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Tribune Staff

Northwest College shut out in Idaho

Volleyball season got off to a rocky start for the defending Region IX North champions as Northwest College was denied victory at the season-opening College of Southern Idaho tournament over the weekend. Northwest lost all five of its tournament games.

The Trappers entered the event ranked No. 25 nationally in the NJCAA's preseason poll, but encountered three of the top 11 teams ranked in that balloting. Northwest fell 21-25, 22-25, 21-25 to No. 3 Salt Lake. The Trappers were denied 22-25, 17-25, 16-25 by No. 4 Miami Dade and came out on the short side against No. 11 North Idaho by a 20-25, 29-27, 17-25, 21-25 final count.

NWC ladies unscored on after two games

When Northwest College head soccer coach Rob Hill began the task of assembling the school's first-ever women's soccer program, he started by signing Belgrade, Mont., freshman Sydney Heckel. On Friday, Heckel rewarded Hill's faith with a pair of goals in a 3-0 Northwest victory over Dodge City.

Let the trivia books show that it took just eight minutes for Northwest College to register its first soccer goal. Heckel connected from long range off a pass from Casper's Hannah Couldridge.

“It was a relief for the whole team to get the first goal of the regular season out of the way,” said Hill. “You could see the confidence of the team grow after that goal as we continued to create chance after chance.”

Despite those chances, Northwest led by just a 1-0 count at the half.

That quickly changed as the two sides returned to the pitch. Couldridge connected off a Shelby Willis assist just over three minutes into the second half to give the Trappers a 2-0 lead. Twenty minutes later, Heckel struck again on a direct free kick that went off the keeper's fingers and into goal.

By contrast, Northwest keeper Becca Sangster had a relatively uneventful first game. The Afton freshman was called on to turn away just two Dodge City shots as the defensive line of Jen Berg, Makenzie Richins, Rachel Cruz and Cynthia Barrajas severely limited the Conquistadors' open looks.

“It was a pretty one-sided affair,” Hill said. “ We played with aggression. We were first to the ball and it made a big difference in how much possession we had and how many chances we created.”

After winning their first-ever soccer contest, the Trappers returned to the field 24 hours later to record a 0-0 tie with Cisco College of Texas.

The game was played with a persistent 30-35 mile per hour wind howling across the field. The contest was also delayed for more than an hour due to what Hill described as “referee problems.”

“It didn't help the team with their mental preparation,” Hill said of the unexpected delay. “We were all ready and warmed up to go and the game was delayed.”

As a result, Hill said, it took the Trapper women most of the first half to find a rhythm offensively. After squandering the wind advantage in the first half, the Trappers hunkered down after intermission as Cisco had the wind at its back.

“We got into the attacking half of the field only a few times (in the second half),” Hill said. “When we did, we were creating decent opportunities.”

The Trappers also saw their fitness level tested as the game stretched into overtime.

“I only made one substitution in the game,” Hill said. “We showed our fitness was up to the necessary level.”

With a 1-0-1 record, the Trappers head to Scottsbluff, Neb., this Saturday for a Region IX encounter with Western Nebraska.

“It was good to start the season without conceding a goal,” said Hill. “Getting a win on the road was also a great confidence booster for the team.”

The contest could be a clash of offense against defense. Western Nebraska carries a 2-0 record into the game. The Cougars have tallied 19 goals in their two victories.

Intercollegiate soccer made its debut for Northwest College this past weekend. By all accounts, the coming-out party has to be considered a rousing success. In their first four games —two men's, two women's — Northwest College returned home from a lengthy road trip with a combined 2-1-1 record.

Had it not been for some, shall we say, unique timekeeping — I invite anyone to provide me with another example from major soccer where a half is blown dead on a clear attacking opportunity — that mark could easily have been 2-0-2, if not 3-0-1.

Regardless of which record you look at, the results are noteworthy given the fact that neither program existed on anything but a conceptual level just nine months earlier. Sure, soccer had existed as a club sport on the NWC campus. But moving from a club level to a competitive intercollegiate activity is no easier in soccer than one would expect the dorm intramural basketball league champions to step up and compete in Region IX.

And that's the key word in this discussion — compete.

Given the compressed time frame it had to operate with, Northwest College's inaugural season could have been rife with difficulties. Considering the programs were starting behind the curve with regard to both visibility and recruiting, it didn't take a lot of imagination to envision NWC's first season of intercollegiate soccer being largely a throw-away affair where student-athletes were playing to keep their scholarships for the following year and the schedule consisted of lump after lump.

Clearly, that's not going to be the case.

The Trappers demonstrated in the season's opening weekend that they are capable of competing on the pitch —not someplace down the road, but right here, right now. Admittedly, nobody is going to mistake Dodge City for seven-time national champion Yavapai, but the school does play in the Jayhawk Conference, arguably the most consistently strong league in the country when it comes to across-the-board junior college athletic quality. That Cisco College squad that the Trapper women played to a scoreless draw? They've won multiple Region V titles and had walked off the field victorious in 113 of their last 150 games.

Most established programs would gladly take the draw and walk off the pitch with a smile on their faces against that resumé. As a first-year program, one has to imagine the NWC visages were positively beaming with excitement.

Like many, perhaps even those in NWC uniforms, I don't have a large frame of reference when it come to junior college soccer. In fact, today's (Thursday) men's contest against Laramie County will be the first I've covered in my career.

We'll have a better idea one week from now about how both the men's and women's teams stack up against their Region IX counterparts. Based on early indications, however, the Trappers have every reason to suspect that they can be in the mix immediately in Year 1.

If you've got the opportunity to get out of work an hour early Thursday, or if you find yourself looking for a good excuse to get out of the house or dorm to enjoy what should be a seasonable late summer or early fall day, I invite you to head over to the field at Trapper West — NWC's new soccer fields weren't as ready as its teams for the inaugural contest — for today's home and Region IX opener at 4 p.m. Help welcome Northwest College's newest sport to town and provide the team with a positive atmosphere for its first-ever home game.

The soccer era at Northwest College dawned this past weekend. From early indications, plenty of bright spots lie ahead on the horizon.

Former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson is currently under fire for his response to the leader of a women's organization regarding Social Security.

By describing Social Security in terms that were, shall we say, indelicate, Simpson offended a whole bunch of people who, predictably, have demanded that President Obama fire him as co-chairman of his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Obama has said he will not do that, and consequently, has drawn fire himself.

This is not the first time that the senator's words have been criticized. He admits to having had to withdraw his foot from his mouth on many occasions, and his “colorful” language and metaphors could often be described as offensive.

But, while not defending the senator's choice of words, we think the sentiment he expressed is valid. In the interests of government fiscal responsibility, Social Security must be part of the discussion along with every other government expenditure.

We have a national debt because all of us make demands on the government to spend money while simultaneously demanding lower taxes. Fulfilling both demands is, of course, impossible. All of us, including Social Security recipients (one of whom is this writer), are part of the problem.

However crude or insulting some may find Sen. Simpson's remarks, he should be commended for having the courage to raise the issue. That willingness to offend special interests is probably the reason why President Obama appointed him to help lead the Fiscal Responsibility Commission in the first place.

We may not entirely agree with Sen. Simpson's position or his way of expressing himself, but we hope President Obama sticks to his guns and keeps the senator on the commission.

(July 24, 1939 - Aug. 24, 2010)

William Wiley Layne died Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010, at North Big Horn Hospital in Lovell.


One of the 157 cats captured at a rural Powell home stares into the camera, as dozens of others mill about in the Lane 11 residents' basement. Workers with the Humane Society of the United States, Park County Sheriff's Office, Powell veterinarian Teri Oursler and others worked all day Thursday removing cats from the home. Courtesy photo/Bradly J. Boner

A total of 157 cats were seized from a rural Powell home Thursday by workers with the Humane Society of the United States, called in to assist by the Park County Attorney's and Sheriff's Office.

Officials described the conditions at the Lane 11 home south of Powell as filthy, and said many of the cats were in poor health, some requiring euthanization. Most of the cats have since been transported elsewhere for adoption.

Despite problems with Wyoming's statewide school testing last spring, an outside study of the test has concluded the test results were valid and could be used to measure school progress.

Wyoming legislators were also recently advised to keep using the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students (PAWS) test to measure student achievement.

Members of the Heart Mountain Irrigation District Board of Commissioners should pay out of their own pockets for four wind anemometers they purchased with district funds, a Powell couple says.

That is because the board did not research the legality of wind development properly prior to buying instruments, which measure wind speed, Fred and Buffy Burris said Friday.


Although the draw had Powell starting behind the field out of the opening chute, the Panther girls passed the competition to capture the team title in their 2010 opening meet in Cody last Friday. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

PHS girls top field at Cody

The Powell High School girls won the title while the boys were runners-up at the Cody Invitational cross country meet on Friday. The event was the first of the 2010 fall season for the Panthers.

“Both the boys and girls teams got off to a good start to the year,” said coach Cliff Boos. “They got out there and ran with some enthusiasm and showed a good attitude.”

Two Powell Lady Panthers started their season by qualifying for the state swim meet Saturday in the first varsity competition at the Powell Aquatic Center.

Maddy Jones opened her final season as a Lady Panther by qualifying in the individual medley, and junior Anya Tracy earned her spot at state in the backstroke. Tracy finished second with her swim and Jones third.

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