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Tribune Staff

Lesu earns libero of the year

Northwest College sophomore Valerie Lesu and freshman Sandrina Hunsel were named members of the All-Region team following the conclusion of the Region IX North volleyball tournament in Glendive, Mont., this past weekend. Hunsel, along with Trapper teammate Gianesi Tarafa, were also named to the All-tournament team.

Jones named most valuable 2010 swimmer

Four Powell Lady Panther swimmers were recognized by their teammates as the team celebrated their awards night Monday evening.

Senior Maddy Jones was named the Most Valuable Swimmer by her teammates. Jones, a four-year letter winner for the Lady Panthers, led Powell in team points during the season, and finished her career with two top-10 finishes in the state championships.

Fellow senior Monique Zorgati received the Coaches Choice award. Also a four-year letter-winner, Zorgati was the second highest point winner for the season.

She recorded the highest finish at state for the Lady Panthers, seventh place in the 200-yard freestyle, and earned 11th place in the 100-yard freestyle as well.

Senior Jessica Wurzel was chosen by her teammates as the Most Inspirational swimmer. Wurzel has been with the team all four of her high school years, and qualified for state the past two years.

The Most Improved award was given to freshman diver Hannah Sweet.

Jones, Zorgati, Wurzel, along with seniors Brittany Christensen, Alyssa Smith and Claire Wetzel were all recognized for serving as team captains during the season.

The Sports Guy saw the first few hints of snowflakes fluttering down around him earlier this week. Right on cue, another fall sports season has come to a close and the winter seasons are starting to ramp up.

Before we turn the page completely though, I'm cleaning out my closet to make room for those holiday presents with a few final fall thoughts.

• Calling all middle school girls —the Powell High School girls' cross country teams have brought home five consecutive state trophies, including three nice shiny state champion awards in that stretch. Potentially, the team could have as many as four former all-state runners lining up in the starting chute when the season opens next fall.

Granted, I might be displaying a little hometown bias, but in my book, that qualifies you for frontrunner status in the discussion for 2011 state champion.

What the team needs, however, is a little more depth.

The Panthers brought home the hardware this fall by avoiding the injury bug. In a sport that requires five healthy bodies to reach the finish line, there were times during the year that PHS could only line up that many. That's one sprained ankle away from disaster.

So, while there are several sports options for girls in the fall, here's hoping at least a few of this year's eighth grade class will find their way to cross country next fall to help the team keep its run going.

And for those who don't want to run for fun, I hear head coach Troy Hildebrand might not mind an additional golfer or two in order for the Panthers to vie for team awards in 2011.

• Sophomore season —Here's a tip of the ol' ballcap for Northwest College head coach Rob Hill on earning coach of the year honors in Region IX this season. Taking a program from the conceptual stage to the regional championship game in its first season is impressive any way you slice it. The fact that Hill was able to do it despite getting a late jump on the recruiting process was even more noteworthy.

Now comes the fun.

With a full recruiting cycle ahead and eight all-region selections coming back on the men's and women's sides combined, the Trappers have a good foundation for the future. Add to it an anticipated move to a new field closer to campus, which should help attract larger crowds on those great sunny days, and there's no reason not to be looking forward to seeing what Hill and the Trappers trot out onto the field next fall.

• Ready for some football —Falling by three in the first round of the playoffs was a painful way for the season to end, but for the underclassmen on the Powell High School football team, it should also provide motivation.

If 2010 was a question mark season for the Panthers, then 2011 should be an exclamation point sort of year. The team graduates nine seniors this spring, but brings back a host of returning starters and skilled reserve players that should have every fan salivating.

Barring the mother of all defensive performances in this weekend's 3A championship game between Douglas and Buffalo, sophomore Vince Sleep should finish as the state's top defender. The Panthers will have two players back who ranked among the state's leaders in all-purpose yardage at various points this season, offensive and defensive lines that will return virtually intact and a ballhawking secondary that produced a double-digit interception count this season.

That's a nice framework any way you look at it.

If the off-season dedication to the weight room equals the potential displayed on paper, Panther football 2011 should get a lot of people excited. Even for that possible new road trip to Green River.

There's probably more that could be said, faithful reader, but we're out of space here. So let's throw a couple more marshmallows into the hot chocolate mug, sit back and wait to see what the winter has in store.

There are times when, try as he might, a columnist just can't come up with a good idea for filling the 20 to 25 inches he is expected to produce for the next edition.

For this columnist, this is one of those times. The Muses just haven't visited my computer this week, and my imagination is sort of stuck in neutral.

This is a bit disconcerting, since it's late at night and I have to have this written by Wednesday morning, but it's not actually panic time. In fact, some of my personal favorite columns have been produced in just such a situation.

One time, for example, a flock of geese flew over my house as I was puzzling over what to write, and it inspired a column that I really felt good about. I don't know if anybody else liked it, but I did.

A few weeks ago, I was in a similar situation. It was the political season, but I wasn't in a political mood. I received no help from Canadian waterfowl, or anybody else, for that matter. As a result, I was forced to fall back on something I can always talk about, my family.

Thus was born the column about my grandchildren, Halloween, and my wife's determination to outfit the former for the latter, a project that kept her at her ancient Singer for hours on end.

Now, I have to admit, I was sort of lukewarm about the column when I filed it with the editor. My fellow staff members, who had to read it to make sure I hadn't made any dumb spelling or grammatical errors, said they liked it, but then they usually speak kindly of my work, and I'm sure they are sincere, although they may just be humoring the old coot they have to work with so he won't get too cranky.

I had additional concerns about the column because my real boss, the one who shares living quarters with me, played such a prominent role in the column. I have referred to her, and even featured her, in my column many times over the past 10 years, and she's never gotten upset by it, but, being a bit more reserved than I am, there's always the possibility she won't appreciate the attention this column sometimes draws.

And this one certainly drew attention, and Karen received all of it. A bunch of people have inquired about the work on the costumes and how they were received on the other end.

Surprisingly, she doesn't seem to mind the questions at all. In fact, I think she's gotten a kick out of it. I can tell because she's still fixing my breakfast every morning.

Anyway, it occurred to me that there might be people out there who are haven't had a chance to talk to my wife and are curious about the outcome of the costume caper. For those people, here's the final word.

All four costumes — two owls, one princess and one knight in shining armor — were completed and arrived at their destinations on time. I am happy to report that they all fit, with a bit of adjustment in some cases, and were a big hit with the grandkids. We haven't seen all the pictures as yet, but apparently the princess was beautiful, the owls looked appropriately wise, and the knight in shining armor was dashing, or at least as dashing as you can be when you're only 14 months old and don't even know what a knight in shining armor is. He wouldn't wear the helmet, but since there was no jousting required, that was probably OK.

In short, Grandma's long-distance tailoring project was a complete success, and she is quite happy to talk about it. She has expressed reservations about next year, but I'm betting that, next October, she will again be cranking up the old Singer for another round of grandma work.

Next year, though, I'll try to write about something else. Maybe those geese will show up again.

Until next time...

Back in 1944, writer Ernie Pyle described a group of American soldiers he accompanied into Cherbourg, France, with these words:

“They weren't warriors. They were American boys who by mere chance of fate had wound up with guns in their hands, sneaking up a death-laden street in a strange and shattered city in a faraway country in a driving rain.”

Throughout our history, many Americans could have been described in similar terms. They were just ordinary Americans who, responding to events beyond their personal control, became warriors.

They faced sudden death in strange places far away from home, enduring not only the cold rain of France, but the frigid winter of Korea and the heat of Indochina's tropical jungles or Middle Eastern deserts. When they came home, if they came home, they often brought permanent scars with them, some visible, some hidden deep in their emotions. Some became casualties long after the war was over.

They did all that, not because they wanted to, but simply because they were Americans, and their country needed them.

Thursday is our special day to honor those who have served. For most of us, it is an ordinary work day, and we will spend the day going about our ordinary tasks. Carrying out those tasks as best we can is, in a way, an apt tribute to our veterans, because their actions have made it possible for us to live ordinary lives in peace.

But sometime during the day, we all should stop, if only for a few minutes, and ponder the sacrifice of those who weren't warriors, but became warriors because they were Americans.

We urge everyone to take those few minutes to remember and express our appreciation. It's the very least we can do.

(Aug. 25, 1917-Nov. 6, 2010)

Ralph K. Davies, formerly of Powell, died Nov. 6, 2010, in Tifton, Ga. He was 93.

(April 16, 1943 - Nov. 7, 2010)

Robert J. Bass died on Nov. 7, 2010 at St. Vincent's Healthcare in Billings. He was 67.

{gallery}11_09_10/girlscouts{/gallery}

Pausing in the darkened Draper Museum of Natural History, Mia Baxter (left) and Makenna Branstetter use their flashlights to fill out scavenger hunt details during the Powell Girl Scouts' sleepover at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Girl Scouts sleep over at BBHC with nocturnal animals

Clutching a glowing flashlight and clad in fuzzy slippers, Sabrina Shoopman declares, “I'm nocturnal!”

Nocturnal indeed.

Having just met a real-life nocturnal owl, young Sabrina and 11 fellow Powell Girl Scouts are practicing their own night-hunting skills as they embark on a scavenger hunt in the darkened Draper Museum of Natural History at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

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City considers proposed school's potential effect on master street plan

Someday, Parkside Elementary students may attend school north of Clark Street and just east of Northwest College. Acreage currently used as farmland is being considered by Park County School District No. 1 for a new elementary school — but not for another 10-15 years down the road.

Clark man reflects on years of service

Having served as an Army Green Beret in the 1960s, Don Tolman of Clark has some interesting stories to tell.

But they're not stories of stealing into an area under cover or completing top-secret assignments.

Page 450 of 514

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