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Rebels impose their will in rout

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Gonzales scores seven goals as Columbine topples Dakota Ridge

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — Make no bones about it: The Columbine Rebels won’t be creeping up on teams in 2013. Not like last year, when they worked their way into the boys lacrosse state semifinals. This year, it’s going to be the opposite, and Columbine expects as much.
The Rebels are imposing their will on foes thus far, like they did March 22 in a 17-1 thumping of rival Dakota Ridge at Trailblazer Stadium. Drexel-bound Jake Gonzales scored a game-high seven goals, Ryan Kelly added four goals, and five other players scored for Columbine, which led from start to finish.
“We came out slow in the first half,” Gonzales said. “Dakota’s a young team, but they were going to give us their best shot. Every team is. We knew we had to come out and play our A game. We got out to a little slow start in the beginning. At halftime, we talked about it, and we got it together in the second half.”
In truth, Columbine’s offense found its rhythm late in the second period. The Rebels scored three goals in 3 minutes, 41 seconds to build an 8-1 halftime lead. Then Columbine (4-0), behind four Gonzales goals, forced a running clock by late in the third period. Anthony SanFilippo scored twice, while Jack Stebbins, Tyler Goodwin, Landon Kramer and Tyler McMinimee added goals for Columbine.
Coming on the heels of a 17-5 victory over Chatfield two nights earlier, the Rebels head into their spring break trip to New York playing like a team that is ranked No. 1 in 5A.
“It’s awesome with Dakota and Chatfield in the same week. We knew it was going to be a big week. We’ve been practicing pretty well, and we knew it was going to be a big week and both teams were going to give their A game,” Gonzales said.
Dakota Ridge (2-2), only in its second season and first varsity campaign, struggled to keep up, especially after losing leading scorer Ryan Schneider to a concussion in the first half. Taylor Davis scored the Devils’ lone goal with 3:10 left in the second period.
“We definitely showed our youth. We were a little afraid to get the ball, a little afraid to move the ball. We were more intimidated than anything, I think,” Dakota Ridge head coach Mike Thumin said. “It’s a learning process. Hopefully the guys can look in the mirror and think they can be Columbine in a couple of years.”

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.