Conifer, Evergreen are Jeffco teams to beat |

Conifer, Evergreen are Jeffco teams to beat

FARMER’S KORNER – Conifer High School lost its head coach and some of its best playmakers, but Jefferson County League soccer coaches expect the Lobos to retain their team-to-beat status.

That may change quickly, though, as last year’s second-place team, Evergreen, returns all but one of its starters and enters the season as the Denver Post’s No. 6-ranked Class 4A team.

Conifer lost in the state semifinals last year, and Evergreen lost in the first round to Englewood, which enters the Jeffco League along with Summit and Golden this season.

“I expect (the new teams) to compete well, but just from knowing what I know, I expect Conifer and Evergreen to be at the top,” said fifth-year Alameda coach Steve Houwen.

Alameda finished tied for last place with D’Evelyn last season, and Houwen said his team is rebuilding. Last year’s fourth-place team Ralston Valley (3-7) may be primed for a move up, according to Evergreen coach George Pavlantos.

“Ralston Valley has shown improvement,” he said. “I see them on the upswing.”

Last year’s surprise team, third-place Jefferson, has lost a significant part of its starting lineup and should be weaker. Golden enters from the 5A Jeffco League and is an unknown, the coaches said. Englewood beat Summit twice last season and made headway in the playoffs. Summit, which returns most of its starters, lost in the first round of the playoffs.

D’Evelyn finished tied for last in the league and has a new coach.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

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