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The 1978-79 University of Wyoming women's basketball team included Dale Ann Meeker (24) and Sue Pollart (20) of Powell and Lori Kline (50) of Cody. The team will join the UW Hall of Fame Friday night. Courtesy photo

Meeker, 1978-79 Cowgirls basketball squad to enter UW Hall of Fame

When the 1978-1979 Cowgirl basketball team joins the University of Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame Friday, it will be another career highlight for Dale Ann Meeker of Powell.

Meeker played guard for the 1978-1979 Cowgirl basketball team, which also included Sue Pollart of Powell and Lori (Kline) Waddell of Cody.

This is the 16th class of athletes and teams to join the Hall of Fame.

The team joins its coach, Margie McDonald, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame about six years ago.

“It's just quite an honor,” Meeker said. “For 33 years we were the best team that ever had played there.”

The team won a postseason berth in the AIAW Regional Tournament in Tucson, Ariz., and lost to Weber State 74-70 in the first round. The team compiled a 25-7 season record, racking up records that still stand, including most team rebounds at 77, most blocked shots in a game with 15, most points in a season – 2,464 in 33 games; most field goals attempted – 2,308 in one season and most rebounds in a season with 1,573.

The team remained UW's most successful women's basketball team until the 2006-2007 Cowgirls won the women's NIT.

Meeker said the women on her team succeeded because they all came to campus with a strong basketball foundation and the belief that they could compete at that level. Then they all worked during the offseason to make sure.

“We didn't worry about comparisons. We didn't worry about this or that. We just did our thing,” Meeker said.

Meeker was the first woman to receive a UW basketball scholarship. The first two years it covered tuition, but by her junior year it was a full-ride scholarship covering all her expenses. She started every game for four years.

Meeker said the women's basketball team was known and respected on campus.

“We were getting good crowds. We got full support of the students. When we walked around on campus, they knew who we were,” she said.

Four Wyoming players formed the core of the UW team during her career, Meeker, Cindy Bower from Worland, Linda Gilpin from Cheyenne and Rosann Wisroth of Burns. Sue (Owens) Pollart, a Colorado native, was the fifth player.

“That's kind of what's exciting, we were just four little Wyoming girls,” Meeker said. “We didn't know we shouldn't be able to compete. We just kept working at it.” Although women from many other states played for UW during her career, “that nucleus came out of the state of Wyoming.”

“We just loved to play. We loved to practice and we loved to play,” she said.

Meeker grew up playing basketball. Her father moved her family from Lovell to Powell when she was in eighth grade because Powell offered more athletic opportunities for girls. Meeker credits long-time athletic director Keith Bloom's foresight in emphasizing girls' sports as part of the early success of Powell girls' basketball.

Meeker played for two Powell High School teams that won “mythical” state championships in 1974 and 1975. They defeated Natrona County High School both times. “Mythical” state championships were awarded because Wyoming did not have a statewide classification system for girls' basketball. Bloom and other athletic directors organized a statewide, all-class tournament in Powell.

The Natrona team had never lost in more than 40 straight games before it fell to Powell in 1974, Meeker said.

“Powell should be very proud that they provided this opportunity for girls” before communities across Wyoming or Montana, Meeker said. “All of us that took part in the evolution are so proud.”

Girls basketball has come a long way from when Meeker's Powell High School teams got one night a week to practice in the main gym. The girls had to purchase their own black shorts, she said, although the school did buy uniform shirts. They played 12 to 14 games a season, all on Saturday mornings. At the university, the team spent the first couple of seasons getting taped in the hall before they were allowed to use the men's training room.

“It's been a real privilege to watch everything grow as it has,” Meeker said.

Meeker returned to Powell to assist Frank McCarthy, then coach of the Powell girls' basketball team, before assuming the coaching duties. She said she tried during her tenure as Powell High School coach to instill in her players that same sense of pride and to let them know they had come a long way since the beginning.

“I tried to help the girls appreciate those that came before them,” she said. Her PHS and UW days “gave me an appreciation of how important a team was,” not just individual efforts.

September 11, 2008 3:38 am

NWC cancels Sports Rendezvous

Officials with the Trapper Booster Club announced earlier this week that the Sports Rendezvous dinner and auction planned for Tuesday, Sept. 16, has been canceled.

The club's board members, stating a low number of RSVPs for the event, added that more emphasis will be placed on the Trapper TailgateParty scheduled for Monday, Sept. 22.

The tailgate party, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at Hank Cabre Gymnasium, will be held in conjunction with the Lady Trappers' first home volleyball match of the season. That match, which will be against Dawson Community College, has a scheduled 7 p.m. start time.

According to booster club members, the tailgate party will feature a family-friendly environment, music, volleyball contests, prizes, hot dogs and cookies. Admission to the Trapper Tailgate Party is free, but a hot dog plate with chips and a cookie will cost $2.

Those attending the tailgate party and volleyball match will be part of a historic night. The match will serve as Flavia Siqueira's home debut as head coach of the Lady Trappers. Her team has played 19 matches so far in 2008, but all of those have been played outside of Powell.

Siqueira's team currently boasts an impressive 14-5 mark. In their most recent action, the squad went 6-0 at the Colby (Kan.) Community College Classic Tournament.

The match also will be the first competitive event on Ken Rochlitz Court at Hank Cabre Gymnasium since the addition of stadium seating.

“I'm excited about it because it's an opportunity for us to showcase our student-athletes,” said Jim Ziegler, NWC athletic director and head wrestling coach. “The volleyball team is having a great season, and they're looking forward to playing at home. It would be great if we could fill

Cabre Gymnasium with fans. I'm also excited about it being the new grand opening for Cabre Gym because of new seating.”

September 11, 2008 3:26 am

Lady Panthers win conference opener

The Powell High School Lady Panthers opened their conference season with a convincing win over Lovell in volleyball action Tuesday night.

A strong attack by Hannah Pollart and Kayla Ando highlighted the match, but aggressive serving and effective defense also were factors as the Lady Panthers took the match in three games, 25-11, 25-13, 25-1.

Pollart scored 19 kills in the match and Ando assisted on most of them, finishing the match with 19 assists. Ando also was perfect from the service line, hitting 19 serves accurately, two of which went for aces.

As a team, the Lady Panthers served 10 aces, half of them by Randi Asay. Savannah Donarski was also perfect from the line, going seven for seven, and Olivia Rogers was 17 for 18 with one ace.

The Lady Panthers scored points in bunches during the victory, including an eight-point run behind Ando's serve in the deciding game. Rogers served for seven straight points and Asay had a six-point streak in game two.

PHS coach Cindi Smith said the Lady Panthers' offense adapted to a strong performance by Pollart in the match. In their normal offense, Pollart shares the setting duties with Ando, Smith said, but Pollart was hitting effectively and the team responded to take advantage of her hot streak.

“Hannah was really on, so we kept going to her, ” Smith said. “More than half her attacks were kills.”

Donarski and Olivia Rogers contributed the attack with four and three kills, respectively.

Defensively, Donarski led the team in digs with 12, and was six of seven in service receptions. Defensive specialist Kelsey Allen led the team in receiving serves, keeping 12 of 14 in play, and contributed 10 digs. Rogers made eight digs and assisted with three blocks.

Smith complimented her team for serving aggressively and playing steady defense in the win. She also credited Rogers with playing well both at the net and on the back line.

“The girls really played together well,” Smith said.

This weekend, the Lady Panthers will compete in a tournament in Rawlins, where Smith said the Lady Panthers will meet regional rival

Kemmerer, Buffalo and 2A Mountain View in pool play.

“Kemmerer has started out strong,” Smith said, adding that the Rangers may be the top team in the Southwest Conference.

“I like this tournament,” Smith said. “It's early in the season and we'll see a lot of 3A schools.”

Tuesday, the Lady Panthers will travel to Greybull for a match.

The Rawlins tournament is scheduled to start at noon Friday and continue through Saturday at Rawlins High School. The Greybull match is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Greybull High School gym.

For the past few years, just saying the word “pool” in Powell has stirred strong reactions. Some have adamantly supported the ongoing project throughout all its phases. Others just as fiercely opposed it, or at least some part of it — be it the funding, location or design.

On Monday, the Powell City Council voted to move forward with the aquatic center, and construction likely will begin within the next four to six weeks.

The construction and design companies spent the past two months looking for ways to reduce the cost and suggested cutting certain aesthetic elements of the pool.

At a savings of more than $50,000, the city could have taken away the pool's exterior color, eliminated flutes, gotten rid of the sandblasted walls and put an end to other design features.

However, Mayor Scott Mangold and councilmen opposed making the pool a gray, lifeless cement building. Aesthetics matter to the council — thankfully.

After all the money, hours, labor and emotion that has gone into the new Powell pool, it needs to be a facility the community is proud of, rather than an eyesore.

The dollars going into this pool certainly matter, especially in an unstable U.S. economy. However, money spent on a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing aquatic center is an investment, not a frivolous expenditure.

September 11, 2008 3:21 am

Jay L. Suko

(Aug. 8, 1963 - Sept. 7, 2008)

Jay Suko, 45, of Worland, died Sunday, Sept. 7, in a motorcycle accident west of Greybull.

Jay was born on Aug. 8, 1963 in South St. Paul, Minn., the second oldest of 10 children born to Jimmie M. and Mary Ann Helen (Nelson) Suko.

He received his education in Worland. Jay married Brenda Lee Cregger, on Feb. 14, 1985, in Powell.

Jay was a very skillful worker and held many positions throughout his lifetime in the oilfield.He was a certified welder, pipe fitter, and mentor to many who knew him.He was determined to be successful at anything he set his mind to.He helped Natural Gas Processing/Wyoming Gas Company blossom into the successful business it is today as the Vice President of Operations.He put his family first in all that he did.He loved taking his children camping, swimming, supported them in all their school activities, and made sure that a family vacation was planned every year before school started.

He was preceded in death by his older brother, Jerome, and grandparents, George and Helen Nelson.

He is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, his children, Erica, Jami, Jacob, Courtney and Miranda; one granddaughter, Myah;his parents; brothers Gerald (Stephanie) Suko of Billings, Joe (Peg) Suko of Wheatland, sisters Melissa (Russell) Braun of Minot, N.D., Marceen (Ric) Hernandez and Maralee (Jason) Giudice all of Worland; Melaina (Jeremy) Cox of Basin, Jennifer Suko and Janna (Don) Keever, all of Billings; grandparents, Martin and Helen Suko of Jamestown, N.D., and an abundance of nieces of nephews. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, co-workers and the family dog, Kiko, whom he made pancakes for every Saturday morning.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center in Worland. Burial will follow at the Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery.Memorials may be made in Jay's name in care of Bryant Funeral Home, P.O. Box 524, Worland, Wyo.82401.

Bryant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

September 11, 2008 3:20 am

Corky Weber

(June 3, 1956 - Sept. 4, 2008)

Mass of Christian burial for Corky Weber, 52, of Lander will be celebrated today (Thursday, Sept. 11) at 10 a.m. at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Lander with Father Dave Erickson as celebrant.

Burial will be held at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander. Corky died Thursday, Sept. 4 as the result of a ranching accident.

Robert “Corky” Arden Weber was born in Riverton June 3, 1956, to John Henry and Gladys (Westbrook) Weber. He was raised on the Weber family ranch nestled in Lyons Valley in the foothills of the Wind River Range. Like his brothers and sisters, western life was a part of Corky, and the mountains were his sanctuary. Corky worked in the uranium mines in Jeffrey City as a welder after graduation from trade school in Casper.

Later, he took over the family ranch. On Oct. 12, 1981 he married Pearl Berndt.

Just like his father, ranch life was a passion for Corky, as he lived the life of a rancher for 52 years. He always had a warm smile and a good conversation for anyone who came along.

Corky made and cherished many friends throughout his life, all of whom were special to him, and he would often talk fondly of “old times.” He was a dedicated family man. His wife and children, and later his grandkids, were a very special and important part of his life.

Corky was “John Wayne,” the man on a paint horse, answerer of all questions and a hero to many.

Survivors include his wife Pearl of Lander; his six children, Katie Bingley and her husband Steven of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Jake Weber of Lander, Scot Weber and fiancé Jaci Rico of Riverton, Mike Weber of Lander, Beth Watts and her husband Josh of Lander and David Weber of Lander; his mother ,Gladys Mildred Weber of Lander; three brothers, Dale Weber of Lander, Ron Weber of Lander, and Jack Weber of Jackson; three sisters, Evelyn Asay of Ralston, Peggy McCall of Cody and Roseva Van Patten of Jackson; and six grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, John Henry Weber.

September 11, 2008 3:18 am

Winged Welcome

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Members of the Wyoming National Guard flew a Lockheed C-130 Hercules over the crowd at the Wyoming Korean War Veterans Memorial to open the dedication ceremony at the monument Saturday, Sept. 6 east of Cody.
Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Charges stem from ‘95 incident in Powell

A former volunteer football coach at Powell High School has pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a minor more than a decade ago.

Last Wednesday, as part of a plea agreement, Troy S. Pittman, 33, was given five years supervised probaton, as reported by the Billings Gazette.

Pittman was sentenced to three to five years in jail, but that time was suspended if he successfully completes his probation.

According to court documents, Pittman supplied alcohol and pornography to a 15-year old minor and encouraged him to engage in sex acts.

Pittman had been charged with two counts of indecent liberties, but one was dropped as per the plea bargain. Another count in Big Horn County, stemming from separate allegations, was also dismissed.

Court documents say the incident took place in the fall of 1995, while Pittman was student teaching at Powell High School and volunteering as a freshman football coach.

Late last October, Pittman was charged in Big Horn County with taking indecent liberties with a minor.

Up until then, Pittman had been working as a history teacher and head football coach at Lovell High School.

The charges followed an investigation by the Department of Criminal Investigation into allegations that a coach had engaged in sexual misconduct with “student(s)/athlete(s),” court documents say.

Days after Pittman's arrest in Big Horn County, the Powell victim came forward.

The Cody Bureau of Land Management is seeking comments on a proposed natural gas drilling project in McCullough Peaks within the wild horse management area and will host a public meeting to discuss it from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bighorn Federal Community Room, 1701 Stampede Ave in Cody.

According to a bureau notice, the proposed project area is situated on approximately 12 sections (7,680 acres) inside the Rocktober Federal Unit in the McCullough Peaks area.

“Three-quarters of the unit has the HMA (Horse Management Area) in it,” said Ann Perkins, BLM planning and environmental coordinator.
“I am totally against it (drilling) myself,” said Ken Martin, who operates Red Canyon Mustang Trips in Cody.

Martin fears for the wild horses and aesthetics. He said if the wells hit pay dirt, it will soon resemble Oregon Basin.

Three of the seven wells would be in the Horse Management Area with compressor station outside the HMA. Two of the wells are under application, the other five would only be drilled if the first two wells are productive, Perkins said.

Perkins encourages the public to attend Wednesday's meeting.

“We would appreciate it if different stake-holders and members of the public attend the public scoping meeting to share their concerns, comments and any solutions so the BLM can make an informed decision,” Perkins said.

Martin said he is well aware of the crucial need for oil and gas, but said if the bureau allows drilling in the McCullough Peaks area, he hopes best management practices are employed to ensure that drilling is low-impact and does not compromise the scenic views.

Powell students continue to do well on Wyoming's statewide tests, according to results released last week by the Wyoming Department of Education.

Elementary and middle school students exceeded statewide averages in all categories but one on the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students administered to public school students in the state last spring.

Overall, the district is “really happy with the results” compared to the statewide performance, said R.J. Kost, curriculum coordinator for Park County School District No. 1. But he added that exceeding the state results is not the goal of the district.

“We're not trying to compare ourselves to the rest of the state,” Kost said. “Our goal is to push ourselves as high as we can.”
The assessment, commonly called PAWS, has been administered to students in grades three through eight and grade 11 since 2006. Each student's performance is rated in one of four levels: below basic, basic, proficient or advanced.

The assessment is used by the state to measure school progress as required by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act. This year, the standards for performance increased, requiring a larger percentage of students to score as proficient or advanced. Despite the increase, Powell schools easily met the new requirements.

“This year, there was a bump in the requirements,” Kost said, “but our teachers have met the challenge. The whole district is proud of them. Overall, we're happy with the results.”