Cowboys prepare to kick off season

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With the season on temporary pause after Ignacio backed out of the Cowboy’s first football competition of the year, the team hit the field for a scrimmage on Saturday. There are 47 members on the team and they will be suited up Friday to take on the Moffat County Bulldogs. —TIFFANY JEHOREK PHOTOS

Special to the Herald Times

MEEKER | In an exciting turn of events, Cowboy football will kick off its season this Friday in Starbuck Stadium. 

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us,” commented head coach Shane Phelan. “First the season is on, then it’s off, then it’s back on again and then our first game is canceled and now we finally get to play on Friday in front of a home crowd.”

The coaching staff from last year is returning, coach Phelan and Matt Scott coaching the defensive line, Darby Finley the offensive line and defensive backs, Matt Dupire wide receivers, and Andy Coryell the linebackers and quarterbacks. Also returning to the team are nine seniors: Colby Clatterbaugh, Braydon Garcia, Spud White, Axel Oliva, Cooper Main, Ryan Phelan, Dax Sheridan, Carter Strate and Jeremy Woodward and new to the senior lineup are Josh Murphy and Justin Henderson. 

In this group of seniors some impactful talent returns to the field starting with the number one QB in class 1A, Phelan, who threw for for 2,396 yards last year, 223 more than Miles Srague from Holyoke in the number two slot and 1,097 more than Collin Russel from Strasburg in the number three position. Rushing, Woodward ran for 797 yards last year and through the air Clatterbaugh is within 54 yards of being in the number one slot for receiving, he and Phelan connected last year for 430 yards.

The junior class doesn’t disappoint, Kelton Turner is in the top 10 returning rushers and Zachary Eskelson is tied in the seventh spot with Ben Hatz from Platte Canyon having 4.5 sacks per game. “We are excited to play and have this opportunity to have a  game with an opponent so close to home in Northwest Colorado,” said Phelan. “It is great to be able to play our neighbors.”

“There are good numbers in every class, they have been eager all fall to play under the lights, and we hope the community comes out to support these boys.”

Moffat County is the first opponent for the Cowboys. A class 2A school, they made it to the playoffs last year. Stat leaders for the Bulldogs are Ryan Peck, QB, who threw for 1,130 yards last year and defensively they have Joseph Campagna with 92 tackles and averages 5.5 sacks and Taren Teeter with 90 tackles. 

“I expect Craig to bring a large contingent of fans with them with a competition that is this close,” Phelan said. 

The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The following Monday will be the first JV competition and Meeker will play host Moffat County at 5 p.m. at Starbuck Stadium.

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