Moffat County football summer sessions keep Bulldogs sharp for season to come |

Moffat County football summer sessions keep Bulldogs sharp for season to come

The first competition of their 2018 fall schedule isn’t until the end of August, but Moffat County High School football will make the off-season count in the weeks leading up to that.

Bulldogs have already begun getting warmed up literally and figuratively in the past week as part of summer training with 7 on 7 tournaments against visiting Alameda and Meeker.

Coaches rotated in returning players and incoming freshmen in basic game plays with a touch format as a refresher course as athletes get back into the pigskin mindframe.

New head coach Jamie Nelson noted that players who have competed together regularly continue to mesh as he learns the best way to coach them.

“These guys have been together for years, and they’re still making progress all the time,” he said.

The easygoing format will be intensified in coming weeks. Players will don helmets and pads as part of early morning sessions July 9 to 11 before jumping on the bus for the rest of the week at the Goshen County Camp in Torrington, Wyoming.

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“It’ll be a long trip, but we’ll be stopping by University of Wyoming for a tour before we get up there,” Nelson said. “I think it’ll be great building that camaraderie, working together, playing together and looking out for each other.”

Weight room and conditioning throughout the summer will be part of the itinerary — with an additional 7 on 7 scheduled for July 19 against Steamboat Springs — before the real work begins Aug. 6 with official practices, followed by Spartan Week.

Come fall, the Dogs will see a shift in schedule, starting by hosting the Summit Tigers Aug. 31, with road games versus Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain in the accompanying weeks.

Back-to-back home games on Saturday afternoons against Ridge View Academy and Basalt — necessitated by schedule difficulties — are a change this year, as is the conference alignment.

The six teams making up the 2A Western Slope League have changed as MCHS, Aspen, Basalt and Coal Ridge remain, while Steamboat moves back to 3A and Roaring Fork temporarily drops football as a varsity sport following an 0-9 season — one of which was a 61-6 blowout courtesy of Craig — and declining number of athletes.

Filling the slots left open by the Sailors and Rams will now be Delta and Rifle, which will round out the Moffat County opponents.

The two new teams in the league will be among the toughest, Nelson said, as the Panthers beat the Bulldogs 40-7 in non-conference play in a 4-5 2017 season, whereas the Bears were 9-3 last year and a runner-up in 3A WSL before losing 49-7 in the playoff quarterfinals to eventual state champions Palmer Ridge.

Rifle last met the Dogs in 2015 and stomped them 41-0.

The final two games of the regular season will both be in front of a home crowd, though Nelson doesn’t want anyone worrying about what’s to come in October.

“We’re all about one day at a time and just getting a little better, that’s all we ask and that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “We’ll be working out those finer points once we get to the end.”

Moffat County High School varsity football 2018 schedule

Date — Opponent, Home/Away

Aug. 31 — Summit, Home

Sept. 7 — Steamboat Springs, Away

Sept. 14 — Battle Mountain, Away

Sept. 22 — Ridge View Academy, Home

Sept. 29 — Basalt, Home

Oct. 5 — Aspen, Away

Oct. 12 — Coal Ridge, Away

Oct. 19 — Delta, Home

Oct. 26 — Rifle, Home

— MCHS football will host multiple summer sessions for weights and conditioning, with open practice sessions July 9 to 11 before a team camp in Wyoming July 11 to 13. The first official day of practice is Aug. 6.