Two teams seek the same path |

Two teams seek the same path

Bulldog basketball practices begin Saturday

John Vandelinder

— The winter sports season for the Moffat County High School is on the horizon.

Out with football, boys golf, cross country, boys soccer and girls volleyball.

In with wrestling, swimming, hockey and girls and boys basketball.

The latter has begun shoot-a-rounds. Saturday will mark the beginning of full-squad practices complete with roster decisions and the oh-so-fun-for-athletes, two- and three-a-day practices.

Moffat County boys basketball coach Steve Maneotis and girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen are getting ready to begin each coach’s respective season Saturday.

It is a tale of two different coaches, with two different methods, on a singular mission.


Maneotis is in his first season at the helm of the boys team.

“We have a task here in rebuilding this program,” he said. “It won’t be a quick fix. We have to focus on just putting the pieces together.”

Mortensen is in his third decade coaching the girls team.

“We have high expectations here,” he said. “We fell short last year. The girls know what I expect.”

The teams will share the Moffat County gymnasium all season, with practice time no exception.

Throughout the shoot-a-round sessions this week, the teams have been rotating the use of the gym between starting times of 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Saturday will mark the first day both teams will practice hard, with roster spots up for grabs, and commitment to be displayed to the coaching staffs.

Maneotis is putting the boys team through a three-session practice day, starting at 7 a.m. Saturday.

“We will practice at 7 (a.m.), 12:30 (p.m.) and 5:30 (p.m.).” He grinned mischievously and a countered with, “I was thinking of putting four garbage cans in the corners of the gym in case they puke.”

Maneotis is out to mold a new team.

“I am going to make sure that nobody in the league (Western Slope League) will out work us on the floor,” he said. “We are going to bring the Moffat County tradition back. I want other teams to realize when they get done playing us they will know they were just in a dog fight.”

Mortensen was a little more subdued. He has been there before. The wily old coach has been at this for “a long time” he said.

The girls practice once at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Mortensen is looking to build team unity and work at perfecting the fundamentals.

“We want to have strong team cohesiveness,” he said. “We know that to be successful we have to play together. Practice is now, the future will take care of itself.”

Two coaches.

Two methods.

One goal.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or

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