Panthers make the community proud


It was an especially exciting week to be a Panther fan. Before the start of the state basketball tournament in Casper, the Powell High School cheerleaders won the state championship in the Game Day Cheer category of the 3A State Spirit Competition. After faithfully supporting Panther athletes on the football field, wrestling mat, basketball court and other contests, it was the cheerleaders’ turn to be cheered on by the community.

And across the board, Panther fans have plenty to celebrate.

Over the weekend, the Panther basketball team defied the odds to earn a spot in the title game for the first time since 2013, finishing as the 3A runner-up. The Lady Panthers came home with a fourth-place finish at the state competition, while the PHS speech and debate team competed at the state tournament in Riverton.

Also over the weekend, the Powell Middle School Mathcounts team earned third place overall at the state tournament in Laramie, with one individual state champion. In addition, youth with the Powell Wrestling Club took first place in all three styles — freestyle, folkstyle and Greco — during their home tournament.

And that’s on the heels of a pair of individual state titles by athletes on the PHS wrestling team, a Panther swimmer winning a state championship and two PHS music students advancing to the prestigious All-Northwest honor groups in recent months.

These accomplishments are just a few recent examples of why we’re proud to support Powell kids.

Whether it’s football or FFA, track or tennis, music or robotics, Powell students work hard and excel in extra-curricular activities. Sometimes their many hours of practice and competitions culminate with a victory, but regardless of how they finish, we know these activities teach youth valuable lifelong lessons.

Sports and activities teach kids what it means to be coachable, disciplined and to work as a team. As they build character and self-esteem, youth also learn how to be a good sport, whether winning or losing. The character traits and lifestyle habits developed in these years will carry on into adulthood.

In addition, participation in extracurricular activities has been linked to higher grade point averages, lower dropout rates and fewer disciplinary problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s encouraging to see strong participation numbers in extra-curricular activities at Powell Middle School and Powell High School, and we’re thankful for the dedicated coaches, teachers, administrators, referees and volunteers who make those sports and activities possible. Of course, parents play a huge part in their children’s success, whether it’s waking up early to drive to practice, encouraging them from the sidelines or being a positive role model.

The Powell community is exceptional in its support for local youth, from the youngsters just learning a sport to the seasoned athletes competing at state. We’re proud to cheer for Panthers of all ages.