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August 14, 2012 8:13 am

Panthers return to practice

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The defending 3A state champion Panther football team took advantage of a cool morning to get in some conditioning work during the first day of fall practices at Powell High School. The defending 3A state champion Panther football team took advantage of a cool morning to get in some conditioning work during the first day of fall practices at Powell High School. Tribune photos by Randal Horobik

Fall sports attract a host of students

Cool and mostly overcast skies greeted the return of fall sports practices at Powell High School on Monday. Athletes for the Panthers’ football, volleyball, swimming, cross country and tennis teams all gathered early to begin the process of preparing for the season ahead.

Golf and cheerleading team members were slated to begin their respective seasons on Monday afternoon.

Approximately 60 student-athletes showed up for the morning practice for the defending state champion Panther football team. The tone for the year was set early.

“What do you think Douglas is doing this morning?” Panther head football coach Jim Stringer asked his team during a series of wind sprints. “They’re working hard to do one thing. Know what that is?”

“Beat us,” shouted several Panthers in unison.

“We’re in a little different position this season,” Stringer told his assembled team minutes later. “Instead of being the underdog, we’re the guys everyone is trying to beat. That just means we have to work a little bit harder. It means we pay a little more attention during chalk talk. It means you ask yourself if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing the right way.”

Nearby on the tennis courts, Panther head coach Ray Bieber had a group of about 35 players show up for the first morning of boys’ and girls’ tennis practice. The Panthers’ early morning was spent in a series of footwork drills and plenty of repetition on forehand and backhand technique.

Inside the Powell High School gymnasium, Panther head volleyball coach Cindi Smith was taking a group of 31 students through the first volleyball practice of the year. Smith noted that several of the Panthers in the gym were freshmen.

“I think we have 13 on the team,” she said.

In front of the school, Panther cross country coach Cliff Boos had a group of 14 runners report for his first practice.

“The nice thing is we’re pretty balanced, so we can have seven boys and seven girls,” Boos said. “That’s always nice and it means that just about all the kids will have a chance to go to state at the end of the season.”

At the Powell Aquatic Center, Panther girls’ swimming coach Luke Robertson had 27 students climb into the pool for their first practice. The number, he said, is pretty typical of what he has come to expect with the program.

“We’ve had teams that were a little larger. We’ve had some that are a little smaller in my four years,” said Robertson. “We’re probably right in the middle for where we’ve been in my time here.”

Powell’s other defending state champion fall sports team, the Panther boys’ golf team, was set to have its first practice on Monday afternoon. The Panther golf teams will get the 2012 fall sports calendar started for Powell High School this Thursday and Friday when the team heads to Riverton for a 36-hole invitational tournament.

The rest of the Panther programs will start to see action the weekend of Aug. 24.

Powell High School Fall Sports schedules

Cross Country

Aug. 24 — at Cody, 4 p.m.

Aug. 31 — at Billings, 4 p.m.

Sept. 17 — at Rocky Mountain, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 — at Thermopolis, 3 p.m.

Sept. 27 — at Worland, 4 p.m.

Sept. 29 — at Billings, noon

Oct. 5 — Powell Invitational 4 p.m.

Oct. 12 — 3A West at Jackson, 1 p.m.

Football

Aug. 25 — at Miles City, 6 p.m.

Aug. 31 — at Riverton 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 — Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 — Torrington 6 p.m.

Sept. 21 — at Jackson, 6 p.m.

Sept. 28 — Star Valley, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 — at Worland, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 — at Cody, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 — Green River, 7 p.m.

Golf

Aug. 16-17 — at Riverton

Aug. 30 — Powell/Cody Invite Day 1

Aug. 31 — Powell/Cody Invite Day 2 at Cody

Sept. 7-8 — at Buffalo

Setp. 14-15 — 3A West at Lyman

Swimming

Aug. 25 — at Lander, 11 a.m.

Aug. 31 — at Cody, 2 p.m.

Sept. 6 — at Worland, 5 p.m.

Sept. 8 — Gene Dozah Invite at Powell, 11 a.m.

Sept. 14 — at Cody triangular, 4 p.m.

Sept. 15 — at Jackson, 10 a.m.

Sept. 21 — Lander, 4 p.m.

Sept. 22 — at Worland, 10 a.m.

Sept. 25 — Cody, 5 p.m.

Oct. 4 — Worland, 5 p.m.

Oct. 12-13 — 3A West at Lander

Tennis

Aug. 24 — at Green River, 4 p.m.

Aug. 25 — at Rock Springs, 10 a.m.

Aug. 30 — Cody, 4 p.m.

Aug. 31 — Jackson, 4 p.m.

Sept. 1 — Riverton, noon

Sept. 8 — at Kelly Walsh, 10 a.m.

Sept. 8 — at Natrona County, 2 p.m.

Sept. 11 — at Cody, 4 p.m.

Sept. 14 — Sheridan, 4 p.m.

Sept. 15 — Campbell County,

9 a.m.

Sept. 21-22 — Regionals at Gillette

Volleyball

Aug. 24-25 — at Douglas Invitational

Aug. 31-Sept. 1 — Mont.-Wyo. Classic at Billings

Sept. 7-8 — at Rawlins Invitational

Sept. 11 — at Cody, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 — at Jackson, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 15 — at Lander, 2 p.m.

Sept. 24 — Shoshoni, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 — Lander, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 — Jackson, 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 — Cody, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 5-6 — 3A West duals at Cody

Oct. 11 — Worland 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 19-20 — 3A West regionals at Lyman

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