Monthly Archives: June 2012
by nathan oster
The Greybull Geckos took an undefeated record into the Powell Tournament, and while the weekend ledger showed three losses in four starts, their manager feels the weekend spent in Powell was a success.
“I was really pleased with how we competed, considering we didn’t have a full roster and were missing key position players,” said Joe Forcella, who manages the squad along with assistants Dusty Hill and Todd Zeller.
The Geckos were 4-0 going into their tourney opener against Powell, but they were plagued by “pregame jitters,” according to Forcella, and surrendered two runs in the first and another in the second to fall behind 3-0.
Powell put the game away in the top of the fifth, plating seven runs and eventually winning 12-2.
Riley Hill, who gave up four runs in three innings, took the loss, although Powell did most of its damage against reliever Justin Bacus. The defense let Bacus down however, as just two of the eight runs he surrendered were earned.
Dawson Forcella was the hitting star, going 3 for 3 with a run batted in. His brother, Calder Forcella, knocked in the other run for Greybull, which was limited to just six hits in the five-inning contest.
Greybull played a better all-around game later in the day on Friday in a 7-5 loss to Riverton, a team that advanced all the way to the championship game. Four errors proved costly, according to Forcella.
“We gave them all they could handle,” said Forcella. “We just had two crucial errors at the wrong time … and that was the difference in the game.
“We eliminate those two errors and we win by two instead of losing by two.”
Greybull plated three runs in the top of the first and a single run in the second to take a 4-2 lead before Riverton pushed across four in its half of the second to move in front 6-2.
Losing pitcher Calder Forcella deserved a better fate. While Riverton knocked him around a bit, collecting nine runs in four innings, just two of its seven runs were earned runs. Forcella was around the plate, too, with 73 percent of his pitches being strikes.
Greybull finished with five hits. Oscar Gomez had two hits. Calder Forcella had one, but it was a big one — a triple that plated two runs. Riley Hill also had two RBIs for the Geckos, who stole seven bases.
The Geckos finally got in the win column when they topped Worland 7-1 on Saturday.
Hill and Calder Forcella each worked three strong innings on the mound. Hill gave up a run on two hits, while Forcella gave up just a single hit, while fanning four, during his tour of duty on the hill.
After being silenced in the first two games, the Greybull bats came alive with nine hits.
Fabian Davila had three of them — two singles and a double — while Bacus and Calder Forcella each had two. Gomez and Dawson Forcella had the other RBIs.
“We learned to play in a tight situation and finish a game when we needed to,” Forcella said, whose team broke open a tie game with four in the fifth and two in the sixth.
The momentum from that win didn’t carry over into the next game, however.
Forcella said he tried different pitching and catching combinations and it “turned sour quick.”
Cody plated five in the first, one in the second and six more in the third en route to the win.
Dawson Forcella worked just a third of an inning before giving way to Calder Forcella, who went the final three-and-two thirds. The combined to give up 12 hits and nine earned runs while walking five and striking out two.
“We made the adjustments but couldn’t get over the hump to come back,” Forcella said. “We played right with them for the rest of the game, but couldn’t gain any to close the gap.”
Bacus went 3 for 3 and knocked in two of Greybull’s four runs. The other two hits were credited to Davila, who scored three of the five runs from his leadoff position.
With the weekend’s results, the Geckos saw their record dip to 4-3 overall.
“It was a great experience for the kids and they learned a tremendous amount by playing quality teams,” said Forcella. “They also realized that we can play with anyone; we just need to work hard and improve on eliminating the errors that shouldn’t happen.”
The Geckos will take this week off and aren’t scheduled to return to action until June 21 when they travel to Worland for a 6 p.m. start. The next home game is set for June 28 against Cowley.
by nathan oster
With Zach Bowman bringing his high-energy, bull-riding show to town this year, it was only natural, members of the Days of ’49 committee concluded, to incorporate the new addition into the theme.
This year’s celebration, which runs from today (Thursday, June 7) through Sunday, June 10, promises to be a “Bull Bashing Good Time.” The signature event this year is the bull riding, which is set for Saturday, June 9 starting at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. But here’s the full lineup.
Thursday, June 7
The tug-of-war will kick things off tonight, starting at 6 p.m., in front of Lisa’s restaurant.
If you haven’t seen this event in the past, the strongest and toughest men, women and children battle it out as they try to emerge victorious and avoid getting soaked.
Lisa’s is coordinating the event. Anyone who would like to participate or sign up as a team can do so on the night of the competition at Lisa’s. There is no entry fee.
Friday, June 8
The grand-daddy of them all, the Days of ’49 rodeo, is set for Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for kids 13 and under.
Saturday, June 9
The lineup for Saturday starts with the “Wet and Wiggly Kiddie Parade” at 10 a.m. and doesn’t slow down til the lights go down and the Cowley Boys jam the night away in the street dance starting at 8 p.m.
The recreation district, which is organizing the kiddie parade, is asking kids who would like to ride to show up in their costumes — “anything water-themed would be great,” said Director Chris Waite — at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Bank of Greybull.
The main parade follows at 10:30 a.m.
Ronna Collingwood of the ‘49er committee said entry forms are available at Big Horn Federal or at the office of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce.
The construction work in the downtown area is not expected to alter the traditional parade route. Entries should line up at the Catholic church. The parade round will go south on Sixth Street to the downtown intersection, then east to it ending location at the library.
As noted, the theme: “Bull Bashing Good Time.”
The recreation district had scheduled its Recycle Regatta at noon, but a lack of entries forced its cancellation. Director Waite said the swimming pool would be open from noon to 2 p.m. in its place.
The marquee event of the afternoon is the bull riding and barrel racing show at the rodeo grounds being put on by Zack Bowman, owner and producer of Rank City Productions.
Bowman has put on shows in Basin the past years, but this is his first attempt to do so in Greybull. Tickets are available in advance at Ron’s Food Farm, with adults costing $10 and all kids 8 and under getting in free. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
Bowman promises it will be “fast paced” and “high energy,” with a professional rodeo announcer calling all the action. A sound system will be brought in to enhance his call — and pump out the tunes during the action.
“We’re going to buck 40 bulls — 30 in the first round, 10 in the short round,” said Bowman in a recent interview. “And we’ll have 20 barrel racers, with the top five going onto the short round. Plus six junior barrel racers.”
The bull riders who won the 2010 and 2011 competitions in Basin are entered, as is the top female barrel racer from the first two years. Bowman said hard-core bull riding fans will recognize the names of some of the participants. A merchant roping will be tied into the event as well.
While they aren’t tied into the announced Days of ’49 lineup, there will be a saddle bronc riding competition at Wilford Brimley’s arena east of town, as well as go-kart races at the beet dump site near Emblem. See elsewhere in this issue for more information.
The Cowley Boys will entertain for the street dance, which starts at 8 p.m. on the west end of Greybull Avenue, between the main intersection and the planter. In the event of inclement weather, it will be moved to the Herb Asp Community Center. Admission is $5 per couple.
Sunday, June 10
Come one, come all to Church in the Park, which is being put on by Greybull area churches, on Sunday morning. The ‘49er brochure says 10 a.m., but the churches are planning to start the service at 10:30 a.m.
The Community Praise and Worship Team will provide the music.
Pastor A.J. Jenness of the Grace Southern Baptist Church will deliver the message.
Prayers will be led by Mayor Frank Houk, Big Horn County Commissioner Jerry Ewen and Big Horn County School District No. 3 Trustee Steve Hoblit.
Bring a lawn chair and a picnic lunch and invite a friend.
There will be inflatable toys for the kids, free drinks, popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy.
With Zack Bowman and his bulls running on Saturday afternoon, the kids rodeo that typically runs in that time slot was shifted to Sunday at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. Admission is free. Kids do not need a horse to join in the fun.
by nathan oster and david peck
A flurry of activity in the final two days of the filing period has produced a full slate of candidates for two vacant seats on the Greybull Town Council.
Rod Collingwood, Myles Foley, Clayton Collingwood, Hal Hale and Les Lowe filed with the town clerk in the final days of the filing period, which closed at 5 p.m. Friday.
All five will be on the ballot for the Aug. 21 primary election.
The top four vote getters in the primary will go on to the general election in November.
The top two candidates who emerge from the general election will win four-year terms in office and replace Kay Fleek and Jan Johnson.
They will additionally be tasked, along with holdover councilmen Bob Graham and Bob McGuire, with appointing a new mayor. Frank Houk, the current mayor, has announced his intent to leave office at the end of December.
County, state filings
On the county level, incumbent commissioner Jerry Ewen of Shell has filed for the Republican nomination and is being joined on the ballot by GOP challenger Linda Harp of Basin.
Randy Royal has filed his letter of intent to seek retention as the Circuit Court magistrate.
All other county office holders are in the middle of their four-year terms.
Rep. Elaine Harvey has filed for the Republican nomination to retain her District 26 seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives and is being challenged for the GOP nomination by Rob DiLorenzo of Emblem.
On the state level, there is one U.S. Senate position and one U.S. House seat open.
Sen. John Barrasso has filed for re-election and is being challenged for the Republican nomination by management consultant Emmett Mavy of Alpine and former mercenary Thomas Bleming of Lusk. There are three Democratic candidates: Al Hamburg of Torrington, Albany County Commissioner Tim Chestnut of Laramie and attorney William Bryk of Brooklyn, NY, who, according to statewide media reports, also filed to run as a “protest candidate” in Indiana, Idaho and New Hampshire. Bryk is reportedly taking advantage of the constitutional requirement that candidates for Congress need only live in the state they run in on Election Day. University of Wyoming historian Phil Roberts of Laramie, who ran for governor on the Democratic ticket in 1998, also announced last week that he will run for the U.S. Senate as an Independent.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis has filed for the GOP nomination to retain her seat in Congress and has no challengers for the primary. Chris Henrichsen of Casper has filed for the Democratic nomination.
by nathan oster
High winds were to blame for a massive power outage Monday evening that left nearly 3,000 customers in south Big Horn County without electricity.
The outage began around 5 p.m. as a windstorm was whipping through south Big Horn County and it took crews until early Tuesday morning to fully restore power to all customers.
Rocky Mountain Power, which feeds electricity to 1,348 customers in Greybull and the surrounding area, officially reported the outage as lasting from 5:08 p.m. until 6:17 p.m.
Margaret Oler, a spokesperson for the company, said the problems occurred on an electrical system that is connected to the Rocky Mountain Power system.
In this case, the problem areas were on the Big Horn Rural Electric system, which in turn affected customers in and around the communities of Burlington, Emblem and Shell.
According to a statement prepared by Big Horn Rural Electric, crews initially received reports that a substation that feeds the town of Greybull was out of power.
“The wind storm caused breakers to operate in Big Horn’s Nahne Jensen transmission substation on the Greybull River Road. This in turn caused outages at three of Big Horn’s distribution substations (Greybull, Emblem and John Allen),” said the statement. “After coordinating efforts with Big Horn’s power provider, Tri-State Generation and Transmission at the Nahne Jensen substation, it was determined there were distribution line problems.
“Big Horn’s crew members patrolled the lines and noted that there was a broken pole east of the Greybull substation and lines were down in the Emblem and Burlington areas. Some of the line problems were from trees and limbs breaking and coming in contact with energized lines.”
Big Horn Rural Electric indicated that power was restored to the Greybull substation, serving customers in the Greybull and Shell areas, at around 8:30 p .m.
After making repairs in the Emblem area, an attempt was made to restore power to the Emblem-Burlington area at approximately 9:30 p.m. However, the Emblem substation would not re-energize, meaning there were additional line problems.
Crews continued to patrol lines and at approximately 10:30 p.m., the crews found nine transmission poles were broken and laying on the ground between the Nahne Jensen substation and Emblem.
Crews worked through the night to get the poles and lines repaired. Nearly all power was restored to Big Horn Rural Electric’s customers at approximately 1 a.m.
Almost 1,500 Big Horn REA members were without power for at least a portion of the outage. What began at 5 p.m. Monday was finally wrapped up at 6 a.m. Tuesday when the last pole went in the air and the Emblem substation was re-energized.
“This storm popped up out of nowhere,” said Big Horn Rural Electric Line Superintendent Jeff Stocklin. “With great teamwork from all of our employees, both outside crews and office staff answering phones and dispatching crews and the help of a our neighboring co-op, Garland Light & Power, we were able to get our system restored relatively quickly for the amount of problems that were found. We want to thank everyone who was without power for their understanding and patience.”
Rich Miller, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Riverton, said storms with high winds and rain are common during the annual transition from spring to summer.
Temperatures in Greybull were in the 80s and 90s on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Saturday was more overcast, with the mercury barely slipping above 80.
But high winds have been common. A sustained wind of 38 miles per hour, with gusts up to 45 mph, was measured around 1:15 p.m. Saturday at the Greybull airport. At 9:53 p.m., the airport showed a sustained wind of 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph.
Monday’s storm didn’t register as high, with the top sustained wind (28 mph) and gust (40 mph) measured at 4:53 p.m., just moments before the power went out shortly after 5 p.m.
While the power was out, residents gathered fallen tree branches and assessed the damage. Paul Murdoch, Greybull’s fire chief, said his department was never called out and that the worst of the damage appeared to be in the Otto area.
Nov. 17, 1917 – June 5, 2012
A Funeral Mass for longtime Greybull resident Larry Probst will be held Tuesday, June 12 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Greybull. Rosary will be held Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m. at Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Larry, 94, died June 5 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.
A complete obituary will be printed in next week’s newspaper.
by nathan oster
If you’re not into the buckin’ broncs or the bull bash and are looking for something to do Saturday afternoon, you might find what you’re looking for 11 miles west of Greybull in the old sugar beet dump site.
The first go-kart races of the summer in Emblem are planned, with time trials starting at 1 p.m. and heat races to follow at 3 p.m. Admission is free. Unlike last year, there will be no concession sales.
Two local riders, Kevin and Brenda Peterson, will be among the riders participating in the races, which are sanctioned by the Park County Kart Club (www.parkcountykartclub.com).
Brenda Peterson said there’d be divisions for kids, men and women as well as a new stock class, and that fans should bring their FM radios to listen to the track announcer, their chairs and their own shade.
by nathan oster
The Greybull Geckos went 3-0 during their first big week of Babe Ruth action, beating Worland 11-1, Otto 16-7 and Thermopolis 28-17.
The team rode the right arm of Calder Forcella to its six-inning rout of the Worland team on May 30. Forcella worked five dominant innings, striking out nine and surrendering just a single run before giving way to Zach Zeller, who pitched a scoreless sixth.
“We controlled the game both offensively and defensively,” said Manager Joe Forcella, whose team had just two errors and 13 hits. Leading batsmen included Dawson Forcella (three singles), Zeller and Calder Forcella (each with two singles), Treston Tracy (two doubles), Justin Bacus (single and double) and Fabian Davila and Oscar Gomez (each with one hit).
“The kids were very aggressive on the running the bases and sealing and have stepped up their level of place away from the ball.”
Greybull used a five-run fourth and a four-run sixth to put Worland away.
The offense put on another good show in its home-opening 16-7 rout of Otto on May 31.
The game was close (5-2) through three innings before Greybull broke it open with a four-run fourth and a three-run fifth.
Four pitchers worked in the game, with Riley Hill going the first two-plus innings. Zeller and Bacus also pitched in relief before Calder Forcella came in to slam the door in the top of the seventh inning.
“A good game; got a little sloppy toward the end, but we pulled it together to finish it off,” said Forcella.
Dawson Forcella had a big night at the plate, belting an inside-the-park home run and a double and knocking in two runs. Tracy also had three RBIs.
The Geckos capped the week with an offensive explosion, scoring in every inning but one in their 28-18 win over Thermopolis on June 1. Greybull had an eight-run fifth, highlighted by another inside-the-park homer by Dawson Forcella. Calder Forcella and Davila each had three RBIs, while Bacus had two.
Dawson Forcella, Bacus, Cade Dooley and Zeller handled the pitching chores in the seven-inning contest.
“The game was close at first as Thermopolis hit the ball well, but by the fourth-inning they had run through their pitchers and the game was ours,” said Forcella. “We batted well and ran the bases aggressively.
“A couple of our younger pitchers got some experience and other players were able to try out some different positions defensively as the game got into the later innings.”
The Geckos will try to keep it going this week at the Powell Tournament, which Forcella believes will be a good test. “We will face some new teams and probably get a better idea of what we need to work on. We should be in the mix and will hopefully have some fun.”
Overall, Forcella remains optimistic about his team’s chances.
“Barring injuries and absences, we have a great shot at state,” he said. “The roster includes six sophomores, two freshmen, three eighth graders and two seventh graders. Our age and experience is starting to pay off as we face these teams.
“Fundamentally we have experienced a lot of growth over the past couple of years and are pretty solid now. Adding Dusty Hill to the coaching staff has also brought a new level of intensity to the game as the baserunners attack and disassemble the defenses they face.
“Our bats are solid and our play in the field is strong. Kids are making good decisions when the ball comes their way and it is fun to see them playing at such a competitive level.”