Front Row: Jazmine Hicks, (L to R) Alexis Martinez, Jasmine Christianson, Marissa Fitzwater, Amber Jensen, Frankie Midkiff, April Moore, Angelina Bannan
2nd Row: Mackenz Lambert, Bailyn Clark, Mattie Pfister, Lexie Dockery, Rachel Lashmett, Emma Zerbe, Lexi Blackburn, McKayle Mosley, Caysea Hart
3rd Row: Amy Bergstrom, Hailey Bruegger, Jessica Bruegger, Kassidy Miller, Kaci Jo Skrukrud, Kristy DeGering.
NE Conference - Tongue River won another state championship last season, and until proven differently is the team to beat. Two time All-Stater Sarah Rawlings (sr) is recovering from a knee injury and her status is uncertain for the early part of the season. All Conference Megan Meyers’ (jr) return is also up in the air, yet head coach Dianne Moser always has her team ready to play with great discipline. Hard to believe they will fall too far down.
Big Horn is coming off a very successful volleyball season and All Conference seniors Hanneah Puckett (all state) and Jadyn Mirich look to keep the Lady Rams tradition of excellence alive.
Sundance’s two-time All Stater Kacie O’Conner single-handedly carried the Lady Bulldogs to Casper last season. One of the best in any class, O’Conner makes watching basketball easy...and is FINALLY a senior! Three fellow classmates started last year and are out to prove they are not a one-woman team anymore.
Wright graduated just one starter and should be better with sophomores Kylee Tresch and Katie Strohschein a year older. Nine other letter winnersreturn for the Lady Panthers- most of which were part of a very good volleyball team this fall.
Moorcroft will need to replace the all-around game that Catherine Clonch took with her to graduation last spring. The Lady Wolves will be very inexperienced and need much improvement to escape the tough NE cellar.
SE Conference - Burns should be the favorite with the Ward twins now in their junior seasons. Both McKenzie and McKayla were All Conference last year with McKenzie earning All State also.
Southeast and NCHS should battle for second place with All Conference returnee Hailey Bruegger leading the Lady Tigers as seven seniors and eight letter winners return. Amy Bergstrom, Jessica Bruegger, Kassidy Miller and KaciJo Skrukrud have all seen plenty of varsity action over the past two seasons and are determined to erase the painful way last season ended. The Lady Cyclones have to replace most of their scoring and rebounding but Shayla Stoddard, Madison Pragnell and Dani McManamen have plenty of talent for head coach Bart Trautwein.
Saratoga and Pine Bluffs are very inexperienced, although the Lady Hornets should be boosted by Andrea Baker’s return and a talented group of freshmen.
Top four for state: Tongue River, Sundance/NCHS/Big Horn/Burns - I’m not sure which of those after TR will be healthy and playing great basketball to eliminate one right now. This weekend’s Tiger Jamboree features all four and could show us a bit of what might happen in three months.
NW Conference - Lovell All Conference player Kim Shumway (sr) has been a key ingredient for what seems like forever. With a student population nearly twice as big as the majority of other 2A schools, the Bulldogs should not fall too far from the top of the West heap.
Thermopolis will be rebuilding a bit but still has Sierra Schmidt and six foot Haylee Hoffman in the mix. New coach Rob Anderson has enough talent and tradition to keep the Lady Cats in contention all season.
Greybull has All Conference Ceirra Carlson (sr) along with McKenna Powers and Brett Stephens returning, which should mean an improvement from last year’s 10-16 record.
Rocky Mountain has All Conference Shauna Loman (sr)coming back along with Hannah Winland and Mikeala Hocker looking to lead the Lady Grizz back to Casper.
Riverside struggled to a 3-19 season last year and will be very young under new coach Jonah Baker.
SW Conference - Wind River All State returner Lexy Brown (sr), and All Conference Macayla Arrington (sr) and Josee Vogel (sr) lead the Lady Cougars into what should be a deep run come tournament time.
Kemmerer has four All Conference seniors returning with Kennadi Gilbert, Marie McClaren, Tia Tiller (all state) and Madison Vickery. Their run to the state volleyball title should help immensely.
Wyoming Indian is expecting All Conference Brindi Lock (jr) back on the court and are hoping to keep up with their male counterparts in wins and deep tournament runs.
Olivia Thompson (jr) is back for the Shoshoni Lady Blue but will have a tough time moving past their Fremont County rivals to gain a top seed at regionals.
Big Piney has All Conference Ali Applin (sr) returning but not much else as they try to improve on last season’s 3-20 record.
Top four headed to Casper are: Lovell, Kemmerer, Wind River, Wyoming Indian.
For the complete article see the 12-04-2013 issue.
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