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November 14, 2013 8:34 am

Panther fever hits again

Written by Tom Lawrence

The third time is still charming Panther football fans.

The Powell High School football team will seek its third consecutive 3A state title in Laramie Friday afternoon. Powell fans are expected to cheer on their team in War Memorial Stadium as well as by TVs and radios across the area.

Powell High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Tim Wormald said he doesn’t think a third straight trip to the title game has lessened anyone’s enthusiasm.

“I think people are still pretty excited about it,” Wormald said. “Everything I’ve heard is people are pretty excited. Everybody at the school is excited.”

To add to the Panther fever, the volleyball team stunned its opponents and thrilled its fans by winning the 3A title on Saturday. Claiming two titles in one seven-day period would be a rare accomplishment, Wormald said.

In 1987, the Panthers claimed state crowns in swimming, volleyball and football within a few days. That was likely the high point for PHS athletics, but another title Friday would make 2013 a year to remember as well, he said.

Wormald said he expects the Panthers to hear a lot of cheers during the game. He was told there was a bigger crowd at the 3A title game last year than was at the 4A game.

“The last few years, we’ve traveled really well,” he said.

About 30 PHS students will ride a pep bus with the high school band and cheerleaders.

“It’s good to get those kids down there,” Wormald said. “And parents and other fans — I think people are going to be there for sure.”

Classes are not scheduled for Friday.

In 2011, when the Panthers made the football championship game, the school board called off classes. Last year, it was decided to not hold classes on the Friday when the gridiron title was decided, shifting another day off to that date.

“I just think it’s a good time for a three-day weekend anyway,” Wormald said. “People are out hunting and doing other things. It works well.”

While the Panthers will be competing on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, fans in Powell can get a close-up look at the game at the Vali Cinema.

The downtown cinema is going to carry the 3A state championship football game on both screens of the theater Friday afternoon. There will be no charge to see the game on the twin 30-foot by 15-foot screens.

“We’ve never done it before and we thought it’d be cool,” said theater owner Allen Mercer.

TCT West will provide the signal for the theater, which now shows movies in a digital format. Food Basket IGA printed up orange fliers, and Pepsi paid for a banner outside the theater, Mercer said.

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