State Volleyball Finals - Sundance

Sundance’s Rigan McInerney tips the ball in the Bulldogs’ match against Wright in the Wyoming State High School Class 2A Volleyball Championship last year at the Casper Events Center.

File, Star-Tribune

Something new from the Star-Tribune, we’ll look at some of the top performers from the previous week and give you a brief preview on who else to keep an eye on over the upcoming weekend in all of the fall sports.

FOOTBALL

Higher Than The Rest

In one of the biggest season-opening match-ups in recent memory, Glenrock was able to pull off a huge 12-7 victory over Greybull last week. The Herders’ signature running-exclusive offense was on display as Payton Steinmetz (83), Tucker Bopp (72) and Ian Arnold (61) all finished with over 50 yards rushing. That win catapulted Glenrock to premier status in Class 2A before back-to-back games against 3A competition (Lander and Riverton).

Cameron Quigley has left a trail of destruction the likes of which has not been seen since the Genghis Khan era. He leads Newcastle with 299 all-purpose yards per game and the Dogies are 2-0 after a 22-20 win at Lovell. The stellar quarterback will have to raise his game to new heights this week as the rising stars in Class 2A travel to Class 1A/11-Man contender Upton-Sundance in what should be a can’t-miss game.

Turn It On

While a lot of attention, rightfully so, is on the rematch of last year’s Class 4A state championship, there’s another game in Cheyenne that could be a barn-burner. Cheyenne East hosts Thunder Basin on Friday in a game between two 2-0 teams. East has the third-best overall defense while the Bolts have the fourth-best offense. Home-field advantage in the quarterfinals could be on the line in this one.

Five hundred miles will have been traveled by the time Star Valley and Torrington kick off on Friday. The two-time defending state champion Braves come in as the leading rushing offense in Class 3A while the visiting Trailblazers have the second-best team defense in the classification. Star Valley’s Josh Dawson has been a force, leading 3A in tackles and rushing yards per game so far. Do the Blazers have an answer for him?

VOLLEYBALL

Higher Than The Rest

The runners-up for last year’s Class 2A title, Sundance, are very upset with that silver medal. The Bulldogs won their first five matches this year and even swept Cheyenne East. Yes, SWEPT the three-time defending 4A champions.

Snake River awaits their first loss of the season with a current 9-0 record. The reigning Class 1A champion Rattlers have only lost one set so far but face Southwest Conference rival Encampment (5-0) on Friday night for their toughest test yet.

Turn It On

A lot of eyes are on the Rawlins Invite. Rawlins welcomes Douglas, Wheatland, Worland, Riverton, Cody, Thermopolis, Torrington, Mountain View, Lander, Pinedale, Buffalo, Star Valley, Lyman and Cody in the biggest tournament of the weekend.

While Class 4A is still up in the air as teams jostle for position in the standings, the Gillette vs. Laramie match opens up East Conference competition for both. The Camels (10-2) are on top for now, but Laramie (8-3) is not far behind.

CROSS-COUNTRY

Higher Than The Rest

She took the Beartrap Invite by storm, but Rawlins’ Sydney Thorvaldson wasn’t stopping there. The freshman furthered her legend by winning the Rawlins Invite with a time of 18 minutes, 35.83 seconds, a full 2:07 ahead of Laramie’s Allison Dodds.

Senior Brian Gonda barely won the Billings (Mont.) Invite by just over one-tenth of a second last weekend. He led the Broncs to their second straight team win after opening the season at Beartrap.

Turn It On

Huge implications are at the Michelle Ludwig Invitational this weekend. Runners from Gillette, Sheridan, Kelly Walsh, Natrona County, Jackson, Riverton, Cody and much more will compete in Sheridan’s home meet.

Over state lines is the Liberty Bell Invitational in Littleton, Colo. That is where Cheyenne East, Cheyenne Central, Laramie, Rock Springs and Saratoga will be competing.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Higher Than The Rest

In a dual against Cheyenne South, Sammy Geyer competed in four events and won three of them. The Cheyenne Central standout dominated 100 backstroke, 200 IM and was the second leg on the Indians’ 200 medley relay team.

She was just a Newcastle Stingrays standout last year, but now Hannah Gross is in a high school pool. She won the 200 freestyle, took second to Worland’s Ellyse Russell in the 100 freestyle and was the start leg on the Dogies’ 200 freestyle relay team at the Cody Invite.

Turn It On

Cheyenne South hosts the Cheyenne Invite on Saturday and every 4A program will be there along with Evanston, Douglas and Rawlins.

On Friday, Gillette and Thunder Basin square off with Cheyenne Central. It should be a good warm-up for the Cheyenne Invite and Geyer vs. Carsrud is one of the premier match-ups in Wyoming swimming at the moment.

GOLF

Higher Than The Rest

The Kelly Walsh boys and girls both won the Rock Springs Invite and, just two weeks away from the state meet, that is huge. Taj Sutherland tied for the win while the other four Trojan boys were inside the top 7. Annalyse Johnson won for the girls while Jocelyn Olson finished second and Barrett Lloyd tied for third.

Last year’s 3A champion Hudson Roling edged out Sheridan senior Kirby Coe-Kirkham to win the Buffalo Invite. The Thermopolis standout hit an invitational-best 72 in the first round.

Turn It On

All 4A schools in addition to Jackson are competing at the Casper Invite this weekend. Can Kelly Walsh keep up the momentum or will the Sheridan boys and Natrona County girls raise their games for the win?

Hard to believe, but the Class 3A East and West Regionals are this weekend. It should be interesting to see who qualifies and who surprises on each side.

TENNIS

Higher Than The Rest

It was an undefeated week for Gillette’s Dawson Miessler. He went 3-0 in No. 1 singles in matches against Cheyenne East, Central and Laramie.

The Marchal Twins, Gregory and Patrick, from Green River went a combined 8-0 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, last week. The Wolves defeated rival Rock Springs twice and defeated both Rawlins and Natrona County once each.

Turn It On

This weekend Natrona County and Kelly Walsh both go to Powell and Cody. This is a big opportunity for each team to see where they are in the North Conference.

Cheyenne East, Central and South all host a bevy of teams. Rawlins, Green River and Rock Springs all travel to Cheyenne in what should help shuffle the South Conference.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @Brady_CST

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Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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