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Tribune Staff

Team faces five games in three days

The Powell Pioneers American Legion baseball team hits the road this Memorial Day weekend for the first of six regular-season tournaments on its schedule. The Pioneers are scheduled to play five games over the space of three days.

“We expect the competition to be pretty good this weekend,” said Pioneers coach Mike Jameson. “This will be a good test to see where we stand and a good chance for guys to step up and really help us out.”

Diverse international group coming to campus

When the Northwest College Trappers take the field — less than three months from now — for their first-ever intercollegiate soccer game, the team will sport a definite international flair. Head coach Rob Hill's first class features almost as many players from Brazil (five) as it does from Wyoming (seven).

Throw in players from England, Botswana, Idaho, Washington and four from the state of Florida and suddenly you have a recruiting class that features as many continents as it does states. It is possible more signings will take place between now and the start of fall practice.

“We've probably got three or four more that we'd like to sign,” Hill said. “We still have people sending us film or expressing an interest in coming here to play.”

A handful of players on the Trappers' roster will be instantly recognizable to Park County soccer fans. Hill, who has coached at Cody High School since 2000, will utilize a smattering of local high school players.

Former Cody Broncs Jonathon Chavez, Gavin LaFollette and Zach O'Dell will join Powell's Eric Jacobs, Lander's Kreymer Aurand and Riverton's Nick Warren to provide a foundation of area players that fans may immediately recognize. LaFollette is being called one of the keys to Hill's first recruiting class.

“He's a top signing,” notes Hill. “He's a Cody grad who is transferring here from Yavapai College in Arizona. He will end up going Division I after this year. He's an Olympic Development Program national pool player.”

Warren, described as an “athletic, agile” goalkeeper by Hill, provides another high-visibility player to the Trappers' first roster.

From further away, but still within Wyoming's borders, Cheyenne Central's Brad Ramsey will also be bringing his game to Powell this fall. Ramsey is a four-year starter for Central with state titles under his belt, including an undefeated ‘09 campaign. He is a three-time all-state first-team selection and was named the Wyoming 4A player of the year in 2009, when he was also a member of the all-Rocky Mountain Region team as a central defender.

From Florida, the Trappers bring in a trio of players from the town of Frostproof in midfielders Adrian and Emmanuel Elicerio and defender Erik Rodriguez.

“Erik is one of the best central defenders around,” said Hill. “He's a fantastic recruit who will form a solid central defense partnership.”

Other highlights of the 2010 recruiting class for the Trappers' men's soccer program are Legofi Crawford, the offensive MVP for Lake Gibson High School in Florida this past season, formerly from Botswana, and Shane Scrivner of Manchester, England.

“Shane is the four-year captain of his high school team and a two-year captain of a club team,” said Hill. “He led his region in assists in the 2008-2009 season and was the 2008 USA Tournament MVP as a member of the championship team. He's a top midfielder.”

Launched earlier this spring as a student recruitment initiative, men's and women's soccer teams are expected to draw 40 or more student-athletes to campus. Both teams will begin play this fall.

“It is paying off,” said Dana Young, interim athletic director at NWC. “These male recruits tell us the only reason they're enrolling is because of our new soccer program.”

The Trappers are scheduled to make their debut on Sunday, Aug. 15, when the team travels to Rocky Mountain College in Billings. Northwest College's first home game will take place on Thursday, Sept. 2, when the team hosts Laramie County Community College.

The Trappers are scheduled for a 17-game schedule, not counting post-season contests. The team will play five games at home this season.

Northwest College is expected to announce its women's soccer signings within the next couple of weeks.

“We'll announced players who have signed for the women's team soon,” said Hill. “Female athletes seem to have a different, more deliberate, process when it comes to making such decisions. We have about 14 players who have committed so far and four more are making campus visits after high school is complete. We're excited about who we've recruited for the women's team.

The Northwest College community — administration, staff, faculty and students — recently has endured several long months of turmoil.

A longtime staff member was fired, recruiting letters from President Prestwich — on college letterhead — created an uproar by targeting only LDS students, and two faculty members' contracts were not renewed.

The events pitted faculty and administration against each other in a power struggle of epic proportions. The NWC Board of Trustees hired a mediator to attempt to resolve the conflict, and the mediation process will begin this fall.

Since the mediator was hired, six student athletes were suspended for violating the athletic code of ethics, two of the college's vice presidents have resigned and several faculty members have retired or resigned.

According to NWC Human Resources Director Heather Kobbe, this year's turnover rate for the 82-member faculty is around 10 percent — including four resignations, three retirements and a single involuntary termination. Similarly, the 11.5 percent turnover for staff members included 12 resignations, four retirements and one involuntary termination.

At first blush, it may appear that staff and faculty are jumping ship due to the recent state of affairs. But, in reality, it's a pretty average rate of attrition. People retire, relocate or seek other job opportunities all the time — it's just part of the working world.

What is now unknown is what the NWC community's next step will be: Will the feuding groups continue to “stir the pot” and create more upheaval? Or will the parties declare a truce — albeit a tenuous one — and agree to move forward toward the common goal of creating the best possible educational opportunities and college environment for NWC students?

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.”

The last several months have been exceedingly painful for those involved, but Northwest College isn't dead — and the possible restructuring of the administration, new blood in the faculty and administration ranks and fresh faces on the college staff may well make NWC stronger than ever. It could be viewed as a rebirth of sorts.

It's now up to the parties involved to choose to be part of a solution, instead of perpetuating the problems.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer. I start this week's column off with that note because, for those of you who attended last weekend's state track meet in Casper, the reminder might be necessary.

The assignment seemed simple enough. Travel to Casper for three days. Attend the state meet. Shoot photos like crazy and send the occasional blog post home via laptop computer to keep those interested from afar or those unable to travel from Powell to Casper apprised of the action.

But we all know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice, men and sports editors in planning meetings.

Now, to be clear here, I really did do my homework, faithful reader. I checked the weather forecast before I packed. I knew there was a chance of rain. I knew the temperatures were supposed to drop off from the low 70s on Thursday into the weekend. Heck, I even knew the wind —a permanent fixture in Casper — was supposed to rear up.

I knew these things, and still I remembered my first state track meet in Wyoming, parading about the Kelly Walsh track in sunshine and shorts. How bad could it really be? After all, this was the state track meet, with June right around the corner.

I took the bait, hook, line and sinker. Heck, I might have even chewed on the boat.

Let the record show that, before departing for Casper, I made the conscious decision to pull most of the winter gear out of my car to make room for other “essential items.” The winter coat that's been planted in the back seat since last football season? Gone. The thermal blanket that's been in the back seat “just in case”? Gone. Stocking hat and gloves? Not on this trip.

Boy was I suckered.

These are the sorts of mistakes I expected to make during my first year in Wyoming. Instead, I fell into the sophomore jinx because, as many of you are aware, it did not get into the 70s on Thursday. That small chance of rain did not stay small on Friday or Saturday. And the temperatures that were supposed to fall into the 60s for championship Saturday instead decided to keep falling through the 50s, into the 40s, and narrowly flirted for a period of time of entering the 30s —all while a 30 mile-per-hour wind howled its approval.

This explains why, as championship Saturday rolled along, I found myself huddled against the side of a shed, surrounded by others, desperately trying to stay warm and relatively dry. They say misery loves company. Now I know that the reason for that is because its harder to freeze to death if you're sharing body heat with two or three dozen other shivering spirits.

Welcome to the state track and field championships, sponsored by the Wyoming High School Activities Association. And hypothermia.

Last Saturday will go down in my personal history as one of the most miserable days I've ever spent covering a sporting event. I can't, in clear conscience, rank it ahead of standing in a 20-below wind chill atop a hill in Rapelje, Mont., covering six-man football, but it definitely gets solid consideration for second place. Had it not been for a long-forgotten Polartec shirt stashed away in my mountain pack in the trunk, I'm not sure I would have made it through the day.

As it stands, I survived long enough to see what had to be one of the most abbreviated state trophy presentations I've ever attended. Congratulations, here's your trophy, now run and get back on the bus to warm up. Quite the change from the nearly hour-long loitering on the infield that had accompanied last season's awards.

The moral of the story here, faithful reader, is that three-day advanced forecasts in Wyoming appear to be no more reliable than throwing a dart at a wide range of weather options. I'm learning from this mistake, as are many others, I'm sure.

So next May, when you're wondering why I'm standing in snow boots and sweating to death in 85-degree heat at the state track meet, you'll know exactly the reason why.

(This column originally appeared in another newspaper in 2002. I think it makes an important point, so I have submitted it, with a few minor revisions, for this issue. I hope you will agree and forgive me for recycling it for this Memorial Day.)

In a song called “The Green Fields of France,” an Australian folk singer, Eric Bogle, addresses a young soldier whose name is engraved on a cross in a World War I cemetery in France.

The soldier, Willie McBride, was 19 when he died in “The Great War,” World War I. At the time, this war was called “The War to End All Wars,” and it was arguably one of the most senseless wars in history.

In one of the verses of the song, the singer asks this question of Willie:

Did you leave any a wife or a sweetheart behind,

In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined.

Although you died back in nineteen sixteen,

In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen.

Or are you a stranger without even a name,

Enclosed forever behind a glass pane,

In an old photograph, torn and battered and stained

And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

Unfortunately, there are millions of men, and women as well, who have been casualties of the many wars fought over the history of mankind, and nearly all of them are not even names on crosses or photographs in our memory books any more. They are forgotten by history, remembered, if at all, only as estimates of the number of dead in almanacs and casualty lists in military records.

For our collective memory is short, and only our most recent war dead are still real people to those of us who survive. Willie and his comrades, who died in wars so long ago, have no one to remember them at all.

Willie, of course, was British, not American, and when he died, America was not yet involved in World War I. But it is still worth remembering him when we pause for Memorial Day on Monday.

We Americans like to think that we arrived at where we are all by ourselves, but our way of life and our way of government have their roots in conflicts throughout human history. The ancient wars of the Hebrews, the Greeks and the Romans and the colonial wars of the 17th and 18th centuries contributed to the development of our society, just as the conflicts of 1776, 1864 and those of the last century did.

In short, the foundation for our society and culture rests on the military and civilian dead of centuries of warfare. And most of those individuals are remembered, if at all, as names engraved on crosses or as unidentified faces in photographs. A few moments of reflection by us is the only monument the vast majority of them will ever have.

More important, the more we reflect on those faceless dead and how they died, the more likely we are to work toward ending the cruelty and waste of war.

As you remember our war dead on Monday, save a few minutes to reflect on those faceless others who gave their all — guys like Willie McBride.

(March 8, 1943 - May 18, 2010)

Kathleen Swearingen, 67, died May 18, 2010 in Cody.


A trackhoe attacks the last section of the wall that once separated the Tartan Gym from the locker rooms and other facilities in the old Powell High School Gymnasium on Friday morning. The Tartan Gym was the first section demolished, followed by the rest of the newer section of the facility. The newer section is being demolished first because it is more easily accessible to equipment, and the area will then be used as a staging area to begin demolishing the original gymnasium. Tribune photo by Don Amend


Trumpeting Wyoming's wolf management plan and rallying the troops was the battle cry by a bevy of speakers to their audience of more than 200 Saturday at City Park in Cody.

Wolf are killing elk and moose and hurting the livestock industry, said those in attendance.

Second vice president to leave NWC this spring

Northwest College got another blow last week when Dana Young, vice president for student affairs, accepted the position as president of Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) in Ontario, Ore.

As of Saturday, Young and TVCC representatives were negotiating her contract.

A grizzly bear was captured last week in the Clark landfill after dining on dead livestock for a week.

The landfill bear was a young female that may have been recently separated from her mother, speculated Sandie Morris, Park County Landfill office manager.

Landfill carcasses are easy pickings for a young grizzly, Morris said.

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