Year in Review: July through December


July 17, 2020

Changes in store for EWC fall,

winter sports teams

TORRINGTON ñ On June 19, the National Junior College Athletic Association announced fall sports championships could begin practice and competition as planned in August.

Less than a month later, that is no longer the case because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Monday, the NJCAA released an updated plan of action which will affect fall and winter sports teams across the country, including Eastern Wyoming College.

“We are committed to getting our players here in the fall, getting them into classes, getting them working out and practicing whenever we can, based on the restrictions we have. We’ll do our part to keep them safe, as well,” EWC Athletic Director and women’s basketball coach Tom Andersen said. “We are 100 percent committed to do that. We expect our kids to be here in the fall semester. There are some practice times available, and we’ll get our season’s going after Christmas.”

Following recommendations from the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council and the NJCAA Board of Regents, the NJCAA announced an adjusted plan of action for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year. Following the Board of Regents’ vote on Monday, a majority of competition will be moved to the spring semester – football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.

“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President and CEO said in the release. “Through a unified effort from our Presidential Advisory Council, the Board of Regents, and leadership staff, our most recent plan of action provides a path that keeps our student-athletes competing at the highest level with proper safety measures in place. As we move forward as an association, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student-athletes, coaches, and all those involved with the NJCAA to be safe and successful.”

July 24, 2020

Plans to begin fall high school sports on time moving forward

TORRINGTON ñ High school sports are within a month of officially starting practice, but there are a lot of questions still surrounding what the fall sports season will look like.

Several surrounding states have already announced plans for the upcoming season, including the state of Nebraska’s plans to proceed on time and as normal.

The state of Wyoming took another step on Tuesday towards such a decision.

“There are a ton of what-ifs and questions with not a lot of answers,” Torrington High School athletic director Dave Plendl said.

All the athletic directors from around the state held a Zoom meeting with Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird in another step towards getting the season started on time.

“(The WHSAA) are working on a document with the state health department setting forth some guidelines,” Lingle-Fort Laramie Athletic Director Mike Lashley said. “(Laird) didn’t go into a lot of detail expect for the fact, as of right now (Wednesday) we are going to have fall sports start on time, as schedule.”

July 29, 2020

Tiger juniors go 1-2

at state tournament

CASPER ñ The Torrington Tiger junior Legion team closed out the season with a 1-2 trip to the ‘C’ Legion State Tournament at the Washington Park Baseball Field in Casper last week.

The Tigers opened the weekend as the top seed from the Southeast region but fell 13-6 to the No. 2 seed from the Northwest, Lovell.

Lovell jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and its lead grew to 6-2 after two.

In the second inning, Bodie Moffat and Nolan Long scored runs for the Tigers. The Tigers also got runs in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, while Lovell didn’t score again after the third inning.

The loss dropped Torrington to an elimination game against Jackson, who limited the Tigers from the state tournament a

year prior.

This time, it was the Tigers turn, knocking off Jackson, 7-6 in a walk-off victory.

“Every inning we battled back. They were excited to be out there, and it showed,” Tiger coach Bryce Hill said. “Like I’ve told them from the start of the year, if you give 110 percent on every play, look what happens. Just the hustle and heart in these kids is amazing.”

July 31, 2020

Locals lead Team Wyoming at high school

finals rodeo

GUTHRIE, Okla. ñ A pair of Goshen County rodeo competitors led team Wyoming at the recently completed National High School Finals Rodeo in Guthrie.

Kadra Clark, a recent Southeast High School graduate, and Haiden Thompson, a homeschooled junior-to-be and last year’s Rookie Cowgirl of the Year, were the highest finishers for Team Wyoming at the NHSFR.

Clark finished fourth overall in goat tying and placed fifth in the championship round of goat tying. Thompson finished 11th overall and 11th in the championship round of breakaway roping and 19th overall in goat tying.

Clark had a goal coming into the week – three seven-second goat tying runs.

“With one mistake, your times drop,” she said. “I told myself to make it happen.”

And Clark made it happen.

Aug. 12, 2020

Tigers run at state ends with loss to Casper

POWELL ñ The Torrington Tiger season came to end just shy of the ultimate goal – bringing a state championship back to

town.

After falling to the Cody Cubs in the opening round, the Tigers rattled off three wins in a row to reach championship Wednesday at the ‘A’ State Tournament in Powell.

The Tigers thrashed the eventual state champion, Cody, 11-2 on Tuesday afternoon to advance to the final day of the tournament.

Ultimately, the Casper Crush ended the run, handing the Tigers a 10-5 loss, ending the Torrington season.

“Heck of a run after losing that first round to win three straight and get Cody the day before the state championship day,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “It was big for our program. It was big for our kids.”

Sept. 2, 2020

Blazers open 2020

with win

GERING, Neb. ñ The Torrington High School football team scored 18 unanswered points Friday night to open the 2020 season with a 24-6 road victory over the Gering Bulldogs, snapping a seven-game losing streak dating back to Sept. 6, 2019.

“I’m really excited for these players, and we are taking things day-by-day,” THS coach Russell Stienmetz said. “We had a lot of young players step in and some players out of position play tonight, and we were able to get the victory.”

Torrington scored on its opening drive when junior quarterback Beau Bivens connected with junior receiver Keiser Wolfe for a 72-yard completion.

The 80-yard drive took less than two minutes to complete to go in front 6-0.

Nov. 11, 2020

Southeast wins

consolation

championship at state

CASPER ñ The Southeast High School volleyball team saved its best for last.

On Wednesday, the No. 3-seeded Lady Cyclones took to the Casper Events Center for the one-day Class 1A State Tournament.

Southeast opened day with the only setback of the event, falling 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 14-25, 25-17, 15-13) to the Meeteetse Lady Longhorns, the eventual state runners-up.

“Today started out a little rough, but we ended it the best way we could end the season,” coach Roxanne Jolovich said. “After working hard all season long, we ended the season with a win and playing some of our best volleyball. It may not have started that way, but we definitely ended the day on top. I’m proud of how the girls played.”

Nov. 18, 2020

Herring lifts Cyclones to state championship

YODER ñ Junior Cord Herring put the Southeast Cyclones on his back and carried them to a 47-28 victory over the Niobrara County Tigers in Friday’s Class 1A 9-Man state championship game – the school’s first state title since 2012.

“That was a wild one,” Southeast coach Mark Bullington said laughing.

Herring rushed for five touchdowns – including four in the second half – and 151 yards, as well as recorded eight tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

“We couldn’t get what we normally get going, going. They did a great job of slowing that down,” Herring said. “We’ve had success running it with our fullback with Ryan and Brant running downhill at them. We couldn’t get that going. We got Bodie in as my lead back and our lineman were blowing holes open. All Bodie had to do was lead for me.”

Through the first half, it was a back-and-forth affair.

Nov. 18, 2020

Blazers bid for state title comes up short

TORRINGTON ñ Torrington High School’s bid to end a state championship drought dating back to 1990 came up short Saturday afternoon at Wiseman Field.

On a windy afternoon, where the teams’ passing game was virtually non-existent, THS coach Russell Stienmetz knew the line of scrimmage was going to a major key to the outcome of the game.

In the end, the visiting Lyman Eagles controlled the line of scrimmage in the latter moments of the game to get out of town with a 14-3 win. The state championship was the first for Lyman since the 2012 season.

Through the first half, both teams did not get much done offensively.

“It was a battle. We talked about how the line of scrimmage was critical. We had the line of scrimmage at times. Then they would have it. It was back-and-forth,” Stienmetz said. “In crunch time, they owned the line of scrimmage. It was tough way to lose in the trenches.

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