The Moffat County High School football team will rely on nine seniors and a host of juniors and sophomores to score touchdowns and make sound tackles this season. The Bulldogs enter the season with limited depth but high confidence after pushing one another throughout the summer.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

The Moffat County High School football team will rely on nine seniors and a host of juniors and sophomores to score touchdowns and make sound tackles this season. The Bulldogs enter the season with limited depth but high confidence after pushing one another throughout the summer.

Seniors on MCHS football team taking responsibility head on

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2013 Moffat County varsity football schedule

Aug. 31: 1 p.m. at Ridge View Academy (Watkins)

Sept. 6: 7 p.m. at Rifle

Sept. 13: 7 p.m. vs. Steamboat Springs

Sept. 20: 7 p.m. at Delta

Sept. 27: 7 p.m. vs. Eagle Valley

Oct. 4: 7 p.m. at Summit (Frisco)

Oct. 11: 7 p.m. at Glenwood Springs

Oct. 18: 7 p.m. vs. Montezuma-Cortez

Oct. 25: 7 p.m. at Battle Mountain (Edwards)

Nov. 1: 7 p.m. vs. Palisade

— The last generation of Moffat County football players will not grace the Bulldog Proving Grounds this year.

Gone are the starting quarterback from the past three years and the starting tailback from the past two. Gone are 15 other members from the Class of 2013 who played the bulk of the plays last year for the Bulldogs.

In their place are nine seniors this year, a group that will look to lead the Bulldogs through a difficult Western Slope League schedule without much experience to work with. But below them is a host of juniors and sophomores who also will be relied upon to make big plays all year for Moffat County to be successful. So while it would have been nice for the seniors to adjust to their new responsibilities as players, they also immediately were cast into the role of team leaders, bringing the rest of their teammates along, as well.

“It’s a change, but I think it’s maybe a change for the better,” said Danny Wilbur, a senior who spent most of his time on the sideline last year. “It’s different. I used to just kind of watch, but this year I’m doing a lot more and doing better.”

Wilbur missed some practice and lifting time during the summer while he was working in Delta but said his goal has been to give everything to the team since returning to Craig.

“I’m going 110 percent all the time, that’s what I said in my commitment to the team,” he said. “It’s about the team, not me.”

Most other seniors share a similar story to Wilbur's, not having seen much varsity field time or returning to the team after being injured or trying other fall sports. But a couple played and brought that experience to their teammates this summer.

Brayden Peterson and Sheldon Greenwood were starters last year whose desire to go out on a high note has them giving a great deal at practices. But Peterson said it’s just part of being on a team.

“It’s really not a big deal to be a leader to me,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do. I had to in wrestling, too.”

With so many new wide receivers trying to learn their intricate and varied routes on offense, Peterson’s knowledge of the playbook has been invaluable in getting the Bulldogs prepared.

“I know the routes at most positions, and I know it a lot better than some of the guys because I did it last year,” he said. “So if I know where they’re supposed to go and they have a question, I’m going to help so we run (the play) better.”

Helping teammates and sacrificing of themselves has been the theme for the Bulldogs’ seniors this summer. Without the numbers or experience to match last year’s group, they know that’s the only way to win.

“I want to be out there playing, but I know if there’s a time when I’m struggling or another guy will do a better job for our team, that’s what matters,” Wilbur said. “I’m not ever going to do anything to hold this team back.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com

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