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There’s a new team in Castle Rock this winter.Castle View will have a hockey team that will compete in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Peak Conference.It will be a co-op squad with players coming from Castle View, Douglas County, Ponderosa, Legend and Chaparral. Al Quintana is the coach.Quintana was head coach at Bishop Machebeuf from 2003-12 and made the state playoffs eight of nine seasons, won two conference titles and was the state runner-up in 2005.He also coached at St. Mary’s in Colorado Springs between 1987-93 and made two final four appearances. His overall coaching record is 185-98-3.Castle View’s team will practice and play games at Colorado Sports Center in Monument.Let it snow, let it snowThe high school winter sports season officially started competition on Dec. 1 but the state playoff quarterfinal football games contested Nov. 20 could have been mistaken for a winter sport.A snowstorm made it difficult for players, officials, spectators and those trying to remove accumulating snow from the fields.At Valor Stadium in Highlands Ranch prior to the Eagles’ game against Ralston Valley, a truck with a blade plowed the field prior to the teams coming onto the field. Men with snow shovels kept scooping snow off the line markers and sidelines while the teams were warming up. At halftime, the field was plowed again.Neither snow, wind nor cold kept the teams from playing.Having an Olympic dreamNicole Hensley, a Green Mountain graduate, is a goalie on the Lindenwood University women’s hockey team.As a youth, she competed in the Foothills Hockey Association and is hoping to play for the United States in the 2018 Olympics.Hensley’s Lindenwood team in Saint Charles, Missouri, isn’t strong but she headed into her senior season with 1,147 saves, a .920 saves percentage and a 22-58-8 record.During her freshman year, she made 90 saves in a loss to Robert Morris.Lindwood is 3-9-2 so for this season and Hensley has gone 2-6-2 with a 2.77 goals against average with 322 saves.For the seventh time in her career she was named College Hockey America Goalie of the Week for Oct. 26-Nov.1 after leading the Lady Lions to a 1-0-1 record against Ohio State. She made 64 saves in the two games against the Buckeyes.Phase two of Diamond ProjectPhase Two of Emily Moore’s Diamond Project stepped into the batter’s box for eight days surrounding Thanksgiving.Moore, the Chaparral High School senior, started the first stage of the project over a year ago by gathering donated softball equipment for girls that was sent to the Dominican Republic.Moore, 11 other softball players, six baseball players, a few parents, Wolverines softball and baseball coach Alan DiGiosio plus Angie Bennett of Community Connection International left for the Dominican Republic on Nov. 21 to see the rewards of the donations and get a taste of the Dominican culture.The players were scheduled to compete in a softball tournament, put on a clinic and perform a service project.Venue changeThe boys and girls 3A state basketball tournament will not be played at Colorado School of Mines this season, according to CHSAA.The tournaments have been moved to the Denver Coliseum from March 10-12 because of a scheduling conflict at Mines.Class 5A boys and girls Great 8 tournaments are scheduled at the Coliseum the weekend prior to the 3A state tournament.ThunderRidge girls ranked No. 1CHSAANow.com has released the boys and girls preseason basketball rankings.ThunderRidge is top-ranked in the Class 5A girls poll, with Highlands Ranch third, Lakewood fifth, Cherry Creek sixth and Ralston Valley seventh.Matt Asik, a ThunderRidge assistant for the past 11 years, is the Grizzlies new head coach and takes over a team that features standout players Taylor Rusk, Alyssia Martinez and Jaz’myne Snipes.Defending state champion Valor Christian is second in the 4A girls preseason poll with D’Evelyn third and Holy Family fifth. Valor’s Jessika Caldwell made her Eagles’ coaching debut last season and won a state title.Lutheran is fifth in the 3A girls poll.In the 5A boys basketball rankings, Legend is second and ThunderRidge third while Valor Christian is second in the 4A boys poll, with Golden fifth. Lutheran starts the season as the eighth-ranked team in the boys 3A rankings.Ralston Valley is third in the preseason hockey rankings with defending state champion Cherry Creek fourth and Mountain Vista sixth.More proposed football conference alignmentsProposed football conference alignments for Class 4A, 3A and 2A have been announced by CHSAA. The Class 5A alignments were previously announced and all the proposed placements must be approved by the CHSAA Legislative Council in January.Golden and Heritage, dropping down from 5A, will be in the six-team Class 4 Central league. Central 2 will include Standley Lake, Thornton and Wheat Ridge. Littleton will be in Southern 2 and Ponderosa in the Southern 3.Lutheran will play in the Class 3A Metro I conference.Conference A in the Class 2A Conference alignment included Elizabeth and Englewood.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 email@example.com or at 303-566-4083.There’s a new team in Castle Rock this winter.
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