CMS football remains dominant
The Craig Middle School football teams are about as familiar to losing as the Yampa Valley is to a tsunami it never happens.
The Bulldogs seventh and eighth grade teams completed undefeated seasons Saturday with victories over Steamboat Springs. The eighth graders won 6-0 and the seventh grade team came back from a 13-0 deficit in the third quarter to win 24-13. The perfect seasons the seventh grade did tie one game have become commonplace for CMS football teams. The last three seasons the eighth graders have finished their CMS football careers without a loss.
“The record is a little deceiving since we play a lot of schools smaller than us,” said seventh grade coach Burk Wynkoop. “Our budget doesn’t allow us to travel to the schools our size in the Western Slope, but we do have some good games against Steamboat.”
Eighth grade coach Gary Tague has seen his team lose once in the last four seasons.
“While our schedule is a little soft you still gotta have the horses to pull the carriage,” he said. “This year’s team had a lot of speed and pursued the ball well.”
For the seventh grade team, Wynkoop said he was impressed by the ability of his team to move the ball.
“We gained five or six yards almost every play,” he said. “We focus on the lineman firing off the line and that worked particularly well this season.”
Another key both coaches sited was the numbers of players they had come out.
“We always have good numbers in middle school,” Tague said. “That always helps with our record.”
So why don’t the teams continue to be undefeated at the high school ranks?
“In the past the high school program has not had a high retaining rate,” Tague said.
“When they get to the sophomore year and don’t get the playing time the players get frustrated,” Wynkoop said. “I think the new platooning system that coach Hafey has put in, will get the kids more playing time and keep them interested.”
As the CMS athletes move up to the high school level the coaches hope they have taught them well.
“We focus on playing with enthusiasm and good sportsmanship,” Tague said. “That way they go in doing things correctly and win or lose, they will handle it well.”
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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