haggerty, who was my counselor at Lincoln High School.

Steve Haggerty suffered from severe emphysema and underwent a double lung transplant in November 2012.

He was one of the first Broncos alumni players to join host Ebenezer Ekuban, the former Denver defensive end, in the tournament. There were 154 golfers who played and the event grossed $100,300.

"It's a fantastic organization that helps," said Haggerty. "They do a lot of things. I'm all up for anything that helps anybody, considering that I'm just worrying about breathing.

"In my case, without any help, it would have impossible. All of a sudden the reality of cost hits you. These days you go in on Friday and leave Saturday and it's a $35,000 bill."

Haggerty wears a mask to prevent infection but says he is doing great.

"In November it will be five years since the surgery," he pointed out. "There will be a big party in November. The way I look at it, every day is a big day."

Coaching changes

Dane Craig is leaving a good softball program to take over another team than has also been stellar.

Craig, the former Mountain Range coach, is the new girls softball mentor at Douglas County, taking over for Brian Stebbins.

And Craig's top assistant, Robert deThouars, takes on the duties as the Mustangs' new head coach.

Douglas County teams have compiled a 122-57 record over the past eight seasons while Craig and Mountain Range was 104-68 since 2009 and won one Class 5A state championship.

"My job has taken me to Aurora and this opportunity came up," said Craig. "I learned that Mountain Range is going to be in very, very good hands or I would have never taken this job.

"Douglas County has always had a good group of players. It's going to be a good year. It's ironic that the last game I coached at Mountain Range was against Douglas County and they beat us in the state tournament. It's all about league play and I'm excited to be in a new league."

More changes possible

At almost every football game I attended last season after non-league games were completed, I heard people growling about the league alignments.

Well, just maybe, some logic can surface to improve the crazy conference alignments in Class 5A football although schools will still have to deal with the setup of last season's leagues for the upcoming campaign.

Good news was reported by CHSAANow.com that a group of athletic directors representing 5A leagues met to talk about ideas of how to align teams for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

The group joined many disgruntled fans, coaches and administrators when they revealed discontentment with the current waterfall alignment which sent teams into leagues based on RPI ratings over the previous seasons.

It was agreed that league alignments need to change and different ideas were discussed. The group will make its recommendation for change to the football committee to consider at its December meeting.

Jim Benton

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