More on Peeples

Cheyenne Mustangs assistant coach Jeff McKay said center fielder Tyler Peeples could probably play any sport he wanted. When asked which sport he would try, given the entire universe of sports to try, he drew a blank. I offered a couple of suggestions, as did McKay, namely golf or tennis.

Peeples then confessed to having a short attention span and being easily distracted, thus eliminating golf. He offered a case in point from last weekend’s game.

A mosquito landed on the ball of his cap, and he pondered the bug mid-game. Until he heard the crack of the bat and his teammates yelling “Back, back, back!!” Even with a late jump on the ball, Peeples tracked down the fly ball on the warning track, making a backhand catch with his glove at his hip.

Coach Steve Basich was none the wiser. “He said I made a great play,” Peeples said.

Ten years on: Central’s last girls swimming and diving championship

In 16 years of professional newspapering I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Blowouts, squeakers, 0-0 ties, four-overtime ridiculousness, 90-point bull rides – it takes all kinds to make an interesting existence in this line of work.

Few events have equaled the sheer excitement of the 2004 WHSAA State Swim and Dive Championships.

Cheyenne Central won its second straight championship by one point over host Gillette. One. Point. Continue reading

Burns, Pine Bluffs: A look back

We have an excellent resource at our disposal. It’s the ultimate clearinghouse for information on Wyoming high school football, and it’s wyoming-football.com. I can’t recommend it enough, but I suggest you leave yourself an afternoon off to check it out, otherwise you could bury some serious hours down a rabbit hole there.

It has the scores of every high school football game in the state’s history of the sport, even for now-defunct schools like Seton, Albin and Carpenter (yes, Carpenter had a high school; I’m just as surprised as you are). It also has some other information, such as a school’s all-time win-loss record, and information on streaks. Continue reading

Outtakes: State cross-country

I found some gems when chatting with Laramie County’s cross-country community in the afterglow of Saturday’s state meet.

Pine Bluffs-Burns won its fifth straight state Class 2A girls championship. I did not see that coming at all. Last year’s third-place individual, Austin Asay, graduated, and two other expected returners didn’t come out for the team. So I figured they’d finish in position to come away with some hardware and a couple of all-state runners. Well, I suppose they did that. Continue reading

More on the Grizzlies

So I’d been out of the sports writing game for a while before I took over for the estimable Alex Riley in January.

I worked as a copy editor and page designer for papers in Washington and Iowa, then edited University of Wyoming’s UWyo magazine down the road in Laramie before returning to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in August 2011. By the time I moved over to writing, seven years passed since I had written sports on a regular basis.

I found an old baseball scorebook that I plan to use to chronicle this summer’s Cheyenne Grizzlies season, and the last entry was a game between Friday Harbor and Nooksack Valley (go ahead and giggle, I did every time I heard that name). So I last covered a baseball game in May 2007 when I lived in Washington.

Help me out, though – how many periods in a baseball game?

For today’s story on Landon Lybeck’s return to the diamond, I had a good but brief chat with Greg May, who buzzed around the yard at Pioneer Park like a guy the day before his team’s first game of the season.

He provided some nice insight into the goal for the Grizzlies this summer – or for any summer wood-bat team, really – beyond winning games.

“It’s a different experience for these kids because we have just 70 or 80 days to play as a team,” May said. “Our job is just to advance their skill sets. This is an environment where they can make mistakes in a low-stress environment and then take it back to school with them.

“We’d like people to come out and watch, but we understand winning games is a great marketing tool.”

The Grizzlies open today at Sterling, Colorado, the newest addition to the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League. The Xpress will play at Northeastern Junior College’s Plainsman Field, and today’s game starts at 6:35 p.m.

“This weekend we’ll take as scouting,” May said. “We’ll let them play a bit, and when we get back to town for the Casper series, we’ll start figuring out roles for these guys, especially which pitchers fit which roles.”

Also, Thursday’s interviews marked my first visit to Pioneer Park. I can’t say I’d ever seen an entire infield of field turf or sprint turf or however that particular surface is labeled. Every ground ball I saw the players field looked like a nice, true bounce, and Lybeck had no problem picking low throws off the turf.

Of course, that could owe to Lybeck’s skill at that particular aspect of playing first base. But the whole facility looks great, and I look forward to my first game there.

I like to think I helped one of the guys on the team. He was jonesing for some Cracker Barrel okra, so I directed him to the nearest Cracker Barrel – in Loveland, Colorado, along I-25. Travel safely, young man, and enjoy your lunch.

Dave Shelles is a sports writer for WyoSports. Contact him at deshelles@wyosports.net, follow him on Twitter @WTEDave

Central girls begin a new season

By Dave Shelles

A team doesn’t go from state runner-up to next-to-last in the conference without a bit of consternation within the ranks.

Yet the Cheyenne Central girls soccer team has chatted it up and supported each other all season, no matter how disappointing the results.

In the late stages of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Gillette, one player yelled to “switch the field!” Another stated (calmly but clearly), “Don’t yell, be positive.” Indeed, the Lady Indians completed a pass from one flank to the other and reset their offense.

“A lot of the upperclassmen have felt the sweetness of winning, and also some of the bitter,” said senior forward Madi Barber, who scored twice on Saturday. “We were third in state as freshmen, first as sophomores and second last year. This season has been frustrating and maybe we haven’t gone the right way about bringing the younger kids along.

“We’ve learned that positivity is better than criticism.” Continue reading

South’s Foley returns a favor to Central’s Wilde

On Wednesday, Cheyenne South girls track coach Scott Foley handed Cheyenne Central assistant track coach Sean Wilde a handful of Skittles at the Greeley Invitational.

Wilde said he had no idea what was going on, but Foley merely returned a favor. Continue reading