Monthly Archives: December 2013
by nathan oster
Brock Hill and Shayla Cheatham were witnesses to history Sunday in Denver, as the two local teens and Punt, Pass & Kick competitors were standing behind the end zone waiting to be introduced at halftime when Matt Prater’s kick sailed over the crossbar in front of them.
Covering 64 yards in total, it was the longest field goal in NFL history and it the sent Broncomaniacs into a frenzy that didn’t subside until the Broncos had wrapped up their 11th win in 13 games and clinched a berth in the AFC playoffs.
“What an atmosphere,” said Shayla’s mother, Shalene Cheatham.
A lifelong Bronco fan, Shalene had never attended a Broncos game before Sunday.
Punt, Pass and Kick was her ticket to Denver, and the experience didn’t disappoint.
As of Tuesday, official results had not been posted on the NFL’s PP&K website.
Shalene said her daughter won’t be advancing to the next round. She placed fourth in the 10- and 11-year-old girls division in Denver and only the top finisher goes to the next round — and that is, if her score ranks among the top scores in the nation.
The competition was held Sunday morning at the Broncos’ Dove Valley training complex. It took place outside, where it was “snowing, blowing and about 12 degrees,” said Shalene. “It was cold.”
Shayla didn’t perform as well as she had in Riverton, where she doubled the distances on the pass, punt and kick she turned in at the local competition.
“She was sad and disappointed about her performance,” said Shalene. “But she had a good attitude, overall. She wasn’t disappointed about being fourth. So many kids go out for Punt, Pass and Kick. And she made it that far – and got to see a Denver game, too.”
Shalene said her daughter was “right behind the goalposts” for the epic kick. “She said it was like the ball was coming right at her.” They tried, after the fact, to see if TV cameras caught Shalene, but they couldn’t find her in the crowd.
Shalene said her daughter was introduced to the crowd at halftime and got to throw a pass on the Sports Authority Field turf.
“It was great, the whole experience,” said Shalene. “The crowd is just amazing. Everyone is so into the game. You can just feel it. Every single minute, they are pumping their energy out.”
Missy Hill said seeing the record-setting kick was also the highlight of the weekend for her son Brock, who placed third in his 12- and 13-year-old boys division. “He didn’t win, but we still had a blast,” said Missy.
Brock was on top of his game, too, for the competition. Like Shalene, she said she didn’t have a distance total for her child. “I don’t know how he could have done any better,” she said of her son, who may have been the most accurate performer in his division.
The trouble is, the kids who took first and second “were monsters,” she said. Both had throws that topped 150 feet. In fact, the two have turned in the best scores to date nationwide in their division.
“I think Brock’s score (from Denver) would rank third or fourth in the nation, too,” said Missy.
Like Shalene, she said the crowd left an impression on her. “This year the Broncos are good, so the whole vibe of the stands was different than it has been in the past,” when the Hills have gone to Denver to follow their other son, Riley’s, PP&K efforts. “But the coolest thing for Brock was standing in the end zone when Prater kicked his field goal. That was amazing.”
by nathan oster
With three wins in three starts, the Greybull Buffs got just what they wanted out of the season-opening Big Horn Basin Shootout.
“To say that we were happy would be kind of an understatement,” said Coach Jim Prather, still basking in the glow of his team’s 61-45 win over Big Piney, 58-38 triumph over Kemmerer and 59-45 victory over Wind River. “Over the course of the weekend, we were shown some things that we knew we could do well but had to prove, like outside shooting. We were pretty consistent in that area throughout the weekend.
“But we were also shown some things that we knew we probably need to work on, thing like stamina and physical conditioning. But that’s what early season tournaments are for. To play three and come away with three wins was certainly a good start.”
That they got off to a hot start shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the team returned the nucleus of last year’s 9-18 team and welcomed back Kason Clutter, who as a sophomore was a starter on the 2011-12 team which made it to the state tournament.
The chemistry the group developed in summer league and on their annual team trip to the West Coast when they played a combined 25 games in 30 days was apparent on the Buff Gym floor last weekend.
The Big Piney game was quite a contrast to last year’s game, which the Buffs won 30-26. This year “it was a much more up and down game,” and as a result, each team had 18 points on the board by the end of the first quarter.
“As the game wore on, we got adjusted to the kind of offensive sets Big Piney was going to run,” said Prather. “Offensively, I thought we were pretty consistent throughout. Scoring 61 points and shooting as well as we did, especially from three-point range, gave us a glimpse of where we think this team can go this season.”
The Buffs came out firing against Kemmerer, scoring the first 16 points of the game en route to a 20-point win. “That set the tone for the whole game,” said Prather. While the Buffs suffered “a little letdown late in the first quarter and into the second,” it was a good learning experience in terms of playing with the lead.
“The kids played really well,” said Prather.
Every varsity player scored and three finished in double digits, with Treston Tracy netting 18, Klutter chipping in 13 and Payton Gonzalez netting 10.
The final game of the weekend — and perhaps in Shootout history — pitted the Buffs against Wind River. Early on, it was all Cougars. In fact, by late in the first quarter, the visitors held a 20-7 edge on the scoreboard.
“Believe it or not, it went about the way we talked about in the locker room before the game,” said Prather. “Not that we wanted to put ourselves in that deficit, but in years past that Saturday afternoon game against Wind River has been a tough one for us. The last few years, it’s been ugly basketball. Saturday was no exception.”
The Buffs came out flat, and it took them until the end of the first quarter to find themselves. The trio of Bryce Wright, Ryan Sylvester and Logan Jensen were credited for righting the ship, as they came off the bench to provide energy and make some big defensive stops.
From that 20-7 deficit, the Buffs ran off 17 unanswered points to take a four-point lead, 24-20, before Wind River snapped its scoring drought.
By game’s end, Tracy had turned in one of the best games of his scoring career, finishing with 29 points. On many of his field goals, Clutter assisted. The senior point guard showed off his passing skills throughout the weekend, as he often would penetrate the lane, draw defenders to him and then find the open man for an easy basket. Many times, the recipient was Tracy.
“He has a special talent in that regard,” Prather said of Clutter.
Overall, it was an encouraging start for the Buffs. Prather believes they are further ahead at this time of the season than they were a year ago, and the coach said he liked what he saw from the squad.
“We played everybody in every game,” he said. “We believe we’ve got 10 players who can play.”
The Buffs will learn a lot more about themselves during a five-day stretch beginning Friday.
First up are four tough games at the Coal Miner’s Classic in Wright. Last year, the Buffs failed to win a single game on this trip, going 0-4. The competition will be “a better caliber of teams,” said Prather.
The Buffs open against the No. 2 team in the state, Lusk, at noon on Friday then square off with a “a much improved” Glenrock squad at 4:30 p.m. Saturday they face a talented Big Horn team “which played a close game last weekend with Lusk” at 9:30 a.m. before capping the tournament with a 3:30 p.m. game against Wright. The Panthers, of course, are coached by Pat Neely, who in 1996 led the Buffs to their first state championship.
The Buffs will then close out the season with a showdown against 1A power Burlington on Tuesday in Burlington. Like the Buffs, the Huskies sport a perfect 3-0 mark after the Shootout.
Big Piney 18 8 14 5 — 45
Greybull 18 19 15 9 — 61
BIG PINEY — Salmeron 2 0-1 4, Fear 3 2-2 11, Salmeron 1 0-0 2, Pape 0 0-4 0, Stoutenberg 3 0-0 6, Jones 3 3-7 9, Shafer 5 2-2 13. Totals 17 7-16 45.
GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 5 3-8 15, Calder Forcella 3 0-0 8, Kason Clutter 3 2-2 9, Ryan Sylvester 2 2-2 7, Paul Stewart 4 0-0 8, Zack Zeller 2 1-2 7, Treston Tracy 3 1-2 7. Totals 22 9-16 61.
3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez 2, Forcella 2, Zeller 2, Clutter, Sylvester. REBOUNDS — Greybull 28 (Tracy 8). STEALS — Greybull 12 (Forcella, Sylvester 4). ASSISTS — Greybull 19 (Clutter 7). TURNOVERS — Greybull 19.
Kemmerer 4 15 7 12 — 38
Greybull 16 14 17 11 — 58
KEMMERER — Corbridge 6 1-2 15, Deeter 2 7-12 11, Daughetee 0 0-1 0, McCloud 2 2-4 6, Chaulk 1 0-0 2, Hazle 2 0-0 4. Totals 13 10-20 38.
GREYBULL — Gonzalez 4 2-2 10, Colten Flitner 0 1-2 1, Forcella 1 0-0 2, Clutter 5 2-2 13, Sylvester 0 1-2 1, Stewart 1 1-1 3, Zeller 1 4-6 6, Bryce Wright 1 0-0 2, Logan Jensen 1 0-0 2, Treston Tracy 8 1-2 18.
3-POINT GOALS — Clutter, Tracy. REBOUNDS — Greybull 30 (Clutter 7). STEALS — Greybull 19 (Gonzalez 5). ASSISTS — Greybull 14 (Clutter 8). TURNOVERS – Greybull 23.
Wind River 20 5 8 12 — 45
Greybull 11 15 16 17 — 59
WIND RIVER — C’Bearing 6 1-2 15, Roanhorse 2 1-2 6, Reinick 3 0-0 6, Hankins 2 1-2 5, Roanhorse 5 3-4 13. Totals 18 6-10 45.
GREYBULL — Gonzalez 2 2-2 7, Clutter 6 2-4 15, Stewart 2 2-4 6, Jensen 1 0-0 2, Tracy 13 2-4 29.
3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Clutter, Tracy.
He fell in love with Wyoming as a teenager when he worked on a ranch west of Cody. He bought his first adult pair of cowboy boots from Wayne’s Boots. He had dreams of returning to Wyoming to run his own ranch.
The ranch dream never came true but the one of returning did. Dr. David Fairbanks is the new director of Emergency Medicine for South Big Horn County Hospital. He started in November.
Fairbanks grew up in Bethesda, Md., the oldest of four boys born to David N.F. and Sylvia Fairbanks. His father is an ear, nose and throat surgeon and his mother is a teacher. His grandfather Avard T. Fairbanks is a sculptor of international renown.
He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. His trauma surgical internship was done at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. While serving in the United States Air Force he was deployed for four tours as a flight surgeon during Operation Desert Storm. He was named 7th Wing’s Flight Surgeon of the year.
He completed his family medicine residency at Southern Illinois University. Then started a solo family practice in rural Virginia. Later he served as the Regional Medical Director of the Intermountain Region for Humana.
As the director he will be working in the ER two weekends a month. He will also work the Mondays immediately following those weekends to do training. Fairbanks is planning to train the staff on advance cardiac life support and advanced pediatric life support.
With the new hospital planned he is hoping to add some additional services to patients that aren’t currently available locally. “If you build it … they will come is my way of thinking. The new hospital should attract more patients and we have to meet the demands of an increased patient load.” He said.
He and his wife Carol are already looking for a home with acreage in the area. They are moving here from Spanish Fork, Utah. With all their children grown it will be just the two of them although they hope to have some four legged ones when they find a place. They are both in to costuming, cosplay and civil war re-enactments.
“I’m excited to join an already great staff.”
You can meet the Fairbanks, December 13 from 3 – 5 p.m. at an open house at Midway Clinic.
by nathan oster
Winter rolled in like a lion this week, bringing significant snowfall and far below average temperatures to towns and cities across the Big Horn Basin.
Chris Jones, a warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Riverton, said some snow and cold is to be expected in December.
The snow that blanketed parts of Wyoming and produced the worst snowstorm in South Dakota history in late September and early October was unusual. And Jones said he might be tempted to say it’s an extreme start to winter — if it weren’t for the relatively mild months of October and November that came between the two storms.
“We spent a good part of that time above normal in terms of temperatures,” said Jones.
That included Monday, when the mercury climbed into the mid 50s.
The high at the Greybull airport was 54, which was recorded at around 1:30 p.m.
By 7:53 p.m., it had dropped by 18 degrees, with a reading of 36 at the airport
When the sun rose Tuesday morning, several inches of snow were on the ground and temps were in the teens in Greybull.
“It can change quickly,” said Jones. “From a high of 54 … I can probably safely say you aren’t going to see 54 for awhile. It’s not that unusual, though, for there to be a warm day or two ahead of a big storm like this one. You can see temps anywhere from 15 to 20 degrees above normal when that happens.”
Wind also contributed to chill in the air, as the Greybull airport measured gusts of between 30 to 40 miles per hour starting around 7 p.m. Monday and continuing into Tuesday morning. Frannie had the most powerful gusts from the storm, with some measured around 50 mphs overnight.
The next seven to 10 days don’t figure to bring much relief, either.
“Cold … that’s the big word of the day,” said Jones. “And it looks like it’s going to stay cold, too.”
Jones said he doesn’t expect much snow to fall in the coming days. Highs in the single digits are forecasted through the weekend. It may not be until the early part of next week that highs climb into the teens. The overnight lows during this upcoming stretch figure to be 10 to 20 below 0.
From a bigger picture standpoint, December is notoriously fairly dry in terms of water content. The climate prediction center, which produces 30- and 90-day precipitation outlooks, called for a better than average chance of above normal precipitation and a trend toward colder than normal temperatures in December.
“That’s looking like a pretty good call at this point,” said Jones. “The first half of the month, other than yesterday and Sunday, is likely to be well below normal, in terms of temperatures.”
Jones said the climate prediction center isn’t suggesting that it will be colder or snowier than normal. “They’re seeing a trend toward average, with no strong ties with the patterns that we are seeing. They look at temps in the Pacific Ocean, and right now, they’re in a neutral phase, so they aren’t able, with any confidence, to say, ‘Well, that means this,’ or ‘That means that.”
Looking at the last 15 years worth of weather data for Greybull, Jones said the average high for December has been 32 degrees. The average low during that same stretch has been 8.3 degrees.
The only December since 1998 that produced below normal average temperatures came in 2009. From Dec. 7 through Dec. 11 of that year, the high ranged from a -2 reading on the 9th to a high of 16 on the 11th. The lows during that five-day span were -8, -22, -24, -22 and -23.
For the month of December in 2009, the average high was 21 degrees.
Jones said that the way this December is starting, that mark could be in jeopardy.
This past Saturday, the Antelope Butte Foundation (ABF) hosted a fundraiser,
“Butte-ify the Big Horns,” a fundraiser for the Antelope Butte Foundation, raised over $32,000 from generous donors.
Attended by over 200 residents, it was the community’s first detailed look at the project designed to reopen the Antelope Butte Ski & Recreation Area, which last operated in 2004.
“We have spent the last 18 months doing our homework and ensuring Antelope Butte can be viable moving forward,” said Mark Weitz, president of the ABF. “After concluding this is totally doable, we wanted to roll out our plans to the community and begin asking for support. The community’s response was phenomenal and we are encouraged to make it happen.”
Antelope Butte was originally opened in 1960 with a rope tow by a similar, hardy group of community leaders, under the name Fun Valley, Inc. Eighty-six year old Don Huffaker, one of those original pioneers, attended the event, where he was given a solid round of applause.
“I’ve skied a lot of mountains, many bigger, but always enjoyed the variety of terrain at Antelope Butte for over 40 years,” Huffaker said.
To date, $190,000 has been raised towards ABF’s goal of $3 million. The funds will be used to reopen and begin operations of the Antelope Butte Ski & Recreation Area, located in the Big Horn Mountains as a financially sustainable, year-round recreational facility.
Building on the momentum of the fundraiser event, fundraising efforts are being stepped up with plans to open for the 2014-2015 season. Interested parties and potential donors are invited to visit www.antelopebuttefoundation.org for more information.
Antelope Butte Foundation’s mission is to provide affordable, accessible skiing, mountain recreation, and related training and education for all, especially youth and beginners. The current board of directors is made up of nine professionals from the northern Wyoming communities of Sheridan, Basin, and Greybull that are dedicated to reopening the ski area for future generations.
Dec. 2, 2013 – Dec. 2, 2013
Our sweet baby girl, Theresa Ann Cook, was born at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, December 2, 2013, and she passed away an hour later. We were so blessed to get that little time with her.
The Rosary is at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Greybull and the Funeral Mass is at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013 at the Church of the Sacred Heart with Father Ray Rodriguez as celebrant. Burial will follow in the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull. A luncheon for family and friends will immediately follow the graveside service in the basement of the Church of the Sacred Heart.
She is survived by her loving parents, Casey and Angela (McColloch) Cook of Greybull, Wyoming; her brother, Dylan Cook and her sisters, Lauren Cook and Erika Cook, of Greybull, Wyoming; her maternal grandparents, Scott and Jackie McColloch of Greybull, Wyoming, Mary Bayley of Lovell, Wyoming (great-grandmother), and Gerald (Bud) McColloch of Ogallala, Nebraska (great-grandfather); her paternal grandparent, Brenda Cook of Greybull, Wyoming; her aunts and uncles, Daniel and Michelle Burns of Greybull, Wyoming and Michael and Michelle McColloch of Greybull, Wyoming; and her cousins, Bayley Burns, Kaylyn Burns and Brandon Burns of Greybull, Wyoming and Gaven McColloch, Kelsie McColloch and Aleksey McColloch of Greybull, Wyoming.
She is preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Randy Cook.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. assisted the family with arrangements.
Funeral services for Evelyn Lucille Werbelow Ellison will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Powell (223 E. 5th St.). Evelyn, 81, died Dec. 1 at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper from complications from pneumonia.
Evelyn was born Jan. 22, 1932, in Emblem, the seventh of 14 children of Martin and Ella Blank Werbelow. As an infant she was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church, and was confirmed in Zion Lutheran in 1946.
She received her early education in Emblem and graduated from Greybull High School in 1952. After graduating from high school she went to work as a telephone operator for Mountain Bell in Basin.
She married Homer W. Ellison June 21, 1953, at Zion Lutheran Church. The couple had three daughters, Annette, Diane and Debbie. The couple settled in Worland where Evelyn was a stay-at-home mom. She later worked cleaning houses for several families in Worland.
Evelyn enjoyed square dancing, crafting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, working in her garden, volunteering at her daughter’s classroom at Westside in Powell and taking care of friends and family. She touched the lives of many and will be remembered for her creativity, love of flowers and sense of humor.
Her husband Homer Ellison, parents Martin and Ella Werbelow, three brothers Frank, Melvin and Elmer, and one sister, Irma Olbricht preceded Evelyn in death.
She is survived by three daughters and sons-in-law, Annette and Bernard Ambrosino, Diane and Mark Hensman, and Debbie and Tim Donnell; five sisters, Doris Schmidt, Gladys Behneman, Luella Henderson, Jean Werbelow and Mary Shepard; four brothers, Joe, George, Clarence and Leroy; and five grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held in Worland following the service.
Memorial donations in Evelyn’s name can be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Church Building Fund.
by marlys good
With just two returning starters, junior Brett Stephens and senior Ceirra Carlson, and two other returning lettermen, Jordan Kraft and Karlina McIntosh, the Greybull Buffs will be a work in progress this year.
Coach Jeff Hunt said, “We have seven girls who dressed out for varsity level games last year, but some of the younger ones didn’t get much playing time. We are leaving the door open for anyone to fill a varsity spot. Coach (Laura) Hodgson and I are just looking for those players who are giving 110 percent every night and who are showing they are ready to play for us. Our varsity squad may be different every game.”
Carlson and Stephens have both started varsity games since they were freshmen, “so they are our court leaders,” Hunt said. “They are coming off excellent seasons and we’re hoping to see them have even better seasons this year.”
Hunt and Hodgson have 25 girls out for practices, includes three seniors, seven juniors, eight sophomores and seven freshmen. “We are hoping to gain same experience this weekend and see what we are really capable of,” he said of the Big Horn Basin Shootout, which Greybull and Burlington will co-host.
As in past years of the Shootout, Greybull will open against the Big Piney girls tonight (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. at Buff Gym.
Shootout action Friday will find the Buffs versus Kemmerer at 5:45 p.m., and close out playing Wind River at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ll mix it up a little on offense as well as defense. I really think we’ll be a team who surprises some people this season; I’m hoping that’ll start this weekend,” Hunt said.
Junior varsity games will be played in the middle school gym. The young Buffs are scheduled to play Kemmerer at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Wind River at 5:45 Saturday.
by nathan oster
Greybull-Riverside begins the season in a similar position to the one it found itself in one year ago, with about a half dozen quality returning wrestlers setting the tone for what is otherwise an unproven squad.
Coach Mark Sanford, whose squad opens with a dual in Worland today, has a roster of approximately 23 wrestlers. For the first time in many years, the majority hails from Riverside High School.
The good news is there’s reason for optimism. The Buffs placed fourth in 2A last year, getting wins from 13 of their 15 wrestlers on the floor of the Casper Events Center in February.
Five of the eight G-R wrestlers who placed last year return, including Cole Hill, who was third at 145; Spencer Redland, third at 195; Jesus Burgos, fifth at 138; Zane Edeler, fifth at 220; and Tanner Bernstein, fifth at 285.
Hill capped his freshman season in impressive fashion, earning third in a competitive weight class. “He needs to continue to open it up this year,” said Sanford of his sophomore standout.
Redland “should have been in the state finals last year,” Sanford said. “Him being afraid to make a mistake at state cost us a match. He should have won his semifinal match. Hopefully the senior mentality, of putting it all out there and going for it, will help him this year.”
Edeler is a two-time state placer, having earned a second in his weight class as a freshman. Sanford is equally high on him, but the challenge right now is finding a weight class that works for him, as he and Redland are close in terms of their current weights.
Burgos wrestled at 140 last year, but will begin the year either one or two weight classes above that, said Sanford.
Bernstein “will probably go at heavyweight,” a division in which he excelled last season, according to Sanford. The challenge for Bernstein will be staying on the mat, as he’s currently nursing an injury.
“We’re about where we were last year at this time, in that we have some returning guys who have done fairly well and a lot of inexperienced guys,” said Sanford. “It’ll be a process of learning and making progress as we go.”
Sanford reeled off the names of a number of promising newcomers and returnees, including Chris Ogg, who is “looking good” in his return to the team after missing all of last season with a knee injury; Marshall Gibbs, who gained valuable experience last year; as well as Luke Young, the Carmonas (Jose and Jorge), the Peoples (Ryan and Chase) and the Wollams (Tyler and Ashton).
The Buffs accomplished their goal of earning a trophy at last year’s state tournament.
For them to do it again, they’ll need their youngsters to grow up in a hurry — and their proven commodities to deliver the goods. If they want to make a run at the title, the road will likely go through Moorcroft-Hulett.
The Wolves set a 2A record for points scored at a state tournament last year and didn’t lose much to graduation. “They’re the team to beat, for sure,” said Sanford. “Plus, they’ve got a loaded eighth-grade class moving in. So they’ll be tough.”
On the western half of the state, Cokeville “will be tough as nails again,” with several state finalists returning. Of the top four, Lovell probably lost the most to graduation. “But they still have a good core of kids returning,” said Sanford. And then there’s Shoshoni, which he called the “team most likely to surprise” this season.
“As always, we want to be vying for the title,” said Sanford, when asked where he feels his team fits in the 2A mix. “That’s always our goal. But we have a lot of work to do.”
Task number one will be getting the kids spread out weight-wise and all the weight classes filled. First up is a dual with a stout Worland team today (Thursday, Dec. 5) in Worland. Matches begin at 6 p.m.
“It’ll be a tough one for us because Worland is a solid 3A program and has some good kids coming back — some at the lighter weights, some at the middle weights and some in the heavier weights,” said Sanford.
From there, the Buffs will turn their attention to their annual trip to Powell for what is typically one of the most competitive meets of the season, with wrestling from all four Wyoming weight classes in attendance. From the Buffs perspective, Sanford likes the tournament because everyone gets a lot of mat time in the pool portion of the tournament.