Moffat County High School athletes fall back into sports routines | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County High School athletes fall back into sports routines

Football, volleyball, cross country, boys soccer, boys golf embark on seasons

The Bulldogs are back in action this week.

All systems are go for teenage athletes around the state, as Colorado High School Activities Association'sColorado High School Activities Association’s official start date commenced for fall sports, and official start date commenced for fall sports, and Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School was no exception. was no exception.

Colorado High School Activities Association's official start date commenced for fall sports, and Moffat County High School was no exception.

Getting back into the fray at the first possible second was the football team, who hit the turf at the Bulldog Proving Grounds at 12:01 a.m. Monday as part of the program's Midnight Madness to get ready to hit hard and hit often.

Two-a-day practices started from there, with the high school sportsmen and coaches also hosting a camp for Craig Middle School players who will start their regimen next week.

Head coach Keith Gille said there is a great deal of excitement among athletes as they work to fill out the starting roster. In addition to visiting programs and events over the summer such as tournaments hosted by Colorado Mesa University and the Denver BroncosDenver Broncos, players have set up camp at the Moffat County weight room in the off-season to get in fighting shape., players have set up camp at the Moffat County weight room in the off-season to get in fighting shape.

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Denver Broncos, players have set up camp at the Moffat County weight room in the off-season to get in fighting shape.

"It's a weird year because we've had to get going fast, a year of change, but it doesn't get any better than this," Gille said.

MCHS football's first game is an out-of-state event as the Dogs head north Colorado Highway 13 to meet the Outlaws of Rawlins, Wyoming, the first game between the two varsity teams since 2008.

Varsity's first home game will see them host Ridge View Academy Sept. 2, while the C-Team will be the first to play at home, bringing in Meeker Aug. 29 and Glenwood Springs Sept. 1.

The football practice field received the twice the usage this week, as the boys soccer team kicked into gear in their playing space at MCHS. Head coach Harry Tripp has also been putting players through the paces to get them where they need to be with multiple sessions per day.

"Mornings, we've been working on conditioning, getting the legs ready, then in the evenings, we're shooting, dribbling, passing and just tweaking things," he said.

A somewhat smaller turnout than expected for the opening week has Tripp wondering if he'll be able to maintain a varsity and JV team this season, with 22 kids cutting it close.

"I'd like to have a JV team, and 24, 25, 26 would be better," he said. "I hope when school starts, more kids will come out."

Bulldog soccer will receive an abundance of playing time this weekend at a set of scrimmages in Glenwood, during which they'll see the host school, as well as Rifle and Coal Ridge. A home scrimmage is also possible next weekend.

The squad's first official game will be Aug. 30 in Steamboat Springs, opening at home Sept. 10 against Grand Junction's Central High School.

In the Moffat County gym, the volleyball nets are up, and players are going at them as they ready for their own season in store.

First year head coach Erin Knez said the turnout has been great as most girls have returned, while a lot of rookies are also in the mix, meaning an additional coach could be brought on to accommodate the 33 players in the program.

"The toughest part is getting the everybody's fundamentals the same," she said. "The older girls who know how to do those things, they're ready to go farther faster, but we've got to get everybody on the same page. This group of girls, they hustle, they listen well, they're all eager to learn new things."

Volleyball travels to Steamboat Aug. 25 and hosts West Grand Aug. 30, a switch from past seasons that have usually started with tournament play, a Rangely tourney taking place the following weekend.

"I would prefer tournament first to work the bugs out, see where we're at," Knez said. "Steamboat's a hard opener, they're always tough, competitive, but at the same time I like that because they don't take it easy on us at all, and that'll be a good way for us to step up our game and come out hard at the beginning."

While other teams stick to campus for practices, boys golf is in the midst of their seasonboys golf is in the midst of their season, starting a week earlier than other sports, MCHS hosting its home invitational Monday at , starting a week earlier than other sports, MCHS hosting its home invitational Monday at Yampa Valley Golf CourseYampa Valley Golf Course..

boys golf is in the midst of their season, starting a week earlier than other sports, MCHS hosting its home invitational Monday at Yampa Valley Golf Course.

Meanwhile, cross country is at large, warming up in the chill of early morning starting at the school and going wherever the road takes them as they build their speed and endurance for the path ahead this year. Runners will participate Friday in a team time trial at Loudy-Simpson Park to get a gauge of where they are as the season starts.

Their first event will be Aug. 26's Cheyenne Mountain Stampede in Colorado Springs, which is also the site of the state championships.

Coach Todd Trapp said many of his striders — 18 currently, between boys and girls — have kept in top shape and kept running during the summer, and he expects some great things.

"They're doing really well, doing good runs, excited for the season," he said. "Things are coming together really fast."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.