Craig Middle School football v. Soroco:
Combined eighth- and seventh-grade team: 26-16L
— Season record: 4-1
Craig Middle School volleyball vs. Soroco:
Eighth-grade A-team: 2-0W
— Season record: 4-2
Seventh-grade A-team: 2-1L
— Season record: 4-2
Stepping onto the field Tuesday afternoon in Oak Creek, Craig Middle School football players were ready to continue an undefeated season.
What the Bulldogs weren’t prepared for was an opponent that would require them to change up their game.
The CMS eighth- and seventh-grade teams experienced their first loss of the season in a combined game against Soroco, falling 26-16. The eighth-graders played the game’s first and third quarters, while the seventh-graders played the second and fourth.
The game started in the Bulldogs’ favor, leading 8-6 after the first quarter.
However, the Bulldogs had to shift their game plan to accommodate the smaller Soroco team by running an eight-man defense.
The Rams took advantage of the change, driving in one touchdown each quarter, while the struggling Bulldogs failed to score again until the fourth.
Eighth-grade assistant coach Tony Maneotis and seventh-grade assistant coach Norm Yoast oversaw the teams.
“It’s definitely different coaching an eight-man defense when you’re used to an 11-man,” Yoast said. “It took a while for the guys to get used to it, but they still played well and got better.”
The 26-16 loss gives both the CMS seventh- and eighth-grade teams a 4-1 season record.
Yoast said players won’t let the defeat get them down going into Saturday games in Rifle.
“There was a lot of learning going on and they still had fun,” he said. “We just need to keep plugging along for Saturday.”
Eighth-grade volleyball team upends Soroco
Tuesday ended on a more positive note for the CMS eighth-grade volleyball A-team, which defeated Soroco, 2-0.
Coach Michelle Henderson attributed the win to her players’ desire to come back from their recent loss the Little Snake River Valley School in Baggs, Wyo.
“They came out as a team and they came out fighting,” she said. “All the girls played great, but Shelby Fliniau was really stellar. She was an animal, she was just all over the court.”
While the eighth-graders added one to their win column for a 4-2 record, the seventh-graders came to the same season tally with a 2-1 loss.
Seventh-grade coach Cristy Simpson said the team fell in the third game after two solid sets.
“They just kind of fell apart, they weren’t communicating, and balls were hitting the floor when it wasn’t necessary because of a lot of hesitation,” she said. “We’re going to be working on passing and everybody knowing their territory for our game on Saturday.”
The seventh- and eighth-grade teams will both play Saturday morning in Rangely.
Henderson said she wants her team to stay at the same level they showed they were capable of against Soroco.
“I’ve told them they’ll have to work hard against Rangely because they’re tough,” she said. “We’ll have to keep going strong and stay focused.”
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