Monthly Archives: March 2013

New canal board members elected

by nathan oster

As annual membership meetings go, it was a doozie, featuring talk of lawsuits, allegations of wrongdoing by public officials and even claims that ballots from a recent election had been improperly counted and reported.

But by the end of the night, the members of the Shell Canal Company had had their say. The results of the first “annual membership meeting” held Feb. 4, 2013 were declared invalid, and as the clock neared 11 p.m. the membership finalized its new board, which now consists of Quinton Noyes, Tom Delaney (incumbent), LeRoy Klitzke (incumbent) and Ray Weese, along with holdover Gary Good.

Voted out of office were Barbara Burbridge and Boyd Van Fleek. While Burbridge simply failed to win re-election, Van Fleek was removed from office prior to the end of his term by a vote of the general membership.

The Shell Canal Company has approximately 130 members. Approximately 70 showed up for Monday’s annual meeting, which was moved from the Greybull Public Library to the Greybull Elks Lodge to accommodate the anticipated large turnout.

Those in attendance on Monday, and the proxies they brough with them from people unable to attend, accounted for approximately 3,500 of the 3,776 acres that are served by the canal between the base of the Big Horn Mountains and the Greybull town limits.

By show of hands, the membership agreed to set aside 32 acres belonging to Adele Snyder due to questions about her proxy — as both Delaney and a neighbor staked their claim to it, citing conversations earlier in the day with Snyder.

Delaney, as president of the board, had called for Monday’s meeting in a Feb. 11 letter to the membership. In that letter, he questioned the qualifications of Tom Goton Sr., who had been elected Feb. 4.

In that election, the initial report of the votes cast suggested that the three seats had gone to Burbridge, Goton and Delaney.  A letter that was sent out a few days later, however, after the voters were checked out, suggested that a different threesome had won:

When asked about the status of the ballots from that election, Rebecca Burbridge Dalin reported that they were no longer in her possession, as she had thrown them away.

In Delaney’s letter, he stated that, according to the bylaws, Goton’s election was invalid because he does not own land served by Shell Canal Company or reside in the immediate area surrounding the corporation’s property.

Delaney said he had verified it with the courthouse, and that Robert’s Rules of Order clearly state that if a person is elected does not meet the eligibility requirement, the election is be declared void.

The first question for the membership on Monday night was whether it was, in fact, a valid election.

Goton asserted that it was, saying that he had purchased the land in question on Feb. 1 and that all the papers had been signed — he just couldn’t turn them into the title insurance until Feb. 6.

He argued however that that wasn’t even a valid concern, since “our bylaws say that two members of the board don’t even have to have water rights to be on the board.  I was duly elected.  It was a legal meeting, I had the second highest number of votes, and there were four more below me.”

He suggested that the push to have his election invalidated was “crooked,” adding, “Somebody is on the take from somebody.”

Goton added, “This is just an attempt to keep me off the board.  Something is going on. … If this isn’t remedied, you’re all going to lose some of your water rights.”

Van Fleek, the canal company’s largest property owner, cited “Wyoming water law” in argueing that the results of the election were, in fact legal.

Delaney challenged the assertion of impropriety, saying later, “All I’m trying to do is get everything out in the open. It’s not me.  The only thing we could go by was courthouse records, and we have a map that shows what (properties) have water rights and what properties do not.”

Before deciding on the validity of the election, the members heard arguments from both sides.

Bill Burbridge said, “Have you ever heard a ‘re-election’ after the first one, on any level of government?  All the information I’ve been able to find indicates that when there is an election, if there discrepancies, you should try to work through them and figure out who won.  You should not have another election. It’s just not done.”

VanFleek said that in his research, “in 45 years of minutes, I only documented one time when the Shell Canal held an illegal meeting — and it was when a quorum was not present but business was conducted anyway. That didn’t happen this time.

Lee Madsen and Dean Waddell were the most vocal proponents for holding another election, particularly since the original ballots were no longer available to determine who actually the most binding votes.

The membership ultimately sided with them — and strongly, voting by a nearly two to one margin to throw out the results of the Feb. 4 election and to vote again.

First up was Burbridge’s two-year term.  Three candidates were nominated: Burbridge, Goton and Noyes.  The membership favored Noyes, by a margin of 2266 shares to Burbridge’s 1,300.  Goton didn’t receive any votes.

Next up was Delaney’s two-year term.  Again three candidates were nominated:  Holden Harder, Delaney and Clark Letellier.  In the end, it was Delaney who got the nod, with 2,165 votes.  Harder ran a strong second, followed by LeTellier.

The final seat, a one-year term, came down to Leroy Klitzke (who had been on the board) and Burbridge.  The membership gave the nod to Kliltzke, who received 2,179 votes to Burbridge’s 1,313.

Prior to that last vote, Van Fleet informed Delaney that he intended to “take this to court,” saying that it had been “an illegal meeting” because, among other things, it was called to order by



The second half of the meeting centered on Wyo-Ben, its ownership of 126 acres of adjudicated water rights and the filing of a petition by Van Fleet for the “involuntary abandonment of those rights.”

Dale Nuttall, the Wyo-Ben mine superintendent, told the membership that Wyo-Ben has been using the water to wet down its road. While that isn’t consistent with the “agricultural” or “domestic” purposes spelled out in the water right, Nuttall said Wyo-Ben has been working for the past three years to rectify that.

In fact, he said Wyo-Ben and Shell Canal Company had an agreement in place in which Wyo-Ben would continue to use the water. The canal, in turn, would get the water that it doesn’t use — and last year, Nuttall said Wyo-Ben used only 6 percent of it and turned the rest back to the canal company for its use.

Wyo-Ben also paid $40,000 to the canal company last year, Nuttall said.

Van Fleet’s actions, however, put that in jeopardy. He filed an involuntary abandonment of water rights with the state. Unless he decides to withdraw that petition, the state will issue a ruling, and if it sides with Van Fleet, it would mean a reduction in water for all canal users, plus higher assessments for users who would be responsible for greater shares of the improvements taking place along the canal.

Rick Magstadt, vice president of Wyo-Ben, said Wyo-Ben was working on the transfer of its 126 acres to the canal company in exchange for an enlargement of the canal, which would allow Wyo-Ben to continue using water to wet down its roads.

Magstadt said he was confident that Wyo-Ben and the Shell Canal Company would come to an agreement, but that Van Fleek’s actions jeopardize it.  “We’re looking for a solution, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be possible now.”

Van Fleek said he had personal reasons to file the petition, saying that not enough progress had been made by Wyo-Ben.  As the largest user of water on the canal, he said he’d be one of the primary recipients of the return flows.  He added that he believes Wyo-Ben has been using water illegally for the past 30 years, to the detriment of himself and other canal users.

Van Fleek said he felt it was his “duty” to file the petition, but Bev Hankins challenged that.

“Our bentonite plant is more important than you are, Mr. Van Fleek,” she said. Addressing the membership, she added, “He is a selfish man who wants to take (the water right for) a little bit of land that kept their road wet.

“This is wrong, Mr. Van Fleek, and you are not a good citizen.”

Van Fleek said later that the filing of the petition was as way to “force the issue” with Wyo-Ben, saying that three years had passed already without a resolution. Should Wyo-Ben make “a good faith effort” to rectify the problem, he stated that he would withdraw the petition.

The membership, again by a nearly two to one margin in shares, later voted to remove Van Fleek from the board, citing his actions which went against the wishes of the membership as a whole.

Ray Weese was then appointed to complete the remaining year of Van Fleek’s term.

As the meeting was drawing to a close, both Burbridge and VanFleek spoke in different terms about what lies ahead. Burbridge, who has served on the board for the past 10 years, said she was ready to move on.

“I really didn’t care all that much if it got on again,” she said. “I’ve been on the board for 10 years and feel like I’ve done a lot of work. I’m a little water user. I was on (the board) for everyone else, just trying to get everything reconciled and get everything right.

“It’s clear they don’t want to go down what I think is the right road.  They want to go down the road of the good ‘ol boys.”

As for Van Fleek, he said simply, “I’m going to continue to ensure that the laws that govern our system are upheld.”

And how are going to do that, since you’re no longer on the board?

“That has yet to be determined,” he said.


Lady Buffs sent home by Wind River, WIHS

by marlys good

The Lady Buffs lost the battle from the charity stripe, and were tossed into the loser-out bracket by Wind River, 65-52, in their opening game at the Class 2A West Regional tournament in Riverton Thursday.

Officials called a total of 47 fouls (31 in the first half) and 61 free throws were attempted, with Wind River hitting 24 of 39 and the Buffs 11 of 22.

The Buffs started slow, down 12-5 at the end of the first quarter, but regrouped, picked things up and challenged Wind River through the remainder of the game.

Coach Jeff Hunt said he didn’t know what to expect from the Lady Cougars, but felt “like we gave it our all. It was a fast-paced game that we couldn’t slow down, but we stayed with them and made several runs. In the end it came down to free throws and we just couldn’t make ours, and they made them when it counted.”

Both Ceirra Carlson and Brett Stephens fouled out and Biri Gallegos and Sarah Bockman were saddled with four apiece. That made a big difference in the game.

“We fouled too much, but we had to toward the end of the game just to have a chance,” Hunt said.

Carlson had a “great” game, Hunt said, scoring a game-high 21 points that included two three pointers, and grabbed a team-high six boards. It took a lot of effort as the junior had battled the flu all night and was still sick during the game.

The Buffs could not get in synch for the loser-out Friday morning game with Wyoming Indian and lost, 66-46, to the Lady Chiefs.

“It was difficult for us to get anything going offensively, and we didn’t play very good defense and it cost us. We had to press the whole game just to stay in it, and we had way too many turnovers (32),” Hunt said. “We just never got anything going.”

Hunt was proud of his team, “We could have stopped playing at any point, but didn’t. The girls battled right ‘til the end. We showed a lot of character in a very emotional game, especially for our seniors who knew it was their last.”

Coach Hunt said he felt like the Buffs had a “pretty good season considering all the obstacles we had to adapt to throughout the year. We set goals, and we met several of those goals. I definitely learned a lot about myself, and about the girls. I am so proud of them and how they played all season long. We had our ups and downs, like most teams, but they reacted so well no matter what the situation. I know when I look back at this season I will always see it as positive. I worked with a great group of girls who played their hearts out day in and day out. We surprised some people, including ourselves, a few times.”

Hunt singled out his seniors, Sarah Bockman, Biri Gallegos, Michaela Denniston, Georgi Hall and Hunter Grant, “who were freshmen when I first started with the girls program, and we‘ve had a lot of fun together over the years. They will leave a huge void, not just in the basketball program, but in the school and community.

“Sara, Biri and Michaela have been varsity players since they were sophomores. Michaela has been such a great defensive player; she works as hard, or harder, than any player I’ve ever coached. She is the type of player we had to ask to leave the gym so we could go home to our families. Sarah and Biri really stepped up; both of them did whatever it took to keep their starting spots. They wee great leaders for the younger players. Georgi improved more than any other play and earned herself a starting spot. She became one of our go-to players these past few weeks. Our last senior is Hunter. She is just a great team player who always put the team first no matter what the situation. I am going to miss all of them and have really enjoyed watching them grow into such great young adults.”


Greybull 5  20  12  15 — 52

Wind River  12  18  16  19 — 65

GREYBULL — Michaela Denniston 0 1-2 3, Georgi Hall 2 0-0 4, Ceirra Carlson 8 3-6 21, Biri Gallegos 2 0-2 4, Brett Stephens 1 4-4 6, Karlina McIntosh 3 3-4 9, Jordan Kraft 3 0-2 7. Totals 19-63 11-22 52.

3-POINT GOALS — Carlson 2, Kraft; Lonedog, Groesbeck, Sorenson. REBOUNDS — Greybull 16 (Carlson 6, Stephens 5); Wind River 25. STEALS — Greybull 13 (Gallegos 5), Wind River 13. ASSISTS — Greybull 10 (Denniston 3); Wind River 4. TURNOVERS — Greybull 21; Wind River 27.


Greybull    9  18    4  15 – 46

WIHS  17  17  16  16 – 66

GREYBULL: Denniston 1 0-0 3, Hall 0 2-2 2, Carlson 3 5-8 13, Gallegos 2 4-6 8, Stephens 1 1-2 3; McIntosh 2 4-5 8, Sarah Bockman 3 0-0 6, Kraft 1 1-6 3. Totals 13 82 17-30 45.

3-POINT GOALS — Denniston, Carlson 2; McGill.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 31 (Stephens 10); WIHS 37.  STEALS — Greybull 14 (Denniston 3); WIHS 22.  ASSISTS — Greybull 7; WIHS 1.  TURNOVERS — Greybull 32; WIHS 36.

Fourth-place finish nets G-R trophy

by nathan oster

A season that began with question marks up and down the order and with only six kids having any state wrestling experience whatsoever ended on a high note for Greybull-Riverside last weekend at the Casper Events Center.

The Buffs brought home a trophy, which was the goal, finishing fourth in the 21-team field with 126.5 points and trailing only 2A champion Moorcroft-Hulett (which set a new 2A team record with 263 points), Cokeville (170) and Lovell (147.5).

“I always play the bracketology game where I count points … and we came in right about where I thought we would,” said Coach Mark Sanford. “In one scenario, I had us having 13 points more; in another three points more.

“But Lovell scored 18 more than I thought they would, too, so give credit to them.”

Thirteen of G-R’s 15 state qualifiers won matches in Casper.  Leading the charge were its eight placers: Luke Zeller, second at 160; Cole Hill, third and 145; Spencer Redland, third at 195; Jesus Burgos, fifth at 138; Rob Nuttall, fifth at 170; Zane Edeler, fifth at 220; Tanner Bernstein, fifth at 285; and Matt Brown, sixth at 182.

Zeller was the only Buff to make finals.  The reigning 2A champion at 160, he coasted through his first three matches before losing to his old nemesis, Nathan Grant of Lovell.  The two met seven times this year, with Grant winning five, Zeller two.

The match in Casper was tight throughout. Zeller scored the first point on an escape, but Grant scored two big takedowns to build a 5-2 lead.  A false start penalty brought Zeller to within 5-3, but that was as close as he would get.  With Grant in control, Zeller need an escape and a takedown to win.  He went for it — but it didn’t work out as planned, as he ended up in an awkward position. Grant covered him and ultimately got the pin with just 11 seconds left in the match.

“It was disappointing, but Luke was going for the win, and you can’t fault him for that,” Sanford said of the final seconds of the match.  The loss was a difficult one for both athlete and coach.  Two days later, Sanford struggled to put Zeller’s career into perspective.

“It’s tough,” he said. “He’s done so much, from USA all the way through high school, and he’ll go down as one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever coached.  Definitely one of the most knowledgable about wrestling.”

Sanford recalled that Zeller and fellow seniors Dylan Brenner (who was unable to wrestle this year due to an injury) and Nuttall were the last remaining members off Greybull-Riverside’s championship team in 2010.  They were also together as the team dealt with tragedy off the mat.

“The most impressive thing about Luke is that as a senior, he really stepped up as a leader. They’d finish up running stairs and he’d grab three or four of the more inexperienced kids and lead them back to the wrestling room where they’d work on stuff.  Before this year, he never really had to be a leader.  It was impressive. We had more returning placers last year and we didn’t get a trophy.  This year we did — and Luke deserves a lot of credit for that.”

Both of Greybull-Riverside’s third-place finishers were good stories as well.

Cole Hill “probably had the best tournament of anyone on our team,” said Sanford, noting that the freshman’s only loss was to Luke Lovett of Moorcroft (who went on to place second) and that he picked up four other wins.  Several were impressive, including one over 41-15 Alex Ferguson of Wright and another over 27-19 Hyrum Hopkin of Lovell.

But the third-place match was the icing on the cake.  In it, he faced Wyatt Hageman of Lingle-Fort Laramie, who entered the tournament with a 36-3 record. In the semifinals one night earlier, Hageman had battled Brigham Teichert of Cokeville before losing “the bloodbath” 4-1.

Hill wasn’t intimidated. He battled Hageman through three periods and into overtime before posting the 7-5 win.  “It was the best match of his high school career so far,” said Sanford.  “What a nice win and a nice way to end the season.”

The memorable part of Redland’s weekend was the way he finished.  He easily won his first two matches to make semis, where he lost in heartbreaking fashion to Colby Thurston of Lusk, the No. 1 seed from the East.  Thurston scored the winning point with one second left when the ref whistled Redland for stalling.

But the Riverside product responded like a champion, “wrestling the last two matches better than he has all season.”  He won both to finish third. “Spencer was aggressive from start to finish.”

Sanford said that if Redland can avoid the type of mistakes that cost him a place last year (when he was fourth, instead of third), and this year (when he was third, instead of second), he’ll likely find himself in the finals next year as a senior.

Redland and Hill’s final wins came in the midst of what Sanford would later call “one of the best rounds I’ve ever seen from any of the teams I’ve taken to state.” It came in the third- and fifth-place matches Saturday afternoon, as Burgos, Nuttall, Edeler and Berstein made the Buffs a perfect 6-for-6 in that round.  Only Matt Brown lost — and his was by injury default.

Burgos went 4-2 for the weekend, and one of his winscame over Brody Lay of Lingle-Fort Laramie, who entered with a 35-15 record.  Burgos also beat his old nemesis, Dalton Perkins of Wind River, in his first and final matches of the tournament.

“Zeus did a great job,” Sanford said. “Coming in fifth…it was a nice finish for his junior year.”

Nuttall capped his career by winning three of his five matches in Casper.  Quite a finish for a wrestler who, when the season began, didn’t even know if he’d be recovered enough from an ankle injury in football to even compete. His big win came in the quarters, when he defeated Travis Jinks of Southeast, 4-2. Sanford credited Nuttall for the way he finished, shaking off two straight losses to defeat Jinks again in the semifinals.

“Rob has gone through so much in his athletic career,” Sanford said. “But he has battled through it all. I didn’t know if he’d wrestle this year, but Rob’s a fired up, emotional kid, so he just kept working. It was nice to see him finish the way he did. It was an emotional moment for all of us.  I’m proud of him, just for having that opportunity in the first place.”

Brown won his first two matches, including a clutch 7-1 triumph over Cecil Brockman of Burns-Pine Bluffs, to earn a spot in the semifinals.  But a loss to Tel West of Moorcroft there was followed by another setback, 5-1, to Zane Hladky of Lusk in which Brown suffered an injury. He injury defaulted in the fifth-place match, where his opponent would have been Brockman.

“Matt had a good season coming off swimming last year,” said Sanford. “He gets a few things taken care of, like getting better on his feet, and he’ll be a tough kid to wrestle next year.”

Edeler was the master of the pin in Casper, winning all four of his matches by fall.  His only losses were to Jacob Wells of Saratoga and Patrick Forster of Shoshoni — and Edeler avenged the Wells loss by sticking him in just 36 seconds in the fifth-place match.

Edeler placed second at state last year, but the “the weight class was a little different…and we were a little different too,” said Sanford, adding that he’d like to see Edeler “add a leg attack” instead of simply relying on his throwing ability, which he described as “the best on the team.”

Bernstein was hobbled by an ankle injury, but he still managed to win his first two matches before running into Justin Irene of Hanna in the semis.  Irene had a big edge in weight, and at one point his knee landed hard on Bernstein’s ankle, agrivating the injury. Bernstein lost that match as was held out of his next match so that he could focus on the fifth-place math, in which he gutted out a pin in 2:49.

“Tanner did a really good job,” said Sanford. “He should be a force next year too.  The key for him is, he always brings it on Friday and Saturday.  If he can learn to bring it like that in the practice room, it’s really going to help.”



Five other Buffs won matches, but did not place, including Luis Burgos at 106, Ryan Peoples at 126, Jarrod Johnson at 160, Tommy Bernstein at 170 and Luke Young at 182.  Sanford had good things to say about all of them.

Burgos didn’t get a lot of mat time but showed good potential.

Peoples produced three team points with a big pin and showed great effort.

Johnson won two matches, both of them by pin. In one he surprised his coach by simply refusing to lose.

Bernstein used “a great effort” to notch a one-point victory in one of his matches.

Young “did a really nice job too,” Sanford said, noting that he won his match by pin and, like the others, made solid improvement during the sason.

The two Buffs who didn’t win matches had one thing in common: tough draws.  But both Marshall Gibbs, at 113, and Anthony Eibert, at 152, are young and have good potential, according to Sanford.

As he looks ahead to next year, Sanford believes Moorcroft and Cokeville will again be strong, but that if things break right, his team could be in the mix as well.

“When you think about it, for nine of our 15 kids, this was their first experience in a state wrestling tournament,” said Sanford, adding that injuries derailed several others, including Brenner, Oscar Gomez and Chris Ogg, who could have been factors in Casper.



TEAM SCORES: Moorcroft-Hulett 263, Cokeville 170, Lovell 147.5, G-R 126.5, Shoshoni 95, Wright 85, Thermopolis 80.5, Lingle-Fort Laramie 80, Southeast 65.5, Burns-Pine Bluffs 64, Dubois 61, Saratoga 61 ,Wind River 59, Rocky Mt. 57.5, HEM 55, Kemmerer 53.5, Lusk 40, Big Piney 27, Upton 16, Sundance 13, Wyoming Indian 6.

106 — Luis Burgos (5-8) lost by fall to Thomas Garvie (LFL), 0:33; pinned Tayte Payne (Coke), 0:30; lost to Keanen Pfisterer (WR) 6-4.

113 — Marshall Gibbs (12-27) lost by tech fall to Connor Wilkinson (SHO), 15-0; lost by fall to Orion Smith (Wri), 2:50.

126 — Ryan Peoples (4-24) lost by fall to Merritt Hageman (LFL), 3:29; pinned Mark Ballou (Sho), 3:32; lost by fall to Joey Bassett (Lov), 4:17.

138 — Jesus Burgos (25-18) defeated Dalton Perkins (WR), 6-3; lost to Toby Reynolds (Moor), 4-1; pinned Jarred Glenn (Moor), 0:49; defeated Brody Lay (LFL), 8-2; lost to Bonner Brown (BP), 11-0; defeated Perkins, 7-3 to place fifth.

145 — Cole Hill (28-21) pinned Caleb Sipe (The), 1:46; defeated Alex Ferguson (Wri), 3-1; lost by fall to Luke Lovett, 1:55; won by tech fall over Hyrum Hopkin (Lov), 17-2; defeated Wyatt Hageman (LFL), 7-5 in overtime to place third.

152 — Anthony Eibert (17-30) lost by fall to Rylie Richardson (HEM), 1:05; and lost by fall to Rylee Roberts (Kem), 1:57.

160 — Luke Zeller (38-8) pinned Josh McCracken (RM), 1:48; pinned Kaleb O’Connor (BPB), 1:07; pinned Preston Neiman (Moor), 1:11; lost by fall to Nathan Grant (Lov), 5:49, to place second.

160 — Jarrod Johnson (5-12) lost by fall to Julian Preston (SE), 3:24; pinned Hunter Quick (Wri), 0:45; pinned Justis Fisher (BP), 3:29; lost to Kaleb O’Connor (BPB), 10-2.

170 — Tommy Bernstein (5-11) lost by fall to Jacob Beck (Lov), 0:55; defeated Garett Story (BPB), 6-5; lost by fall to Travis Jinks (SE), 4:23.

170 — Rob Nuttall (9-5) defeated Ian Davidson (RM), 12-3; defeated Travis Jinks (SE), 4-2; lost by fall to Colter Linford (Coke), 3:25; lost to R.J. Seaman (HEM), 4-2; defeated Jinks (SE), 7-4, to finish fifth.

182 — Luke Young (8-12) lost by fall to Tel West (Moor), 1:21; pinned Dustin Grande (Moor), 2:14; lost by fall to Cecil Brockman (BPB), 0:49.

182 — Matt Brown (19-15) won by forfeit over Logan Welch (Kemm); defeated Cecil Brockman (BPB), 7-1; lost by fall to Tel West, 5:23; lost to Zane Hladkly (Lusk), 5-1; lost by injury forfeit to Brockman (BPB) to finish sixth.

195 — Spencer Redland (22-15) pinned Nash Jolley (Lov), 5:24; defeated Colton Stees (SE), 12-6; lost to Colby Thurston (Lusk), 3-2; won by major decision over Clayton Svalina (Moor), 9-1; pinned Stees (2:26) to finish third.

220 — Zane Edeler (17-16) pinned Chase Meeker (BP), 1:06; lost to Jacob Wells (Sara), 9-8; pinned Eli Childers (BPB), 1:32; pinned Kodey LaMont (BPB), 0:58; lost by fall to Patrick Forster (Sho), 2:52; pinned Wells, 0:36 to finish fifth.

285 — Tanner Bernstein (22-12) pinned Hazer Hinkle (Sara), 2:56; lost to Justin Irene (HEM), 8-2; lost by injury default to Charles Oldman (WR); pinned Galen LeGois (Sho), 2:49 to place fifth.

Buffs go 1-2, ousted at regional

by nathan oster

“Win two before you lose two.”

That’s every team’s goal going into the Class 2A West Regional — but it’s one that only four achieve, and this year, the Greybull Buffs were on the outside looking in as teams jockeyed for seeding position Saturday afternoon in Riverton.

The No. 4 seed from the Northwest going in, the Buffs came up short in their opener Thursday against Wyoming Indian, losing 75-42. They staved off elimination Friday morning with a hard-earned 54-41 win over Kemmerer, but got sent home the following morning when they lost to Thermopolis, 63-44.

Greybull finished the season at 9-18.

“At times, we did (in Riverton) what we’d hoped we’d do,” said Coach Jim Prather. “But one of the things we talked about before we went down was that we needed to put two to three games together where we didn’t see a big spike in turnovers.”

Against Wyoming Indian, the Buffs had 32.

“That was just too many against a quality team,” Prather said.

Turnovers weren’t as much of a problem in the next two games, as the Buffs committed just 17 in the win over Kemmerer and 16 in the loss to Thermopolis.  “I was real happy with that,” Prather said.

The 32 turnovers were one reason the Buffs didn’t fare well against the Chiefs, a team they played to a single point, 49-48, earlier this month at Buff Gym.  But the big difference was in the Wyoming Indian team that they saw.

“The obvious one is, they made their shots (this time),” Prather said. “The first time, we caught them on a day they didn’t shoot particularly well.  It’s tough in that gym in Riverton.  It seems like once they hit one or two, everything they put up starts going in.

“When they are playing like that, and the shots are falling like that … well, their record speaks for itself.”

The Chiefs also had two players the Buffs didn’t see the first time in Joey Aragon and Shane Willow. While they didn’t score many points, Prather feels the duo impacted the game — Aragon defensively and Willow with some nice feeds to teammates for easy baskets.

Paul Stewart led the Buffs in scoring with nine while Quinton Haley chipped in five points and team-highs in rebounds with 12 and steals with three.

The highlight of the weekend for the Buffs was the Kemmerer game.  The Buffs led at every quarter stop, but played their best in the fourth quarter, when they outscored the Rangers 21-9 to pull out the 13-point win.

Held to just two points through the first three quarters, Payton Gonzalez exploded for 12 in the fourth, including 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.  In fact, the Buffs were 8 of 11 from the line in the final quarter.  Calder Forcella also came up big in the fourth, scoring five of his eight points.

Prather said the Buffs were confident going in, thanks to their win over the Rangers at the season-opening Big Horn Basin Shootout, and that the key this time was the team’s defensive effort on Kemmerer’s top player, 6-4 Tre Deeter.

Deeter finished with four points before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.

“That’s something we’ve done all season long,” Prather said. “If a team was built around one player, we always seemed to do a nice job taking that kid away.  Our kids did a great job finding him and limiting his touches.”

Prather also credited Forcella for “a heads up play” early in the fourth, when Deeter had just come off the bench with four fouls.  Forcella immediately drove to the lane, made Deeter guard him, and it resulted in a blocking foul.

“Overall, it was easily the best game we played in Riverton,” Prather said.

The Buffs had visions of the state tournament on their mind when they met Thermopolis Saturday morning.  A win and they’d have qualified, and while they battled their hearts out, it just wasn’t to be.

Thermopolis buried seven from behind the arc and led at every quarter stop: 20-14 after one, 32-22 at the half and 45-35 after three. The Buffs got no closer, as Thermop put the game on ice with a 9 of 11 effort from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

“The final score wasn’t indicative of how the game went,” Prather said. “We lost, and that’s what was important, in terms of our goal of continuing our season.  But we kept our turnovers down and because of that, we got up 61 shots.  But in the end, you can’t make 29 percent of them and outscore a team like Thermopolis that shoots so well.”

The win sent Thermopolis to the state tournament, where they will be joined later this week by regional champion Lovell, Wyoming Indian and Big Piney.

“I like that we put ourselves in a position to go to state,” Prather said. “That’s a worthy accomplishment because after such a sound thumping (by Wyoming Indian) it would have been easy to say, ‘Hey, we don’t have it in us.’  But we stuck with the mantra, ‘win two before you lose two,’ and the boys played well Friday and competed well against Thermopolis.”


Season review

At 9-18, it’ll go down as a losing season in the record books.  But Prather sees a lot of positives.

The Buffs lost all five starters from last year’s state tournament, and when the season began, Prather had only five players who had ever worn a varsity uniform.  By season’s end, 14 different kids had done so.

“It was a season of growth,” Prather said. “The kids learned the game and how to compete at the varsity level.  They made tremendous progress during the course of the season, doing things like taking care of the ball, improving our free throw shooting and being more efficient offensively.

“The one disappointment may be that we just never found that defensive identity that teams need to play in the state tournament.  We were pretty good taking away the opponent’s primary scorer, but when they had two or three good scorers, we struggled. We ran into one of those teams on Saturday.”


Greybull   6 11 13 12 — 42

Wyo. Indian 10 23 21 23 — 75

GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 1 0-0 2, Zack Zeller 1 0-2 2, Cody Strauch 1 1-2 3, Calder Forcella 2 0-1 4, Quinton Haley 2 1-5 5, Ryan Sylvester 2 0-0 6, Paul Stewart 3 3-5 9, Fabian Davila 3 0-0 6, Treston Tracy 2 0-2 4, Aidan Jenness 0 1-2 1.  Totals 17-49 6-19 42.

WYO INDIAN — Willow 1 2-2 4, Penatac 5 3-3 13, Mosqueda 0 1-2 1, Gardner 2 0-5 4, J. Aragon 3 0-1 7, Clifford 3 2-6 9, Howell 4 0-0 8, Spoonhunter 5 0-0 13, Williamson 6 2-3 14, R. Aragon 1 0-0 2.  Totals 30 10-22 75.

3-POINT GOALS — Sylvester 2; Spoonhunter 3, Clifford, J. Aragon.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 40 (Haley 12).   STEALS — Greybull 7 (Haley 3).  ASSISTS — Greybull 9 (Sylvester 3).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 32.


Greybull 13 8 12 21 — 54

Kemmerer 12 6 14   9 — 41

GREYBULL — Gonzalez 4 5-6 14, Forcella 2 3-5 8, Good 3 2-2 9, Sylvester 1 0-0 3, Stewart 7 0-0 14, Davila 2 0-0 4, Tracy 1 0-0 2.  Totals 20 10-13 54.

KEMMERER — Corbridge 3 0-0 7, Simpson 3 2-4 8, King 2 1-2 5, Kascoli 2 0-0 5, Deeter 2 0-0 4, B. Sumpsion 5 2-6 12.  Totals 17 5-12 41.

3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Forcella, Good, Sylvester.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 31 (Stewart, Tracy 7).  STEALS — Greybull 10 (Stewart 4).  ASSISTS — Greybull 11 (Forcella 5).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 17.


Greybull 14   8 13   9 — 44

Thermop 20 12 13 18 — 63

GREYBULL — Gonzalez 3 2-2 9, Forcella 1 0-0 3, Good 3 0-0 7, Haley 3 2-2 8, Stewart 6 1-3 13, Davila 1 0-0 2, Tracy 1 0-0 2.  Totals 18 5-7 44.

THERMOPOLIS — Thomas 6 2-2 18, Roling 1 0-0 3, Abbott 6 4-7 16, Haun 1 0-0 2, Conner 5 2-3 12, Schmidt 2 0-0 5, Cornwell 2 2-2 7.  Totals 23 10-14 63.

3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Forcella, Good; Thomas 4, Roling, Schmidt, Cornwell.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 39 (Haley 11).  STEALS — Greybull 6 (Haley 11).  ASSISTS — Greybull 9 (Forcella 3).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 16.








Walter Jay McNiven

Feb. 17, 1920 – Feb. 21, 2013

Funeral services for Walter Jay McNiven were held Feb. 25 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Burlington. Walter Jay died Feb. 21 at his daughter’s home in Lovell.

He was born Feb. 17, 1920, in Burlington, the seventh of nine children of James Robert and Nellie Elizabeth Hibbert McNiven. He grew up and received his education in Burlington and graduated from Burlington High School in 1938.

He attended the University of Wyoming for one year and then returned home to assume the full responsibility for the family farming operation in Burlington.

He married Emma Helen Peterson June 6, 1944, in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. He and Emma raised their four children with a strong work ethic and family loyalty. He farmed for the next 45 years before turning the farm over to his three sons.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held several positions in the church.

He dearly loved his wife Emma, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and passed to them a rich heritage and legacy of faith in God and remaining true to the faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Sylvia Nielson, Jim, Sarah, Beth, Vera, Marr Murphy and John.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Emma; his children and their spouses, Rodney Jay and Kathy McNiven, Harry Robert and Pamela McNiven and Leonard Don and Delsa McNiven, all of Burlington, and Brent and Helen Darlene McNiven Moncur of Lovell; one sister, Ruth M. Fillerup of Orem, Utah; 23 grandchildren and 82 great-grandchildren.

Burial was in the Burlington Cemetery.

Should tennis courts be resurfaced?

by nathan oster

What to do with the tennis courts?

Mayor Bob Graham raised the question during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Greybull Recreation District board, and by the end of the discussion, board members were asking that the question be put to the community at large.

The tennis courts, located next to the South Big Horn Senior Center, are seldom used and in dire need of a new surface.

Graham said it’s a “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” type of question.  Are the tennis courts seldom used because of the condition of the playing surface? Or is it simply because tennis has run its course and is no longer as popular as it once was?

Graham said the town has been told it would cost $28,000 to $35,000 to resurface the tennis courts.  Complicating matters is the fact that the tennis courts were constructed with state parks and rec dollars, meaning that the town is obligated to maintain the courts in perpetuity.

“We have to support it,” he said.

The senior center has expressed interest in the property, eyeing it as a potential location for a bus barn.  But until a decision is made on the fate of the courts, that potential reuse of the area must remain on hold.

Graham said the town could propose to replace the tennis courts with something, such as basketball courts or even a soccer field. But it could not simply demolish the tennis courts without somehow otherwise enhancing the community’s parks and recreation offerings.

Rec board member Selena Brown said she played tennis on the courts and would hate to lose them. She said tennis is more popular among adults than children, and that the community should aim for programming that is “all inclusive,” and not just tailored to those in K-12.

Do you have an opinion?  Contact any recreation district board member, including Supt. Barry Bryant, or share your views at Town Hall.

In other business Tuesday night:

• Recreation Director Chris Waite shared his staff goals for 2013. They include drafting an emergency plan for the Herb Asp Community Center, moving closer to accepting online payments and offering CPR refreshers to rec district employees.

• Rec board members offered support for the idea of allowing individuals to lease the kitchen at the Herb Asp Community Center.  Waite said two different individuals had approached him recently, wanting to use the kitchen, which is licensed with the Department of Agriculture. According to Waite, the Ag Department confirmed that the rec district could let others use the kitchen, but anyone who does would need to get their own license to do so.

Waite said he supported it, citing similarities to the lease the district currently has with Big Brothers Big Sisters for office space and saying that it could be a revenue generator. Board members agreed.

• In his director’s report, Waite said intramural basketball is wrapping up this week, and that on the fitness side, Zumba attendance has fallen in February.  On the plus side, though, he noted that a yoga class offered by Charlotte Hinckley not only filled up, but generated a waiting list.

Roller rink attendance is “excellent,” he said, noting that there are sometimes 35 to 40 skaters at a session.

The rec district’s spring sale is set for March 9 and there are only three available space for the bazaar.

School, rec boards mull pool’s final act

by nathan oster

The Greybull Town Council and the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees have settled on a date for the work session to discuss the future of the Greybull swimming pool.

At its Feb. 12 meeting, the school board set the meeting for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 in the meeting room at Town Hall.

Mayor Bob Graham and the town council had agreed the previous night, Feb. 11, to approach the school board about setting the meeting. He told the board that the consensus — though not unanimous — opinion of the council was to try to keep the pool open through at least the end of August, which would be two months into a new fiscal year.

The pool is currently funding through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2013, but Graham suggested that the young people interested in lifeguarding may look for other jobs if they aren’t assured of a full summer’s worth of hours at the pool.

Chris Waite, director of the Greybull Recreation District which oversees the pool, concurred with that statement. “We want to be transparent with our staff,” he said. “Most of them are students and they are very good workers who would probably find other jobs if the pool were to shut down June 30.

“If that were to happen, we might not even have the staff to run it (until that time).”

July and August are typically two of the busiest — and most expensive — months of the year at the pool, and Waite estimated that it would cost $16,000 to get the pool through the end of August. Half of that would need to come from the school district, the other half from the town.

Supt. Barry Bryant said he would support paying for the additional two months. “I would hate to see this community lose the pool, but I have concerns about liability issues as we start into year three of what was a two-year fix.

“But I’d like to take it through the end of the summer, if possible.  I wish we could do it longer, but we’re 41 years into a 25-year facility.”

The pool also came up at Monday night’s meeting of the Greybull Recreation District board of directors.

“Before I was hoping we could push it as long as possible,” said Waite, who has been running the pool for nearly two years. “But from my perspective, my recommendation would be hopefully that’s the end.  There’s just so much. If we can get through the 31st of August, I think we should call that the end.  And not go beyond that.”

Joe Forcella, the district’s maintenance supervisor and a rec board member, said setting an end date for the pool would set the stage for a discussion about where the community goes from here.

Graham predicted that there would be another push for a new pool once the current one closes and people fully realize the impact of not having a pool.

“We saw it the last time,” he said.

Bryant reiterated, however, that with respect to the pool, the community spoke loudly and clearly in the general election, when they rejected both a sixth-cent tax and a bond issue.

“Pools are expensive,” he said. “We could build a new middle school for half of what a new pool would cost.”

Waite said moving forward the rec district still supports the idea of offering swimming lessons — even if it means bussing kids to area pools such as those in Worland, Cody or Powell after the one in Greybull closes.

Burlington has bussed its kids to the Greybull pool in the past, and Bryant said Greybull could do the same, with the primary expense being the cost of gas.

Waite said the district would have “buying power” with area pools, noting that all of them would welcome the additional swimmers.

Selena Brown, a rec and school board member, said she, too, supported keeping the pool open through the end of August, providing there are no major breakdowns.


Harold James Ogg

Jan. 9, 1944 – Feb. 18, 2013

Memorial services for Harold James Ogg will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Harold, 69, died Feb. 18 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.

Harold was born Jan. 9, 1944, in Worland, the son of James John and Iris Maria Beaver Ogg. He received his schooling in Manderson, Meeteetse and Cody.

He joined the United State Navy on Nov. 27, 1963, and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. He received his honorable discharge Nov. 21, 1967.

Harold married Dolores Ann Strube on Dec. 29, 1967, in Basin. They made their home in Greybull.

Harold, a hardworking man, was employed as a heavy-duty mechanic for M-I SWACO for 19 years.

Harold loved to watch high school wrestling, the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

He was a member of BPOE Lodge 1431 and was the Past Exalted Ruler and Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. He was also a member of American Legion Post 32 of Greybull.

Harold was preceded in death by his mother, Iris Maria Beaver Ogg McCeery, and his daughter, Gail Ogg Roessing.

He is survived by his wife Dolores Ogg and son Brant Ogg, both of Greybull; son-in-law, Martin Roessing of Douglas; father, James John Ogg of Greybull; his sister, Arlene Griffin of Meeteetse; two brothers-in-law, Victor Strube of Greybull and Ken Strube of Basin; sister-in-law Carla Mae Urbaniak of Elmira, N.Y.; two grandsons; four granddaughters and a great-grandson.

Burial with full military rites will be held at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery. A reception for family and friends will follow at BPOE Lodge 1431.

Memorials are being received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will go to American Legion Post 32 for their renovation project at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery.


Patsy Fern Fowler Cox

Oct. 7, 1937 – Dec. 19, 2012

A memorial service for Patsy Fern Fowler Cox of Basin, formerly of Lusk, will be held at a later date. Pat, 75, died at the Wyoming Retirement Center on Dec. 19, 2012.

She was born Oct. 7, 1937, in Callaway, Neb., the daughter of Robert and Leta Stairs. She spent her childhood in Ord and Cairo, Neb.

She married Ervin M. Cox July 24, 1954. The couple has two daughters and son who died in infancy. They lived in Shelton and Grand Island, Neb. The couple divorced in 1962.

She married Ronald O. Fowler Dec. 24, 1963. They resided in Grand Island and Aurora, Neb., until they moved to Lusk in 1973. Ronald died in 1987.

She remarried Ervin Cox July 12, 2009. They lived in Lusk until they moved to the Wyoming Retirement Center in 2010.

Pat enjoyed he many friends and family and was a devoted “Grammy” to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and foster grandchildren. She was a good cook, seamstress, nurse and waitress and was always involved in community projects. She enjoyed cooking, camping and gardening.

Pat was a member and two-time president of the Lusk BPO Does Drove 64. She was also an officer in the American Legion Auxiliary and VFW Auxiliary in Nebraska and Wyoming.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents; her second husband Ronald Fowler; infant son Robert David Cox; three sisters, Barbara Stairs, Linda Ramirez and Janet Blaise; an infant grandson and three nephews.

She is survived by her husband Ervin Cox of Basin; two daughters, Rhonda Stone and Dixie Blaney; foster daughter Tennille Henry of Lusk; stepdaughter Charlotte of McCool Jct., Neb; two brothers, Gary Stairs of Alliance, Neb. and Jim Stairs of Boise, Idaho; one sister, Connie Cowles of Alliance, Neb.; step-sister Mary Coe of Boise, Idaho; stepbrother Bill Cox of Salt Lake City, Utah; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.


Lady Buffs refocus after losses to RM, Big Horn

by marlys good

The Greybull Lady Buffs’ 48-30 loss to Rocky Mountain Friday ended any hopes Greybull had of staying out of the dreaded pigtail game. The loss means Greybull will host Riverside in the play-in game at 5:30 Monday with the winner earning the fourth-place slot from the north for the upcoming Class 2A West Regional in Riverton.

Things were looking good for the Lady Buffs at halftime. They had matched points with the Grizzlies in both the first and second quarters and held the slim one-point lead, 17-16.

They should have ended the game right then.

Rocky Mountain was fired up coming out of the blocks for the third quarter and the Grizzlies controlled the court.

“We couldn’t get in sync and it made us struggle on both ends of the court,” said Coach Jeff Hunt. “Once we got down we had to get out of our defensive game plan to try and catch up.”

Poor free throw shooting hindered the Buffs, who hit just 8 of 21. “We got to the line plenty, but we just couldn’t make them and it hurt us. Every time we missed, Rocky took advantage” and extended the lead.

Ceirra Carlson was held to just 10 points and Brett Stephens added another 8.

It didn’t get any better at Big Horn Saturday when the Lady Rams stuck the Buffs 54-29. The Rams exploded in the second quarter and extended their 11-5 lead to a 32-10 edge at halftime.

Big Horn hit five three-pointers and Jayden Mirich scored 17 points to pace the attack.

Stephens paced the Buffs with 12 points and Carlson was in double digits with 10.

“It was another rough weekend,” Hunt said. “The girls played hard in both games, but we tried a little too hard at times. We couldn’t get anything going on offense and we struggled to make our shots — again.”

Greybull closes out the regular season Friday against Tongue River. It will be Senior Night for the Buffs. Sarah Bockman, Biri Gallegos, Michaela Denniston, Georgi Hall and Hunter Grant, along with their parents, will be recognized and honored.

The Buffs, while hoping to play well and perhaps pull off a huge upset over the top ranked Lady Eagles, will be looking ahead to Monday night, Feb. 18, when they will host the Lady Rebels in the pigtail game.

“We are prepping for our pigtail game against Riverside. It’s not easy to beat a team three times in a season, so we are going to focus on a game plan” for doing just that.

“One of the greatest things about this group of girls is their ability to keep their heads up and prepare for any obstacle. They are fighters,” Hunt said. The girls will be laying everything on the line, leaving nothing on the court, in their hopes to earn a spot in the regional tournament.

Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.


Greybull 5  12    3  10 – 30

Rocky Mt. 6  10  14  18 – 48

GREYBULL — Georgi Hall 1 0-2 2, Ceirra Carlson 3 4-4 10, Biri Gallegos 1 2-0 4, Brett Stephens 4 0-0 8, Karina McIntosh 1 2-7 4, Sarah Bockman 1 0-0 2. Totals 11-44 8-21 30.

REBOUNDS — Rocky Mt. 30; Greybull 28 (Stephens 7, Hall 6, Gallegos 5). ASSISTS — Rocky Mt. 3; Greybull 2. STEALS — Rocky Mt. 10; Greybull 11 (McIntosh 3). TURNOVERS —Rocky Mt. 22; Greybull 25.


Greybull   5    5  11    8 – 29

Big Horn  11  21  12  10 – 54

GREYBULL — Ceirra Carlson 4 0-0 10, Hunter Grant 0 0-1 0, Biri Gallegos 0 1-4 1, Brett Stephens 4 4-7 12, Madi Edeler 1 0-0 2, Karlina McIntosh 1 0-0 2, Jordan Kraft 1 0-0 2. Totals 11-48 5-11 29.

3-POINT GOALS — Carlson 2.   REBOUNDS — Greybull 19 (Carlson, Bockman 4); Big Horn 25.  STEALS — Greybull 16 (Gallegos, Stephens 4); Big Horn 17.  ASSISTS — Greybull 4 (Carlson 3); Big Horn 3.  TURNOVERS — Greybull 35; Big Horn 30.