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Tribune Staff

The Sports Guy has been busily running around this fall and hasn't had the time to sit down and type much these past couple of weeks, so here's some quick hits and short bits to help kick off the month of October:

•I admit it —I didn't watch a single shot of professional golf's Ryder Cup on the television this past week. That said, I think the match-play format from the semi-signature event could easily be exported to other sports.

•Case in point, I propose the top seven schools from Mountain West Conference be paired up against their counterparts in the Big East Conference in college football competition. The first conference to win four games gets the BCS bowl berth at season's end.

• There's not a doubt in my mind the MWC becomes a “Big Six” member under the above proposal. A 5-2 result or better for the MWC is far more likely the way things look this year.

• Speaking of the MWC and college football, I wonder if BYU is regretting its decision to become an independent school for football purposes right about now. The Cougars are currently 1-4 this season and riding a four-game skid. That can't be good in the marketability department.

• On football fields closer to home, how about the season being put together by the Powell Panthers? After the interception-mad start to the year, the men in black handed Star Valley a defeat for the first time in nine years last weekend. This Friday, they'll be down in Worland looking to lock up a spot in Wyoming's 3A playoffs. Here's hoping you'll jump in a car and take that road trip with them, faithful reader.

•Admittedly, tennis isn't my beat here at the Tribune office, but here's a tip of the ol' ballcap for Powell's BreaAnn Hollenbeck for her recent state tournament run. Reaching the semifinals in No. 2 doubles and going three sets against the eventual state champion as a sophomore is no small feat.

•Speaking of feats — or in this case, feet — things are looking mighty nice for both Panther cross country teams, who have spent pretty much the last month finishing either first or second at meets. There aren't any front-of-the-pack trailblazers on either squad, just good solid team running. Before leaving town for Friday's football game, swing by the Powell Golf Club to catch a peek at the Panthers running their home meet.

• The feet of the Northwest College men's soccer team aren't looking too bad either. After dropping their inaugural match, head coach Rob Hill's team has stormed back to win six of its last eight, pending the results of the game against Western Nebraska, which will kick off about two hours after I type these words. The Trappers could face their toughest regular-season test to date however this Saturday when the team takes on fellow first-year soccer upstart Otero. The two newest faces on the Region IX men's soccer block are jousting for a seat at the head of the class and finally cross paths Saturday in Powell.

• And since it's a college soccer game, you can pretty much pencil in sunny skies and 70 degrees for 1 p.m. this Saturday when the game kicks off. Northwest College fans have been absolutely blessed with postcard weather this debut soccer season.

• PHS AD Timothy Wormald might want to pick up the phone and ask NWC AD Andy Ward what his secret is sometime between now and when the Panthers' spring seasons arrive.

• Anyone under the impression that soccer isn't a contact sport obviously did not see the shot Trapper goalie Becca Sangster absorbed last week. That forearm shiver would've looked right at home in an NBA lane or a professional wrestling arena.

• There's only one month until the winter sports seasons start at Northwest College, but take advantage of the near summer-like weather while it lasts, faithful reader. Get outside and enjoy life —and one or two of our fall sports squads in action.

Despite the extreme partisanship that characterizes most political stories this year, there are times when Republicans and Democrats do cooperate.

Wyoming's senators, according to news reports, have joined senators of both parties from Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska in asking the Forest Service to spend more money fighting bark beetles in Western forests.

A drive up the North Fork provides ample evidence of the bark beetle problem in the form of hundreds of dead and dying trees, so the senators' concern is justified.

The biggest concern is that the dead trees pose a major fire hazard, although there is disagreement among scientists about how big that danger actually is.

Fire is not the only concern, though. According to University of Wyoming researchers, the death of so many trees may temporarily increase the mountain snowpack, but the lack of shade will mean a faster runoff, causing more erosion. When the trees disappear, wind and sun will have a negative effect on the snowpack, and the runoff, while it may fill the reservoirs, will carry more silt without trees to slow the flow. In addition, the water may contain excess nitrogen, which is now absorbed by the living trees.

For recreationists, a big concern is safety. Dead trees falling into campgrounds pose a danger, and may make it necessary to close campgrounds temporarily. Hiking trails will be similarly affected.

Wildlife habitat also will suffer as the trees that provide cover disappear.

The senators are asking that $49 million be devoted to battling the beetle infestation and rehabilitating the damaged forests. Given the danger posed by fires, the expense of fighting them, and the damage threatening watersheds and wildlife, that expenditure is more than justified.

Our senators should be commended for participating in this bipartisan effort to fight the infestation.

(June 29, 2001 - Oct. 3, 2010)

Rowdy Smallwood died at the Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. Rowdy was critically injured in an accident on Sept. 5.

(Sept. 16, 1941 - Oct. 5, 2010)

Carole J. Howell of Powell died from small cell lung cancer Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 in Billings. She was had just turned 69.


The Brown family is pictured at their home last year. Back: Meri, Mariah, Kody holding his daughter Savannah, Logan, Janelle, Aspen and Christine. Center: Paedon, Mykelti. Front: Ysabel, Gweni, Gabe, Hunter and Garrison. One daughter is not pictured. This photo was featured in “plainSpeak,” a news magazine produced by Northwest College students. Courtesy photo/Josh Rockvam

A polygamist family formerly of the Powell area attracted national attention and scrutiny for starring in the reality television program, “Sister Wives.”

“I like marriage, and I'm a repeat offender,” Kody Brown says with a smile in the premiere episode on TLC.


Western senators back bill to kill wolf protections

On Thursday, U.S. senators from Wyoming, Idaho and Utah announced a bill they say will nip further gray wolf Endangered Species Act protections in the bud, thus relinquishing the disputed canine's management to states.

However, passing the bill may be a Herculean task.

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!'”


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.”

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.

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.”

Page 390 of 442


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