Wyoming High School Soccer Team Moves Fallen Rocks To Open Up Wind River Canyon
It's one of those stories that reminds you just how good our next generation can really be.
On Saturday night, the Wyoming Department of Transportation announced that Highway US20/WY 789 was closed due to a rock slide in the Wind River Canyon.
Photos suggest that traffic was backed up for quite a while. And when the Powell Panthers Varsity Boys Soccer Team were coming back from a came and saw the situation, they did the only thing that made sense.
They got out and started moving the rocks out of the road.
That's according to a woman named Michele O'brien-Hampton, who provided K2 Radio News with an eyewitness account of Wyoming boyos making their hometown proud.
O'brien-Hampton is the mother of two varsity girl's players, and she was following behind the teams' busses.
"We were headed back from games in Lander and Pinedale," she stated. "Once we hit the Wind River Canyon, a woman was flagging cars telling us there was a rockslide ahead. I was behind Worland boys bus. The coach and assistant got out of the Worland bus and walked through the 3 tunnels and said the Panther bus was ahead."
According to O'brien-Hampton, the Worland Coach told her and others to follow them through the tunnels. Once they got through the tunnels, she asked a woman who was standing near the road if she was okay. The woman said yes, that the Panthers were clearing the road.
"I saw the boys and coach from Powell out there with the boulders," O'brien-Hampton recalled. "I saw the Worland team hop out to assist, but the Panthers had it opened up enough to get through. There was a gentleman on the other side 'guiding' the bus so they did not get too close to the railing or rock."
It was truly a case of everybody working together to solve a problem. Worland and Powell may have been adversaries on the soccer field, but when it came time to help others, the two teams partnered together like the Avengers and the Justice League.
"I don't know why they got out to help, but I just know these boys have been teammates from early Heart Mountain soccer years and they truly are a team in every sense of the word." O'brien-Hampton stated.
That they were.
O'brien-Hampton said that the boys and their coaches spent about 30 minutes clearing the road. Police eventually showed up and took over the situation, and the canyon would eventually be cleared. But it would have taken a lot longer, had a group of young men not decided to take it upon themselves to make a difference.
"It takes guts to be the guy or girl that doesn't sit back and watch things happen," O'brien-Hampton stated. "You need moxie to make things happen. I'm just glad I witnessed that moxie firsthand."
It would have been easy for these kiddos to just stay on their bus, sleeping or talking, or staring at their phones. Nobody would have blamed them. Many people twice their age did just that, waiting for help to arrive. But these young men didn't want to wait for help to arrive; they wanted to be the help.
So they arrived. And they got to work. They cleared the road and they made sure that the cars passing through did so as safely as possible. The Powell Panthers may or may not have won their games Saturday afternoon. But regardless of that, they proved themselves a team to be reckoned with. They proved themselves to be young men of character. And they proved themselves to be proof positive that if our future is in the hands of the next generation, we're gonna be okay.
They'll make sure of it.