Dove Creek, rodeo highlight 2013

Dolores golf, motocross share limelight

Members of the Dove Creek girls volleyball team celebrate while playing in the state tournament on Nov. 9. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Members of the Dove Creek girls volleyball team celebrate while playing in the state tournament on Nov. 9.



Captivating fans during an unforgettable 2013 season, the Dove Creek Bulldogs volleyball team’s run to the 1A state semi-finals ranks as the Cortez Journal’s top sports story of the year.

Owners of a 26-1 finished record, the senior-laden Bulldogs finished the regular season undefeated before losing to Fleming in a state semi-final match marred by a scoring error that cost Dove Creek.

Even though the Bulldogs fell short of winning the state title however, memories of their wonderful season, as well as the pride that they brought to Dove Creek will never be forgotten.



During the 2013 season, Cortez native and pro motocross rider Eli Tomac solidified his place amongst motocross’s brightest young stars, capturing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the 250cc class.

A longtime protégé in his sport, Tomac captured 14 of 24 motos (races) over the course of the season, including eight in a row at one point.

“It seemed like everything fell together,” said Tomac. “I’ve got a great team, everyone gets along well and it’s a great atmosphere.”



Individually speaking, no local athlete enjoyed more success during 2013 than Ute Mountain High School Rodeo Team member Jake Cruzan.

Competing at the Colorado State High School Rodeo finals June 5-9, Cruzan was outstanding, taking first place in the boys’ cutting and boys’ team roping events.

“I have been waiting to win state for a long time,” said Cruzan following the state rodeo. “I’m very pleased.”



Thrilling spectators for the sixth consecutive year, the Ranch Rodeo returned to Cortez bigger and better than ever before.

Occurring on Aug. 3 as part of the Montezuma County Fair, the Rodeo hosted 77 competitors, staged five events ranging from calf branding to wild cow milking and paid $7,800 in cash prizes.

Discussing what makes the Ranch Rodeo one of the local area’s finest sporting events, rancher Dan Connerly said, “Watching a ranch rodeo is like watching a piece of the past. It’s nice for people to see what cowboys do.”



Wrapping up his prep career on a high note, Dolores High School senior Jakob Rudosky came away victorious the West Slope Regional championship before finishing tied for fifth in the state tournament.

Planning to play for Missouri Western State University following his high school graduation, Rudosky summed his special season with the following words.

“Seeing how much I grew from my freshman year to my senior year was awesome,” said Rudosky. “All the years of hard work, it is definitely worth it now.”