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Home-court advantage

Coach Flavia Siqueira and her Northwest College volleyball team swept Sheridan College in three sets (25-18, 25-15, 25-21) Tuesday night to run their record at home to 5-0 for the season.

NWC (27-7 overall, 7-1 sub-region) opened the match in Hank Cabre Gymnasium by taking a 9-2 advantage before the Generals called a timeout in an attempt to regroup against the aggressive attack used by NWC. The move didn't help, and the Lady Trappers continued to pull away. At one point, NWC held a 16-5 advantage before Sheridan clawed its way back to make the score respectable in the first set.

“Sheridan has a good team, and they've got some strong hitters,” Siqueira said. “Part of our gameplan was to make them move a lot on defense, and we were able to do that.”

By doing so, the Lady Trappers were able to keep Sheridan's top hitters in check. That plan continued to work in the second set as NWC raced to a 6-1 lead before the Generals were able to chip away at the deficit. Sheridan got within three points of NWC just before the midway point in the match, but steady play along the frontline helped the Lady Trappers increase their lead and win the set by 10 points.

If there was a downside to Tuesday's match, it was NWC's lack of focus in the third and final set. After a short intermission, Sheridan came out and showed new life by establishing an early lead. The Lady Generals built their advantage to as many as five points (10-5), but that's when Siqueira's team began creeping back into contention for the victory.

A point by Kayla Propes tied the score at 13, and Rebekah DePesa followed with an ace to put the Lady Trappers ahead 14-13. NWC retained the lead and closed out the match for a 25-21 victory.

“It's another win under our belt,” Siqueira said. “It was a sub-region game as well, and it was good that we won it in three sets.”

As has been the case all season long, setter Carol Martin was among the leaders for the Lady Trappers. She finished with 26 assists, 15 digs and three kills. Thabata Galvao added nine kills, 16 digs and three blocks, and Irelis Avendano added seven kills. DePesa also enjoyed a solid match, finishing with five kills and one ace, which gave NWC the lead in the deciding third set.

• Up next: The Lady Trappers will be in action again today (Thursday) when they face Dawson Community College in Glendive, Mont., at 5 p.m.

On Friday and Saturday, NWC will compete in the Williston State College Tournament in Williston, N.D.

Next week the Lady Trappers have two matches scheduled at home, and both are much anticipated rematches against Central Wyoming College (Thursday, Oct. 16) and Western Wyoming Community College (Friday, Oct. 17). Those two teams are among only a handful of squads that have been able to defeat the Lady Trappers this season.

NWC is 1-2 versus WWCC and 1-1 against CWC.

“We've got to work more on our serving,” Siqueira said when addressing what her team needs to do in order to maintain its winning ways. “We missed 12 of our serves tonight. Part of that is my fault because I've been working with them on serving the ball harder and being more aggressive. That's something we'll continue to work on in practice.”

October 09, 2008 3:20 am

Tyler Stingley bags his bull

Imagine elk hunting on a foggy morning.

In the distance, a bull elk is bugling, daring anyone to mess with his harem while wispy clouds cloak the ground and trees.

Tyler Stingley, 17, Powell, bugles too. For different reasons. He wants to entice a big bull within range of his bow and arrow.

More elk bugling enhances the eeriness and excitement of the murky morning as Tyler waits and bugles.

Tyler's patience is rewarded. A nice, six-point bull answers his summons.

Eager to confront a rival and thrashing brush in his way, the bull charges to Tyler's location.

“He was throwing stuff in the air,” Tyler said, “it was pretty cool.”

By a bow hunter's timer, hunkered down, waiting for his quarry, it was short and sweet. A 20-minute wait put the bull within 18 yards of Tyler's position.

He aims and releases the arrow ...

The keepsake photo reveals a large bull, and the rack has nice symmetry.

“I was pretty happy with him,” Tyler said.

For a young hunter, Tyler's track record is admirable. He has killed four bulls in four years — two with a rifle.

Tyler is an avid hunter, and he probably picked that up from his old man, Kent Stingley.

“We go out every year,” Tyler said of the hunting partnership with his father.

“He (Kent) is pretty much my role model.”

Kent works in Thermopolis during the week, but during the weekends the two Stingleys can hang together in the hills.

Tyler's older brother, Scott, hunts too. Tyler's mom, Julie, hunts and occasionally accompanies the Stingley boys on their horseback mountain outings.

Conditions are likely similar in the hills as they are in the Stingley kitchen. When Julie goes to the hunting camps, the fellows eat. When mom doesn't go, the guys have to rough it, food wise.

As for hunting season preparations, Tyler practices a lot.

“I've been shooting a bow since I could walk,” Tyler added.

Prior to the start of the season, Tyler was practicing two hours a day. He says it helps him clear his head.

Tyler also said he prefers bow hunting, describing it as up close and personal.

Now a senior at Powell High School, in middle school Tyler was a 4-H shooter and they always took state, he said.

Tyler also said he currently is a member of the National Honor Society, plays soccer and was in the Art Guild last year.

Although an accomplished hunter, Tyler is not just in it to stalk elk and deer. He savors his surroundings.

“It's a blast to be up in the mountains,” he said.

As America closes in on its final weeks of campaigning before Election Day, political fervor is heightened.

On each side, candidates are shifting to attack mode. Nationally, the McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden campaigns have locked horns on a number of issues.

That's no surprise in a heated election year when voter turnout is expected to be high. Each campaign, naturally, is trying to sway undecided voters in these fleeting October weeks.

While political attacks are expected at a national level, it's disappointing when it happens locally.

Republicans reported Tuesday that their campaign office in Cody had been vandalized. Republicans and Democrats said signs had been removed from lawns.

Such behavior is alarming.

One of America's greatest pillars is our freedom of speech, and as a country, we should encourage one another to openly express opinions — even if we absolutely disagree.

To remove a sign is to silence someone's voice, suppressing their inalienable right to be heard.

It's wonderful to see neighborhoods dotted with political yard signs, because it indicates that people are exercising their freedom of speech and engaging in political action.

Whether it's an Obama sign or a McCain sign — or one for the three other presidential candidates on Wyoming's ballot — Americans have every right to show their political colors publicly.

October 09, 2008 3:12 am

End Partisanship with this election

After seemingly endless campaigning — by Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, you name it — we've finally reached the end of the road: Election Day.

Throughout this election cycle we've heard pledges from those on all sides to end partisan bickering and to reach across party lines to solve real problems.

Those who emerge victorious from today's elections will now get to put their proverbial money where their mouth is. And do we ever need it.

According to a recent Gallup poll, our outgoing president, George W. Bush, has the lowest approval rating of any chief executive since Harry Truman in 1945.

Polls also indicate voter approval ratings for Congress at a record low — the approval percentage this past summer dipped below 10 percent for the first time ever.

The issues facing the U.S. are huge — the war in Iraq, the nationwide economic turmoil and energy policy are front and center. Now, more than ever, we need politicians who will put aside partisan pettiness in order to work for solutions to big problems.

Let's hope that the victors — especially at the national level — will work together to end the bickering that stands in the way of true progress.

We've heard the refrain many times over the last number of months — now let's hold them to it.

We have too much at stake to tolerate anything less.

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Russ Wenke, administrator for Park County Fire District No. 2, left, and Clint Dawson, zone fire manager for Shoshone National Forest, returned to the scene of the Gunbarrel Fire. Thursday, Dawson predicted the fire would be extinguished or nearly extinguished with the weekend's anticipated precipitation. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Almost out

Conducting a field trip into the heart of the now mostly-extinguished Gunbarrel Fire last week, Clint Dawson, zone fire manager for Shoshone National Forest, defended the loss of Sweetwater Lodge and called the fire, as a whole, a success.

No private property was lost, nor were there any major injuries attributed to the $11.2-million, 68,149-acre fire.

Although the loss of Sweetwater Lodge raised a few hackles, Dawson said it was owned by the service, not privately.

Contrary to what some may believe, Dawson said they did not allow the lodge to burn.

While many support a proposed statewide law prohibiting smoking in public buildings, some local business owners say a smoking ban would affect their business and infringe on their rights.

“I don't think that's up to snuff,” said Mick Walker, who owns the Classic Lanes bowling alley. “I can't see me losing a percentage of my business ... because somebody else is cleaning up the world.”

A joint committee of the Wyoming Legislature is debating the issue this fall and could forward a bill to the 2009 Legislature that would ban smoking in buildings statewide.

Walker said prohibiting smoking at the bowling alley could cost him 20 percent of his income, and he already struggles to get a portion of the limited money locals are able to spend on recreation.

The old Southside Elementary building has been replaced, but the school district can't dispose of it just yet.

Scott Campbell, coordinator of support services for Park County School District No. 1, said the property eventually will be sold, but for now it will be mothballed until a new Westside Elementary building is completed.

The district's intention is to move Westside students into the old Southside building during the construction of a new Westside.

Campbell said he believes Westside will have to stay in the Southside building for two years, because, unlike the new Southside, the new Westside will be built on the same site as the current building, requiring more construction time.

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Powell High School's Brandon Sullivan (middle) fights for extra yardage as Star Valley's Jon Shumway (43) attempts to slow his progress. Also shown are Star Valley defenders Bill West (left) and Michael Luthi (right). Tribune photo by David Dickey

The frustration ends

With history working against them and one week after dropping a 19-14 setback to Lander, the Powell High School Panthers recorded a convincing 28-2 victory over Star Valley Friday night at Panther Stadium.

The Class 4A, West Conference victory was significant on several levels. For starters, the win kept the third-ranked Panthers (3-2 overall, 2-1 West) in the hunt for the conference crown. It also ended what has amounted to years of frustration for the Panthers against the team from Afton. Prior to Friday night, 2001 marked the last time PHS topped Star Valley (1-4 overall, 0-3 West).

Particularly frustrating for the Panthers were recent matchups for the Braves. During the Panthers' state championship season in 2006, Star Valley handed PHS its lone loss, a 24-7 setback in a contest that also served as homecoming for the Panthers. Last year, PHS squandered a late, fourth-quarter lead and lost to the Braves in overtime.

NWC improves to 26-7 overall

A pair of home matches translated into two more victories for the Northwest College volleyball team late last week.

The Lady Trappers, now 26-7 for the season and 4-0 at Hank Cabre Gymnasium, earned decisions over Eastern Wyoming College Friday night and Laramie County Community College Saturday afternoon.

Against the Lancers, NWC overcame a slow start, which included a 30-28 loss in the first set. The Lady Trappers responded to their first set loss at home by winning the next three sets 25-17, 25-22, 25-10.

“The first set was very shaky,” said NWC head coach Flavia Siqueira. “As a team, we were focused for a run of four to five points and then unfocused for another run of points. Toward the end of the set, we were ahead seven points and could not finish it. EWC took advantage of our down moment and won the first game 30-28.

“It was hard for me to make any changes because when one or two players are having a bad game, I can substitute for them. But when the 11 players on the roster are unfocused, there is not much I can do.”

Fortunately for the Lady Trappers, their focus was better in the ensuing set, according to Siqueira. During set three, the up-and-down play surfaced again, but NWC was able to squeak past the Lancers by three points. In the fourth and final set, NWC put together a solid effort and cruised to a 15-point decision.

“Eastern Wyoming played much better than when we saw them at the tournament in Riverton,” Siqueira said. “They are passing a lot better, and their libero had a great match.

“Finally, in the fourth set, we came back and played well. Maddie Peterson played in the middle, and Rebekah DePesa came in on the outside. Both of them did a great job.”

Among the highlights for NWC Friday night was the performance of setter Carol Martin, who finished with 47 assists, 29 digs and six kills. Thabata Galvao added 12 kills and 20 digs, and Peterson and Irelis Avendano finished with 14 and 11 kills, respectively.

On Saturday, NWC swept LCCC in three straight sets, 25-20, 25-15, 25-18. In the first set, the Lady Trappers built a 19-9 advantage before the Golden Eagles fought back and trailed just 22-20.

With LCCC threatening to mount a comeback effort, NWC scored three straight points to claim the first set.
Set two was close in its early stages, but the home team was able to build a sizable advantage en route to a 10-point victory. In the deciding set, NWC led by as many as 10 points before disposing of LCCC 25-18.

Siqueira said her front row played particularly well against LCCC. With few errors and strategic ball placement, the Lady Trappers were able to maintain control of the majority of the match. LCCC, when it did enjoy success, found it against NWC's defense, which Siqueira said was slow to react at times.

Once again, Martin was among the leaders for NWC. She finished with 25 assists, nine digs and six kills. Peterson led the team in kills with seven, and Katie Gregg added five. Marisa Shigetomi added a team-high 11 digs.

• Up next: NWC has three matches scheduled this week, including one with Sheridan College today (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. at Hank Cabre Gymnasium.

October 07, 2008 3:01 am

PHS Volleyball squad crushes Cody

It was all orange and black at Panther gym last week as the Powell High School Lady Panthers demolished Cody to seal their hold on the top spot in conference volleyball play.

When the two rivals met Thursday night, Cody still had a mathematical chance to tie for first place in the conference.

In about an hour, though, the Lady Panthers reduced the Fillies' chances to zero with a resounding 25-9, 25-21, 25-7 win.

The Lady Panthers jumped on the Fillies early in the first set, scoring six straight points behind the serve of Kayla Ando, and led all the way. Powell built a 14-5 lead before the Fillies were able to score two consecutive points, and by the time the serve had rotated through the lineup, Powell led 15-7. They finished the game with a 10-2 run to take a 1-0 match lead.

As in the teams' first meeting, the Fillies came back strong in game two, but the Lady Panthers held them off to go up two games to one. The teams traded points early before PHS opened up a slim 9-6 lead, but they were unable to stretch that advantage, and Cody tied the score at 13 before hitting out of bounds. Powell again opened up a lead, but never led by more than five. With Powell leading and serving at 24-20, the Fillies stepped up and stopped game point to keep their hopes alive, but a Cody hit sailed wide and the Lady Panthers escaped with the win.

Game three was all PHS. The Fillies led 3-2 early, but the Lady Panthers took control and built a 10-4 lead. Cody nearly regained the serve at that point with a tip, but a diving Savannah Donarski got her hand under the ball to keep it alive. Lauren Fagnant kept the ball in play, and Donarski, still on the ground, knocked it over the net. Cody set up an attack, but Donarski got to the net in time to block the ball for a PHS point.

The Lady Panthers then turned up the power, and an eight-point streak on Hannah Pollart's serve helped them outscore the Cody 14-3 to end the match. Match point came on a Pollart smash through two Cody blockers.

A measure of the Lady Panthers' domination in game three was that Cody never scored on their own serve.

A key to the game was Powell's 97.5 serving accuracy. Pollart was perfect on 17 serves.

Pollart ended the game with 14 kills, with Donarski and Kami Cooley contributing eight each. Ando led in assists with 16, and Pollart set up eight.

Defensively, Pollart and Donarski made 12 digs, and Allen made five.

PHS coach Cindi Smith said the team's win demonstrated the “100-percent effort” needed to win matches, and was a typical team effort for her squad.

“The girls are a tight group. They like each other and help each other out,” Smith said. “They focus on the team winning and not themselves.”

Saturday, the team traveled to Thermopolis and swept the Lady Bobcats in a match Smith said the girls were “a little disappointed” with.

“We just never got things going and never got into our flow,” Smith said.

Still, the Lady Panthers came away with a 25-21, 25-19, 24-21 win to keep their dual meet record perfect.

Powell's team serving efficiency fell to 87.9 percent, but Erica Woodward was accurate on all 11 of her service attempts. Rogers was successful on 14 of 15 service attempts, and Donarski was 12 of 13. Pollart led in kills with 12 and was second in assists with 13.

Ando contributed 15 assists. Donarski made 11 kills and Olivia Rogers added eight.

Defensively, Allen led with 22 digs. Donarski made 14 and Rogers made nine, and each of them assisted on two blocks.

Friday and Saturday the Lady Panthers go to Lovell for the conference duals and meet southwestern rivals Jackson, Kemmerer, Lyman and Pinedale. Smith said the Lady Panthers have seen all four teams in early season competition, but has played only Jackson in a regulation dual, a three-game sweep in Jackson.

Smith, on Monday morning, said the scheduling for the weekend event is still under discussion and will be announced as soon as it is available.