The eighth edition of the Wyoming-Nebraska Six-man Shootout all-star football game will be Saturday in Chadron, Nebraska.

Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. on the campus of Chadron State College. The game will be at Chadron this year and for subsequent years after alternating between Wyoming and Nebraska for the first seven years of the game’s iteration.

Wyoming leads the all-time series 4-3, including winning last year’s game 16-14.

Team Wyoming will be led by six members of the state championship team from Farson; that quintet includes Lain Mitchelson, who ran for 1,885 yards and 28 touchdowns, and Clancy Gines, who ran for 1,388 yards and 29 scores. Mitchelson was six-man’s offensive player of the year, while Gines was the defensive player of the year.

The Wyoming squad also includes Guernsey’s Dylan Rose, who led six-man with 2,121 rushing yards and 35 TDs a year ago.

Wyoming’s squad had some late changes as Kaycee coach Tony Rouse and player Hunter Rouse had to withdraw to the game due to another commitment. Farson’s Michael Gribowskas will fill that roster spot, while St. Stephens coach Billy Brost will step in as an assistant coach.

Burlington’s Dontae Garza will not play due to injury but will join the team as a student coach.

Nebraska’s team will include three players who cracked 2,000 yards rushing — A.J. Jenkins of Wilcox-Hildreth, Trent Reed of Hay Springs and Christian Timm of Eustis-Farnam. Jenkins was named the six-man offensive player of the year in Nebraska last year. The team also includes Nebraska’s six-man defensive player of the year, Colton Leslie of Spalding Academy.

Players will arrive in Chadron on Wednesday to prepare for the game and will stay in the CSC dorms. Rosters for the game are:

WYOMING
BURLINGTON: Jacob Cook.
FARSON: Cortland Barker, Clancy Gines, Michael Gribowskas, Hagan Jones, Lain Mitchelson, Cody Sloan.
GUERNSEY: Austin Albrecht, Dylan Rose.
HANNA: Tylor Goodro.
HULETT: Ethan Dykes.
MEETEETSE: Nick Anderson, Kirwin Johnson.
MIDWEST: Kaleb Smith.
ST. STEPHENS: Vincent Brown, Roberto Hernandez.
SNAKE RIVER: Thomas Duncan.
Coaches: Trip Applequist, Farson, head coach; Curtis Cook, Guernsey; Scott Reed, Farson; Billy Brost, St. Stephens.

NEBRASKA
ARTHUR COUNTY
: Kutter Rogers.
CODY-KILGORE: Brye Szakas.
DESHLER: Peyton Dubbert, Hutch Finke.
EUSTIS FARNAM: Jordan Fangmeyer, Christian Timm.
HARVARD: Hunter Wilkerson.
HAY SPRINGS: Jarret Pieper, Trent Reed.
HUMPHREY LINDSAY HOLY FAMILY: Dylan Hanzel.
HYANNIS: Zane Musgrave.
MCCOOL JUNCTION: Jaden Gonnerman.
ST. EDWARD: Trevor Rasmussen.
SPALDING ACADEMY: Mathew Bloom, Colton Leslie.
WILCOX-HILDRETH: Sidney Gruwell, A.J. Jenkins, Clayton Nichols.

Thanks to coach Applequist for providing rosters and details on the game in advance.

–patrick

Zeb Hagen, who was Meeteetse’s head football coach more than a decade ago and its head boys basketball coach the past two seasons, has been named as the Longhorns’ newest head football coach.

Meeteetse Superintendent Shane Ogden confirmed Hagen’s hiring via email to Wyoming-football.com on Tuesday.

Hagen was the Meeteetse football team’s head coach from 2006 to 2008, when the Longhorns played in the Montana six-man league. In his first year of 2006, he helped lead Meeteetse to a spot in the six-man semifinals in Montana. He went a combined 15-13 in his three years as head coach.

In addition to coaching basketball, he has also recently been an assistant football coach with Meeteetse.

Hagen did not reply to an email late Tuesday. This post will be updated with new information when available.

Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian, Midwest and NSI. Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Torrington, Glenrock, Lovell, Big Piney, Pinedale and Ten Sleep. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Ken Swieter, who has been the head football coach at Midwest for the past 12 seasons, has resigned to become an assistant coach at Kelly Walsh, his alma mater.

Swieter, who graduated from KW in 1997, resigned from his spot on Friday. He will also take a new teaching job at Pineview Elementary in Casper.

Swieter said Monday to wyoming-football.com that he would miss Midwest and his players there, but “I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go back and coach for my alma mater.”

KW will be led by first-year coach Aaron Makelky, who formerly led Class 2A Big Piney.

Swieter said one of his favorite memories was transitioning Midwest from 11-man to six-man; when he took over in 2007, the Oilers still fielded an 11-man team. In 2008, the Oilers played six-man games for the first time because they couldn’t field an 11-man team, playing other varsity squads who played six-man against the Oilers to help Midwest keep its program going. Sanctioned six-man football came one year later.

“Without that (2008 season), I’m not sure if Midwest would have had football,” Swieter said. “If we would have canceled that season, I’m not sure if we would have been able to get anyone out.”

Instead, in 2009, Midwest started its first sanctioned six-man season winning six consecutive games, eventually reaching the 1A six-man semifinals that season.

“The kids bought into the system, and when kids buy in, they’re going to work a lot harder,” he said.

Swieter finished a combined 58-51 in his 12 seasons in Midwest. The Oilers’ best finish came in 2013, when they finished as state runners-up. Prior to Swieter taking over in 2007, and aside from a non-varsity season in 2002, Midwest had not had a winning season since 1991.

Tentatively, Swieter is going to coach linebackers and coordinate special teams at KW, he said.

On Tuesday, Midwest activities director David Sunday said via email the job had been posted as open. He said the position would likely be filled quickly, “depending upon the candidates and the timeline of the district.”

Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian,Meeteetse and NSI. Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Torrington, Glenrock, Lovell, Big Piney, Pinedale and Ten Sleep. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated 9:24 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, to add comments from Midwest AD Sunday.

The North squad won its seventh consecutive Shrine Bowl on Saturday, beating the South 29-19 in the 2019 version of the annual all-star football game.

Big Horn’s Kade VanDyken, who finished with 156 receiving yards to end up 12 yards short of the Shrine Bowl record, was named the game’s offensive MVP.

Rawlins’ Damon Taylor was the defensive MVP. He led all defensive players with 10 solo tackles.

The seven-game winning streak for the North is the longest winning streak of either team in Shrine Bowl history. The second-longest streak is the North’s five consecutive victories from 1998-2002, the South’s five straight from 1993-97 and the North’s five straight from 1980-84.

Money raised from Saturday’s game goes to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City.

For more on the history of the Shrine Bowl and its records, click here.

–patrick

The 2019 Shrine Bowl all-star football game will be today (Saturday) in Casper.

The annual game between the North and South teams will start at 2 p.m. The North leads the all-time series 24-18-3 and has won six Shrine Bowl games in a row. The rosters for the teams include:

NORTH
Big Horn: Kade Eisele, Seth Mullinax, Kade VanDyken.
Buffalo: Luke Glassock, Cody Milmine, Aaron Thiele.
Cody: Jackson Morris, Brayden Polley, Nathan Whalen.
Greybull: Dade Greene, Zack Keisel.
Jackson: Keegan Butler.
Kaycee: Hunter Rouse.
Kelly Walsh: Connor Shopp, Brock Spiegelberg.
Lander: Max Mazurie, Conrad Swenson.
Meeteetse: Kirwin Johnson.
Natrona: Jordan Bertagnole, Chase Brachtenbach, Tehl Campbell, Trevon Smith, Yahav Shraiber.
Powell: Sawyer Mauthe.
Sheridan: Parker Christensen, Quinn Heyneman, Eli Johnston.
Thermopolis: Chandler Maddock.
Thunder Basin: Marcus Glick, Lathem Hodges, Dayton Porter, Terren Swartz.
Upton-Sundance: Tanner Hofland, Clayton Louderback.
Wind River: Jaren Guina.
Coaches: Rob Hammond, Buffalo, head coach; assistants Matt Jensen (Meeteetse), Kirk McLaughlin (Big Horn), Aaron Papich (Powell), Trent Pikula (Thunder Basin), Ross Walker (Buffalo).

SOUTH
Big Piney: Asencion Pelham, Justin Seemann.
Burns: Alex Pyle.
Cheyenne Central: Blain Dilly, Val Herd.
Cheyenne East: Zach Alexander, Dakota Merritt, Eric Zastoupil.
Cokeville: Bentley Johnson.
Douglas: Dylon Case, Kanyon Cecil, Dax Read.
Evanston: Tyus Cornia, Rylie Griggs, Kody Smith.
Farson: Clancy Gines.
Glenrock: Ian Arnold.
Green River: Anthony Johnson, Anthony Mitchell.
Kemmerer: Jeydon Boyd, Hayden Walker.
Laramie: Brady Epler, Ben Kruzich, Baxter Tuggle, Jason Upton.
Mountain View: Colby Rees.
Pinedale: Joey McCulloch.
Rawlins: Damon Taylor.
Saratoga: Sam Schneider.
Star Valley: Will Johnson, Tanner Thompson.
Torrington: Brandon Bennick, Josh Kingsley, Scott Woodruff.
Wheatland: Colton Caves, Clayton Iacovetto.
Coaches: Aaron Makelky, Big Piney, head coach; assistants Matt Cornelius (Lingle), Dustin Gochenour (Cheyenne Central), Mark Lenhardt (Torrington) Jeff Makelky (Big Piney), Ryan Nelson (Lusk).

–patrick

NSI Academy in Sheridan is on the search for a new football coach.

Former coach Antoine Proctor is no longer the coach and does not work at the school, he said via Facebook message to wyoming-football.com on Sunday.

Proctor was the Wolves’ coach in 2018. NSI went 3-4 last season in the Class 1A six-man East Conference.

An email sent Sunday to NSI activities director Molly Trocha seeking more information had not been answered by Tuesday afternoon.

Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian and Meeteetse. Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Torrington, Glenrock, Lovell, Big Piney, Pinedale and Ten Sleep. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Lusk graduate Taylen Arnett will be the new head football coach at Ten Sleep this fall.

Arnett’s hiring was confirmed by Ten Sleep activities director Sarah Novak in an email to wyoming-football.com last week and via text with Arnett earlier this week.

Arnett, who graduated from Lusk in 2012, takes over a six-man program that failed to field a football team in 2018 after only five boys in the school showed interest.

In the four seasons prior to last year’s cancelation, the Pioneers went a combined 4-26.

Ross Hauptman was Ten Sleep’s last coach; he coached the Pioneers for one season, in 2017.

Arnett works as a rancher in the Ten Sleep area.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Torrington, Glenrock, Lovell, Big Piney and Pinedale. Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian and Meeteetse. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Clay Cundall, an assistant coach for Pinedale, has been promoted to the program’s top spot.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported on Friday of Cundall’s hiring.

A 2011 graduate of Greybull High School, Cundall played linebacker at Chadron State.

Cundall is the son of former Gillette and Greybull coach John Cundall. In addition to coaching, he also teaches language arts at Pinedale Middle School. He replaces Mitch Espeland, who resigned in March.

The Wranglers finished 3-5 last season and failed to reach the Class 2A playoffs. Pinedale has had just two winning seasons since 2000.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanstonTorringtonGlenrock, Lovell and Big Piney. Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian and Meeteetse. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Ryan Visser has been chosen to be the new head football coach at Big Piney.

Big Piney activities director Scott Carpenter verified Visser’s hire by the Sublette County School District No. 9 board, which approved Visser in its meeting Tuesday night.

Visser, a native of Preston, Idaho, who graduated from Preston High School in 2011, was an assistant coach for the Preston football team for six years. He coached freshman, JV and varsity levels, working with offense, defense and special teams.

“In that time I worked for three head coaches and I feel like the differences in coaching staffs and philosophy has helped me form my own coaching philosophy and style,” Visser said in an email to wyoming-football.com on Wednesday.

He teaches criminal justice and weightlifting courses at Preston High and will teach social studies at Big Piney.

“My wife and I were impressed with the school, the administration and the impression the town left on us,” Visser said. “We decided heading three hours east would be a great opportunity and adventure.”

Visser will replace Aaron Makelky, who was hired to be the new head coach at Kelly Walsh in March.

Big Piney is coming off back-to-back playoff berths and winning seasons; the Punchers reached the Class 2A semifinals in 2017.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanstonTorringtonGlenrock and Lovell. Other schools looking for new head coaches include Pinedale, Wyoming Indian and Meeteetse. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated at 7:27 p.m. Wednesday, May 22 with comments from Visser.

Torrington will enter the 2019 season having had back-to-back losses in the Class 3A championship game the past two seasons.

So, naturally, the Trailblazers should be an early favorite for the 3A title, ready to avenge the past two seasons of near-titles.

Right?

Ah, if only it were that simple.

In all, 45 Wyoming high school football teams have lost two championship games in a row. Of those, only six won the title the next year — and two of those instances came in 2018.

So the long-term history is against Torrington, but the fact that this feat was pulled off twice last season is a pretty amazing statistic.

The teams that won championships after back-to-back title-game losses were Natrona and Farson in 2018, Cheyenne East in 2007, Star Valley in 1992, Evanston in 1985 and Hanna in 1952.

In fact, it’s more likely that a team won’t qualify for the playoffs at all than win a title after two consecutive championship losses. That’s happened 13 times, compared to the six title winners. And it’s almost twice as likely that teams who reach the title game again after two consecutive title-game losses will lose on their third try — that’s happened to 11 of the 17 teams who made it back to the championship game for a third chance.

The most heart-wrenching of these instances actually comes from Torrington itself. The Trailblazers had six consecutive runner-up finishes in Class A from 1953 to 1958. Losses in the 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1956 title games were all to Worland; Torrington lost to Powell in 1957’s title game and Cody in 1958.

Losing six consecutive title games is unprecedented in Wyoming. Only one other program in the state — Mountain View from 1999-2002 — has had even four consecutive runner-up finishes.

Here’s a breakdown of the programs who have lost two consecutive title games and how they did in the season immediately after their second title-game loss, with the teams that won titles in bold:

Torrington 2019: ??????
Natrona 2018: Champs
Farson 2018: Champs
Tongue River 2017: Did not qualify for playoffs
Gillette 2016: Semifinals
Douglas 2015: Quarterfinals
Lusk 2015: Did not qualify for playoffs
Lusk 2014: Runners-up again
Buffalo 2009: Semifinals
Big Horn 2009: Quarterfinals
Cheyenne East 2007: Champs
Gillette 2004: Quarterfinals
Gillette 2003: Runners-up again
Star Valley 2003: Semifinals
Mountain View 2003: Semifinals
Mountain View 2002: Runners-up again
Mountain View 2001: Runners-up again
Pinedale 2000: Quarterfinals
Star Valley 1999: Did not qualify for playoffs
Upton 1999: Did not qualify for playoffs
Sheridan 1998: Semifinals
Thermopolis 1998: Semifinals
Lusk 1998: Semifinals
Lusk 1997: Runners-up again
Lander 1996: Did not qualify for playoffs
Lander 1995: Runners-up again
Hulett 1995: Quarterfinals
Buffalo 1994: Quarterfinals
Hulett 1994: Runners-up again
Gillette 1993: Quarterfinals
Star Valley 1992: Champs
Lovell 1992: Quarterfinals
Upton 1989: Did not qualify for playoffs
Cody 1986: Did not qualify for title game
Evanston 1985: Champs
Midwest 1985: Did not qualify for playoffs
Rock Springs 1982: Did not qualify for title game
Riverton 1974: Did not qualify for title game
Worland 1970: Did not qualify for title game
Torrington 1959: Did not qualify for playoffs
Torrington 1958: Runners-up again
Kemmerer 1958: Did not qualify for playoffs
Torrington 1957: Runners-up again
Torrington 1956: Runners-up again
Torrington 1955: Runners-up again
Hanna 1952: Champs

–patrick

Post Navigation