"It's been kind of tough having to do all our workouts inside up to this point. We really need to be able to stay out on the field," Hafey said.
Though the 'Dogs have been confined to the gym for the opening practices, they have been able to work in some early season scrimmages. Last weekend they traveled to Grand Junction where they faced Central and Olathe. The double-header, held indoors, allowed the team to work out some of the pre-season kinks. The boys show promise in protecting last year's league championship, Hafey said.
"We did well against both teams, but you could tell that we were a little bit rusty," he said. "What I was really impressed with was, in two games, we only had eight strike outs, which is really good this early in the season."
The Bulldogs will go into this season short six starters from last year, losing them to graduation, but Hafey feels the team still holds the potential to go the distance with their returning core.
Senior catcher Rob Satterwhite should turn out to be the big bat in the lineup, the coach said. Satterwhite hit in the .500s last season, and drove in 12 homeruns the second highest in state.
Hafey has high hopes for Kevin Voorhees, the senior centerfielder, who is fighting it out for the lead-off position in the lineup.
"Both of these guys are highly motivated, and should turn out to be team leaders this year," the coach said.
Senior Mark Turner, junior Chris Field, and sophomore Jerod Estey will lead from the mound for the 'Dogs, with Estey working for the Ace position.
"We should see good things from all three pitchers this year," Hafey said. "Field was able to hit five homeruns last year, Estey won six games for us and is a lefty who will produce big for us this year, and Turner will also play some middle infield and third base, so he'll get around the field for us."
The Bulldog's head to Paonia Saturday for a three-game scrimmage, their first outside competition of the year. Paonia, Roaring Fork and Delta will be at the scrimmage.
The coach feels the scrimmage will give the 'Dogs some much needed game experience, and let them loosen up before beginning the regular season.
"The biggest thing that comes out of these scrimmages is that we get to know where we need to improve," Hafey said.
The home opener for Moffat County, scheduled for Monday, has been cancelled because of poor field conditions. The team's home opener should be a game Thursday, where the 'Dogs junior varsity team takes on Aspen's varsity.
Overall the team has an optimistic outlook for the season, and their chances of defending their championship, feeling that their core is solid enough to repeat the victory this year.
"I think we'll do really well this season. We looked good in our scrimmages last weekend, and I know we'll only get better as the year goes on," pitcher Turner said.