Craig Middle School football, volleyball power through home games |

Craig Middle School football, volleyball power through home games

The Craig Middle School campus was hopping Saturday, as Bulldog fall sports teams hosted their first home games of the season.

CMS football brought in the Meeker Cowboys, with the seventh-graders pummeling the black and yellow opponents 40-6. The blowout was the younger Dogs’ best effort yet, said coach Ben Egger.

“These guys are looking really good this season, our offensive line is kicking butt, and it’s all starting there, Kort Murphy’s throwing the ball great, great hands at receiver,” he said. “Real tough team.”

The eighth-graders had a tougher morning against the Barone Middle School squad, ultimately falling 22-12. A few minor injuries slowed CMS down as quarterback Ryan Peck took a helmet to the ankle to be taken out temporarily and running back Norman Cruz went down after a hit near the sidelines, which was revealed to be a significant leg cramp.

“He thought it was broken, but he just needed a little more hydration. He still played good ball,” said coach Tony Maneotis. “Outside containment is pretty much what got us there, we made some mistakes, but kids still played good, played tough.”

Both teams are 2-1 following the weekend games in a season that has included for the eighth-graders a double overtime 14-12 win in Rawlins, Wyoming, and a 38-0 stomping of Steamboat Springs, which was ended abruptly at halftime due to lightning.

Indoors on Saturday, Bulldog volleyball hosted a four-team tournament with Steamboat, Rifle and Baggs, Wyoming.

The day proved a full sweep for seventh-grade teams, as A-, B- and C-teams won a total of six matches among the Sailors, Cubs and Rattlers in the Sandrock Elementary School gym, losing only set throughout the day. Seventh-grade teams remain undefeated on the year.

“They’re fantastic, working hard, and we’ve had a great year so far,” said coach Bre Ford.

On the A-Team, Shay Wait said she felt confident about her first year in the sport.

“The season is feeling great, we’re playing ball, working our hardest,” she said. “I love making new friends, being part of a team.”

Altogether, eighth-graders were 5-1, with a 2-1 fall to Steamboat for the B-team, their only loss of the day.

An off set midday against Baggs also looked like it might be heading that way, though players cleaned up their performance to finish 2-1.

“They scare me like that sometimes, and they definitely have the skills, but sometimes they get in their own heads,” said coach Jessica Profumo. “It’s amazing how much they’ve improved over last year.”

Two losses to Soroco to begin the season are the only defeats so far for the eighth-grade A-team.

Taytum Smercina said she felt losing early has had an upside.

“It was good that we lost a couple times just to make us work harder,” she said. “Everyone’s a lot better this year.”

Both volleyball and football teams will be on the road Saturday, football taking on East Grand in Granby and volleyball meeting Meeker and Rangely for a triangular tourney in Meeker.

Their following home matches will be in Craig, though not at CMS — both teams will play Sept. 28 at Moffat County High School as volleyball hosts Hayden and football squares off with Steamboat.

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