Craig Middle School football teams take down Meeker |

Craig Middle School football teams take down Meeker

CMS volleyball has varied home tourney with Steamboat, Hayden

The Craig Middle School eighth-grade football team's offense lines up for the two-point conversion during their Saturday game with Meeker. The eighth-graders won, 28-0, in their final home game of the season.
Andy Bockelman

While the majority of Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School sports had the weekend off from competition, Bulldog pride was still abuzz Saturday at sports had the weekend off from competition, Bulldog pride was still abuzz Saturday at Craig Middle SchoolCraig Middle School..

Moffat County High School sports had the weekend off from competition, Bulldog pride was still abuzz Saturday at Craig Middle School.

CMS football met with Meeker’s Barone Middle School in its final home games of the season, while the volleyball teams hosted a triangular tournament with both Steamboat Springs and Hayden.

Meeker massacre

The pigskin players swept the Cowboys, with the seventh-graders tied up at 8 at halftime and going on to win it, 14-8, late in the fourth quarter with a breakaway run of about 40 yards by Joe Campagna to complement the earlier score by Krace Papierski.

“They’ve been doing great, and every single practice we get better,” said seventh-grade coach Ben Egger.

From the sidelines, the CMS cheerleaders kept the crowd engaged with coaching by Jordan Anderson, and as the eighth-graders took the field, Egger and head coach Tony Maneotis were hoping to keep the energy going.

The older team did not disappoint, with Kevin Hernandez scoring early with a 1-yard push and Riley Nelson gaining a pick-six in the second quarter to put them ahead, 14-0, going into halftime.

Hernandez ran it in from 3 for another scoreboard boost and nearly scored again as he picked up a punt at his own 1 and made it all the way to the end zone before the 99-yard return was cut in half due to holding calls on both teams.

Though the lead was theirs, coaches weren’t taking any chances as the clock kept ticking.

“Leave everything on this field, every ounce of emotion,” Egger told players during a timeout. “This is our fourth quarter.”

Nelson crossed the goal line again to make it 28-0, but Meeker came back with a determined drive that refused to be shut out entirely. An interception by Tyler Fortune snatched away their best chance to avoid a goose egg, but a failed punt by the Bulldogs gave it to the Cowboys right at the goal with four seconds remaining. Even so, CMS blanked them for good with a blitz that gave the Bulldogs their first win of the season.

With a lot of injuries keeping kids from playing in recent weeks, it’s been a rocky road, Maneotis said.

“It’s been up and down, but it’s great to get that win,” he said. “Kids played hard ball and ran tough, got a lot of kids a lot of playing time.”

Tricky triangular

CMS volleyball had more mixed results facing off against the Sailors and Tigers for a series of games. The seventh-grade A-Team had the best results of the day, unbeaten during the weekend with 2-0 games against each opponent, taking down Steamboat 21-16 and 21-6 and dual 21-7 sets to Hayden. Though losing 2-0, their B-Team associates didn’t make it easy for the Sailors — 21-17 and 22-20 — and had the edge on Hayden with a 21-14 first set, only to fall in the following, 21-18 and 15-6 in the tiebreaker.

For the eighth-graders, the going was tough as each went 2-0, with A-Team posting 21-19 and 21-18 tallies in the morning with Steamboat before being hit 21-9 and 21-10 against Hayden.

Likewise, B-Team was 21-7 and 21-12 with the Sailors, 21-19 and 21-8 with the Tigers.

The series of defeats were surprising after a good performance earlier in the week with visiting Rawlins, Wyoming, said assistant coach Bobbie Evenson.

“We’ve gotten lots of volleyball in with this, but when you’re down it’s kind of hard to get back up,” she said.

The big dogs of tomorrow

Volleyball still has two weeks left in its schedule, heading to Baggs, Wyoming, Tuesday, then playing Meeker at home Thursday and on the road the following Saturday before a season-ending tournament hosted by East Grand Oct. 10.

“It’s been a fast season, but the girls are learning a lot, improving a lot, so I’m happy with it,” said seventh-grade coach Vicki Blomquist.

CMS football will wrap up its season Oct. 3 in Steamboat, both groups looking to avenge losses to the Sailors during their game at the Bulldog Proving Grounds.

After spending the past month getting his players ready to step onto the high school gridiron, Maneotis said their latest game showed their capabilities. Implementing some of MCHS’s playbook in his offense, he knows they’ll be ready for what comes in the future when they matriculate to 900 Finley Lane.

“We’ve got some really good fundamentals, and I think they’re ready for that next step,” he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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