Craig Below is a retrospective for the year in Moffat County High School varsity sports.
The winter season saw both boys and girls varsity basketball teams qualify for the state tournament and several wrestlers make the state cut.
Spring saw two Bulldogs claim state titles.
Check Thursday’s Craig Daily Press for the fall season wrap-up.
Led by seniors Alicia Nelson, Kylie Bauman, Courtney Edington, Ariel Sanchez and Danette Crofts, the girls varsity basketball team began 2009 with a pair of wins against Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain.
The team dropped its first home game of the year, falling, 52-42, on Jan. 13 to Grand Junction.
The team lost Jan. 16 to Delta but picked up its first home win of the year with a 45-36 Jan. 17 victory against Palisade.
The team lost a close game to Rangely, 37-34, on Jan. 20 in Rangely.
From that loss, the team went on a winning streak, picking up victories against Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain to close out the month.
The boys varsity basketball team went into the new year riding a hot streak.
With seniors Chayton Owens, Mike Peters, Kelton Willbanks and Collin Jackson, the Bulldogs’ core was able to go to work on Western Slope League opponents.
The team stretched its win streak to four with a Jan. 9 victory against Eagle Valley.
The Bulldogs blasted Battle Mountain on Jan. 10, winning 71-44, but fell Jan. 13 to Grand Junction.
Soon enough, the Bulldogs were back to their winning ways, knocking off Delta Jan. 16 and Palisade on Jan. 17.
The team fell to Glenwood Springs on Jan. 23 but rebounded for a win against Rifle the next day.
The team lost its home game against rival Steamboat Springs, falling, 44-32, on Jan. 27.
The team ended the month on a positive, again defeating Battle Mountain, this time with a 72-41 Jan. 30 victory.
The swim team started January with a bang, finishing first in its home meet for the fifth straight year.
But the team ran into stiff competition in Gunnison, where it placed fifth.
Junior diver Genna Bradley, of Steamboat Springs, already had qualified for state, and the team was hoping to add to its number of state qualifers.
The boys varsity wrestling team competed in Las Vegas; Green River, Wyo.; Meeker; Rifle and Eagle Valley.
The girls varsity basketball team started February where it left off in January.
The team avenged an earlier loss against Delta, winning, 49-25, against the Panthers, and continued its dominance against Palisade with a Feb. 7 34-point victory against the Bulldogs.
Glenwood Springs ended Moffat County’s modest six-game winning streak Feb. 13 with a 52-42 victory.
The team again gained momentum as it rocketed through the remainder of the regular season.
On Feb. 18, coach Craig Mortensen won his 500th career game as the Bulldogs defeated the rival Steamboat Springs Sailors.
With victories against Rifle and Eagle Valley, the Bulldogs finished the year with a 15-8 regular season record and punched their ticket for the postseason.
The team won its first postseason game, 53-49, on Feb. 27 against D’Evelyn.
The boys basketball team won Feb. 6 against Delta and again Feb. 7 against Palisade.
Glenwood Springs came to Moffat County on Feb. 13 for a rematch, but the Bulldogs weren’t able to even the season series as the Demons won, 71-61.
True to the season’s form, the Bulldogs avenged the loss with a win streak, with Rifle falling to the Bulldogs on Feb. 14.
In the closest game of the year, Moffat County went to Steamboat Springs and won, 41-28.
The team defeated Eagle Valley on Feb. 20 to end the regular season with a 15-8 record.
For the first round of the playoffs, the Bulldogs played Conifer on Feb. 25.
The team won handily, 57-45, and advanced to face Golden on Feb. 28 at Moffat County.
An injury to Owens derailed the Bulldogs’ chances, and Golden was able to leave with a 69-56 victory.
The girls varsity swimming team was unable to add any state qualifiers alongside Bradley, who finished sixth in the championships.
The boys varsity wrestling team had four Bulldog grapplers qualify for the state tournament.
At the Feb. 20 state championships in Denver, the team finished, 3-8.
For the year, the Bulldogs had several strong performers, including Charlie Griffiths, 44-7 overall record, Cody Nelson, 40-7, Jesse Breslin, 40-10, Nathan Tomlin, 31-7, Matt Linsacum, 31-12, Cody Adams, 23-21, Troy Vernon, 21-8, and Scott Mann, 18-10.
The girls varsity basketball team faced a Division 4A powerhouse March 5 when it hosted Broomfield.
Broomfield was able to topple the Bulldogs, 69-29, and bounce them from the playoffs.
Broomfield would go on to win the 4A state championship.
The track and field team returned 18 contenders and got off to a hot start in Grand Junction.
The team finished 10th out of 24 teams in Delta.
The boys varsity baseball team got off to a rocky start, losing to Alamosa, 4-3, and Carbon, Utah, 17-0.
The girls varsity soccer team started its season with a tough March 7 road loss in Rifle, falling, 1-0, to the Bears.
The team tied its March 14 home opener against Eagle Valley, 2-2, but dropped its next three games to Palisade, 5-0, Steamboat Springs, 8-0, and Delta, 1-0.
The boys varsity swim team brought back reigning state champion Cole Worsley, who had taken first in the 50-yard freestyle in 2008.
But Worsley wasn’t alone.
The team of Charlie Griffiths, John Kirk, Brandon Corey, Adam Richardson and Chance Peterson gave the Bulldogs a formidable line-up.
The track and field team dominated during the Clint Wells Invitational.
The boys varsity baseball team was unable to find a groove, losing doubleheaders to Delta on April 4 and Steamboat Springs on April 7.
The team broke through April 9 against Glenwood Springs, winning 10-4.
The team struggled against the Western Slope League, falling twice to Eagle Valley, Palisade and Rifle.
The girls soccer team lost April 3 against Montrose, 7-0, April 7 against Rifle, 3-0, April 9 against Battle Mountain, 5-0, and April 20 against Battle Mountain, 5-1.
The team picked up its first victory of the year April 25 against Eagle Valley, winning 3-2.
But, the streak didn’t last long, as the team dropped its next two games to Palisade and Steamboat Springs.
The girls varsity golf team returned a solid core of athletes, with Heather Nicholson leading the way.
With a third-place finish in Montrose, Nicholson appeared destined for state.
Sophomores Nike Cleverly and Callie Papoulas helped boost the team, as well.
The track and field team sent several athletes to Lakewood for the state championships.
Alicia Nelson broke the school record for the mile and placed second with a time of 4:55.47 — the second fastest time for Division 4A.
Sophomore Maddy Jourgensen finished ninth in the mile.
Erin Urbanoski held onto her state title in the long jump, winning for the third consecutive year.
Urbanoski also finished third in the 100-meter dash.
Junior Brian Ivy finished third in the triple jump.
The girls golf team won its home tournament to begin the month and seemed to gain momentum as May wore on.
All-conference selection Nicholson was the team’s lone qualifier for state, where she finished 24th. During the two-day tournament, Nicholson shot a combined 181.
The boys swimming team saw success in its own pool, as it won the overall event.
The relay team qualified for the state meet.
At the state meet, Worsley finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard butterfly.
Worlsey would go on to be named the division’s swimmer of the year.