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Andy Bockelman

Stories by Andy

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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: 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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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: 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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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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Giving spirit of Craig highlighted during Saturday’s Cowboy Christmas

The Code of the West requires a cowboy to help those in need whenever possible. Therefore, it only seems right that something called Cowboy Christmas honors those who do good for their community’s youngest residents. Boys & Girls Club of Craig hosts the 12th annual Cowboy Christmas this Saturday evening. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the clubhouse, with a ticket price of $35 buying an evening of dinner, dancing, gaming and live music by River City Band.

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The Bock’s Office: Myth, music make ‘Moana’ memorable Disney outing

A few years ago, the world learned to enjoy the snow and ice in a new way with “Frozen.” Not that there was much difficulty of losing the love for it, but the tropics gets the same adoring treatment in “Moana.”

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Craig hockey teams stick with it as season progresses

Midget team 1-4 in Glenwood tourney after shootout victory; Squirts 3-2

The weather may be getting colder, but Craig Youth Hockey Association teams are just heating up for the season in front of them. While most athletes were either taking a break or staying on top of practice time, CYHA’s 18 and under Midget group started its schedule over the Thanksgiving weekend as part of the Grizzly Holiday Festival in Glenwood Springs.

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Moffat County cheerleaders coming back for more in winter

When you’ve got a lot of energy and excitement going in any sport, the key is to channel it into even bigger things. Fortunately, that’s exactly the specialty of one Moffat County High School team as they carry over from fall into winter. After a strong debut at the events of autumn, the MCHS cheerleaders will be bringing their powerful pep and pom-poms to a new series of sports as Bulldog athletics stays indoors for the winter.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ a fun, frenzied watch

With about a decade of magic behind us, it seems like moviegoers wouldn’t be impressed by much. Yet, the scaly, slimy, feathery, clawed and horned denizens of hammerspace within “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” show it’s still possible to be amazed.

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Moffat County athletes go above and beyond

Bulldog soccer, football players qualify for specialty games thanks to strong performances

Dozens of Moffat County High School athletes finished the fall sports schedule with a varsity letter, and some of the Bulldogs went even further in their achievement. Moffat County athletes in multiple sports received acknowledgement for a strong season, with each of the fall sports teams that are part of Colorado High School Activities Association represented.

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Andy Bockelman: Give thanks for the great attitude of Moffat County athletes

Thanks to the NFL, NBA, MLB and more, sports are intrinsically tied to most of the big market holidays, but relaxing in your Barcalounger for a Christmas Day basketball game or headed to Coors Field for nine innings on the Fourth of July doesn’t have quite the same feel as Thanksgiving football. However, as much as I enjoy catching a pigskin battle while fighting off a tryptophan coma induced by too much turkey and debating a third slice of pumpkin pie, I already had my moment this year that blended sports with giving thanks. Moments, actually.

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Craig elementary schools splash into swim classes

A first-time swimmer may test the waters very cautiously, but by the end of a short period of classes, they’ll be diving headlong into the pool. Craig elementary students have strengthened their aquatic proficiency over the course of October and November at the Moffat County High School pool through swimming classes.

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Meghan Francone dives back into coaching Moffat County High School swimming

Starting this week, the Moffat County High School pool welcomed back a swimmer who has logged many hours both in and around the water. Meghan Francone will coach both the girls and boys Bulldog swim teams at MCHS after a two-year hiatus.

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Moffat County High School’s ‘Willy Wonka’ a sweet sensation of a show

A night out at the theater is rarely a wasted evening, but the Moffat County High School drama program intends to make admission to its latest show truly a golden ticket. “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka” unveils a world of magic and merriment this week with performances at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at MCHS. Tickets are $7 apiece.

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Yampa Valley Golf Course seeks taker for restaurant space

Mulligan’s shuts down operations at golf course due to overload for owners

Yampa Valley Golf Course is currently in its final week of operations for 2016 and during the off-season will be on the lookout for someone to pick up a new dining establishment come spring. Mulligan’s Bar & Grill will not return to YVGC in 2017, a decision made by owners due to the difficulty of running both Mulligan’s and downtown Craig restaurant Carelli’s.

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Combined Craig, Steamboat hockey team Northwest Colorado Blizzard storms the ice

Opening weekend for Bantam group takes three losses to West Elk; players adjusting

The first weekend for a brand new regional team wasn’t easy, but coaches anticipate the joining of two towns will only get better. The Northwest Colorado Blizzard took the ice for the first time as a group Saturday and Sunday with games against West Elk in both Steamboat Springs and Craig.

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See fun, seafood at Craig Chamber’s Crabfest

Following events of the 2016 election, there may have been some people who were a bit crabby, but that term took on a more literal and more fun meaning Saturday night. Craig Chamber of Commerce packed the house of the Boys & Girls of Craig with one the community’s annual favorite gatherings, Crabfest.

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Craig Middle School hoops teams mix it up with Meeker, Rawlins

Bulldogs hit hard by Wyoming team, ready to improve as season continues

Craig Middle School basketball coach Forrest Watson was a bit taken aback by his team’s score Saturday afternoon, but he’s the first to admit that even though defeat isn’t pleasant it can have the side effect of creating better athletes. CMS boys hoops had another long day at home during a weekend triangular with Meeker and Rawlins, Wyoming.

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Craig Elks hosting Hoop Shoot Dec. 3

Free throw contest winners can go as far as national level

With enough practice, focus and desire to do what it takes to be the best, the possibilities for young athletes to achieve something great are endless. And, it all starts in their local gym. The Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest takes place in on Craig Dec. 3 at Sandrock Elementary School, 201 E. Ninth St.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Trolls’ helps you find your happy place

The internet age has given certain mythical creatures a bad name, but they’re taking back their honor in the animated movie “Trolls” One might argue they’re overcompensating with sweetness, but hey, we all have different tastes.

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Craig kids show gratitude by donating 35 pounds of candy to soldiers

A dental office persuading its patients to forgo eating sweets is nothing new. However, one Craig location is putting a supply of Twizzlers, Starburst, Snickers and other tasty treats to good use. As part of the nonprofit organization Operation Gratitude, the office of Dr. Neal Fenton collected about 35 pounds of Halloween candy provided by local kids for donation to active duty soldiers.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Doctor Strange’ is Marvel magic at its mightiest

Not everyone is equipped to twist time to their advantage, take a portal as a day trip to the summit of Mount Everest or engage in a bare-knuckle brawl while maintaining the consistency of gossamer. Then again, “Doctor Strange” isn’t your average practitioner.

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Moffat County High School students elect to get involved

Students range from first-time voters to election judges

The first experience casting a real ballot is one that sets the tone for many Americans as they get involved in politics, and regardless of the outcome of the biggest Tuesday of 2016, the young adults of Moffat County High School will be sure to remember it. MCHS students got a taste of national democracy as those 18 and older were able to vote for the first time.

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Peewee power: Craig Cougars start hockey season with Saturday split

12U team comes back from 7-0 loss to win 4-3 vs. Grand Junction Coyotes

The first game of the season didn’t quite go the way the Craig Cougars wanted, but it didn’t take long for them to heat up the ice from there. The 12 and under Peewee team for Craig Youth Hockey Association split two Saturday games against Grand Junction as their opener to the schedule as well as the first overall hockey event of the winter at Moffat County Ice Arena.

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Craig residents sample CNCC classes at Taste of Education

School on a Saturday can be a tough sell, but those hungry for knowledge had their appetites sated this weekend at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Taste of Education. Providing a peek at 15 courses, the event welcomed several dozen community members who were interested in learning more about CNCC’s curriculum, including subjects such as QuickBooks training, art, writing and the United States Constitution.