Some digging into Jackson’s early days turned up four new games for the listings — two against a nearby rival, one against a college and one canceled by snow:

I added Jackson’s first two games in program history, a 26-6 victory against Driggs, Idaho, on Oct. 17, 1930, in Jackson, and a 12-0 loss to Driggs on Oct. 24 in Driggs. Jackson played four other games that season against the Jackson town team, but games against non-scholastic opponents are not counted in the listings. I also added Jackson’s Oct. 4, 1930, game against Big Piney that was supposed to be Jackson’s first game but was canceled due to snow.

I also added Jackson’s 18-0 loss to Ricks College, Idaho, played on Sept. 16, 1932; I also added it to the missing games list as I could not determine a location, although it was probably in Idaho.

In addition to the Jackson updates, I also added the location for Torrington’s 51-0 victory against Guernsey on Oct. 16, 1931; it was in Torrington.

I also added Cowley’s coach for 1936; it was G.W. Rollins.

All the updates have been made on all the relevant pages.

–patrick

Between now and the second weekend of November 2023, a lot is possible.

We do know that, at the end of it all, five teams will be crowned champions, and 60 others will be left to chase.

Just which teams will win those five championships, we won’t know until the clock in War Memorial Stadium hits 0:00 on five separate occasions.

That doesn’t mean we can’t speculate.

So, here’s some way-too-early speculation on what might happen almost exactly 10 months from now on which teams might be the title holders come the end of a season that’s still months away from starting.

Class 4A
1. Cheyenne East
: With five first-team all-state players coming back — and with the rest of 4A only having four combined — the Thunderbirds are the early favorites to win it all in 2023. That tally also includes QB Cam Hayes and RB Drew Jackson, a good place to start.
2. Sheridan: Never, ever rule out the Broncs, who will need to replace a talented senior class but always seems to do so no matter who’s on the roster. DB Dane Steel, the conference defensive player of the year, and lineman Alex Haswell are the key pieces on which to rebuild.
3. Cheyenne Central: Central’s five returning first-team all-conference selections gives the Indians just as many as East, and a lot of that strength rests in an improving defense that could carry the team early.
4. Thunder Basin: Returning QB Alonso Aguilar gives the ‘Bolts some experience under center, a necessary piece for a team that has lots of holes to fill.
5. Rock Springs: The Tigers return some key offensive pieces in QB Michael Faigl, RB Brycen Cooms and WR Goodness Okere but might need to outscore opponents until the defense comes along.
Wild card: Natrona. The Mustangs were a senior-loaded bunch last season, but they always seem to be in the same position every season and usually come out OK on the other side. Some untested talent will need to grow quickly.

Class 3A
1. Star Valley
: The defending champs return three all-state picks, tops in the classification. The biggest offensive weapons are gone to graduation, but a solid group of up-and-coming players should make the Braves the favorites from day one.
2. Douglas: Douglas is loaded with solid returners, including QB Trey Rinn, linemen Tegen Seeds and Malachy Lehnen and maybe the best up-and-coming junior in the state in Carter Archuleta. The Bearcats will definitely be the East favorites.
3. Buffalo: The Bison had a solid campaign in 2022 and with four returning all-conference players (tied with Douglas for the most in 3A), they should be right in the championship discussion again this year. RB Will Hammond emerged as a solid offensive centerpiece.
4. Cody: How will the Broncs react to losing all 13 of their all-conference picks and all nine of their all-staters? If Cody’s returners learned anything in practice, it’ll be time to show it in the games.
5. Powell: A trio of returning all-conference selections, led by all-state WR Trey Stenerson and QB Jhett Schwahn, should put the Panthers in a good spot entering 2023.
Wild card: Evanston. The Red Devils get back a pair of all-staters in Cohen Morrow and Brady Roberts and could be a team on the rise but will need to adjust to a new head coach.

Class 2A
1. Lyman
: Three teams in 2A return four all-conference players; Lyman just happens to be one of them. The Eagles’ title hopes went awry in 2022, but honestly — a play here, a play there and maybe we’re talking four-peat.
2. Big Horn: The defending champs proved a lot in their title run, and with a pair of returning all-staters in Kiefer Dunham and Drew Heermann, the Rams should be in the chase for a repeat.
3. Tongue River: The Eagles had a breakthrough season in 2022, and they did so with a bunch of younger players leading the way. With four all-conference players returning — all of whom were key pieces of TR’s turnaround — watch out.
4. Mountain View: The Buffalos’ four returning all-conference players might be the most exciting group of talent returning to any team in 2A. Both Jayce Schultz and Carson Eardley were all-state, and they lead a group that’s eager to return to the top.
5. Cokeville: Three all-conference players (but no all-staters) return for Cokeville, and it goes without saying that the Panthers consistently put out winners.
Wild cards: Lovell and Newcastle. For opposite reasons, two teams show up here — Lovell, last year’s runner-up, gets back just a pair of all-conference players and loses a senior class that was clearly carrying the bulk of the weight. Newcastle, meanwhile, improved significantly last year and gets back a trio of all-conference selections, enough to compete in the East.

Class 1A nine-man
1. Pine Bluffs
: In a classification that was hit hard by graduation (only six returning all-state players statewide), the defending champs earn the recognition of early favorite by returning four all-conference choices, tied for the most of any team in 1A nine-man.
2. Big Piney: The Punchers get back four of their five all-conference choices and lead the state with a pair of returning all-state picks in seniors Karsyn Gurr and Ruben Stoutenberg.
3. Southeast: The Cyclones don’t return any all-state choices but do get back four of six all-conference picks, setting them up well to compete in the East.
4. Lingle: The Doggers will rely on two returning all-state choices in Louden Bremer and Kaiden Riggs, who both made the team as sophomores, to be leaders in 2023 for a team that was one big play away from hosting a playoff game.
5. Wind River: RB Cooper Frederick is the centerpiece of a Cougar game plan that will rely on him heavily, but in a depleted West Conference, that may be enough to carry the day.
Wild cards: Rocky Mountain and Shoshoni. Between them, they combined for 18 all-conference and 11 all-state choices. Every single one has graduated. Underclass talent will have to develop in a hurry for them to stay in a title conversation.

Class 1A six-man
1. Burlington
: Last year’s runners-up return four all-conference players, tied for the most in six-man with Kaycee, but with some key players graduated, rebuilding will need to happen fast.
2. Dubois: RB Wyatt Trembly set a single-season rushing record in six-man last year, and his presence alone will keep the Rams competitive — which is good, because four all-conference players will leave upon graduation.
3. Encampment: The Tiger trio of all-conference players (Quade Jordan, Ryon Miller, Kaben Pickett) will be tough to top as seniors, and that experience will help Encampment find some success, especially early.
4. Snake River: The Rattlers have had back-to-back undefeated seasons, but this might be the year they come back to earth. They’ll still be competitive with all-stater Isaiah Skalberg leading the way, but the senior class is thinner than usual.
5. Kaycee: Four all-conference returners will help Kaycee improve, and all-stater Vaun Pierson will help set the pace for a thin but improved Buckaroo squad.
Wild cards: Meeteetse and Midwest. Both the Longhorns and Oilers return all three of their all-conference choices, and Meeteetse’s Joseph Pina was the North’s co-defensive player of the year. Both teams should be improved in 2023.

What do you think, in January at least? Who’s poised for a breakout year? Leave a comment and share your ideas. And then let’s keep talking for another 10 months until all of this actually, finally, gets settled on the field.

–patrick

Sheridan’s undefeated Broncs of 2022 deserve tons of praise.

With a 12-0 finish, Class 4A Sheridan became just the fourth team since 2005 to finish Wyoming’s big-school football season undefeated, joining a previously undefeated Bronc team from 2017 and Natrona teams from 2012 and 2014.

However, a look at their playoff results gives Sheridan an ignominious aspect to its playoff run — worst playoff defense ever among state champions.

Before you get those keyboards fired up, though, Bronc fans, hear me out. This isn’t my call. It’s simple math: No team that has ever won an 11-man championship in Wyoming has ever given up so many points during its three-game playoff run than Sheridan gave up in its three playoff games of 2022.

The Broncs gave up 92 total points in their three playoff victories, giving up 27, 42 and 23 points in their quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games, respectively. Sheridan still won each game by double digits on its way to victories of 52-27, 63-42 and 34-23, finishing off that undefeated season with yet another 4A title.

Still, the 92 total points allowed is by far the most allowed by a title-winning team in a three-game stretch, topping the 79 points Star Valley allowed in 2016. In fact, only four 11-man title teams have allowed more than 60 points in their three games, the others being — ready for this? — Sheridan in 2019 with 75 points and Sheridan in 2021 with 65 points.

The other 11-man champions this year gave up 51 points (Star Valley, 3A) and 33 points (Big Horn, 2A) in their respective three-game playoff runs.

As noted in a previous post and updated here, here are the most points allowed by 11-man teams in their three-game championship runs:

92 points: Sheridan (27, 42, 23), 4A 2022
79 points: Star Valley (27, 42, 10), 3A 2016
75 points: Sheridan (14, 35, 26), 4A 2019
65 points: Sheridan (14, 24, 27), 4A 2021
58 points: Cheyenne East (10, 34, 14), 5A 2007
55 points: Star Valley (13, 27, 15), 3A 2015 … Big Horn (14, 19, 22), 2A 2013 … Sheridan (12, 29, 14), 4A 2011 … Big Piney (8, 33, 14), 3A 2001 … Big Piney (7, 20, 28), 2A 2000
54 points: Lyman (20, 28, 6), 2A 2021 … Cheyenne Central (20, 20, 14), 5A 2005 … Rocky Mountain (12, 22, 20), 1A DI 1997
51 points: Star Valley (17, 27, 7), 3A 2022 … Sheridan (17, 6, 28), 4A 2016

Conversely, the fewest points allowed in a three-game playoff run for teams on their way to a championship include:

0 points: Kemmerer (0, 0, 0), 3A 2007 … Wind River (0, 0, 0), 1A DII 1997
2 points: Southeast (0, 2, 0), 1A 2008
6 points: Lusk (6, 0, 0), 2A 2002 … Sundance (0, 6, 0), 2A 2005
7 points: Gillette (0, 0, 7), 4A 2000
8 points: Cokeville (0, 8, 0), 1A 2002 … Glenrock (8, 0, 0), 3A 2008
9 points: Upton (0, 3, 6), 1A 2005
10 points: Natrona (0, 7, 3), 5A 2003
12 points: Glenrock (0, 6, 6), 3A 2003 … Glenrock (0, 12, 0), 3A 2002 … Torrington (6, 0, 6), 3A 1990
13 points: Cokeville (0, 7, 6), 1A 11-man 2014 … Cokeville (0, 7, 6), 1A 11-man 2010 … Cokeville (0, 13, 0), 1A DII 1995 … Lusk (6, 0, 7), 1A DI 2000 … Natrona (0, 13, 0), 4A 1996 … Powell (0, 3, 10), 3A 2012 … Southeast (0, 6, 7), 2A 2001 … Thermopolis (0, 0, 13), 2A 1992 … Worland (0, 0, 13), 4A 2003 … Worland (7, 6, 0), 4A 2001 … Mountain View (14, 0, 0), 2A 1995 … Natrona (7, 0, 7), 4A 2012 … Wheatland (6, 0, 8), 2A 2015

+++

To win a championship while still allowing so many points, Sheridan must have had a record-setting offensive performance during its playoff run, right?

Well… almost.

The Broncs’ 149 points scored tied for the sixth-most ever by an 11-man team in a three-game title run. And four of the top five performances ahead of Sheridan, though, have come since 2018, including three from 2019 alone. Again updated from a previous post on this site, those include:

191 points: Big Horn (67, 68, 56), 1A 11-man 2018
185 points: Big Horn (82, 48, 55), 1A 11-man 2019
162 points: Cokeville (54, 54, 54), 1A 2002
159 points: Sheridan (62, 62, 35), 4A 2019
152 points: Mountain View (72, 56, 24), 2A 2019
149 points: Sheridan (52, 63, 34), 4A 2022 … Buffalo (56, 50, 43), 2A 2018 … Sheridan (64, 43, 42), 4A 1993
148 points: Mountain View (55, 66, 27), 2A 1995
145 points: Lusk (68, 49, 28), 1A Division I 1999
144 points: Southeast (74, 42, 28), 1A 2007
140 points: Mountain View (60, 52, 28), 2A 2014 … Douglas (40, 56, 44), 3A 2009

The fewest points scored in a championship run, though, now includes this year’s aforementioned Big Horn team. The Rams only allowed 33 points, but conversely only scored 43 — tied for second-lowest of any 11-man championship team in a three-game playoff run:

31 points: Cokeville (7, 7, 17), 1A 11-man 1994
43 points: Big Horn (28, 7, 8), 2A 2022 … Glenrock (20, 10, 13), 3A 2003
44 points: Natrona (14, 23, 7), 4A 1996
48 points: Riverside (17, 10, 21), 2A 2007
49 points: Big Piney (12, 16, 21), 3A 2006
52 points: Pine Bluffs (23, 19, 10), 1A 11-man 2016
53 points: Southeast (34, 7, 12), 1A 2008
54 points: Guernsey (32, 8, 14), 1A 2006
55 points: Cheyenne East (13, 28, 14), 4A 2013
59 points: Cokeville (28, 19, 12), 1A Division II 1998

+++

In six-man, meanwhile, Snake River just put up the best defensive playoff run of any state champion. The 2022 version of the Rattlers allowed only 22 points — six in the quarterfinals and eight in both the semifinals and championship — on their way to this year’s six-man championship.

The 22 points allowed barely edged out the 24 allowed by Snake River in its 2010 title run. Snake River also owns the third-best run with 38 allowed in its 2019 championship season.

Three teams have finished with more than 200 points scored in a six-man championship run, led by Farson’s 225 in 2018. Farson also allowed more points during its three-game playoff championship run than any other, allowing 79 that same year. Two years later, in 2020, Farson scored 154 points — the fewest ever scored by any six-man champion since 2009.

Here are the top three performances by state champions in the six-man playoffs since 2009:

Most points scored
225 points: Farson (90, 62, 73), 2018
217 points: Guernsey (65, 72, 80), 2014
202 points: Dubois (89, 59, 54), 2012

Fewest points scored
154 points
: Farson (70, 42, 42), 2020
157 points: Kaycee (60, 56, 41), 2016
173 points: Snake River (64, 42, 67), 2010

Fewest points allowed
22 points
: Snake River (6, 8, 8), 2022
24 points: Snake River (0, 12, 12), 2010
38 points: Snake River (0, 0, 38), 2019

Most points allowed
79 points
: Farson (22, 19, 38), 2018
78 points: Guernsey (8, 40, 30), 2014 … Snake River (8, 46, 24), 2021

–patrick

Two head coaches who led their teams to state championships were named the head coaches for the 50th Shrine Bowl all-star football game.

McKay Young, who led Star Valley to the Class 3A championship in November, will lead the South team, while Kirk McLaughlin, whose Big Horn team won the Class 2A title, will be the head coach for the North.

The announcement was made Monday night in an email release from Frank Selby, the Wyoming Shrine Bowl’s executive director.

The game will be played June 10 in Casper.

The head coaches will work to an assemble a staff of coaches from around the state, who will then choose players for each team.

Young was previously the South’s head coach in 2018. This is McLaughlin’s first Shrine Bowl head coaching selection.

With the first Shrine Bowl game played in Laramie in 1974, the 2023 game will mark the 50th edition of the game in Wyoming. The North leads the all-time series 26-19-3 and won last year’s game 37-3.

–patrick

Thanks to a new financial supporter — the Wyoming Department of Transportation, whose “Buckle Up for Life” campaign now proudly supports numerous pages on the site — I have been able to pour some more financial resources back into the site.

One of those was a full subscription to newspapers.com, which has allowed me to pursue missing out-of-state results with a renewed energy. Some updates to the site include:

Found the result for Lusk’s 51-0 loss to Edgemont, S.D., on Sept. 27, 1935, in Edgemont.

Found the date and location for Lyman’s 27-6 loss to Park City, Utah, on Aug. 30, 1968; the game was in Park City.

Found the location for Sundance’s 27-0 loss to Spearfish, S.D., on Oct. 29, 1926; it was in Sundance.

I also found the following games were never played: the Nov. 16, 1942, game between Torrington and Scottsbluff, Neb.; the Nov. 22, 1929, game between Torrington and Gering, Neb.; the Nov. 17, 1925, game between Sunrise and Morrill, Neb.; and the Nov. 24, 1922, game between Newcastle and Crawford, Neb.

Also, historic playoff brackets have been reconfigured. Check out any of the archived brackets from the Results by year page to see their new look!

As always, if you can help me track down any information for games on my missing games list, please let me know!

–patrick

Quick trivia: Since 2009, what’s something that Natrona’s football team has done 193 times that Lusk’s has done zero times?

Answer: Attempt a field goal.

A compilation of statistics since 2009 shows Natrona is, by far, the state’s leading team when it comes to field goal tries — and that Lusk is the most field goal-averse.

From 2009-22, Natrona’s kickers attempted 193 field goals, making 120 of them. The number of attempts far outpaces second-place Sheridan (123) and third-place Star Valley (86), and the number of makes also far exceeds runner-up Sheridan (76).

On the other side, Lusk has gone the past 14 seasons, and maybe longer, without attempting a single field goal. So have St. Stephens and Wyoming Indian, although their streaks are a bit shorter.

Three other active programs — Upton-Sundance, Farson and Encampment — as well as now-defunct NSI have only attempted one field goal in that span.

Five programs haven’t missed a field goal in that time, with Hulett’s perfect 3-for-3 in the past 13 years leading the way. Wheatland, at 2-for-2, also hasn’t missed a field goal since at least 2009. NSI, Upton and Upton-Sundance are 1-for-1.

Meanwhile, aside from Encampment and Farson (both 0-for-1), Moorcroft is the team with the roughest percentage, making just 22% (2-for-9) of its attempts.

The state average over this span has been 57.1%, with kickers making 1,114 field goals in 2,003 attempts. The number of field goals attempted statewide in a season has ranged from as few as 120 (in both 2020 and 2018) to as many as 179 (2011). The 2022 season saw 131 field goal attempts.

The team that both attempted and made the most field goals in a season was Natrona’s 2015 team. That season, Natrona kickers made 20 of 28 field goals.

Kicking field goals, though, is by no means a measure of success. Many championship teams went their entire seasons without so much as attempting a field goal, including Big Horn and Snake River this season. Snake River also did so last season and Big Horn also did so in 2018.

Note: Since this data was compiled from the existing stat sheets, data may be incomplete. For example, six-man data is missing for 2009 and 2010, and some team statistics are missing if a team decided not to compile individual statistics, which has happened a handful of times over the past 13 years. Still, this is the best we can do with what we have, so enjoy.

Total field goals from 2009-2022:

TeamTOTAL FGMTOTAL FGAPct
Natrona12019362.2%
Sheridan7612361.8%
Campbell County518063.8%
Star Valley508658.1%
Cheyenne Central487762.3%
Cheyenne East488258.5%
Riverton477463.5%
Kelly Walsh467759.7%
Buffalo456569.2%
Powell437358.9%
Torrington386063.3%
Green River376457.8%
Lander376953.6%
Laramie366852.9%
Thunder Basin315952.5%
Big Horn274165.9%
Cody264854.2%
Newcastle234254.8%
Worland213756.8%
Evanston204050.0%
Douglas183650.0%
Pine Bluffs183946.2%
Cokeville172958.6%
Cheyenne South153641.7%
Mountain View142948.3%
Rock Springs143737.8%
Jackson132356.5%
Southeast132065.0%
Hanna111861.1%
Lingle111861.1%
Shoshoni113036.7%
Pinedale101566.7%
Rocky Mountain101758.8%
Greybull8988.9%
Lovell81747.1%
Glenrock71163.6%
Saratoga71643.8%
Midwest61442.9%
Dubois51435.7%
Rawlins51241.7%
Tongue River5771.4%
Burlington4850.0%
Meeteetse4850.0%
Wright4850.0%
Burns3742.9%
Hulett33100.0%
Kemmerer3475.0%
Riverside3742.9%
Snake River3475.0%
Wind River3837.5%
Big Piney2450.0%
Guernsey-Sunrise2366.7%
Kaycee2366.7%
Lyman2825.0%
Moorcroft2922.2%
Thermopolis2540.0%
Wheatland22100.0%
NSI11100.0%
Ten Sleep1250.0%
Upton11100.0%
Upton-Sundance11100.0%
Encampment010.0%
Farson010.0%
Lusk00#DIV/0!
Rock River00#DIV/0!
St. Stephens00#DIV/0!
Sundance00#DIV/0!
Wyoming Indian00#DIV/0!
TOTAL1144200357.1%

–patrick

Two Class 3A football coaches have resigned from their positions.

Both Lander coach John Scott and Evanston coach Jim Burton have stepped down.

Scott’s resignation was first reported by WyoToday. Burton’s resignation was first shared by WyoPreps on Twitter.

Scott led Lander for five seasons, but his head coaching resume in Wyoming goes all the way back to 1992. He was the head coach at Kemmerer, Campbell County, Tongue River and Lander, winning four state championships in his 19 years as a head coach in Wyoming.

He was also the head coach at Black Hills State University from 2003-08.

Scott has notched a career record of 117-61, a victory total that ranks fifth among active head coaches. He went 26-19 with Lander, leading the Tigers to the playoffs five times in five seasons.

Burton, meanwhile, led Evanston for four seasons. Evanston went 8-27 in that span, failing to reach the playoffs.

This brings the total of open head coaching positions in Wyoming to four, all at Class 3A schools. Green River and Riverton are also searching for a head coach for next season. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

With a full list of all 2,470 Wyoming state wrestling individual champions now available on champlists.com, we can break down those champions by a number of different ways — the most obvious by school.

As the list below shows, Green River is Wyoming’s individual champion capital, with 117 individual championships coming from the Wolves’ ranks. Other schools with at least 100 individual championships are Campbell County (105), Natrona, Powell and Star Valley (104 each), and Worland (100).

Down at the bottom of the list, though, are 10 programs listed with one champion apiece.

And that, too, is incredibly interesting.

Of those 10 champions, only one champion is from an active program — and that is Hanna’s James Montez. Montez was the Class 2A 145-pound champion in 2010, the Miners’ first and only state champion.

Six others come from defunct programs. In chronological order, they are Guernsey’s Myron Baker (1947), LaGrange’s Joe Alire (1972), University Prep’s John Trujillo (1972), Medicine Bow’s Robert Casey (1973), Jeffrey City’s Jamie Evans (1980) and Burlington’s Ron Pace (1989).

The remaining three are kind of outliers from co-op programs. Kaleb Brothwell (2022) is Lingle-Southeast’s only champion, as is Lincoln Siebert (2021) of Burns-Pine Bluffs. However, both co-ops are relatively new, and all four schools have their fair share of their own individual champions. Similarly, Riverside’s Steve Bower (1989) is Riverside’s only champ listed, but Basin pre-Riverside days, as well as Basin/Manderson wrestlers as part of the Greybull-Riverside co-op, have won plenty of individual titles.

+++

Here are the state wrestling champion tallies by school or wrestling co-op:

SchoolTotal
Green River117
Campbell County105
Natrona104
Powell104
Star Valley104
Worland100
Douglas84
Rock Springs84
Cheyenne Central78
Laramie74
Lusk72
Lovell69
Moorcroft66
Sheridan66
Cody64
Torrington64
Kemmerer63
Cokeville61
Upton56
Saratoga53
Kelly Walsh52
Cheyenne East48
Wheatland46
Buffalo44
Lander44
Mountain View44
Evanston43
Newcastle39
Lingle37
Wind River35
Rawlins33
Hulett32
Greybull-Riverside31
Lyman29
Greybull28
Wright28
Riverton27
Sundance25
Thermopolis25
Midwest24
Shoshoni22
Glenrock20
Rocky Mountain18
Jackson15
Dubois10
Thunder Basin10
Pinedale9
Big Piney8
Southeast8
Basin7
Kaycee-Midwest6
Pine Bluffs6
Burns5
Newcastle-Upton4
Cheyenne South3
Hulett-Sundance3
Encampment2
Seton/St. Mary's2
Burlington1
Burns-Pine Bluffs1
Guernsey1
Hanna1
Jeffrey City1
LaGrange1
Lingle-Southeast1
Medicine Bow1
Riverside1
University Prep1

–patrick

A trophy of a cowboy throwing a football.
A trophy of a cowboy throwing a football.
Slim MacGuffin

Everyone, meet Slim MacGuffin.

He might just be the next great piece of Wyoming high school football lore.

Right now, Slim belongs in the trophy case at Sheridan High School.

In addition to winning the Class 4A championship this year, the Sheridan Broncs also held onto an important honor they didn’t even know they were playing for — the Wyoming football MacGuffin.

Some of you may have heard of the MacGuffin, which has built a following on Twitter by tracking college football’s most interesting theoretical traveling trophy.

The concept is simple: All you have to do to get the trophy is beat the team that has it.

In this case, we start with the first Wyoming high school football game ever played, and the winner gets a trophy — Slim, in this case. They get to hold onto that trophy until they lose; the team that beats them gets the trophy. That team then holds onto it until they lose. And so on, and so on, and so on.

In the college ranks, there have been more than 1,500 MacGuffin games; the trophy has traded hands 317 times since the first intercollegiate game in 1869, and 93 teams have had the trophy, including the University of Wyoming for a bit, including the entire 1994 offseason.

If we had a Wyoming high school football MacGuffin, though, Sheridan would be the rightful owners of that trophy, at least for now.

Starting with the first game between two Wyoming high schools in 1908 — played on Nov. 3 of that year between crosstown rivals Laramie and University Prep — there have been 907 Wyoming football MacGuffin games, as of the end of the 2022 season. In all, 24 different teams will have held the trophy, and 38 programs will have played in MacGuffin games.

Since 1908, the trophy would have logged some significant miles in every corner of the state. Every Class 4A team except Cheyenne South would have had it at least once. And, oddly enough, it would have been up for grabs in every 4A/5A championship game since 1987.

Here’s a breakdown of the teams who would have had the trophy in their possession, with tallies of how many times they defended the trophy and how many times they beat teams with the MacGuffin to steal it for themselves:

SchoolGames defendedTimes won
Sheridan17628
Natrona11529
Laramie9520
Cheyenne Central8016
Worland724
Campbell County5013
Rock Springs469
Cheyenne East3515
Kelly Walsh196
Thermopolis154
Lander114
Cody103
Powell101
Lovell83
Thunder Basin72
Douglas61
Evanston53
Cowley51
Rawlins42
Torrington21
Green River12
Riverton02
Kemmerer01

For the Wyoming high school version, I limited the potential transfer of the trophy to in-state, varsity teams; we can’t have some out-of-state team taking Wyoming’s MacGuffin with them, and we can’t be giving it to a town team, JV team or college team, either. So it’s only up for grabs in varsity vs. varsity, in-state games.

And here’s a look at how those games have gone, and who’s played in those games:

TeamMacG WinsMacG LossesMacG GamesLast MacGameLast held
Sheridan1727224420222022
Natrona1458022520222019
Laramie1158119620222000
Cheyenne Central918117120222020
Rock Springs557513020222021
Campbell County636412720222016
Cheyenne East507112120222021
Worland76138919771959
Kelly Walsh25487320222005
Cody13304320041977
Thermopolis19214019741947
Rawlins6333919881974
Evanston8253320162007
Lander15163119881974
Riverton2293120081972
Green River3242720102007
Powell11162719771958
Lovell11142519591947
Buffalo018181984never
Torrington3151819661952
Thunder Basin971620222021
Douglas761319841952
Cowley671319351934
Cheyenne South011112022never
Greybull011111959never
Basin0771934never
Newcastle0661932never
Kemmerer14519401932
Star Valley0441998never
Midwest0441952never
Lusk0331969never
St. Mary's0221952never
Superior0221936never
University Prep0221909never
Jackson0111974never
Ten Sleep0111933never
Manderson0111928never
Sundance0111935never

One of the challenges of a traveling trophy like this is that it needs to travel. Due to Class 4A’s round-robin schedule, the MacGuffin has been, and will continue to be unless the schedule changes, the exclusive domain of Wyoming’s big schools. The last interclass game where the MacGuffin was up for grabs was in 1998, when Evanston held onto the trophy by nudging Star Valley 13-7.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of all 907 Wyoming football MacGuffin games.

Even though Slim’s presence in any school’s trophy case is still just theoretical, it’s still fun to look at where Slim may have gone on his travels around the state and which schools, even if only for a week, got to have him in their possession.

–patrick

Here’s a quick overview of some of the pages on wyoming-football.com that saw updates at the conclusion of the 2022 season:

Scoring records: For just the 18th time in state history, two 11-man teams combined to score triple digits, as Cheyenne Central (42) and Sheridan (63) finished just outside the top 10 with 105 combined points scored. It did mark the third highest combined point total in an 11-man playoff game, though, just four points shy of the record.

Burlington finished in the top 10 all-time in single-season scoring with 659 total points, good for ninth.

Cheyenne East and Cody both reached the top 10 in points scored in an 11-man season. East was No. 2 all-time with 553 total points, while Cody was eighth at 531. Oddly enough, neither one won a state title. Cody’s 48.27 points per game, meanwhile, finished fifth in state history for 11-man teams.

On the flipside, Guernsey-Sunrise’s 66.13 points allowed per game ranked 10th all-time in most points allowed in a season.

Streaks: Cody’s 26-game winning streak, which came to an end in the Class 3A title game, finished tied for eighth among Wyoming’s longest winning streaks. And Lyman’s 20-game winning streak, which ended early in the season, finished in a tie for the 22nd longest. Snake River, meanwhile, enters the 2023 season on a 21-game winning streak, good for 19th-longest in state history.

Cheyenne South’s 29-game losing streak, however, is tied for the sixth-longest losing streak in state history. Pinedale has now lost 22 games in a row, a streak that’s tied for 20th-longest.

Snake River’s scoring streak moved up to second-longest in state history at 137 games; however, the Rattlers have a ways to go to break the state record of 175. Sheridan, meanwhile, has scored in 95 straight games entering 2023, the eighth-longest scoring streak in state history.

Cokeville had its 35th consecutive winning season and its 37th consecutive non-losing season, both continuing state records. Sheridan’s 16th consecutive winning season, though, moved the Broncs up into a tie for second-longest such streak in state history behind Cokeville.

Laramie’s 22nd consecutive losing season moved the Plainsmen into a tie for the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons. Moorcroft is now tied for fourth on that list with 14 losing seasons in a row, with Worland and Wyoming Indian tied at sixth with 13 and Cheyenne South and Wright tied for ninth with 12.

Individual records: Several players notched games or seasons worthy of the individual records page. They included:

  • Receiving yards in a season: Star Valley’s Wyatt Crogg set a new individual single-season receiving record with 1,253 yards, beating the old record set by Jackson’s Nate Keipert last year by 43 yards. And Thunder Basin’s Kayden LaFramboise put up the No. 3 season all-time with 1,151 yards. In nine-man, Pine Bluffs’ Ryan Fornstrom also broke the single-season record with 1,084 yards. Three other players made the top eight with Shoshoni’s Trey Fike (509), Lingle’s Louden Bremer (482) and Moorcroft’s Chaz Dewey (478). Nine-man records are from 2020-22 only.
  • Passing yards in a season: Three players cracked the top 10, including Star Valley’s Taft McClure in second (3,294 yards), East’s Cam Hayes in sixth (2,867 yards) and Thunder Basin’s Alonso Aguilar in ninth (2,575 yards). In nine-man, Pine Bluffs’ Stu Lerwick broke the single-season record with 2,226 yards, breaking his own record from last year by 11 yards. Shoshoni’s Alex Mills was fifth with 1,403 yards, while Rocky Mountain’s Carsyn Weber was seventh at 1,190 yards. In six-man, Burlington’s Seth Wardell posted the No. 9 season all-time with 1,469 yards.
  • Rushing yards in a season: Dubois’ Wyatt Trembly set a single-season rushing record in six-man with his 2,502-yard effort of a season, beating the old mark by 194 yards. Sheridan’s Colson Coon finished fourth all-time in 11-man with 2,195 rushing yards. In nine-man, Shoshoni’s Pehton Trueumpler had the No. 2 all-time season with 2,080 yards, while Wind River’s Cooper Frederick was No. 3 all-time with 1,919 yards.
  • Rushing yards in a game: Sheridan’s Colson Coon and Wind River’s Cooper Frederick each set rushing records in their respective areas. Coon’s 29 carries for 517 yards against Cheyenne Central set the state’s all-time 11-man rushing mark, while Frederick’s 549 yards on 61 carries against Southeast set the state’s all-time nine-man rushing record.
  • Passing yards in a game: Five of the top 10 single-game passing performances in 11-man history came in 2022. Three came from Star Valley’s Taft McClure, who finished in third (480 yards), fourth (448 yards) and fifth (429 yards) for his performances against Powell, Cody and Riverton, respectively. East’s Cam Hayes had the No. 9 performance all-tie with 420 yards against Sheridan, while Thunder Basin’s Alonso Aguilar tied for 10th with a 419-yard game against East. Pine Bluffs’ Stu Lerwick finished with the No. 4 and No. 5 all-time passing games in nine-man with 314 and 312 yards against Lusk and Moorcroft, respectively.
  • Receiving yards in a game: East’s Garet Schlabs set a single-game record for receptions with 19 catches against Sheridan. Thunder Basin’s Kayden LaFramboise finished tied for fifth all-time in single-game receiving yards with 242 yards, on 16 catches, against East. In nine-man, Pine Bluffs’ Ryan Fornstrom was fourth all-time with 187 yards against Moorcroft, while Moorcroft’s Chaz Dewey was fifth with 163 yards against Saratoga.

Coaching: Four coaches cracked the 50-victory barrier for their careers and entered Wyoming’s top 100 list for total victories for coaches — Shoshoni’s Tony Truempler, Buffalo’s Rob Hammond, Sheridan’s Jeff Mowry and Snake River’s Jack Cobb. They are all among the top 18 active coaches in the state in career victories in Wyoming. Barring retirements, Natrona’s Steve Harshman (227 victories), Southeast’s Mark Bullington (165 victories) and Douglas’ Jay Rhoades (130 victories) will enter 2023 as Wyoming’s top three active coaches in career in-state victories.

State champions: Sheridan’s 29th state championship continued a Bronc state record.

Weekly rankings: Of the five state champions, only Class 1A six-man Snake River completed a wire-to-wire run as the No. 1-ranked team in the state. Meanwhile, both Class 2A Big Horn and Class 3A Star Valley won a title despite not being ranked first at any point during the season.

Finally, Wyoming’s newest football program, the Casper Christian Mountaineers, saw their team page go up at the end of the 2022 season — too late for the season but just in time to start chronicling their history.

–patrick

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