Monday, September 26, 2005
Whenever Moffat County and Steamboat Springs meet on a playing field, fans can expect a heated contest.
But as Moffat County coach Jeff Hammond talked about the impending game against the Sailors, there was no trash talk, no bold predictions and little mention of the storied rivalry between the two schools.
His words were filled with respect for the Sailors and the quality program coach Rob Bohlmann puts together year after year.
"It's always a good game when you come to Steamboat Springs," Hammond said on Monday. "It doesn't matter who Rob (Bohlmann) has on the field, the players are always well-coached and very dangerous."
But last year, it was Moffat County that proved to be dangerous.
The Bulldogs enjoyed one of the team's best seasons, posting a 9-6-1 record that included two victories against Steamboat. Moffat County earned its first playoff appearance and didn't let a 6-1 loss to Mountain View cloud an otherwise impressive season.
In Steamboat, it was a season to forget.
The Sailors finished the season at 2-11-1 and finished well out of the playoff hunt. That the improving Moffat County team swept past the Sailors has reminded both sides of the long-standing rivalry between the two schools.
But tonight's game is about a lot more than pride. Steamboat and Moffat County have struggled through ups and downs this season, and the winner will move up in the standings behind teams from Battle Mountain, Glenwood and Rifle.
A Steamboat victory would move the Sailors past the Bull--dogs in the league standings and give the Sailors new life as they look toward the second half of the season.
Steamboat, 1-2-1 in league, will come into the game riding a wave of momentum after picking up the team's first win on the 2005 campaign last weekend in a 3-2 thriller against Palisade.
A victory against Moffat County could ignite the Sailors' first winning streak this season.
The Bulldogs, 2-3-0, are coming off of a 4-0 loss to top-seeded Battle Mountain on Saturday. Moffat County will be hoping to get back on track and maintain its fourth-place standing in the league.
"It's a chance for us to start building, and you have to wonder how the Moffat County players are going to respond after losing to Battle Mountain. Either way, I think it's going to be a good game," Bohlmann said.
The venue at the high sch----ool's athletic field also should add to the drama. The game will start at 6 p.m. and will end under the glowing lights of Gardner Field.
-- To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209
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