A 2022 Year in Review

A look back at the top sports stories from January to June

January 5

Pair of former Tigers to lead baseball program in 2022

TORRINGTON – The Torrington American Legion baseball team will have some familiar faces leading the way this summer.

Former Tigers Jackson Jones and Sam Firminhac will take over the reins from Rob Mortimore. Jones concluded his final year as a player last season.

Firminhac was too old to play a year ago but was a freshman for Concordia (Nebraska) University a team who won its league championship and qualified for the NAIA World Series a year ago.

Both individuals, who have been in the program a long time, are excited about the opportunity to carry on the winning ways in a different capacity, and it was an opportunity neither one could pass up.

January 19

Halley tops 1,000 points for career in win over Mitchell

TORRINGTON – Torrington High School senior Reece Halley became only the second player in program history to top 1,000 points for her career Thursday evening in a 40-27 win over Mitchell, Nebraska.

Halley scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and tallied five steals in the win.

The accomplishment came as a surprise to her, according to THS coach Jeff Halley.

“She knew she was getting close, but she had no idea she was there. It was a surprise on my part,” Halley said.

The score came on a drive to the basket early in the fourth quarter.

February 18

Wolfe, Miller sign with DSU

TORRINGTON – Torrington High School seniors Chase Miller and Kieser Wolfe signed their National Letter of Intent Wednesday afternoon to Dickinson State in North Dakota.

Both were three-year starters for the Blazers, and both went on official visits to DSU at the same time. They also plan on being roommates once they get to North Dakota.

During his time as a Blazer, Miller was 14-of-18 (77.8%) in his field goal attempts with a career long of 41 yards and was 76-of-82 (92.6%) kicking extra points, along with hauling in passes as a receiver for the Blazers.

Miller loves to kick but said it was a hard decision to pick between football and soccer.

March 4

Brothwell wins state title

CASPER – It took Lingle-Fort Laramie sophomore Kaleb Brothwell two takedowns and a reversal to score a 6-1 victory in the Class 2A 132-pound state championship over Kemmerer’s Connor Vickrey on Saturday afternoon.

Brothwell’s state title occurred just two matches after LFLSE senior Grant Logsdon came up short in his bid for a state title.

Afterwards, LFLSE coach Brandon Gifford talked about the highs and lows that wrestling can bring.

“A couple matches before, (Grant Logsdon) doesn’t reach his goal and achieve his dream then you’re on a real low, and then to have Kaleb come and accomplish something he’s worked for and put in a lot of time for brings tears to your eyes,” Gifford said. “I’m so proud of those guys. The time they’ve put in, it’s fun to see kids finally get something for that time.”

As time expired on Brothwell’s match, he turned around and flexed his muscles towards the LFLSE fan base sitting in sections 109 and 110 who were loudly cheering him on from the two corner sections of the packed Wyoming Ford Center in Casper.

March 4

Bivens to continue football career at UNK

TORRINGTON – Since being a little kid, football was the sport Beau Bivens wanted to play at the collegiate level, and on Tuesday, the Torrington High School senior quarterback signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his football career at the University of Nebraska-Kearney inside Willi Gym in front of many family, friends, teammates and classmates.

Bivens leaves Torrington with a 15-5 record as a starter and holds or shares four school records, including tied for single season touchdowns with 19 (tied with his older brother Breyden), career passing yards with 2,995, career touchdowns thrown with 37 and single game passing yards with 282.

“There isn’t a better school to be at. The community as a whole, every single game, practices, and it doesn’t matter what sport, this community loves to support it,” Bivens said. “At football games, the stands were full and all the way around the field, people lined up. Over the last four years, I’ve built a family with these guys, especially the coaches. These guys are my family, and it’s something special you usually don’t get to build.”

March 9

State champs: Lady Cyclones knock off Upton 58-53 in OT to claim first state title since 2008

CASPER – The 16th and 17th points junior Brenna Herring scored during Saturday’s 1A Championship game put the Southeast Lady Cyclones in front for good.

Those two points came only 20 seconds into overtime, putting Southeast back in front. The layup also broke a three-minute dry spell by both teams, and it ultimately propelled the Lady Cyclones to a 58-53 victory inside the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper.

The state championship was the first state title for the Lady Cyclone basketball team since the 2007-08 season when they defeated Arvada-Clearmont, 47-29.

“I’m on cloud nine right now. It’s the best day ever,” Herring said smiling from ear-to-ear.”

She ended the game with a double-double, scoring a game-high 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, to go along with three assists and three steals.

March 16

Lady Blazers 1-2 at state

CASPER – This season’s seniors on the Torrington High School girls’ basketball roster had never won a game at the state tournament in two previous trips to Casper.

That stat changed over the weekend as the team went 1-2, reaching Saturday’s consolation championship.

The East’s No. 4-seeded Lady Blazers opened the weekend against the West’s No. 1-seeded Lyman Lady Eagles, and it was a tale of two halves for the Lady Blazers in the 47-35 loss.

Lyman grabbed an early 4-0 lead before senior Reece Halley put Torrington on the scoreboard with 3:32 left in the opening quarter.

Torrington ended the first quarter with a flurry of points. Halley scored the team’s first field goal of the game with 1:12 left in the quarter, and a bucket by senior Sierra Allen drew the Lady Blazers within one.

March 23

Halley steps down as THS girls' basketball coach

TORRINGTON – After 25 years, Torrington High School basketball coach Jeff Halley decided it was time for someone else to take over.

Less than a week after the Lady Blazers wrapped up the season at the state tournament, Halley announced his decision to step down as the head coach of the program.

Halley’s 25-plus year career ends with an overall record of 346-264 head coaching record, including a 239-179 record at Torrington.

His head coaching career spanned two schools, including Newcastle prior to his arrival in Torrington.

This decision has been a few years in the making.

“It’s been a good time. I started thinking about this a few years ago,” Halley said. “Girls basketball idea used to be my life. I lived it. I breathed it. The more summers kick in. The bus trips, and as my own kids started getting older and doing different things, there is more to life than this.”

March 25

Halley signs with North Platte

TORRINGTON – In her career at Torrington High School, Reece Halley scored more than 1,200 points and grabbed more than 800 rebounds for her career.

She ranks second all-time in scoring and has tallied more rebounds than any other person to come through the Lady Blazers basketball team. Halley also holds one of the highest single-game scoring totals in school history with 31 points against Cheyenne South High School during her junior year.

Halley announced Wednesday afternoon in front of teammates and classmates inside Willi Gym she will continue her basketball career and education at North Platte Community College in Nebraska next year.

April 1

Making his case: Harris works out for 29 NFL teams at UW Pro Day

LARAMIE – The last 10-plus weeks of work for Logan Harris came to a head on Tuesday morning at the High Altitude Performance Center and at the Indoor Practice Facility on the campus of the University of Wyoming. 

Harris and six other Cowboys – Garrett Crall (defensive end), Keegan Cryder (center), Ayden Eberhardt (wide receiver), Esaias Gandy (safety), Chad Muma (linebacker) and Trey Smith (running back) – made their cases to 29 scouts from around the National Football League in hopes of getting drafted in April.

Heights and weights were measured before the UW and Torrington High School graduate got down to work, running a series of tests for the scouts.

April 27

Albaugh, Wunder represent Torrington on softball field

WHEATLAND – The 2022 season is only the second season for sanctioned high school softball in the state of Wyoming, and this year, Torrington High School sophomores Alyssa Albaugh and Jadyn Wunder both represent the Blazers as members of the Cheyenne South High School Lady Bison softball team.

The connection between Torrington and South began two years ago when it was announced softball would become a WHSAA sport.

“I knew I wanted to play softball when it was the first year of it,” Albaugh said. “My mom and Molly Moorehouse went and talked to the board. They tried to get us in with Wheatland, and that didn’t work out. So, South accepted us and have been very welcoming.”

April 29

Brummell signs with Chadron State College track and field team

TORRINGTON – Torrington High School senior Allison Brummell signed her National Letter of Intent to compete for the Chadron State College Eagle track and field team next season. 

Coming into the recruiting process, she wasn’t sure she wanted to do college sports or not.

“I had my mind set that I wasn’t going to,” Brummell said. “I ended up having the head coach at Doane (Nebraska) University come to me and really wanted me. He opened my eyes to what college sports could look like.”

She ended up visiting with the CSC coach and attended a track camp at the college in January. It ended with an official school visit and an offer.

April 29

Jones sets THS record at Best in the West

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – Torrington High School’s Mattie Jones broke the schools’ pole vault record Tuesday evening at the Best in the West Classic in Scottsbluff.

Jones tied the school record at 10 feet, and on her ensuing jump, cleared 10 feet, 1 inch to break a record which has stood since 2018 when Nakalyn Garner set the mark.

The THS senior said it’s a record she’s been eyeing since she was a freshman.

“I’ve been working for this for a lot of years,” Jones said. “Since I vaulted with Nakalyn, I looked up to her. It was cool get to that, and I was really proud of myself.”

May 4

EWC's Rayhill works to better herself

TORRINGTON – Eastern Wyoming College rodeo team member Karissa Rayhill continually works to better herself in the rodeo arena.

Rayhill took a big step forward in doing just that this year, winning three Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) championships when the season concluded at the end of April with the University of Wyoming rodeo.

She walked away from Laramie rodeo with three buckles, including the CRMR women’s all-around championship, goat tying championship and barrel racing championship. She qualified for next month’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper.

“I always have a goal to do my best. I wanted to be better this year especially after having my daughter. It was my goal to do some things differently. I put in the extra effort to get there. I wanted to make the CNFR. That was a huge goal,” Rayhill said.

May 25

Blazers fall in 3A state title match

CHEYENNE – Four years ago, when the Torrington Blazer soccer season came to an end in Jackson, THS coach Gabe Bartlett knew by the time the group of freshmen were seniors, they’d have a shot at a state championship.

The group as seniors, made it to the state championship match on Saturday afternoon at Cheyenne South High School, but the Blazers ran into the buzz saw that is the Worland Warriors.

After not allowing a goal through the first two rounds at the 3A State Soccer Tournament, things quickly got out of hand in the title game.

“I was hoping we would see similar against Worland, but they have a little more skill than the other two teams we played,” THS coach Gabe Bartlett said. “If you make a mistake against Worland, they are going to make you pay for it.”

May 27

LFL boys win state title

CASPER – On the first day of the track season, members of the Lingle-Fort Laramie boys’ track and field team told coach Mike Lashley they wanted to hang a championship banner in the gym.

They accomplished just that on Saturday winning the Class 1A state championship by 46.5 points.

“I reminded them of the amount of work it would take to accomplish such a feat. They took that to heart and made it happen,” Lashley said. “State championships are not easy to win.  It requires the right combination of talent, resilience, work ethic, and luck. This group of guys was determined to stay focused throughout the season, work hard, and support each other.”

It was the ninth state title in the team’s history.

June 22

Stoddard wins Milward Simpson Award

CODY – On Saturday, Southeast High School graduate Jordan Stoddard became only the fifth student-athlete from Goshen County and the first from Southeast to win the prestigious Milward Simpson Award.

It’s an award presented annually to the most outstanding male and female high school senior in Wyoming, and it’s considered the most prestigious award a prep athlete can earn in their career.

Stoddard found out from Tim Williams a day after graduation on May 23 at an athletic banquet at Southeast she was a finalist.

She wasn’t able to say anything about it because it hadn’t been officially announced.

Stoddard was pretty excited about it despite not knowing much about the award.

“After reading more about what it was, it started to dawn on me that this is pretty cool,” she said. “I got to the banquet and seeing that many crazy, good athletes and reading their bios and getting to listen to everyone talk about them, it really put it into perspective of, shoot, this is serious.”

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