Sports

The Evanston High School boys’ soccer team was able to sneak in a full match against Rock Springs last Friday, prior to the winter storm that swept across the state a couple of days later, falling on the road to the Tigers 3-1. The Red Devils held an early 1-0 lead but were unable to capitalize on subsequent scoring opportunities, falling to 1-2-1 on the season, 0-1 in conference play.

After weeks of indoor training and canceled meets, the Evanston High School track and field teams finally had the opportunity to compete outdoors over the weekend, taking part in the 2023 Alpha Invitational in Orem, Utah, albeit with a pared-down version of their roster. The Red Devils placed 8th in the 30-team field, while the Lady Devils placed 13th; with boys and girls’ scores combined, Evanston finished eighth overall. The Red Devils were led by junior Kai Barker, who finished third in the high jump, clearing 6 feet, four inches; he also placed fourth in the 110 hurdles, with a time of 15.60. Talia Conrad was the top finisher for the girls, finishing fourth in the 100 meters, with a time of 12.85.

Class 4A All-Conference basketball selections were announced earlier this month, with four members of the Evanston High School boys’ basketball team receiving postseason recognition. Red Devil senior Bryton Smith was named to the 4A West All-Conference first team, sophomore Clayton Cook was named to the 4A West All-Conference second team and junior Kai Barker was named 4A West All-Conference Honorable Mention.

By Don Cogger Herald Sports Editor Old Man Winter has so far had other plans, but the Evanston High School track and field teams are practicing like there will, indeed, be a spring sports season, with strong numbers turning out for the Red Devils and Lady Devils – over 120 kids in all. “Things are going well – the numbers are good, and the kids are working hard,” said EHS head coach Roy Barker. “There’s just nowhere to go right now, that’s the problem. We want to get outside and compete – we’re supposed to go to Utah this week for two meets, but it looks like there’s going to be bad weather again this weekend. It’s frustrating.”

The Evanston High School indoor track and field teams wrapped up their seasons earlier this month at the State Indoor 3A Track & Field Meet in Gillette, with the Red Devils placing third as a team; the Lady Devils finished in fifth place. “The kids did really well,” said EHS head coach Roy Barker. “Being 3A, there were more opportunities to score and place, so that was very beneficial. But I think we would have done well, regardless of class — we had some great times. I thought the boys might have a chance to win it going in, but we had a couple of things not go our way.”

As the Evanston High School Classics dance team sat on the floor in the middle of the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper last Wednesday, anxiously awaiting results in the 4A Jazz Dance category at the 2023 State Spirit Competition and holding hands in nervous excitement, the team began to realize they may have accomplished something special. “We’re sitting there, waiting for awards, and as the awards are being read off and the second-place team is announced for Jazz, we knew the reaction from the crowd when we performed that we were probably a top contender for that first-place spot,” said first-year head coach Candice Spivey. “I told the girls going in, ‘At the end of the day, there are no tears — I don’t care if it’s a second place, a first place, wherever we finish — there’s no tears.’” It would prove to be a tough promise to keep.

The Evanston High School girls’ basketball team celebrated its seniors last Saturday with a 58-19 dismantling of visiting Jackson, with three Lady Devils scoring in double figures. With the win, Evanston finished the regular season with a 6-15 record (2-4 in the 4A Southwest Quadrant), with the 4A West Regional Tournament set to begin Thursday in Star Valley. The Lady Devils honored their six seniors — Halle Brady, Brinkley Francom, Ellie Asay, Autumn Hansen, Kendall Fessler and Emily Sawyer — after the game for their hard work and dedication to the program the last four years.

The Evanston High School boys’ basketball team said goodbye to the regular season (and their seniors) in style, handing visiting Jackson a 51-40 loss in Saturday’s regular-season finale.

The Evanston High School boys’ wrestling team made their first state tournament in Class 3A count at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper last weekend, taking third as a team, with 10 wrestlers earning a spot on the podium. Junior Brady Roberts led the charge for the Red Devils with a second-place finish at 160 pounds, while six of his teammates followed with fourth-place finishes: Sophomore Kolby Hamilton at 113 pounds, senior Walker Wilson at 126 pounds, junior Kyson Hamilton at 138 pounds, junior Aiden Liechty at 182 pounds, sophomore Tarrin Haws at 195 pounds and senior Carson VanGieson at 285 pounds. On the girls’ side, the history-making Lady Devils finished 12th in the inaugural WHSAA Girls State Wrestling Championships, with two wrestlers — Marty Dick and Aaliya Martin — earning a spot on the podium.

The longest road trip of the season for the Evanston boys’ basketball team also proved to be one of its most demanding, as losses to Cody Friday and No. 2 Riverton Saturday have the Red Devils thankful to be back home for two of their remaining three games this season. Evanston (4-14, 1-2 in 4A SW Quadrant) opened the weekend against the Broncs (8-8, 1-3 in 4A NW Quadrant), a team that’s been difficult to get a read on this season. A slow start doomed the Red Devils early in this contest, as Cody cruised to a 76-43 win.

The Evanston High School girls’ basketball team was back on the road last weekend, running into a buzzsaw against top-ranked Cody Friday, but rebounding Saturday with an all-around team

The Evanston High School boys’ swimming and diving team competed at the 3A South Conference Meet in Lander over the weekend of Feb. 4, placing third as a team, with seven podium finishes in individual events.

Looking to right the ship after a two-game road stumble, the Evanston High School boys’ basketball team welcomed Kelly Walsh to Red Devils Gymnasium with an eye toward getting back into the win column.

The Evanston High School girls’ basketball team played host to Kelly Walsh last Friday and were anything but gracious, outplaying the Lady Trojans in every facet of the game in a 65-51 win, the first of the season at home.

The Evanston High School wrestling team gave the top-ranked program in 3A all they could handle in the final home dual of the season Wednesday night, falling to Green River 36-33.

Unable to overcome a slow start, the Evanston High School boys’ basketball team dropped its final non-conference game of the season on its home court, falling to Lyman 35-29. The loss dropped the Red Devils to 3-9 on the season, with the start of 4A Southwest Quadrant play scheduled to begin Thursday at home against Green River. “We played a really good defensive game – we held them to 35 points, which is below our team goal,” said EHS head coach Rob Watsabaugh. “They didn’t hit a three on us, which was also very good. I thought we did a good job keeping a couple of their scorers in check. We lacked some offense, which ended up hurting us – we struggled from the free throw line, as well as executing some of our sets. Ultimately, our offense is what hurt us – I thought our defense played great. We have to get some more guys in position, and knowing what we need to do offensively to be successful.”

The Evanston High School girls’ basketball team closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule last Friday by giving one of the top teams in 3A all it could handle at Red Devil Gymnasium, taking No. 5 Lyman to the wire before running out of steam, 48-45. “I thought we played well – we gave it a good performance, as far as moving the ball, and trying to be aggressive, not sitting back and letting Lyman dictate their game plan,” said EHS head coach Steven Neal. “Unfortunately, we had too many turnovers and too many missed free throws to come away with a win. We still have mistakes that we need to fix, things we need to get better at, but the girls gave a really good effort against a really good team.” The Lady Devils (2-10) matched Lyman’s aggressiveness from the jump, not allowing the quicker team to use their speed to their advantage. The Lady Eagles (11-1) led 10-8 after a quarter of play, though Evanston outplayed the visitors in the second quarter, and led 24-22 at the half.

The Evanston High School wrestling team had a solid showing at the Thoman-Jackson Invitational in Green River over the weekend, third in the Gold Division. The Red Devils went 6-1 in the dual-meet format, beating Worland 57-18 in the 3rd-place match. Uintah, Utah won the team title, followed by Green River in second; Pinedale rounded out the Top 5. “It was good competition,” said EHS head coach Larry Wagstaff. “We competed well against some good schools, then we wrestled Vernal [Uintah High School, Vernal, Utah], and got a lesson taught to us. But we’ll move on from there, continue to work, take some of those lessons and move forward, continue to get better.” The Red Devils opened the tournament Friday with a 66-11 win over the Renegades – a team made up of wrestlers from various schools – followed by a 68-12 drubbing of Campbell County. Evanston received a bye in round three, then narrowly defeated Rawlins 39-37 in round four. The Red Devils closed out the first day of competition with a 73-6 rout of Grantsville.

Last weekend was a busy one for the Evanston High School boys’ basketball team, beginning with a tournament in Cheyenne and Laramie, and culminating with the first home game of the season Tuesday night, a 58-39 loss to Rock Springs. “We had a very poor offensive night,” said EHS head coach Rob Watsabaugh about the loss to the Tigers. “We didn’t hit any threes – I thought we had some really good looks at the basket, and got to the free throw line a lot, we just couldn’t convert. That kind of hamstrung us a little bit.”

The Evanston High School wrestling team opened the 2022-23 season in fine fashion, winning the overall team title at last Friday’s Evanston Invitational. The Red Devils’ 214 points was 63 points ahead of runner-up Pinedale at 151. Spring Creek was third with 99 points; Duchesne (95 points) and Orem (92 points) rounded out the Top 5.

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