David Pressgrove: The great soccer debate

I was waiting to conduct an interview at Moffat County High School this week, and I had a couple of minutes to waste.

Because I can't stand still for more than half a second, I had to find something to occupy my time.

The team banners hanging in the south entrance caught my attention. I gazed for a while at the athletic accomplishments of Moffat County High School.

When my eyes came to boys soccer banner, my stomach sank. It read "State Qualifiers 1992."

I had just written a story stating that this year's soccer team was the first to qualify for the postseason. I was, and still am, a bit embarrassed.

Nobody from the '92 team has called me to complain, but I thought I would give the team a little recognition. I wrote that the 2004 team was the best ever, but until this year's team wins a playoff game, the '92 team deserves just as much credit.

I did some research, and I hope this column will suffice for an apology to the '92 team.

According to Chuck Hook's team preview in the Craig Daily Press, the Bulldogs were led by eight seniors. Some of the top seniors were Sterling Ross, Jeremy Runner, Brad Flinn, Ed Yeash and Chad Preece.

Other interesting tidbits about the '92 team: It was the third varsity season for Bulldog soccer team and girls also played.

Reading through the articles, I realized that Moffat County's two playoff teams have several similarities.

Both finished fourth in the Western Slope League. Both teams earned the league's final spot available for the state tournament.

The 2004 team will find out no later than Monday who its opening-round competition will be. The fourth spot out of the WSL probably means they'll be on the road.

The '92 team had quite a road trip in the first round, as well. They traveled to Montezuma-Cortez, where they lost, 2-1.

If this year's team can win next week, they will justify my story calling them the most successful MCHS soccer team in the history of the 15-year old program.

They already have topped the record books in a couple of categories. Their seven league wins are one better than the '92 team. Their nine wins overall is also one better than the first playoff team.

It might be a bit unfair to compare records because the '92 team played two fewer games. The '92 team had a better winning percentage, .615 (8 of 13 games), than this year's team's percentage of .600 (9 of 15 games). The league record is also more favorable for the pioneers, with the '92 team winning six of 10 games for a .600 winning percentage and the '04 team finishing with seven wins in 12 tries for a percentage of .583.

I know what separates this year's team from the '92 team.

The amount of coverage they received in the paper.

I'll be at the state playoff game while Mr. Hook didn't make the trip to Cortez (I don't blame him).

Then again, Hook didn't make the mistake of automatically assuming things without checking his facts.

Touche.

I guess that debate isn't closed either.

At least by next week we'll know which soccer team deserves the "best-ever" title.

That's much more interesting than comparing sportswriters.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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