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Bulldog Beat: Moffat County winter sports in high gear

Andy Bockelman
For the Craig Press

The first week of winter sports is in the books around Colorado, and Moffat County High School had plenty of big moments.

We’ll be detailing the highlights each week in the column Bulldog Beat, so read on to find out what’s been happening for local athletes.

Bouncing back

Moffat County girls basketball head coach Eric Hamilton (kneeling) huddles with his team during a game against Palisade.
Andy Bockelman / For the Craig Press

Though MCHS boys couldn’t seal the deal in their first game of the winter with their Steamboat rivals in a 56-52 defeat, the Bulldogs were in full command this weekend, sweeping three straight opponents during the Tiger Tip-Off in Bennett.



The Bulldogs earned their first W against Greeley’s Frontier Academy in a 75-51 finale, while Friday saw them crush Lakewood’s Addenbrooke Classical Academy 80-41, and Saturday was an 84-42 rout of Bennett.

Head coach Mark Carlson said the key to success was not letting things hang over their heads.



“We didn’t dwell on the Steamboat loss,” he said. “A couple big things from this weekend was their unselfishness, and they played with a lot of effort defensively. We also really attacked the boards on both ends.”

Myles Simpson led in scoring with a combined 48 points across three games, while fellow seniors Ryan Peck and Jordan Carlson each earned a double-double during the event, with sophomore Ian Hafey earning back-to-back double-doubles with scoring and rebounds in balance.

Conversely, the Bulldogs girls’ season opener win of 54-16 against Steamboat Springs set the tone for success, but two days later came a far more intense match-up as they fell 50-25 to Fort Collins.

However, a Saturday game in Palisade saw the Bulldogs shake off the negativity to cruise to a 60-53 victory.

Palisade held a lead only briefly before the MoCo girls got their marksmanship going with five three-pointers in the first quarter courtesy of seniors Halle Hamilton, Jacie Evenson, Reese Weber and junior Lizzy LeWarne.

“We got cold from outside, so we had to attack inside. They really put some pressure on our perimeter, and we needed to do something,” coach Eric Hamilton said. “I thought our defense really kept us in it.”

LeWarne said after hitting the first triple of the game, she was feeling shaky on her shooting. So, she began doubling down on the other end of the court with blocks, steals and rebounds.

“I wasn’t shooting good, but I still wanted to help the team in some way, so I thought I’d use my long arms,” LeWarne said Saturday. “Thursday kind of made us lose some confidence, but we got a lot of that back today.”

Halle Hamilton finished with 20 points, and Evenson picked up 12, including a rate of 8 for 10 at the free throw line. LeWarne had nine points, while sophomore Emma Tucker and senior Rylie Felten each had four.

The 2-1 girls and 3-1 boys will both compete next at the Demon Invite Dec. 9 to 11 in Glenwood Springs.

“Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into this weekend,” coach Carlson said.

Back in the water

Moffat County swimmer Maddy Caddy swims the 50 Free at the Demon Meet Thursday in Glenwood Springs.
Andy Bockelman / For the Craig Press

MCHS swimming started the schedule with the Demon Meet Thursday, hosted in Glenwood Springs. While they swam most races, it was in the group efforts that they had their best numbers in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 200 medley relay, taking eighth in each race.

Vivian Brown started the medley in the backstroke, Sarah Johnson in breaststroke, Morgan Schacht in butterfly, and Wagner Brown freestyle, with a time of 2:25.96. Johnson led the the 200 free relay later in the meet, followed by Vivian, Natalia Lopez next and Wagner finishing, their time 2:09.09.

The first meet of the season had encouraging results in individual races, said coach Melany Neton, particularly the 50 free in which nearly everyone competed, whether seasoned or new to the sport.

“I was excited that our returning swimmers’ times were better or close to their best times last year, and our new swimmers are learning quickly and excited to be competing,” Neton said.

MCHS swimming will next compete in Delta Dec. 10 and Gunnison Dec. 11.

Grappling with grit

Blake Hill, right, wrestles against Rifle at Colorado Mesa University's Maverick Duals Saturday.
Andy Bockelman / For the Craig Press

The Maverick Duals at Colorado Mesa University provided a long Saturday for MCHS wrestling.

MoCo went 4-1 with wins of 37-27 over Central, 57-6 over Rifle, 54-24 over Delta, and 46-28 over Palisade, as well as a 33-29 defeat to Gunnison.

Seniors Caden Call and Ryan Duzik each went undefeated on the day, with Call 5-0 in the 138-pound class with four pins and one forfeit and Duzik 4-0 at the 152 weight with three pins and one uncontested match. Fellow senior Hunter Fredrickson rounded out the day in the 52’s with a pin against Palisade in 44 seconds.

Going 4-1 in the duals were seniors Anthony Duran (126) and Kalub West (145); juniors Kaden Hixson (120), Brody Wiser (132), Michael Voloshin (160), and Billy Lawton (182); and freshman Colt Call (106).

At 170, sophomore Blake Hill was 2-3, with one win by forfeit and another a second-period pin against Rifle.

“The guys knew what they had to do in a lot of these matches to take care of business,” said Tyler Seislove, MCHS head coach.

Elsewhere, MCHS juniors Hannah Frink and Makaela Simpson competed for the Soroco girls wrestling team in Oak Creek.

The Rams hosted their first event of the season with Friday’s Soroco Girls Round Robin, which the hosting team won.

Frink took fourth place in the 136-pound class with an 0-3 day, and Simpson went 1-1 to earn the silver in the 185 class.

Simpson said she was pleased with the results but even more with what she gained in experience.

“I definitely got more of a feeling for the fast pace and what long matches are going to look like and what I’ll need to work on the next couple weeks to focus on getting my goals,” she said.

Hockey at home

As most MCHS teams racked up miles on the odometer, Moffat County Bulldogs club hockey was the lone group to stay in Craig this weekend.

With the fall season transitioning into winter, the 18 and under team swept the Grand Junction River Hawks in two Saturday games.

The 7-5 starter saw Forrest Siminoe earn a hat trick, with additional goals by Logan Durham, Zane Durham, Garrett Anson and Brant Gutierrez.

The 5-3 follow-up was led in scoring by Logan Durham lighting the lamp twice, with a goal apiece by Anson, Gutierrez and Garett Stockman.

In goal, Dylan Herndon earned 12 saves in the first game, Caden Bugay 16 in the second.

Coming up, Bulldog hockey recently added two home games against Arapahoe for Dec. 18 at Moffat County Ice Arena.


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