Lobos kick off season with Mothers Day Tournament


Lobos right-hander Paxton Rees threw a pitch during the final inning of their matchup against Rock Springs Friday. (Photo by Carl Cote)

By Shawn O’Brate

LANDER – This weekend was the first weekend of play for the Lander Lobos Senior Babe Ruth team as well as many other teams around central Wyoming with a few teams traveling to Lander to take place in their Mother’s Day tournament.


The tournament started off on a good note for the Lobos A-Team as they defeated the Rock Springs Spartans. Originally the Lobos started the game down 2-0 thanks to an early error but they put the bat to the ball rather impressively in the bottom of the first, making it a 5-2 game quickly. After three innings the game would be tied heading into the bottom of the fourth until a walk-off hit by right fielder Ty Martin brought in pitcher Keegan Stephenson right as time would run out.


Lander’s first win of the season, a walk-off hit, was only customary for a team that enjoys celebrating as much as the Lobos do. Every hit, strike, groundout, and anything in between causes a ruckus from the dugout as if the World Series was on the line, something that coach Dave Rees says benefits the team as a whole.


“This team has such a special bond,” Rees said during a post-game interview with WyoToday’s Travis Gupton, “they’re like a brotherhood, if you mess with one of these young men you’re going to have to mess with this whole team.”


At the end of the weekend the A-Team played five games: two against Rock Springs, one against Cheyenne, one against Gillette and another against the Lobos’ B-Team, they finished the weekend 3-1-1 with their only loss coming Sunday against Rock Springs, the team they beat Friday night.


The B-Team played three games, including the one loss against the A-Team, with the team finishing 1-2 total with their lone victory coming against Cheyenne in a 12-4 win. 


Nearing the end of the first tournament of the season coach Rees had plenty to say about his teams:

“I don’t ask for perfection but I kind of instill that there’s nothing wrong with striving towards it,” Rees said, “Our team two (B-Team) held their own and our team one (A-Team) is just solid. Both teams are coming into their own, and I have all the confidence in the world in these boys.”


When discussing this upcoming season Rees said there’s one thing on his mind:


“In the end I’d like to play for a state title…there’s no doubt [it can happen] with the way we come together and mesh. Both teams are like brothers.”


After the weekend was over the Lander Lobos A-Team came away with two home runs, one by Stephenson and another by Paxton Rees, with 32 total runs scored and sixteen stolen bases. The Lobos’ pitchers combined for 40 strikeouts and 17 hits allowed total.


Overall, it was a rather impressive performance as a whole from the team. Which Rees says is just a product of the mindset during the weeks leading up to the home-field tournament:


“These kids put a lot of work in,” coach Rees said, “we practice at least four nights a week for two to three hours a night.”


When it was all said and done coach Rees had one thing to say about the work his teams have put forth:


“You always hear practice makes perfect but actually practice makes permanent.”


Be on the lookout for more information regarding the Lobos schedule and future games, also be sure to check out the WyoToday Facebook and YouTube page for live streams of certain games and future matchups.