It may be early November, but the Moffat County High School varsity girls basketball team is back at work at the high school gym.
The Bulldogs, who open the season Dec. 3 at the Uintah Tournament in Vernal, Utah., started practice Monday and Bulldogs coach Craig Mortensen will use the first month to work and work.
"We are going to work on our fundamentals. Then we are going to put our offense and defense in," said Mortensen. "We have all kind of things to put in."
A year ago, the Bulldogs fell in the district championship game to the Glewood Springs Demons, 69-60, and MCHS returns one senior in Michelle Donnel.
"We have six retuning lettermen coming back this year," said Mortensen. "We only have one senior and we have a good group of juniors, sophomores and freshmen. We have plenty of girls that are out, and that are excited about the season."
Other lettermen coming back are juniors Krystal Voorhees, Emily Mortensen, Stacy Ponikvar and sophomores Amber Sanchez, Asleigh Gregg and Jesica Norman.
"A lot of those girls played junior varsity," said Mortensen. "They were also on the varsity team."
Mortensen said the players worked hard on the first day.
"They were doing fine on the first day of practice; of course, it looked like the first day of practice," said Mortensen. "Their enthusiasm and spirit was good. We have girls that want to be here and we are happy to be here coaching them"
The Bulldogs will get things started by hosting a four-team scrimmage Nov. 27. Other teams will be Grand Junction, Steamboat Springs and Hayden.
"We will play our varsity and junior varsity teams with the other teams," said Mortensen. "Then on Nov. 30 we will have a scrimmage with Fruita Monument here. We are allowed two scrimmages. We try to do our scrimmages before we go into the Uintah tournament because Utah starts their season a week before ours."
The Bulldogs are in the same league as Rifle, Delta, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs.
"With the few number of schools we have right now in our league we feel lucky to have 19 games on the schedule," said Mortensen. "We play our league schools and we play some tough non-league schools. We play Union and they were the Utah state champions. It will be a good test for us."
Mortensen believes the Bulldogs will be in the hunt for the district title.
"I think that our league will be balanced this year," said Mortensen. "Everyone lost a lot of players from last year and I don't think there will be a clear cut favorite and hopefully we can compete for the title."