The Moffat County boys soccer team will rely on contributions from several young players this season. Nestor Arrellano (at right, speaking) is one of just a few seniors who will hope to lead the new group back to the 3A playoffs this year.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

The Moffat County boys soccer team will rely on contributions from several young players this season. Nestor Arrellano (at right, speaking) is one of just a few seniors who will hope to lead the new group back to the 3A playoffs this year.

Moffat County soccer seeking playoffs again in 2013

2013 Moffat County boys soccer remaining schedule

Sept. 10 4 p.m. at Rifle

Sept. 14: 1 p.m. vs. Berthoud

Sept. 24: 4 p.m. at Colorado Rocky Mountain

Sept. 26: 4:30 p.m. at Grand Valley

Sept. 28: 11 a.m. vs. Vail Mountain

Oct. 5: 11 a.m. vs. Basalt

Oct. 10: 4 p.m. vs. Grand Valley

Oct. 12: 11 a.m. vs. Aspen

Oct. 14: 4 p.m. vs. Roaring Fork

Oct. 15: 4 p.m. at Coal Ridge

Oct. 17: 4 p.m. at Delta

It’s a new look for the Moffat County boys soccer team this season, but that may not be a negative thing for a Bulldogs team looking to get back to the playoffs.

Last year Moffat County finished the season 6-9-1 after a slow start to its season and missed out on the postseason in its first year playing in Class-3A soccer. This year, it’s young team looks very different from last year’s and is looking to play by committee in order to win.

Last season the Bulldogs relied more on the individual skill of seniors Alan Flores, Alexander Perez and Bryant Cox to score, control the middle of the field and anchor the defense. Now those players are gone, and Moffat County will need others to step up.

“We lost those valuable players and we’ve got to step it up and realize we don’t have those guys here,” said senior captain Nestor Arrellano. “The players we have are good but we’ve got to find it inside us to do that.”

With a different set of players and abilities at his disposal, head coach Rusty Cox is adjusting his team’s style of play to suit a full-field game that relies on all 11 players. That change has had Cox moving players around all summer and in their games so far, attempting to find the best spot for everyone.

“I’ve got a lot of new guys so I’m trying to find where everybody fits exactly,” Cox said. “We’re also changing our system and style of play because of the guys we have.”

While there may be some growing pains with younger players stepping into their roles, it gives Moffat County the potential to become a better all-around team with players having to rely on themselves and all their teammates, instead of a few.

“We’ve got to keep in consideration it’s not one person, it’s the whole team,” Arrellano said. “One person can’t take on 11. You might get lucky taking on one or two, but you need your team.”

Those difficulties have been on display as Moffat County began its season 0-2 against two of the favorites from the Western Slope League. But there have also been flashes from the younger players on the team, which gives them hope that a playoff-caliber team is there.

“We just need to be more consistent,” said senior Brenden Spencer. “The practice before our game against Coal Ridge we played outstanding. Then in the first half of that game we kind of fell apart before playing better. So it’s about being consistent.”

Arrellano knows it will take work throughout the season, but he believes the Bulldogs can earn a trip to the postseason.

“I know this team and I know we can make it to playoffs,” he said. “So that’s what I’m heading for. I want to finish my senior year at least going to playoffs.”

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

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