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June 23, 2011 11:42 am

SPORTS GUY: Take me out to a ballgame

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It was with a bit of sadness that The Sports Guy learned of the demise of this weekend’s Heavy Metal Classic Legion baseball tournament. With my wife currently out of state watching just how much spoiling one set of grandparents can bestow upon our two kids, I was looking forward to the prospect of three straight nights of ballpark burgers.

Hey, I might be old, but I still remember bachelor rule No. 1 — never cook for yourself when there are others willing to do it for you.

The loss of the Pioneers’ tournament couldn’t have come on a worse weekend. With dozens of Powell High School alumni scheduled to descend upon the community, the event had the potential to be a showcase for the talents of the current crop of Pioneer players. For those coming from out of town, it may have been their only opportunity to watch this year’s team play.

The fact that this weekend is shaping up to be the first truly summer-esque 48-hour period seen in local circles this year is just an added twist of the knife. Sitting in a lawn chair watching some hardball and working on a long overdue tan would have been a great way to go.

Unfortunately, that’s not to be.

The good news is that by all accounts, the loss of this year’s tournament is just a bump in the road. Plans are to bring the event back next season, bigger and better than ever, possibly with as large as an eight-team field.

That would be great news for local merchants and baseball fans, who would love the infusion of revenue that seven out-of-town teams and their associated fan bases would bring to the community. It would also provide a spectacle befitting Wyoming’s baseball capital and a Legion program that has proven itself to be a regional powerhouse in recent years.

So while I welcome this wholly unexpected free weekend in late June, I can’t help but also hope that next year sees me frantically bouncing from ball field to ball field over this same three-day period. After all, there are fates far worse than being a bleacher creature for three straight days.


Football season has officially arrived.

Admittedly, we’re weeks away from the start of fall workouts. It’s still two months before the kick off from the first official game of the college football season. Heaven only knows when or if the NFL will settle its squabble with the players’ union and play some pigskin this fall.

None of that matters though. For those of you looking for your first football fix of the upcoming academic year, a simple trip to your neighborhood news stand is all that’s required. The first full batch of college and NFL preview magazines has hit market and there’s plenty of mid-summer reading material to keep a football fan occupied for nights on end.

For fans of the Wyoming Cowboys, the news contained within the pages of many of those preseason publications is not good. The number six appears to be the consensus among pigskin prognosticators when it comes to Wyoming football, as in the Cowboys are being tabbed to finish sixth in the Mountain West Conference this season.

Even worse — those predicitions were committed to paper before the folks down at UW announced earlier this month that yet another quarterback opted to leave the Pokes’ program. The departure leaves the team dangerously thin on options when it comes to signal callers this fall.

That said, the national writers were universal in their praise of the visible increase in athleticism down in Laramie. That should bring at least a soft smile to the faces of Wyoming fans. After all, it’s a proven adage that you can’t coach foot speed.

I’ll save my Mountain West breakdown for a column later this summer. For now, football fans should flock to the store, pick up their magazine of choice and read to their heart’s content. Football season is here.

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