A look at Moffat County fall sports
The academic year has yet to begin for Moffat County School District, but the athletes of Moffat County High School will be engaged in competition even before they hit the classroom.
The majority of the Bulldogs’ fall sports get a jump on their schedules during Zero Week as part of Colorado High School Activities Association. Time will tell what kind of accomplishments are in store for the blue and white in the coming months, and the Craig Press looks at numbers from last year and the factors that will affect each team as they start anew.
Head coach: Rod Compton
2016 final record: Ninth place at 3A Region 4 Tournament
As is customary, the golf season begins before any other, and first year coach Compton got a look at his players’ potential during last week’s tournaments in Gypsum and Avon.
Torin Reed and Connor Etzler remain the lowest shooters so far, both of whom competed in the regional event last fall, with Reed recording the Dogs’ best score at 92 to tie for 29th among 61 competitors.
Where they’ll be this week: 1 p.m. Wednesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course
Moffat County’s lone home event at YVGC will determine how well golfers play on their home turf, while the group will stay close to home Thursday at Haymaker Golf Course. A third tourney in the course of the week will test their endurance Aug. 29 at Grand Junction’s Tiara Rado.
Head coach: Erin Knez
2016 final record: 5-17 overall, 1-8 3A Western Slope League
Knez returns for a second season as head coach, with about 40 girls in what remains a young program. Josie Timmer, Jana Camilletti and Kayla Nash make up the senior ranks as the varsity squad seeks to rebuild and fill spots left by those who graduated this spring.
Delta, Coal Ridge, Grand Valley and Gunnison are likely to return as the biggest threats in a conference in which the Lady Bulldogs aim to improve their finish as ninth of 10 teams.
Where they’ll be this week: 4 p.m. Thursday vs. Steamboat Springs at MCHS
Moffat County gets its first taste of competition in a non-league home event against Yampa Valley rivals Steamboat Springs, the Sailors twice sweeping the Bulldogs in three sets last year. Following that, MCHS will hit the road Saturday and Aug. 29 to meet Aspen and West Grand.
Head coach: Todd Trapp
2016 final record: Boys ninth place, girls 15th at 3A State Championships
Though they’ve lost several seniors from last fall, MCHS boys long distance runners remain a prominent name on the Western Slope, runners-up at the regional level only to Gunnison. Girls likewise took fourth as a group at regionals, and the small collective that made up the roster seeks to keep going strong this fall.
Where they’ll be this week: 10:30 a.m. Friday at Cheyenne Mountain Stampede in Colorado Springs
The same place where they finished their season at the state level is where runners will race to start a new year at the Norris Penrose Event Center. Events throughout September range from Rawlins, Wyoming, to Heritage’s Liberty Bell Invitational, but the team won’t have their home meet until Sept. 30.
Head coach: Keith Gille
2016 final record: 5-4 overall, 4-1 2A Western Slope League
The Bulldogs said farewell to many departing grads last fall, and despite a season full of injuries, the program only lost one conference game, relinquishing their league champion streak to Basalt.
Getting back to the top of the WSL and further is on the minds of players and coaches this season, and returning All-Conference recipients including Kaden Hafey, Miki Klimper, Colby Beckett, Dominic Pascetti, Cale Scranton, Zane Shipman, Jared Baker and more are among those seeking gridiron glory.
Where they’ll be this week: 7 p.m. Friday vs. Rawlins, Wyoming, at MCHS
The Dogs look to avenge a road loss that started their year off on the wrong foot last year as the Outlaws come to Craig. This will be the only home event of the non-conference schedule as the team travels for the three following games until WSL play begins at the end of September, starting with Roaring Fork.
Head coach: Rusty Cox
2016 final record: 7-8 overall, 4-5 3A Western Slope League
Following a three-year hiatus from the program, Cox rejoins Bulldog soccer and seeks to return the squad to playoff status following several seasons of just missing the postseason, last fall placing sixth in the region. If 2016 is any indication, the biggest threats in the WSLwill be Delta, Coal Ridge and Vail Mountain, all of which went deep into the brackets for the second season.
Where they’ll be this week: 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at Basalt
Soccer starts on the road, meeting the Longhorns next Tuesday, a non-league game that will provide a transition back into competition. The team’s first home game will be Sept. 2 against Roaring Fork.