Tip off! Bulldogs and Grizz start the clock on winter seasons

Local high school teams start their 2013-14 winter seasons this weekend.

Lovell wrestling coach Daniel Robertson works with wrestlers during practice Monday afternoon as the team prepares to compete at the Powell Invitational this weekend. David Peck photo

Lovell wrestling coach Daniel Robertson works with wrestlers during practice Monday afternoon as the team prepares to compete at the Powell Invitational this weekend.
David Peck photo

Lovell grapplers young but solid

The Lovell Bulldogs lost a wealth of talent to graduation from last year’s squad that placed third at the state wrestling meet, including undefeated Dino Collins and fellow state champions Nathan Grant and Jacob Beck, but Coach Daniel Robertson said the cupboard is far from bare.

There are 15 wrestlers working in the wrestling room as the 2013-14 season begins, and the Bulldogs will fill most of the weight classes, Robertson said, adding that although the team is young, there is some good talent.

“We are young, but we will do OK. We should get a trophy (at State) if we stay healthy,” Robertson said. “We have a whole bunch of juniors who will provide us with points.

“Our numbers are low, but what we have is quality. We have some good kids. We’re going to do OK.”

Bulldog basketball rebuilds under new coach

There will certainly be a different look to the Lovell Bulldogs this season. Gone are five senior starters in all-state center Cody Savage and forward Ryan Clark and all-conference guards Dylan Hultgren and Kade Nicholls and forward Austin Ellis.

Also moving on later were head coach Brian May and assistant RJ May.

But the cupboard isn’t bare as the Bulldogs launch a rebuilding project under new head coach Craig Lundberg, who moved up from being the Lovell freshman coach.

“We really don’t know what kids will step up and how they’ll perform,” Lundberg said. “The question right now is who we are as a team, what kind of team we’re going to be.

“Our varsity experience is lacking. We have guys who have played varsity minutes but haven’t been ‘the guy.’”

Rocky girls return to courts with renewed vigor

A new coach, a new approach and a renewed attitude has the Rocky Mountain High School girls basketball team feeling optimistic as they begin the new basketball season. Of the 19 girls on board with this year’s team, only two (Uri Okamura and Brickie Durand) are new faces to Coach Eric Honeyman, who has worked with most of the girls as their JV coach and as assistant to their varsity coach, Ryan Boettcher, in previous seasons.

Grizz return with experience in 2013-14

At last, the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies can be called “experienced” coming into a season. Although they graduated three starting seniors in Michael Bernhisel, Shane Wocicki and Bryce Ward, head coach Michael Simmons returns two seniors and six juniors who either started or saw playing time on the varsity squad last season.

Now in his ninth year at the helm of the Grizzlies, Simmons is pleased to see continuity throughout the Rocky Mountain basketball program, starting with coaches Josh Sponsel, Rod Winland and Dave Banks at the middle school level and continuing with freshman coach Justin Moss, junior varsity coach Pat Winland and volunteer assistant Jeff Samson.

That makes Simmons’ job easier as the varsity coach, he said, and he said practices have been excellent so far.

Rocky grapplers head to Powell tourney

Coach Josh Collins said he’s pleased with the relatively large turnout for wrestling again this season. The team has grown to 19 boys with about half returning from last year’s team. 

Tyler Lindquist is the team’s captain. The 11th-grader placed third at State last year.

“He is captain because he has experience, is always very positive and fun to be around,” said Collins. “He placed at State last year and we have high hopes for him.”

Also returning from last season are Dakota Bond, Michael Bowman, Chace Brand, Ian Davidson, Miguel Gurrola, Spur Hackney, Wesley Homewood, Dylan North and Justin Smith.

Read more on each team in our print or eEdition!

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