Saratoga will not play its varsity 11-man football schedule in 2018.

Saratoga activities director Greg Bartlett said Wednesday the program only expected 10 to 12 players to come out this fall, not enough for pursuing a full 11-man season.

With low participation, Bartlett said, “it’s tough to keep a season together.”

Instead, the Panthers will pursue a six-man sub-varsity schedule this season, scheduling as many games as possible against nearby junior varsity squads. Bartlett said he’s already got one game scheduled but would prefer five or six games. He said the team’s schedule should be mostly in place by the end of next week, but some games may be added later depending on how the schedule comes together.

Bartlett said the move is likely temporary.

“In about two to three years, we have some elementary boys coming into the middle school where there might be 20 boys per class,” Bartlett said.

The Panthers play in the Class 1A 11-man West Conference. The program also draws players from nearby Encampment.

Bartlett said about three seniors, a couple juniors, about four sophomores and three freshmen showed interest in playing this fall. He said more may join when the season starts, but the decision to forgo the varsity season had to be made based on the numbers of committed players, not on the number of maybes.

Logan Wright, who previously coached in Rock River and taught in Laramie, will be the Panthers’ new head coach this fall. Wright will also teach PE in Saratoga.

Wright previously was a six-man assistant at Rock River, as part of the middle-school program in 2013 and the high school in 2014 and 2015.

“I’m certainly going into it looking at like were a varsity team and we’re going to put our best foot forward every day,” Wright said via telephone on Wednesday. “Whether the games count or not doesn’t matter to me.”

Saratoga played in the Class 1A six-man East Conference for one season, in 2013. Otherwise, the Panthers have fielded a varsity 11-man program every year since moving up after a two-year stint of nine-man football in 1991. The program has played a varsity schedule every season since 1955.

–patrick

Ten Sleep is on the hunt for a new football coach.

Former coach Ross Hauptman has resigned after deciding to move to Gillette, he said to wyoming-football.com on Sunday. The Northern Wyoming Daily News reported his resignation from his teaching position in Ten Sleep in May.

Ten Sleep activities director Russ Budmayr did not immediately respond to an email inquiry about who would fill Hauptman’s spot.

Ten Sleep went 1-7 last year, Hauptman’s only year as head coach.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowell and Rawlins, Class 2A Burns, GreybullLovellMoorcroft and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Eli Moody, a Lovell native who played football at Wyoming, has been hired as the head football coach at Greybull.

Greybull AD Nolan Tracy verified Moody’s hiring in an email to wyoming-football.com on Thursday.

Moody graduated from Lovell in 2012; he first attended Rocky Mountain College before transferring to UW. He was a PE teacher at Stagecoach Elementary in Rock Springs this year.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowell and Rawlins, Class 2A BurnsLovellMoorcroft and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Clayton McSpadden will be the new football coach at Rawlins.

Rawlins AD Sandy Jebens confirmed via email to wyoming-football.com on Monday that McSpadden — a 2009 Rawlins High graduate — will be the program’s head coach. McSpadden’s hiring was confirmed by the Carbon County School District No. 1 board on Thursday.

McSpadden was also hired to teach PE at Rawlins High School, the board meeting agenda showed.

McSpadden was a Shrine Bowl selection for Rawlins and played football collegiately at Black Hills State.

He replaces Corey Wheeler, who resigned in May after four seasons as the Outlaws’ head coach. Rawlins finished 7-3 last season, its first winning season since 2000.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLander and Powell, Class 2A Burns, Greybull, Lovell, Moorcroft and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Cheyenne Central will hire Mike Apodaca — a Central alumnus who won a state title while coaching at Silver Creek High School in Colorado — to be its new head football coach.

The announcement was made on Twitter on Friday by Central AD Chad Whitworth.

As a coach, Apodaca has been with Silver Creek as its head coach the past 15 seasons. He led that program to seven playoff appearances, three title-game appearances and a 2012 Class 3A championship.

As a player, Apodaca helped the Indians win the 1988 Class 4A championship before playing at the University of Sioux Falls and the University of Wyoming.

He takes over for Drew Severn, who resigned at the end of last season after four seasons as Central’s head coach. Central went 10-28 those four years.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowell and Rawlins, Class 2A Burns, Greybull, Lovell, Moorcroft and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Brad Morrison will be Burns’ new football coach, Burns AD Barry Ward announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

Morrison said via text message Tuesday that he was an assistant coach at Thermopolis from 2012-16, including a run as defensive coordinator from 2013-16. He also coached basketball and track in Thermopolis at various levels. Originally from Lamar, Colorado, Morrison said he took the Burns job in part to be closer to family, as well as to take an opportunity to become a head coach.

He replaces Marv Mirich, who was the head coach for seven seasons with the Broncs. Under Mirich, the Broncs went 21-37, qualifying for the Class 2A playoffs in 2011 and 2013. Burns went 1-7 last season.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowell and Rawlins, Class 2A Greybull, Lovell, Moorcroft and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Lovell line coach Jeny Gardner was approved Monday as the new head coach for the Bulldogs.

Lovell’s school board approved Gardner as the school’s new head coach during its meeting Monday night, AD Joe Koritnik said via email to wyoming-football.com.

Gardner has been the line coach at Lovell for the past three years, Koritnik said. She also teaches math at Lovell.

She replaces Doug Hazen, who resigned in November after nine years as head coach; he finished 62-26 and won the 2011 Class 2A title while coaching the Bulldogs. Lovell finished 4-5 last season, reaching the 2A playoffs but losing in the first round.

Based on records available at this site, Gardner is believed to be the first female head football coach in Wyoming.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowell and Rawlins, Class 2A GreybullMoorcroft and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Moorcroft will have a new head coach this fall in Travis Santistevan.

Santistevan, a native of Lusk, has been teaching and coaching at Britton-Hecla school in Britton, South Dakota. He was the school’s head junior high football coach, assisted with the high school football program for three years and was also the head coach for the high school boys basketball team for six years. Santistevan also spent four years as a volunteer assistant at Lusk while in college.

Santistevan replaces Dusty Petz, who led the Wolves during the 2014-15 and 2017 seasons; he took off the 2016 season for health reasons. He finished a combined 7-17 in his three years leading Moorcroft.

Both Petz and Santistevan confirmed the changes via email to wyoming-football.com on Monday.

Santistevan will also take over as Moorcroft’s head boys basketball coach and will teach industrial arts and technology at the school, he said.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowell and Rawlins, Class 2A Greybull, Lovell and Wheatland and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Former Douglas standout Cody Bohlander has been named the head coach at Wheatland.

Bohlander confirmed his hiring via email to wyoming-football.com on Monday. He has been an assistant coach with the Bulldogs for the past three years.

He takes over for Tom Waring, who resigned at the end of last season.

The Bulldogs went 5-5 last season, advancing to the Class 2A semifinals. Wheatland won the Class 2A title in 2015 in Bohlander’s first year as an assistant.

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLanderPowelland Rawlins, Class 2A Greybull and Lovell and Class 1A 11-man Big Horn. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Just days after former Big Horn coach Michael McGuire left to take a college coaching job in North Dakota, assistant coach Kirk McLaughlin was promoted to take over as the Rams’ head coach.

The Sheridan Press first reported the hiring Friday on Twitter.

In a Twitter direct message Friday, McLaughlin confirmed his hiring with wyoming-football.com.

McLaughlin has been an assistant coach for Big Horn the past six years. Prior to that, he coached in Delta, Colorado, for eight years, including two years (2007 and 2008) as the head football coach at Delta High School.

Big Horn won Class 2A titles in 2013 and 2016 and finished as Class 1A 11-man runners-up last year. The Rams have six returning all-state players.

“I am very excited to be taking over at Big Horn,” McLaughlin wrote. “Coach McGuire handed me the keys to a Cadillac and I have some big shoes to fill. I have great assistant coaches and great group of kids going into next year, it will be an exciting challenge.”

Other Wyoming schools with new head coaches, or with vacant head coaching spots, include Class 4A Cheyenne Central and Sheridan, Class 3A Green RiverLander, Powell and Rawlins, and Class 2A GreybullLovell and Wheatland. If you know of other coaching hirings or resignations statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

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