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Sports

Pioneers head to Billings

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.

Boys second at state

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Powell junior Kyle Sullivan soars over the bar on his way to a successful state title defense in 3A high jump competition. Sullivan earned two state championship medals and two state runner-up medals at the 2010 Wyoming state track meet. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Powell High girls sixth in final standings

It wasn't the trophy they hoped for, but the Powell Panthers still returned home with hardware as the team finished as the 2010 boys' 3A state runner-up in Casper over the weekend. The Panther girls had one of their best showings in years with a sixth-place team finish.

“It didn't go quite the way we wanted, but it was still a good meet,” said Powell head coach Scott Smith following the awards presentation.

Pioneers win two of three

Late rally by Jays prevents weekend sweep

The Powell Pioneers blasted Lovell 22-6 on Friday before splitting with the Billings Blue Jays on Saturday in American Legion baseball action. The 2-1 weekend performance leaves the club with a 4-2 record heading into the Memorial Day weekend.

Staff ace Scotty Jameson fanned 11 Lovell batters in his first appearance on the hill this summer. He also aided his cause at the plate with a home run and four RBIs. Colter Bostick also sent the ball sailing out of the yard for his second home run of the season and added four more RBIs as all nine Pioneers in the starting lineup accounted for at least one run scored in the contest.

Girls fall shy of Saturday play

The Powell Panthers are closing the gap on the state's 3A soccer powers. Despite that fact, soccer season finished in an all-too-familiar fashion for both the boys' and girls' teams at the state soccer tournament over the weekend.

Powell's girls will have to wait another year to experience Saturday soccer in Sheridan. The Panthers, who needed less than two weeks this season to surpass last year's win count, fell 6-0 to Buffalo and 4-0 to Newcastle.

“The game against Buffalo was won in the midfield just like we thought it would be,” said head coach Brad Hammond, directing his final games on the Panther sidelines.

Hammond resigned the position earlier this season to focus his time on the Northwest College soccer program, where he serves as an assistant coach. The Trappers begin their inaugural season this fall.

“The girls fought hard. We just didn't have the horses that Buffalo had,” said Hammond. “They were able to keep the pressure on and we came up short.”

The opening-round loss dropped the Panthers into a Friday elimination game against a Newcastle team they had defeated in overtime earlier this season. This time around, the Dogies had all the answers on a windy day to post the shutout victory.

“We had an incident early in the first half where Katie Kipp had a breakaway into the wind. She had the goalie beat,” said Hammond. “From our vantage point, we thought her shot had completely crossed the end line for a goal, but they ruled their defender had kicked the ball out, and they took it right down the field and scored on us. That sudden switch really took the wind out of us for a while and they were able to take advantage.”

Following the state meet, four members of the Panthers' roster received 3A West awards. Junior defender Maddy Jones and junior midfielder Molly McCray each were named first-team all-conference members. Senior forward Katie Kipp and junior defender Leslie Thronburg were named members of the second team all-conference rosters.

“That's one indication of how far we've come as a program,” said Hammond. “We've never had four kids get conference awards before.”

On the boys' side, the Panthers narrowly missed picking up that elusive second victory at the state tournament. After dropping its opener against eventual state-champion Buffalo 2-0, the Panthers bounced back on Friday with a 4-0 shutout of Newcastle. In Saturday's consolation final, the Panthers were unable to get the ball in the net, losing by a slim 1-0 margin.

Head coach Pat D'Alessandro was unavailable for comments on Monday. We hope to have more information on the Panther boys' state soccer tournament appearance in Thursday's paper.

Track hits end stretch

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Powell triple jumper Kyle Woodward was one of several Panthers to record season-best performances in Jackson last week. The team will look to continue that trend starting today (Thursday) at state track and field competition in Casper. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Panther boys in position to defend 3A title

The Powell Panthers look to defend their 3A boys' state title as the Wyoming State Track and Field Championships open today (Thursday) at Harry Geldien Stadium in Casper. After a dramatic win a year ago, the team knows it is showing up with a bulls-eye painted on its back.

“A lot of people around the state have high expectations for us,” said senior Matthew Condie, who will be looking to build upon last year's fourth-place finish in the pole vault. “I'd like to go out as a team and prove those expectations right.”

PHS, don't be Buffaloed

Panther soccer team hopes to avoid ‘09 repeat

Strictly speaking, Powell and Buffalo don't schedule each other annually in soccer. It only seems that way.

The Panthers and Bison have become common first-round foes at the state tournament and the 2010 state championships, which get started today (Thursday) in Sheridan, are no exception. Both the Powell boys (6-6-2) and the Panther girls (4-9) find their road to the championship half of the state soccer bracket blocked again by Buffalo.

PHS gridder excited to continue career

Powell High School senior Kyle Woodward will continue his football career at Rocky Mountain College in Billings this fall. Woodward recently signed his letter of intent with the Battlin' Bears in the PHS Commons.

“Kyle has been a great contributor to the football program for the past four years and he was a pleasure to coach,” said Panther football coach Jim Stringer. “He was the anchor on our injury-riddled lines this year and he'll be sorely missed. He's a hard-working kid that plays with passion and an unwavering dedication to the game and to his teammates.”

Woodward said the Bears pursued him quite a bit during the recruiting process. In addition to the ability to continue his football career, Rocky Mountain College also offered Woodward an academic scholarship that helped sway the youngster to enroll on campus.

“They're a fairly small campus,” said Woodward. “They do things like mandatory team study hall that really seemed to be a good way to start college and help with the academic side of things.”

In the classroom, Woodward intends to be a business management major. On the field, he expects to fit in with the Bears as either a defensive end or a tight end. He also anticipates getting a shot on special teams.

Wherever he plays, Stringer notes the Bears will be getting a team-first type of player.

“A few years ago, I asked Kyle to make a position move to offensive and defensive line in the best interest of the team,” Stringer recalled. “He willingly accepted the new role and excelled at it. I wish him all the best at RMC and look forward to going to Billings to watch him play.”

Woodward was a two-time all-conference award recipient for the Panthers and earned all-state recognition as a senior.

Regional champs

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Powell's Drew MaGill (right) and Colby Gilmore stride down the home stretch of the boys' 200-meter finals on Saturday in Jackson. MaGill, Gilmore and teammate Marco Borja (not pictured) grabbed three of the top four spots and helped lead Powell to a regional title. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Panther boys take top honors in 3A West, girls runner-up

The Powell High School boys' track team scored points in every event this weekend to pick up the 2010 track title in the 3A West region in Jackson. Powell's girls had an oustanding Saturday to rise from fifth to second in the final standings to earn regional runner-up honors.

“The kids had a great weekend,” said Powell head coach Scott Smith, who again was named the 3A West boys' coach of the year. “I was really happy with the way the kids came out and performed. We had a ton of personal records and qualified more than we expected. We just had a great meet.”

Soccer finishes regular season

Boys take Broncs to O.T.

Powell High School wrapped up the soccer regular season last Thursday, getting swept by Cody in both boys' and girls' action. The Panther girls fell by a 4-0 final count. Powell's boys dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision in overtime.

“I couldn't be more proud of the way we played,” said Pat D'Alessandro, whose team kept the defending state champions off the scoreboard until fewer than three minutes remained. “You'd like to win the game after putting that much energy into it, but I can't fault anyone for the energy they gave.”

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