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May 21, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Spring soaker

What's the best answer to lingering concerns about summer drought? A day and a half of rain, that's what. The moisture that fell gently from sky to earth Saturday night and Sunday across the Wind River Basin was almost as welcome as winning the Powerball jackpot.

In fact, a very good case could be made that the weekend soaker will be worth every bit as much money as the lucky lottery ticket -- not for an individual, but for our collective local population.

Now we all can wait for the presumed pronouncement from meteorological officialdom that a day and a half of rain won't mean much in terms of the drought, but our common sense tells us different. If nothing else, it brings some peace of mind at a time when we all could use it.

A high achievement

People who follow high school soccer in Wyoming probably realize the significance of what the Riverton High School boys soccer team did over the weekend, but the casual fans who pay close attention only at tournament time might not.

Only three of the teams get to finish their state tournaments with victory -- state champ, the third-place team and the consolation champion. And only the state champion and the consolation champion finish with two straight victories.

What's more, the consolation champion must win its trophy after enduring the disappointment of a first-round loss. And only the state champion ends the tournament with a better record than the consolation winner.

The consolation trophy is more than fifth place. It is better than fourth place. It is a most worthy accomplishment that speaks volumes about the team with the willingness to fight to win it.

That is what our Riverton Wolverines have done on the soccer field for the second year in a row, and they deserve hearty congratulations.

Sooner, not later?

The word, unofficially, is that Riverton High School intends to name its new head football coach before school is out. That would be a good idea to put the recent difficulty in the past sooner rather than later, and also to permit the new coach the opportunity to meet his players in the school setting. True, it is only May, but there is planning and decision making about summer preparations that normally would have been done already. If the new coach can be hired now while still following proper protocol and conducting due diligence, that would seem to be the way to go.

On stage

The culmination of the sports season isn't the only thing that comes with the middle of May in our public schools. In the days ahead, local audiences can enjoy the final Riverton High School choir concert conducted by longtime vocal music director Pat Dalton, a dedicated and inspiring educator who is retiring.

And this also is the week for the Riverton High School musical, directed by Annette Thornton and featuring a fair portion of the RHS student body, both onstage and off. The play is "Les Miserables," and it is a brave and ambitious undertaking for a high school drama department.

We will have more coverage of both events in the days ahead, but nothing can beat your in-person attendance.

They tried

Pity our poor crabapples. After waiting longer than usual for the chance to bloom because of the cold and snowy April weather, Riverton's distinctive pink, white and violet blossoms were greeted upon their arrival by days of relentless wind and rain.

Now, they pretty much have been pulverized without ever having reached their full glory, which can happen only with dry, sunny May weather. That's why the trees bloom when they do -- because the weather normally is so perfect for them in May. Not this year. Most of the blossoms already are lying in pieces on the ground beneath the trees.

It is a true disappointment, because the seven to 10 perfumed days of May when the crabapples are in bloom comprise one of our area's great natural treats.

Too bad, honeybees. You'll have to go for the lilacs instead.

As for the crabapples, it's wait until next year.

Here's to a good week.

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