After Saturday's scrimmage in Paonia, the Moffat County Bulldogs will have put close to 700 miles on their gas card, and regular season hasn't even started.
Head Coach Kip Hafey believes all the pre-season traveling will work to the advantage of the 'Dogs, since they will travel to Denver Friday to face Denver South and Rawlston Valley.
"When we get to Denver, we will have been on the road for basically the whole pre-season, so we know how to travel, and are ready for the road games," he said.
The road experience of the triple-header in Paonia Saturday provided some expected results and some surprises for Hafey and his Bulldogs.
Senior Robert Satterwhite hit for a triple in the game against Roaring Forks, and scored the only RBI in the Paonia match up, by way of a single-run homer.
Kevin Voorhees, the player going on four years as a starter at center field, talked the coach into giving him a little mound time during the game against Paonia. He fared well for his first stint as pitcher, allowing only one earned run. This was the surprise for the coach.
"Kevin came up to me and asked if he could pitch some this year, so we gave him a look in the scrimmage this weekend," Hafey said. "It's nice that we have a strong pitching staff, and even nicer to know that we have one more reliever waiting in center field."
Sophomore Jerod Estey, a left-handed hurler, pitched this weekend against Roaring Forks, and according to coach Hafey, looks as if he's is right on schedule for the regular season.
Delta cancelled out on the triple header, which left the Moffat County junior varsity facing Paonia in a second match up. Freshman Jason Mosher and sophomores Joe Padon and J.J. Zapalc worked though the pitching rotation and found their strike zone against many of the hitters, Hafey said.
"Both our varsity and junior varsity faced Paonia, which is a tough 3A team one of the top 3A teams in state. They gave us some trouble, but we looked good in both games," he said.
Weather permitting, the 'Dogs' first home game will be Thursday, when the junior varsity team takes on the Aspen varsity. The first regular season game for the varsity 'Dogs will be played at Denver South on Friday, the team will then face Rawlston Valley in the All-City Stadium. How the 'Dogs finish those two games will determine who and where they play on Saturday.
The Bulldogs feel they're ready to roll in regular season and that they have worked out most of the wrinkles in pre-season play. What wrinkles remain have been identified and will be ironed out during the practices, the coach said.
"This is the latest start on outside practices we've had in three years," Hafey said, "but after watching the scrimmages of the last two weeks, I feel we're ready to go."