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Photo by Tamie Meck Junior Malykai Klaseen scores one of three goals against Nucla last week. Klaseen is one of six juniors on the Bulldogs’ varsity squad.
Photo by Tamie Meck Hotchkiss senior Jacob Stucker, fingers on ball, and junior Jacob Palecki (21) have the rebound within grasp against the Nucla Mustangs at home last Thursday, Nov. 29. Hotchkiss was in control of the game from start to finish posting a 69-19 decision.

Returning players bring depth to 'Dogs

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Hotchkiss opened the season at home with a 69-19 win over Nucla. With a three-point buzzer shot by Will Scarlett to end the half, the Bulldogs held a comfortable 41-11 lead.

At the annual Norway Shootout, Ridgway junior Kaden Forrest's 18 points resulted in a 53-49 loss Friday for Hotchkiss. The Bulldogs trailed 30-19 at the half, but outscored the Demons in the second half to make the final score close.

On Saturday, they rallied for a 56-47 win over Norwood.

Eric Hollembeak returns for a fourth season as head coach for Hotchkiss. While it lost seven seniors to graduation, Hotchkiss returns all but two varsity players from last season. In the win against Nucla, Hollembeak used the team's depth to make wholesale substitutions and keep players fresh throughout the game. Of the two who didn't return, one, Elijah Patrick, moved to Grand Junction.

Returning seniors include Jacob Stucker, who averaged 8.5 points per game as a junior, and Cesar Camacho; returning juniors include Will Scarlett, who scored a team-high 10 points against Nucla, Hunter Bryant, Evan Mattison, Jacob Palecki, Zac Ziemer and Malykai Klaseen; and sophomores Oliver Mendoza, Yahir Chavez and Kenny Drbohlav. Freshman Coulson Hollembeak also suited up for varsity, scoring one goal and three points against Nucla; freshmen Blaine Peebles and Will Poutre also suited up for varsity.

Hotchkiss hosts Telluride at 6:30 Thursday. The Miners are playing under new head coach Ryan Patrick. They'll travel to Aspen Dec. 8 and De Beque Dec. 12, and host their final game of the calendar year against Ouray on Dec. 14.

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