The Moffat County JV football team has taken its licks this season, but it is paying its dues for success in the future.
"Our numbers aren't large enough yet to have a full-fledged JV squad," said coach Lance Scranton. "Once we get our numbers up we will be able to have a true JV squad."
According to Scranton, there are 12 players who could be on the JV squad who aren't because of the platooning on the varsity. The absence of those players has led to a 1-3 record for the Bulldog squad.
"We have a lot of guys playing both ways as well as out of position," he said. "It's hard to win like that."
The team's lone victory was a 20-point comeback in the first game of the season against Green River. At that point in the season, there were seven players who were playing on the varsity squad and not the JV. As the season has gone on, more underclassmen have moved up to varsity-only games.
"The kids know that JV is the opportunity to show us if they're ready," Scranton said. "But as those kids move up, it becomes more difficult for the JV."
The team has two remaining games. The first is at Palisade on Oct. 21 and the final is against Steamboat at home on Oct. 28.
The football coaching staff at Moffat County High School has been hearing about how special this year's freshmen team has been ever since its athletes were seventh graders. So far this season, it has lived up to the billing.
"This team makes it fun to coach," said coach Matt Ray. "The team's football knowledge is amazing for the athletes' ages."
The 5-2 Bulldogs' two losses have been versus the Hayden varsity squad, and the Roaring Fork junior varsity team. The freshmen Bulldogs have not lost a game since seventh grade against their own age group.
Coach Lance Scranton said the offense is led by a talented quarterback, Derek Duran, and anchored by a tough offensive line, particularly Tyler Fay and Hake Waite.
"Duran has football smarts," Scranton said. "He knows when to run and when to throw good skills for a kid his age."
Also on the offensive side, Duran has big targets to throw to in Kevin Loughran and Zack Haddan.
Scranton pointed to the linebacker core led by Kyle Gannon and Reid Hanneman as the reason the defense has stifled opposing offenses.
"If this team sticks together in their four years, they will be a factor in football," Ray said. "They are positive on the field and keep each other fired up. They will be fun to watch."
The Bulldogs face possibly their toughest freshmen competition at 5 p.m. today in Rifle.