December 13, 2007

Mahnke recaps his senior season

Patrick Mahnke helped Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Mountain Vista to a perfect 7-0 start this season.

But the Golden Eagles struggled down the stretch, losing their final two regular season games.

They beat Fort Collins in the first round of the 5A state playoffs before losing to Bear Creek in the second round.

"I was real happy with our success early on but really disappointed that we didn't go further in the playoffs," said Mahnke. "Early on we were doing a good job of believing in one another, we had good teamwork. I don't know what happened in the playoffs."

Mahnke was named first-team all-conference. And word is that he will also earn first-team all-state and All-Colorado honors.

With the reputation as one of the state's top defensive players, opposing offenses would often run away from Mahnke. "It was really frustrating to tell you the truth," he admitted.

Mountain Vista won 18 games during Mahnke's junior and senior seasons. The fact that those were the Golden Eagles' first two seasons at the 5A level makes it all the more impressive.

"When we moved up to 5A two years ago, no one expected us to do well," Mahnke expressed. "Usually when a team goes up from 4A to 5A, they are winless or they win just one game that first year. We used the increased competition to motivate us and obviously that paid off.

"I think we are only returning three on defense but offensively I think we are returning seven for next year. So I think we'll be pretty good in the future. I think my class did a good job of establishing ourselves in 5A."

Mahnke committed to the University of Colorado shortly after the Buffaloes offered him back in June. He hasn't set up his official visit yet, but has been up to CU's campus countless times unofficially.

Mahnke ran track last spring and clocked in at 11.1-seconds in the 100-meter dash. "But this spring I am just going to follow a workout packet that CU is going to give me after signing day," he explained. "I definitely want to work on my speed, explosiveness. I want to go up to CU in shape."

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