Michael Samuelson, a Moffat County High School junior, carries a defender Sept. 23 against Delta High School at MCHS. Samuelson and senior teammate Miguel Molina were named 3A Western Slope League all-conference players during the fall sports awards ceremony Monday at MCHS.

File Photo

Michael Samuelson, a Moffat County High School junior, carries a defender Sept. 23 against Delta High School at MCHS. Samuelson and senior teammate Miguel Molina were named 3A Western Slope League all-conference players during the fall sports awards ceremony Monday at MCHS.

Bulldogs named WSL football all-conference players

Awards ...

Moffat County High School varsity football team individual postseason awards:

3A Western Slope League all-conference honors:

• Miguel Molina — Sr.

• Michael Samuelson — Jr.

3A Western Slope League all-conference honorable mention:

• Tyler Hildebrandt — Jr.

• Bubba Ivers — Jr.

Academic all-state honors:

• Tyler Hildebrandt — Jr.

• Jonathan Pando — Sr.

• Michael Samuelson — Jr.

• Garrett Spears — Sr.

• Gavin Spears — Jr.

• Jacob Teeter — Jr.

• Mason Updike — Sr.

Academic all-state honorable mention:

• Zach Beauchamp — Jr.

• Andy Browning — Sr.

• Curtis Dunlap — So.

• Dustin Kennedy — Jr.

• Miguel Molina ­— Sr.

• Josh Pritchard — Jr.

• Ryder Seely — Jr.

It’s no secret, the Moffat County High School varsity football team pounds the ball on the ground when the Bulldogs are on offense.

But, senior Miguel Molina, who plays tight end and cornerback for the Bulldogs, was named a 3A Western Slope League all-conference player alongside junior teammate Michael Samuelson at the fall sports awards ceremony Monday at MCHS.

Molina was third on the team in total tackles with 60 and led the team with three interceptions.

On offense, however, head coach Kip Hafey said Molina took advantage of opportunities he was given as a receiver to lead the team with 444 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

“Miguel did his job and ran his routes well,” Hafey said. “When the defense would play zone defense, he would get into the opening and that started by him working on his fundamentals in practice.”

Molina said the season wasn’t a success for the team, but personally his final year was one of his best.

“I was catching a lot better this year because I knew what I had to do in the game to make it happen,” he said. “With a lot of good players on the team, I was surprised to get the award and it is definitely an accomplishment.”

Defensively, Hafey said Molina was quick to react and knew how to read linemen to tell if it was a pass or run and make the adjustment.

Molina said his speed helped him defensively.

“I was fast, so I could get to the spot and do the job right,” he said. “I think it takes a little luck, but I also think opponents saw me as a little guy and didn’t think I could hit.”

Samuelson, who started at running back for the Bulldogs, was second on the team with 864 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

But, as Hafey pointed out while presenting the award, most of Samuelson’s yards came up the middle.

“I think my mental drive helped me a lot in running up the middle,” Samuelson said. “You have to think fast, and I didn’t always choose the right move, but I put my head down and kept my feet pumping to get through an opening.”

Samuelson said weight training also helped him in pounding the ball through the trenches.

During the summer, the junior said he would get two to three hours in the weight room, as well as speed training five days a week.

Hafey said the offensive line blocked exceptionally well for Samuelson, but it was his preparation that gave him the edge on the field.

“A lot of people think a lot of success is on the field, but you have to have the willingness to prepare and Michael was always ready,” he said. “He brought a positive attitude to practice and it caught on with the other guys and got us started on the right foot.”

Juniors Tyler Hildebrandt and Bubba Ivers were named WSL honorable mention.

Ivers, the team’s quarterback, led the Bulldogs in rushing with 1,046 yards and also threw for 748 yards for a total of 14 touchdowns.

Hildebrandt played on the line on both sides of the ball and had 46 total tackles.

Samuelson, Hildebrandt, Jonathan Pando, Garrett Spears, Gavin Spears, Jacob Teeter and Mason Updike received academic all-state honors, while Molina, Zach Beauchamp, Andy Browning, Curtis Dunlap, Dustin Kenn-

edy, Josh Pritchard and Ryder Seely were academic all-state honorable mentions.

Players had to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 for honorable mention and a GPA of 3.6 for all-state honors.

The Bulldogs finished the season 3-7 overall, but despite the record, Hafey said every player stepped up and worked hard.

“All our seniors and our underclassmen stepped up and played with courage with all the injuries we had,” he said. “They overcame adversity on the field and that is something football teaches.

“We want football to be an aide for the kids as they grow and have to make more important decisions than who to block in life.”

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Comments

dogfan 2 years, 4 months ago

Congratulations to all the players. Glad to see other people thought Michael was doing an excellent job. Just needed to get the ball more, but that wasn't going to happen with the quarterback they had. Bubba isn't as great a quarterback as he thinks he is.

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netee 2 years, 4 months ago

how sad to see negative comments being made about our kids in our community newspaper....being a mom of a boy who played football I am proud of each and every one of them for their efforts and dedication! Good Job Bulldogs!!

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TSnyder 2 years, 4 months ago

I totally agree "netee". While the football season was not as successful as all hoped for, to single out an individual player with a negative comment is not only unnecessary, it is inappropriate. ALL students in a team sport play a part in losses as well as wins. It is NEVER an individual that can make or break a game and/or season! To quote an old but quite accurate saying "There is no "i" in team." Coaches, parents and staff, let's make a commitment to support ALL athletes who participate!

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Cole White 2 years, 3 months ago

Ivers is a good tough nosed kid who plays hard, but you shouldn't blame him alone for MCHS lack of success. The team has for many years been one dimensional. In the next few years though it will probably get worse as both Hafey and Scranton have kids who will be coming up the ranks and playing high school ball. It is highly likely that 60% of the plays will involve their own sons while the rest of the team languishes in the dirt. Special interest has always been a part of high school athletic. Too many coaches focus their efforts on developing a player and not a team, creating a quarterback or a receiver and not developing an athlete, and hoping for a winning season and not creating a culture of champions where losing is not tolerated. Unfortunately MCHS has been in that rut for years.

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