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Andy Bockelman

Stories by Andy

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Give it a shot: Craig Trap Club Polar Bear League offers winter shooting season

Trapshooting group emphasizes safety, welcoming environment for beginners

To the unprepared, a round of anything outdoors in the wintertime takes a lot of effort to brave the cold. Those in Northwest Colorado are rarely too put off by the chilly climate, and some even relish the chance to get out and practice their shooting. And, “ready, aim, fire” sounds a lot better than “shiver, sniffle, freeze.” Craig Trap Club has begun its new season of the Polar Bear League, a twice-weekly outdoor shooting program that runs through March.

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Moffat County wrestlers close home schedule with win over Soroco

Bulldogs, Rams well-matched in Friday night dual; Soroco to compete at Paonia

The Dog Pound of Moffat County High School has seen its last wrestling mat rolled out for competition this season, but the last home event of the year was a memorable one, albeit quick. MCHS wrestlers hosted Soroco Friday for the Bulldogs’ final dual in front of a home crowd, Moffat County taking the win, 53-15.

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The Bock’s Office: Top 10 films of 2016

Each year, hundreds of movies hit theaters — some awful, most mediocre and a select few features that will be remembered for years to come. Without too much fanfare, here are the top 10 movies of 2016 as selected by The Bock’s Office.

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Bulldog at the big time: Eddie Smercina to represent Moffat County football nationally

Bulldog running back to play among top-tier athletes in Blue-Grey’s All-American Bowl

As a bona fide bunch of Raider Haters, the venue may not be ideal for the Smercina family this weekend, but the occasion is nonetheless one to celebrate. Moffat County High School senior Eddie Smercina will compete in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum. The collection of high school-level gridiron greats is a showcase of prospects in the sport from across the nation, with three separate events at NFL stadiums in Oakland, Dallas and Jacksonville, Florida.

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Moffat County wrestling no underdogs at Florence tourney

Miki Klimper pins top-ranked competitor to win Husky Invite

Moffat County High School wrestlers were on task to prove who was top dog this weekend. MCHS placed 11th of 32 teams at the Mel Smith Husky Invitational Friday and Saturday in Florence, with Miki Klimper gaining a tournament championship in the 170-pound class.

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Craig Middle School girls basketball dominates home tourney

Bulldogs win eight of 10 Saturday games; teams will host another event Jan. 21

A jam-packed Saturday at Craig Middle School saw basketball teams fighting like cats and dogs, and with three feline opponents in front of them, the Bulldogs had plenty of bite throughout the day. CMS girls won eight of 10 total games during a home tournament, which included the Hayden Tigers, Rangely Panthers and North Park Wildcats.

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No missing the fun of Craig Parks and Recreation dodgeball league

In the mornings and afternoons, the walls of the Craig Middle School gym reverberate with the sounds of adolescents in the midst of physical education classes. But, Wednesday nights, the noises made by kids at CMS are replaced by adult grunts of effort, rubber balls bouncing off bodies and plenty of fun for all involved. The Craig Parks and Recreation co-ed dodgeball league has begun its second year, taking place each week as players each battle to be the last ones standing

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Moffat County hoops fights to finish in Grand Junction

Bulldog girls take overtime victory, boys hit by harsh second half

A Tuesday night battle had differing results for members of the Moffat County High School basketball teams. Playing at Central High School in Grand Junction, Bulldog varsity hoops had their work cut out for them against the Warriors, with girls coming out triumphant in a 44-42 overtime win.

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Senior Night a delight for Moffat County wrestlers vs. Basalt

Bulldogs take 70-6 win against Longhorns, prep for Florence tourney

The season is far from over for Moffat County High School wrestling, but if Tuesday were the team’s final event, it certainly would have been a high note. MCHS took a 70-6 win during a home dual meet with Basalt, the second time the two schools have met, Bulldogs dominating even more so than in the 65-15 victory they saw against the Longhorns in December.

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Craig hockey hits ice again as seasons get back in motion

Squirts, Midgets back at home Jan. 22, Peewees to play in Grand Junction

Craig Youth Hockey Association teams were back on the ice during the past weekend, moving forward and readying for the remainder of the season.

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Moffat County wrestling places seven athletes at Tournament of Champions

Miki Klimper places highest in 4th at Vernal, Utah; Elias Peroulis wins Second Chance event

A weekend that included a little sweet revenge here and there as well as a return to the mat for one of their own had one common denominator for all Moffat County High School wrestlers: a great weekend in the sport. MCHS varsity wrestlers placed 10th of 27 scoring teams and placed seven individuals at Tournament of Champions, Friday and Saturday in Vernal, Utah, a three-state event that brought together Utah, Colorado and Wyoming schools for a full grappling extravaganza.

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Moffat County swimmers power through Delta meet

Coach: Girls team avoids injury in accident in Delta pool

As far as competitions go when coming back from a vacation, the first meet back in the water was undoubtedly memorable for members of the Moffat County High School girls swim team. MCHS placed fifth Friday at the Delta Invitational, an event which nearly turned terrifying when one of the pool’s starting blocks collapsed midway through the Bulldogs’ 200-yard medley relay race.

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Moffat County basketball teams treat Aspen to blizzard of points

Even with temperatures in free fall this week all over Colorado, things were heating up in the Moffat County High School gym. MCHS basketball teams hosted Aspen Friday night in Craig for the first outing in weeks for either team following the holiday break.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Hidden Figures’ uplifting biopic about America’s lift-off into space

Genius is rarely recognized in the right way, and in a divisive system that keeps members of society down, it’s even less likely that mankind can progress into the future. Hollywood’s efforts to convey this are usually less than subtle, but then, they aren’t as smart as the main characters of “Hidden Figures.”

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Hayden falls to larger Moffat County roster in Tigers’ lone home meet

Northwest Colorado teams to attend weekend's Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah

It’s a rare occasion when the Hayden High School wrestling team is able to host its own meet, but that only made it more noteworthy for athletes. Moffat County High School braved Highway 40 Thursday to visit the Tigers, heading back home with a 62-7 victory in one of the quickest duals the Bulldogs will have this season.

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Moffat County sports have busy first week back in action

Basketball, wrestling, swimming, hockey ready for weekend events

The holiday break has provided a respite for winter sports teams in Craig and Moffat County, but far from being in a hibernation state, area athletes are ready to get right back into the swing of things both.

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Moffat County sports 2016 review: Part 2

As 2017 begins, the clock resets as we ready for more moments of sporting greatness. Before that, we look back on the latter half of the past year, celebrating all that was noteworthy in Moffat County athletics from July to December.

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Craig players sharpen skills for coming hockey season

With shifts in coaches and league alignments, the members of the Craig Youth Hockey Association’s 18 and under Midget team continue to cope with changes year after year. But, like the ice on which they skate, the Bulldogs stay solid.

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Moffat County sports 2016 review: Part 1

With 2016 ending, now is the time we look back on the year in sports in Moffat County, full of sizable achievements for local athletes, as well as some sports seasons that ended with the sentiment, “there’s always next year.” With wins and losses alike, here are some of the highlights of the past 12 months, starting with January through June.

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Vintage, classic snowmobiles to race in Hayden in January

A brand-new piece of machinery fresh as the driven snow can be fun in the wintertime, but if you’ve got an older model snowmobile you’ve kept in good shape, the chance to show it off is coming up soon. Vintage & Classic Oval Snowmobile Racing takes place all day Jan. 7 and 21 at Hayden Speedway. The event, hosted by X-Treme Mountain Racing and Antique & Vintage Snowmobile Club of Colorado, will highlight older sleds on the track.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Passengers’ a sci-fi feature fueled by star power

A first date that involves a spacewalk, swimming in zero gravity, a robot in a red blazer — the science-fiction romance “Passengers” truly has it all in its telling of lovers who are literally star-crossed. Or rather, crossing stars.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Collateral Beauty’ has sadness to spare, not much story

Would “A Christmas Carol” have the same kind of emotional impact if it turned out Bob Cratchit was behind the whole thing to force Ebenezer Scrooge to be a better person? There might be better ways to get a day off and a raise, but resurrecting the ghost of Jacob Marley for your own selfish purposes would still be more acceptable than the actions of “Collateral Beauty.”

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Hopes high as Moffat County girls hoops gets back in business

As the Moffat County High School girls basketball program heads into a new season as the defending champs of the 3A Western Slope League, three letters take prominence: WIN. The acronym is one that not only means victory on the court but also has prominence throughout the lives of the young women that make up the roster.

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Moffat County has happy hoops holiday at Pepsi Center

Bulldog boys, girls basketball teams conquer Coal Ridge in league opener; Mattie Jo Duzik, Justin Dugan MVPs

The holidays were made a little bit happier Friday for the members of the Moffat County High School basketball teams. Both Bulldog varsity squads finished the road trip to Denver victoriously, each now 1-0 in the 3A Western Slope League with wins against Coal Ridge at the Pepsi Center.

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Craig’s AJ Stoffle making strides in snocross career

Moffat County native racing for Minnesota-based team

If there are two things AJ Stoffle looks forward to each winter, it's fresh powder and lots of horsepower, and his season has had plenty of both. At 19, Stoffle has spent the majority of his life involved in snocross racing, and the Craig native is going stronger than ever in his career. As part of the AMSOIL Snocross national circuit’s sport class, the 2016 Moffat County High School graduate rides for Haala Racing, based in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.

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Moffat County Locals: Shannon Samuelson a ‘team player’ in educational experience

Even after seeing nearly three decades worth of students, Shannon Samuelson is still going strong when it comes to teaching within Moffat County School District.

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Moffat County Locals: Tanner Hampton home for the holidays after army training

The call to serve one’s nation can be a powerful one, and it’s that sense of duty that Tanner Hampton felt strongly as he approached the edge of adulthood. In November, Hampton completed basic training in the United States Army at Georgia’s Fort Benning.

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Moffat County Locals: Paul Cruz teaches ‘certain victory’ from within

It was Dec. 12, 1988 when Paul Cruz was first introduced to the martial arts, and it marked the first step of a journey ongoing for 28 years for the man who recently obtained a fifth-degree black belt in taekwondo.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Rogue One’ the most stellar ‘Star Wars’ story in decades

With much ado lately about a galaxy far, far away, the chances of pleasing a demanding fan base are pretty slim. Well, to speak for the makers of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” never tell them the odds.

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Hoop-a-Thon preps Moffat County basketball for Pepsi Center games

One thing Moffat County High School basketball players can’t say going into this weekend is that they haven’t had enough target practice. MCHS heads into conference play Friday with specialty games at the Pepsi Center, warming up the floor for the Denver Nuggets as the Bulldogs meet the Coal Ridge Titans of New Castle.

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Craig Cougar Squirts takes championship in holiday home tourney

10U team goes 4-1 during weekend event, defeats Rock Springs in rematch for title

‘Twas a week before Christmas when the Craig Youth Hockey Association Cougars got their holiday gift early. The 10 and under Squirts for CYHA were the big winners of the ‘Tis the Season Holiday Hockey Tournament Saturday and Sunday at Moffat County Ice Arena.

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Moffat County swim team hits state times in three races

Steamboat Springs’ Annika Fahrner qualifies during weekend event in Gunnison

There are weeks to go in the girls swimming season, but Moffat County High School has already earned a place at the 3A State Championships. MCHS swimmers placed fourth of seven teams at the Gunnison/Montrose Invitational, hosted by Montrose in Gunnison. Coaches Meghan Francone and Melany Neton noted that among the team’s top accomplishments of the weekend were state qualifying times in three events.

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Warrior Classic sees Moffat County wrestlers battle big time

Chris Moschetti takes 5th in Grand Junction tourney; Isiaih Herod wins 3rd straight JV event

One of the toughest tournaments Moffat County High School face each season is in the books and the Bulldogs had plenty of fight in them for the annual Warrior Classic. MCHS placed 18th of 33 teams at the yearly event hosted Friday and Saturday by Grand Junction’s Central High School. Chris Moschetti took the highest honors for the Dogs, placing fifth in the 120-pound weight division.

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Moffat County boys basketball building toward bigger things

With the memory in their minds of a season that didn’t quite go according to plan, Moffat County High School boys basketball players are ready to step up to the challenge this year to return to their former glory. MCHS hoopsters are back in action, preparing for a tough schedule amid changes both within the team and in the 3A Western Slope League.

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Moffat County basketball splits with Steamboat

Sailor boys top Bulldogs, MCHS girls trounce 0-6 rivals

For one Bulldog team, Friday night saw them face a foe they hadn’t met at the varsity level in four years, while the other was looking to avenge a loss from just one week before, but both rivalry matches between Moffat County High School and Steamboat Springs were packed with energy. MCHS girls won a showdown with the Sailors, 48-26, while the Steamboat boys took a 64-48 victory against Moffat County during games in Craig.

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Moffat County basketball sets sights on raising funds, holiday spirits

Teams hosting Hoop-a-Thon, offer charitable donations for Dec. 23 Pepsi Center games

Plenty of slam-dunk opportunities are coming up to give back and enjoy sporting events at the same time. During the holiday season, Moffat County High School basketball teams will be part of multiple endeavors to raise some funds, have some fun and make some memories.

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‘My heart is on the field’: Craig’s Steve Hafey remembered for decades of sports service

Late Moffat County icon receives Colorado Football Officials Hall of Fame induction

The tones of the man known as the Voice of the Bulldogs will stick with Moffat County residents for years after he’s gone, as will his legacy as an icon of the local sports scene. Craig’s Steve Hafey passed away Dec. 9 at the age of 75 following a battle with cancer. Steve left behind decades of service to the community and the world of athletics in addition to a loving family that included wife Fay Hafey; daughter Dorie Hafey; sons Corey, Kip and Wade; siblings Tim Hafey, Janice McGraw, Jane Ann Nettleton and Margaret Ruth Lisle; and 13 grandchildren.

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Moffat County swimmers rally at Grand Junction relay event

The Moffat County High School girls swim team took eighth place Saturday during the Southwest Conference Relay Meet at Grand Junction’s Colorado Mesa University.

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Moffat County hoops split Saturday at Steamboat Shootout

Bulldog girls take 3rd, boys 8th in tourney; teams hosting Sailors for Friday games

A narrow win and a shorthanded loss were in store for Moffat County High School basketball teams during the final round Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Shootout, but while results may have differed, both Bulldog coaches are seeing their players stay resilient. MCHS girls placed third at the Steamboat Shootout with a 39-32 win against Colorado Springs’ Discovery Canyon.

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Moffat County swimmers racing toward success in new 3A class

Changes abound this season for Moffat County High School girls swimming, but one thing remains the same year after year: the act of getting in the water and moving to the other side of the pool as quickly as possible. MCHS aquatics will see some differences this year, primarily positive, as the Bulldogs welcome back coach Meghan Francone and also move into a 3A classification.

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Eagle Valley outlasts Moffat County girls basketball

No sports team enjoys a defeat, but if it has to happen, early in the season is almost always better. Moffat County High School girls hoops took its first loss of the year Friday in the semifinals of the Steamboat Springs Shootout, as Eagle Valley beat the Lady Bulldogs, 43-29.

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Craig business collecting Christmas cards for soldiers

Thunder Run Survival plans to send holiday greetings, care packages to military personnel

Whether in a combat zone or stationed on a base a thousand miles from home, the holidays can be a trying time for members of the military. As much camaraderie as there may be among fellow soldiers, spending Christmas away from one’s family and friends can be difficult. And, that’s why people of Northwest Colorado are providing a bit of cheer for those in uniform. Thunder Run Survival is collecting cards and letters to send to those in the armed forces for the holiday season. The business at 500 Yampa Ave. began gathering greetings from Craig residents during the Dec. 3 Down Home Christmas Celebration.

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Moffat County boys hoops hammered by Pueblo Centennial

A battle of the Bulldogs Friday afternoon saw two groups of gritty canines seeking a win after a loss the previous night, and unfortunately for Moffat County High School fans, the Dogs wearing a color other than blue walked away triumphant. MCHS boys basketball lost, 105-50, to 4A Pueblo Centennial in the second day of the Steamboat Springs Shootout.

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Moffat County boys basketball sunk by Sailors in Steamboat Shootout

The bad news for Moffat County High School boys basketball: a Thursday night loss to their most heated rivals. The good news: next week will be the rematch. MCHS boys hoops fell, 58-38, to Steamboat Springs during the Sailors’ home tournament, the Steamboat Shootout.

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Moffat County girls take 37-23 win to start Steamboat Shootout

Lady Bulldogs up the energy in second half to defeat Northridge

The snow was falling Thursday afternoon and so were the shots as Moffat County High School girls basketball took a win in the opening round of the 18th annual Steamboat Springs Shootout. MCHS girls were paired with Northridge opponents to start the three-day event, picking up a 37-23 victory.

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Moffat County wrestling topples triangular competition vs. Steamboat, Coal Ridge

Bulldogs pin 10 of Titans' varsity in 66-6 win, hit Sailors 62-3

Moffat County High School wrestlers must have momentarily felt like they were in a bowling alley Tuesday night. How else would you explain collecting 10 pins? MCHS was the undisputed winner in points during a home triangular between the Bulldogs, Steamboat Springs and Coal Ridge.

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Craig kids conquer the court in Elks Hoop Shoot

The gym was bustling Saturday at Sandrock Elementary School as future basketball stars were laying the foundation for years to come in the sport. Craig had its most sizable turnout in seven years during the weekend’s Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest for boys and girls ages 8 to 13. The morning included 42 kids total, well past years where attendance was in the 20s, which Frank Sadvar, Exalted Ruler for Lodge No. 1577 called “astronomical.”

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Moffat County wrestlers ready to get a grip on great season

With a roster full of both experienced grapplers and younger talents who already have a leg up on the competition, Moffat County High School wrestling is ready for all comers this winter. As the start of the season approaches, MCHS coach Tanner Linsacum and his athletes are prepared to be a Western Slope powerhouse, capitalizing on the successes of last year and keeping the Bulldog tradition going strong.

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CNCC soccer coaches kicking into action during off-season

Spartans seeking scholarship funding for potential players

There are months and months between now and when Colorado Northwestern Community College soccer teams will begin their second season, but as coach Lance Noble sees it, time’s a-wasting to get the Spartans prepped to rise to the next level.

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Craig Parks & Rec hoops program helps players hone skills

When they first pick up the sport of basketball, kids might struggle to put the ball in the air, let alone the hoop. But, if they stick with it, they have the potential for nothing but net. Craig Parks & Recreation’s youth basketball league has been keeping athletes from third- through sixth-grade busy during the winter as boys and girls lace up their Nikes and get on the court.

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