Bulldog Beat: Travel triumphs galore for Moffat County sports
For the Craig Press
From a competition that saw all of Colorado convene to events along the Western Slope, Moffat County High School winter sports teams were on their game this past week.
Something to cheer about
The Bulldog team that primarily supports other squads recently had its time to shine.
The MoCo spirit team placed ninth of 24 schools in the 2A/3A Gameday competition at the CHSAA State Spirit Championships Thursday at World Arena in Colorado Springs. Though only the top six teams in the division moved on to the finals, the MCHS routine earned 72.45 points with no deductions.
Coached by Kamisha Siminoe and Alicia Noland, cheerleaders at state included seniors Nikki Brown and Madason Laman, juniors Reagan Bower and Zoey Cochran, and freshman Alexus Noland.
As the MCHS girls swim team works toward some state-qualifying times, they’ll have a first-place finish to bolster their confidence.
Moffat County swimming won the 400-yard freestyle relay during Friday’s Delta Invitational.
The first time competing in the longer relay event for the Bulldogs saw Sarah Johnson, Morgan Schacht, Natalia Lopez, and Megan Neton win it with a time of 5:14.33, more than a half-minute ahead of the nearest team.
The smaller-scale meet that included Fruita Monument, Montrose and Delta also saw Johnson place third in the 100 free with a new best of 1:09.55, while the foursome of Schacht, Johnson, Neton and Lopez took third in the 200 medley relay (2:26.98).
In her first meet back in the pool, Neton led the team in the 50 free, in which she placed fourth (31.35), and Schacht’s first attempt this season in the 500 free earned her fifth place (7:27.79).
In the 200 free relay, Moffat County took eighth, with Mary Willems, Judit Ramos, Maddy Caddy and Megan Neton finishing at 2:30.31.
“The girls swam well and keep cutting time,” said coach Melany Neton. “The new swimmers are trying new events and doing well.”
With nine teams in the mix at Saturday’s Gunnison Cowboy Invite, the Bulldogs faced significant competition, but among the highlights was trimming significant time in the 400 free, placing eighth at 5:11.55.
MCHS swimming will round out the first half of the season at Summit Friday and Saturday at Montrose.
Swimmers weren’t the only athletes taking victories in Delta.
Bulldog wrestling earned multiple wins during Saturday’s Panther Invitational, as Anthony Duran, Ryan Duzik and Kaden Hixson were the outright winners of their respective weights.
Duran had three consecutive pins in the 126-pound class, the latter two both in under a minute. At 152, Duzik started with a bye round before back-to-back falls, and at 120 Hixson pinned opponents from Meeker and Cedaredge to win it.
Caden Call (138) and Michael Voloshin (160) each made it to the finals before a defeat that put them in second place, with Call 3-1 for the day and Voloshin 2-1, all their wins by pin.
Also at 160, Trace Frederickson gained a 3-1 decision in a 1-2 finish in his first varsity event of the year.
Colt Call (113), Eli Fredrickson (132) and Kalub West (145) each took third with the three of them combining for five falls, two major decisions and one 7-2 decision.
Taking fourth at 182 was Billy Lawton, 2-2 with two pins, while Alex Musgrave earned fifth at 170, 2-2 with a fall and a 6-4 final.
MCHS varsity finished second of the 12 teams in attendance, while their younger athletes were also runners-up the same day at the Rifle JV Invite.
Noah Duran and Kaeden Martinez won the 120 and 138 weights, respectively, with six pins between them.
Kalub Duzik took two pins before falling in the finals to take second in the 152s, while Osbaldo Quintana placed fourth at 126, Aron Aguilar fifth in 145, and Cris Calderon (113) and Cyrus Goldsmith (182) each sixth.
During Saturday’s Soroco Girls Tournament, MCHS had three wrestlers battling it out, as juniors Hannah Frink and Makaela Simpson were joined in Oak Creek by freshman Victoria Deporto.
Soroco girls won the home event, with Simpson going 2-1 to get silver in the 185 class, Frink 1-4 with an opening pin to place fourth, and Deporto earning third at 111 with two hard-fought losses.
Before heading beyond the Yampa Valley, MCHS wrestlers also took on their first singular dual of the season Thursday, with a 42-34 win in Hayden. Bulldogs Hixson, Anthony Duran, Eli Fredrickson, Hunter Fredrickson, Voloshin and Lawton each earned a win in competition, as did Tigers Chase Preston, Kalob More, Dylan Zimmerman, and Cody Hawn.
Forfeit points went to MoCo’s Caden Call and Hayden’s Israel Santos and Aaron Fuentes.
MCHS will next compete at the varsity level this weekend at the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction, with junior varsity representing at the Fruita Monument JV Invite, and MCHS girls will join Soroco at the UNC Christmas Tournament.
Back and forth
With wins and losses alike, Moffat County hoops teams had their work cut out for them during the three-day Demon Invite in Glenwood Springs.
With Glenwood boys yet to see a win this winter, Bulldogs handed them the first loss of their home event in a 73-57 game that saw lots of double-digit statistics. Ryan Peck lead with 14 points, Bryant Carlson with 13, Ian Hafey 12, and Myles Simpson 10.
Nick Crookston nearly had a double-double in the match, leading in rebounds with a dozen and adding nine points.
The following night wasn’t as smooth as the Dogs fell 63-49 to Faith Christian. Though MoCo outscored the Eagles 20-14 in the second quarter and 18-12 in the fourth, the periods in between were very much against them.
Even so, Ian Hafey picked up a double-double for the Dogs, leading in points with 16 and 11 boards.
With Jordan Carlson suffering a dislocated shoulder Friday night, Moffat County boys were down a starter with an increasingly weary roster Saturday, falling 62-32 to the 4A Indians.
After a 3-0 run in Bennett a week earlier, Simpson said the level of competition was far different against strong teams like Faith Christian and Montrose.
“What it’s going to do is really help us going forward, getting better,” he said.
The tournament didn’t start on the best terms for MCHS girls, who fell 51-37 Thursday evening to the Canon City Tigers, who went on to claim the tourney championship.
The Bulldogs girls got a look at some upcoming opponents in the following rounds, first trouncing the Roaring Fork Rams Friday night, 64-25.
Lizzy LeWarne and Rylie Felten led in points with 15 apiece, with LeWarne on fire in the first quarter and Felten a dominant force in the paint in the third quarter. Halle Hamilton picked up 10 points in the win that allowed the full Bulldog bench to get on the floor.
The win over the 3A Western Slope League opponent had the group in high spirits heading into the final day, but a pairing with the 3A WSL Coal Ridge Titans was trickier.
While MoCo girls kept it even for most of the game, Coal Ridge started clicking in the final period, going on to win 51-37.
“They’re a really good team,” coach Eric Hamilton said of the Titans. “We’ll get them at home later, so we’re on it. They were a little worn out from this one.”
MCHS girls will play in Vernal, Utah Friday night, while Bulldog boys will face off with Summit Saturday afternoon with all levels competing, starting at noon at Moffat County High School.
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Tanner Coulter and his family were looking for somewhere to spread out a bit.