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Lovell , Wyoming
December 11, 2014     Lovell Chronicle
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December 11, 2014

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T CHRONICLE December 11, 2014 I The Lovell Chronicle 19 Bulldogs and Grizz back at it for 2014-2015 winter season. PATTI CARPENTER Lady Grizz basketball players Sarah Jones and Livia Higgins practice this week at Rocky Mountain High School in anticipation of the start of the basketball season. BY DAVID PECK Experience, talent and chemistry can take a team a long way, and that's the plan for the Rocky Moun- tain Grizzlies as they be- gin the 2014-15 season - combined with a lot of hard work. The Grizz played to a 19-10 record last season and beat Big Horn and Pine Bluffs at State before falling to Wyoming Indian in the championship game. With the state's new practice and game sched- ule, coaches have had to cram three weeks of pre-season practice into two, so it helps to have six seniors and eight juniors who know the system, Coach Michael Simmons said. "It's been hard, but practice is going good," Simmons said. "We're hav- ing to move a little fast- er. It's tough but every- one else is doing the same thing. I like our larger se- Bulldogs look to meet challen BY DAVID PECK The Lovell Bulldogs will most certainly be im- proved this season after a rebuilding year in 2013- 14 that saw them go 9-15. ;Problem is, the competition will be tougher, too, as the Bulldogs move into Class 3A. "Class 3A this year is probably the most com- petitive and deepest clas- sification in Wyoming," second-year coach Craig Lundberg said. "To me it's more mental than physi- cal. We have the athletes to compete, but do we have the mental toughness to compete against that lev- el night in, night out? This week 12 teams in 3A got votes (in the Wyopreps.com pre-season poll). That's a lot of parity and a lot of talent. "I've tried to make prac- tice as tough as possible to test our physical and men- tal toughness, Some players nior class, because it al- lows us to move faster with kids who know most of our stuff." Simmons said coaches are making a few chang- es this year because "every team is a little different," adding, "We're trying to give them the best system to fit their strengths while not changing a lot from last year. SEE 'GRIZZLIES STRONG AGAIN,' page 12 of Class 3A will rise to the occasion, and some will need some extra help to build them back up." The Bulldogs lost four seniors to graduation in Chase Tippetts; Brandon Wolvington, Calin McAr- thur and Morgan May, but they have 29 players out for the team includ- ing four seniors, seven ju- niors, six sophomores and 12 freshmen. SEE 'BULLDOGS MOVE UR', page 10 small in BY DAVID PECK Small but mighty. That might be the slogan of the 2014-15 Lovell Bulldogs wrestling team. Though there are only 13 wrestlers on the squad, the team boasts seven who placed at the regional tour- nament last season includ- ing five who placed at the state tournament and one who placed at State the year before. Coach Daniel Robert- son said the team has stu- dent athletes who love the sport and are dedicated to the team. And the state success and experience helps as the team competes in Class 3A this season. "We have six captains (athletes who have placed at State), so that's not too bad," Robertson said. "Practices are going really well. The kids are really in- tense. I almost have to slow them down. They were re- returnin ally ready to get some work done. "It's a good group to go to battle with." State placers return- ing include sophomore Joey Mickelson (fifth at 113 pounds), senior Trey Smith (fourth at 126), junior Mer- rill Beck (sixth at 145), se- nior Zeke Collins (third at 182) and senior Nash Jolley (third at 220). SEE 'LOVELL GRAPPLERS,' page 10 DAVID PECK Coach Daniel Robertson uses seniors Nash Jolley (below) and Zeke Collins to demonstrate a move during wrestling practice Tuesday afternoon in the LHS wrestling room. The Bulldogs open the season in Powell this weekend. DAVID PECK Rocky Mountain junior point guard Cole Wambeke drives to the basket against sophomore Cole Simmons during the Rocky Mountain Brown and Gold scrimmage on Saturday night in Cowley. The Grizz open the season at Burlington Friday night, then host Lovell Saturday. Rocky fields good-sized team BY PATI'I CARPENTER With 27 boys out for the team and three coaches to support them, Rocky Moun- tain High School head wrestling coach Josh Col- lins said he feels optimistic about the upcoming season. Nine freshmen, seven sophomores, eight juniors and three seniors will make up the team. Returning to the team and appoint- ed as this year's captains are Tyler Lindquist, who placed third at State last year, Brian Crawford, who placed second, and heavy- weight Wes Homewood, who placed fourth at State. Collins said he is pleased to have George Laughlin of Powell join the coaching staff this year, bringing with him the unique experience of four years as an official. Stac- ey Hiser is also returning to assist this year. Collins said having three coaches allows the staff to provide more individualized in- struction to the wrestlers, many of whom are wres- tling at the high school lev- el for the first time. Team managers this year are Jennifer Parker, Sunshyne Tryon and Kaitie Doughty. Collins said the managers are of great help to the team, providing sup- port on many levels. Absent from the team this year is Ian Davidson of Burlington, who wilt not SEE 'ROCKY WRESTLERS,' page 10 Lady Bulldogs bring depth, experience to Class 3A BY DAVID PECK After back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012 and a consolation ti- tle in 2014, the LoveU Lady Bulldogs are used to com- peting at the highest level. NOW they have a new chal- lenge - Class 3A. Fortunately for Coach Chris Edwards and his staff, the Lady Bulldogs re- turn lots of experience from a team that went 24-4 a year ago in Class 2A. Gone are graduating seniors Kim Shumway (all-state cen- ter), Mercedes Haney and Kassi Renner, but there are four starters returning in seniors Lauren Hinck- ley, Chayli McArthur and Emilee Reasch and junior Mykelle Nichols. Also returning are ju- niors Madison Harper, Charri McArthur and Sa- vanna Savage, who saw a lot of varsity action a year ago. "We have seven or eight girls who played a lot of minutes last year and got some good experience at the varsity level," Edwards said. With a long history of playing the likes of Powell and Cody, plus other region- al 3A teams, Edwards said the challenge of returning to a 3A schedule should not be intimidating to his team. "We've seen 3A teams year in and year out between regular season games and tournament play, plus we play middle school, fresh- man and JV games against Powell, Cody and Worland, so the girls will be familiar with who they're playing," Edwards said. SEE '3A GIRLS,' page 12 Rocky girls basketball young BY PATTI CARPENTER With only three se- niors and two juniors join- ing the Rocky Mountain High School girls basketball team this year, Coach Eric Honeyman said he's been "thrown a curve" but he is hopeful that the enthusi- asm of his young team will carry them to success this season. So far, he said he's quite impressed with nine of the underclassmen, ex- pecting at least three to end up starting on the varsity and enthusiastic squad and the rest to play frequently off the bench. Though the size of the team has actually increased from 19 to 21, it is for the most part very green, Hon- eyman said, and in spite of that, he is actually more impressed with what he is seeing in practice than last year. "I can see already that these girls really hustle and want to do well," he said. Taking the lead this year are returning seniors Mikaela Hocker, who av- eraged an 11 points game last year, with an average of five rebounds, and Maddie "Smiles" Crawford, with her contagious enthusiasm, and sophomore Marissa Arnold. Honeyman said he is 'happy to see senior Sar- ah Jones returning, as well, who he referred to as a "hidden gem," and Liv- ia Higgins, who got in a lot of hours of varsity play last year. SEE LADY GRIZZ' page 10