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Cherry Creek's Bradon Johnson warms up between innings during the Tony Andenucio  Memorial Tournament on Friday, July 16, 2021 at the Runyon Sports Complex [Chieftain Photo/Zachary Allen]Cherry Creek's Bradon Johnson warms up between innings during the Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament on Friday, July 16, 2021 at the Runyon Sports Complex [Chieftain Photo/Zachary Allen]


Cherry Creek trio tied to Tony Andenucio Memorial Baseball Tournament history

BY JEFF LETOFSKY | The Pueblo Chieftain | JULY 17, 2021

A trio of Cherry Creek players are tied to the history of the annual Tony Andenucio Memorial Baseball Tournament.

Luke Bard, Kenan Elarton and Braden Johnson are on the roster of the team that has played in every 'Nuch Tournament since its inception.

Normally, the tournament is played on Father's Day weekend in June. This year, the 12-team, four-day affair was pushed back a month because the Colorado High School Activities Association's Season D ran into late June.

Bard is the son of Josh Bard, a Cherry Creek High School standout who played in the 'Nuch and had a 10-year career in the major leagues with five different teams as a catcher. He is currently the bullpen coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Luke Bard is not playing in the 'Nuch, having a prior commitment to play in a 16-under national tournament.

But Elarton and Johnson have been on the diamond for the Creek and contributing.

Cherry Creek's Kenan Elarton throws a strike during the Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament on Friday, July 16, 2021 at the Runyon Sports Complex [Chieftain Photo/Zachary Allen]Cherry Creek's Kenan Elarton throws a strike during the Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament on Friday, July 16, 2021 at the Runyon Sports Complex [Chieftain Photo/Zachary Allen]Elarton is the son of Scott Elarton, a Lamar High School product who went on to pitch in the majors for 10 seasons, including a stint with the Colorado Rockies. Elarton was on the Lamar team that won the 1991 'Nuch. He also was named to the all-tournament teams in 1991 and 1992.

Kenan, his son who will be a senior at Valor Christian High School, understands the history and tradition of playing at Runyon and in the 'Nuch.

"My dad talks about it. Honestly, my grandpa (LD Elarton) talks about it more than anything," Kenan Elarton said. "He talks about all the Lamar teams and how they did and how successful they were. A little old town like Lamar competes with all these guys."

So, how did Elarton end up playing with Cherry Creek?

"My dad played for coach Marc Johnson and I thought it would be cool if I played for him, too," Elarton said. "I played with Johnson last year, too."

Just who was Tony Andenucio?:With Pueblo's 'Nuch Baseball Tournament entering 41st season, who was Tony Andenucio?

Brandon Johnson is the grandson of longtime Cherry Creek coach Marc Johnson, who became the winningest coach in Colorado high school baseball history with his 808th win this past season, surpassing Eaton's Jim Danley.

The young Johnson, who will be a sophomore at Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona, this fall, said he was invited by his grandpa to play with Cherry Creek this summer and jumped at the opportunity.

"He decided to invite me over for the summer to play with him in Colorado," said Johnson, who plays third base. " It's fun to be able to play with my grandpa. He coached my dad (Ty) and now he's coaching me.

"My dad always talks about how he's always wanted me to play here (at Runyon) because he played here. How about that? Just playing with my grandpa is pretty cool but the fact that I get to play at a field I've heard so many stories about is cool."

Marc Johnson has been the head coach at Cherry Creek High School since 1973 and has erected one of the most powerful baseball programs in the state.

Johnson's Bruins teams have won eight state baseball titles, played in 14 state championship games and 51 of his players have been selected in the MLB Draft.

His summer teams have won the most 'Nuch titles with nine.

A summer of growth:Cherry Creek, Marc Johnson make trip down I-25 again to add to Andenucio Memorial baseball legacy

Chieftain senior sports reporter Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Twitter @jeffletofsky

 

 

 

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