Of course you've wondered which schools rank highest in the state when you combine all sports. Unfortunately, the conventional media outlets do not help us answer that question. So, Colorado Runners has.
But, if you're going to make a contest out of this, you have to have some rules. The Colorado Runners rules for the All-Sports School Championships are as follows:
- Schools are placed in classifications according to their listing in the 2007-2008 CHSAA directory. The trickiest issue here is classifying Regis Jesuit as the boys' school is classified as 5A and the girls' school as 4A. The girls' school does compete as 5A in several sports, however, so Regis Jesuit is classified as 5A and the boys and girls were treated as a single school. Next, some schools "play up" in certain sports. Regardless of whether or not a school plays up in any given sports, they are treated according to their classification in the CHSAA directory. For example, Mullen plays up in football and was accorded 10 points for its standing as a semi-finalist in 5A football even though it is a 4A school.
- Points toward the All-Sports School Championship are accumulated as follows: 15 points for first place in a sport, 13 points for second, 11 points for third, and so on down to one point for eighth. Where a tournament bracket does not determine each of these places, the available points are split equally among schools that reached a certain level (generally quarterfinalist or semifinalist).
- Some sports have obvious socio-economic and/or geographic advantages attaching to certain schools. Other sports are participated in more generally by all, or nearly all, schools within the state without the same sort of advantages attaching to certain schools. The latter group is categorized as "core" sports and includes: baseball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls cross country, football, boys and girls soccer, softball, boys and girls track, volleyball, and wrestling. The former group is categorized as "peripheral" sports and includes: field hockey, boys and girls golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls skiing, spirit cheer, spirit pom, spirit co-ed (Yes, there really are three different state "spirit" championships, folks. Had there been only a single spirit state championship, I may have included spirit among the core sports, but even so the number of schools participating in the state championships was fairly low, especially among smaller schools. Both of these factors make a good case for excluding spirit from the core sports.), boys and girls swimming, and boys and girls tennis. Moreover, many of teams participating in the peripheral sports represent cooperative programs between two or more schools, making it all the more problematic to properly attach points to the proper schools. This problem still exists within core sports, but at a greatly reduced level. All state finishes are tabulated for the core sports. Only the two highest finishes in peripheral sports for any given school are counted toward its team total.
- Both boys and girls placings count toward a school's score.
With that established, our winners for the 2007-2008 school year were:
1A - Eads 45, Caliche 33, Dayspring Christian 32, Hi-Plains 27, Vail Mountain 26
2A - Limon 48, Lyons 46, Paonia 38, Grand Valley 37, Rocky Ford 33
3A - Faith Christian 74, Roosevelt 72, Holy Family 65, Colorado Springs Christian 61, Erie 58, The Classical Academy 58 (Kent Denver had 57 but would have been an easy winner in the 3A classification had all points from peripheral sports been tabulated)
4A - Broomfield 109, Mullen 82, Ralston Valley 74, Cheyenne Mountain 60, Niwot 49 (each of the top four schools here took significant hits to the rule of scoring only the top two finishes in peripheral sports--Ralston Valley took the stiffest hit and would have passed Mullen, but not Broomfield, if all peripheral sport finishes had counted)
5A - Cherry Creek 109, Grandview 85, Rocky Mountain 75, Arapahoe 74, Regis Jesuit 65 (Cherry Creek would have been a runaway winner had all points from peripheral sports been tabulated)
Congratulations, then, to Eads, Limon, Faith Christian, Broomfield, and Cherry Creek as the 2007-2008 All-Sports State Champions. We'll try to make this an annual tradition at Colorado Runners.