(Worland, WY) – High school girls from Lander, Riverton, and Shoshoni have been traveling almost daily to Worland to play softball for the Lady Warriors since Fremont County does not have a high school sanctioned team. They endure hours of travel, practice, and unpredictable Wyoming weather to play the sport they love.
Head Coach Tim Barrus is in his first year at the helm and is excited to have Fremont County girls on his team because this means there is interest at our local schools, and he sees it as an opportunity.
“We’re trying to grow the softball program in the state, and we’re hoping that Riverton or Lander can put a team together and actually be able to compete with us, too,” he said. “It’s been really difficult as a 3A school to compete with those big 4A schools, and if we can get some of the smaller schools involved, maybe it won’t be so much of a challenge.”
Our local girls can play softball for Worland because it is the closest school with a sanctioned team, and they received approval from their respective high schools.
“We only had probably about 14 girls out, so with Lander and Riverton and a couple of girls from Shoshoni, we’re able to put our numbers up to about 25 or 26,” Coach Barrus shared.
One of the girl’s moms, Missy Metzler, has been trying to get softball sanctioned at Riverton High School.
“We’ve had a lot of community support, which the (school) board doesn’t see,” she shared.
They are working to secure the Babe Ruth fields across from the middle school. They’ve also had community members come forward willing to donate toward uniforms and equipment to help alleviate the financial aspect of sanctioning softball. They also have a potential coach.
According to Missy, RHS Athletic Director Reggie Miller told one of the girls that a lack of interest is preventing them from sanctioning the sport. A point she disagrees with.
Between travel and practice time in Worland, the girls put in several hours of work daily.
“It’s about six hours every day that they’re putting into this, so I mean, that’s true commitment,” Missy explained. “If our girls are willing to do that, can we not commit to them?”
Back in June 2022, sanctioning softball was taken under the advisement of the Riverton School Board. No other action has been taken since then. Missy encourages the community to write letters and call the board members to voice their support.
In the meantime, Coach Barrus is pumped for the season, which pending weather, kicks off on Friday with the Cheyenne Invite.
“I’m just excited for us to get all these girls together and to play,” Coach Barrus said. “I really think it’s going to build all of our programs, having a big team like this, we can be a little competitive with each other if we have to compete for our position. I think it’s going to push our drive to practice harder, and not only that, it’s gonna help the girls make new friends and make a better program.”