Oh ye of little faith.
I admit going into this fall I was one of little faith when it came to the success of Moffat County High School football.
After talking to the coaches and sizing up the players, I came back to the newsroom and told my co-workers: "It's going to be a long season for the football team. They've only got about 40 players and 22 of them are going to be starters. The team is way too small for the platooning theory to work."
Now I sit here glad for two reasons that the under'Dogs (I came up with that one myself) have proven me wrong.
1. This team has been one of the best high school squads I've watched since they realized how good they were in the second half of the Rifle game.
2. There's no standout. They have to depend on each other instead of one player and to me that is what athletics is all about.
You should have seen the visitors' locker room after the 14-13 victory over Steamboat. While the smell of a post-game football team normally makes it unbearable to spend more than two minutes in the room without wanting to pass out, the mood of the Bulldogs served as an air freshener.
I really can't think of a word to describe it maybe two words, "joyous jubilation."
Defensive coach Chris Dralle was so pumped about his team's performance, he kept belting out "YES" or "WHOOOO YEAH!" accompanied with a stomp on the floor. Occasionally he jumped in the air as if Ed McMahon had just come to his door and handed him a check for $10 million.
Now I don't want to give out any Bulldog secrets, but think I've figured out the formula of success. The team's winning is directly related to two things: the quality of the school song and the moves of the Behrens Shimmy.
On the bus ride to the first game in Green River, the coaches asked the players to sing the school song. The first couple of attempts were about as successful as handing first graders instruments and telling them to play Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." They went on to lose their first two games. But, as the season has continued, the players have learned the song and the last rendition after the Steamboat game was probably heard back in Craig.
I can't give away the specific steps of the Behrens Shimmy (created by its namesake, senior defensive lineman Tad Behrens), but, as the Bulldogs continue to win, the post game locker room dance gets longer and more advanced. According to Behrens, the last shimmy was the "playoff version." Watch out ladies, because if this dance ever goes public, you'll faint faster than Behrens can hit the line.
So, I don't know if you've heard, but football is in the air in Craig and the under'Dogs take it to the road this week for a tough game against fifth-ranked Palisade at 7 p.m. Saturday. If Behrens and MoCo have anything to do about it, they're gonna do their best to shimmy, rattle and roll into home field advantage for the playoffs with a win.
I have faith in that.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org