It isn't quite like Superman and a telephone booth, but The Sports Guy has dashed through the revolving door and changed from baseball season to fall sports season. One of these years someone's going to qualify for a World Series and really make my month of August interesting.
And that's just fine by me.
Gazing into my crystal ball, I have to confess that I find the fall sports calendar on the local level to be extremely captivating.
Most years, you have a feel for how certain teams and certain players will do. This year, I find myself with more questions than answers — and there's nothng wrong with that.
Powell High School is coming off a strong two-year run on the volleyball court, but the time has come for a few new faces to rotate into the starting lineup and perform. Dynasties reload rather than rebuild, so I'm anxious to see what transpires inside the PHS gymnasium.
Last year's football season had to be one of the craziest gridiron seasons I've covered in all my years as a sports writer. After opening with a four-game win streak that saw the Panthers shoot as high as No. 2 in the state's football polls, Powell crashed back to earth during conference play.
Was that fade a statement of where the Panthers rank compared to the other members of the 3A West conference? Or was it courtesy of a mid-season rash of injuries combined with a widespread mugging at the hands of the state's swine flu outbreak, which by week 8 had left the team too depleted to run a scout team prior to the Lander game?
I don't know. But I do know that there's a lot of athleticism standing out on the Panthers' practice fields when I drive by.
The list could go on. The Panthers' tennis team is again blessed with an abundance of bodies. How will that translate to results once the meet scores start rolling it? Powell cross country has brought home four team trophies, including two state titles on the girls' side —will they do so again? Will the boys' team take its turn on the team podium?
How about Coach Hilde-brand's golfers, who were a close fifth last season at state? Who will be the first member of the Powell High School swim team to bring home a state medal to the new aquatic center?
At Northwest College, the story lines are equally interesting. Trapper volleyball got some national attention with a No. 25 ranking, but are also ranked behind the Casper and Laramie County teams they had to beat in order to reach the national tournament. They're also ranked well in back of the Temple College team they swept 3-0 at nationals last fall.
Can Coach Siqueira's crew go back-to-back with post-season appearances? If so, is that a sign that the balance of Region IX North volleyball power has officially wandered from Casper to Powell?
And how about those fledgling soccer programs at NWC? Traditionally, expansion seasons aren't always the prettiest of things to behold. But if you listen softly to some of the talk around town and look at the interesting collection of credentials held by some of the Trappers' first recruiting class, you can't help but wonder if this might not be the exception to that rule.
We've come full circle, faithful reader. We're back at the beginning. A new sports calendar is staring us in the face, so put on your school colors and cheer on the teams of your choice with pride.
Here we go again.