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Powell, WY

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Tribune Staff

Panther soccer team hopes to avoid ‘09 repeat

Strictly speaking, Powell and Buffalo don't schedule each other annually in soccer. It only seems that way.

The Panthers and Bison have become common first-round foes at the state tournament and the 2010 state championships, which get started today (Thursday) in Sheridan, are no exception. Both the Powell boys (6-6-2) and the Panther girls (4-9) find their road to the championship half of the state soccer bracket blocked again by Buffalo.

PHS gridder excited to continue career

Powell High School senior Kyle Woodward will continue his football career at Rocky Mountain College in Billings this fall. Woodward recently signed his letter of intent with the Battlin' Bears in the PHS Commons.

“Kyle has been a great contributor to the football program for the past four years and he was a pleasure to coach,” said Panther football coach Jim Stringer. “He was the anchor on our injury-riddled lines this year and he'll be sorely missed. He's a hard-working kid that plays with passion and an unwavering dedication to the game and to his teammates.”

Woodward said the Bears pursued him quite a bit during the recruiting process. In addition to the ability to continue his football career, Rocky Mountain College also offered Woodward an academic scholarship that helped sway the youngster to enroll on campus.

“They're a fairly small campus,” said Woodward. “They do things like mandatory team study hall that really seemed to be a good way to start college and help with the academic side of things.”

In the classroom, Woodward intends to be a business management major. On the field, he expects to fit in with the Bears as either a defensive end or a tight end. He also anticipates getting a shot on special teams.

Wherever he plays, Stringer notes the Bears will be getting a team-first type of player.

“A few years ago, I asked Kyle to make a position move to offensive and defensive line in the best interest of the team,” Stringer recalled. “He willingly accepted the new role and excelled at it. I wish him all the best at RMC and look forward to going to Billings to watch him play.”

Woodward was a two-time all-conference award recipient for the Panthers and earned all-state recognition as a senior.

According to the saying, lightning never strikes the same place twice. The Sports Guy begs to differ.

Last season, lightning struck on the surface of the Harry Geldien Stadium track when the Powell Panthers produced some last-minute magic in the boys' 4x400 relay. That head-to-head battle with Cody determined a team title and brought the state championship home to Powell.

There are storm clouds gathering once again.

The Sports Guy recently found himself with a few free minutes, so he did what sports editors are prone to do. He simulated the entire state track meet. Twice.

The track website Milesplit Wyoming includes a neat feature that allows users to simulate a track meet. Based on the best times, heights and distances from results input into the site's database, a hypothetical order of finish can be established for any collection of schools one cares to include.

Naturally, I had 3A track on the brain.

According to the machine, Panther fans had best prepare for a nerve-wracking weekend. Its state track scenario has Powell lining up opposite Douglas in the boys' 4x400 relay with a state title on the line.

Sound familiar?

Of course, not every track meet in the state of Wyoming — including last weekend's regional meet —has found its way into Milesplit's database. That's why yours truly spent some quality time with 36 pages of regional track results strewn about the office simulating the state track meet based solely on the results from 3A's two regional meets.

The verdict again has Powell lining up in the 4x400 with a state title at stake. Only this time, the Panthers will be running down Jackson rather than Douglas to defend their title.

Hey, this is starting to sound like fun.

But the possibilities don't end there. Take a look at the girls' regional data and there's a chance we could be looking at a 3A state track meet against which all others will someday be compared.

If the data from the regional meet holds true, runners will line up for the 4x400 relay final with only two points separating first from fourth place in the team standings. If you thought last year's boys' 4x400 head-to-head race against Cody was the peak of drama, imagine how insane the atmosphere at Kelly Walsh will be if four schools — half the field —step into the starting blocks this Saturday knowing that a state title could be a little more than four minutes away.

Of course, there's no guarantee that any of these scenarios will actually come to pass. After all, that's why they play the game and why we love to sit back and watch every minute of the action.

Nevertheless, the data does point in one very clear direction. Both Panther track teams have the opportunity to make some noise in Casper this weekend. Both teams have a chance to come home sporting new trophies for the trophy case, and both are looking at a situation where every performance matters if they're going to make it a reality.

That's exactly how things should be on the final sports weekend of the 2009-2010 school year.

The Sports Guy has a new electronic toy and, weather and wi-fi permitting, will be posting a regular blog from Casper. Check the Powell Tribune's blog frequently to check in on him and get his latest observations from the state track and field championships.

Last week's Powell Aquatic Center opening was, for many community members, a much-anticipated event.

The center will offer fitness and recreation opportunities for swimmers young and old — and the facility replaces the dilapidated (and soon to be demolished) natatorium as the venue for school and club swim team practices and competitions, as well as recreation district lessons.

All positive things for a community — but a dark cloud looms on the horizon.

Revenue for the aquatic center is estimated at $217,475 for the first year, while operating costs could top $700,000.

City officials say the overage collected on the capital facilities tax that funded pool construction will keep the facility afloat for this year — but a projected $500,000 budget shortfall in subsequent years is a serious problem.

The $2 million operations and maintenance endowment put in the bank by the cap tax won't generate the revenue necessary to run the facility — especially with recent interest rates at dismally low levels.

It's time for city officials, councilmen, community members and other organizations to engage in some serious planning for the future operation and maintenance of the pool.

When taxpayers, in 2006, passed the capital facilities tax to pay for a new pool in Powell, they became stakeholders in the center's success. Usage drives revenue — taxpayers now need to support the facility they wanted by using the pool and buying memberships.

The city, too, must promote traffic at the aquatic center by marketing the facility — both to community members and to neighboring towns. Membership incentives, such as the charter memberships offered by the Cody Rec Center when it opened, may be necessary.

The school district and the recreation department also need to pay their fair share for use of the aquatic center.

Without the new pool, a generation of Powell kids could have been deprived of both recreational and competitive swimming opportunities.

Finally, the City Council, which has been a strong proponent of the facility since long before the ground-breaking, must think aggressively and creatively about ways to make the center fiscally solvent.

While the tax overage has, in effect, bought a year-long reprieve — and has given city officials and pool employees a year of data-gathering, it's time to begin serious planning to make sure the aquatic center remains a plus for the community well into the future.

Failure to do so will put city coffers in serious jeopardy.

On a recent Friday — the day the East Entrance of Yellowstone opened for the season — Bliss and I loaded in the car for a mother-daughter day in the park.

Charlie, the fat-butted Aussie, came along for the ride as well. Brad, however, declined — asking if he could, “watch it on video” instead. Right ...

(Feb. 26, 1926 - May 19, 2010)

Robert “Bob” LeRoy Barnes, 84, died May 19, 2010, at the Powell Valley Care Center.

(May 4, 1917 - May 18, 2010)

Owen Robert “Bob” Holm died May 18, 2010, at West Park Long Term Care Center in Cody after a long battle with multiple myeloma. He had just celebrated his 93rd birthday on May 4.

(Feb. 22, 1932 - May 9, 2010)

Former Lovell resident Audrey Bower Krogman died on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010, in Yuma, Ariz.

Near the intersection of U.S. Highways 297 and 191, around eight miles north of West Yellowstone, Mont., hazing to urge the bison back into the park kicks into overdrive. The buffalo are driven back into Yellowstone National Park each spring on the premise that the animals could infect domestic cattle with brucellosis. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Roving buffalo hazed back into Yellowstone National Park

An orbiting helicopter and riders atop ATVs and on horseback provided quite the circus Thursday as they hazed buffalo that had sought greener pastures outside Yellowstone National Park to graze and birth calves on public and private land outside West Yellowstone, Mont.

The annual spring hazing of bison wintering in the Hebgen Lake area has been happening since 2000 under the Interagency Bison Management Plan. The plan calls for driving the bison back into Yellowstone National Park, less than 10 miles to the east, before May 15 to reduce the chance that they will transmit brucellosis to cattle. The disease causes pregnant females to abort their calves.

A “Wyoming Wolf Impact Rally,” designed to weigh the canine's impact on agriculture and outfitting, will take place on Saturday, May 22, at City Park in Cody.

“We do support the (Wyoming) wolf management plan that was heard in Judge Johnson's court,” said rally organizer Tim Hockhalter, of Timber Creek Outfitters of Crandall.

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