John Vandelinder: The week in review for MCHS sports

John Vandelinder

John Vandelinder's columns appear Tuesdays and Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail him at jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

The fall season has come to a close for the soccer and volleyball teams, leaving the boys of the gridiron and the Bulldog harriers in the home stretch.

Lets take a look:

Cross Country

For the 10th-consecutive week, the Bulldog cross-country team tops the beat.

Last week, I said I had hoped to be writing about the Bulldogs qualifying for the state championships.

So, let's do that shall we?

The boys and girls teams will be on the bus Friday to Fort Collins, a perfect ending to the fall season's most successful team.

Alicia Nelson won the 4A girls district championship for the third consecutive year, making it look easy.

Her sixth win in nine races this season came by a 16-second margin of victory.

The boys team excelled, as four runners broke the 18-minute barrier.

And, the only local team that qualified for the postseason isn't done yet.

The state championships are Saturday in Fort Collins.

Look for the senior Nelson to collect the 4A individual crown in her final year of high school competition.

Oh yeah, watch out for sophomore Maddy Jourgensen, who placed second Saturday. Jourgensen finished less than 17 second behind Nelson, and, if not for Nelson, would be the 2008 Region 5 champ.

Soccer

Class 4A Western Slope

Conference final standings

Conf Overall

Eagle Valley 10-1-1 13-1-1

Glenwood Springs 8-3-1 10-4-1

Battle Mountain 8-4 10-5

Steamboat Springs 7-5 11-5

Rifle 4-8 4-10

Moffat County 3-10 4-11

Palisade 0-12 1-14

With Thursday's thrilling double-overtime win against visiting Steamboat, the Bulldogs tied last season's team victory total.

Sure, they won four games, but I would have been happy with just the one against the team's rival.

If Thursday's game was any indication of how the team will fare next year, be ready.

The Bulldogs will make a dent in the Western Slope League before long.

First-year coach Rusty Cox needed some time to get a feel for his team, so when the fall of '09 is here, things should be more smooth between team and coach.

Farewell to high school soccer for Spencer Wayman, Cole Dubois and Ian Forgay. But the three aren't finished with all MCHS sports; all three seniors are playing hockey.

Volleyball

Class 4A Western Slope

Conference final standings

Conf Overall

Eagle Valley 12-1 16-2

Battle Mountain 11-2 14-4

Steamboat Springs 8-5 11-5

Palisade 8-5 10-8

Glenwood Springs 5-8 6-12

Moffat County 4-9 5-12

Delta 4-9 6-12

Rifle 2-11 7-11

The girls split their final two regular season games last week, cruising by Delta, a day after falling to Palisade.

This was a huge learning year for this unit, which should only make it stronger next season.

Coach Brianna Montgomery lost a ton of players from last year's team - and the experience that went with them - but the 2008 team battled on.

After a rebuilding season with five wins, going out with a bang is what this team needed, and they more than accomplished that in the four-game win against Delta.

That said, many exciting matches were played in the MCHS gymnasium.

But, I'll be sorry to see senior Ariel Sanchez go; she's been this team's rock for two years.

Football

Class 3A Western Slope

Conference standings

Conf Overall

Glenwood Springs 6-0 8-0

Palisade 6-1 8-1

Steamboat Springs 6-1 7-1

Eagle Valley 3-3 3-5

Montezuma-Cortez 2-4 4-4

Moffat County 2-4 3-5

Rifle 2-4 2-6

Delta 1-5 3-5

Battle Mountain 0-6 0-8

The team endured a tough loss Friday to rival Steamboat.

In what possibly could have shaped up to be a MCHS upset, the Sailors pulled away in a blowout.

The Bulldogs defense picked off two passes - one was called back because of a penalty - and forced four fumbles, recovering one.

If the Bulldogs had capitalized, the playoffs still might be in the picture.

But, alas, they did not, and new WSL top-dog Glenwood Springs awaits.

Gear up fans.

The Bulldogs likely will have a tough time with Demons quarterback Dakota Stonehouse, who is one of the state's highest-ranked quarterback, according to RockyPreps.

Three wins equals last season's total, with two games remaining.

Don't expect an upset in Glenwood, but the final match-up against Cortez has me salivating.

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