Moffat County spring sports ready to go, weather or not | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County spring sports ready to go, weather or not

Baseball, soccer, golf, swimming, track, rodeo prepare for coming seasons

Members of the Moffat County High School girls golf team work on their chipping in 2015 despite snowfall. Girls golf, boys swimming, girls soccer, baseball, track and field and rodeo are among the spring sports teams beginning their seasons soon, with practices officially beginning this Monday.

The calendar may still read winter, but a new season's worth of activities is about to spring forth.

Practices officially begin Monday for spring sports seasons at Moffat County High School, with track and field, baseball, girls golf, girls soccer, boys swimming and rodeo teams gearing up for competition, with first meetings Thursday.

With snow still on the ground, some squads will need to adjust to the conditions when it comes to early season preparation, with swimmers the only ones whose practice time won't be impacted by weather. Rodeo first rides in April, beginning with a gathering in Lamar, though there will be no home competitions this spring.

Baseball and soccer players will likely begin their practice sessions in the MCHS gym, sharing space as athletes get to work.

Soccer coach Harry Tripp said working with the ball indoors will be secondary to getting everyone in running shape.

"We're gonna have a lot of conditioning," he said.

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The first soccer game of the season is scheduled for March 8 against Colorado Rocky Mountain School, which might have to be rescheduled if the team is unable to hold the minimum number of practices. A great deal of the roster is still ensconced in the basketball postseason.

The first baseball match-up of the year may also be moved if the field at Craig Middle School is unplayable for a March 12 meeting with Steamboat Springs.

"With it being a non-conference game, that's one we can kind of move around a little bit easier.Our first conference game is supposed to be in Aspen March 19, and they won't have a field," said baseball coach Justin Folley, adding that he expects to play at a neutral location.

The confined practice space may be limiting, he said.

"Fielding ground balls has gotta be done on a field, but we'll be working on short hops, footwork, swings; it'll be a lot of breaking kids into the verbal recognition drills," he said.

While the initial work may be tough, Folley said he is encouraged by a huge interest in the team this season, more than 40 players, both boys and girls, ready to join.

Swimmers, golfers and tracksters have the benefit of no home events until later in the season, when the pool hosts an exhibition in early April and the track becomes the site of the Clint Wells Invitational later that month Yampa Valley Golf Course brings in teams twice this season, as MCHS girls host their home tournament in late April, leading up to the regional event in early May.

It might not be until the end of March that golfers get to hit the links of their own course. They will practice at East Elementary School until YVGC is free of snow.

A tournament March 7 in Palisade kicks off the year, said coach Ann Marie Roberts.

"That's more of a tournament that gets everybody out on the grass, back swinging," she said. "It gets everyone back in the groove of the golf season, so it's a good one."

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.