In search of the elusive state championship |

In search of the elusive state championship

Team information

League: Western Slope League (WSL) Class 4A

Coach: Craig Mortensen

Assistant Coaches: Matt Ray,

Norm Yoast

Mortensen with the Bulldogs: 28 years

2006-07 season: 13-1 (WSL)

22-3 (overall)

Returnees: eight

Players lost: two

Players to watch:

- Angie Charchalis (senior) - 16 points, 5.4 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game as a junior. Second team all state and Western Slope League Player of the Year.

- Markie Workman (senior) - 14.2 points, 6.3 rebounds per game as a junior. First team All-Western Slope


to watch:

Glenwood Springs. The Demons are the team responsible for the Bulldogs' lone league defeat in the past two years, knocking off Moffat County by one point last season at home. Glenwood has finished runner-up to the Bulldogs the past five times in the final Western Slope standings.

Dates to circle

on the schedule:

- Jan. 11, 2008. - Moffat County visits Glenwood Springs in a battle of the Western Slope League's top two teams the past five seasons.

- Feb. 22, 2008. - Moffat County visits Eagle Valley in the last game of the regular season. Will the Bulldogs once again earn a No. 1 seed heading into the postseason?

As the Moffat County girls basketball coach for nearly 30 years, Craig Mortensen has pretty much seen it all in the world of girls high school hoops.

He’s hosted regional tournaments, participated in state championship games and prepared many girls for the college ranks.

The Bulldogs have been the No. 1 seed in the state tournament so often the coach can’t remember them all.

This year, he has leadership, as the Bulldogs return five seniors to the hardwood in the attempt to fulfill the never-changing, yearly goal of winning the state championship.

Mortensen won’t admit his season-ending ambition, but he’s openly optimistic when looking toward the future

“If we play well together as a team,” Mortensen said, “the overall goals will take care of themselves.”

The Bulldogs return all-state selections in senior guard Angie Charchalis and senior forward Markie Workman.

Both players have signed national letters of intent to play at the college level; Charchalis at the Colorado School of Mines and Workman at Adam’s State College.

As good as the all-state players are, Mortensen hinted that the team will only go as far as the rest of the players on the team take it.

“We can’t just rely on (Charchalis and Workman) if we are going to be successful,” he said. “We need more than that if we are going to do well this year.”

Mortensen said the underclassmen on the squad will have to step into their respective roles – whether it be starting minutes or simply “spot help,” as he put it – and contribute to the team chemistry.

Juniors Alicia Nelson and Ariel Sanchez, along with senior Jorgiea Raftopoulos, are the players he expects to fill that role.

“It’s time for them to help,” he said. “They have to be able to step in and keep the flow, tempo and consistency where it needs to be for us to succeed.”

Moffat County should be the favorite to win the Western Slope League title once again this season. The Bulldogs own a 27-1 league record the past two years.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or


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