PINEDALE – High school sports are never dull and 2021 was no exception. The year flew by quickly, filled with amazing highs and heartbreaking lows.
Regardless of the final tally on the scoreboard, Pinedale High School athletes showed up, week after week, to fight with grit, determination, integrity and class.
Each calendar year is packed to capacity with sports happenings, and keeping track of it all can sometimes be a challenge.
Printed below is a recap of memorable Wrangler and Lady Wrangler moments from the 2021 season for PHS fans to enjoy.
Hitting the mats a day after the New Year was rung in, PHS wrestlers crushed Mountain View, 60-24, and pummeled Shoshoni, 51-30.
The National Football Foundation – Wyoming Chapter nominated senior Carson Gregory as a finalist for the 2021 Scholar Athlete Award based on his accomplishments on the gridiron, academics and community involvement.
Swimmers dove back into competition, winning the Big Piney Triangular on Jan. 7. Sophomore Cade Covill won the 100 freestyle.
Sublette swimmers also performed well in relays at Big Piney. Junior J.T. Day, sophomore Andy DeClue, sophomore Dillon Boespflug and sophomore Hunter Scott took first place in the 400 freestyle relay. Senior John Covill, Day, Boespflug and Scott went on to win the 200 freestyle relay.
The alpine ski team kicked off its season at the Laramie Invitational with plenty of snow on the ground in the Snowies.
PHS’s young boys’ basketball team found a level of redemption in a rematch against Big Piney on Jan. 14. A week earlier, at the Worland Winter Classic, the Wranglers fell hard to the top-ranked, senior-stacked Punchers.
Stepping up the intensity, the Wranglers played a tighter game and stayed competitive until the final minutes when Big Piney edged ahead for the win.
The Lady Wrangler basketball team picked up a pair of wins against Big Piney on Jan. 14 (48-43) and 4A rival Jackson on Jan. 15, (64-48).
The indoor track team began its season at Gillette on Jan. 15-16. Senior Isabella Romasko took gold in the girls’ 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles and triple jump. Fellow senior Teagan Bowers won the boys’ triple jump.
Boespflug earned the Adam Denton Award when he qualified for State in his eighth individual event, the 400 freestyle, at the Kemmerer Duels on Jan. 15. Day came in under qualiftying time in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke at the Pinedale Invite on Jan. 29 to receive the Adam Denton Award.
The Lady Wranglers squared off against perennial rival Mountain View on Jan. 29 in Pinedale. A neck-and-neck game nearly ended with senior Kia Hansen scoring a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the win, 44-42.
Unseasonably dry weather in southern Montana forced a last-minute change in location for the alpine ski team from Red Lodge to Casper Mountain. Junior Allison Gregory broke into the top-10 in girls’ varsity competition at Casper.
Wrestlers swept the Pinedale Invitational on Jan. 30, taking down Cokeville, Wind River and a combined Jackson/Dubois team.
Hockey teams moved up in the rankings as January came to a close. The 18U high school team beat Douglas and Jackson on Jan. 29-30, moving into the No. 2 seed. The 19U girls’ team tied No. 1-ranked Jackson, advancing to the No. 4 seed.
Senior Colby White received news the first week in February that he was named to the 48th Annual Shrine Bowl roster.
The Lady Wrangler basketball team kept up its winning streak, triumphing over Powell, 52-45, on Feb. 5, and beating Lovell, 55-43, on Feb. 6.
Bowers shattered the PHS school track and field record in the triple jump at the indoor track qualifying meet in Gillette on Feb. 6. Senior Riley Dauwen won the girls’ 400-meter at the event.
Due to the pandemic, the 3A Regional Swim Meet was held in two different locations, making it difficult for swimmers to gauge their performance against competitors hundreds of miles away. The team took ninth at the State Meet in Gillette on Feb. 19-20.
Fresh snow made for perfect skiing conditions at the Pinedale Nordic Ski Meet on Feb. 12-13.
In the boys' varsity 5K classic race, junior Zane Hayward placed 14th, with junior James Winkelkotter in 18th place and freshman Max Rife in 23rd. Senior Lexie Goodrich came in 20th in the girls’ 5K with freshman Paige Graham in 38th place.
Nearly all the skiers improved their placing in the next 10K race, with Rife taking 10th, Winkelkotter 13th and
Hayward in 17th in the boys’ division. Goodrich finished 27th and Graham in 36th in girls’ varsity.
Alpine skiers hosted the Pinedale Invite at White Pine on Feb. 19-20. Allison Gregory and sophomore Sydney Wise made the top 20 in the girls’ varsity giant slalom and slalom races. Seniors Walker Wyckoff and Michael Vitanza led the Pinedale pack in boys’ varsity on the slopes.
Wrangler wrestlers took second place at the 3A Northwest Regional Tournament hosted by Riverton on Feb. 19. Eleven athletes qualified for the 2021 3A State Wrestling Championships in Casper.
Senior Keegan Gehlhausen, junior Colton Gehlhausen and junior Cody Phelps won State Championship titles and earned All-State honors.
The 19U Glaciers hosted the state meet at the end of February. Molly Murphy earned 2021 All-State recognition from the Wyoming Amateur Hockey League.
The boys’ 18U team took silver at the State Tournament in Casper. Boyd Boylan, Micah Crum, Jayden Currah and Colby White each received All-State honors.
Bowers took silver in the triple jump at the Wyoming Boys’ Indoor Track and Field Meet in Gillette on Feb. 27 and snapped up All-State honors. Romasko earned silver in the triple jump at the Girls’ Indoor Track Meet and All-State recognition a week later.
Nordic skiers finished their season at the State Meet on Casper Mountain. Winkelkotter, Hayward and Goodrich each posted their fastest times of the season. Hayward received the Ricky J. Caller Memorial Award.
Rounding out the postseason awards, junior Roxanne Rogers made the 3A All- State roster in girls’ basketball. She also received 3A West All-Conference and 3A West Conference Player of the Year awards.
Spring sports began before the snow melted.
The Wrangler boys’ soccer team scored wins against Lyman, 4-1, on March 27, and Mountain View, 3-1, on March 30.
The Lady Wrangler soccer team defeated Lyman, 4-1, on March 27.
Pinedale athletes laced up their running and jumping shoes in preparation for the first track meet of the season hosted by Mountain View on March 31.
Romasko shattered the PHS school record in the triple jump at Mountain View. She also won the 100-meter dash and 100- meter hurdles. Freshman Katyana Dexter took first place in the discus.
The Lady Wrangler soccer team trounced Powell, 5-0, on April 10.
Bowers broke yet another record in the boys’ long jump at the Green River Invitational on April 23.
Wranglers dominated the Mountain Man Invite in Pinedale on April 30. Pinedale swept the competition, with the combined boys’ and girls’ teams placing first by 100 points.
Bowers broke the stadium record in the long jump and picked up gold in the triple jump, 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash.
Dexter took first place in the girls’ shot put and discus while senior Dodge Westercamp won the boys’ shot put. Carson Gregory finished first in boys’ discus.
Dauwen came in first place in the girls’ 300-meter hurdles. Sophomore Rhonda Auradou won the girls’ high jump.
Junior Jacob Bain earned gold in the boys’ 400-meter dash.
The girls’ 1600-meter sprint medley team – senior McKinley Boulter, senior Grace Davis, sophomore Mandy Majhanovich and Dauwen – took first place. Auradou, Boulter, junior Maggie Harber and freshman Trista Covill won the girls’ 4x100 relay and Majhanovich, freshman Lauren Jones, Davis and Dauwen scored a win in the 4x400-meter relay.
Eighteen Wranglers on the track and field team qualified for the State Meet in Casper on May 20-22.
Dauwen broke the school record in the 400-meter run at Casper. Bowers won the State Championship in the long jump, earning All-State recognition.
The Lady Wrangler soccer team ended the season with a 2-1 win against Lyman on May 14. Boys’ soccer wrapped up the season with a 5-1 victory over Lyman on May 14 and went on to beat Mountain View, 1-0, on May 15.
Senior Kellen Schupp was named to the 3A All-State and 3A West All-Conference roster in boys’ soccer.
Golfers hit the greens at the Snake River Shootout on Aug. 11-12, officially teeing off the fall season.
The Lady Wrangler volleyball team began its season going 2-1 at the Cokeville Tournament.
The girls’ swim team dove into its first competition at the Lander Relays on Aug. 27 where junior Lilly Joseph won the 1-meter diving.
The Pinedale Wrangler football team squared off against Glenrock for its season- opener.
The Lady Wranglers posted a 4-2 record at the Border Wars Volleyball Tournament hosted by Evanston on Sept. 3-4.
Senior Sierra Hattan picked up her first win in the 100 butterfly by a hundredth of a second at the Green River Invite on Sept. 4.
Pinedale hosted the 3A West Conference Golf Championships on Sept. 10-11. Sophomore Brody Hamby braved poor weather conditions on the second day to take eighth place and earn 3A West All- Conference honors.
Swimmers picked up multiple gold at the Big Piney Meet on Sept. 16. Junior Morgan Grossman took first in the 400 freestyle. Auradou won 1-meter diving. Senior Mia Buchanan snapped up first place in the 200 individual medley and Hattan won the 100 breaststroke.
Six golfers traveled to Lander for the State Golf Meet on Sept. 17-18. Hamby finished in 11th place, one stroke shy of the top 10.
During Homecoming Week, the Lady Wranglers beat Kemmerer in a 3-2 heater on Sept. 23, followed by a clean sweep against the Punchers on Sept. 24.
Senior Jacie Friel took first place in the 100 backstroke at the Sublette County Triangular on Sept. 23.
Unfazed by freezing rain, the Wranglers scored their first touchdowns against Lovell on Oct. 8 – a much-needed morale booster in the midst of a difficult season.
The girls’ swim team hosted the 3A West Conference Swim Meet at the Pinedale Aquatic Center on Oct. 22-23. Hattan placed second in the butterfly and received All-Conference honors.
The Wrangler football team rallied in an explosive second half against Thermopolis on Oct. 22, scoring three touchdowns.
On Oct. 29-30, the Lady Wranglers finished fourth at the Regional Tournament in Lyman. The action opened with a 3-1 victory against Worland. Pinedale fell to Lyman, 3-0, in the semifinals, dropping to the consolation semifinals where the team swept Powell for a spot at the State Tournament.
The Lady Wranglers fought Lander tooth-and-nail in the third-place match, eventually falling in the fifth set.
Swimmers headed to the State Swim Meet in Gillette on Nov. 4-5. Hattan took third place in the butterfly, Grossman fifth in the 500 freestyle and Auradou sixth in diving.
At the State Volleyball Tournament in Casper on Nov. 4-6, Pinedale upset Buffalo, the No. 1 seed, in a clean sweep in the first round. Battling Lyman to five sets, the Lady Wranglers ultimately fell, 3-2. In the consolation semifinals, Pinedale lost to Burns, though the team made an impressive rally and nearly won the third set.
Rogers earned 3A All-State and All- Conference honors in volleyball. Senior quarterback Konner Ziegler made the 2A All-State roster in football. Ziegler and junior Ethan Jensen made the 2A West All- Conference list.
Now a new season of winter sports is underway, with competition picking back up the second weekend of January.
Here’s to a successful and exciting 2022!