Sports

EVANSTON — When you help others, you can live forever in their memories. But when you create an organization dedicated to helping strangers, you can live on in the hearts of those you’ve never even met. That’s what many witnessed at the 5k by NextGen Mentoring, held in honor of their founder Wanda Rogers, who passed away recently due to cancer. This event was the first of what the organizers hope will be an annual event. Their first 5k had 25 5k runners and 16 one-mile runner/walkers.

BEAR RIVER — Barrel racing on horseback is viewed as a rodeo sport designed for girls and women. Barrel racing requires skill and lots of practice on the part of the rider and the horse in order to make sharp turns around the barrel at a fast pace without knocking the barrel over. There are barrels placed at three positions; two placed on either side of the arena and one toward the back so the horse and rider start at one end of the arena, racesto and circle around the first barrel on the right then race to go around the barrel on the left and last around the barrel at the end of the arena and then races back to the starting point. The races are judged on timing.

A fixture on the baseball fields, basketball courts and football fields of southwest Wyoming for nearly two decades was honored last weekend by the Wyoming High School Activities Association for his hard work and dedication on the gridiron. Eric Quinney – Uinta County Fire and Ambulance Chief Administrative Officer – was named the 2023 Football Official of the Year at last weekend’s 39th Annual Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame Banquet in Casper, presented by the Wyoming High School Activities Association and the Wyoming Sports Officials Association.

A quick glance at the Legion A West District Tournament bracket seemed to show a favorable route to this week’s state tournament for the Evanston Legion A baseball team, the No. 2-seed out of the Southwest. Lovell and Green River had other plans. The Outlaws opened the tournament against the No. 3-seed Mustangs, losing a tightly-played contest in the later innings, 5-2.

High Uinta Gymnastics (HUG) just returned from the Bayou State of Lousiana who hosted the NGA National Gymnastics Championships. Two thousand superior athletes from around the United States volleyed for the coveted medals and individual titles on the vault, uneven parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and in the all-around. HUG took nine athletes to this amazing competition held in the New Orleans Convention Center June 16th to 23rd 2023. We had plane delays, rental car issues, and 85% to 95% humidity with a heat index of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Life was a challenge for the Wyoming national team in Lousiana.

The Evanston Legion A baseball team closed out its conference schedule last Wednesday with a home split against Green River, a pair of games loaded with playoff implications. The Knights won the opener of the day/night doubleheader 7-1, all but clinching the No. 1 seed out of the Southwest for this week’s District Tournament in Lovell; for the Outlaws to grab the top seed, they’d have to beat Green River in the nightcap by seven or more runs.

The Evanston Legion A baseball team has its record back over .500 following the 4th of July weekend, posting a 3-1 record during its most recent road swing. The Outlaws (19-18) split a day/night conference doubleheader at Green River on Wednesday, July 5, dropping the first game 14-13, but winning the nightcap 7-6. That was followed by a sweep at Rawlins Friday, 14-7 and 8-1.

Though the first scheduled round in this summer’s Grass Volleyball Tournament Series last month was canceled due to rain, July’s incarnation found nothing but sunny skies and happy current and former Red Devils (among others) at Bear Meadows Saturday, making the event a resounding success. Hosted by the Evanston High School volleyball team, the co-ed friendly tournament featured eleven teams, many of which were made up of past, present and future Lady Devils volleyball players.

The Evanston Legion A baseball team celebrated the 4th of July Weekend on the road, posting a 2-2 record at the Green River Wood Bat Tournament. The Outlaws (16-17) opened the tournament Friday morning with a 7-2 win over Rawlins, though faltered Friday afternoon against the Post 4 Razorbacks out of Pocatello, Idaho, dropping a heartbreaker, 6-5.

The weather made it a challenge, but the Strike Out Softball Tournament – celebrating its eighth year this summer – was once again an unmitigated success, with 66 teams taking over the Overthrust Ballfields Complex earlier this month to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Formerly known as the Strike Out Cancer Softball Tournament, event organizers decided to mix things up last year, choosing Uinta County Suicide Prevention Task Force as the tournament’s beneficiary. This year, the LLS was the charitable foundation chosen, with over $8,000 raised.

The Evanston Legion A baseball team had its bats going early and often at Ross Kesterson Field Wednesday, sweeping a day/night doubleheader against visiting Rock Springs. The Outlaws pounded out a combined 25 hits and scored a combined 28 runs, winning the opener 15-5 and the nightcap 13-3; Evanston is now 8-9 on the season. The Outlaws were back in action at home Monday, hosting a doubleheader against the Utah Sheriffs; they’ll head back on the road Saturday for a doubleheader at Rawlins.

The Evanston High School track and field teams enjoyed quite a bit of success at last weekend’s 4A West Regional Track Meet in Cody, with the Red Devils placing second as a team, and the Lady Devils placing fourth. “It went really well,” said EHS head coach Roy Barker. “Cody had two tough teams up there, and our boys were hoping they could get a little closer. But we had some injuries, a few things that didn’t go our way. It was a little windy, rained a little bit, but we’ve seen worse.” The two teams combined to win four events, led by junior Kai Barker – who won the high jump, with a height of 6 feet, 4 inches – and sophomore Gabe Hutchinson, who won the 400 meters, posting a time of 49.96.

GREEN RIVER — The Evanston Legion A baseball team had its bats going early and often Sunday at Green River, sweeping a Mother’s Day doubleheader at Stratton Myers Park. The Outlaws pounded out a combined 28 hits — including three home runs and a double — winning the opener 8-5 in extra innings, and game two in a rout, 17-0; Evanston is now 5-3 on the young season. “The boys are playing good baseball,” said Outlaws manager Nick Small. “We’re starting to see some good contact at the plate, and the pitching is coming along — we’re limiting our walks, which really helps the run differential for us.”

On an afternoon where they honored their seniors for their hard work and commitment to the program over the years, the Evanston High School girls’ soccer team turned in its finest performance of the season Wednesday, controlling the action against visiting Star Valley for most of the match, before falling 4-3 at Kay Fackrell Stadium. “I thought the girls played great,” said EHS head coach Karalyn Barton. “I felt like we had the ball on our half more, it was more our game. We had a lapse on one of their goals, and that ended up being the difference. But I thought we played really well, and the girls never gave up – they played so hard.”

One week removed from a 4-0 road drubbing at the hands of Star Valley, the Evanston High School boys’ soccer team had a shot at redemption Wednesday, this time on their home pitch, and in front of a boisterous student section on Senior Night. The Red Devils (1-8-4) were unable to come away with a win, but they did earn a measure of respect, battling the Braves (4-7-2) to a 4-4 overtime draw in their final home match of the season.

Getting a taste Wednesday of what spring weather should look like for a track and field meet in late April, the Evanston High School track and field team welcomed seven teams from around the area for the Rick and Wendy Schuler Invitational at Kay Fackrell Stadium. The Red Devils and Lady Devils took advantage of their only home meet of the season, combining to win 15 events, and getting some of the younger athletes on the roster some much-needed track time in front of their hometown fans.

After suffering a pair of demoralizing defeats at the hands of conference foes Jackson and Kelly Walsh last week, the Evanston High School boys’ soccer team were able to right the ship somewhat against Natrona County on the road at Rock Springs and Riverton at home, earning draws in both matches. Friday’s match against Natrona was technically a home game, but because of the condition of the field at Kay Fackrell Stadium, it was moved to Rock Springs. Down 3-1 late in the second half, the Red Devils rallied to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime, eventually earning a 4-4 draw.

Asked how it felt to be a Triple Crown winner at last weekend’s WAWA State Championship in Casper, Gunnar Small — champion of the Folkstyle, Freestyle and Greco categories in the 8U division — was succinct in his response. “It felt super-dooper good,” Small said. Indeed it did. In fact, it was a super-dooper good weekend all around for Small and his teammates of Evanston Elite Wrestling, 20 of whom descended on the Ford Wyoming Center for three days of intense competition against teams from around the state. Over 2,000 wrestlers from around the state — boys and girls — competed in three different styles over six different age divisions for the right to call themselves WAWA State Champions.

When next year’s seniors take the court for the Evanston High School girls’ basketball team, it will be with their fourth head coach in as many seasons, as Steven Neal — who guided the Lady Devils to a 7-18 record in 2022-23 — has been let go after one year at the helm. “We felt like we needed to go a different direction with the program,” said Bubba O’Neill, Director of Activities for Uinta County School District #1. “It was a difficult decision — I don’t believe our coach didn’t work hard. I believe he worked hard, and he loves the game of basketball. We just needed to go a different direction in that program, and we’re going to get the right person in that position eventually, and our girls will benefit.”

The Evanston High School track and field teams were back in Utah last weekend for the Taylorsville Invitational, and once again, both teams turned in strong performances, with the Red Devils placing third as a team, and the Lady Devils placing fourth. “The Taylorsville meet went really well — we got some more kids qualified, and some relays as well,” said EHS head coach Roy Barker. “It was a good meet for us.”

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