Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Bruce Warren

Out in Leftfield (June 26)


Elaine Thompson

Chicago Cubs' David Bote stands in the dugout during a spring training baseball game Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


David Bote, son of long-time Niwot baseball coach Bob Bote, has solidified his position with the Chicago Cubs this season. As a rookie with the Cubs in 2018, Bote was called up from AAA Iowa and sent back five time during the season. In the midst of the call-ups and demotions, Bote had his share of dramatic moments, culminating in a nationally-televised Sunday night ninth-inning, two-out, two-strike, pinch-hit grand slam home run to dead centerfield, allowing the Cubs to snatch a 4-3 victory from the jaws of defeat against the Washington Nationals.

The Cubs liked Bote’s work so much that he was rewarded with a five-year, $15M contract just before the 2019 season started. Bote has continued his role as a super utilityman this season, seeing action at third base, second base, first base, and the outfield, and the Cubs have been happy with his performance.

While many may think of the walk off grand slam as “the Bote game,” his performance in a 9-8 victory over the Rockies June 5 may have supplanted it. Bote had a three-run home run, and a three-run double, then added his seventh RBI in the 9th inning, which proved to be the difference in the game, slapping a single to right field for his fourth hit in four at bats. For the season, Bote is hitting .269 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs.

Ford Ladd (Niwot) led New York University in wins, posting a won-loss record of 8-3, with a 3.51 ERA. Ladd struck out 42 while walking 25 in 66.2 innings. In limited plate appearances, he batted .500 with three hits in six at bats. NYU finished with a record of 26-13. Ladd was named Eastern College Athletic Conference Metro pitcher of the month. During April he posted a record of 4-1 in six starts on the mound, with an ERA of 2.41. He also earned UAA pitcher of the week honor after allowing only one earned run in 13 innings of work against Rutgers-Newark University and Emory University during a week-long stretch in April.

Caleb Martinez (Niwot), a freshman pitcher for Northwest Nazarene University last spring, is signed to pitch for the Boulder Collegians this summer. The Collegians are a summer collegiate team run by general manager Matt Jensen, a former assistant coach at Niwot High.

Jamie Hollowell (Niwot) was promoted from Data Architect to Manager, Baseball Research & Development for the Colorado Rockies. Hollowell played college baseball at Haverford College after a successful prep career at Niwot, and has since moved up in the Rockies’ organization to one of the most critical positions in major league front offices, with the advent of sabermetrics and advanced analytics. Hollowell describes his duties as “responsible for the creation and maintenance of the Rockies’ proprietary databases and application systems, as well as supporting the baseball operations, amateur scouting, pro scouting and advanced scouting departments in data and technology needs.” He also works with third-party vendors to integrate big data, analytics, visualization and web application technologies for the Rockies’ internal systems.


Former Niwot Football coach Paul “Tiny” Koehler is slated to return as running backs coach at Fort Lewis College for the 2019 season. Koehler coached Niwot to a state championship in 1990 before retiring to Estes Park, where he was later coaxed out of retirement to help with that school’s football program. Koehler previous college coaching experience includes serving as an assistant at the University of Northern Colorado, and, in recent years, Koehler has helped coach the Fort Lewis program.


Tommy Stager (Niwot) posted a record of 15-11 while wrestling for Air Force Academy in the 2018-2019 season. Stager, a third classman, had the most wins and the best winning percentage of any Air Force wrestler in the 149-pound weight class. Included in his victories were two wins by fall. His career record at Air Force now stands at 22-19.


Claire Gillett (Niwot) posted her best time in the 800 meters on May 11 at the West Coast Invitational, finishing in 2:17.75. Her time was the second-fastest among all Gonzaga runners for the season. Gillett also ran the 1500 meters for Gonzaga, with her fastest time coming on March 29th at the SF Distance Classic at 4:43.09. Only three Gonzaga runners had better times in the event for the season. The sophomore also ran a leg of the 4x400m relay for Gonzaga.

Elaine Thompson

Niwot grad Ford Ladd led the NYU pitching staff in victories last season.

Alexis Carroll (Niwot) had her best long jump of the season for UCCS at the Mines Nature’s Bakery Invite on April 19-20 with a leap of 5.26m (17’ 3.25”), good for fourth place at the meet. Her best triple jump came at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships April 28-30, with a jump of 10.79m (35’ 5”), putting her 11th in the final standings. Carroll, a sophomore, also placed 13th in the long jump at the RMAC Championships. She also competed in the 100m hurdles during the spring season.


Jaila Johnson (Niwot) saw action in six games last spring for Western Nebraska Community College. Johnson, a freshman, scored two runs and had one RBI and one stolen base on the season in limited action, primarily as a designated hitter.


Kelsey Webster (Fairview) of Gunbarrel finished sixth in the CGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship which ended June 19, shooting 74-72-76 for a total of 222, six strokes over par.


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