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Calling off the ‘Dogs, literally

Daily file photoChris Freud
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During Saturday night’s Moffat County-Battle Mountain girls basketball game, I asked myself, “So which school was on athletic probation for unsportsman-like behavior recently?”

Moffat County has an outstanding girls basketball team, and tactfully-put, Battle Mountain has struggled. It wasn’t any surprise that Bulldogs had their way with the Huskies, but to the tune of 89-27?

No one on that court Saturday night is going to the WNBA. What the kids are meant to be learning by participating in athletics are discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship. Credit the Bulldogs for being an outstanding squad, but they only went 2-for-3 in the important educational venture.



The Bulldogs ran up the score and showed no qualms about doing so. Moffat County’s actions were disgraceful.

Moffat led 23-5 after the first quarter and 46-10 at the half. I understand that the Bulldogs are getting ready for the playoffs, but there is an unwritten code for situations like this and it should have been respected.



You do not have your team continue to play in a full-court press when you are up by 50 or more points.

You do not wait until the end of the third quarter when you’re leading 73-14 to pull your starters.

And you do not keep putting up 3-point shots in the fourth quarter when you are up by 60-something points.



I do not begrudge the Bulldogs for continuing to play, especially when they put their bench in during the fourth quarter. You can’t tell a kid who’s likely spent most of the season on JV not to try to score when she gets varsity playing time. But tell the kid, “No 3s.” The most meager shred of sportsmanship dictates that courtesy.

And if you’re a parent in the stands, you should lead by example. At Battle Mountain, I always sit at the scorer’s table between the parents of both teams, and I usually hear both sides, shall we say, giving their insight to the officiating crew of the evening.

Saturday night, Moffat County parents were howling at the zebras in the second halfbecause the foul differential was admittedly in Battle Mountain’s favor. It’s my guess only, but the refs were probably attempting simply to keep the Bulldogs from scoring 100 points in a 32-minute high school game, something that just shouldn’t happen.

Yet the Bulldogs fans kept screaming at the refs when their team was up by 60 points. What sort of example does this set for your kids?

Of course, there can be no sanction for this, but there is cosmic justice. There will come a day when Battle Mountain does beat Moffat County in girls’ basketball. Anything is possible. After all, the Huskies beat the Bulldogs in football in 2006. When it does happen, I hope to be there and I know that the Huskies will show more class.

In other preps notes:

– Kudos to the DeBeque girls basketball team for soldiering on Friday night. The Dragons only suit up five players for basketball and they were playing 4-on-5 against Vail Christian for the whole fourth quarter because a player fouled out. If this looks familiar to long-time Saints fans, that because it’s happened before.

On Jan. 13, 2001, the Saints suited up five against Ouray. One Vail Christian player fouled out and another got injured. The Saints played 3-on-5 for the last 3:19 of the fourth quarter in a 49-32 loss. To go into the way-back machine, the three Saints on the floor were Dominique Gros, Mikayla Curtis and Lisa Rohlwing.

– Congratulations to Vail Christian for closing out its stay at the St. Clare gym in style Friday night with wins over the Dragons. While everyone involved with Saints basketball is grateful to those at St. Clare for the use of the gym, the Saints can’t wait to move across the street.

– My bet is that Jaryd Francis might make all-league. But in case Sheldon Kuhns needs a talking point for the coaches’ meeting: “How many centers do you know who average 20 points per game AND sing the national anthem?”

– A.J. Burgess, you’re on for next year.

– Kudos to Eagle Valley’s Chad Strakbein and Trent Book for making this week’s state-wrestling tournament. One question, do they get to don the cool red shirts and black hats that coaches Ron Beard and Luke Cross wear?

– Moving to hockey, well done to the seeding committee. With a 15-game winning streak and an unblemished conference mark, the Huskies really did deserve to get that No. 1 seed. It is nice to know that the powers that be have a sense of humor about things, by putting Summit at Dobson Arena.

I really like how the players said all the right things about not preferring to play Summit rather than Palmer, but you know the Huskies want Summit ” badly.

– Unless you are on a basketball team, Battle Mountain students, you have no excuse for not being at Dobson Arena Friday ” and hopefully, Saturday ” at 6 p.m. to root for Huskies hockey.

– Tuesday is the official beginning of spring practice. It’s looking really green out there. OK, maybe not. But Huskies track and field coach Rob Parish, I think, has been in a zen-like state of readiness for this since, oh, the state cross country meet in October.

And with the coming of spring, we welcome Vail Christian to the ranks of the varsity soccer. Go get ’em, girls.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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