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Members of the 2013-2014 State Basketball Championship teamA decade ago, a hard-charging and scrappy East Eagle basketball team captured the attention of the state by claiming the 4A state basketball title after an unprecedented run through the bracket.

This week, on the 10th anniversary of that historic occasion, members and coaches of the state-title team converged at East to be recognized by the Eagle Empire.

Under the direction of Coach Dave Ryder, the 2013-14 East boys team became the first in school history to earn a boys state title in any sport, and the first to bring a state basketball title back to Pueblo since South’s storied run in 2001.

En route to the summit, East defeated Palisade, Vista Peak Prep, Valor Christian, Sand Creek and in the final in Boulder, a much taller Denver South, by a score of 58-51, avenging an earlier season loss.

In that contest, senior Dylan Gavin led the Eagles with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Also reaching double figures were T.J. Gradisar (13), Jimmy Valdez (13) and Alex Jara (12).Dylan Gavin was named MVP of the state tournament, with Jimmy Valdez earning a spot on the All Tourney Team.

For Coach Dave Ryder, the state title contest was his final one as the Eagles’ leader.

Today, four members of that team are actively in involved in coaching: Dylan Gavin in Pueblo County, Jordan Cruz at East, and T.J. Gradisar and Alex Jara at Heaton Middle School.

Six alumni call Pueblo home, with others scattered throughout Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, California, and North Carolina.2013-14


  • Nick Fesmire
  • Jordan Cruz
  • Alex Jara
  • T.J. Gradisar
  • Kurt Rode
  • Ryan Armijo
  • Kevin Ribarich
  • Danny Gibbons
  • Dylan Gavin
  • Derek Gutierrez
  • Wes Martin
  • Ryan Armijo
  • Jimmy Valdez