Central golden boys celebrate anniverary
Since basketball began as a Colorado High School Activities Association sport in 1922, three boys teams from the Grand Valley have brought home the golden basketball.
The most recent team, the 1990 Central Warriors, celebrated their 20-year anniversary at the halftime of Friday night’s game against Grand Junction.
In attendance were the coaches of that team, head coach Steve Phillips and assistants Jay Gonyeau and Bryan Noland, plus 10 of the 12 players.
“With all three of us coaches in the area now we thought this was as good of a time as ever,” said Gonyeau, who spearheaded the reunion.
Roughly 18 months in the making, Gonyeau rounded up as many players as he could.
Five of the players still live in Grand Junction, including Bryan Rooks, Mike Paronto and Darin Robidoux.
Robidoux, now an assistant football coach at Mesa state, was a junior on the 1990 team, and was a role player who spelled Rooks, now an assistant athletic director at Mesa.
“It was really a good bunch of guys,” Robidoux said. “All the guys worked hard and believed in everything that Coach Phillips and Coach Gonyeau told us.”
The Warriors defeated Greeley West 70-60 in the championship game at McNichols Arena in Denver. Central finished the year 25-0, and won the first boys basketball championship in the valley since Fruita Monument in 1983.
“I watched that team come together from the very beginning and get better every day,” Phillips said. “We fulfilled the ultimate dream of winning the state championship.”
Paronto, Rooks, Robidoux, John Sidanycz, Kurt Bench, RE Stout, Dee Jay Katzer, Jason Frank, John Sparkman and Matt Anway made it to the reunion. A.J. Campbell and Mike Vig were unable to attend.