Up and down el Rio Blanco: Building a winning team

To me, sports are a lot like life. Although one doesn’t always win, it’s still a lot of fun to compete and be part of a team, something bigger than oneself.
It was a two-sport day for me last Saturday as I traveled to Rangely in the morning to take photos at the wrestling tournament the Panthers hosted before returning to Meeker for basketball games.
I got to watch a few good matches and two of the best ones featured Panthers against Cowboys. Rangely won one and Meeker won one and both had opposite winners the first time they wrestled each other earlier this season. I didn’t get to watch the finals, as I drove back to Meeker to catch the varsity boys and girls beat Paonia in basketball.
Two Rio Blanco County wrestlers won titles, one from Rangely (Cole Barlow) and one from Meeker (Justin Hardy). Coaches named the Rangely champ the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Tuesday Rangely’s boys and girls basketball teams came to play in Meeker and although the boys game was not really contested in terms of points, the girls needed extra minutes to determine a winner. It’s fun to watch our local athletes compete against each other on the mats, courts and fields and the county rivalry is healthy as long it is left on the playing field.
Rio Blanco County has a lot of other “outstanding players” and our newly elected governor is asking all Coloradans to get in the game and help make our state a better place to live and do business.
In my humble opinion, there is nothing like the feeling of being a part of a winning team, coming together with a common goal, working and trying your hardest, doing the best you can to help your team win. I have never met anyone who is undefeated but I have a lot of friends that have won more times than not.
I believe Governor John Hickenlooper is trying to create a state championship team, asking everyone to get involved and also giving all areas of the state a “voice,” and I think people will start hearing from the western slope.
We live in a very special place and I was happy the governor appointed Al White to lead the state’s tourism office. As a former state representative of our district, White is very aware of what our area has to offer.
I am happy to report Meeker and Rangely’s chambers of commerce are coming together to promote the businesses in both communities and our county with the support of their respective town councils and now the support of our county commissioners. There is a lot of work to be done but it feels good to know we are building a team. “Team RBC,” kind of sounds cool.
Another great addition to the team is Russell George. The Rifle native was named president of CNCC Tuesday and is excited about building on what his predecessor, Dr. John Boyd, put together.
Former director of Club 20 Reeves Brown was appointed to lead the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). I believe we will benefit having teammates like White, George and Brown, who know our challenges and have a winning record of getting things accomplished.

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On a sad note, I have sat in the courtroom a few times since the opening statements in Jerry Snider Jr.’s murder trial. I’m not afraid to admit it’s uncomfortable, to say the least. I’ve sat next to one of the victim’s (Jerry Snider Sr.) sisters and can only imagine how uncomfortable she must be. The prosecution has been presenting its case since last Wednesday. The murder weapon was submitted as evidence Tuesday and the coroner’s testimony was expected to follow. The defense is expected to begin presenting its case to the jury by the end of the week and the trial is scheduled to last through the end of month.

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Mark your calendars! We still have plenty of the Herald Times’ calendars left. (Jeff Burkhead took all the photos and Tonya Morris put it all together). Former president Teddy Roosevelt will be at the Meeker Hotel this Friday and Saturday and Jan. 30 is the annual benefit cribbage tournament held at Mountain Valley Bank.
Rick Hemming of Strata Networks gave me a calendar with motivational quotes for each month. The first one was from former NFL coach Vince Lombardi. With the headline reading “Challenge” the quote read:
“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel are the things that endure.
These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”

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