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Newcastle, Wyoming
November 5, 2015     News Letter Journal
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November 5, 2015
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Middle School Girls Basketball 11105 *Hulett Red Devils H 4 PM 11/12 B Team vs Gillette Rec H 4 PM Middle School Wrestling 11107 Wolf City Invite @ Moorcroft 9 AM 11/12 Wright Invite A 3:30 PM essemng the sting "If it's true that we learn more from losing than we do from winning, we are getting quite an education." A coach recently said this to me with an air of disappointment as he described his season, but I actually began to ponder the long range implications of the statement. Don't get me wrong, I know how frustrating it is to lose when you know that you have the talent and the ability to win, and how disappointing it can be when you fall short of what you consider to be your potential, but maybe it's ok to suffer the pain of loss. This past weekend our Lady Dogie volleyball team experi- enced this situation in a big way. They headed into their Regional Tournament up against Sonia Karp it, having to Karpe Dogietake on the top seeded team from the Southeast in order to advance. Unfortunately they were unable to prevail, which meant that they had to then get by Douglas, their nemesis, if they wanted a ticket to the Big Dance. I'm not going to lie, I was worried for the girls. Newcastle has had a mental block when it comes to playing the Lady Bearcats for as long as I have been here and for this do-or-die match, they were going to have to defeat tfiis team On their home c0~'::'a'~afinting thought by anyone's imagination. When the ladies lined up for introductions, I could see that they were nervous in the fidgeting of the starting seven. However, as I watched the first set start to unfold I could see the squad, and the five seniors in particular, playing with what I interpreted to be the determina- tion of those who knew that this could be their last game as a Dogie and who didn't want their high school volleyball career to end before they were ready. They stunned the Lady Cats by playing some of the scrap- piest and tenacious ball that I have seen this season and after dominating the first two sets they were only one away from claiming victory in the match. As I watched, I could see that Douglas was reeling from the Lady Dogies' aggressive attacks on offense and their tenacity on defense. Knowing how impor- tant the third set was, though, I was still nervous for our girls. It didn't take long in the third set for me to lose my nerves as the ladies continued to play strong and confident against their opponent. When the Lady Dogies reached match point -- See Karp, Page lO News Letter Journal Todd Bennington NLJ Reporter A proposal to expand Newcastle's high school soccer program to the middle school's seventh and eighth grades passed the first of three sched- uled readings at the regular meeting of the WCSD #1 Board of Trustees last Wednesday. Before the vote was taken, soccer coaches Bryce Hoffman and Josh Peterson presented to the board, as they had done at the meeting previous, saying they wanted to clarify a few things in regard to the pro- posal. Hoffman told the board the program was planned for the spring semester only, and is projected to cost $8,688 annu- ally for salaries and benefits for the planned three coaches. The program would cost $9,827 annually in total, he said. Peterson suggested to the board that the program would benefit those students who are unable to compete in the Newcastle Soccer League for religious or financial reasons, as games and practices would not be held on Sundays and participation would be free of cost. Based on his investigations into the matter, Peterson went on to say that he expected about 20 students who did not participate in any other activity last spring to turnout for soccer. The program would also be of benefit as a feeder program to the high school in terms of skill development, he contended, citing a letter to that effect from Gillette's high school coach. Superintendent Brad LaCroix recommended against the proposal for reasons related to the uncertainty surrounding state funding for education and the district's potential future downsizing, but board Treasurer Tom Wright moved to vote on the proposal, and Vice Chairman Tina Chick spoke in support of the exten- sion, saying the $9,000 seems to her like a reasonable expen- diture. "I understand that we are trying to be conservative as a district ... and I think that's right to do. But I also feel like it's not very much money to provide something that I think is going to be important for some of our kiddos," she said Trustee Dean Johnson said he would like to see specific projected numbers in regard to the program, while Trustee John Riesland spoke in favor of the measure but acknowl- edged there is value in both sides of the argument. Trustee Ron Mills indicated he is on the fence due to financial con- cerns, but voted 'yes' in order that two more readings might be heard on the matter. Board Chairman Bob Bonnar cast the lone dissenting vote, though he said he wel- comed the discussion. Only Buffalo, Worland, and Gillette could serve as potential oppo- nent schools, he pointed out, and Newcastle High School is already among the smallest in the state to offer soccer as an option to begin with. The board has opted to hold three readings on the matter in order to garner as much public input as possible. Sonja Karp NLJ Sports Reporter Senior Katara Cade returns a serve in the team's final game against Douglas as Alyssa Dawson gets herself in position for the next volley. (Sonja Karp/NLJ) Douglas survives three game points to end Dogies season Sonja Karp NLJ Sports Reporter The senior-laden Newcastle High School volleyball saw their hopes of competing at the State Tournament dashed when the host Douglas Bearcats rallied to claim a loser- out contest in a grueling five set match, but the local netters knew the road to State wouldn't be easy after the brackets were released early last week. When the Lady Dogies hit the road to Douglas for the 3A East Regional Volleyball Tournament last Thursday, they knew that the road to State was going to be a rough one. With five of the eight teams slated to compete all having a legitimate chance of moving on. Newcastle was determined to be among the top four that would advance, but they had to get by some tough competition to get there. Because the squad ended up going into the tourney as the four seed from the Northeast, their first challenge was to try to get by the Southeast number one seeded Rawlins Lady Outlaws. Having only seen this tradi- tionally dominant team once during the regular season and having lost to them in three sets, coaches and players knew that they would have to be at the top of their game to pull out the upset. "Rawlins is very balanced this year in their offense as well as their defense," head coach Maja Jechorek began. "They played fast and in- system in their offense and made very few errors when we played them on Friday." Unfortunately, the speed with which the Lady Outlaws competed was too much for the Lady Dogies, so while they played them pretty close, Newcastle was unable to get past their opponent and lost once again in three straight sets. That early morning loss put the Lady Dogies into a loser-out situation against Wheatland in the first contest on Saturday morning. "Heading into the match, we knew we were playing to stay alive, and we performed well in games one, three and four, but made too many errors in game two," Jechorek analyzed. Despite a close loss in set two, however, the squad was able to defeat the Lady Bulldogs to advance to their second loser-out game of the day against Douglas, and this was one that would decide who would punch their ticket to the State Tournament. "We lost to Douglas twice this year, however we came out with a very positive mind set and a huge will to beat them in the most impor- tant game of the season," Jechorek began. "It is such a mind game when you play in that match to advance to State because you know that if you win you advance and if you lose you are out. We worked harder than I have ever seen us work before. We moved extremely well on defeng~e and scored more than usual on the net and that helped us win the first -- See Volleyball, Page lo Numbers have been the Lady Dogies' Achilles Heel this season when it comes to team finishes, but the small team was able to even out the odds a little against their Conference rivals at the 3A State Swimming and Diving Championships in Gillette last Thursday and Friday. Teams are allowed to enter all swimmers in the Conference meets, but only those who swim qualifying times move on to the State Meet, and the Lady Dogies sent six swimmers to the culminating event who competed in six different individual events and three relay races-- and it paid off in the form of a sixth place finish, which is considerably better than the Dogies have performed in recent years. With team size no longer as big of a factor, the talent the Lady Dogies entered in the State Meet gave them a good shot at scoring higher as a team than they had all season. "We tapered very well and had some signifi- cant time drops at the meet," head Coach Doug Scribner exclaimed, noting that the girls swam very well and finished strong in several events. Senior Shaylee Curren swam her best time in the 100 Free and the 200 Free, dropping almost six seconds in the latter, while senior Nathina Crabtree dropped two seconds in the 100 Butterfly, achieving not only a career best time but also claiming a personal victory by beating the personal best time put up by her sister, Kiersten, a former Lady Dogie Butterfly swimmer. Rachel and Sarah Henkle each swam the 50 Free faster than they had before, and Rachel improved her time from the Conference meet in the 100 Backstroke as did Mikenna Waggener. All three relays saw significant improvements as well. Even though the swimmers put up times that in the past would have not only guaranteed a place in the finals, but would have put them in a position to place well overall, Scribner said this year's State Meet was larger and faster than the 3A coaches and even several officials had ever experienced. Curren's and Crabtree's times in the 200 Free and the 100 Fly would have been enough to advance to finals in the past, but this year those times put them just one place short of the opportunity to compete for the title. Sarah Henkle found herself in a similar situation in the 50 Free. She put up an impressive time of 27 seconds in the prelims, which has historically been fast enough to advance, but not this season. In fact, in the 50 Free final race in which her sister Rachel competed and placed fifth, all swimmers put up a time in the 25 second range, -- See Swimming, Page 16 Getcharged up. I Wei:icarry att standard sizes of Energizer batteries, ptus tots of spec.iatty sizes! 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