“Angie’s just a competitor. I never have to worry about her getting her stuff done or getting in the gym. She’s a kid who wants to win, and that’s hard to teach. She makes sure the rest of the team is on the same page as far as that goes. We’re lucky to have her here and that she’s matured the way she has.”
— Brittany Simpson, head coach of the Colorado School of Mines women's basketball team, about senior guard and 2008 MCHS graduate Angie Charchalis
A Moffat County alumnus is making the most of her final year playing basketball.
Angie Charchalis, a 2008 MCHS graduate, is playing in her fifth year playing guard on the basketball team at the Colorado School of Mines and leading the Orediggers in scoring this season.
The former Bulldog has been a big scoring contributor in each of her seasons playing at CSM, averaging better than 11 points per game in the 2009-10 season, and more each year since. The Orediggers’ style of play has gotten steadily faster during that time, meaning she has had to be a scorer for CSM in different styles.
“Freshman year we ran a lot of sets and didn’t really run the ball that much,” Charchalis said. “It’s kind of evolved. Last year we ran more and this year we’re running even more, so it’s definitely more what I like to do.
“You don’t really have to adjust, you just have to play the game.”
Charchalis said during her time at Moffat County playing under coach Craig Mortenson, the Bulldogs played up-tempo, so this year has been back to her favored style of basketball.
“In high school we ran a lot, so I was used to transition shots,” she said. “It wasn’t too hard of a transition to go back to that. Every player likes to run-and-gun.”
That fast style has been pushed by first-year head coach Brittany Simpson. Simpson had been an assistant with the program for four years before taking over for 2012-13 and says Charchalis is the type of player every coach hopes they will have on a team.
“Angie’s just a competitor,” she said. “I never have to worry about her getting her stuff done or getting in the gym. She’s a kid who wants to win, and that’s hard to teach. She makes sure the rest of the team is on the same page as far as that goes.
“We’re lucky to have her here and that she’s matured the way she has.”
Just past the midway point of the season, CSM’s results have been good. Coming off a 12-17 season last year, the Orediggers are 10-5 this year and tied for second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at 7-2.
To keep their strong play going, Charchalis said consistency will be the key.
“We’ve just got to stay disciplined,” she said. “Do what we do and do it well. The games we’ve lost, we went away from what we do well. If we play our basketball all the time, I think we can beat anyone in this conference.”
Charchalis is hoping to make a run in the Division II National tournament at season’s end. To do that, the Orediggers must make a top-eight ranking between the RMAC and the Lonestar Conference when the season has ended.
Simpson said CSM has a good chance of being in the top eight if it can close the conference season as strong as it has started.
“I know right now we probably don’t have any votes because nobody expected us to be good this year,” Simpson said. “I think for us, if we can just keep winning games in conference we’ll have a good shot. We still have 13 games to play in conference though, so we aren’t really thinking about that.”
In the end, winning is all Charchalis really wants.
“It’s now or never for me,” she said. “I don’t get to play basketball competitively after this. I would like to go as far as we can. I just want to win.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.