Off to State: Moffat County High School sends athletes off to state tournaments in style |

Off to State: Moffat County High School sends athletes off to state tournaments in style

Three teams made their way to the state tournament to try and bring home a state title for MCHS.

With a weekend full of state tournament competitions, Moffat County High School sent its student-athletes off in style Thursday with a district-wide celebration.

The Moffat County girls’ basketball team hit the road for a round of 16 matchup against Delta Thursday night.

Bulldog swimmers Ellina Jones, Alexa Neton, Kelsey McDiffett and Hailey Knowles were also honored before heading off to Thornton for the 3A state swimming championships, and Moffat County wrestlers Blake Juergens, Kaden Hixon, Pepper Rhyne and Blake Hill hit the road to Pueblo for the state wrestling championships.

The school made an announcement shortly before the event started as the three teams made their way from the third floor down to outside of the school, walking through the hallways getting salutations and cheers from the waiting students and teachers.

Juergens, Hixson, Rhyne and Hill are heading to Pueblo by way of finishing in the top two in their respective weight classes. This is Juergens and Hill’s first trip to the state tournament, while Hixson and Rhyne return to the state tournament for the second straight year.

The teams were all excited to go try to get more banners for the school, including the swim team as all four swimmers were excited to get off and running and to blast Taylor Swift for the four hour drive.

The swimmers all remarked that they felt the school spirit and the love and support from their school during the send off.

One of the athletes that experienced the school sendoff for the first time was girls basketball sophomore Lizzy Lewarne, who did not participate last season due to an ankle injury.

“It was really exciting and it was good to know everyone was supporting us and is excited for us,” Lewarne said.

The school spirit was felt throughout the district as the buses and cars drove past the elementary schools as well.

“It was really cool because we could just see how excited all the other kids were. They made signs and they were all wearing their Bulldog stuff in their blue and they were just really excited for us,” Lewarne said. “It was really awesome.”

The basketball team has a quick turnaround, forcing them to get mentally ready to play the Panthers while on the journey, something that kicks in around two and a half hours into the three hour trip.

“Once we get to Grand Junction is usually when I start zoning in on the game and focusing in on what I need to do to help the team,” junior Jacie Evenson said.

The teams received some motivation from their friends cheering for them, which includes Blake Hill and the wrestling team.

“It was a real uplift,” Hill said.

This trip is a monumental and emotional one for Juergens, who makes the state tournament for the first time in his senior year.

“It was pretty sweet to make it my last year. I’ve been close before and I’ve not made it before,” Juergens said. “So this being my last year and finally making it, it was pretty awesome.”

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