2017 sports year in review

Kaufman signs with EWC golf

TORRINGTON – Lingle-Fort Laramie senior Kash Kaufman signed his letter of intent on Wednesday to play for the Eastern Wyoming College golf team in the fall.

“I think that today is a huge day,” Kaufman said. “I am super excited to play for EWC and see if we can win another division title.”

Kaufman spent four years on the Torrington golf team, where he reached the state tournament all four years. In 2013, Kaufman shot a 119 and finished 57th at the state tournament in Buffalo. He saw improvement in his game from his freshman year to his sophomore year, finishing seventh at the state tournament in 2014 with a two-day score of 165.

The 3A state tournament in 2015 was held at the Cottonwood at Torrington golf course in Torrington. As a junior, Kaufman finished ninth in the state, with a 166 over the two days. This past season, the senior found himself with a fourth-place finish, shooting an 81 on one day.

Kaufman was never on a Torrington team that finished first overall at the state level, but he was on two state runner-up teams in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Kaufman and the Blazers finished fourth.

Walker wins title, L-FL finishes 12th

CASPER – Lingle-Fort Laramie senior Todd Walker captured the state championship at 138 pounds and led the Doggers to a 12th-place finish at the state wrestling tournament in Casper over the weekend.

“It’s kind of bitter sweet,” Walker said after his title win. “It feels good to win state but it’s my last year. I’m done in high school so I don’t really know (how I feel).”

In the championship match, Walker took on Glenrock’s Garrett Schwindt, a wrestler with a 44-10 record this winter. The Dogger struck first, scoring two points on a takedown before Schwindt sprung a leak and the match was stopped for a blood timeout. Schwindt got an escape and started bleeding again to force another stoppage. At the end of the first period, Walker led 2-1.

In the second period, Schwindt recorded an escape and knotted the match at 2 heading into the final period. In the final period, there was another blood stoppage, before Walker recorded a takedown and Schwindt got an escape. Walker managed to not give up any points to secure the championship win, 4-3.

“That’s just part of wrestling. It happens,” Walker said of all the blood timeouts. “You get down and dirty with somebody when you don’t want to lose.”

L-FL girls cap season with consolation championship

CASPER – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers ended their season with a win over Rock River in the consolation championship at the state tournament in Casper after falling to Encampment and beating Kaycee.

“The character of these kids is unparalleled,” coach Matt Cornelius said. “They could have easily tanked after they couldn’t achieve the goal set at the beginning of the season of winning a championship, but they didn’t.”

Encampment 51, LFL 36

In LFL’s first game of the tournament, the Lady Doggers struggled to rack up the points, scoring two in the first and six in the second for 15 percent shooting to Encampment’s 22 first-half points.

“Encampment jumped out to a quick lead on us,” Cornelius said. “They punched us in the mouth in the first half and we couldn’t recover. Encampment came out to play.”

Two Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers earn conference player of the year

LINGLE – Lingle-Fort Laramie seniors Garrett Cooper and Georgia Wollert earned all-state honors and finished as the 1A Southeast boys and girls player of the year.

Through the regional tournament, Cooper averaged 8.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2 steals per game. He paced the Doggers in boards and steals. He ranked third in the east and eighth in the state in boards.

Justice Madayag joined Cooper on the all-state list. Not including the state tournament, Madayag averaged 8.6 points, 5 boards, two assists and 1.9 steals per game. He drained 17 three-pointers to lead the Doggers. His two assists per game was the best for any Dogger this winter.

L-FL’s Cooper to represent the United States

LINGLE – Lingle-Fort Laramie’s Garrett Cooper was invited to represent the United States in the Canam Bowl, which is an annual six-man football game between the United States and Canada.

“First of all, it’s just a huge honor to even be considered,” Cooper said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to go and play football and represent the country.”

Cooper was selected as one of three players for Wyoming to play for Team USA. The squad has 16-18 players from Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana and Texas to represent the United States against Canada. Cooper is joined by fellow Wyomingans Reed Staffard (Kaycee) and Dalton Abarr (Meeteetse).

Matt Jensen, Meeteetse’s head football coach, was on the coaching staff of Team USA last year and was in charge of inviting players from Wyoming (3) and Nebraska (1) for this year’s roster.

“What drew us to (Cooper) was hearing other coaches talk about him and how high of a motor he has,” Jensen said of a player he didn’t get a look at during the regular season because L-FL and Meeteetse did not play each other. “I met with him and his mom two weeks ago and it was a no brainer. He is a great kid and will represent us very well.”

Jefferson signs with EWC WBB

TORRINGTON – Lingle-Fort Laramie senior Kaylynn Jefferson signed her letter of intent on Thursday to play women’s basketball for Eastern Wyoming College this winter.

“I have an extreme passion for basketball and it’s my favorite sport,” Jefferson said. “I’ve thought long and hard about the regrets I would have to not play and this year I really found out that I’d rather do basketball than anything else.”

Jefferson was one of the leaders on a Lady Dogger team that finished as the consolation champions in the 1A state tournament this past winter. In the state tournament, LFL fell to Encampment in the opening round, 51-36, before bouncing back to best Kaycee, 48-32. In the consolation championship game, Rock River proved to be no match for the Lady Doggers, with L-FL getting the win, 66-36.

Lingle-Fort Laramie Dogger boys win 1A title

CASPER – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers combined for seven state titles at the 1A State meet Thursday through Saturday in Casper on their way to a team title, while the girls finished fourth with two state titles.

“Both Dogger track teams had amazing performances all weekend long,” coach Mike Lashley said. “Although the weather was challenging, our kids showed great resiliency. Our athletes wanted to make the weather a non-issue by going out and competing at a high level.”

The L-FL boys amassed 147.5 team points, outdistancing Cokeville (64 points), who finished second, by more than 80 points. It was the second-straight year that the Doggers won the 1A boys’ title, paired with the regional and SEWAC titles for each of the past two years.

“The boys’ team showed why they were the favorites going into the state meet,” Lashley said. “They performed at a very high level for three solid days and actually exceeded my expectations. In order to score almost 150 points at the state meet, it takes a team’s ability and depth to cover all events and score well in all of them.”

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