Members of the Moffat County High School wrestling team practice Wednesday in preparation for the team's lone home meet of the season tonight. Meeker High School visits MCHS at 6 p.m.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Members of the Moffat County High School wrestling team practice Wednesday in preparation for the team's lone home meet of the season tonight. Meeker High School visits MCHS at 6 p.m.

Weekend preview of Moffat County sports

The winter sports season is in full stride, and each of the five Moffat County sports teams compete this weekend.

The wrestling team kicks off the action today as the Bulldogs host Meeker in their lone home event of the 2008-09 season.

The MCHS grapplers compete Saturday in Rifle.

The swimming team travels Friday to compete at an event in Aspen - the team's second-to-last meet before the state regional tournament beginning Feb. 6 in Durango - with state championship bids at a premium.

The Bulldog Hockey Club hosts Crested Butte on Saturday and Sunday at the Moffat County Ice Arena, in a rematch of last season's Frozen Four contest when the Wolfpack ended the Bulldogs' season.

The boys and girls varsity basketball teams travel Friday to Glenwood Springs, and host Rifle on Saturday, as the Western Slope League schedule takes a decidedly more difficult turn.

Boys basketball

Friday at Glenwood Springs - 7:30 p.m.

Moffat County (8-5 overall, 4-0 WSL) earned its perfect league record against teams with a combined 5-37 record. Friday's game at Glenwood Springs (8-5, 4-0) is the team's first test against tougher in-league competition.

Post player Chayton Owens leads Moffat County. Owens is averaging nearly 20 points per game (18.8, 6 rpg) through the team's first 13 games of the season.

Forward Collin Jackson leads three more Bulldog players who are close to averaging double digits in scoring.

Jackson (10.6 ppg, 3 spg), Kelton Willbanks (9.0 ppg, 72.4 percent shooting), and point guard Mike Peters (8.1 ppg, 5 apg) each have the ability to change the outcome of a game.

Kevin Screen leads the Demon charge, averaging 16 ppg. Kevin Flohr adds an additional 10.5 ppg on offense.

Glenwood Springs is averaging 59.6 ppg while on offense and 56.3 defensively.

The Bulldogs are averaging 61.8 ppg on offense, and 51.5 on defense.

Notes: The teams split last year's two-game series, with each team winning at home. The Demons won, 75-44, while Moffat County came away with a 61-59 victory. : Glenwood has won seven consecutive games after a 30-point loss (77-047) Dec. 12 against Faith Christian.

Saturday vs. Rifle - 5:30 p.m.

Moffat County concludes its weekend at home against visiting Rifle (6-5, 2-1).

Tyler Rust leads the Bears' offense, averaging 20.1 ppg.

Eric Landick is second on the team in scoring with an 11-ppg average.

Rifle is averaging 59.4 ppg on offense, 61 on defense.

Notes: The Bulldogs were swept in the two-game set last year, falling, 65-63, at home, and, 72-60, in Rifle.

Girls basketball

Friday at Glenwood Springs - 6 p.m.

The Bulldog girls basketball team (6-7 overall, 3-1 Western Slope League) faces the top two teams in the Western Slope this weekend, beginning Friday at league-leader Glenwood Springs (9-2, 4-0).

Four players have averaged at least five points per game for Moffat County. Courtney Edington (8.4), Ariel Sanchez (8.8), Alicia Nelson (7.2) and Danette Crofts (6.8) each contribute to a balanced Bulldog attack.

Katrina Selsor (17.1 ppg) and Sasha Kuhn (13.1 ppg) lead the Demons.

Glenwood is averaging 53.2 ppg on offense, 53.8 defensively.

The Bulldogs are averaging 46.4 ppg on offense, 42.6 on defense.

Notes: The teams split last year's two-game series, with each team winning at home. Glenwood won, 65-49, and Moffat County won, 65-39.

Saturday vs. Rifle - 4 p.m.

Moffat County concludes weekend play on Saturday against the visiting Bears (9-3, 4-0).

Cortney Cordova (15.0 ppg) and Sandy Samson (10.3) lead Rifle's offense.

The Bears average 56.3 ppg on offense, 41.6 on defense.

Notes: Moffat County swept the two-game season series last year, winning, 54-29, at home and, 37-29, in Rifle.

Swimming

Friday at Aspen Invite - 3:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs have just three meets - including regionals - left on the schedule before the season-ending state championships.

The team is getting closer to achieving its season-long goal of qualifying for state.

Steamboat resident Emma Lichtenfels is creeping closer in the 100-back, needing to shave less than three seconds to meet the postseason-attaining mark.

Diver Genna Bradley is the lone Bulldog qualifier so far, but several Moffat County swimmers are close to reaching their goal.

"A lot of the girls are meeting their preseason goals," coach Meghan Francone said. "But, we're still working on the big goal - getting to state."

Wrestling

The Bulldog grapplers host Meeker today, then hit the road to compete Saturday in Rifle.

Today vs. Meeker (dual) - 6 p.m.

Moffat County hosts the Cowboys in the team's lone home meet of the 2008-09 season.

The Bulldogs have five wrestlers on the mend, so expect to see a few underclassmen get a taste of varsity competition.

Saturday at Rifle - TBA

The Bulldogs travel south Saturday in their second-to-last meet before the regional tournament begins Feb. 13.

Moffat County's top six grapplers (Charlie Griffiths, Jesse Breslin, Cody Nelson, Matt Linsacum, Nathan Tomlin and Ethan Kinner) have pulled the load most of the year, accumulating a 163-31 individual record.

MCHS individual records

Charlie Griffiths 31-4

Jesse Breslin 28-6

Cody Nelson 29-4

Matt Linsacum 27-9 Nathan Tomlin 24-4

Ethan Kinner 24-4

Cody Adams 15-16

Kye Adams 13-8 Troy Vernon 11-4

Halen Raymond 9-7

Asay Crofts 9-8

Todd Stewart 7-10

Ben Winslow 7-14

Scott Mann 6-7

Cody Pacheco 2-3

Brent Juergens 1-3

Jake Blevins 0-7

Nate Moon 0-7

Overall individual record: 255-132

Hockey

The Moffat County Bulldog Hockey Club hosts Crested Butte this weekend.

The last time these two teams played, Crested Butte knocked the Bulldogs from the 2007-08 playoffs.

Saturday vs. Crested Butte - 6:15 p.m.

Sunday vs. Crested Butte - 10 a.m.

The Bulldogs have just three games remaining left in the regular season. Moffat County currently sits in the fourth and final playoff position in the league standings, one point ahead of rival Steamboat Springs.

Any slip up against Crested Butte (5-6) will put more pressure on the Bulldogs, who wrap up the season Jan. 30 at Steamboat.

Wolfpack teammates Samuel Evans (19 goals, eight assists) and Robert Holleran (16 g, 11 a) are tied for third in the league with 27 points apiece.

Colt Criswell (15 g, 9 a) and John Strahan (13 g, 4 a) lead the Bulldogs.

Moffat County goaltender Spencer Wayman has a 6-4-2 record, a 2.18 goals against average, and has one shutout to his credit this season.

Crested Butte net minder Zachary Vandyke is 3-6 with two shutouts and a 3.33 gaa.

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

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