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Fish, shoot at Saturday’s Cast, Blast & Twang: Bulldog Sports — Week of June 19, 2019

Wednesday

5:15 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation slow-pitch softball at Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.

6 p.m. Craig Gymkhana at Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way

Thursday

Noon World’s Largest Swim Lesson at Craig Pool Complex, 605 Washington St.

5:15 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation slow-pitch softball at Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.

Friday

1 p.m. Fun Fridays at Craig Pool Complex, 605 Washington St.

Saturday

6 a.m. Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Classic at Elkhead Reservoir

4 p.m. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Family Cast, Blast & Twang at Wyman Living History Museum, 94350 US Highway 40

Sunday

6 a.m. Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Classic at Elkhead Reservoir

Monday

6 a.m. Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Classic at Elkhead Reservoir

5:30 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation youth baseball at Woodbury Sports Complex, 1383 W. Second St.

Tuesday

6 a.m. Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Classic at Elkhead Reservoir

5:30 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation youth baseball at Woodbury Sports Complex, 1383 W. Second St.

5:30 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation youth baseball at Loudy-Simpson Park, 1383 W. Second St.

Colorado man catches record fish the size of a 7-year-old child

The morning started slowly for angler Matt Smiley, who was fishing the Flaming Gorge Reservoir which straddles the Utah-Wyoming border. But when he got a bite, it was a big one.

The fish Smiley caught on May 4 was recognized this week as the Utah state record for a catch-and-release lake trout, measuring 48 inches. He weighed it at just under 53 pounds but almost let it go without measuring it.

Just to get an idea of its size, an average boy in the month he turns 7 has a height of 48 inches and weight of nearly 51 pounds, according to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control.

“I had been wanting to catch a fish over 50 pounds for a long, long time,” said Smiley, a Fairplay resident who once held the Colorado record with a lunker that weighed 44 pounds, 5 ounces. “I was pretty sure it was over 50 pounds, looking at it, but when we (weighed it), I was so excited. I put it back in the net and had it over the side of the boat, getting ready to let it go, and my buddy in the boat with me stopped me. He was like, ‘Man, we’ve got to measure that fish, do you have a tape measure in here?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even care, man, I broke 50 pounds, I’m good with it.’ He’s like, ‘No, that’s the longest fish I’ve ever seen, you need to measure that thing.’ ”

Read the full story on denverpost.com.

Blue skies, soft terrain lend to running conditions for Friends of Moffat County Education’s Wake the Whittler 5K

Harriers of all ages got in motion Saturday morning as part of Friends of Moffat County Education’s Wake the Whittler.

Runners went the distance along a three-mile course at Loudy-Simpson as part of the annual 5K race, sponsored by FMCE and Memorial Regional Health as a fundraiser for area schools.

At a count of about 50, the number of athletes was a dip from previous years, which owners attributed to wet weather the night before.

Though the sun was shining Saturday, the residue from Friday’s rain showers left the trail muddy and forced organizers to rework the course, including taking out the Nature Trail.

A handful of runners also got diverted from the final stretch by passing through the lineup of carvers in the park with Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.

Still, Coltyn Terry was well in front of everyone as the first to finish for the day at a time of 19 minutes, 30 seconds.

The incoming Moffat County High School junior said he was keeping pace with several younger runners before taking off himself.

“We pushed as long as we could, and then I just kind of finished,” he said.

2019 Friends of Moffat County Education Wake the Whittler 5K winners

9 to 11

Jesse Terry

Mena Tucker

12 to 14

Darby Byrnes

Brook Wheeler

15 to 18

Coltyn Terry

Liberty Hippely

19 to 33

Macho Nunez

Heather Hamman

34 to 45

Nathan Grivy

Elizabeth Tucker

46 and up

Terry Barber

Mary Campbell

Allan Reishus

He noted that the event served as a good way to keep in shape as he plans to compete in Down Under Sports’ cross country event in Australia later this month.

With Coltyn winning the 15- to 18-year-old division — along with MCHS track and cross country teammate Liberty Hippely, the first female runner to finish — Darby Byrnes took second overall as the top male in the 12 to 14 group, with Brook Wheeler the swiftest girl in the group.

Jesse Terry and Mena Tucker won the 9 to 11 age bracket, while Heather Hamman and Macho Nunez were the quickest among ages 19 to 33.

Allan Reishus took the award for the most seasoned runner, with Terry Barber and Mary Campbell the fastest for ages 46 and above.

For 34 to 45, Elizabeth Tucker and Nathan Grivy were the first to cross the line.

Grivy said he was coming off 13.1 miles a week earlier in the half-marathon of the Steamboat Springs Marathon, ranking 143rd out of more than 700.

“There was a lot of people in that one. Thought I’d try something a little smaller,” he said.

Weekend Roundup: Carvings, cars, campouts — 6 big events in Moffat County

If you’re planning to stay at home this Father’s Day weekend, you and Dad will be missing out on a lot.

A slice of Moffat County culture

The 20th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous runs all day Friday and Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park as chainsaw artisans create unique carvings that will become part of Moffat County, their skills also on display in Saturday’s Quick Carve Competition.
Craft and food vendors and a beer garden will set up shop Friday and Saturday, while Thunder Rolls Bowling Center and The Sizzling Pickle will sponsor a cornhole tournament.
A variety of musical acts will take the stage each afternoon, including Black Mountain Riot and The Movers & Shakers Friday and Saturday shows by Tylor & The Train Robbers and this year’s headliners, Leftover Salmon.
Shuttles will be available starting Saturday morning.
When: Starts at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday; music starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday; winners announced at 5 p.m. Saturday and final concert at 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.
Cost: Free to attend Friday; $10 cover charge at the gate for 13 and older Saturday, $5 in advance
For more information: whittlethewood.com or Facebook.com/whittlethewood

A real drive

The 15th annual Bear River Young Life Car and Motorcycle Show features events both Friday and Saturday.
A free Friday barbecue at Yampa Valley Bank — which is also a Craig Chamber of Commerce mixer — will be followed by a cruise around Craig ending at Loudy-Simpson and Whittle the Wood. The following day sees motorists display their classic cars and bikes along Yampa Avenue with the potential to win huge prizes.
A poker walk around downtown Craig will also be available, and all spectators are welcome to vote on their favorite rigs.
When: Barbecue at 5:30 p.m. Friday; registration starts at 8 a.m., show starts at 10 a.m. Saturday; poker walk begins at 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Friday at Yampa Valley Bank, 435 Mack Lane; Saturday in downtown Craig, 400 and 500 blocks of Yampa Avenue
Cost: Barbecue free with $5 suggested donation; show free to attend; entries $35 for first vehicle, $15 for each additional vehicle per family
For more information: bearriver.younglife.org or call 970-629-9600

The sounds of summer

The summer concert series for JW Snack’s continues with Tylor & The Train Robbers, which will perform on the patio area Friday and Saturday.
When: 8 p.m. to midnight Friday
Where: JW Snack’s Bar and Grill, 210 E. Victory Way
Cost: No cover charge
For more information: 970-826-0468

A morning jaunt

Wake up bright and early for Friends of Moffat County Education’s Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run along a course around Loudy-Simpson Park.
All runners will receive a t-shirt and the top male and female runners in each age group will take home prizes. Funds benefit FMCE’s work with local schools, with this year’s focus on science programs.
When: Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., races start at 8 a.m. Saturday
Where: Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.
Cost: $20 for adults, kids run free
For more information: info@moffatcountyeducation.org

Wet and wild

Youth swim team Craig Sea Sharks hosts its annual swim meet Saturday and Sunday as groups from across the Western Slope hit the waters of Craig Pool Complex.
Athletes range from age 4 to teenagers and spectators are welcome to cheer on local competitors.
When: Starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Craig Pool Complex, 605 Washington St.
Cost: Admission is free
For more information: 970-629-5155

Frontier fun

Moffat County will host interpretive hikes with the National Park Service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of John Wesley Powell reaching the confluence of the Yampa and Green rivers.
The sesquicentennial event starts with a full moon interpretive walk Monday evening followed the next day by additional hiking and educational presentations.

Early arrival is advised for camping options, with a first-come, first-served format.

When: Starts at 9 p.m. Monday; all day Tuesday
Where: Dinosaur National Monument and Echo Park
Cost: Contact organizers
For more information: visitmoffatcounty.com or 970-824-2335

Moffat County basketball camp part of effort to promote uplifting atmosphere on court

The summer sessions continued this week for Moffat County High School sports as the boys basketball kept things heating up in the gym.

Following MCHS girls hoops’ camp for middle school ages earlier this month, it was the guys’ turn recently as new head coach Steve Maneotis and the members of the program provided instruction for younger ages.

“We’re working on individual fundamentals and team skills,” he said. “We’ve spent 45 minutes on just ball-handling, we’ve worked on defensive breakdown, one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, up to five-on-five. We’re also trying to show them a base offense with a lot of the drills we’ll be doing at the high school level. When we get them as freshmen, they’ll be that much further ahead.”

Besides running basic drills each day, Maneotis got athletes in game mode as well, in a shirts and skins scrimmage as teams simulated the NBA Finals action between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.

Middle school athletes mix it up in a scrimmage during the Moffat County High School basketball camp.
Andy Bockelman

The fast-paced fun was a learning experience for players as they picked up skills on the spot, adapting to the game’s rhythm.

“It’s been awesome, I’m learning a lot in shooting and game situations,” Bryant Carlson said. “I’ve done a lot with defense, too.”

Going into eighth-grade, Carlson said he’ll be using the abilities he’s sharpened this week when Craig Middle School basketball picks up in the winter.

Blake Tupa said the same, although this will be his first time suiting up for the Bulldogs in the sport as an incoming seventh-grader, and he expects the junior high level will be far more challenging than recreation league ball.

“I’m really looking forward to the more technical part of it and learning more,” he said. “My favorite part of being out here is making everybody else feel good as a team.”

Players huddle up during the Moffat County High School basketball camp.
Andy Bockelman

As for the high school players, Maneotis has seen them attend regular open gyms in the evenings, as well as early morning workouts alongside the MCHS football team.

The Bulldogs will be hitting the road later this month with upcoming camps and tournaments, including next weekend’s Gold Crown Foundation in Lakewood, with a huge tourney the following weekend in Loveland.

“Man, there’s 170 teams there, so we’ve got a lot going on,” Maneotis said. “I’m excited. These kids are working hard, and they’re learning.”

He added that for the high school team, he is “building from the ground up” with a solid response from a receptive group.

“We’re setting up a culture to be uplifting, positive and our motto right now is ‘next play,'” he said. “When you make a mistake, don’t hang your head, don’t look over your shoulder. Go work harder on the next play. We’ve gotta be family and love one another.”

Craig Sea Sharks dive in for home meet: Bulldog Sports — Week of June 12, 2019

Wednesday

2 p.m. Bulldog Boys Middle School Basketball Camp at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane

6 p.m. Craig Gymkhana at Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way

Thursday

2 p.m. Bulldog Boys Middle School Basketball Camp at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane

5:30 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation slow-pitch softball at Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.

Friday

TBD Friends of Coal Tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course, 2179 Colorado Highway 394

1 p.m. Fun Fridays at Craig Pool Complex, 605 Washington St.

Saturday

8 a.m. Friends of Moffat County Education Wake the Whittler 5K and Fun Run at Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.

9 a.m. Craig Sea Sharks Swim Meet at Craig Pool Complex, 605 Washington St.

Sunday

9 a.m. Craig Sea Sharks Swim Meet at Craig Pool Complex, 605 Washington St.

Monday

5:30 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation youth baseball at Woodbury Sports Complex, 1383 W. Second St.

Tuesday

5:30 p.m. Craig Parks and Recreation slow-pitch softball at Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St.

New pro Scott Ballif ready to make mark at Yampa Valley Golf Course

Patrons of Yampa Valley Golf Course have a new face in store as the head of the pro shop.

Scott Ballif began as the new course professional at YVGC, taking on the position previously held by Jeff Harnasch.

Harnasch began with the course in spring 2018, though he announced to the board of YVGC in January he would be resigning to move back to Arizona.

Harnasch said his reason for leaving is that he will be starting a family. He aided the course staff in getting YVGC ready for the spring and summer season as well as weighing in on his replacement.

“I was involved with his hiring, checking references and all that, but it was really the board that had the final say,” Harnasch said.

Harnasch will be working with Ballif in a transitional period for this month before leaving Northwest Colorado.

Ballif, whose first day was June 5 after being hired in May, has already spent a few days on the job. He comes to Craig from St. George, Utah, and he expects after being in the southwest corner of the state near Nevada and Arizona, a new locale is more than welcome.

Ballif was with Conestoga Golf Club from 2009 to 2018 and at Oasis Golf Club — both in Mesquite, Nevada — for five years prior, as well as 10 years with St. George’s Red Hills.

“I’ve been in the desert for 25 years, so I could use a change of climate,” he said. “I like the smaller community, no more commute traffic. I love the outdoors, a lot of hunting, fishing, hiking.”

Ballif said his golf experience has been primarily course management through Professional Golf Association.

“There’s two sides to the PGA, the tour side and course management,” he said. “The tour side requires a lot more playing but a lot more money. You need a lot of sponsors to get you going.”

As he gets to know the course and its layout, Ballif said one of his primary focuses will be working on restoring parts of the grounds that were hit hard by cold weather.

“We had a lot of winter kill on those greens,” he said. “It definitely has a lot of potential to come back from that.”

Harnasch said one of the strong points of Ballif is “he won’t just just somebody behind a desk.”

“He’s got a lot of maintenace experience,” Harnasch said.

Ballif said he has worked with the agronomy side of course management for 15 years, which involves steps as simple as water usage to determining soil’s viability.

“The big challenge out here is the clay and the soil in the river bottom,” he said. “You need consistent maintenance practices and aerification. We can improve conditions, and it’s already got great scenery and wildlife. That’s such a positive point of the golf course.”

In addition to working on the physical attributes of YVGC and arranging upcoming events — such as the Friends of Coal Tournament, the Cottonwood Classic, and the Silver Bullet Classic — to name a few, Ballif said he looks to increase clientele.

“We really want to build up the junior program and get more ladies out here,” he said.

Up and at ’em: Get in early morning run with Friends of Moffat County Education Wake the Whittler 5K

The annual Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run takes place Saturday, June 15 at Loudy-Simpson Park leading up to the final day of Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.

Wake the Whittler, the first in a series of summer running events hosted by Friends of Moffat County Education, starts registration at 7 a.m., with the 5K kicking off at 8 a.m. and the Fun Run following.

All runners will receive a t-shirt and the top male and female runners in each age group will take home prizes. The cost is $20 for adults 18 and older, free to kids.

Funds benefit FMCE’s work with local schools and this year will specifically support area school’s robotics programs and other STEM projects.

For more information, contact info@moffatcountyeducation.org.

Craig Soccer Club gets kicking with first set of games, goal of more opportunities to come

The longstanding Steamboat Soccer Club welcomed a new branch of its program as the newly formed Craig Soccer Club joined the athletic endeavor.

Following a month’s worth of practices and some game scenarios in Steamboat Springs, Craig players had home games Saturday morning at Woodbury Sports Complex

Coaches had players aged 9 to 14 and younger mixing in on the two fields for the session with Craig and Steamboat athletes alike.

“The energy and the work these guys put in was awesome,” said Rob Bohlmann, director of SSC, who put in the paces as a game referee.

With SSC offering activities at multiple times of year as well as traveling to numerous large- and small-scale tournaments, Bohlmann said he has partnered with Craig coach Isidro Quezada to link the two towns and grow the number of players across Northwest Colorado.

With the beginning of Craig Parks and Recreation youth soccer season coming up, Bohlmann expects Craig kids will continue at the local level, though SSC will have more opportunities happenings after July.

“This is a great start to a fantastic relationship, and we want to be able to have as many players involved as possible,” he said.

Moffat County baseball players catch All-State, All-Conference honors

Moffat County High School baseball players cleaned up in honors to wrap up the spring.

Bulldog catcher Krece Papierski was named a Colorado High School Activities Association 3A All-State Honorable Mention with the announcement Friday by CHSAA.

Moffat County High School’s Krece Papierski hustles back behind the plate after pursuing a pop-up by Steamboat Springs.
Andy Bockelman

Papierski was also one of three MoCo athletes to be named 3A Western Slope League All-Conference First Team, alongside teammates Hunter Smilanich and Drake Doherty, while Greg Spears took All-Conference Honorable Mention.

Sophomores Smilanich, Spears and Papierski were the Dogs’ top three hitters in terms of batting average this season, with respective statistics of .492, .423 and .406.

Moffat County High School’s Greg Spears knocks a foul ball against Aspen.
Andy Bockelman

Smilanich had 29 hits and 21 runs batted in; Papierski 26 hits, 12 RBIs; and Spears 22 hits, nine RBIs.

Moffat County High School’s Hunter Smilanich waves in Ryan Peck to cross home plate for a run against Coal Ridge.
Andy Bockelman

Smilanich also led the team and was ranked second in the WSL in slugging percentage — .779 with six doubles, four triples and a home run — while Papierski led the team in stolen bases with 10.

On the other end of the ball, MHCS junior Doherty was the team’s top pitcher with a 4.56 earned run average and 51 strikeouts across 43 total innings on the mound. Offensively, he also held a .347 average at the plate with 17 hits and 11 RBIs.

Moffat County High School’s Drake Doherty gets a fastball in motion against Olathe.
Andy Bockelman

In a season that ended 11-10 complete with a nine-game win streak, MCHS head coach Brian Jennings noted he is pleased not only with the strong run but also that many of his players will be back for at least one more year.

“A lot of young guys contributed to our success this year,” he said. “Looking forward to next year.”