Moffat County football ready to tackle 2013 season
2013 Moffat County varsity football schedule
Aug. 31: 1 p.m. at Ridge View Academy (Watkins)
Sept. 6: 7 p.m. at Rifle
Sept. 13: 7 p.m. vs. Steamboat Springs
Sept. 20: 7 p.m. at Delta
Sept. 27: 7 p.m. vs. Eagle Valley
Oct. 4: 7 p.m. at Summit (Frisco)
Oct. 11: 7 p.m. at Glenwood Springs
Oct. 18: 7 p.m. vs. Montezuma-Cortez
Oct. 25: 7 p.m. at Battle Mountain (Edwards)
Nov. 1: 7 p.m. vs. Palisade
For Moffat County football, the 2013 season presents plenty of questions. The Bulldogs have chosen to answer them so far with a steady diet of hard work.
New faces abound for the Bulldogs this season, which lost 17 seniors from last year and return just three starters from a 5-5 2012 team. Even so, the attitude this summer has not been one of rebuilding, but of forging ahead with what they have.
“It’s weird not having a bunch of those guys,” said Brayden Peterson, a senior on the team. “It’s definitely different, but I think we’re closer this year. We’ve done a lot of things as a team.”
There were questions entering the summer for players and coaches alike, but the Moffat County coaching staff has been impressed with the work to get prepared.
“Having these guys come in was a lot of fun, because they didn’t necessarily know where they were going to fit in,” said Head coach Kip Hafey. “You just can’t say enough about their attitude this summer. We haven’t had to worry about them. As a coach I’ve turned around and caught (upperclassmen) coaching up the freshmen, showing them a better way to do things. That’s been pretty special from this group.”
Moffat County will bring a younger and less experienced team with limited depth to the gridiron this season, but so far Hafey has seen every player buy into the team’s mission, which he said puts no limit on the Bulldogs’ potential if it continues.
Part of that learning curve for many players has been getting accustomed to their offensive and defensive responsibilities. Moffat County is using the same spread principles it transitioned to last season, but most members got their first reps with the first team this season in an offense relies on timing and lots of moving parts.
“Some guys came in with a lot to learn,” said senior Sheldon Greenwood, a starter on the line last season. “But since practice started, we’ve come a long way.”
Greenwood was nervous about his senior year of football in May, not knowing what the team would look like. But he loves what his teammates have done this summer, stepping up to a major challenge.
Peterson also feels confident in his teammates because of what he’s seen in the preparation stages.
“We’ve got a lot of young talent, I think we’ve worked harder (than last summer) because we knew we had to and nobody complains,” he said. “I like what we have right now.”
The Bulldogs will play a difficult schedule in the 3A class of the Western Slope League, which features five teams ranked in the top 15 of the preseason state poll at CHSAAnow.com. They know nothing will come easily this season, but they believe in their preparation since June.
“We’re not as talented, but that’s not to say we don’t have talent,” Hafey said. “We don’t have a lot of depth. We know that, that’s why we’ve put this kind of time in. These boys know, for anything to happen good for them, they’re going to have to earn it. There will be no gimmes this season.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharing thanks, enjoying some laughs, and shedding a few tears are an indicator of the emotional levels that always seem to come with Moffat County High School graduation.