John Vandelinder: Bulldog beat

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John Vandelinder

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

The soccer team made the biggest moves this week, picking up its first two victories this season to join every MCHS sports team with at least one win.

The cross country and rodeo teams hosted their lone home events of the season this weekend, giving fans a chance to catch the action.

Cross Country

The Bulldog runners aren't moving from the top anytime soon. The boys and girls teams each placed third Saturday. Not a bad showing, but I expected a bit more from them on their home turf.

What keeps them on top is the individual performances of Alicia Nelson, Maddy Jourgensen and Nike Cleverly. The trio swept the top three spots Saturday, letting the rest of the competition know they are for real.

Now if only the team's four and five runners could close the gap, the Bulldogs will make a serious run come postseason time.

Soccer

Class 4A Western Slope Conference

Conf Overall

Steamboat Springs

5-1 8-1

Eagle Valley

4-1 7-1

Battle Mountain

4-1 5-2

Glenwood Springs

4-1 5-2

Moffat County

1-4 2-4

Rifle

1-4 2-4

Palisade

0-6 1-7

The MCHS soccer team moves up four spots this week, and rightly so after picking up the season's first two victories. The team looks as though they are coming together under new coach Rusty Cox. The Bulldogs' convincing victory against Palisade was a great way to get their first win, showing fans they are far from being the doormat of the Western Slope. When this offense is clicking, it really is a pretty sight to see. Senior Ian Forgay is beginning to show leadership on the field that this young team needs. A strong showing against Eagle Valley today will boost the team's confidence even more than its two victories last week.

Golf

A season of hard work comes down to one round.

The Bulldog ball-strikers compete in the state regional tournament today in Aspen, with a state championship berth on the line. What makes today's tourney all the more interesting is the team had two members shoot under 80 two weeks ago on the same course. The state qualifying score is expected to be in the high 70s, so if the Bulldogs can duplicate today what they did before, look for MCHS' first state qualifier in six years.

Will there be a Bulldog hitting the links of Yampa Valley Golf Course at the state finals?

We'll find out soon.

Rodeo

The rodeo team hosted its lone rodeo of both the fall and spring seasons this weekend, but despite the familiarity, the Bulldog cowboys and cowgirls failed to take advantage of their home turf.

Senior Eric Fleming was blanked, sliding further down the all-around standings, to fifth-place. Two weeks ago, Fleming was on top.

But, the short fall season is over and the team has a long break until rodeos resume in the spring. They have reason to be optimistic over the winter, though.

Fleming is seventh in steer wrestling, eighth in team roping, and first in bareback. Junior Taylor Vernon is 11th in goat tying, 20th in breakaway roping and 18th in barrel racing. Her brother, Troy, is sitting in fifth in bull riding. Each can make strides toward the state finals when the season resumes.

Football

Class 3A Western Slope Conference

Conf Overall

Glenwood Springs

3-0 5-0

Palisade

3-0 5-0

Steamboat Springs

3-0 4-0

Rifle

1-1 1-3

Delta

1-2 2-2

Moffat County

1-2 1-3

Montezuma-Cortez

0-2 2-2

Battle Mountain

0-2 0-4

Eagle Valley

0-3 0-5

MCHS was knocked back down to earth Friday by Palisade. However, they showed hope for the future. Although the score was 42-14, when matched up against Palisade's second-unit - the kids that the Bulldogs will be playing next year and the year after - the game was a draw.

Junior Pablo Salcido continues to impress, racking up 136 yards on 10 carries against the No. 2 ranked team in the state. In his past two games, Salcido has gained 316 yards on 19 carries, scoring on runs of 83, 68 and 89 yards, for a healthy 16.6 yards per carry. I'll take that.

Volleyball

Class 4A Western Slope Conference

Conf Overall

Eagle Valley

5-0 7-1

Battle Mountain

4-1 6-2

Glenwood Springs

3-1 4-5

Steamboat Springs

3-2 7-3

Palisade

2-2 4-5

Rifle

1-4 6-4

Delta

1-4 3-7

Moffat County

1-4 2-7

The Bulldogs were blanked this week, losing to Steamboat, Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain. The worst part is the team managed to win just one game during the three matches, giving the team five of its losses by sweep.

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