Moffat County High School 3A Western Slope League awards:
All-conference players, first team
• Brady Conner, senior
• Angelo Raftopoulos, senior
• Bubba Ivers, sophomore
• CJ Walt, senior
• Dario Georgiou, junior
• Miguel Molina, junior
• Zach Raftopoulos, senior
• Gage Spears, senior
Bulldogs’ season: 6-4 overall, 5-2 in the WSL, third-place finish
Moffat County High School seniors Brady Conner and CJ Walt spent much of their spare time during the football season getting their bodies in peak physical condition.
The two were focused on having their best year yet on the gridiron.
Although the final results weren’t everything they hoped to achieve during their time training, the work still paid off.
Conner and Walt were among four MCHS varsity football players named all-conference players for the 3A Western Slope League. Also picking up the honor were senior Angelo Raftopoulos and sophomore Bubba Ivers.
Four other Bulldogs received honorable mentions, including seniors Zach Raftopoulos and Gage Spears, and juniors Dario Georgiou and Miguel Molina.
The number of honorees is twice that of last year’s team, which included one all-conference player, Matt Linsacum, and three honorable mentions.
Conner was the only player this year to have received an honorable mention last season.
Conner said holding his award in his hands for the first time at the team’s Monday night awards banquet was when the honor “really set in.”
“That was the moment, for sure. That was the climax of it all,” he said.
Conner said he was glad to “go out on a high note,” even if it wasn’t as high as he’d hoped, with the team narrowly missing the playoffs.
The Bulldogs finished third in the Western Slope 3A bracket, with a season record of 6-4 overall, 5-2 in the league.
“Of course, we wanted the playoffs, but being third, it’s the highest we’ve been ranked in my whole time playing at Moffat County,” he said. “It was a fun team.”
Conner and Walt have regularly worked out at Holistic Health & Fitness for more than two years.
Walt said during his time training, he hadn’t thought much about receiving an honor like all-conference.
“You never really expect to get it,” he said. “I didn’t get honorable mention or anything last year, so it was a big surprise getting it this year. Regardless of missing the playoffs, this was my best and favorite season.”
Molina said he was surprised that he had been selected as an honorable mention.
“It feels great, I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.
The selection process for all-conference honors involves nominations from opposing coaches, which Molina said was part of what he found the most humbling.
“These coaches pick you as one of the toughest players, so it’s not just your coach saying you’re good, it’s everybody else,” he said.
Coach Kip Hafey said he was proud of the second half of the season his team played, which he said got the attention of other Western Slope coaches.
“The third place finish makes a big difference,” he said. “We had a strong finish to the season against Battle Mountain and Rifle and Steamboat. It was awesome because these guys clearly did something that other coaches recognized.”
Hafey said he felt bad about the team losing out on the chance to go the playoffs because he felt his players earned it.
“This is a playoff team,” he said. “Even with all the adversity that we had this season, we still finished up with a big win.”