The Moffat County High School fall athletic teams kept the sports section of the Craig Daily Press busy as usual in 2003. It's too bad that these honors couldn't have come a couple of weeks later after a state football title game, but accomplishments of the football team and all the other fall teams can't be sold short this year.
The volleyball team earns the overachiever award by making it to the regional volleyball tournament and, with a win against Berthoud, finished at best ninth in the state and at worst 12th. In previous years the team had been content with a win in the district tournament.
The Berthoud Spartans football team also had its season ended by a Moffat County team. The Bulldogs stifled the Spartan offense on the way to a first-round playoff win. The Bulldogs' season didn't go any further as the Florence Huskies cut them down in the quarterfinals, but the football team provided one of its most exciting seasons in a decade.
While the cross country teams didn't fare as well as hoped at the state meet, a second for the boys and third for the girls at the regional continued the Western Slope tradition for Bulldog harriers finishing near the top of the region.
The soccer team tied a school record for wins and was in the playoff hunt until two weeks from the end of the season.
An inexperienced golf team had its ups and downs but hopes are high for next year's squad and coach Ken Harjes' seniors contributed what they could.
The following are 29 athletes who the sports staff at the Craig Daily Press would like to recognize as our All-Fall Athletes.
Senior John Beckerman: The senior came on the scene for the Bulldog golf team after winning the Yampa River Junior Golf Classic in the summer. Beckerman remained on varsity most of the year and had some low scores toward the end of the season to help the team on days when others weren't shooting well.
Senior Shea Carr: If the current Moffat County High School coaching staff had an award for off-season dedication, it might be named after this Bulldog senior. Carr put in the work and became one of the Western Slope's top linebackers in the process helping the Bulldog defense keep all but one conference team under its season average for points.
Junior Steve Crisp: Maybe the most improved runner on the Moffat County boys cross country team, Crisp led the Bulldogs in one race this year and was regularly in the top three. He will be one of the top returning runners for the Bulldogs next year.
Senior Sheena Davis: A transfer second semester of her junior year, Davis was a welcome addition to the Bulldog volleyball team as its starting setter. Davis and the other starting five carried the Bulldogs to second place in the districts and a berth to the regional tournament.
Sophomore Derek Duran: It's not easy to start as a sophomore in football, let alone be a two-way starter but Duran was quarterback and defensive back on the 8-4 Bulldogs team. Duran led the team and was second in Class 3A in interceptions on defense and will be looked upon as the team leader on offense the next two years.
Senior Natalie Field: One of the more experienced volleyball players on this year's squad, Field was often an emotional leader. A starter most of the year, Field's occasional change-up serve caught many teams off guard and her leadership helped the Bulldogs' success.
Junior Scott Garoutte: It was rare to see Garoutte go backwards on the football field this year. The linebacker and fullback provided some big hits on both sides of the ball and as the only returning linebacker, Garoutte's presence will be instrumental to the Bulldogs' success next year.
Senior Nick Goodenow: Opposing teams learned of Goodenow last year when he finished near the top in the state in sacks at defensive end. His numbers weren't as high this year but teams didn't come at him as much and he missed two games with a torn quadricep. He also stepped on to the offensive line to play both ways this year and has been getting some interest from NCAA Div. I teams.
Sophomore Cortney Grandbouche: The 'what ifs' might haunt Grandbouche a bit after she missed the last half of the cross country season with a foot injury. Yet, she came into the season in the best shape of anybody on her team and led them through the time that she was healthy.
Senior Kelvin Grinolds: Either teams scouted the Bulldogs well and didn't want to throw to Grinolds' side this year or his coverage was too good. The senior defensive back kept tabs on opposing teams' best receivers most of the year.
Senior Brad Hurd: The emotional leader and field general of the soccer team, Hurd was always seen as a threat by opposing teams. He could also be considered for this honor as a football player as he was the place kicker for the Bulldogs most of the season.
Senior Brittany Hutton: There was no secret who the Bulldogs' biggest hitter was on the volleyball team as soon as warm ups started. In a league of big hitters, Hutton held her own for Moffat County when they needed a white bullet.
Senior Stephanie Kloos: Heralded as the best player on the team by coach Becky Howlett even before the season started, Kloos' presence at the net was impressive enough to earn her first-team all-conference honors. She led the team in solo blocks and her emergence from not even starting last year was key in the Bulldogs' success.
Senior Anthony Loughran: The top returner from last year's sixth-place team, Loughran went into the season with high hopes. His fifth-place finish at the regional meet was probably the senior's highlight as he was the top finisher in all but two races for the Bulldogs this year.
Junior Jared Lowther: Consistently one of the top two golfers for the Bulldogs this year, Lowther shot in the 70s on more than one occasion for the Bulldogs. He was the only golfer with any post-season experience this year but next year the Bulldogs will have three post-season weathered golfers on the team.
Senior Drew Lyon: In his second season in cross country, Lyon came on strong at the end. He finished as the Bulldogs' third runner at the state meet, his best finish on the team all year.
Freshman Jake Miller: Miller is one of two freshmen on the All-Fall team. The first-year harrier led the Bulldogs in one race this year and was the top freshman at the regional cross country meet.
Freshman Katie Morris: The other freshmen on the All-Fall team, Morris came on at the end of the season to be in the top three for the team in the last four meets. Morris and a young team will return next year to try to reestablish Moffat County as a girls cross country power.
Junior Angela Nelson: The junior recovered from a summer injury to lead the Bulldogs toward the end of the season in cross country. She finished fifth at the Western Slope regional in probably her best race of the season.
Junior Amelia Parker: A JV runner last year, Parker emerged off and on this season as a front runner for the Bulldogs. She finished in the top three for the team in a majority of the meets.
Junior Hugo Quezada: The man in the midfield for the Bulldogs, Quezada earned all-conference honors for his play. The weight will be on his shoulders next year as the soccer team graduates a big group of seniors.
Senior Marcos Quezada: Coach Mick Havrilla was delighted when Quezada reported for two-a-days as he proclaimed that his new found attacker had become fast over the summer. Quezada earned all-conference honors as the Bulldogs' top scorer.
Senior Georgie Raftopoulos: The linebacker as a junior converted to defensive end to compliment Goodenow on the other end. He made numerous tackles for a loss this fall and also helped out on the offensive line.
Senior Aaron Sanchez: When teams prepared for the Moffat County football team, they prepared for Sanchez and his ability on offense. The bulk of the offensive load depended on Sanchez while he was at quarterback or running back. He also earned a starting linebacker position after the first game in the season and played both ways the rest of the season.
Sophomore April Sanchez: The district tournament was when Sanchez may have become a force to reckon with on the court for the next two years. She played most of the tournament as the Bulldogs took second place.
Junior Brandie Telfer: The knee pad was a good invention for players like Telfer who led the Bulldogs in digs and disappointed a lot of outside hitters by cancelling out their kills throughout the season. She earned her second all-conference award this year and will be back next year for her third.
Senior Derrick Thompson: Most people who know Thompson would say he's pretty reserved but probably not his opponents on the soccer field. Thompson was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs and played wherever Havrilla needed him.
Junior Brady Virden: After missing the state tournament by two strokes Virden will be back to lead the Bulldogs next year with the goal to improve by those two strokes. Virden was a top-two golfer for Moffat County most of the year.
Senior Kelby Virden: The senior may have not made the regional team, but his presence was still there when his teammates put his name on their golf balls in his honor. Coach Harjes called him one of the hardest workers on the team and he just missed his goal of being on the regional team by a few strokes.