John Vandelinder: Rocky week for Bulldogs
December 19, 2007
It was an up and down week for teams in the Moffat County sports world.
The girls basketball team swept a pair of home games, but the boys basketball team was blanked in Wyoming. The Bulldog wrestling team learned it has a long way to go to live up to the tradition laid out by past teams, and the swimmers competed in the season’s largest meet.
Let’s take a look.
The Bulldog Hockey Club stays on top this week. They had the week off, but a 7-0 record means they stay put.
The team didn’t play, but Colt Criswell still scored twice. The speedy winger filled in admirably for an undermanned Red Dogs hockey team Sunday.
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Moffat County blew by the weekend competition, winning its two games by a combined score of 139-77.
Coach Craig Mortensen has this team firing on all cylinders. Angie Charchalis and Markie Workman have proven to be as good as advertised. It’s hard not to mention the pair when they handle the ball so effectively.
However, the key to the team’s recent dominance was the play of the other starters.
Jorgiea Raftopoulos handles the ball well and can shoot the rock from downtown.
Amy Dilldine has a wicked first step, and it could be just a matter of time before she begins to score in double digits on a regular basis.
Desirae Pearcey is a force in the middle. The senior doesn’t get many plays called for her, but she has a knack for being around the ball. Five blocks Friday against Fruita proved that.
This squad has been bounced from the postseason too early in recent years, something I do not see happening this year. Could Mortensen finally get that elusive state title?
If Charchalis, Workman and company have a say in the matter, clear out some room in the trophy case in the high school.
The Bulldog swim team competed in Loveland during the weekend, and despite not-so-spectacular results, the team came away a more experienced unit.
Kelsey Conci continued her winning ways, blowing away the competition in the 50-yard freestyle for the third consecutive week.
The girls were matched up against many larger 5A schools, a challenge which should pay huge dividends come the end of the season. This is a team made up of two stars in their last year of swimming at the high school level – the Conci twins – mixed with a bunch of newcomers. We all know the twins are good, but the key to their legacy will be how well they help the youngsters succeed.
Just as things started to look up for coach Roman Gutierrez’s squad, the team took a hit to their egos Friday and Saturday in the Warrior Classic.
For the first time in Gutierrez’s tenure, his team failed to place any wrestlers in the medal rounds.
Watching practice, you can see the losses have nothing to do with coaching.
The work ethic is there, but there seems to be a common denominator between the football team losing and the wrestling team losing: strength.
Gutierrez told me Monday the team’s Achilles heel was strength, and this isn’t the first time it’s been said.
Technique will enable you to get under a kid and grab his legs, but if you can’t lift him, what’s the point?
What can I say about this group I haven’t said already?
We know they are new to the system. We know coach Steve Maneotis is working them hard. We know they are bound to win a game sooner or later, but when?
The tough preseason schedule – which was in place before Maneotis arrived at the helm – has been chewing up this team. A win or three in the upcoming Alamosa tournament is the medicine this team needs to cure its woes. I think once this team tastes victory, it will feast. But the question remains: Who’s going to be the first course?