Cowboys’ big ‘D’

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Performance in scrimmage has Meeker excited about defense heading into opener

MEEKER — The Cowboys traveled to Craig last Saturday to scrimmage Hayden, Coal Ridge and the host Moffat County Bulldogs, before opening their season this Friday in Basalt.
“It was a good challenge,” head coach Shane Phelan said of the scrimmages.
The Cowboys, who qualified for the state playoffs but lost in the first round to the eventual state champion Akron Rams, will be led by seven seniors, including one transfer from Alamosa.
“I’m looking forward to the games,” senior Tyler Matrisciano, who started at defensive cornerback as a sophomore and will quarterback the Cowboys for a second year, said.
Several of Matrisciano’s classmates were pleased with their defensive play in the scrimmages.
“We have some things to work on for sure but we played well on defense,” senior Trenton Schindler said.
Quinn Wix, Anthony “Bubba” Mazzola, Caleb Ball and Andrew Lawrence, along with transfer William Roybal will also provide senior leadership for the Cowboys this year.
“We have a good group of kids to work with,” Phelan, who will be assisted by Andy Coryell and Brett Steinacher again, said. “We would like to have more numbers but we have a nice bunch of upperclassmen with a lot of enthusiasm, excited to get going. I’ve seen a lot of good things out of the fellas so far.”
The league has changed from last year with Grand Valley moving up to 3A, Hotchkiss moving down into 2A and South Routt County (Soroco) moving down to eight-man football. Several of Meeker’s toughest games, against the likes of Roaring Fork, Paonia and Hayden will be played in front of a hometown crowd.
The Cowboys will get going on the road against the 3A Basalt Longhorns this Friday starting at 7 p.m. Meeker’s first home game will be Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. against the Olathe Pirates.