It's a little early to predict how the Moffat County High School winter teams will finish the season, but so far, the Bulldogs' collective ability has been the best in the Western Slope League.
I'm a little slow with this observation. It took me all of Christmas break to figure this out, but here is the way I see it:
The boys and girls basketball teams finished second in the Western Slope League tournament. No other school had both of their teams reach the championship game.
The wrestlers were third at the Warrior Classic, and the girl's swimmers already have a relay team qualified for state.
Glenwood Springs has the best swim team in the WSL, but the best either of their basketball teams finished was third. Eagle Valley's wrestling team jumped ahead of the Bulldogs in the rankings, but neither basketball team did much.
Besides, rankings really have little to no meaning other than giving sports writers something to talk about. For instance, how did the wrestlers drop from third to seventh during Christmas break when they beat two of the teams to go ahead of them at the Warrior?
For what the rankings are worth, the Bulldogs have two ranked teams in Class 4A (wrestlers seventh, girls basketball ninth).
Rifle (girl's basketball), Eagle Valley (wrestling) and Battle Mountain have one ranked team. Montrose, a team that isn't considered a part of the WSL also has two teams ranked in Class 4A (girls basketball, seventh, wrestling sixth), but for the purposes of this column, the Indians don't count.
I might be a bit unfair to schools such as Steamboat, Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Glenwood because they have athletes competing in mountain sports.
Glenwood's cheerleaders won the spirit state championship in Class 4A. What season am I supposed to consider them in?
Maybe my formula for deciding which school in the WSL is performing the best is flawed. Yes, I'm showing a little bit of hometown bias by not allowing Montrose to be part of my consideration and not giving Steamboat credit for have a strong cross-country skiing team.
I'll leave it up to the readers to decide.
To decide, though, you guys need to go watch.
The wrestling team is hosting its only tournament of the year today. There are no other WSL teams in town, but if the Bulldogs can perform well against Class 3A's No. 1 team, Valley, maybe they can regain some respect in the polls.
The boys and girls basketball teams are on the road to face Steamboat. The girls eagerly are awaiting their rematch with Rifle but don't want to let the Sailors sneak up on them as they did last year in the teams' first meeting. The boys led Steamboat for three quarters but couldn't hold them off in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see the adjustments each team made for tonight's 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
The swim team will be hard to follow this winter unless you travel like John Madden. The team's only home meet already occurred, and its closest competition the rest of the year is in Grand Junction.
There's plenty of reason to get out and check on the Blue and White. Just because my early-season numbers indicate they are the best doesn't mean they won't need some help from the fans.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.