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Benton, coaches honored at Hall of Fame dinner

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Colorado Community Media's own Jim Benton was honored with the Media Award by the Colorado High School Coaches Association March 25 at its Hall of Fame induction dinner in Aurora.

Benton joined five coaches in receiving honors at the dinner.

Benton is a Denver native who graduated from Lincoln High School and the University of Denver. He worked for 41 years as a sportswriter for the Rocky Mountain News covering all levels of sports — club, high school, college and pro. Since 2012, he has been covering sports, with a focus on high schools, in the metro area for Colorado Community Media.

Also inducted wereformer Chaparral High School volleyball coachT.R. Ellis, former Fowler basketball coach Greg Fruhwirth, former North Park coach and althletic director Randy Hodgson, former Overland football coachTony Manfredi and Colorado Academy track and cross country coach Alan Versaw.

Ellis was the lone female coach inducted by the CHSCA this year. She began her coaching career in Colorado at Olathe High School in 1982 and in 1990 moved over to the Douglas County School District for the remainder of her career.

In 1997, Chaparral High opened and Ellis became the school's first volleyball coach. In 2010 and 2011, the Wolverines were state champions and she led them to a 226-120 record. She was the All-Colorado Volleyball Coach of the Year and Class 5A Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2011.

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