Top 10 Moffat County sports moments of 2017 — Part 2
The second part of our look back at the most memorable moments for Moffat County High School this year focuses on highlights from the fall sports teams as well as the beginning of the Bulldogs’ winter activities.
Moffat County football sought to put together another winning season following a 7-3 record in 2015 and a 5-4 year in 2016, but the Bulldogs faced more pushback within the 2A Western Slope League than they have seen in previous years to go 4-5 as Basalt and Aspen made their way into the postseason on behalf of the conference.
Nevertheless, when the boys in the silver helmets won, it meant something, including a 61-6 blowout against Roaring Fork and a 41-13 defeat of rival Steamboat Springs.
Still, it was their Homecoming triumph against Coal Ridge that may have meant the most.
The 14-10 match was the tightest one of the season for the Dogs, who fought for every yard, including a season-best for Miki Klimper on both sides of the ball with a 52-yard touchdown reception and 25 total tackles.
It was Colby Beckett who led the team and the league in tackles with 86 for the year, also tying with the Titans’ Jacx Powers in first for sacks, with five. Beckett recently was named to the 9Preps All-Colorado team.
Despite its struggles, MCHS was well-represented on the conference leaderboard, with quarterback Colby Beaver third in passing yardage at 944, Cale Scranton fifth in receiving yards (333) and Alex Nevarez sixth in rushing (404).
Though senior turnover will be considerable, a great deal of young talent will remain with the program, noted head coach Keith Gille.
“I really think there’s something there, a lot of special kids, it’s a good group,” he said. “Time will tell because kids can grow so much in a year. It’s all about the weight room and just getting better.”
Netting a home win
At 4-18, Moffat County volleyball had its share of struggles throughout the fall, but it was an October game against Roaring Fork that marked a meaningful milestone.
After two years with no wins at home, the Lady Bulldogs shook off its past and powered forward to earn 3-0 sweep of the Rams.
Roaring Fork held a 10-0 lead in the first set, but the visiting team fell apart from there as Terry Gillett stayed at the MCHS serving line for the next 18 points, complete with five aces. The home squad went on to take the first round 25-21, followed by 25-20 and 25-14 wins.
The young team’s achievement was also marked by Senior Night, with Jana Camilletti and Josie Timmer thrilled to finally break the cold streak at home.
“We just had good attitudes, great passes, just having fun and not getting down on each other,” Timmer said.
Up to speed
Bulldog cross country saw many successes during its season, building endurance with each race before hitting some of its best results later in the schedule when it really counted.
Such was the case during October’s 3A Region 1 Meet in Delta.
There was no overtaking Gunnison boys or Steamboat Springs girls for first-place group honors, but MCHS harriers were close behind in second for both teams, with Bulldog boys repeating the distinction and girls stepping up from fourth in 2016.
Carter Severson won the silver individually with his best time to date at 16:55.4 — only nine seconds behind Gunnnison’s Colton Stice — while Hayden’s Makenna Knez set the new girls team’s season best and personal best at 20:00.20 to take sixth.
The state course at Colorado Springs’ Norris Penrose Event Center proved considerably tougher to round out the year, but coaches will see largely the same corps of runners return.
“This is a really great group of kids to work with, and as coaches we’re lucky to work with kids who aren’t afraid to work hard and make some sacrifices in order to be great athletes,” head coach Todd Trapp said.
A cool salute
With a new season came another new division alignment for Craig Youth Hockey Association’s 18 and under team. Now part of the Colorado Recreational Hockey League, the Midgets have seen an array of familiar and unfamiliar foes as the winter has begun.
Early December saw the Bulldogs bring in Viewmont High School of Bountiful, Utah, ranked as the top team in the state.
A doubleheader counted only as scrimmages as the Vikings took solid wins of 12-0 and 11-1, with Wyatt Boatright claiming the only goal for the Craig crew.
Even so, the most important part of the day wasn’t game time but a ceremony between matches as local veterans presented the American flag at center ice. To show their support for the military, the home group was clad in specialty camouflage uniforms to resemble fatigues.
Head coach Tim Knez said he wanted to continue the military events hosted by Moffat County football, including bringing members of the MCHS band to play the national anthem at the ice rink.
With few victories in a 4-16 final record for 2016-17, MCHS boys basketball was resolved to get the new season started right.
A trio of December wins did the trick as the Bulldogs crushed the competition at Leadville’s Lake County Tournament, defeating Eagle Valley, Crested Butte and Lake County to win the round robin event.
The weekend amounted to the best start boys hoops has had since 2012, as well as the highest point count for the team in a game going back to 2014, with the opening game against Valley a 96-88 affair.
The following week at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out was a mixed bag at 1-2, yet the Dogs faced Eagle Valley again, increasing their best tally to 97 to the Devils’ 85.
A new individual standard was also reached when Brent Cook scored 30 points.
Already on par with the prior year, MCHS boys are 4-3 and will pick up again along with Moffat County girls as they begin 3A Western Slope League play against Aspen Jan. 5 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
A Saturday soft opening saw the beginning of a new canine hot spot in Craig.