The Panther soccer team finish out their season strong, placing second at the state tournanment


Don Cogger

Junior Ernie Acevedo trips while a Worland Warrior attempts to pass the ball in the 3A State Championship game in Jackson. The Panthers placed second after they fell to the Warriors 2-0 May 18.

The boys’ soccer team made history May 18 as they became the first PHS soccer team to make it to the Championship game against the Worland Warriors, but they fell 2-0. The boys’ made it through the regular season with a record of 13-5-1.

The Panthers were seeded second in the 3A West division, making them eligible to attend the state soccer tournament, which was in Jackson May 16-18.

The weekend before, PHS beat the Lander Tigers 3-0 and tied Riverton 1-1 with Riverton.

The Panthers’ won their first game 1-0 at state was against Rawlins, the third seed in the East division. The goal came on a penalty kick by freshman Hawkin Sweeney. The following day, they faced the Riverton Wolverines in the semifinals, beating them 1-0, also on a penalty kick by Sweeney.

Powell then faced Worland in the state championship.

The Warriors were able to score two goals against the Panthers., making Powell the runner-up in the Wyoming 3A State Soccer Tournament.

Junior Ernie Acevedo was voted as the All-Conference and All-State midfielder.

“It feels very awesome making history; I am very happy about it, ” Acevedo said. “The team did incredible. We had our best record this year and best state performance.”

The team did incredible. We had our best record this year and best state performance.”

— Ernie Acevedo

Acevedo wasn’t the only Powell player to win an All-State title in the West.

Sophomore Ashton Brewer was named All-State and All-Conference goalkeeper, junior Cameron Wentz was named All-State and All-Conference defender, sophomore Sam Bauer was named All-State and All-Conference forward and freshman Reece Bauer was named All-Conference defender.

“So many things about this team made us proud as coaches,” Assistant Coach Mr. Russ Schwahn said. “One of them was the ability of players on the team to accept their role as seen by the coaches.

“Some accepted less playing time and didn’t try to tear the team apart, and others were playing in new positions for the good of the team. This truly was a TEAM accomplishment.”

When choosing his players for All-Conference awards he looks for those he  “game plans” around the most with or whose skills impress them the most.

“If the player is one that we have to “game plan” around or whose soccer skills impress us the most, those are the All-Conference players,” Mr. Schwahn said.

Added Schwahn: “I hope it will have many more seasons and tournaments like we’ve just had. That will be up to our players to work in the off-season and continue to improve. We surprised a lot of teams this year, and we have a little bit larger target on our back now.”


The Lady Panthers went up against the Lander Lady Tigers and Riverton Lady Wolverines  May 9-10 in their deciding matches for the state soccer tournament. In order to qualify for the tournament, the girls had two win both their games.

The top four teams in both the East and West divisions moved onto the state tournament.

The Lady Panthers beat the Lady Tigers 2-1 with junior Michele Wagner passing to senior Jaya Smith, scoring in the game against the Lander Lady Tigers in the last 11 seconds.

The following day, they faced the Riverton Lady Wolverines, where sophomore Mattie Larsen scored the only goal against the Lady Wolverines, where the girls fell 6-1, two points short of competing in the state tournament. They finished their regular season with a 4-9-2 record.

“The season started out pretty slow then we had some injuries,” Wagner said. “That didn’t help us out much. And it definitely didn’t end the way I had wanted it to.”

Wagner reflected on the beginning of the season were there were some tribulations.

“[I am] proud of having to play different positions and scoring our last four goals of the season,”

Wagner said. “I hope we can keep enough girls to keep the team going to be competitive enough to actually be able to compete.”

Despite not competing in the state tournament, junior Kayla Kolpitcke was the only Lady Panther named All-Conference midfielder.