On coach Rosie Lear's clipboard is what she and the Moffat County High School volleyball team believe will be the key to playing well in the 2002 season.
Under some parental permission forms and scribbled defensive formations is a goal sheet the team put together during a 15-minute brainstorm during one practice.
The number one priority on the goal list is "teamwork," which may seem like an obvious goal, but, after a season of struggle last year, a focus on basic camaraderie is what the team believes it needs.
"We didn't get along very well as a team last year," said senior Kate Schafer. "Ninety percent of the game is mentally being strong and we were not because a lot of bickering was going on that kept us from being focused."
"We had a lot of talent," said sophomore Brandie Telfer. "But with that it takes so much cooperation as a team and we just never gelled."
But enough about last year, a season that the team has conveniently forgot what its record was and when members are asked about it respond like senior Lauren Bergmann, "We're not sure what our record was...but let's just say things are looking up."
Lear steps into the role as head coach after moving to Craig from Idaho where she had coached volleyball for three years. She inherits three varsity starters from last yearSchafer, Bergmann -and Telferand a team that, according to the coach, has been playing well together.
"This is the most talented team I've worked with," Lear said. "They do everything well and they do it together."
Lear is bringing a new defense to the team and it has been a major focus in preparation for the season.
"The biggest adjustment to our new coach is her defense," Tefler said. "We've been going over the positions over and over in practice and I think it will work well for us."
After having the same system for three years, a challenge for the seniors is adjusting to the new scheme.
"We were used to the old system," Bergmann said. "We just need to have confidence in our new coach and give it a chance."
Other goals that the team wrote down include placing in the top three in the district tournament, which would earn the team a trip to state, staying positive and communicating on the court.
"What I like about the goal sheets is that once it's written down, it becomes something they see everyday," Lear said. "It gets them thinking like champions and I can see the determination and desire in these girls."
Team members said that with the addition of 5'10'' Stephanie Kloos to the varsity squad, it will have height in the front court with strong blocking ability. And, with individual work in the summer, they will, as Bergmann said, "have some girls that can hit pretty hard."
The Bulldogs list Steamboat and Glenwood as a couple of the stronger teams in the district and that they hope to be able to compete against.
Varsity action will begin at home for the Bulldogs with the MCHS tournament on Aug. 31.