A fresh start for Bulldogs | CraigDailyPress.com

A fresh start for Bulldogs

Boys basketball

John Vandelinder

— Last season was last season.

This year, Moffat County High School’s new boys basketball coach Steve Maneotis takes the helm.

The fiery leader is aiming at starting fresh, with new offensive and defensive schemes up his sleeve, and he has a belief that hard work is the key to success.

“We are going to change our level of intensity in the way we play this game,” Maneotis said. “We had four (league) wins last year. When we step on the floor, we are going to give it everything we got.”

The Bulldogs won six games overall, and the squad returns three starters.

Maneotis disregarded the notion that experience automatically means this team should surpass last year’s win total.

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“I’m nowhere near looking at how many wins we should get,” he said. “I’m looking at getting us headed in a positive direction. I’m looking at games, not wins.”

Moffat County doesn’t have a true big man, which, in Maneotis’ words, has dictated how he will run the offense.

“We are going to play an upbeat style on offense this year,” he said. “We are going to push the ball. We are not big enough to play the slow-down, post-up type game. We are going to get up and down the floor.”

Running the point is junior Mike Peters. With the offense starting in his hands and finishing with senior Eli Buckner, Maneotis said the Bulldogs should have experience in the right spots.

Seniors Paul Nelson and Colton Conrad, along with junior Chayton Owens, are slated to round out the starting unit, providing the Bulldogs with what Maneotis envisions being solid leadership.

“We have some kids who understand what to do and what not to do,” he said. “They are veterans who need to step up and lead this team.”

Regardless of the coach’s hesitation to predict the season’s outcome – in terms of wins and losses – Maneotis believes in one thing.

“Nobody will outwork us this season,” he said. “When we leave the floor, our tanks will be empty.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

Players to watch:

– Mike Peters (junior) – 8.7 points, 2.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as a junior.

– Eli Buckner (senior) – 13.2 points, 3.8 rebounds per game as a junior.

– Colton Conrad (senior) –

5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 76.9 free throw percentage as a junior.

Team to watch:

Steamboat Springs. The Sailors went undefeated in league play and are the reigning Western Slope League champions. Steamboat returns a boatload of starters from a 20-5 team.

Dates to circle on the schedule:

– Jan. 8, 2008. – Steamboat Springs visits the Bulldogs. Last season, the Sailors embarrassed visiting Moffat County, winning the game by 32 points. The Bulldogs will look to exact some revenge in their house this year.

– Jan. 26, 2008. – Eagle Valley visits Moffat County. The Devils have been the doormat of the Western Slope League for quite some time. The Bulldogs will need to win this game to prove the team is in a class above the cellar-dwellers.

Team information

– League: Western Slope League (WSL) Class 4A

– Coach: Steve Maneotis

– Assistant Coaches: Joe Padon, Justin Gallegos, Cody Palmer

Maneotis with the Bulldogs: first year (2-1 overall as an interim coach)

– 2006-07 season: 4-10 (WSL) 6-15 (overall)

– Returnees: three

– Players lost: seven

Varsity roster

– Eli Buckner

– Colton Conrad

– Thomas Noble

– Chayton Owens

– Mike Peters

– Kelton Willbanks

– Paul Wilson