Football up and running for Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com

Football up and running for Moffat County

Amid summer camps, senior Bulldogs ponder future in sport

The off-season is what athletes make it, and members of Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School sports plan to make it a time to fine-tune and be better than ever this fall. sports plan to make it a time to fine-tune and be better than ever this fall.

Moffat County High School sports plan to make it a time to fine-tune and be better than ever this fall.

With activities like MCHS football's summer skills camp and the NFL/Broncos Football Camp and NFL Play 60 Challenge through the Victory Motors Cancer DriveVictory Motors Cancer Drive, the gridiron has been busy this week., the gridiron has been busy this week.

Victory Motors Cancer Drive, the gridiron has been busy this week.

The Bulldogs have their minds focused and their bodies at work as they keep driving toward the fall with sessions in the weight room and practices on the field.

Rules from Colorado High School Activities Association allow football programs to either attend a training session offsite hosted by a college or another school or host their own event at home.

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MCHS head coach Keith Gille said he preferred to keep things in Craig the past two weeks, allowing more flexibility for athletes who want to engage in basketball practices or wrestling training during the summer.

MCHS hoopsters have been practicing weekly with scrimmages hosted by Coal Ridge High School in New Castle, while grapplers are in the middle of a road trip that has already included University of Nebraska and University of Iowa, among other places to learn and practice the sport after fundraising efforts.

Back at home, the Dogs also brought in members of Alameda High School for full contact training together starting Wednesday, which has given them a competitive edge, while team dinners have also helped solidify the Bulldogs new and old.

"I'm excited we were able to do this for our kids cheaply and in a way that's bringing revenue into our town," Gille said, noting the visitors. "It's real nice to pack up our kids so they don't have distractions, but it's important to have them be able to stay in town, sleep in their own beds and be kids this summer."

Not everything will be strictly in town — athletes will also have the chance to attend tournaments at Colorado School of Mines and Alameda, as well as through the Denver Broncos leading up to two-a-day practices in August.

Meanwhile, senior members of the football program are also in the midst of contemplating pursuing the sport after high school.

Gille said Keenan Hildebrandt is seeking out the opportunity of playing for Kansas State University, while fellow quarterback Isaac Montoya is looking at Northwest Missouri State.

Additionally, running back Eddie Smercina will be taking a trip later this month to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for the Blue-Grey Super CombineBlue-Grey Super Combine June 25 and 26. June 25 and 26.

Blue-Grey Super Combine June 25 and 26.

Eddie was invited earlier in the year to participate in a regional combine in April hosted by Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch determining the talents of the area's prospects.

Solid results in the event's determining tests, including the 40-yard dash, bench press, broad jump and shuttleSolid results in the event’s determining tests, including the 40-yard dash, bench press, broad jump and shuttle run led to the Bulldog — a five-sport athlete during the 2015-16 school year and the top rusher for his team and the entire 2A Western Slope North League, at more than 1,000 yards — getting the nod to attend the elite event in Texas, one of five across the nation hosted by Blue-Grey, which will host the All-American Bowl in late fall, featuring the top pigskin players in the country. run led to the Bulldog — a five-sport athlete during the 2015-16 school year and the top rusher for his team and the entire 2A Western Slope North League, at more than 1,000 yards — getting the nod to attend the elite event in Texas, one of five across the nation hosted by Blue-Grey, which will host the All-American Bowl in late fall, featuring the top pigskin players in the country.

Solid results in the event's determining tests, including the 40-yard dash, bench press, broad jump and shuttle run led to the Bulldog — a five-sport athlete during the 2015-16 school year and the top rusher for his team and the entire 2A Western Slope North League, at more than 1,000 yards — getting the nod to attend the elite event in Texas, one of five across the nation hosted by Blue-Grey, which will host the All-American Bowl in late fall, featuring the top pigskin players in the country.

Blue-Grey cites that of 630 athletes who participated in super combines in 2015, 425 signed to play college football.

The kid known as "Fast Eddie" thanks to his agility and speed is currently focusing more on his senior year than college ball, leaning toward a school reasonably close to home like Colorado Mesa University or Colorado State. However, he wouldn't say no to a full ride scholarship outside the state, should it be offered by the right school.

"I don't really have an ideal team, I think I'll be happy with just playing because I love this sport," Eddie said. "I just want to go as far as I can."

His mother, Tylawn, one of the main organizers of Moffat County's team dinners, said she hopes to see her son excel in his fourth year at MCHS and hopefully beyond that, his family behind him every step of the way.

"This is going to be quite a memory that we make together," she said.

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