Bulldog Beat for Feb. 8 | CraigDailyPress.com
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Bulldog Beat for Feb. 8

John Vandelinder

— It’s been a few weeks since the last beat, so I’ve got some catching up to do.

Let’s take a look.

Girls basketball

The Moffat County High School girls basketball team tops the beat this week.

The Bulldogs are in the midst of a seven game win streak, with a 26-point victory against then first-place Glenwood Springs.

Moffat County avenged a previous 16-point defeat to the Demons. In that contest the Bulldogs were shorthanded. In the victory, Moffat County proved when at full strength, this is the team to beat in the Western Slope.

Five games are left for this team and should amount to five more victories, which would net 20 victories this season.

The real test comes soon, with playoffs just three weeks away.

Moffat County – should it win out – will hold the tiebreaker advantage over Glenwood, securing the league’s top spot come the postseason.

The Bulldogs have been the one seed the last few years, but they haven’t been able to parlay it into a state title.

Moffat County will have a good shot behind seniors Markie Workman and Angie Charchalis who have started since they were freshmen.

Hopefully, four years in coach Craig Mortensen’s system will prove the difference from years past.

Is this the year the Bulldogs bring home the title?

Swimming

Coach Marin Campbell was in tears this weekend as she watched her senior swimmers compete in the Moffat County High School pool as Bulldogs for the last time.

Hopefully this weekend she will shed tears of joy.

The Bulldogs compete in the regional tournament in Montrose beginning today, and the team has qualified just three swimmers for state.

This weekend is the last shot for the ‘Dogs to advance.

Sophomore Genna Bradley has qualified in 1-meter diving. Sisters Caitlin and Kelsey Conci have qualified in their respective events as well.

The Bulldogs have been within a mere second all season from qualifying their relay teams, which I fully expect them to do this weekend.

If so, add two more girls to the list of those heading to Fort Collins next week.

If not, it has been a fun ride girls. Thanks for letting me hang with you on the sidelines. It’s been a blast.

Boys basketball

The boys basketball team had its four-game win streak halted Saturday at Rifle, but the Bulldogs have shown a little of what coach Steve Maneotis has preached since he took over.

Teamwork and hustle.

Sure, Moffat County won the four games by a combined nine points, but coming through at the end is what championship teams are made of.

The ‘Dogs won six games all of last year and they are sitting at five right now. The Bulldogs victory against Glenwood Springs jolted the rest of the Western Slope League.

Coaches I’ve spoken with have mentioned the Bulldogs as the team to watch out for.

The league is starting to take notice of the other Moffat County basketball team.

Five games left for this team, three appear winnable. At 4-5 in league play, sitting in fifth, Moffat County still has a chance to get into the elite half of the league that Maneotis talks about.

A victory against visiting Palisade today is a step in the that direction.

Wrestling

If nobody wants to say it, then I will.

This is not the wrestling team I heard so much hype about when I took this job. I see the banners flying high in the high school gymnasium, but not as many victories as expected on the mat.

Coach Roman Gutierrez has had his hands full this year with inexperience playing the biggest role in the teams’ woes.

One meet remains after last night’s final home meet of the season and time is running out for Moffat County to make an impact in the state tournament.

There have been flashes of brilliance followed by moments of despair for this team.

That said, few people expected the Bulldogs to send nine wrestlers to state last year, and sure enough, nine went.

If half that number makes it this year, the season is still a success.

Hockey

The Bulldog hockey club keeps toppling down from the top of the beat after seven consecutive weeks in the No. 1 spot.

Moffat County, 10-3-1 in the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League, has just three wins in its last seven games.

A season that began with the Bulldogs riding a 10-game undefeated streak has gone by the wayside.

First-place Durango wiped the ice with the Bulldogs, showing hockey fans there is a huge drop-off between the top-two teams (Crested Butte is No. 2) and the rest of the league.

Moffat County has locked up the three seed heading into the playoffs that begin Feb. 17, ensuring a first-round home game against what seems to be Kremmling.

The Bulldogs swept the four-game season series against the Cattle Kings, winning the games by a combined score of 28-4, so advancing to the second round shouldn’t be an issue.

What happens after Kremmling is the issue.

Are the Bulldogs contender, or pretender?

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


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