Bulldogs want record-setting crowd

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Moffat County Athletic Director Jim Loughran has a dream to see the Moffat County High School gym packed to the gills with rowdy Bulldogs fans.

It's been nearly a decade since the Dog House was filled to its 2,000 person capacity.

Not since Loughran himself was a basketball coach has he seen standing-room only bleachers, the decibel level too loud to think and every student clad in blue and white.

Thursday night when the Steamboat Springs Sailors and Lady Sailors come to town, Loughran wants this to all change.

"I believe it was 1991 that we had a packed house for our play-off game against Windsor," Loughran said. "The whole student and adult sections were full. That's what I hope we can do for the games against Steamboat."

For whatever reason, attendance has dropped off at home games, and the student section resembles more of a ghost town than a pep squad.

Loughran attributes the lack of attendance to the amount of diversions that can be found in today's modern world.

"There's just a lot more to do now. People are into different things, the Internet, T.V. and winter sports," he said. "It used to be high school sports was the only game in town."

Loughran plans to lure people from across the valley into the Dog House by providing two things dinner and good basketball.

The dinner, which will be served from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. is a bratwurst feed, with the meat being supplied by Craig's Mountain Meat Packing & Sausage. The basketball will be provided by the cross-valley rivals, the Bulldogs and the Sailors.

"It's a way for us to provide some hospitality for not only our community, but one that neighbors us," Loughran said. "A lot of people work in Steamboat, or in Craig and commute between the two towns, so we may be rivals but were still close communities."

Coach Blaine Corlett, the head boys basketball coach, not only sees the opportunity for his basketball team to play in front of a capacity crowd, but the opportunity for the community itself.

"It's not just about supporting basketball, but supporting the school," Corlett said. "It 's about being involved in the community, and a small town's high school is an important part of that."

Lady 'Dogs coach Craig Mortensen can attest to the influence a crowd can exude. In 19xx, when he was still the boys head coach, his team played in front of a packed house in a playoff game against Harrison from Colorado Springs.

The crowd, whose noise level never dropped below a roar, numbered more than 1,700, and cheered the under-Bulldogs to a 65-62 victory.

"In that game our crowd was definitely a sixth man," Mortensen said.

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