By KARLA POMEROY
This year with some non-traditional sports stories highlighting the year, the Basin Republican Rustlers opted to name the Top Five Sports Stories of 2012.
1 Champion bronc rider
In November, Dean Schlattmann of Otto earned his bragging rights. The Riverside High School graduate turned rodeo pro won the world championship bronc riding championship title at the Senor National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last weekend.
With the win he brought home not only cash, but a beautiful World Champion belt buckle, two “go-round” buckles, new saddle, new boots and various other gear.
Schlattmann won the first and third go-rounds at the finals, scoring a 71 in each round, but was bucked off in the second round for a “no ride.”
Schlattmann was not the only cowboy from Otto making a name for himself in Las Vegas. Casey Nelson won the title of Reserve World Champion Heeler for the team roping, also in the 40-year-old category.
While Schlattmann is the No. 1 story, in other rodeo news in Big Horn County, Cowley’s J.R. Vezain, 20, competed in his first National Finals Rodeo in December. He won the 10th go round with an 86.5 and finished fourth in the world standings.
2 Hole in one
In May, Patrick Pasquinelli of Greybull, who teaches at Cloud Peak Middle School, achieved a fete most golfers only dream about, he hit a hole-in-one, his second in his lifetime.
Pasquinelli was golfing with Levi Kelly and Steve Olson regular stroke play when he hit the hole-in-one on Hole No. 7, a par 3 hole. He said he moved to the area last year and didn’t have a chance to golf at Midway Golf Course and has only golfed this spring about eight or nine times, usually getting a par or bogey on Hole 7.
“It’s 169 yards. I teed off with my 6 iron,” Pasquinelli said. He said he stepped away while teeing off because of the wind and hit the ball solid. “We watched it bounce once and we thought it went in but it wasn’t until we got to the hole we knew for sure.”
Pasquinelli hit a hole-in-one 14 years ago in Myrtle Beach, S.C. “I’ll take one every 14 years if that’s what it takes,” he said laughing.
3 Little League returns to Basin
The summer of 2012 brought the full return of Little League Baseball to Basin. After playing just a partial season in 2011, the Basin Minors went 5-2 in a full season and coaches Doug Crouse and Larry Mautz are hoping to continue to grow the program in 2013 with a Majors and Minors team.