The Year in Sports Part 2


July 3

Local players, coaches to participate in WCA All-Star games

TORRINGTON – Five area athletes and coaches were selected to participate in this summer’s Wyoming Coaches Foundation North-South All-Star games set for Saturday, July 20 in Casper.

A committee of high school coaches has selected the top ten players from the northern half of the state and the top ten players from the southern half of the state who will be squaring off against one another in volleyball, girls’ and boys’ basketball.

Southeast High School will have four representatives, including Hailey Anderson and coach Roxanne Jolovich in the volleyball game, along with Ellie Schmitt and coach Jennifer Scheer in the girls’ basketball game.

Jordan Malm will represent Torrington in the boys’ basketball game.

July 5

UW football players return home to work with area youth

TORRINGTON – Jeff Burroughs, Logan Harris and Skyler Miller haven’t forgotten where they came from.

They returned home to Torrington in one of their only off weeks from summer workouts with the University of Wyoming Cowboy football team to help coach the third annual Football 101 youth camp.

“It’s super cool. This is the same kind of fields that Logan, Skyler and I grew up playing on and realized our love for the game,” Burroughs said. “To be able to come back and be able to help other kids realize their love for the game, in some form or fashion, is a really cool opportunity.”

July 26

Locals fair well at NHSFR

ROCK SPRINGS ñ Torrington’s Blake Afdahl and Buffalo’s Clay Reiner have been friends since their freshman year of high school, and midway through their sophomore season, they discussed partnering up for team roping.

They did this season, and Afdahl and Reiner made the most of their junior seasons.

The duo finished seventh in the championship short-go at the National High School Finals Rodeo and eighth in the week-long average on Saturday, July 20, highlighting the week for four Goshen County rodeo competitors who traveled to Rock Springs for the annual National High School Finals Rodeo last week.

With more than 250 miles separating Afdahl and Reiner, they don’t have many opportunities to practice throughout the year, making last week even more special.

“When we do practice, we make it count,” Afdahl said. “Even when we aren’t practicing together, he still heels a bunch of steers, and I’m still heading a bunch of steers. We know our jobs, so it’s not like we aren’t sure of what to do.”

July 31

All-Stars fourth at state

TORRINGTON ñ The Torrington Little League All-Stars wrapped up the season with a fourth-place finish in the 9-10-year-old bracket of the Wyoming Little League State Tournament at the Torrington Sports Complex.

On Wednesday, July 24, Torrington, the No. 2 seed from District No. 2, opened the tournament against the top seed from District No. 1 – Cody.

A rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, ended with a 6-2 loss.

In the top of the first, Cody used an infield single to take a 1-0, but Torrington limited any further damage by stranding a trio of Cody runners on base.

Aug. 7

Tigers third at state

DOUGLAS ñ The Torrington Tigers finished the season strong with a third-place finish at the Wyoming ‘A’ State Legion Baseball Tournament in Douglas on Friday afternoon.

Facing elimination for the second straight day in the double-elimination format tournament, the Tigers dug deep to defeat conference-foe Gillette 4-1 on Thursday afternoon.

After two scoreless innings, the Tigers broke the tie in the third with an RBI double from starting pitcher Sam Firminhac.

“Sam had just a great game when we needed to have one in another must-win situation,” coach Kyle Nighswonger said.

Sept. 11

Trailblazers weather Glenrock’s ground attack

TORRINGTON ñ A near two-hour weather delay worked in the favor of the Torrington High School football team Friday night as the Blazers handed first-year head coach Russell Stienmetz a 28-10 victory over the run heavy Glenrock Herders.

Following the game, Stienmetz said he was excited to get that first win under his belt, but he quickly turned the focus back to his team.

“Most importantly, the kids played hard. The sophomore class stepped up huge tonight in those skill positions,” Stienmetz said. “With that, you have our senior quarterback. Sam is very valuable and is a fun kid to coach. Then our line is a little bit older with juniors and seniors. They help with the supporting cast with those sophomores. They meshed well tonight and got the victory.”

Sept. 18

Southeast blows out Cheyenne East JV for first win since 2017

CHEYENNE ñ When the final horn sounded Saturday at the Okie Blanchard Stadium, Southeast coach Mark Bullington was able to finally breathe a sigh of relief following his team’s 58-0 win over the Cheyenne East JV squad.

The victory snapped a 10-game losing streak, dating back to Oct. 20, 2017 when the Southeast Cyclones defeated the Niobrara County Tigers, 34-20.

“Finally,” Bullington said. “We still aren’t clicking yet. We have to get excited. That’s hard to bring from the outside. It’s got to come from the inside. We have to get excited about playing football. This will definitely help with that.”

Nov. 13

Big third quarter sinks Southeast

BIG HORN ñ Southeast kept Big Horn close for a half, but ultimately, the Rams proved to be too much for the Cyclones in the semifinal round of the 1A State Football Playoffs on Friday evening.

The Rams scored right before halftime to take a 20-0 lead into half. Coming out of the break, Big Horn quickly added to its lead, scoring three more touchdowns in the third quarter en route to a 48-7 win to advance to the 1A championship game on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. in Laramie.

The loss ended the Cyclone run in which they went from 0-8 in 2018 to 6-4 and reaching the semifinals in 2019.

“You can’t be anything but proud of the kids. All the kids that played last year played this year,” head coach Mark Bullington said. “No one bailed on us. I think that’s a testament to our kids and how they stepped up and played hard and went out winners.”

Nov. 15

Doggers season ends in semifinals

HANNA ñ The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School football season came to a close Friday afternoon with a 92 58 loss to the Hanna-Elk Mountain Miners in the semifinal round of the six-man playoffs.

Hanna’s 92 points was one shy of a playoff state record, and the 150 combined points set a state record for most combined points in a playoff game.

The Doggers only managed to get one defensive stop in the loss, coming midway through the opening quarter.

L-FL wasn’t able to take advantage and get any points out of the extra possession.

“In the six-man game, when a team spreads it out on you and they have a couple kids that are as fast as they did, it makes it extremely difficult to cover the outside, as well as tackle the ball carriers,” L-FL coach Matt Cornelius said.

Nov. 22

Lashley named as finalist for NHSACA National Coach of the Year

LINGLE ñ The National High School Athletic Coaches Association has named Lingle- Fort Laramie track and field coach Mike Lashley as a finalist for the 2019 NHSACA Coach of the Year in the sport of boys’ track and field.

It is the second such honor for the coach, who will be entering his 28th season at the helm of the Dogger program and 30th overall. His first came during the 2012-13 season for the girls’ track and field head coach.

“I consider this to be a great honor just to be considered,” Lashley said. “Just the nomination from the Wyoming Coaches Association is a great honor that they would feel me worthy enough to put me forward at the regional level.”

Lashley – one of eight finalists from across the nation – will be honored during The National Coach of the Year Awards Banquet during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, N.D. on June 26.

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