My prediction at the beginning of the 2005-06 school year was that the most successful Moffat County High School sports team would be the baseball team.
The girls basketball team may have made it tough for that prediction to stand, but this spring has brought one of the most successful seasons in my four years of covering MCHS sports.
The baseball team, although not ranked by Denver newspapers, has the bats and arms to go a long way at the Class 4A state tournament. The team still could overtake the girls basketball team as the most successful group to wear Bulldog jerseys this year.
The baseball team is well-rounded. There are no easy outs in the lineup, it has a staunch infield, and its members played together most of the summer. The main reason this team should advance at least to the second weekend of the state tournament is its pitching.
Three of the four Western Slope League coaches I interviewed whose teams were swept by the Bulldogs pointed out that their teams don't see much left-handed pitching. Moffat's two top pitchers, Bryan Wojtkiewicz and Bryan Richards, are left-handers, and the numbers show how tough their pitches are to hit. The duo has combined to give up a meager 10 runs in 71 innings of pitching, striking out 107 batters with an 11-0 record.
Having two hard-to-hit pitchers is huge for Colorado high school baseball's postseason.
The tournament is double-elimination, which means a team needs two pitchers to stay alive if it takes on one loss.
My column comes two days after the baseball team lost its first game to a Colorado opponent Thursday against Class 2A's No. 2 team. Paonia beat the Bulldogs, 6-5, but neither of the team's two best pitchers threw in that game.
I hope the Colorado High School Activities Association awards the Bulldogs as the host site for a district tournament next weekend. That way, those of you who haven't seen the first Moffat County League champions in six years play can.
Some, if not all, of the other spring sports are having successful seasons that are worth watching. The boys and girls track teams are two of the best in western Colorado. The girls team's depth may put it at the top of the podium at the regional track meet in two weeks.
The girls soccer team has three more home games, starting with an 11 a.m. showdown today with Eagle Valley. My math indicates it will take a minor miracle for them to get into the playoffs, even if they finish out the season with three wins. But anything can happen.
The girls golf team is ranked second in Class 4A. Unless the team has all four golfers put in a bad day at the regional tournament, the golfers should be going to state as the regional champions.
The young swim team is a fun group to watch. Its closest meet the rest of the season is in Montrose. And after losing nearly the entire varsity team to graduation, the team is building for a fast future.
During the past week, I watched the girls golf team win its home tournament, the baseball team win the League title and the girls soccer team set the school record for wins. On Friday night, I also watched both track teams earn top finishes at the Clint Wells Invitational.
I did it all in shorts.
I love spring sports.