The sports scene at Moffat County High School this year, for the most part, has been bleak. There have been highlights, but overall our local teams have underperformed. But, a recent post-game comment from a Bulldogs coach has us believing there are still coaches at the high school who have the right idea.
It was a simple quote — just 41 words spread across two sentences — in the next to last paragraph of a game recap.
Matt Ray, a Moffat County High School graduate, longtime assistant coach and now the Bulldogs’ second-year girls varsity basketball coach, commented on his team’s 53-40 defeat in the second round of the Steamboat Springs Shootout.
“They are very fast and aggressive and we know we have to learn how to stop that,” Ray said of Fossil Ridge High School, the 5A school that bested his Bulldogs. “We might not see this type of play in our league, but come playoffs, we will and we need to stop it to win.”
Note those words: “But come playoffs …”
We know a lot about Ray and his team from those three words.
We know the coach has set an expectation for his players — going to the playoffs.
We know that despite the season being young, a destination has been established.
We know his players have heard it and understand that’s the goal to work toward.
And we also know that sort of vision puts Ray in the minority of coaches at MCHS.
Only one other coach at the school — Todd Trapp, who leads the boys and girls cross-country and track and field teams — speaks with similar big picture goals and expectations in mind.
Is it any wonder then the girls basketball, cross-country and track and field teams are the most successful athletic programs at the high school?
There has been talk of reaching the playoffs from other coaches at MCHS this season, but it’s mostly been lip service from overly optimistic coaches whose teams have been either winless or dramatically outweighed by losses instead of wins.
The Craig Daily Press finds Ray’s comments, as well as those previously from Trapp, refreshing and encouraging, and so should the public.
That there’s an expectation of success outside of a break even record or upper half finish in the Western Slope League should give the community reason to believe the seemingly prevailing attitude and culture of mediocrity in our school district, high school and extracurricular programs hasn’t been accepted by everyone.
If you look closely, there’s commonality between Ray and Trapp.
They were both successful high school athletes who took their talents to college, where they were able to gain experience and begin shaping an outlook on their sports and effective ways to teach it.
These are the only two coaches at MCHS who should feel secure. But, luckily for the others, the high school administration is accepting of not only mixed results in the athletic realm, but also in the classroom.
Like we stated earlier, it’s a culture of mediocrity.
To the Daily Press, it matters little whether Ray and Trapp’s teams reach the lofty goals their coaches have laid out.
We’re not asking for championships and banners every year.
No, we’re asking that a vision of achievement be set before our young people, and they be pushed toward excellence.
Whether they reach those peaks or fall short is almost irrelevant.
The journey, we believe, means more than the destination.
Thank you, Coach Ray and Coach Trapp, for giving our student-athletes a vision of something beyond middling success.
If only your colleagues and superiors had the same philosophy and drive.
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.