Logan Simington, John Moroney, and Brock Dykema are just three of the returnees on a loaded Silver Creek roster.
There were times last fall when Silver Creek gave every impression of being a team of destiny.
Through the month of September, and then most of October, the Raptors were nearly unstoppable, posting big results at meet after meet. They finished a close second at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede, took a convincing win at Liberty Bell, finished a close second to eventual 5A champion Monarch at Pat Patten, and then posted a solid fourth in the Sweepstakes race at Desert Twilight.
Two weeks later, Silver Creek's varsity came back and dominated the Northern League meet. Then, one week later, the Raptors ran unchallenged through 4A Region 4. The air on the southwest side of Longmont was full of anticipation.
At that point, however, the magic ran dry. The team that some picked to upend Palmer Ridge for the 4A Boys crown (the two teams were essentially tied at the top of the 4A rankings) came up woefully short at State. Not only did Silver Creek fail to offer up any meaningful resistance to Palmer Ridge at State, but both Widefield and Air Academy easily got by the Raptors as well.
Silver Creek didn't run in the Championship race at Nike Cross Southwest, and they were relegated to a third-place team finish in the Medium School Open race.
It was a subdued ending to a season that had been so full of promise.
The malaise even seemed to linger into track season. Despite all that James Lee accomplished on the track in the spring, the Silver Creek distance program as a whole still seemed stuck in the funk of the end of cross country season.
Brock Dykema ran a 9:34 3200 in late March, but couldn't find that race again at State. Logan Simington posted a 9:34 at Arcadia, but couldn't match that back home. Zach Beckwith ran 10:25 early but never got back to that level. Freshman sensation Henry Terhaar saw minimal action in track season. And so it goes.
All that to suggest there is some unfinished business in the Silver Creek camp.
There is abundant talent in the fold. This is a team waiting to find its groove again. If it happens this fall, there may not be anybody in 4A who can run with them.
The top five from cross country season--Dykema, Lee, Simington, John Moroney, and Eliott Cassidy--all come back. In fact, you go all the way to #10 on last year's ranked list of cross country performances for the Raptors before you find a senior who won't be back this fall. That's nine guys returning who ran 17:15 or better at at least one point in the season last year. Guys like Terhaar, Beckwith, Joseph Creighton and Dylan Oliver aren't even reasonably assured of a varsity spot.
That's how strong this team is.
But first somebody has to locate the switch that turns the magic back on.