Sophomore Ryder Seely, shown here carrying the ball, tries to outrun a pair of scout team defenders Friday during Moffat County High School varsity football practice. The Bulldogs had a bye week this week, but will resume its grueling 10-game schedule Sept. 17 when John F. Kennedy High School comes to Moffat County.

Photo by Ben Bulkeley

Sophomore Ryder Seely, shown here carrying the ball, tries to outrun a pair of scout team defenders Friday during Moffat County High School varsity football practice. The Bulldogs had a bye week this week, but will resume its grueling 10-game schedule Sept. 17 when John F. Kennedy High School comes to Moffat County.

Bulldogs’ schedule ranked No. 1 in preseason strength ratings

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Football schedule

Date Place Opponent Result

Aug. 27 Home Evergreen 26-22L

Sept. 3 Away Aspen 46-13L

Sept. 17 Home Kennedy

Sept. 24 Away Delta

Oct. 1 Home Palisade

Oct. 8 Away Glenwood Springs

Oct. 15 Away Battle Mountain

Oct. 22 Home Rifle

Oct. 29 Away Eagle Valley

Nov. 5 Home Steamboat Springs

What started with a zero-week game has evolved into a number one ranking.

The Moffat County High School football team (0-2 overall, 0-0 in the Western Slope League), according to Massey Rankings, started the 2010 season with the hardest schedule in the state.

Richard Wildenhaus, MCHS athletic director, was one of the architects behind the 2010 schedule.

Wildenhaus said the ranking shouldn’t be a surprise.

“I assume it’s done on the strength of the schedule,” Wildenhaus said. “With our league and three good non-conference games, we certainly should rank near the top.”

With a zero-week game against No. 27-ranked Evergreen High School, and games against Aspen (No. 3 in 2A), Glenwood Springs (No. 5 in 3A), Palisade (No. 7), Delta (No. 8), Steamboat Springs (No. 9) and Rifle (No. 17), as well a game against 4A’s John F. Kennedy High School, the Bulldogs’ schedule only contains one break — this week’s bye-week.

The zero-week game afforded the Bulldogs a bye-week, but it wasn’t a week off, head coach Kip Hafey said.

“The kids have all come back strong,” he said. “Without a game this week, they could have taken it easy.

“They don’t want to let each other down, and nobody did. Everyone here is working hard on getting better.”

Wildenhaus said that when the schedule is crafted, the league games are the first to fill up the calendar.

After the other six Western Slope League teams are shuffled into place, the non-conference games are fit into the schedule.

“We branch out and try to find other teams that are competitive,” Wildenhaus said. “We’ll play up (in Class 4A) or down (in 2A), and we always try to find teams we wouldn’t normally see.”

Calls are made to other coaches and athletic directors to schedule non-conference games.

“We get calls from other schools about getting onto their schedules,” Wildenhaus said. “If it works and it’s an open week, we’ll go through with the process.”

With Montezuma-Cortez being dropped from the 3A WSL, the team had to find three non-conference games this year, instead of last year’s two.

Those spots were filled up with a resurgent Evergreen team, a strong Aspen team, and a tough 4A school in John F. Kennedy.

“It’s loaded,” Hafey said. “Next week, we’ll have JFK, which has 1,200 students, so almost double (the number of students) at MCHS.”

But, regardless of who is on the other sidelines, the Bulldogs will be ready, Hafey said.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “We’ve definitely been tested. We don’t want to stay the same — if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”

If the Bulldogs can make a run to the playoffs, the strength of its schedule could help propel the team if it finds itself in another situation like last season, when percentage points separated MCHS from the playoffs.

The strength of schedule is factored in when the playoff bids are handed out.

After next week’s game against John F. Kennedy is in the books, the real fun starts, Hafey said.

“There’s one more non-conference game,” he said. “Then, we jump into our conference.”

Comments

Cole White 3 years, 11 months ago

I would like to see Coach Hafey working with the Junior High and Doak Walker coaches so that we are developing one consistant program in the county. I think we have so many different people "teaching" both good and bad techniques (habits) at an early age that if there was more consistancy in what is being taughter early on that our program at the high school would be able to improve as we iliminated all of the teaching and philosophies that are promoting bad habits and bad processes.

I wonder how much time Coach Hafey has to spend re-programing his athletes once they get to high school due to the fact that an arm chair quarterback of a coach they had in the 6th or 7th grade taught them the wrong way to do things.

Just a thought.

GO Bulldogs! Good luck this year guys.

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nyoast 3 years, 11 months ago

Highway1340- I am a middle school coach at CMS, we run things the same as they do at MCHS. The offense is the same, only simplified for MS athletes. Coach Hafey is very involved in the CMS program and Gary Tague, the head MS school coach works very closely with Coach Hafey. Ron Linsacum one of the HS coaches has a full contact football fundamentals class every day during the last period of the day at CMS in the fall for players. In this class Ron does 4 weeks on defensive fundamentals and 4 on offensive for players that want to take the class. Kip comes down and watches games, and talks with the kids. Right now at the MS now we have close to 80 kids playing football in the 7th and 8th grade. We concentrate on technique and fundamentals, as well as trying to get each kid as much playing time as we can in a game. Right now both the 7th and 8th grades are 1-0, both teams defeated Rawlins' WY 22-14 on Thursday, and are playing Steamboat today at 9 am(7th) and 10:30 ish(8th) at the CMS field.

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Cole White 3 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the information Coach Yoast. That was the only conclusion I was able to garther from the fact that we can't replicate any level of success in the high school that we see in the junior high level other than there is too big of a change for the athletes once they leave junior high for high school.

If you get the chance then Coach Yoast I would suggest that you put on some coaching clinics for those coaching the younger players (3rd through 6th) as I am sure they could benefit from what you have going on in your program.

Best of luck in the coming year.

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dogfan 3 years, 11 months ago

I coached in the Doak Walker league for three years and most of what we concentrated on were the basics. Highway 1340, if you think that the kids are being taught wrong maybe you should come down and volunteer to coach. The kids seem to do great through the 8th grade then they start falling apart. Granted the competition is a little tougher when they reach high school and play more schools. About the only school the MS plays that compares to the high school is Steamboat, but the MS beats them every year until they reach high school then they beat us. Something don't make sense there.

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