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Andy Bockelman

Stories by Andy

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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.

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Craig Middle School basketball bombards Baggs

Bulldogs take wins of 23-6, 43-1, 32-16 over Rattlers

Saturday saw another round of success for the Craig Middle School boys basketball teams. CMS boys swept the Rattlers of Little Snake River Valley School in three games over the weekend, including eighth-grade A-Team and seventh-grade A- and B-Teams.

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Moffat County hoops shooting for big turnout for December games at Pepsi Center

Tickets for Bulldog basketball part of package deal for Dec. 23 Denver Nuggets game

The winter season for Moffat County High School athletics is about to start, and two of the Bulldog teams are already eyeing a game that will take place in December. And, given the details, it’s hard to blame them for seeing that as the biggest, shiniest Christmas present under the tree. MCHS boys and girls basketball teams are selling tickets for a Dec. 23 set of games that will take place at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The Bulldogs will take on the Coal Ridge High School Titans in the afternoon, leading up to NBA action as the Denver Nuggets host the Atlanta Hawks.

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The Energy Blend: Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco counties’ reclaimed mining land ideal for Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

Wildlife agencies hope to replicate birds’ breeding grounds in other areas of the state

The balance between nature and the energy industry is one which must maintain a careful equilibrium in order for both to move forward and thrive. And, for at least one area of the country, bird is the word.

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Craig kids learn to overcome obstacles, stay strong in Girls on the Run

Those who pick up an activity like running at an early age will set themselves on pace for a healthier lifestyle, and the benefits are many for those who engage in the Girls on the Run program. More than 50 Craig girls will participate in the Girls on the Run 5K event Saturday morning in Steamboat Springs, among dozens more who have been involved in the program along the Western Slope this year.

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Craig Middle School basketball has a blast with Steamboat, Rangely

There was plenty of hoops hoopla Saturday in the gyms at Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary School. CMS boys basketball teams hosted Steamboat Springs and Rangely for an all-day triangular in a round robin format that gave the athletes of the three Northwest Colorado schools a workout.

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Craig runners scared silly at Grand Futures’ Zombie 5K

A warm autumn Saturday afternoon at Loudy-Simpson Park suddenly shifted into a situation that would make your blood run cold. Creatures with rotting flesh and an unfriendly disposition were lurking around the natural landscape. The only solution to get out alive? Get moving. And fast. The second annual Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Zombie 5K took over the park as a staging of a zombie apocalypse brought in about 50 runners of all ages to fight for their lives against the undead.

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Moffat County cross country lays it on the line at state championships

Every step, every breath, every moment of struggle led to one thing for Moffat County High School cross country teams Saturday as they ran their final race of the year at the 3A State Championships. After going all the way this season, Bulldog runners were at the ultimate level at Colorado Springs’ Norris Penrose Event Center, with boys placing ninth as a group and girls 15th, both out of 20 teams.

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Moffat County football shuts down Skiers to close winning season

Bulldogs celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Senior Night in final game with Aspen

Moffat County High School varsity football finished its season 5-4 with a 48-22 win Friday night at home against Aspen, a game that was all about creating a memory to last a lifetime knowing it could be their last time together as a team.

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Craig Middle School boys basketball slams Soroco to start season

Bulldogs to host Steamboat Springs, Rangely Saturday

The indoor sports season has begun in Northwest Colorado, and it was a big blowout for the first team to take to the basketball court. Craig Middle School hoops teams took commanding wins Thursday at home against Soroco in the first set of games for boys basketball, both featuring only the A-Teams.

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The Bock’s Office: Action movie ‘The Accountant’ doesn’t add up

All minds are different, that much we know by now, as science has moved to the point where most people can accept there’s no one way to process thoughts and actions. Nevertheless, there’s still no telling what the makers of “The Accountant” were thinking while in development.

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Moffat County football to wrap regular season vs. Aspen

Bulldogs to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, seniors in final game

The season won’t last as long as it did the past two years for Moffat County High School football, so this Friday will be an all-out Bulldog blowout. MCHS wraps up the year hosting Aspen, kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday at the Bulldog Proving Grounds, a trio of goals in place for the evening: honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, celebrate seniors and go out with a bang.

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Moffat County volleyball battles Warriors in last home game

Lady Bulldogs look to improve last season’s record with win in Aspen

Finishing with a home win didn’t happen for Moffat County High School volleyball Tuesday night, but there’s still a shot to bump up the W column from last season. The Lady Bulldogs are 5-17 on the year following a 3-0 non-conference loss to Grand Junction’s Central High School, as the Warriors won, 25-15, 25-12 and 25-11.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Ouija’ sequel summons spookiness

Nobody thinks of the term “toy movie” as anything other than pejorative, but just because the name Hasbro is attached doesn’t mean a film can’t rise above “Transformers,” “G.I. Joe” and “Battleship.” Sometimes, such as in “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” there actually is more than meets the eye.

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CNCC soccer to fight final battle at regional tournament

Spartans lose last home games against Utah State University Eastern

The Spartan warriors of “300” faced impossible odds but never quit fighting until the final breath left their battered bodies, and though the stakes weren’t life or death Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park, so did their modern-day namesakes continue to fight through the final whistle. Colorado Northwestern Community College women’s and men’s soccer teams completed their regular seasons with dual defeats to the Golden Eagles of Utah State University Eastern.

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Moffat County volleyball copes with changes in loss to Cedaredge

All things considered, Moffat County High School volleyball coach Erin Knez has no complaints about how Saturday’s game went. The MCHS varsity took a loss to Cedaredge in three straight sets during a weekend match that was full of changes.

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Moffat County football falls in conference-deciding game in Basalt

In a season that has been full of injuries and close calls, Moffat County High School football had what may have been one of the biggest blows yet this year. MCHS lost, 20-8, to the Basalt Longhorns in a Friday night fracas that saw the Bulldogs fight until the very end.

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State-bound Moffat County cross country athletes hit new marks at regionals

Bulldog boys place 2nd, girls 4th; Riley Allen, Makenna Knez each take 6th with best times

The runners of Moffat County High School cross country are headed to state. MCHS boys placed second as a team and girls fourth Friday at Delta’s Confluence Park at the 3A Region 1 meet, qualifying the entire Bulldog bunch for the state championships Oct. 29 in Colorado Springs.

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Moffat County soccer caps off season with 9-1 win vs. Caprock

There was a stir of emotion Thursday on the Moffat County High School soccer field, but the final score had little to do with it. MCHS boys soccer finished the season 7-8 overall and 4-5 in the 3A Western Slope League with a 9-1 defeat of Grand Junction’s Caprock Academy. A 1-0 loss to Delta on Tuesday left the Bulldogs keyed up to do some damage against the Eagles, whom they had already beaten, 10-0, back in September.

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Moffat County, Craig Middle School cross country teams going full speed

High school seeks regional honors Friday, CMS runners attending state Saturday

Moffat County long-distance runners haven’t quite crossed the finish line on the season yet, but you can bet it will be a celebration once they do because they’re far from running on empty. This weekend holds the biggest races yet this year as Moffat County High School attends the 3A Region 1 meet in Delta and a handful of Craig Middle School runners make their way to the state championships in Denver.

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Moffat County sluggers ready for state tourney with Meeker softball

With a love for a sport that doesn’t have as many year-round opportunities as they’d like, Moffat County High School’s Julia Christensen and Mackenzie Marshall have been hitting the road quite a bit this fall as part of the Meeker High School softball team. Meeker recently qualified for the 3A state tournament in Aurora, which begins Friday in Aurora. First up for the 15th seed Cowboys is Rocky Ford, the No. 2 team in the division.