Year in Review: Top 10 Sports Stories of 2021

Year in Review: Top 10 Sports Stories of 2021

Sweetwater County sports teams had a lot to celebrate and reflect on throughout 2021.

From individual success to team effort on the national stage, there’s numerous stories we captured this year that we hope you will never forget.

Before you flip the calendar to 2022, take a minute to review our top sports stories of 2021. Thank you for letting us be a part of the action throughout the year!

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From the Sidelines to the Hospital Bed: Local Man Shares Experience With COVID-19

(January 13, 2021)

Darin Anderson is just one of thousands who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wyoming. He also happens to be one of the many in the state who have been hospitalized and nearly lost his life.

He’s lucky to be alive.

Anderson and his family live in Rock Springs where he wears many hats as a husband, father, teacher and coach in multiple sports. Before his encounter with COVID-19, Anderson said he was like many other people and thought the chances of getting it were very low, and if he did, there wasn’t much to worry about considering his age and health.

To read more click here.

“We Didn’t Expect It”: Reflecting on a Year of Trials for the Lady Tigers Soccer Team

From left, Lauren Profaizer, Amrey Willoughby, Alex Moeller, Olivia Politi and Zoe Silovich. SweetwaterNOW photo by Brayden Flack

(March 16, 2021)

For the five seniors on the Rock Springs Lady Tigers soccer team, the excitement surrounding the start of the 2021 season is bittersweet.

On one hand, it’s been nearly two years since any of the girls have played a game at the high school level and the thought of once again competing in black and orange is exhilarating.

On the other hand, it’s the final year the seniors will play together on the same team and the obstacles that they have had to overcome over the last year shortchanged some opportunities and experiences that they have missed out on together.

But all in all, the group is collectively grateful to be back on the field doing what they love to do, despite the heartache the last year brought to them.

To read more click here.

Remembering When Grub’s Drive-In Took Care of the Harlem Globetrotters

Louis Muir takes a shot at one of the games. Rocket Miner Newspaper photo

(March 2, 2021)

Rock Springs in the 1960s was one of many stops along the way for the Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team that combined comedy, athleticism, and theater all into a single game of hoops.

The Globetrotters would usually play against a local team of players from what was then the city basketball league. Dazzling spectators with their tricks and stunts on the court, the whole town usually turned out to be a part of the entertainment back then. Decked out in red, white, and blue silky uniforms, the Globetrotters were the stars of the town when visiting.

To read more click here.

GRHS Cheer Takes Sixth at National Championships

GRHS cheer photo.

(April 27, 2021)

ORLANDO, Florida — The Green River High School (GRHS) cheer team lit up the stage at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida last weekend.

The Wolves’ were the first Wyoming cheer squad to ever compete at the national championships and they represented well, taking sixth overall.

In the traditional medium coed division, GRHS was the only team to hit zeros in both the semis and finals, meaning that the team had no deductions. In the game day division, the Wolves only had one point in deductions.

To read more click here.

Post-Tournament Thoughts: Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last

The Western Wyoming Community College wrestling team took home second place at the 2021 NJCAA Wrestling Championships. SweetwaterNOW photo by Brayden Flack

(April 23, 2021)

As I sit across the window of my hotel room this morning, I can’t help but reflect on the last two days of the 2021 NJCAA Wrestling Championships. The Mid-America Center, the site of this year’s championships, combined with this overcast sky has a stillness that has given me flashbacks of some incredible moments over the past 48 hours.

I witnessed the Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC) wrestling team make history. History. Western is the only team to ever place 10 wrestlers at the championship since it was established in 1964. Think of how many teams over the last 57 years have come and gone. This team will go down in the history books and it was an honor to cover them here in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

But I not only witnessed history by these young men. I witnessed greatness.

To read more click here.

Taucher Wins Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year; Pyer Named Coach of the Year

Emily Taucher gets control of the ball against Evanston. SweetwaterNOW photo by Brayden Flack

(June 21, 2021)

ROCK SPRINGS — After winning the 2021 4A girls soccer title, the Rock Springs High School (RSHS) Lady Tigers added a few awards to the successful season.

Lady Tigers’ midfielder Emily Taucher was named the 2021 Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year, while RSHS Head Coach Stephen Pyer was named the 2021 4A Coach of the Year.

Taucher joins only one other Lady Tiger to ever earn the award in girls soccer, Alyssa Bedard, who won in 2019-20. Only two other Wyoming girls soccer players have won since the launch of the award in 1985.

To read more click here.

Storm Softball Brings Home State Title

Front row: Ashley Anderson, Ava Erramouspe, Cienna Bennett, Hadlee Miller, Jo Heavin, Kadence Hernandez, Rachel Wallendorf, Jillian Palinek. Back Row: Coach Jennifer Miller, Coach Harlie Nance, Kiley Walker, Rikki Mortensen, Dani Jacobsen, Coach Rick Copsey, Katie Copsey, Tegan Stassinos, Coach Megan Bradford, Coach Heather Anderson.

(July 19, 2021)

ROCK SPRINGS — Winning one state title is hard enough, let alone winning back-to-back titles. However the Rock Springs U16 Storm softball team did just that in dramatic fashion against Laramie on Sunday.

Rock Springs claimed its second straight title after fighting back from a 9-1 deficit in the fourth inning. The team ripped off 16 unanswered runs over the final two innings to win the game 17-9.

To read more click here.

Making a Difference

Joey Faigl (left) and Clint Eddy (right) are making a difference for students at Rock Springs High School. SweetwaterNOW photo by Brayden Flack

(November 16, 2021)

Running and scaling a booster club is almost like having another full-time job.

At least that’s how Joey Faigl and Clint Eddy best describe it.

It all started a few years ago when Faigl and Eddy grew tired of seeing opposing high schools like Sheridan show off their newest piece of equipment for the football team or witnessing a town’s school spirit in the stands. Back home in Rock Springs, that excitement and dedication just wasn’t on the same level.

To read more click here.

Pinning Down a Cure for Cancer

In honor of his grandfather, Collin Smith is helping to pin cancer. SweetwaterNOW photo by Brayden Flack

(September 27, 2021)

It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t know someone who has been impacted by cancer to some degree.

Western Wyoming Community College (Western) wrestler Collin Smith is just one of many who has lost a loved one to cancer.

This season Smith is not only on a mission to beat the opposition on the mat, but he’s seeking to pin down a cure for cancer in honor of his grandfather.

To read more click here.

Playing for More Than a Championship

From left to right: Dylan Coburn, Tommy Faigl and Cadon Shaklee SweetwaterNOW photo by Brayden Flack

(November 11, 2021)

Dylan Coburn, Tommy Faigl and Cadon Shaklee have all been in the stat sheets throughout the year for the Rock Springs Tigers football team. From turnovers to touchdowns, the three studs on the football field have proven to be key players for the Tigers this season.

What the record books don’t show is that Coburn, Faigl and Shaklee all have one thing in common. At least one of their biological parents won’t be cheering in the stands come Saturday evening when the 4A state championship game kicks off.

To read more click here.