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Ben Bulkeley

Stories by Ben

CMS cross country hiatus continues

Although there isn’t a lack of activities for Craig Middle School students to participate in, assistant principal and athletic director Jill Hafey was hoping for one more.

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Moffat County's Troy Vernon captures National Little Britches Rodeo bull riding title

Troy Vernon can’t remember the exact day he decided to climb on top of bull. But, since he was 11 or 12 years old, he has lifted weights, ran miles, spent countless hours on top of practice bulls and walked on fence poles to be able to become a better bull rider. And, at the National Little Britches Rodeo from July 25 to 30 in Pueblo, Vernon, 19, of Maybell, earned the right to say he was the best.

Craig Sea Sharks swim well in Grand Junction

With the summer swimming season drawing to a close, the Craig Sea Sharks had two performers swim well during the July 31 Long Course State Championships in Grand Junction. Moffat County High School sophomores Eryn Leonard and Matt Hulstine both had solid times in their events, and Hulstine was able to extend his season. “Matt had a great fifth-place finish in his 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:12.88, which qualified him for sectionals,” head coach Caitlin Conci said. “Sectionals is a competitive meet among all of the Western states.”

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Rally for the Cure in Craig raises $2,016 for breast cancer awareness

When Caitlin Harjes lined up her first shot Wednesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course, there was a lot going through her mind. The 14-year-old girl was not only thinking about her shot, but of friends and family. Golfing during the 11th annual Rally for the Cure event, a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Moffat County Cancer Society, Harjes said she was thinking about loved ones who had dealt with cancer.

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Moffat County junior Parker King claims Ace championship

As Parker King approached the back nine Monday at Rifle Creek Golf Course, he knew he would need to adjust his game. Playing in the top-flight during the championship round of the Ace High School Golf Tournament, King, an incoming Moffat County High School junior, didn’t start off the front nine the way he wanted. “After the front nine, I was five back,” he said. “I knew I would need a big comeback to win. “I would either have to golf really well, or he would have to make a mistake.”

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Fleming wins Legion tournament in Craig

Although Moffat County’s American Legion Post 62 didn’t win the state tournament, manager Justin Folley said the team was still successful on its home field. “I thought we did a good job of not only showcasing our baseball field, but our town,” he said. “I think we made a good name for ourselves.” Moffat County was the host of the American Legion state tournament from July 29 to Sunday, and Folley, who helped organize the event, said he was pleased.

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Mud Splash crowns new winners in Craig

After countless matches, and gallons of mud, a winner emerged from the pits during the Craig Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Mud Splash volleyball tournament Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park. The tournament had 12 teams volleying in the mud for a chance to be crowned winners, and by the time the pits had cleared, the Mud Sharks were winners over The Valley.

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Moffat County falls to Fort Morgan

Although his team was on the brink of elimination, American Legion Post 62 shortstop Carlos Maldonado wasn’t about to give up. With Fort Morgan holding a 15-2 lead over Moffat County Friday night during the second round of the American Legion state tournament in Craig, Maldonado dug in against Fort Morgan’s Ulises Hernandez.

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Moffat County American Legion falls in 1st round of state playoffs

American Legion Post 62 first baseman Ivan Nielsen knows that if the Bulldogs field their positions, swing the bats and stay positive, the wins will come. Unfortunately, the team wasn’t able to put it all together, Nielsen said, and lost, 13-3, Thursday in the opening round of the American Legion state tournament against the Fleming Rattlers. “We couldn’t hit,” Nielsen said. “The (Fleming) pitcher wasn’t throwing hard, but we still couldn’t hit.”

College soccer coming to Craig

Bill Sawer to lead new CNCC program offering class credit

Craig resident Bill Sawer knows soccer. He built his own field of dreams in his backyard and, this fall, will again welcome players on it. Now, he’s adding to his resume in the sport. Sawer, who has coached for more than 40 years, will take the helm of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s soccer team this fall at the Craig campus.

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Young golfers take on the Yampa

Junior classic in Craig features 49 young golfers

Although she finished first in the girls 6-and-under division, golfer Halle Hamilton thought she could have improved on her score of 27 for three holes. “It was pretty good,” Hamilton said. “It was probably worse than how I usually golf.”

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Moffat County preparing for state tourney

Opening round baseball action begins Thursday at Craig Middle School

If Moffat County’s American Legion Post 62 baseball team wants to progress in this week’s state tournament, catcher Brandon Galvan has a checklist the team will need to follow. “We need to talk to each other more,” he said. “We need to play as hard as we can, and we can’t make stupid mistakes and get down on each other.” The team will have one benefit for the tournament that starts at 9 a.m. Thursday — home field advantage.

Softball teams raise more than $2,100 to help Craig coach, umpire

With three games in the hot July sun already under her belt, Heather Dobinski said she just wanted to do her best to win Saturday’s home run derby during the Craig Softball Association’s fundraising tournament at Loudy-Simpson Park. “I tried my best, and I got just enough to win,” said Dobinski, whose two blasts were enough to win the women’s division of the home run derby. Her brother, Junior Herndon, was the winner on the men’s side, with 15 homers. “I was trying for more,” Dobinski said. “But, I was happy with how I did.”

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Moffat County ousted from district tourney

Despite locking horns in a tight game, the American Legion Post 62 baseball team was unable to beat Summit and fell, 10-5, on Friday in the second round of the district tournament. Because it was the Bulldogs second loss, the team was bounced from the tournament in Glenwood Springs.

Moffat County American Legion team drops tourney opener

Baseball team’s set for 2:30 p.m. tilt today against Summit

Playing Thursday in the first round of the American Legion district tournament in Glenwood Springs, Moffat County’s American Legion Post 62 team was unable to upend rival Steamboat Springs. The baseball team fell, 7-1.

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On the Mark: MCHS golfer ties for 3rd at Grand Junction tourney

Mark Dockstader knows that sometimes, what can go wrong on a golf course will. On July 13, he found out that sometimes, by some stroke, those opportunities will swing the other way — the ball will tip into the cup, the putt won’t fall short, the sand trap will be missed altogether. The incoming Moffat County High School senior had a day where little went wrong, and the bounces went his way.

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Moffat County Bulldogs name new volleyball coaches

Familiar faces rejoin Moffat County volleyball team

Sandy Camilletti knows Moffat County High School volleyball. She played four years for the Bulldogs in the late 1980s, and also spent a year working as an assistant coach. Now, she will take over the lead job. On July 14, MCHS named her head volleyball coach.

Softball tournament to benefit Craig umpire, coach

Two-day tournament to help Roman Gutierrez pay medical bills

As Roman Gutierrez got into his umpire crouch at a softball game last summer, it seemed like any other of the dozens of games he’s officiated. One moment he was standing, ready to call a ball or strike, and the next he was on the ground, unconscious for several seconds with a gash across his forehead.

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Craig Sea Sharks host annual ABC swimming meet

Swimmer Eryn Leonard, an incoming Moffat County High School sophomore, was a state qualifier in her freshman year in the 100-meter butterfly.

Craig Sea Sharks competing today

More than 200 swimmers expected for ABC meet

The Craig Sea Sharks are currently hosting the annual ABC swimming meet at the Craig Swimming Complex, 605 Washington St.

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Yampa Valley Golf Course superintendent Tim Boyle aces hole 4

As Yampa Valley Golf Course’s superintendent, Tim Boyle spends his days pouring over the greens. Boyle may know the grounds as well as anyone — after all, he has spent the last three years making sure they are perfect.

Craig Sea Sharks hosting lone home meet

For this year’s Craig Sea Sharks ABC Meet, there will be one special guest among the 200 participants. Olympian Kristy Kowal will be at the meet, and will sign autographs and speak with swimmers Saturday. Kowal, who won a silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke during the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, will speak at other swim meets along the Western Slope.

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Craig Bulldogs lose a pair against Steamboat Sailors

After having almost a month off, the American Legion Post 62 baseball team was unable to pick up where it left off and fell twice Tuesday. The Bulldogs (1-5 overall) were unable to hold on against the Steamboat Springs Sailors (6-2) on Tuesday at Craig Middle School.

William Fairbanks stops in Craig during cross-country journey

Since William Fairbanks began walking across the country July 2, 2009 in Los Osos, Calif., he has seen many things. He said he has seen indescribable kindness on the roads, despite the effects of a downtrodden economy.

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Moffat County’s Little Britches Rodeo ends after 4 days

As Gabbi Steele can attest, the axiom “practice makes perfect” is true. Steele, who will be a Moffat County High School junior in the fall, said increased practice time helped her during the weekend’s Little Britches Rodeo at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. “I just spent a lot more time in the ring getting ready,” she said. “I definitely practiced a lot more this year.”

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2nd day of Little Britches Rodeo is rain soaked in Craig

On Friday, the second of four days of the Little Britches Rodeo continued at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way. On-and-off rain showers provided extra challenges for several of the cowboys, including 12-year-old Trent Vernon. “It definitely makes it harder to rope,” he said. “When my (saddle) horn gets wet, it makes dally roping even harder.”

MCHS boys hoops team coming together

New coach: Team made strides at Western State College camp

Although the record wasn’t sparkling, David Bradshaw, Moffat County High School’s new boys basketball coach, liked what he saw from his team’s first in-game action. The team completed a June 24 to 26 camp at Western State College in Gunnison, and Bradshaw, who was named head coach in April, said he saw several positives from a team that went 6-17 last season.

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More than 247 contestants in Craig for Little Britches Rodeo

If Denton Taylor has his way, this weekend will bring some additions to his saddle collection. Taylor, 13, will try to collect some prize saddles this weekend during the Little Britches Rodeo at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. The rodeo started Thursday, and will continue at 9 a.m. today through Sunday.

New winners emerge at Hayden Speedway

Races June 26 at the Hayden Speedway featured several new winners during the third week of racing. During the Speedway’s regular show, every class featured a different winner than the June 5 races.

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Craig Parks and Recreation baseball tournament moves to quarterfinals

The first round of Craig Parks and Recreation’s 8- to 10-year-old baseball tournament continues tonight. At 5:30 p.m., the No. 4-seeded Big Kahuna Coins will take on No. 5 Rangely at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St.

Craig camp aims to add speed

Although he was expecting to get a workout, Josh Pritchard, a Moffat County High School sophomore, was still surprised Tuesday when he showed up at the House of Speed camp at the MCHS track. “It’s way more work than I thought it was going to be,” he said. “It’s definitely not easy.” Pritchard, who plays middle linebacker for the Bulldogs, was one of several athletes participating in the House of Speed camp at MCHS.

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9 teams vying for Craig Parks and Recreation championship

With every pitch, every out, the Craig Parks and Recreation 8- to 10-year-old baseball season draws closer to an end. The season-ending tournament began on Tuesday, and three of the nine teams moved on while another three had their seasons end. Two games were played at Loudy-Simpson Park while another game was decided at Woodbury Sports Complex. At 5:30 p.m. today, games will resume at Loudy-Simpson and at 6 p.m., there will be another game at Woodbury.

Event organizers expect Craig Duathlon to grow

Apart from being a success, Jim Gregoire, Trapper Fitness manager, said one thing stood out during Sunday’s Craig Duathlon. “The food was outstanding,” he said. “I’ve been competing since I was 16, and I’m 63 now, and I can say that that was the best food I’ve ever had after a race. “The (Golden) Cavvy pulled it off.”

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More than 30 runners and bikers compete in first Craig Duathlon

Craig resident Amy Peck had one goal Sunday while competing in the first Craig Duathlon. “I just wanted to finish the race,” she said. “And I did.”

Camping trip: MCHS hoops team has played 28 games this summer

Matt Ray, Moffat County High School’s first-year girls varsity basketball head coach, was familiar with his team already, but he has gotten to know them better over the summer. “We’ve played almost 28 games in the last two weeks,” he said. “We’ve looked pretty good, too.”

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Mountain States Electrical wins Craig softball tourney

Team won three games in one day to claim championship

For Kayla Hampton, there was but one word that could describe how her team, Mountain States Electrical, did in Thursday’s Craig Parks and Recreation softball tournament. “Awesome,” the 9-year-old pitcher said.

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Craig Sea Sharks compete in Grand Junction

If swimmer Matt Hulstine accumulated any rust between the Moffat County High School swimming season and the Craig Sea Sharks’ meet Sunday in Grand Junction, it didn’t show. The MCHS sophomore, who qualified for the state meet in May as a freshman, kept up his strong swimming. Hulstine finished first in both the 100-meter breaststroke and 400-meter medley.

Craig residents compete in 25th annual Ride the Rockies

Terry Carwile knew he was in for a trek when he signed up for his 13th Denver Post Ride the Rockies bike ride. After all, the ride spanned 532 miles and was considered the toughest in the ride’s 25-year history. “It was pretty tough,” Carwile said. “It was the most miles and the most hill-climbing of any Ride the Rockies I’ve done.” It was also the most in terms of days in which Carwile had participated, he said.

10th annual TMH golf tournament is Friday in Craig

Compared to last year, there are a number of changes for the upcoming 10th annual The Memorial Hospital Foundation golf tournament, coordinator Eva Peroulis said. For one, the forecast for this year’s tournament calls for sunshine rather than rain. And, there are already enough teams. “We are totally booked,” Peroulis said. “This tournament brings in a lot of people, and I think it’s one of the biggest at the golf course.”

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MCHS wrestling picks up experience during camp

Although the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team didn’t take first overall during the June 16 to 20 wrestling camp in Gunnison, head coach Roman Gutierrez considered the camp a complete success for one reason. “They got a lot of really good experience,” he said. “The kids got to see a lot of matches and they’re probably a little sore.” Overall, the MCHS team, which featured 11 wrestlers, went 9-7 in duals during the four-day camp.

Ivers throws gem, beats Middle Park

Although the American Legion Post 62 baseball team is comprised of mostly new players, the team turned to a familiar face for its first victory of the summer. Playing a doubleheader Saturday in Granby against Middle Park, the Bulldogs won their first game of the summer, 15-1, behind a solid pitching performance by Bubba Ivers, who also started for the Moffat County High School varsity team.

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Colorado State High School Rodeo finished Sunday in Craig

While Gunnison’s Tab Hildreth didn’t sweep his events, even he was impressed with his bounty at the end of the Colorado State High School Rodeo. The senior picked up four belt buckles, including the year-end all-around championship. “It was a pretty good weekend,” he said. “I won the three rounds of bronc riding.

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Day 2 of Craig rodeo features cutting event

On the second day of the Colorado State High School Rodeo finals in Craig, contestants tried their hands at cutting. The rodeo, which started Thursday and continues Saturday and Sunday, featured one event Friday. Cutting is an event where a cowgirl or cowboy tries to separate a cow from the herd and keep it away while picking up points for technique.

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State Rodeo brings out Colorado’s best

More than 110 cowboys and cowgirls compete for state titles

The Colorado State High School Rodeo finals began today, and will continue at 8 p.m. tonight at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way.

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Soccer fans in Craig reflect on World Cup

For Harry Tripp, the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer coach, his home is divided — over which soccer team they want to win the World Cup.

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Moffat County football team reaches semi-finals during Wyoming football camp

Some football teams rely on bone-crushing defense. Others get by with offensive fireworks.

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Moffat County grad shines at all-conference game

Third baseman Halen Raymond goes 3 for 4 with a homer

Halen Raymond, a 2010 Moffat County High School graduate, played in the June 1 Western Slope League all-conference game in Rifle.

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Moffat County Mud Runs: A race through pits in the rain

One word could sum up how organizer Tim Meyer felt about Saturday’s Moffat County Mud Runs at the Wyman Museum.

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Events aiding Craig economy

FFA convention, rodeo finals bolstering Craig economy

ith this week’s FFA State Convention and next week’s Colorado High School Rodeo finals providing an influx of new consumers to the area, Moffat County can expect to feel a financial boost this month, organizers said. Dan Thorn, FFA Foundation executive director, said FFA made initial estimates that the organization would contribute $350,000 to the local economy during the three-day event.

More than 300 pounds of trash picked up near Duffy Mountain

When DeLaine Brown and her husband ventured onto trails on Duffy Mountain, they received a surprise.