MCHS soccer ready for opener |

MCHS soccer ready for opener

Bruce Tippets

— After three weeks of practice, the Moffat County High School boys soccer team is preparing to kick of its season at 11 a.m. Saturday in Palisade.

According to second year coach Eric Johnson, the Bulldogs are in good shape, but need to pick things up in practice before Saturday in the non-league game.

“As far as where we are at now, we are pretty good,” said Johnson before practice Tuesday. “We are lacking the intensity in practice and that is why I am stretching the practice to 6 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. I am hoping that will not hurt us in a game. I am hoping to get that out of them before our first game.”

Moffat County High School (MCHS) has five seniors on the team and Johnson is pleased with the way they are working.

“The five seniors are working really well together,” said Johnson. “They have been playing since they were 10-year-olds. They read each other really well and I hope that we can instill that with the rest of the team.”

Senior Robert Bamford is ready to get the season started and he knows a good start will be beneficial to the season.

“Practice has gone good so far,” said Bamford. “This is our third week and we are ready for a game. Last season, we lost our first few games at the start and we kind of got down. This season we need to win some games at the start to build up our confidence.

“I expect us to have a good season,” said Bamford. “I expect us to have some fun and win some games.”

Johnson said the Bulldogs are loaded with freshmen.

“We have a huge freshman class,” said Johnson. “Some of them are doing all right, but some of them haven’t stepped it up from the 14-and-under traveling team this summer. I am having trouble bringing them up to the varsity level right now. I am concerned about there confidence right now.”

According to Johnson, the non-league game Saturday is something the Bulldogs haven’t faced much in the past.

“I am not sure what to expect from Palisade,” said Johnson. “We haven’t had too many games outside of our league the last couple of years.

“This is my second year and I am trying to stretch us out farther and farther each year. It will be a new experience for us. I just hope that we are up to par.”

Johnson said the Bulldogs are in a small league with just three other teams.

“We are in 4A and Glenwood Springs, Rifle, and Steamboat Springs make up the league,” he said.

Johnson said Steamboat Springs is always a tough team and the other two have new coaches.

“Steamboat Springs always has a real solid team,” said Johnson. “Glenwood Springs and Rifle both have new coaches this year. I am not sure what their coaches are going to do. I talked to the Steamboat Springs coach Monday night and he lost a few seniors, but they still have a strong base left behind.

“This year for the state tournament they will take the top two from our league. We need to win a couple of our league games in order to make it to the state tournament.”