Football, fall sports return to practice under smoky conditions
It was ugly Tuesday morning in the hills above Craig as the Bulldogs got back to work.
Day two of football practice was underway, and for another day, hazy brown smoke blanketed the high school practice field as a few dozen boys in helmets tooled around the wet grass with their coaches.
“It’s been great,” said Moffat County High School head football coach Lance Scranton by phone after practice. “We’ve got a lot of kids out, I think they’re excited to get back to having a somewhat normal schedule. We’ve had a good turnout, about 45 kids from ninth through 12th grades, and the coaching staff is pretty excited.”
Scranton said 45 was a pretty healthy turnout for a school of Moffat County’s size.
“We’re pleased,” he said. “We’d always love to have more kids out, but kids that are excited and ready to get moving — we’re excited for them.”
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It’s not the very first time the players have buckled up their chin straps this summer, but it’s the first they’ve all been together at once — Scranton noted a camp in Wyoming last month afforded some players a bit of a tune-up.
But it was a chance to get simple. Scranton could be heard Tuesday morning explaining to the Bulldogs linemen the absolute fundamentals of a blocker’s pre-snap stance.
“Camp is a chance to strip things down to the bare bones and get back to basics,” Scranton said. “It’s building that foundation for the rest of the season.”
Scranton acknowledged the smoke was a factor that had to be considered — air quality in Craig has been warned about by the state on and off for weeks, and Tuesday was no exception.
“We’re tailoring conditions so they’re not running around too much,” he said. “First week of camp it’s a lot more standing around and learning than running and playing anyway, so (the smoke) really hasn’t been a factor for the kids at all. They haven’t complained, and we’re monitoring things to make sure they stay safe.”
The first game for Bulldogs football is just up the highway, at Steamboat Springs, on Friday, September 3.
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Twenty years into coaching track and cross country, head coach Todd Trapp said that new runners and different team dynamics keep him coming back year after year.