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Sports

NWC men fall in OT to Otero

Despite playing a man up for more than a half, the Northwest College men's soccer team fell 2-1 in overtime to Otero on Saturday in the final home game of the year for the Trappers. The contest featured the first-ever meeting between Region IX's two newest soccer programs.

If first impressions count for anything, it may also be the start of a heated rivalry between the two schools. Match officials stepped in on multiple occasions to break up exchanges between players and, in more than one case, hand out yellow cards.

Much of the first half was played out near midfield as neither defense surrendered a clear look at the goal. The Trappers had their best chance of the first half just after the 20th minute, firing a low ball to the near post that the Otero keeper could only deflect over the end line. On the ensuing corner kick, the Trappers sent the ball high over the crossbar.

A short while later, Otero produced its best look of the first half, sending a low ball skidding along the wet grass in the box and forcing Northwest's keeper to his knees for the save.

With roughly 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Rattlers received a red card for questioning an officials' call in front of the Northwest College bench. The call gave Northwest an 11-on-10 advantage for the remainder of the contest and left Otero sagging to cover its defensive end for much of the remainder of the first half.

Despite the Trappers' man advantage, it was Otero that produced the first goal of the game. The Rattlers capitalized on a Northwest defense that sagged too far off the ball on the right wing. The Colorado school sent a low, driving shot across the box and off the far post for a goal and a 1-0 edge.

Northwest produced multiple chances to tie the contest as the second half wore on. Sophomore Gavin LaFollette shaved the left post with a shot atop the box. Northwest also blasted a couple shots just high of the crossbar as relations between the two teams on the field remained tense.

Cody sophomore Jonathon Chavez finally broke the ice on the Trappers' side of the ledger, tapping home a carom off the crossbar for the tying goal. Both keepers made diving stops to their left in the closing minutes to send the contest to overtime.

Northwest maintained pressure on goal early in the overtime period, failing to connect on an attempted header off a corner kick early in the extra frame. The Trappers managed a couple additional shots on net, but then made a costly error, failing to get back on defense fast enough in transition, surrendering a long run and crossing pass that Otero planted in the back of the net for the game-winner.

The loss was just Northwest's second of the season. It also marked the team's first loss in Region IX play.

The Trappers, 7-2-2 overall and 3-1-2 in the region, wrap up the regular season this Friday and Saturday. Northwest travels to Laramie County Community College on Friday before heading to Colorado on Saturday for a return game against Otero.

Post-season tournament play in Region IX will begin Friday, Oct. 22, in Scottsbluff, Neb. Depending on results from around the region this week, the Trappers will be anywhere from a one to a three seed for that event. The Region IX tournament winner advances to district competition for a shot at spot in the NJCAA national tournament.

Trappers battle for the ball

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Pueblo, Colo., freshman Olga Phelps jockeys for the ball during Wednesday morning soccer action between Northwest College and Western Nebraska. The games concluded too late to get full information into today's paper, but the Trapper women surrendered a pair of goals after scoring on a penalty kick to lose 2-1. The Northwest College men set up a Saturday showdown with Otero with a 4-2 victory over Western Nebraska. The game was the last home contest of the year for the Trapper women. NWC's men host Otero at 1 p.m., Saturday. Tribune photo by Toby Bonner

Trappers split home conference matches

Team tops Casper in five

The Northwest College Trapper volleyball team split a pair of matches this past week. The team took down Casper College in a rematch of last year's Region IX North title game 25-22, 22-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-13 before falling to fourth-ranked Western Wyoming in straight games 25-23, 25-18, 25-21.

The results leave the Trappers in third place in the Region IX North standings behind Western Wyoming and fellow national top-10 performer Laramie County Community College and just one game in front of a horde of challengers.

NWC spikers dig pink

NWC battles breast cancer, No. 7 LCCC this Saturday

The Northwest College Trappers will show up in pink this Saturday to do battle with seventh-ranked and Region IX North foe Laramie County Community College. The new look will be part of a national battle agaisnt breast cancer that head coach Flavia Siqueira and her players are doing their part to assist.

NWC rodeo wraps up fall season

Trappers have work ahead this spring

When collegiate rodeo action resumes in the spring, Northwest College bareback rider Jordan Gill will be the man everyone is trying to catch. At the midway point of the 2010-2011 college rodeo season, Gill holds a 179-point lead in the Big Sky Region standings.

If he can hold that position through five more rodeos this spring, Gill will be crowned the Big Sky Region champion and earn spot in the 2011 College National Finals Rodeo. If any of his Trapper teammates look to join him, they'll have some work to do over the back half of the year. Gill is the only Northwest College competitor to sit in the top three of an event at rodeo's mid-year break.

That's not to say the Trappers' entry list to the CNFR next June will be a short one. Several other Northwest College riders are well-positioned for a second-half surge.

Clinton Griffis sits fifth in the bareback standings, chasing Gill. He's staring at roughly a 170-point gap to close the ground between himself and the top three.

Bull riders Cayd Kluesner and Eric Fleming sit fourth and fifth, respectively in the standings. Kluesner is just 50 points out of an automatic spot in the CNFR field with Fleming another 27 points back.

On the women's side, Haily Hamlin sits as the Trappers' top performer through the fall semester. Hamlin is fifth overall in the breakaway roping standings, 132 points out of a CNFR qualification spot. Steffani Hofrichter is eighth overall in the standings.

Pamela Vanek is sixth overall in goat tying with a season score of 243.5 points. She'll need an improvement of more than 100 points this spring to bridge the distance in the standings. Hofrichter is ninth overall in the event.

Also looking at a gap of slightly more than 100 points is Trapper barrel racer Dannielle Marcin. Marcin presently resides in seventh position overall.

The only other Trappers to appear in the top 10 of an event at the midway point of the season are header-heeler team roping combo of Jessica Ehlers and Cole Owens. The duo is in 10th place with lots of traffic ahead of them in the standings.

Northwest College wrapped up first-semester rodeo action last weekend in Dillon, placing third as a men's team and fourth among the women's teams in attendance. Gill captured his second bareback title of the fall sememster with a 15-point win over Montana, Western's Chase Redfield.

Fleming placed third for the Trappers in bull riding at the weekend event. Vanek was third in goat tying to give Northwest their only top three finishers.

The collegiate rodeo season resumes in April. The Trappers will compete in five spring semester rodeos as they look to vault up the Big Sky Region standings.

747-8 buzzes Powell

Boeing plane over Powell Saturday

A new Boeing 747-8 flew over Powell around 10 a.m. Saturday, garnering plenty of surprise — but the plane was simply testing equipment.

Some folks thought the aircraft was coming in for a landing.

Gary Parham was at a Powell Middle School football game, when his son, Eric Parham said, “‘Look at that!'”

Homecoming celebration

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Powell's Vince Sleep scoops up the football after Anthony Lujan and an unseen teammate lay the lumber to Star Valley quarterback Logan Abrams during the first half of the Panthers' 24-19 Homecoming victory last Friday. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Big first quarter spurs Panthers past Braves

The fourth-ranked Powell Panthers used a trio of first-quarter touchdowns and a solid defensive effort to notch a 24-19 victory over Star Valley on Friday night. In the process, nine years of frustration against the Braves melted away.

“It's been a long time, I think, since we beat them,” said a happy Powell head coach Jim Stringer after the contest. “It's nice for the kids to get a win like this. It's a big win, not only because it's Homecoming, but it gets us to 2-0 in conference play as well.”

Panther runners sweep titles

Still on the mend, Powell runners dominate

Powell High School's cross country teams don't have a clean bill of health yet, and that might be the best news runners from rival schools have heard. If the Panthers can dominate the field they way they did last week in Worland while battling illness, not many are going to want to line up in the chute alongside a healthy Panther team.

Tennis squads wrap season

At last weekend's state tournament in Cheyenne, the Powell High School tennis teams showed the improvement they made over the course of the season, but faced stiff competition.

Given the tough draws the Panthers squads faced in their matches, often against No. 1 seeds, “We actually beat the odds,” said PHS head coach Ray Bieber.

BreaAnn Hollenbeck, the PHS girls' No. 2 singles player, had what Bieber called a “really good” tournament, coming up just one match short of reaching the championship bout.

“She was probably within five points of getting in the final,” said Bieber.

Hollenbeck pushed the eventual champion to three sets — giving the winner her toughest competition of the state tournament.

“We're looking forward to good things with her (Hollenbeck),” Bieber said of the sophomore.

At No. 3 doubles, seniors Shelby Walton and Haylee Humphries were just one win away from reaching the third-place match.

As a team, the PHS girls finished ninth in the 16-team field; all of the girls won at least one match in the double-elimination tourney. The PHS boys took 14th, with three points.

Gillette emerged as the state champion on both sides, with its girls taking 58 points and its boys taking 47.

Bieber said the Powell squads' performance in Cheyenne showed improvement since the start of the season.

“We need to come in and be right where we are (now) at the beginning of next year,” he said.

Girls No. 1 singles player Lisa Schiermeister drew eventual champion Kristyn Wykert in her opening match, falling 6-0, 6-1. Schiermeister then handily took down Rawlins' Lindsey Paschke 6-1, 6-0. Dealing with a leg injury, the senior was eliminated by Melinda Gonzalez of Cheyenne East in split sets, 6-7 (7-5), 6-0, 6-0.

Hollenbeck beat Cheyenne South's Jessica Grass 6-0, 6-0, to open her state tournament and came back to take down Karolyn Hopfensperger of Cheyenne Central, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. Hollenbeck then fell in split sets to the eventual champion, Taylor Hinshaw of Gillette, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. In the consolation bracket, Hollenbeck was eliminated by Sheridan's Rachel Wood — the third-place finisher — 6-4, 7-5.

“She was actually really close to winning the whole tournament,” Bieber said.

At No. 1 doubles, juniors Emily Kath and Lacey Eckerdt lost to Cheyenne East in a close contest, 6-3, 6-7 (9-7), 7-5. In the consolation bracket, they beat Cheyenne South 6-0, 6-0 and fell to Cheyenne Central, 6-3, 6-1.

Senior Marquette McArthur and sophomore Sheridan Roling fell in a close 7-5, 6-4 opening match at No. 2 doubles. They rebounded to beat Cheyenne East 6-0, 6-0, but were eliminated 6-1, 6-4 by Cheyenne Central.

Playing at No. 3 doubles, Walton and Humphries began with a 6-0, 6-0 takedown of Rawlins, then fell to second-place finisher Sheridan, 6-2, 6-1. Walton and Humphries then beat Riverton, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), and Kelly Walsh, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. The duo was eliminated by Natrona County, the third-place winner, 6-0, 6-1.

PHS boys No. 1 singles player Eric Curtis opened with a 6-0, 6-1 loss to eventual state champion Aaron Lapkin of Cheyenne East. Curtis rebounded with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Nathan Smith of Green River before falling Rock Springs' Tim Lew, 6-2, 6-2. Bieber said he was pleased to see the PHS junior pick up a win at state.

At No. 2 singles, Mark Schiermmeister lost 6-4, 6-1 to Cody Hansen of Rock Springs and then fell in split sets to Morgan Gray of Cheyenne Central, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

“Mark played his best tennis of the year,” said Bieber, saying he's looking forward to good things in the future from the freshman.

Continuing a trend of close matches, junior Todd Lewis and senior Tyler Morgan of Rocky Mountain High School fell 6-2, 6-2 to fourth-place finisher Torrington, then lost 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to Cheyenne East at No. 1 doubles.

At No. 2 doubles, senior Jacob Larson and sophomore Marshall McArthur began with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over their Cheyenne East counterparts.

After a 6-1, 7-5 loss to Torrington, Larson and McArthur beat Riverton 6-3, 6-0. They were then eliminated in split sets, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 to Rock Springs.

“They lost to the third and fourth place teams so it was a pretty tough draw for them,” said Bieber.

Patrick Huang, a sophomore exchange student from Taiwan, and senior Dillon Jeffs lost in split sets to Laramie's No. 3 doubles squad, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 6-1. They again came up on the wrong side of a close match in the consolation bracket, falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Rawlins.

Bieber said the PHS tennis players had excellent sportsmanship and attitudes throughout the season.

“(The) kids were great this year,” said Bieber. “(We) had great trips, great relationships between players.”

He also said the teams are losing a good crop of seniors and have work to do before fall 2011.

“We've got to have a great spring and a great summer,” said Bieber. “If you have a great spring and a great summer, you've got hope.”

NWC wins Region IX contest

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Northwest midfielder Emmanuel Elicerio makes a play on the ball in front of a Western Wyoming defender during second-half action in the Trappers 3-1 Region IX victory on Tuesday. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Trappers' 3-1 victory over WWCC keeps team in title hunt

Leonardo Medeiros scored twice within a 90-second span of the first half on Tuesday as the Northwest College Trappers defeated Western Wyoming by a 3-1 final count. The victory keeps Northwest College very much alive in the hunt for a Region IX men's soccer title in their inaugural season.

Medeiros' outburst came late in the first half as the Belo, Horizonte, Brazil, freshman twice received end-line passes to blast the ball past the keeper for scores. The goals gave Northwest College a 2-0 lead at intermission after the Trappers had managed only a draw in their earlier game against the Mustangs this season.

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