Practices for fall sports in high schools across Wyoming start Monday, Aug. 13, including sports programs at Lovell and Rocky Mountain high schools.
All student athletes must have physicals before they can start practice, coaches emphasized in interviews this week.
The defending state champion Lovell Bulldogs will start the new season with a meeting to hand out equipment this evening (Thursday, Aug. 9) at 4 p.m. at the high school gym. The team will also help set up the Relay for Life event Friday at 8 a.m. and tear down the event Saturday at 6:30 a.m., and coach Doug Hazen said team members can pick up gear at one of those times, too, if they can’t make the Thursday get-together.
Practice begins Monday for a two-a-day schedule that includes a morning practice from 7 to 9 and an evening practice from 4 to 6. Two-a-days run all week and will be followed by an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday at 7 p.m. at Robertson Stadium.
The normal practice schedule with one afternoon practice from 4 to 6 p.m. will follow starting on Monday, Aug. 20. The first day of classes for students is Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Hazen will be the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, as well as the head coach. Assistants are Bob Weber, offensive coordinator; Daniel Robertson, junior varsity offensive coordinator; and Craig Lundberg, JV defensive coordinator.
Lovell will play a “week zero” practice game Saturday, Aug. 25, in Douglas with the junior varsity taking the field at 2 p.m. followed by the varsity at 5 p.m.
Lovell will open the regular season Friday, Aug. 31, at 3A East foe Wright at 7 p.m. The first home game is Friday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. against Pinedale.
Lovell Middle School football practice will begin Thursday, Aug. 16, at 4 p.m.
The Rocky Mountain Grizzlies will open practice Monday for two-a-days that run from 7 to 9:15 a.m. and 4 to 6:15 p.m. in Cowley, coach David Hayes said. Two-a-days will continue the following Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 20-21, before classes at RMHS begin on Wednesday, Aug. 22. At that point practice will be held, as usual, right after school.
Assisting Hayes this season will be defensive coordinator Justin Moss, offensive coordinator Tobee Christiansen, special teams coordinator Brandon May and volunteer assistants Nick Wilson, Scott Crosby and Nicholas Sponsel.
The Grizzlies will play a “week zero” practice game Friday, Aug. 24, at 6 p.m. in Powell against the Powell junior varsity. The Grizz will open the regular season Friday, Aug. 31, at home against 1A East opponent Normative Services at 4 p.m.
All Rocky Mountain parents and athletes are invited to a Meet the Squad Night Thursday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at the RMMS/HS Great Hall (commons). The evening will include a picnic and introduction of teams, followed by individual team meetings with parents and players for each sport.
The state runner-up Lovell Lady Bulldogs will practice twice a day all next week, matching the same schedule as the football team: 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. The team will move to evening-only practices the following week, Aug. 20-23, from 4-6 p.m.
Coach Stormy Jameson said the morning practices will include conditioning and plyometrics, with the afternoon sessions involving more volleyball drills.
Practices will lead up to the North Big Horn Invitational Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25, in Lovell and Cowley. This year the varsity matches will be in Lovell and the junior varsity in Cowley.
April Nicholls will be the Lovell junior varsity coach, Mykel Anderson the freshman coach. McKenzie Jameson is a volunteer assistant.
Lovell Middle School volleyball practice will start Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 4 p.m.
Rocky Mountain coach Carol McMillin will hold two-a-day practices all next week from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. at the high school in Cowley. Two-a-days will continue Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 20-21, she said, followed by after-school practices once school begins on August 22.
Like Jameson, McMillin said the morning practices will focus on conditioning, with skills work and game-like drills in the afternoon.
McMillin is assisted once again this year by junior varsity coach Camaren Boettcher and freshman coach Kayla Honeyman.
The Lovell High School golf team under first-year head coach Devon Parks will have only three days of practice next week before the first tournament of the season.
Parks will hold two practices per day Monday through Wednesday from 7-9 a.m and 4-6 p.m. The morning practice will include drills and technique work, and the team members will play the course at Foster Gulch in the afternoon. One more two-a-day will follow on Monday, Aug. 20, before teachers report on Tuesday, after which only an afternoon practice will be held.
The team will compete at the Riverton Invitational Thursday and Friday, Aug. 16-17, with a tee-off time of 1 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday, Parks said.
Veteran assistant Dan Wolvington will once again help coach the Bulldogs, and Parks said he is expecting 13 players to go out for the team, 10 boys and three girls.
Lovell is scheduled to host the Class 2A State Golf Tournament Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22, at Foster Gulch, and Parks said the school could use some volunteer help during the tournament. He asked prospective volunteers to call Denise Harrison at the high school office, 548-2256.
The Lovell cross country team will begin practice Monday at 8 a.m. at the high school gym lobby for both high school and middle school athletes, coach Caleb Sanders said. All athletes “need to have a physical ready to go,” Sanders said.
The harriers will practice each morning the first week, then move to afternoon practices at 4 p.m. the week of August 20. Depending on how many athletes come out for the team, Sanders said he may be assisted this season by Bret George.
The LHS schedule lists the first cross country meet as the Jackalope Invitational on Friday, Aug. 24, in Douglas, but Sanders said Lovell’s participation on that early meet is “up in the air.” He said Lovell will certainly compete at the Billings Invitational on Friday, Aug. 31, at 4 p.m. The meet is held at Riverfront Park on the south side of Interstate 90, Sanders said, near the Yellowstone River.
The Rocky Mountain Grizzlies will open practice Monday at 6 p.m. at coach John Bernhisel’s house in Cowley, he said, adding, “We’ll decide the rest of the week’s practice schedule at that time.”
He said the team will participate in the Big Horn County Relay for Life event this Friday night/Saturday morning at the high school track in Lovell, running in the midnight run.
According to Athletic Director Rod Winland, the scheduled cross country opener at Cody on Friday, Aug. 24, has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 13, with the middle school race at 3:30, followed by the JV and varsity races at 4:10 p.m.
Rocky Mountain Middle School is scheduled to host a meet Thursday, Aug. 30, at 4:30 p.m., and the high school squad, like Lovell, will compete at the Billings Invitational on Friday, Aug. 31, at 4 p.m.
By David Peck