BPHS sports end-of-year review

File photo The Big Piney High School cheerleading team celebrates capturing second place in the 2A-game day category at the State Spirit Competition in Casper on March 8.

BIG PINEY – The talented athletes at Big Piney High School set the bar high during the 2022-2023 academic year. Highlight performances are included below to celebrate achievements by the Lady Punchers and Punchers in the final edition of the Sublette Examiner.

Fall sports

Opening the 2022 fall sports season with a bang, the Lady Puncher volleyball team scored its first win against conference rival, Wind River, 2-0, at the Riverton Tournament on Aug. 27.

The Puncher football team tallied its first win against Lusk, 14-6, on Sept. 2. The following week, the Punchers upset Wind River, 12-8.

On Sept. 10, Colby Jenks snagged gold at the Liberty Bell Cross-Country Invitational.

Rayne Wheeler qualified for the State Swim Meet in the 200-individual medley at Worland on Sept. 9.

The brief fall golf season closed out at State in Buffalo on Sept. 16-17, with Blade and Bill Hibbert representing BPHS.

On Sept. 17, the Lady Punchers scored a decisive 3-1 conference victory in a determined battle against Wyoming Indian High School.

At the Lyman swimming duels on Sept. 13, Jolynn Jones won the 100-butterfly.

In football action, the Punchers overwhelmed Greybull to post their second conference win, 32-12, on Sept. 16.

Wheeler captured gold in the 100-backstroke at the Big Piney Triangular on Sept. 23.

On Oct. 1, Jenks won the varsity boys’ race at the Jackson Cross-Country Invitational.

Back in the pool on Oct. 4, Wheeler earned gold in the 100-backstroke. Emma York snapped up a win in the 400-freestyle.

In an epic five-set fight against Wyoming Indian on Oct. 15, the Lady Punchers secured the conference victory, 3-2. Shelby Guest posted 11 kills.

The Puncher football team trounced Wyoming Indian, 58-12, on Oct. 14.

At the Regional Cross-Country Meet in Afton on Oct. 14, Jenks placed seventh, securing 4A All-Conference honors.

Making history, the Punchers captured a playoff berth for the first time as a 1A 9-man football team after destroying Riverside, 34-0, on Oct. 20. Reuben Stoutenburg, Caden Clifford, Champ Snively and Hunter Fisher each scored touchdowns.

At the State Cross-Country Championships Jenks pulled into fourth place to earn 4A All-State honors.

The Lady Punchers closed out their regular season with a 3-1 victory against non-conference rival Farson on Oct. 21.

At the Last Chance Swim Meet in Pinedale on Oct. 27, Jones picked up gold in the 100-butterfly.

Post-season awards included 2A West All-Conference volleyball honors for Sharianne Brower, Guest, Hannah Runyan and Micah Strong. Thomas Howard, Karsyn Gurr, Zack Murphy, Stoutenburg and Clifford earned 1A football All-Conference awards.

Howard, Stoutenburg and Gurr each received 1A football All-State honors.

2022-2023 winter season

The Lady Punchers and Puncher boys kept the heat on over the course of a long winter season.

In December, six BPHS girls bravely stepped up to join the school’s first girls’ wrestling team. The roster included Esther Van Grol, Bailey Denison, Catie Langlois, Brynne Hoffman, Charleigh Smith and Enna Coote.

The boys’ swimming season began with the Lyman Invitational and Rawlins Pentathlon on Dec. 9-10. Owen Nielson punched his ticket to State in four events – the 500-freestyle, 100-freestyle, 100-butterfly and 50-freestyle.

At the Evanston Wrestling Duels on Dec. 10, the BPHS boys snagged first place. A day later, Charleigh Smith garnered silver at the first girls’ tournament in Evanston. Dominic Sanchez repeated history with a championship at the boys’ tournament.

The Lady Puncher basketball team opened its season with wins against both St. Stephens (41-36) and Greybull (46-35) at the Foothills Classic Tournament on Dec. 9-10.

The Puncher boys’ defeated St. Stephens in a nailbiter, 67-66, setting the tone for an exciting season at the Foothills Classic Tournament on Dec. 16.

Wrestlers applied the pressure in duels at Kemmerer on Dec. 16. Charleigh Smith went undefeated in the girls’ competition. In the boys’ tournament, Sanchez, Canyon Schell, Judah Farrington and Jerrett Fear each posted undefeated records.

The Puncher and Lady Puncher wrestlers rang in the New Year by sweeping the competition at the Shoshoni Duels on Jan. 6-7. Langlois won her weight class in the girls’ competition. In boys’ action, Howard, Braunsn Smith, David Farrington, Sanchez and Schell each achieved undefeated records.

At the Cody and Powell swim meets on Jan. 6-7, Nielson qualified in three more events, earning gold in the 100-backstroke.

The Puncher boys’ wrestlers won the Don Runner Memorial Meet in Wind River by a wide margin on Jan. 13-14. Howard, Clifford and Sanchez each secured the championship in their respective weight divisions. Charleigh Smith captured the championship in the girls’ meet at Wind River.

In a cliffhanger, the Puncher boys’ basketball team defeated 2A rival Kemmerer, 59-58, on Jan. 13.

Nielson broke the Big Piney swim team record in the 400-meter freestyle at the Big Piney Quad on Jan. 20, clocking in at 4 minutes, 59.34 seconds.

Wrestlers gathered for the largest meet of the season – the Ron Thon Memorial on Jan. 27-28. Squaring off against opponents from all four classifications, Sanchez placed fourth. Jones, Jackie Meador and Braunsn Smith advanced to the second day of competition.

The boys’ swim team dove into the postseason at the 3A South Conference Meet in Lander on Feb. 3-4. Ryen Hacklin qualified for State in his fourth event, the 200-individual medley. Kaden Day punched his ticket to State in the 500-freestyle. John Ruby earned a spot on the State roster with a qualifying time in the 100-freestyle.

The Puncher boys’ wrestling team paced second at the Bridgerland Tournament on Feb. 3, with the girls coming in third. Charleigh Smith bagged a championship in girls’ competition. Sanchez picked up gold in his weight class in the boys’ tournament.

On Feb. 4, the Lady Punchers’ basketball team scored its second conference victory against Wind River, 61-53.

Following a tie in the third quarter, the Puncher boys rallied to destroy Wind River in an explosive fourth quarter, 71-57. Cole Walton sunk five outside shots. The Punchers went on to defeat St. Stephens, 90-68, on Feb. 10.

Nielson snapped up gold in the 100-freestyle at the Last Chance Meet on Feb. 10.

Maintaining its momentum, the Puncher boys’ wrestling team snagged gold at the Carbon County Tournament on Feb. 10. The Lady Punchers earned third place. Champions included Sanchez, Bradley Rodda, David Farrington, Jones and Murphy.

On Feb. 17, the Puncher boys’ basketball team trounced Kemmerer, 73-58, and came close to upsetting Pinedale in a point-for-point fourth-quarter battle the previous day.

Jenks achieved gold in the 800-meter at the elite Simplot Games in Idaho on Feb. 16-18.

Sanchez earned the regional championship in his weight class at the 2A West Regionals in Cokeville on Feb. 17.

Girls’ and boys’ wrestling teams posted strong performances at the State Wrestling Championships on Feb. 22-24. Meador captured the state championship at 113 pounds. Howard snagged silver. Both Meador and Howard received 2A All-State recognition for their accomplishments.

Five BPHS athletes – Coote, Hoffman, Van Grol, Charleigh Smith and Langlois – competed in the inaugural Girls State Wrestling Championships. Smith took fourth place with Van Grol earning fifth.

The Lady Punchers’ basketball team went on a Cinderella Run at the 2A West Regional Tournament on Feb. 23-25. Knocking out Wind River, 47-42, in the opening game, the Lady Punchers advanced to the semifinals for an epic, double-overtime game against Wyoming Indian High School.

At the State Indoor Track Championships on March 3-4, Jenks shattered the all-class state indoor record and won in the 800-meters at 1:53.92 to receive 3A All-State honors.

The BPHS cheer team earned second place in the 2A-game day category, beating six other teams, at the State Spirit Competition on March 8.

Jovany Munoz garnered 2A All-State honors in boys’ basketball, along with 2A West All-Conference recognition and the 2A West Conference Player of the Year Award.

All-Conference accolades in boys’ basketball also went to Bill Hibbert and Reuben Stoutenburg. Sharianne Brower, Rayne Wheeler and Hannah Runyan each received All-Conference recognition in girls’ basketball.

Brandon Jones earned the 2023 Character and Leadership All-America Award from the National Wrestling Coaches Association in March.

Thomas Howard was selected to play in the 50th Shrine Bowl all-star football game in March.

Spring sports

A brutal winter wreaked havoc on the spring sports season throughout March and April. The Punchers participated in their first outdoor track meet at the Early Bird Invitational in Utah on March 17-18. Jenks won the 300-hurdles.

With most venues in Wyoming still buried underneath snow, BPHS traveled to the Uintah Invitational in Vernal, Utah, on April 1. Emma York, Lizzy Brandt, Jolynn Jones and Micah Strong won the girls’ 4x400-relay. Hunter Fisher picked up gold in both the 110- and 300-hurdles. Jenks won the 1600-meters.

Jenks traveled to the Arcadia Invitational in California in April, winning Division 4 of the varsity boys’ 800-meters.

On April 15, Fisher snagged gold in the 110-hurdles. Jenks won the 1600-meters and Kelby Staley, David Farrington, Brandon Jones and Jenks earned gold in the 4x400-relay.

In April, Jenks received the 1A-2A Boys’ Southwest District Senior Student Athlete of the Year Award.

Competing at Green River on April 21, Micah Strong captured her first win for the season in the 200-meters. Jenks won the 800-meters and 110-hurdles. Strong, Tilly Evans, Addison Losik and Kodee Greene picked up gold in the 1600-sprint medley relay.

The weather finally broke and warm temperatures greeted athletes at the Mountain Man Invitational in Pinedale on April 28. Strong pulled into first in the 200-meters. Staley won the 800-meters and Jenks secured gold in the 300-hurdles. Caden Clifford, Staley, Brandon Jones and Jenks won the 1600-sprint medley relay. Brandt, Brynne Hoffman, Kaydence Guest and Julia Hymas won the girls’ 4x800-relay.

The Punchers crushed the competition at the home meet on May 2. Individual first-place winners included Strong (100 and 200), Brandt (800), York (3200), Hymas (pole vault), Losik (400), Jenks (110-hurdles), Staley (300-hurdles), Brandon Jones (1600) and Scotty Ring (800).

The Lady Punchers and Puncher boys swept the 2A West Regional Tournament in Shoshoni on May 12-13, with both the girls and boys snagging gold. Jenks set a new regional record in the 300-meters, winning the event at 39.50 seconds. He also captured gold in the 800- and 400-meters.

Strong won three events at Regionals, the 100-, 400- and 800-meters. Fisher snapped up first place in three events as well – the triple jump, long jump and 110-hurdles. York earned first in both the 3200- and 1600-meters. Hannah Runyan crushed the competition to win the shot put. Greene, Evans, Addison Statham and Jolynn Jones won the 1600-sprint medley relay.

The Lady Punchers bagged the 2A state championship at the State Meet in Casper on May 18-20. The boys placed fifth. State champions included Strong in the 100-, 400- and 800-meters. Jenks won the 800-meters with a new 2A state record and placed first in the 300-hurdles. York secured a state championship in the 3200-meters. Jolynn Jones earned gold in the 1600-meters. Fisher took first place in the 110-hurdles. Runyan picked up the championship in the shot put. Greene, Evans, Losik and Jones came in first in the 1600-sprint medley relay.

Nine athletes received All-State accolades – Strong, Jenks, Runyan, Fisher, Greene, Evans, Losik, York and Jolynn Jones.