MCHS football team prepping for new season
Key Upcoming dates for MCHS football
Aug. 13: First practice; “training camp” begins
Aug. 23: First scrimmages allowed by CHSAA
Aug. 30: Colorado high school football games begin
“We’ve had a good turnout of some freshmen, and there is a core group of upperclassmen coming consistently and doing an outstanding job.”
— Kip Hafey, Moffat County High School head football coach, about voluntary workouts in July
Moffat County High School football players and coaches are preparing for the new season, which begins next month.
The Colorado High School Activities Association allows practices to begin Aug. 13 and first scrimmages Aug. 23.
The Bulldogs hosted two team camps in late June, allowing pads and helmets.
But, after those camps, practices were voluntary and coaches weren't allowed to participate.
The Bulldogs have been able to host voluntary weightlifting and conditioning sessions since the end of camp June 27 at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Freshmen through seniors have shown up throughout July to stay in shape and keep their minds on football. Head coach Kip Hafey said the team has had practice sessions Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month.
“On Mondays we’re focusing on weightlifting, Tuesdays are the training, conditioning, fundamental days, and on Wednesdays we run through our plays,” Hafey said. “It’s whoever can show up and wants to be there.”
Hafey said turnout for conditioning has been fair, but the coach would always like to see more participation.
“We would love to have more kids there. We would love to have 50 (players) there, but people get busy over the summer,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, though. The younger kids have been great.
"We’ve had a good turnout of some freshman, and there is a core group of upperclassmen coming consistently and doing an outstanding job.”
On Tuesday, the team worked out on the hill at the MCHS practice field.
“We had a hill workout going on last night, doing a lot of things on the hill, and man it was killer,” he said. “The kids who were there know they’re going to be way ahead.”
Incoming MCHS senior Tyler Hildebrandt, who has split time this summer between football and basketball, said he's encouraged by the conditioning practices he's been able to attend.
“It’s about showing up when you can," he said. "I’ve only been to a handful this summer, but seeing the guys hitting the weights, I think we’ve got a great senior class and this is going to be a fun year."
With mandatory practices a little over two weeks away, there is one more team activity for MCHS upperclassmen before the Bulldogs' training camp begins.
“We do a team-building camping trip for the upperclassmen at the end of July each year. It’s a bonding time to just sit back and talk about things, not always football, but about life,” Hafey said. “We’re going to the Devil’s Causeway this year, and we’ll challenge the boys to hike to the top of that.
"That’s a part of what we’re hoping to get out of the trip and help these boys with in football … skills for the rest of their lives.”
While the camping trip is something to look forward to, Hildebrandt and Hafey are most excited about getting back to playing and coaching the game.
“I’m just pumped and excited to start my senior season of football and I think a lot of guys are in the same boat," Hildebrandt said. "I think we’re all in the same mindset. We’re going to work hard during two-a-days and do what we have to do to have a great season this year.”
“As a coaching staff, we’re excited about getting these kids in for mandatories and getting to stay in touch with them,” Hafey said. “It’s just fall coming up, you get that smell in the air, the fresh cut grass, even the smell of the locker room. “It’s something players remember. It just gives you chills.”