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Sports

Golfers take fourth in Lander invite

Finishing with one of their best days in years, the Powell High School boys golf team took fourth at last week's Lander Invitational.

“We had a very good weekend on probably the most challenging course we play all year,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand of the Thursday-Friday tournament.

NWC soccer: Vision becomes reality

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Northwest College goalie Becca Sangster stretches for a ball during Tuesday afternoon drills. Sangster and her 17 teammates will officially usher in soccer as a sport at NWC when they face Dodge City (Kan.) this Friday. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

NWC soccer teams open Friday at Dodge City

What began as a vision on paper just eight months ago will step onto the pitch in the flesh this Friday as the Northwest College Trappers open their first-ever soccer seasons. The program was created last December by a vote of the Northwest College Board of Trustees.

“It feels like it has been a long time coming,” said Trapper soccer coach Rob Hill, whose life has actually been more of a whirlwind since learning early this year that he had been tabbed to build the Northwest College programs from the ground up.

Panther cross country: Paper tigers

Panthers have talent to roar in 2010 cross country

There are certainly worse people to be this autumn than head Powell High School cross country coach Cliff Boos. The Panthers return four of the 18 fastest female runners in Class 3A, as well as five of their seven state meet runners on the boys' side last season.

“We've got a nice nucleus,” said Boos. “Overall, I think the team is in reasonably good shape to begin the year. They're showing good enthusiasm and doing a good job of supporting each other. It's a hard-working bunch.”

Golfers third to open year

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Powell's Alyssa Hildebrand follows her tee shot through the air during the Panthers' opening golf tournament of the season. Hildebrand was the lone female golfer to compete in the meet for PHS. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Prestwich second after two-hole playoff

The Powell High School golf team opened the 2010 fall sports calendar with a third-place finish at home. The Panthers finished with two of the meet's top four golfers to place behind Gillette and Cody.

“I was pleased with our showing for the first tournament, but we definitely have some room to grow,” said Panther golf coach Troy Hildebrand. “The season got off to a great start with two perfect days of weather and our course in superb shape for the nine schools that were able to come.”

All on the line

Panthers' season could hinge on what takes place in the trenches

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times, and for Powell High School head football coach Jim Stringer, it was a season unlike any other. The Powell Panthers won their first four games a year ago before injuries, player dismissals and a full-scale mugging at the hands of the swine flu conspired to cause the team to fade to a 4-4 finish and a missed playoff opportunity.

“That last week, I've never seen anything like it,” Stringer said, recalling how sickness kept him from coaching his team during the season's final week and decimated the Panthers to the point where Powell was unable to field a scout team in the buildup to its final game.

That was a year ago. With the start of the 2010 football season slated to begin this Saturday, when the Panthers travel to Miles City, Mont., for their annual scrimmage game (the contest plays as a regular season game for Miles City, but won't appear in the Panthers' season record), Stringer will have a team of about 60 players ready to go.

According to the WyoPreps.com media and coaches' preseason poll, the Panthers kick off the season ranked fifth in Class 3A.

Thanks to the mishaps of last season, Powell returns “six or seven” players with “significant varsity playing time” to each side of the football, according to Stringer. The Panthers have several proven playmakers and a wealth of athleticism in the offensive backfield. Many of the holes that need filled by the program will come along the offensive and defensive lines.

“It's going to take some time for the kids to grow into those positions,” Stringer said of the Panthers' developing 2010 line. “The kids on our line of scrimmage need to think. They need to perform as a unit. I'm excited with the kids we have. I think we've got some good, young talent. We've made a few personnel moves to bolster our line of scrimmage, but it will take time and repetition to get them working together as a unit.”

Getting that unit operating together is a key, because behind the offensive line sits junior Keithen Schwahn, who accounted for nearly 1,500 yards of offense last year, including 1,131 yards through the air. Schwahn's most productive target in ‘09, senior Kyle Sullivan, is also back, looking to build upon a campaign that saw him average better than 19 yards per reception.

“We're not going to be the biggest team out there, but we're used to that,” said Stringer. “That's why our system emphasizes misdirection and combination blocks to give us a chance to use our athletic ability.”

Defensively, the Panthers will make a slight change this season, shying away from the 3-5 scheme in favor of a return to a more-traditional 4-3 alignment. Despite it not being their primary defense in 2009, injuries forced the team to adapt and run some 4-3 as well.

“We don't have the same type of dominating down linemen that we had last season, and you need that in the 3-5,” said Stringer. “The 4-3 matches up better with what we have this season in terms of personnel. We've got an athletic group of linebackers and our secondary has the most experience of any area of the field. I expect we'll have another solid defense.”

After Saturday's trip to Miles City, the Panthers open the 2010 season with non-conference home games against Riverton and Wheatland. Star Valley and Lander will also make trips to Powell for varsity football this season while the Panthers' road slate takes them to Buffalo, Worland, Jackson and Cody.

“If we come together, especially the younger kids on the line, I think we can stack up with anyone in the 3A West,” said Stringer. “We'll have to use our speed to win games. Our schemes should feature our athleticism and quickness. As long as we stay healthy and come together as a team, we'll be competitive.”

French, Tilden, Grosskopf win

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Max Baker of rural Powell leaves the Garland Community Church after casting his vote Tuesday morning in the primary election. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

Three advance in GOP primary, two commissioners replaced

Two Republicans on the Park County Commission were replaced by county voters in Tuesday's primary election.
Unofficial county election results say sitting commissioner Tim French and challengers Loren Grosskopf of Cody and Joe Tilden of the South Fork area, will be the three candidates to advance to the general election in November.

Current Commissioners Bill Brewer and Jill Shockley Siggins came in fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 11-candidate Republican race.

Born to serve

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Panther tennis player Jake Larson of Cowley works on his serve Wednesday morning after practice. The tennis team takes the court for its first dual on Aug. 27. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

What's next for Lady Trappers?

NWC looks for encore after regional title, national appearance

The Northwest College Trapper volleyball program produced a 27-10 record, a regional championship and a national tournament appearance last season. That's nice, but for head coach Flavia Siqueira, that's also part of the past.

“New team, new year,” Siqueira said, one week out from her team's first games. “This team isn't like the team we had last season, but they have the potential to do the same sorts of things. They'll need to improve throughout the season.

Four letterwinners return

Four letterwinners, including three who appeared on the Panthers' roster at last year's state tournament, will step back onto the links for Powell High School. The Panther golfers will be the first team out of the chute when they open the fall sports calendar today (Thursday) with their home golf invitational.

Practice begins for practice

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Vince Sleep wraps up the football as the Powell High School football team simulates an offensive play during a Monday morning practice session. All Powell High School fall athletic programs held their first practices of the school year on Monday. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Powell High officially starts 2010-2011 sports season

The practice fields and gymnasiums of Powell High School jumped to life on Monday morning as student-athletes reported to their first day of practice for the new academic year.

For many coaches, the day began with a brief explanation of expectations for the fall season. Other coaches had a simpler task.

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