Bulldog girls looking to take next step forward in 2021
Coming off of a 12-9 season in the 2019-20 season, the Moffat County Bulldogs’ girls basketball team is looking to take the lessons learned in a hard-fought year and apply them to a challenging 2021 condensed season.
They’ll do that with a number of key underclassmen returning this year under new head coach Eric Hamilton.
The team looks to play a team- first brand of basketball, working hard, and out hustling teams on the floor. The key for the team according to head coach Eric Hamilton is to force teams to adapt to play their style, not the other way around.
“We have to play our brand of basketball, everywhere we go. We’re going to play Moffat County ball and we want everybody else to have to play our style and try to beat us playing out,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got a plan and that’s what we’re working towards right now.”
The team is champing at the bit to get started after a long layoff due to COVID. All of the players on the team think that their team has potential to go far in the state tournament this season.
“I’m extremely excited to start the season next week because I just feel like we have a lot of potential for success this year and I think it will come down to the team that can roll with the punches with the restrictions that COVID gives us.” Junior Halle Hamilton said. “So I’m really excited to see how our team holds up against the league this year.”
The team is a very tight knit group with seven underclassmen on the roster. That experience and camaraderie is something that the team expects to help them as they go along this season.
“I think our biggest strengths is getting excited and hyping each other up,” sophomore Cayden King said. “We’re always a team, we’re always there for each other.”
Both the boys and the girl’s basketball teams tried to shake rust off and get shots up this summer and fall by playing pickup games at Woodbury Park. The teams played half court matchups against one another.
“Yeah playing at Woodbury is always really fun because you can just have fun and you don’t have any of the pressure and worry and it can also make you ready for the season and excited,” King said.
The schedule doesn’t do the team any favors this year, with a week off between games one and two but then three games in three days, including two on the road. That travel schedule will be a tough one for the girls basketball team but one that coach Hamilton thinks his team can handle.
“Yeah, that’s very difficult to play three varsity games in three nights, especially as hard as we play. So we plan on using a lot of people and we’re preparing to be in shape to go those tough weeks with three games,” Eric Hamilton said. “But definitely, we’re going to have to count on a lot of younger players stepping up and getting some good minutes.”
The fact that fans will be limited or non-existent at the teams games this season is one of the things that the players view as their weakness this year. The team views it as a hard challenge for them to maintain their energy.
“For weaknesses, probably COVID and stuff, and not being able to like, have the energy of crowds and stuff. Yeah,” senior Amber Salazar said.
“There have been a lot of talented girls play in the last few years but we have some really talented sophomores, juniors and seniors this year and we’re really well balanced. The potential is there to be a really fantastic team,” Eric Hamilton said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work, we have a super tough schedule but if these girls will stick together and play as a team. I think the opportunities are endless.”
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Next week, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Moffat County are hosting a free day-long seminar for local ranchers and agriculture producers.