Craig Middle School running back Michael Samuelson stiff arms a Soroco defender Tuesday on his way to scoring a 76-yard touchdown. Samuelson accounted for all of the Bulldogs offense, scoring three touchdowns on the ground, as well as running for two, 2-point conversions, in CMS's 22-20 home victory.

Photo by John Vandelinder

Craig Middle School running back Michael Samuelson stiff arms a Soroco defender Tuesday on his way to scoring a 76-yard touchdown. Samuelson accounted for all of the Bulldogs offense, scoring three touchdowns on the ground, as well as running for two, 2-point conversions, in CMS's 22-20 home victory.

Second-half intensity

Craig Middle School football team fights back for 22-20 home victory

photo

Craig Middle School defensive tackle Tyler Hildebrandt, left, sacks Soroco quarterback Nic Paxton. Hildebrandt and Bubba Ivers, right, led the Bulldog defense in the second half Tuesday, shutting down Soroco's offense on their way to the team's fourth victory in five games.

Football is a game of 11 players on offense and 11 players on defense.

But on Tuesday, you would never have known that.

Trailing 20-0 at the half to visiting South Routt County (1-3 overall), Craig Middle School football coach Todd Hildebrandt made a change.

Hildebrandt brought in three new players: two on defense and one on offense.

It would be all the help he needed, as the Bulldogs (4-1 overall) rallied for a 22-20 come-from-behind victory.

"We didn't come out with any intensity in the first half," Hildebrandt said, "and we didn't use any eighth-graders. We switched some things around, and it worked out well for us."

Bubba Ivers and Tyler Hildebrandt were subbed in on defense, and the duo constantly turned in big hit after big hit to disrupt and shut down the Soroco offense.

Tyler Hildebrandt recorded two sacks and a forced fumble, while Ivers had six tackles, five of which went for a loss of yards.

"We just want to play," Ivers said of the eighth-graders brought into the game. "It didn't seem like the team was excited to play. When we came in, we brought intensity into the game."

Michael Samuelson played running back the second half, and the eighth-grader single-handedly accounted for all of CMS's points.

Playing in front of a large crowd of teenaged girls who constantly were chanting his name, Samuelson scored on runs of 9, 57 and 76 yards.

Samuelson also had two, 2-point conversion runs.

"My blocking was good. It was really phenomenal," Samuelson said. "The team wasn't as pumped up in the first half. When I came in, I was just thinking of scoring."

Each time Samuelson toted the rock, his all-girl personal cheering section went nuts.

Why?

Samuelson doesn't know, but Tyler Hildebrandt does.

"The girls all like him because he's a running back," he said. "Offensive guys always get all the attention."

Unless, of course, you are the Soroco offense.

"Their defense really shut us down in the second half," Soroco coach Dan Kohler said. "Everybody got anxious when they started to score, and we let the game slip away."

Collin Krause (30 yards), Cody Gallup (46 yards) and Josh Baker (30 yards) scored on the ground for the visitors, on their way to the halftime lead.

But when Todd Hildebrandt changed his roster, the game's outcome changed, as well.

"The season is going well for us," Hildebrandt said. "We are learning a lot, and really improving each and every day we play."

Next up, CMS hosts Rangely Middle School at 9 a.m. Saturday.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

Comments

Really 5 years, 7 months ago

I am just happy to see CMS getting some coverage in the paper! All of my kids did sports at CMS, some of their teams were undefeated, and there was never any coverage.

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tamsmom 5 years, 7 months ago

Wow! I thought for sure that football was 11 players not just 3. And doesn't our Middle School have a lot more than 11 players even? Some of them stand on the sidelines the whole game and never get to play because they are "not good enough". How do we expect them to get better if they get no playing time? And come on, this was a 7th grade game right? If they were losing why did we have to put in our "best" three 8th graders? Let the 7th grade play their own game even if it means losing the game. It is not all about winning, it's about learning. Or at least it should be. And if Michael Samuelson WAS the offense how did he manage to score the touchdowns and make all the tackles at the same time singlehandedly? I am sure that the 7th graders who played would see this a little differently. And what about the other 8th graders who want some playing time but are never given the opportunity? I do not have a problem with the story what I have a problem with is that there are only 3 kids mentioned in the story. I am sure those names are ones that we will see a lot of in the next few years, but come on, there is a whole team out there on the field and on the sidelines. They are ALL part of a team, make them feel like they are.

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irishbrat 5 years, 7 months ago

tamsmom-I've been through this and unless a child is from a "big name" in this town then forget it. They are the only one's that will get played, they are the only one's the paper will mention. My son no longer plays football for this reason alone. This maybe is why there are only 2 seniors on the MCHS team, there was only one when school started. My son will walk down the hall in the high school and say hi to the worthless Hafey and he doesn't even say hi, bye or kiss my a$$....nice coach huh!

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irishbrat 5 years, 7 months ago

Let me re-phrase as it sounded that my son don't play because the paper didn't mention him, i meant he don't play because of not getting to play. He busted his hiney in practices but didn't get him anywhere.....he's not from a fancy name and isn't a school teachers's kid.

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males4 5 years, 7 months ago

Wow! I think you two better reread the article! A few clarifications...Soroco's team was comprised of 7th graders, 8th graders and one ninth grader. The Bulldogs 7th grade started the game. Samuelson, Ivers and Hildebrandt just happened to be the only three 8th graders watching the game from the sidelines, supporting the 7th grade team... because of the their love and passion for the game! The other eighth graders were supporting volleyball or somewhere else. The coaches asked the boys at halftime to suit up. Also, Samuelson gives full credit in the article to his "phenomenal offensive blocking". It was a team win, not a 3 person win. The article may have not represented that well. I do agree that it is not about just winning, but I don't think any of the kids on the field were disappointed about the win. One final comment, these kids aren't good because they are from a "fancy name or a school teacher's child"...they are hard workers, well-coached, believe in teamwork, and love the game! I'm sure, Irishbrat, your child isn't playing just because he didn't see playing time! It's time you quit making excuses for your child and teach him a few real life lessons!

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calvinhobbs 5 years, 7 months ago

Just another positive note. I know all four of the coaches at CMS. They do not care about winning as much as developing the skills they need for high school. There is just such a huge difference in 7th graders and 8th. The one big running back south routt had was so much bigger and stronger than the majority of the 7th graders someone was going to get hurt. everyone did play, I was there. It may not have been a huge amount of play time but they played. Maybe some of those kids not playing as much as the think they should should worker harder at practice. Last, the last CMS home game is this Saturday at 9 am at the CMS Field.

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bigrred1576 5 years, 7 months ago

The names Mentioned , To me, are not BIG names in the community. I know that has been somewhat a common thread thought the forum for years. There arent enough Big names to make a team, but they may get mentioned more.

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irishbrat 5 years, 7 months ago

whatever...i've been around here long enough to know better. You can all think what you want. I am not making excuses for my kid, if he don't want to play I don't make him.....

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calvinhobbs 5 years, 7 months ago

Well come on out and watch the "big" names saturday! You can see why those young athletes get mentioned. They are very talented, but just like what was stated in the article, they said that their blocking was very good. There was only one 8th grader on offense and 10 7th graders the second half. The defense, which by the way was being played in an 8 man set because that is what SoRoCo uses at the high school, had 3 8th graders. Those young athletes were at linebacker, corner and safety. allowing the 5 front 7th graders the first shot at stopping the bigger, stronger faster 8th grader. which they did a good job at.

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tamsmom 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes, thanks lilmiss - I agree with you. My son was at the game and on the sidelines the entire time along with several other 8th graders and they all asked if they could play and were told no. Really, what a way to run a team. He also is not the "best" player on the team but he does what ever is asked of him and never questions it. He works his behind off at practice and for what? To stand on the sidelines the entire game and watch. I am not from this town and I guess I just better get used to the small town way, huh? And what a thing to have to teach all my boys - that they don't have the right name to play the game.

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bigrred1576 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm with Calvin, the younger kids coaches are a great group of guys. I made my son understand that once he went out for something, voluntarily, that he was going to stick it out for that season. I never forced him to Be in sports, but once he chose to be, then it was for that season.

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lilmisstrouble 5 years, 7 months ago

Ok First of all calvin you must have one of those kids who have that "SPECIAL" name. I was also at the game on tuesday and NO NOT EVERY PLAYER played. There were other 8th graders on the sidelines watching they just are not KEY players..... In this town it is all about your name or if your parents own a business or if they are a teacher or coach. I went to school here my entire life and that has never changed. I go and pay money just like everyone else to watch my kid play and i sit and watch the same kids over and over and over...... I don't know how a kid is supposed to get better if they never recieve the chance to improve with the coaches coaching them . I agree it is a lesson of life that you will not always be a key player and that parents should teach it but i disagree with not letting every kid have their chance to play. My kid does work his behind off in practice. He practices at home with siblings and both of his parents. I know he is not the best but i also know that he deserves to play just as much as anyone else. Whatever happened to the ethics of sports. I surely know that most of those 7th graders walking away from that game on Tuesday didn't look so happy that they won. WHY??? Because the 7th graders DID NOT win that game it was only the three 8th graders. SO maybe Calvin you need to recheck what you think you saw at that game because what you saw and what i saw are two totally different things. As for the coaches not wanting to only win that is total B.S. every coach wants that perfect season and they will do what ever it takes to get it. Even if it means sacrificing the pride and willingness to learn of our children. Every child on a team is usually willing to do whatever it takes but there comes a point when the kids say "OHH WELL I WILL NEVER GET NOTICED SO WHY TRY??" That is why if my kid wants to say to heck with it i will support his decision at least i know he won't feel like a total failure just because his mom and dad don't have a big name or own a business or is a teacher or coach or the one thing that really is irritating....... his parents aren't BEST FRIENDS with one of the COACHES!

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irishbrat 5 years, 7 months ago

nice post lilmiss-i'm glad to see that i'm not the only parent that feels this way. Maybe the posters that are men see this differently than the women. Who knows but i know it happens in this town as i'm sure it happens in a lot of small towns. I have also been here my entire life.

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lgmillernl 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree sometimes its a name game ....but to say its always that way is not a fair statement!! My son worked his tail off to play the 2 years of junior high he did and the 4 years of high school and trust me my last name means nothing, I am a single mom who never married, I have no money and no social standing in the community and I know the coaches enough to say hi when I pass them!! So a blanket statement like that is not fair to make, and yes its not fair sometimes...the lesson I taught my son from playing sports either city, high school or whatever is life is not fair...if you quit everything that is not fair or is tough....life is going to be a long miserable road for you! This is not advice just sharing what I taught my son! :)

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 7 months ago

The only comment I have to make on this issue is "remember the Yester and Loughren era" That was the name of the game back then. You had your starting players and then you had the practice squad. I sat and watched my sons sit on the bench all through their middle school ages. It became a standing joke between them and myself that they had played the best bench sitting that I had ever seen. This wasn't only football but basketball and baseball too. As far as learning life's lessons: They both learned that by the time they got to high school that they didn't need that kind of issues in their lives and moved on. I really can't speak for them but I do feel that none of them regret their decisions to this day.

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lonelyone 5 years, 7 months ago

Well my kids played some during Jr. Hi, but they knew the score when it came to high school sports and said no thank you! One of the boys went out for baseball and didn't get picked which upset some of the other players, but he knew that because of some of the other players who had the positions he wanted already nailed, he'd never get picked. It is really sad that kids who like a sport give it up because of the politcs of the game.

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