Honestly: Lincoln is Wyoming’s best high school football county

Posted on April 16th, 2014 in Cool stuff,Everything,Ramblings by Patrick

Wyoming has its share of solid football programs.

And in one case, geographic proximity seems to play a key role in three programs’ success.

Together, the three programs in Lincoln County — Star Valley, Cokeville and Kemmerer — give the far western edge of the state the most successful football county in the state. Removing games played against each other, the Lincoln County programs have won more than 61 percent of their games, by far the best mark of any county in the state.

Converse County (with two programs, Glenrock and Douglas) and Sheridan County (with active programs Tongue River, Sheridan, Big Horn and Normative Services and defunct programs Arvada, Clearmont, Dayton, Ranchester and Monarch) finished tied for the second-most successful county. Both Converse and Sheridan counties finished with winning percentages of .568 when games against each other were factored out of the equation.

Niobrara County, Natrona County and Johnson County also finished with combined winning percentages higher than .560.

Meanwhile, Carbon County — with active programs Rawlins, Snake River, Saratoga and Hanna and defunct programs Encampment and Medicine Bow — finished last of Wyoming’s 23 counties. The Carbon County schools have won just 38.2 percent of games against inter-county foes. Crook County (Hulett, Sundance and Moorcroft) was second-to-last with a .405 winning percentage.

The county standings (winning percentage with intra-county games removed):

1. Lincoln: .614
2. (tie) Converse: .568
2. (tie) Sheridan: .568
4. Niobrara: .565
5. Natrona: .563
6. Johnson: .561
7. Albany: .550
8. Goshen: .550
9. Big Horn: .521
10. Park: .517
11. Campbell: .516
12. Sublette: .510
13. Sweetwater: .505
14. Washakie: .497
15. Uinta: .492
16. Laramie: .491
17. Weston: .472
18. Hot Springs: .460
19. Fremont: .433
20. Platte: .430
21. Teton: .415
22. Crook: .405
23. Carbon: .382

(By the way, did you notice Big Horn County’s rank of 9 also matches its license plate county number?)


Wyoming football home-field advantage: Where it means the most (and the least)

Posted on April 1st, 2014 in Cool stuff,Everything,Ramblings by Patrick

Long before Wind River was Wind River, the Cougar contingent was split between two schools, Morton and Pavillion.

Separately, the Broncs in Morton and the Panthers in Pavillion established a trend that the conjoined Cougars continued after the separate schools became one — success at home.

In fact, the old Pavillion squad has the largest difference between success at home and success on the road of all squads in the state, past or present. Morton and Wind River, meanwhile, are both in the top seven all-time, and Wind River is second among active programs in that difference.

In 11 seasons, Pavillion won 52.5 percent of its games at home but only 27.8 percent of its games on the road — a difference of 24.7 percent. Wind River and Morton, meanwhile, have both won 17.6 percent more games at home than on the road. (Wind River matched Pavillion in home winning percentage at 52.5 but has won 34.9 percent of road games; Morton won 52.3 of home games and 34.7 percent of road games.)

Of active programs, Sheridan has the biggest difference between home and road success, as the Broncs win nearly 20 percent more games at home than on the road. The Broncs have won less than half their road games but win close to 70 percent of their home games.

Where Wind River and Sheridan love the home games, other schools don’t mind hitting the road.

In particular, Riverside shows a particular indifference to game locations. The Rebels have won 50.9 percent of their road games and 54.3 percent of their home games — a difference of just 3.4 percent, the smallest difference of active programs with at least 50 games played.

Of all Wyoming high schools with at least 50 games played, only one — Arvada-Clearmont — won a higher percentage of games on the road than at home. The Panthers, who last played in 1971, won 46.3 percent of road games but only 45.1 percent of home games.

Home teams win Wyoming high school football games about 56 percent of the time. That means, on average, the usual difference between home and road victories is about 12 percent. Some teams, like Wind River and Sheridan, tend to win a heck of a lot more at home; some teams, like Riverside, don’t really show much of a difference between home and road success.

Here are all Wyoming’s past and present football programs, ranked from lowest difference to highest difference, of schools with at least 50 games played (defunct programs in italics):

Team Road Win % Home Win % Difference
Arvada-Clearmont 0.463 0.451 -0.012
Riverside 0.509 0.543 0.034
Wyoming Indian 0.186 0.223 0.037
Manderson 0.307 0.357 0.050
University Prep 0.232 0.283 0.051
Mountain View 0.534 0.587 0.053
Pinedale 0.418 0.479 0.061
Evanston 0.441 0.512 0.071
Kelly Walsh 0.450 0.521 0.071
Snake River 0.471 0.542 0.071
Basin 0.494 0.573 0.079
Rawlins 0.342 0.423 0.081
Powell 0.503 0.585 0.082
Big Horn 0.543 0.626 0.083
Byron 0.766 0.851 0.085
Bow-Basin 0.229 0.314 0.085
Albin 0.352 0.438 0.086
Lovell 0.493 0.580 0.087
Upton 0.467 0.558 0.091
Reliance 0.627 0.719 0.092
Southeast 0.609 0.703 0.094
Wright 0.405 0.500 0.095
Pine Bluffs 0.463 0.558 0.095
Thermopolis 0.421 0.521 0.100
Douglas 0.472 0.574 0.102
Greybull 0.380 0.483 0.103
Dubois 0.400 0.506 0.106
Midwest 0.425 0.531 0.106
St. Mary’s 0.337 0.445 0.108
Worland 0.491 0.599 0.108
Lyman 0.396 0.506 0.110
Moorcroft 0.389 0.500 0.111
Tongue River 0.493 0.606 0.113
Lingle 0.472 0.586 0.114
Meeteetse 0.353 0.467 0.114
Cheyenne East 0.394 0.510 0.116
Saratoga 0.353 0.469 0.116
Buffalo 0.503 0.620 0.117
Newcastle 0.383 0.501 0.118
St. Stephens 0.500 0.618 0.118
Hulett 0.306 0.426 0.120
Superior 0.326 0.446 0.120
Cokeville 0.659 0.780 0.121
Glendo 0.318 0.439 0.121
Rocky Mountain 0.508 0.630 0.122
Deaver-Frannie 0.483 0.606 0.123
Guernsey-Sunrise 0.470 0.596 0.126
Cody 0.489 0.616 0.127
Dayton 0.517 0.645 0.128
Huntley 0.277 0.409 0.132
Wheatland 0.346 0.478 0.132
Torrington 0.495 0.629 0.134
Big Piney 0.495 0.630 0.135
Glenrock 0.546 0.683 0.137
Normative Services 0.267 0.404 0.137
Lander 0.385 0.525 0.140
Laramie 0.495 0.636 0.141
Sundance 0.380 0.523 0.143
Green River 0.456 0.601 0.145
Burlington 0.346 0.492 0.146
Farson 0.204 0.353 0.149
Shoshoni 0.415 0.566 0.151
Rock Springs 0.456 0.608 0.152
Natrona 0.580 0.734 0.154
Ten Sleep 0.355 0.512 0.157
Jackson 0.337 0.495 0.158
Burns 0.345 0.503 0.158
Kemmerer 0.404 0.566 0.162
Star Valley 0.542 0.707 0.165
Riverton 0.422 0.588 0.166
Goshen Hole 0.408 0.575 0.167
Cheyenne Central 0.516 0.683 0.167
Hanna 0.328 0.496 0.168
Lusk 0.528 0.700 0.172
Gillette 0.457 0.629 0.172
Guernsey 0.257 0.432 0.175
Morton 0.347 0.523 0.176
Wind River 0.349 0.525 0.176
Sunrise 0.421 0.602 0.181
Sheridan 0.495 0.694 0.199
Cowley 0.434 0.633 0.199
Manville 0.091 0.304 0.213
Pavillion 0.278 0.525 0.247

Generally, the further down this list you go, the better that team’s home-field advantage… or, pessimistically, the worse that team plays on the road. The higher up you go, the more consistent that team is… or, pessimistically, the worse that team’s home-field advantage is.

The question I can’t really answer: Why are the schools at the top of this list at the top? Why are the schools at the bottom of this list at the bottom? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts below.


North Shrine Bowl team makes roster changes

Posted on March 27th, 2014 in Everything,Newsbreak,Shrine Bowl by Patrick

Riverton’s Austin Patterson and Rocky Mountain’s Joey Jewell have been named to the North team for this summer’s Shrine Bowl.

They replace Cody’s Brandon Hinze and Big Horn’s Connor McCafferty, said John Cundall, the game’s executive director, via email.

The game will be June 14 in Casper.


Sheridan’s Tyler Julian wins NFF’s scholar-athlete award

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 in Everything,Newsbreak,NFF by Patrick

Sheridan’s Tyler Julian was named the state’s top football scholar-athlete by the Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation during the group’s annual banquet on Saturday in Laramie.

Julian was one of 12 finalists for the award from around the state. Each finalist earned a $1,200 scholarship, while Julian as the top scholar-athlete was awarded an additional $1,200 scholarship.

The group also gave out a handful of other awards honoring fans, coaches, officials and players from around the state.

Julian will be the state’s nominee for regional and national NFF awards.

Previous award winners are available at the group’s website.


Updates: Sunrise, all-state, basketball

Posted on March 22nd, 2014 in Everything,Site updates by Patrick

Game updates: I added Sunrise’s 18-6 loss to Manville on Oct. 7, 1948, to Sunrise’s team page. It was listed for Manville and in the 1948 year listings, but it wasn’t listed with Sunrise’s listings. I had a typo (“Sunrisde”) that made it easy to skip over…. All the updates have been made on all the relevant pages.

All-state: Added Newcastle’s Rob Bainer to the all-state listings in Class A for 1981. Thanks to Tracy Ragland in Newcastle for catching the omission!

Basketball: Fixed the score for the 1984 Class 1A girls consolation championship: Manderson beat Encampment 47-34. I had it transposed, with Encampment winning. Thanks to former Manderson coach John Tate for the help! … Also, the 2014 state tournament results have been added to the basketball records.


NFF Wyoming Chapter names 2013 scholar-athlete award finalists

Posted on March 14th, 2014 in Everything,Newsbreak,NFF by Patrick

The Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation will honor players, coaches and fans during its 20th annual banquet March 22 in Laramie.

In all, 12 Wyoming high school football players are finalists for the chapter’s scholar-athlete of the year award. Finalists include Dubois’ Sterling Baker and Meeteetse’s Seth Bennett from Class 1A six-man; Cokeville’s Brock Teichert and Lusk’s Matt VandeBossche from Class 1A 11-man; Big Horn’s Miles Novak, Wright’s Stormy Roy and Glenrock’s Devon Parkinson from Class 2A; Powell’s Garrett Lynch and Hayden Cragoe and Douglas’ Logan Barker from Class 3A; and Sheridan’s Tyler Julian and Gillette’s Austin Fort from Class 4A.

From this group, one player will be chosen as the chapter’s top scholar-athlete, who will represent the state at the national level. Each winner will receive a $1,200 scholarship, and the winner will receive an additional $1,200 scholarship.

In addition, Big Horn’s Michael Lamb will be given the group’s Scholar-Athlete Courage Award and Cheyenne East’s Shane Brooks will be awarded the Scholar-Athlete Perseverance Award.

University of Wyoming players Spencer Bruce and Justin Bernthaler will also be honored.

Other special awards will be given to:

Greatest University of Wyoming Football Fans: Jo Ferguson, Cheyenne; Wes and Coleen Metzler, Powell; Tracy Ringolsby Jr., Cheyenne.
Greatest Wyoming High School Football Fans: George Haas, Torrington; Ron Mills, Newcastle.
Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football: Scott Mangold, Powell; Paul Stille, Casper.
Ox Zellner Football Official Career Achievement Award: Dale Boedeker, Gillette.
Football Coach Career Achievement Award: Keith Nate, Cokeville; Steve Oldenburg, Gillette; Rick Scherry, Sheridan (Big Horn).

Former Rock Springs and UW star John Wendling, who plays for the Detroit Lions, will be the keynote speaker.

Douglas’ Ty Etchemendy was named the top scholar-athlete last year.

Previous award winners are available at the group’s website.


Shrine Bowl rosters shift

Posted on March 13th, 2014 in Everything,Shrine Bowl by Patrick

Three new players have been brought onto the rosters for the 41st annual Shrine Bowl.

Executive Director John Cundall announced Thursday that Chance Miller of Douglas and Clinton Jaure of Cheyenne East will join the South team. They replace Cameron Johnson and Brian Lopez, both of East.

Hulett’s Story Penning will join the North squad, replacing Worland’s Patrick Hunter.

Cundall also announced the student trainers and managers for each team — Rock Springs’ Madison Overy and Douglas’ Brittney Barker as trainers and Pine Bluffs’ Keenan Cozort and Natrona’s Ben Doyle as managers.

The annual all-star football game is June 14 in Casper.


Droughts and streaks: Wyoming high school basketball state tournament; or, why Big Piney is my new favorite team

Posted on March 3rd, 2014 in Basketball,Everything,Ramblings by Patrick

Now that the boys and girls basketball teams from my alma mater, Midwest, have been knocked out of postseason contention, I’m searching for a team to support during this week’s 1A-2A state basketball tournament.

And I’m going with the Big Piney boys for no other reason than statistical anomaly.

The Punchers have the chance to break one of the state’s longest streaks in the first round of the tournament on Thursday. Big Piney hasn’t been to the state tournament’s semifinal round since 1982, a streak that will end if the Punchers beat Pine Bluffs on Thursday.

With the Class 2A and 1A state basketball tournaments scheduled this week, and the Class 4A and 3A regional tournaments also set, now is a good time to look at some interesting patterns, like Big Piney’s, that have emerged the past few years in Casper — or, in some cases, have emerged during past few decades.

Oddly enough, Big Piney’s opponent, Pine Bluffs, has a similar semis-less streak going. The Hornets haven’t been past the quarterfinals since 1995, a mark that’s just outside the state’s top 10.

Whoever wins, I officially promise to join the winner’s bandwagon and celebrate the end of the streak. After all, the boys team with the longest semi-less streak — outside of Glendo, Cheyenne South and Normative Services, which have never made it past the first round — is my hometown Midwest Oilers. The last time Midwest made it to the semis was 1953, more than 60 years ago. Midwest has made 22 state tournaments since then, and has even won a few games, but has never made it past the quarterfinals.

The Kemmerer girls have a chance to break a streak that’s similar to Big Piney’s boys; the Ranger girls haven’t advanced past the quarterfinal round since 1986. Kemmerer faces Southeast in the first round of the 2A state tournament on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Class 4A, Gillette has the opportunity to continue streaks that have been decades in the making. The Camel boys, by virtue of their No. 1 seed at the East Regional, have already qualified for their 27th consecutive state tournament, while the Camel girls will need to beat Cheyenne South in a play-in game to make it to state for the 25th year in a row. Both streaks are the longest active streaks in the state.

The Camel girls, once in Casper (provided they beat South), will also be trying to make it to the semifinals for the 22nd consecutive year — by far the longest such streak in the state. On the boys’ side, Burlington needs to beat Lingle in the first round of the 1A state tournament on Thursday to make the semifinals for the eighth year in a row, which would continue the longest such active streak in the state regardless of classification.

Meanwhile, Rock River’s boys and girls both lost in state play-in games at last week’s 1A East Regional tournament, continuing long state-less streaks for the Longhorns. Rock River’s girls haven’t been to state since 1987, while the boys haven’t been since 1971 — the longest such active streaks for schools that have qualified at least once for state. The Cheyenne South and Normative Services girls are the only two active programs that have not qualified for a state tournament.

Here’s a quick look at some interesting state tournament streaks: The longest droughts, the longest qualifying streaks, the longest semifinal droughts and the longest semifinal qualifying streaks:

Basketball state tournament droughts
None since 2002
Rock River: 1971
Glendo: 1979
Meeteetse: 1990
Glenrock, Shoshoni: 1997

NSI, Cheyenne South: Never
Rock River: 1987
Glendo: 1988
Pinedale: 2000
Dubois: 2001


Basketball state tournament qualifying streaks
Four-plus years (since at least 2010)
Year indicates start of streak
Gillette: 1988
Evanston: 2000
Burlington: 2006
Snake River, Wyoming Indian: 2008
Lovell: 2009
Big Horn, St. Stephens, Star Valley, Wheatland: 2010
(Lovell, St. Stephens boys did not qualify for state this year)

Gillette: 1990
Natrona: 1998
Sheridan, Cheyenne East: 2000
Tongue River: 2003
Lovell: 2005
Cokeville, Kaycee: 2006
Burlington: 2007
Powell, Rock Springs: 2008
Douglas, Evanston, Laramie, Snake River, Star Valley: 2010


Basketball semifinal state tournament droughts
None since 2000
Cheyenne South, NSI, Glendo: Never
Midwest: 1953
Rock River: 1971
Hanna: 1978
Big Piney: 1982
Meeteetse: 1990
Glenrock, Upton: 1991
Pine Bluffs: 1995
Worland, Burns: 1996
Shoshoni, Lingle: 1997

Cheyenne South, Moorcroft, NSI, Chugwater, Glendo, Rock River: Never
Ten Sleep: 1979
Kemmerer: 1986
Pinedale: 1993
Big Piney, Midwest: 1994
Lyman: 1995
Cody, Riverside: 1996
Shoshoni, Dubois: 1997
Green River: 1998


Basketball semifinal state tournament streaks
At least three straight
Burlington: 7 (2006-13)
Snake River: 5 (2009-13)
Gillette: 4 (2010-13)
Lovell: 3 (2011-13)

Gillette: 21 (1993-13)
Cokeville: 5 (2009-13)
Tongue River: 4 (2010-13)
Lovell: 4 (2010-13)
Snake River: 3 (2011-13)

Remember, every state tournament basketball score in state history is archived here.


Most popular last names for Wyoming football coaches

Posted on February 24th, 2014 in Coaches project,Cool stuff,Everything,Ramblings by Patrick

When we think of Wyoming high school football coaches who have shared last names, certain names come to mind: Deti. Fullmer. Mirich.

But one name rises above all the rest.

Of all the coaches listed on the site (with certain omissions), the last name Johnson is by far the most popular for Wyoming high school football coaches. In all, 14 different men with the last name Johnson have led Wyoming football teams: Allen, Andy, Ballard, Bill, Bud, Daryl, Duane, Eddie, Gary, Jack, Loren, Ralph, Scott and Walter.

Johnson topped Anderson and Smith, which have each had nine coaches with that name, as the most common name in Wyoming football coaching.

Allen Johnson, who will enter his fourth season at Pinedale this fall, is the only current coach with the popular last name.

Andy Johnson had by far the most success of the 14 coaches in the state who shared his last name; he went 82-33-7 in 15 seasons with Basin and Hanna. He led Basin to undefeated seasons in 1969 and 1972.

Other coaches didn’t last as long in Wyoming’s football ranks but still found coaching success. Gary Johnson — who went on to a distinguished career as a basketball coach and administrator at Kelly Walsh before retiring in 2006 — was a head football coach for only one year, going 6-2-1 at Deaver-Frannie in 1970. And Jack Johnson — who led Great Falls (Mont.) CMR High to dynasty status in the Big Sky State — had just one year in Wyoming, going 9-0 with Torrington in 1969.

Another Johnson — Ralph — also went on to a successful basketball coaching career. Ralph Johnson was the football coach for six seasons at Cokeville, from 1974-79, and was the coach that Todd Dayton replaced when he started at Cokeville in 1980. Johnson was never a head football coach again, but coached basketball and had his most success at Kemmerer, taking his team to back-to-back state title games in 2003 and 2004.

Ballard Johnson also had success coaching in Lincoln County — he was Star Valley’s football coach from 1999-2004, leading the Braves to championship games in 2001 and 2002.

Several Johnsons made it two seasons but no more: Bill at Lyman in 1946-47, Daryl at Sundance in 1965-66, Duane at Thermopolis in 1972-73, Eddie at Greybull in 1999-2000, Loren at Pavillion in 1961-62, and Scott at Torrington in 1965-66. Walter Johnson made it three years, 1964-66, in Moorcroft, while Bud Johnson coached four years in Glenrock from 1948-51.

Oddly enough, 1965 was the high water mark for the last name. That season, four of Wyoming’s head coaches had the last name Johnson — Andy at Hanna, Daryl at Sundance, Scott at Torrington and Walter at Moorcroft. Daryl Johnson and Walter Johnson actually coached against each other that season. (For more on this phenomenon, read this post from earlier!)

So what other names have been popular? Well, here’s a list of every last name with at least three coaches who shared it:

Johnson: 14 (Allen, Andy, Ballard, Bill, Bud, Daryl, Duane, Eddie, Gary, Jack, Loren, Ralph, Scott, Walter)
Anderson: 9 (A.P., Bill, Bob, Brian, Dale, Ralph, Rob, Roscoe, Skip)
Smith: 9 (Ben, Bill, C.E., Grant, Gunboat, Jack, King, Leland, Randall)
Jensen: 6 (Earl, John, Ken, Matt, Vernon, Walter)
Miller: 6 (Barry, Bob, George, Mike, Paul, T. Ray)
Nelson: 6 (Clint, Craig, George “Bud,” Lloyd, Neal, Rich)
Williams: 6 (Cris, Kevin, Lynn, Pat, Terry, Trevor)
Brown: 5 (Danny, Denny, H.M., Hank, Robert)
Jones: 5 (C.A., Clif, Dave, Ivan “Red,” Tom)
Moore: 5 (Bob, Larry, Ron, Travis, Walt)
Morgan: 5 (Al, Bill, Dean, Jerald, Kent)
Scott: 5 (Al, Charles, Frank, John, Zack)
Baker: 4 (Art, Bill, Roy, Terry)
Campbell: 4 (Earl, Gary, Jerry, Mark)
Clark: 4 (George, Ray, S.M., and unknown first name)
Gardner: 4 (Ken, Lincoln, Otto, Vern)
Martin: 4 (Floyd, Jim, Pete, Steve)
Parker: 4 (Al, Jerry, L.J., Ralph)
Phillips: 4 (C.D., J. Paul, Mike, and unknown first name)
Roberts: 4 (Charlie, Keith, O.P., Steve)
Rogers: 4 (Clifford “Doc,” Glenn, John, Shawn)
Bailey: 3 (Bryan, Harold, Stephen)
Bush: 3 (Bill, Joe, W.D.)
Dawson: 3 (Pat, Ryley, and unknown first name)
Hamilton: 3 (John, Mark, and unknown first name)
Hayes: 3 (David, Heath, R.B. “Butch”)
Hileman: 3 (Bill, Bob, Brock)
Jordan: 3 (Austin, Kevin, Tyler)
Lane: 3 (J.R., Ryan, Tom)
Marshall: 3 (Ernest, John, P.J.)
Mirich: 3 (Carl, George, Marv)
Murphy: 3 (Carl, Lloyd, Pat)
Murray: 3 (Bill, Chuck, Rich)
Robertson: 3 (Bob, Kevin, Paul)
Simpson: 3 (Bob, John, Steve)
Stephens: 3 (Chuck, Levi, R.A.)
Taylor: 3 (Herb, John, Ron)
Thompson: 3 (Frank, Ray, Wedge)
Watson: 3 (Billy, Julian, Tom)
Weaver: 3 (Brett, Tead, and unknown first name)
Wilson: 3 (Cliff, Jesse, Tom)
Winland: 3 (Pat, Ralph, Tim)
Wright: 3 (Bill, Orville, Wilbur “Web”)

Oh, and the last name with the most victories? It’s one that’s not even on this list: Deti. The Deti father-son combo combined for 393 victories, the most of any last name in the state.


Shrine Bowl names alternates

Posted on February 18th, 2014 in Everything,Newsbreak,Shrine Bowl by Patrick

The alternates for the 41st Shrine Bowl, to be played June 14 in Casper, have been named by the respective coaching staffs.

Alternates include:

NORTH: Tyler Fortuna and Seth Moerkerke, Gillette; Story Penning, Hulett; Kooper Adams, Kelly Walsh; Dylan Parke and Josh Seghetti, Natrona; Wade Gordon, Newcastle; Cory Heny, Powell; Austin Patterson, Riverton; Joey Jewell and Jacob Price, Rocky Mountain; Tyler Julian, Sheridan.

SOUTH: Garrett Formo, Big Piney; Preston Goehring, Burns; Clinton Jaure and Ben Groeneweg, Cheyenne East; Seth Harris and Chance Miller, Douglas; Eric Sowers, Evanston; Ryan Martin, Lyman; Trystin Walker, Mountain View; Tate Stinson, Saratoga; Travis Jinks, Southeast; Trace Haderlie, Star Valley.

A player from the alternates list will fill the role if someone on the current roster can’t play in the game. The rosters for the teams were announced last week.


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