BROOMFIELD — “All it really means, is that I’ve been doing it a long time,” Rocket Ron Rossi said.
And of course, he’s going to say all the right things. Just moments after capturing win No. 500 on Saturday afternoon against Berthoud in a pivotal Tri-Valley League finale, Rossi talked about his great players, assistant coaches and administrators over the years.
Sure, that is part of it, but Rockets tireless work in the film room, his ability to relate with his players, keep the game fresh and adapt with the changing times is all him.
A deeper look into the numbers for Rossi, who started as a varsity assistant at Arvada before taking of the head coaching duties at Lakewood for 17 years. And there with the boys, he compiled a 170-186 record before coming to Holy Family in 2003.
In his 16 seasons at the helm, he is now 330-78 with a total of six state championships. The latter mark is still second best in the state behind Highlands Ranch great Caryn Jarocki’s seven.
“It’s not me, it’s the total program that makes a difference,” said Rossi, whose team will host a Class 4A second round playoffs game next Friday. “I’ve had some great players at Holy Family that have bought in how to win.”
What a seven day stretch for Holy Family to make it happen. It started last Saturday with a huge victory in Windsor that ultimately earned them a share of the TVL title. Then starting on Tuesday (beat Skyline), Wednesday (beat two time defending Class 4A state champion Evergreen at their place), Thursday (beat Mead on their third game in three nights) before closing it out on Saturday.
“These kids, all week, they wanted to get it for me. They played hard for me and they came through with five games in seven days,” said Rossi, whose team can now focus on the playoffs with the milestone out of the way.. “That’s more schedule than the NBA plays and we just showed some heart and that we weren’t tired and had that will to win.”
After the 52-41 win, an emotional Rossi was swarmed by his team and later received a congratulatory hug from his wife Stephanie.
“I put in a lot of hard work and I still enjoy the game. The thrill of the game and the thrill of working with kids to become better human beings and better young ladies is just as exciting as winning a state title,” he said. “This one means a lot … my lucky number is 33 (17 years at Lakewood and 16 here), so maybe the luck will keep going.”
For the record on Saturday night, sophomore Genevieve Gudino finished with 17 points and Cecelia Aanerud added 10.
The Holy Family boys followed up with a 78-52 win over Berthoud to finish their regular season 19-4 overall.
HOLY FAMILY 52, BERTHOUD 41
Berthoud (18-5, 12-4) 14 8 8 11 — 41
Holy Family (18-5, 15-1) 19 12 10 11 — 52
Berthoud — Emily Cavey 3 9-14 18, Sydney Leeper 1 4-4 7, Ally Padilla 2 0-0 4, Eriana Rennaker 0 1-2 1, Celsey Selland 2 1-2 5, Carrie Kingston 0 0-0 0, Annalise Carr 2 0-0 6, Addi Spears 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 15-22 41.
Holy Family — Kaitlyn McKenzie 0 4-7 4, Genevieve Gudino 5 4-4 17, Tyler Whitlock 3 0-0 7, Amanda Ward 2 4-4 8, Cecelia Aanerud 4 2-4 10, Gabby Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dylan Sanders 0 0-0 0, Noelle Gardon 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Wells 2 0-0 6. Totals 16 14-19 52.
3-pt. goals — Cavey 3, Carr 2, Leeper; Holy Family (6): Gudino 3, Wells 2, Whitlock.