Here’s a quick look at the Wyoming high school football playoff picture entering Week 7:

Class 4A
In: Sheridan, Cheyenne East, Natrona, Kelly Walsh, Rock Springs, Thunder Basin, Laramie.
Neither in nor out: Cheyenne Central, Gillette, Cheyenne South.
Out: No one.

Sheridan, East and Natrona are ahead of the rest of the pack; KW, Rock Springs, Thunder Basin and Laramie are more or less fighting for seeds 4-7, and Central, Gillette and South are basically fighting it out for the eighth spot. Technically, there could be some shuffling in these tiers, but for now there are three distinct separations of playoff battles happening in the big schools.

+++

Class 3A East
In
: Torrington.
Neither in nor out: Rawlins, Douglas, Buffalo, Riverton, Lander.
Out: No one.

Right now, Lander is on the outside looking in, but if the Tigers can upset Douglas and Rawlins, they could make a real mess of things. The loser of this week’s Buffalo-Riverton game will have a tough time keeping pace, too.

+++

Class 3A West
In: Star Valley.
Neither in nor out: Green River, Cody, Evanston, Powell, Worland.
Out: Jackson.

A scenario exists where Green River, Cody, Evanston, Worland and Powell could end up in a five-way tie for seeds 2, 3 and 4. That’s how messed up (or, alternatively, parity-filled) the 3A West is this season.

+++

Class 2A East
In
: Glenrock.
Neither in nor out: Newcastle, Wheatland, Moorcroft, Thermopolis, Burns.
Out: No one.

Speaking of scenarios, there is a bizarre scenario in the 2A East where four teams could tie for places 1-4 with 3-2 records. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

+++

Class 2A West
In: Mountain View, Big Piney.
Neither in nor out: Greybull, Lyman, Pinedale, Lovell, Kemmerer.
Out: No one.

Technically, everyone is still alive for the playoffs, thanks mostly to Lovell’s upset of Greybull last week. The scenarios here are messy; there’s a weird one where four teams tie for the fourth seed. Ugh.

+++

Class 1A 11-man East
In: Pine Bluffs, Big Horn.
Neither in nor out: Upton-Sundance, Southeast, Lusk, Tongue River.
Out: Wright.

The weird scenario here is where there’s potentially a three-way tie for the No. 4 seed, or, even worse, a four-way tie for seeds No. 3 and 4. It’s possible. I hope I don’t have to sort through it, though.

+++

Class 1A 11-man West
In: Cokeville.
Neither in nor out: Rocky Mountain Saratoga, Wind River, Wyoming Indian, Shoshoni.
Out: No one.

Rocky Mountain, Saratoga and Wind River are in the best positions to qualify for the remaining open spots, as they’re all 2-1 in league play. Shoshoni and Wyoming Indian need some miracles to happen to climb back from 0-3 and force a tie for one of the final spots; they play each other next week.

+++

Class 1A six-man East
In: Kaycee, Midwest.
Neither in nor out: Guernsey-Sunrise, Hanna, Hulett, Lingle, NSI.
Out: No one.

This might be the weirdest scenario, where zero-victory NSI actually has a better chance than one-victory Lingle. That’s because NSI has two conference games remaining instead of one and could, with the right scenario, force a tie for the No. 4 spot. Lingle could do that, too, but needs winless NSI to beat unbeaten Kaycee, in addition to a bunch of other things, to force a four-way tie for the No. 4 seed that might be broken coin-flip style.

+++

Class 1A six-man West
In: Farson, Snake River, Burlington.
Neither in nor out: Meeteetse, Ten Sleep, Dubois, St. Stephens.
Out: No one.
Ineligible: Riverside.

Meeteetse just needs to beat Ten Sleep next week to secure the conference’s last available spot. If Ten Sleep wins, though, that opens the door for winless teams Dubois and St. Stephens to stay alive, too.

–patrick

The 2017 edition of the Wyoming high school football guide magazine is out!

Hard copies are available for free at the locations of the sponsors in the magazine. A digital version of the magazine is available here. Be sure to take the time to thank the sponsors, both with your words and with your money, for making the magazine possible again this year!

The magazine contains full previews on every team in the state — all 65 — as well as classification previews on all five classes.

I wrote every article in this year’s magazine, and I was fortunate to talk to all 65 head coaches in the state for this year’s preview. Here’s a huge public thanks to every coach who took the time to answer my questions; I couldn’t do it without your help!

Read it here and prepare yourself for the 2017 Wyoming high school football season.

–patrick

This season, the Douglas football program will compete in its 100th season of games.

That’s an impressive total. But where does it stack up statewide?

As it turns out, Douglas is the sixth Wyoming program to reach 100 seasons. Cheyenne Central (114 seasons), Laramie (111), Sheridan (106), Natrona (102) and Buffalo (100) have also reached 100 seasons of play.

But a ton of programs are on pace to have their 100th season soon. In fact, 19 more programs will have their 100th seasons in the next nine years.

The total number of seasons for each program is listed below but will also be updated annually on the all-time standings page.

114 seasons: Cheyenne Central
111: Laramie
106: Sheridan
102: Natrona
100: Buffalo
99: Douglas (100th season in 2017)
97: Lander, Wheatland (100th season in 2019)
96: Cody, Gillette, Greybull, Thermopolis, Torrington (100th season in 2020)
95: Lovell, Powell, Riverton, Rock Springs, Worland (100th season in 2021)
94: Green River, Newcastle (100th season in 2022)
93: Lusk, Rawlins (100th season in 2023)
92: Kemmerer (100th season in 2024)
91: Evanston, Midwest (100th season in 2025)
89: Lingle, Star Valley (100th season in 2027)
88: Hanna, Sundance
83: Glenrock, Jackson
81: Shoshoni
79: Big Piney, Pinedale
78: Burlington, Meeteetse, Pine Bluffs
77: Upton
76: Cokeville
74: Lyman
73: Big Horn
66: Saratoga, Ten Sleep
65: Basin, Moorcroft
62: Hulett, Mountain View
60: Tongue River
57: Cheyenne East
56: Burns
54: Guernsey-Sunrise
52: Kelly Walsh, St. Mary’s
51: Cowley
48: Dubois, Wind River
45: Wyoming Indian
44: Byron
40: Southeast
39: Superior
38: Sunrise
35: Guernsey
34: Deaver-Frannie, Rocky Mountain
33: Wright
30: Farson, Riverside
28: Glendo
27: Manderson
22: Manville
20: Reliance
19: Arvada-Clearmont, Huntley
17: Morton, NSI
16: Snake River, University Prep
14: Albin
13: Dayton, Ranchester, St. Stephens
12: Worland Institute
11: Goshen Hole, Pavillion
10: Bow-Basin
9: Fort Washakie
8: Gebo, Kaycee, Valley
6: Cheyenne South, North Big Horn
5: Encampment, Upton-Sundance
4: Arvada, Chugwater
3: Rock River
2: Carpenter, Fort Laramie, Hawk Springs, Heart Mountain
1: Grass Creek, LaGrange, Monarch, Rozet
0: Thunder Basin

+++

Also, certain communities are getting ready to celebrate 100 years of football soon, even though they’ve gone through multiple programs to reach that milestone. Entering 2017, here are some chains of seasons in particular communities with programs that merged into each other:

95 seasons: Basin/Riverside
93: Sundance/Upton-Sundance
92: Sunrise/Guernsey-Sunrise (the Guernsey/Guernsey-Sunrise chain is 89 years)
91: Cowley/North Big Horn/Rocky Mountain (the Byron/Rocky Mountain chain is 78 years; the Deaver-Frannie/North Big Horn/Rocky Mountain chain is 74 years)
82: Upton/Upton-Sundance
73: Dayton and Ranchester/Tongue River
65: Morton/Wind River (the Pavillion/Wind River chain is 59 years)
59: Huntley/Southeast (the Goshen Hole/Southeast chain is 51 years)

Lest we forget, the Bearcats’ 100th season is something to celebrate. Many more schools, though, will have similar celebrations in the next decade.

–patrick

I recently added the Wyoming high school football standings from 1894-1947 to the site. Click here for a full listing of year-by-year standings.

Standings prior to 1948 list overall records only, as district play was loosely organized, each team in a district did not necessarily play every other team in the same district, and district records alone were not how a district champion was determined.

I also combined the 1904, 1905, 1906 and 1907 season pages onto the page that previously listed the results from 1894-1903 only. That’s here. All of the links have been redirected on all the relevant pages.

–patrick

About a year ago, I compiled a list of playoff records for Wyoming football coaches. One of the notable things about the list was that every coach on the list had his fair share of losses. Even the best coach can’t win every playoff game every year… right?

Well, I went back to the data, and as it turns out, of the 356 coaches who have coached at least one Wyoming playoff game, 33 are unbeaten in the postseason. Of those 33, though, only seven have three or more victories:

Rick VanCleeve, Thermopolis 1985-92, 9-0
Lee Kremers, Kaycee 2015-16, 6-0
Jim McLeod, Cheyenne Central 1979-89, 6-0
Wilford Mower, Byron 1945-52, 6-0
Lou Maiben, Byron 1954-57 and Wheatland 1959-62, 4-0
Will Gray, Pine Bluffs 2011-2016, 3-0
McKay Young, Star Valley 2016, 3-0

Three of these coaches — Kremers, Gray and Young — led their teams to state championships last season.

Of the remaining 26 coaches, 17 are 2-0 and nine are 1-0.

This is a tough list on which to stay. The longer coaches coach, the more likely they are to have at least one playoff loss. Even the best playoff coach, Cokeville’s Todd Dayton (whose 67 playoff victories are more than twice as many as any other coach in state history) has 14 playoff losses to his name, too.

Meanwhile, 128 of those 356 coaches are winless in the playoffs….

–patrick

More than a million yards from scrimmage have been gained in 11-man football in Wyoming since 2009.

But how many of those were through the air? And how many were on the ground?

And which teams were the best at what they do?

An analysis of statistics from 2009 to 2016 shows certain teams have varied only slightly in their attacks the past eight seasons, while others have completely changed their approaches based on the talent of the players or the philosophies of coaches.

+++

A cloud of dust (or black rubber): The best at the running game

In 2016, the trend was clear: Keep it on the ground.

Statewide, coaches and players in 2016 gave us a season that focused on the run — much more so than any season since at least 2009. In 2016, 65.06 percent of all yards gained were gained on the ground, a total higher than 2015 (61.07 percent), 2014 (60.92), 2013 (61.4), 2012 (62.71), 2011 (61.86), 2010 (61.95) and 2009 (64.55).

That was shown most clearly in the approach of the Glenrock Herders.

The most run-heavy team since 2009 was last year’s Glenrock team, which gained 99.08 percent of its yards via the rush (3,757 rushing yards to 35 passing yards.) In second was Lingle’s 2015 team, which got 95.79 percent of its yards on the ground (3,322 rushing to 146 passing).

Overall, from 2009 to 2016 combined, the most run-heavy program was Lingle, with 93.37 percent of its yards coming on the ground in that time. Glenrock was next at 89.11 percent of its yards gained on the ground, while Lusk was third at 86.38. Others above 80 percent were Cokeville (82.43), Burlington (80.8) and Kemmerer (80.32).

+++

Air it out: The best at the passing game

Oddly enough, the teams that have gained the highest percentage of their yards through the air got there by accident.

For example: The most pass-heavy team since 2009 was NSI’s 2011 team, which gained just 4.46 percent of its yards on the ground (40 rushing yards to 856 passing yards). But that came in part because of two factors — (1) NSI was a horrible rushing team that year, and (2) lots of negative rushing yards came via quarterback sacks. A similar fate befell Rawlins in 2010, when the Outlaws gained 4.99 percent of their yards on the ground (35 rushing yards, 667 passing yards) after taking a bunch of negative yardage on QB sacks.

Of teams that weren’t just sacked into oblivion, the lowest percentage of rushing yards came with Riverside in 2013; the Rebels got 22.58 percent of their yards on the ground (466 rushing yards to 1,598 passing yards).

In the past eight seasons combined, NSI was the most pass-happy team, with only 37.86 of its yards coming on the ground. Rawlins was second at 39.4 percent, while Riverside (44.51), Wheatland (48.17), Cheyenne Central (48.74) and Laramie (49.89) were all more pass-heavy than run-heavy.

+++

Always the same… or always different

Some teams take the Remember the Titans approach and run just six plays.

For an example of that, look no further than Lingle, the team that varied its offensive approach the least over the past eight seasons.

The Doggers’ yardage percentages had a standard deviation of 2.48, the lowest in the state; Lingle’s percent of yardage gained on the ground, from 2009 to 2015, was 94.96, 92.86, 90.35, 95.1, 94.22, 89.45 and 95.79.

Of programs with at least four years of data, Upton-Sundance, Lusk and Lovell also had standard deviations below 5, meaning they had the most consistent offensive approaches.

The programs with at least four measured seasons with the highest standard deviation was Mountain View, which had a deviation of 20.23. From 2009 to 2016, Mountain View’s percent of yards gained on the ground were 86.43, 87.72, 75.45, 45.19, 51.61, 72.17, 35.89 and 46.1. Rock Springs, Rawlins and Greybull also had high standard deviations. The changes came in part because those programs saw coaching changes in those spans and offensive gameplans adjusted accordingly — Mountain View, Rawlins and Greybull toward more pass-heavy approaches and and Rock Springs to a more run-heavy style.

Of programs that retained the same coach from 2009 to 2016, the one that saw the highest standard deviation — or, in layman’s terms, the most ability to be flexible with the talent of the players it has — was Newcastle. Coach Matt Conzelman has had percentage of run yardage be as low as 36.43 in 2009 and as high as 87.35 in 2015.

If you want to dive into the data and explore teams’ rushing and passing yardage totals from 2009-16, click here. What sticks out to you?

Note: Six-man play was not included due to the lack of consistency in six-man statistics from 2009 to 2016. Seasons were excluded if team statistics were missing from three or more games. The following 11-man seasons were excluded due to lack of consistent statistics: Burlington 2015, 2013, 2010 and 2009; Rocky Mountain 2015; Wyoming Indian 2015, 2014 and 2010; Wind River 2010; Shoshoni 2015 and 2009; Riverside 2010; NSI 2009; Upton 2009.

–patrick

The scoring records page, where the top season totals for both offense and defense are listed, shows the top defensive performances over one season are mostly populated by team efforts from before World War II. In fact, of the 10 seasons where a team gave up one point per game or less, seven came prior to World War II — and the other three are clustered in the early 1970s. Those eras are historically low points for scoring statewide.

Many teams gave up only a handful of points in the game’s early days, where scoreless ties were common and 6-0 finals the standard. Since World War II, scoring has gone up considerably, thereby making a dominating season-long defensive effort pretty rare.

I went back and found all the defensive efforts since 1946 in which a team allowed 4 points per game or fewer.

The top two defensive outputs in the past 70 years both came in the same season: 1974. Torrington gave up just six points in nine games, while Saratoga gave up six points in eight games. In all, six teams from the 1974 season gave up fewer than 4 ppg — in addition to Torrington’s 0.67 and Saratoga’s 0.75 ppg, Worland gave up 2.63 ppg, Tongue River 3.33 ppg, Kemmerer 3.89 and Rawlins 4.0 ppg that season. But the 4 ppg threshold was only reached six other times in the 1970s, making 1974 the true anomaly of defensive performances in Wyoming high school football. (I still don’t know why. Any theories?)

More recently, seven squads from this millennium have given up 4 ppg or fewer. The most recent is Lyman in 2012, which gave up 3.17 points per game. The others are Lusk in 2000 (1.3 points allowed per game), Wright in 2004 (2.6), Gillette in 2000 (3), Cokeville in 2008 (3.5), Lusk in 2002 (3.5) and Cokeville in 2011 (3.9).

Meanwhile, only two teams from the 1990s — Lusk in 1992 and Mountain View 1997 — gave up fewer than 4 ppg over their season, while seven teams were under the 4 points per game allowed threshold in the 1980s: Lusk 1986, Big Horn 1985, Kelly Walsh 1981, Cokeville 1988, Cokeville 1984, Sundance 1981, Greybull 1986.

Fifteen teams from the 1960s gave up 4 ppg or fewer; however, only four from the 1950s met that threshold. And the four teams that accomplished this defensive feat from the second half of the 1940s all did so in the 1947 season.

For perspective, the top scoring defense in the 2016 season was Tongue River, which gave up exactly 10 points per game.

Here’s the list of all teams since 1946 who gave up 4 ppg or less during a season, in order of average points allowed:

Torrington 1974: 9-0, 6 points allowed, 0.67 average points allowed

Saratoga 1974: 8-0, 6 pa, 0.75 apa

Upton 1971: 7-0-1, 8 pa, 1 apa

Lusk 2000: 10-0, 13 pa, 1.3 apa

Byron 1960: 10-0, 13 pa, 1.3 apa

Glenrock 1972: 9-0, 12 pa, 1.33 apa

Sheridan 1953: 9-0, 14 pa, 1.56 apa

Worland 1956: 10-0-1, 18 pa, 1.64 apa

Mountain View 1962: 6-0, 12 pa, 2 apa

Green River 1963: 10-0, 21 pa, 2.1 apa

Evanston 1964: 9-0, 20 pa, 2.22 apa

Pinedale 1975: 10-0, 24 pa, 2.4 apa

Shoshoni 1953: 4-1, 12 pa, 2.4 apa

Lusk 1992: 8-0, 20 pa, 2.5 apa

Wright 2004: 9-1, 26 pa, 2.6 apa

Lusk 1986: 10-0, 26 pa, 2.6 apa

Worland 1974: 7-1, 21 pa, 2.63 apa

St. Stephens 1962: 8-0, 21 pa, 2.63 apa

Glenrock 1969: 7-1-1, 24 pa, 2.67 apa

Mountain View 1997: 10-0, 28 pa, 2.8 apa

Laramie 1960: 9-0, 26 pa, 2.89 apa

Gillette 2000: 10-0, 30 pa, 3 apa

Glenrock 1967: 9-0, 27 pa, 3 apa

Lusk 1963: 8-0-1, 27 pa, 3 apa

Midwest 1947: 7-0-1, 25 pa, 3.13 apa

Lyman 2012: 12-0, 38 pa, 3.17 apa

Byron 1963: 8-0, 26 pa, 3.25 apa

Kemmerer 1947: 6-1-1, 26 pa, 3.25 apa

Big Horn 1985: 10-0, 33 pa, 3.3 apa

Rawlins 1947: 8-0-2, 33 pa, 3.3 apa

Tongue River 1974: 9-0, 30 pa, 3.33 apa

Kelly Walsh 1981: 10-0, 34 pa, 3.4 apa

Laramie 1962: 9-0, 31 pa, 3.44 apa

Cokeville 2008: 8-2, 35 pa, 3.5 apa

Lusk 2002: 10-0, 35 pa, 3.5 apa

Pinedale 1973: 8-2, 35 pa, 3.5 apa

Shoshoni 1947: 4-0, 14 pa, 3.5 apa

Cokeville 1988: 10-0, 36 pa, 3.6 apa

Cokeville 1984: 9-1, 36 pa, 3.6 apa

Tongue River 1972: 8-1, 33 pa, 3.67 apa

Laramie 1964: 9-0, 33 pa, 3.67 apa

Sundance 1981: 7-1, 30 pa, 3.75 apa

Pine Bluffs 1950: 7-0, 27 pa, 3.86 apa

Byron 1966: 7-1, 31 pa, 3.88 apa

Kemmerer 1974: 9-0, 35 pa, 3.89 apa

Star Valley 1962: 9-0, 35 pa, 3.89 apa

Cokeville 2011: 11-0, 39 pa, 3.9 apa

Greybull 1986: 7-1, 32 pa, 4 apa

Rawlins 1974: 9-1, 40 pa, 4 apa

Lingle 1970: 6-2, 32 pa, 4 apa

Greybull 1962: 8-0, 32 pa, 4 apa

Which one of these seasons do you think is the most impressive defensive effort? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about the best work you’ve seen in stopping other teams from scoring.

–patrick

Our American school system typically follows a basic pattern: numerous elementary schools, a good number of junior highs, only a handful of high schools.

But what if we switched the system? Big elementary schools, numerous small high schools? What if our school system started at the trunk of the tree and branched out instead of starting at the leaves and working toward the trunk?

And what if sports followed the same organizational pattern? Let’s put the education arguments aside for a second and focus instead on the sports. In Wyoming, under this system the school sports in the state would be controlled not by the biggest cities, but by the biggest schools, in part because of how elementary schools are organized.

In Wyoming, under this system the school sports in the state would be controlled not by the biggest cities, but by the biggest schools, in part because of how elementary schools are organized statewide.

Several cities in Wyoming decided to divide their elementary schools by grade level rather than geography. Jackson, for example, has its youngest students attending Jackson Elementary and its older students attending Colter Elementary. Lander, Buffalo, Torrington and Wheatland do basically the same thing.

And at least in the case of Lander, Jackson, Buffalo and Torrington, that decision has them as among the biggest schools in the state in terms of K-3 enrollment. Actually, most of Wyoming’s biggest schools in K-3 terms are in towns we would currently call Class 3A. If we were to organize them and classify them by enrollment, as high schools are now, those communities dominate the top spots. In this scenario, these schools — rather than the Gillettes, Natronas, Kelly Walshes and so on — would be the biggest and baddest progams in the state.

Jackson/Colter is by far the largest at 762 K-3 students, but it’s Lander, Rawlins, Douglas, Buffalo, Torrington, Pinedale and Star Valley’s two schools taking up spots two through nine.

An elementary school from one of Wyoming’s big cities doesn’t show up until Cheyenne’s Saddle Ridge Elemetary slides into the No. 10 spot. And after that, another school from the trio of Cheyenne, Casper and Gillette doesn’t show up until school No. 16, Lakeview Elementary in Gillette.

In our scenario, the power of the large school has shifted. Completely.

+++

The next step is to organize the schools into classifications, just as the WHSAA does currently for 9-12 enrollment.

In classifying these schools, I tried to look for round numbers and somewhat natural breaks. I took the 12 largest schools to make a “Class 4A,” and it just so happened that 300 was the break point on that. The next 75 schools became “Class 3A” with a break at about 180 students. After that came “Class 2A,” another 43 with a break at about 100 students, and finally “Class 1A” and 33 schools rounded out the field.

But there were some challenges to this organization.

Most Wyoming towns use a K-5, K-6 or K-12 model for their schools. The cities that don’t put all of their K-3 students into one school or into a relatively equal distribution into numerous K-4/5/6 schools. Some of these have already been noted, but here are the toughest such scenarios:

  • Riverton: Riverton kindergartners attend the same school (Aspen Early Learning Center) before being split into one of three elementary schools in the city that handle grades 1-3. They’re combined again in grades 4-5 at Rendezvous Elementary before moving on to Riverton Middle School.
  • Douglas: Douglas has Douglas Primary (K-1), Douglas Intermediate (2-3) and Douglas Upper (4-5) schools.
  • Torrington: Torrington students are split between Lincoln (K-2) and Trail (3-5) elementaries.
  • Buffalo: Buffalo students are split between Meadowlark (K-2) and Cloud Peak (3-5) elementaries.
  • Kemmerer/Diamondville: These students are split between Kemmerer (K-2) and Canyon (3-6) elementaries.
  • Wheatland: Wheatland students are split between Libbey (K-2) and West (3-5) elementaries.
  • Jackson: Jackson students are split between Jackson (K-2) and Colter (3-5) elementaries.

Wyoming has 163 schools fielding K-3 enrollments of at least 25 students (or, in the case of Clearmont, Glendo, Chugwater and Rock River, fielding enrollments in locations where high schools already exist). The enrollment totals of 34 more elementary schools with fewer than 25 students were added to the most geographically feasible elementary.

+++

In our “leaf-not-trunk” system, this is how classifications might break down, with K-3 enrollment as listed by the Wyoming Department of Education listed.

Class 4A
Jackson/Colter 762
Gannett Peak (Lander) 571 (with Jeffrey City (5))
Rawlins 561 (with Desert (Wamsutter) (14))
Douglas Primary/Intermediate 508 (with Dry Creek (9), Moss Agate (9), Shawnee (7), Walker Creek (5), White (8))
Afton 435
Thayne 379
Meadowlark/Cloud Peak (Buffalo) 373
Lincoln/Trail (Torrington) 350
Pinedale 342 (with Bondurant (5))
Saddle Ridge (Cheyenne) 331
Uinta Meadows (Evanston) 326
Westridge (Rock Springs) 305

Class 3A
Willow Creek (Riverton) 300 (with estimated 57 kindergarten)
Stagecoach (Rock Springs) 294
Mountain View 289 (with McKinnon (13))
Lakeview (Gillette) 285
Summit (Casper) 284
Dildine (Cheyenne) 278
Verda James (Casper) 278
Paradise Valley (Casper) 277
Sage (Rock Springs) 276
Ft. Caspar Academy (Casper) 269
Afflerbach (Cheyenne) 265
Truman (Green River) 264
Buffalo Ridge (Gillette) 256
Ashgrove (Riverton) 254 (with estimated 57 kindergarten)
Coffeen (Sheridan) 251
Hillcrest (Gillette) 251
Jackson (Riverton) 250 (with estimated 57 kindergarten)
Sunrise (Cheyenne) 247
Libbey/West (Wheatland) 246
Highland Park (Sheridan) 245
Pronghorn (Gillette) 245
Velma Linford (Laramie) 240 (with Harmony (12), Centennial (4), Valley View (5))
Sunflower (Gillette) 238
Oregon Trail (Casper) 235 (with Red Creek (6))
Urie 235
Prairie Wind (Cheyenne) 234
Hobbs (Cheyenne) 233
Northpark (Rock Springs) 233
Conestoga (Gillette) 231
Indian Paintbrush (Laramie) 231
Lovell 227
Crest Hill (Casper) 224
Glenn Livingston (Cody) 223 (with Valley (4), Wapiti (5))
Sagebrush (Sheridan) 223
Newcastle 222
Park (Casper) 220
Spring Creek (Laramie) 220
Moorcroft 218
North Evanston 218
Southridge (Casper) 218
Manor Heights (Casper) 215
Meadowlark (Sheridan) 215
Aspen (Evanston) 213
Cottonwood (Casper) 213
Sagewood (Casper) 212
Wyoming Indian 212
Anderson (Cheyenne) 211
Prairie Wind (Gillette) 211
Southside (Powell) 209
Eastside (Cody) 207
Westside (Powell) 207 (with Clark (10))
Sunset (Cody) 206
Arp (Cheyenne) 205
Baggs (Cheyenne) 204
Paintbrush (Gillette) 203
Desert View (Rock Springs) 201
Kemmerer/Canyon 199
Glenrock 197 (with Boxelder (5))
Rossman (Cheyenne) 197
Harrison (Green River) 196
Overland (Rock Springs) 195
Jackson (Green River) 194
Stocktrail (Gillette) 194
Wagonwheel (Gillette) 194
Lincoln (Casper) 191
Woodland Park (Sheridan) 191
Rozet 190
Freedom (Cheyenne) 189
Goins (Cheyenne) 186
Bain (Cheyenne) 185
Ralph Witters (Thermopolis) 185
Rocky Mountain (Cowley) 184
Arapahoe 182
Fort Washakie 182
Evansville 181

Class 2A
Lusk 178 (with Lance Creek (3))
Henderson (Cheyenne) 174
Pioneer Park (Cheyenne) 171
Slade (Laramie) 171
Tongue River 167 (with Slack (3))
Washington (Green River) 166 (with Granger (3))
Walnut (Rock Springs) 164
Beitel (Laramie) 162
Davis (Cheyenne) 162
Rawhide (Gillette) 161 (with Little Powder (16), Recluse (9))
Meadowlark (Gillette) 159
Pineview (Casper) 158
Big Horn 156 (with Story (13))
Lincoln (Rock Springs) 153
Willard (Casper) 153
Bar Nunn 150
Burns 150
Alta Vista (Cheyenne) 145
Jessup (Cheyenne) 139
Parkside (Powell) 139
Wilson 139
Buffalo Ridge (Cheyenne) 138
Cole (Cheyenne) 138
University Park (Casper) 138
Clark (Evanston) 135
Fairview/Lebhart (Cheyenne) 133 (Lebhart has only K-2, Fairview starts at 3)
Greybull 132
Shoshoni 129
Big Piney 127
Mills 126
East Side (Worland) 125
West Side (Worland) 123
South Side (Worland) 122
Grant (Casper) 121
UW Lab School (Laramie) 121
PODER Academy (Cheyenne) 118
Snowy Range Academy (Laramie) 117
Deming (Cheyenne) 116
Sundance 116
Mountain View (Casper) 111
Wind River 109 (with Crowheart (14))
Saratoga 105
Cottonwood (Wright) 104

Class 1A
Upton 92
Hebard (Cheyenne) 91
Guernsey-Sunrise 88
Lingle-Fort Laramie 86
Pine Bluffs 80
Poison Spider (Casper) 77 (with Powder River (4))
Little Snake River Valley 76
Laura Irwin (Basin) 75
Cokeville 75
Southeast 75 (with LaGrange (14))
Hanna 72 (with Elk Mountain (10), Medicine Bow (11))
Woods Learning Center (Casper) 71
Gilchrist (Cheyenne) 68 (with Clawson (5), Willadsen (2))
Burlington 62
Carpenter 58
Laramie Montessori 52
Farson-Eden 40
Dubois 39
Kelly 39 (with Moran (11))
Midwest 37
Ten Sleep 36
La Barge 35 (with Thoman Ranch (1))
Encampment 33
Kaycee 33
Albin 32
Meeteetse 32
Hulett 27
4-J (Gillette) 25
Alta 25
Clearmont 24 (with Arvada (10))
Chugwater 20
Glendo 18
Rock River 18 (with Notch Peak (1))

++++

Breaking down the schools into conferences proved to be a tougher challenge due to the odd number splits. Some classificiations did not end up with a good, round number for state qualifications, but they’re sound geographically….

Class 4A West
Jackson/Colter 762
Afton 435
Thayne 379
Pinedale 342 (with Bondurant (5))
Uinta Meadows (Evanston) 326
Westridge (Rock Springs) 305

Class 4A East
Gannett Peak (Lander) 571 (with Jeffrey City (5))
Rawlins 561 (with Desert (Wamsutter) (14))
Douglas 508 (with Dry Creek (9), Moss Agate (9), Shawnee (7), Walker Creek (5), White (8))
Meadowlark/Cloud Peak (Buffalo) 373
Lincoln/Trail (Torrington) 350
Saddle Ridge (Cheyenne) 331

Class 3A Northwest (8)
Lovell 227
Glenn Livingston (Cody) 223 (with Valley (4), Wapiti (5))
Southside (Powell) 209
Eastside (Cody) 207
Westside (Powell) 207 (with Clark (10))
Sunset (Cody) 206
Ralph Witters (Thermopolis) 185
Rocky Mountain (Cowley) 184

Class 3A Central (9)
Willow Creek (Riverton) 300 (with estimated 57 K)
Paradise Valley (Casper) 277
Ft. Caspar Academy (Casper) 269
Ashgrove (Riverton) 254 (with estimated 57 K)
Jackson (Riverton) 250 (with estimated 57 K)
Oregon Trail (Casper) 235 (with Red Creek (6))
Wyoming Indian 212
Arapahoe 182
Fort Washakie 182

Class 3A Southwest (13)
Stagecoach (Rock Springs) 294
Mountain View 289 (with McKinnon (13))
Sage (Rock Springs) 276
Truman (Green River) 264
Urie 235
Northpark (Rock Springs) 233
North Evanston 218
Aspen (Evanston) 213
Desert View (Rock Springs) 201
Kemmerer/Canyon 199
Harrison (Green River) 196
Overland (Rock Springs) 195
Jackson (Green River) 194

Class 3A Powder River East (9)
Lakeview (Gillette) 285
Buffalo Ridge (Gillette) 256
Hillcrest (Gillette) 251
Sunflower (Gillette) 238
Conestoga (Gillette) 231
Newcastle 222
Moorcroft 218
Stocktrail (Gillette) 194
Rozet 190

Class 3A Powder River West (9)
Coffeen (Sheridan) 251
Highland Park (Sheridan) 245
Pronghorn (Gillette) 245
Sagebrush (Sheridan) 223
Meadowlark (Sheridan) 215
Prairie Wind (Gillette) 211
Paintbrush (Gillette) 203
Wagonwheel (Gillette) 194
Woodland Park (Sheridan) 191

Class 3A Casper (10)
Summit (Casper) 284
Verda James (Casper) 278
Manor Heights (Casper) 215
Crest Hill (Casper) 224
Park (Casper) 220
Southridge (Casper) 218
Cottonwood (Casper) 213
Sagewood (Casper) 212
Lincoln (Casper) 191
Evansville 181

Class 3A East Cheyenne (8)
Dildine (Cheyenne) 278
Sunrise (Cheyenne) 247
Libbey/West (Wheatland) 246
Anderson (Cheyenne) 211
Arp (Cheyenne) 205
Baggs (Cheyenne) 204
Glenrock 197 (with Boxelder (5))
Bain (Cheyenne) 185

Class 3A Vedauwoo (9)
Afflerbach (Cheyenne) 265
Velma Linford (Laramie) 240 (with Harmony (12), Centennial (4), Valley View (5))
Prairie Wind (Cheyenne) 234
Hobbs (Cheyenne) 233
Indian Paintbrush (Laramie) 231
Spring Creek (Laramie) 220
Rossman (Cheyenne) 197
Freedom (Cheyenne) 189
Goins (Cheyenne) 186

Class 2A Northwest (8)
Parkside (Powell) 139
Wilson 139
Greybull 132
Shoshoni 129
East Side (Worland) 125
West Side (Worland) 123
South Side (Worland) 122
Wind River 109 (with Crowheart (14))

Class 2A Northeast (7)
Tongue River 167 (with Slack (3))
Rawhide (Gillette) 161 (with Little Powder (16), Recluse (9))
Meadowlark (Gillette) 159
Pineview (Casper) 158
Big Horn 156 (with Story (13))
Sundance 116
Cottonwood (Wright) 104

Class 2A Southwest (6)
Washington (Green River) 166 (with Granger (3))
Walnut (Rock Springs) 164
Lincoln (Rock Springs) 153
Clark (Evanston) 135
Big Piney 127
Saratoga 105

Class 2A Casper/Central (7)
Lusk 178 (with Lance Creek (3))
Willard (Casper) 153
Bar Nunn 150
University Park (Casper) 138
Mills 126
Grant (Casper) 121
Mountain View (Casper) 111

Class 2A Cheyenne (7)
Henderson (Cheyenne) 174
Burns 150
Alta Vista (Cheyenne) 145
Buffalo Ridge (Cheyenne) 138
Cole (Cheyenne) 138
Fairview/Lebhart (Cheyenne) 133 (Lebhart has only K-2, Fairview starts at 3…)
PODER Academy (Cheyenne) 118

Class 2A Vedauwoo (8)
Pioneer Park (Cheyenne) 171
Slade (Laramie) 171
Beitel (Laramie) 162
Davis (Cheyenne) 162
Jessup (Cheyenne) 139
UW Lab School (Laramie) 121
Snowy Range Academy (Laramie) 117
Deming (Cheyenne) 116

Class 1A Northeast (8)
Upton 92
Poison Spider (Casper) 77 (with Powder River (4))
Woods Learning Center (Casper) 71
Midwest 37
Kaycee 33
Hulett 27
4-J (Gillette) 25
Clearmont 24 (with Arvada (10))

Class 1A Southeast (10)
Hebard (Cheyenne) 91
Guernsey-Sunrise 88
Lingle-Fort Laramie 86
Pine Bluffs 80
Southeast 75 (with LaGrange (14))
Gilchrist (Cheyenne) 68 (with Clawson (5), Willadsen (2))
Carpenter 58
Albin 32
Chugwater 20
Glendo 18

Class 1A Southwest (8)
Little Snake River Valley 76
Cokeville 75
Hanna 72 (with Elk Mountain (10), Medicine Bow (11))
Laramie Montessori 52
Farson-Eden 40
La Barge 35 (with Thoman Ranch (1))
Encampment 33
Rock River 18 (with Notch Peak (1))

Class 1A Northwest (7)
Laura Irwin (Basin) 75
Burlington 62
Dubois 39
Kelly 39 (with Moran (11))
Ten Sleep 36
Meeteetse 32
Alta 25

+++

We know what 9-12 sports in Wyoming looks like — for now. The Wyoming High School Activities Association is considering some big changes to that system this month. Regardless of how those decisions come down, sometimes looking at a problem from a fantasy perspective — like the WESAA instead of the WHSAA — might give us insights into the systems we actually do have.

I don’t know about you, but a 3A state championship showdown between Stagecoach and Buffalo Ridge sounds pretty fun. …

–patrick

When the Wyoming High School Activities Association handed nonconference football scheduling back to individual schools, reducing travel was the goal.

The schools came through on that end — big time.

A breakdown of the 2017 schedule shows travel is going to be down. WAY down.

The average Wyoming high school football road game trip this year, one way, is going to be more than 20 miles shorter than it was last year. And the average nonconference trip, one way, is going to be 70 miles shorter than it was last year. Even one-way mileage for conference games is down:

  • Average one-way trip for all games: 175 miles, down from 196 last year
  • Average one-way trip for conference games: 183 miles, down from 189 last year
  • Average one-way trip for nonconference games: 147 miles, down from 217 last year

Meanwhile, the median one-way nonconference trip this season will be 137 miles; the median one-way trip in 2016 was 221 miles.

In part, this is because some of the absurdly long trips teams made have also been pared down. In 2016, seven games had one-way trips of more than 400 miles; in 2017, only one game (the ridiculous Torrington-Star Valley game) is more than 400 miles one way.

Also, shorter trips are more numerous. Last season, 24 games had one-way trips of 50 miles or less; this year, 34 such games are scheduled.

A big reason for the mileage reduction is schools’ ability to schedule sub-varsity games in nonconference weeks. Five schools, so far, have taken advantage of that opportunity, and more may do so before the season starts in August.

Another thing that helped reduce the longest trips was Evanston’s move from 4A to 3A, which eliminated the Red Devils’ trips to, or their opponents’ trips from, Gillette and Sheridan — traditionally the longest trips on the Wyoming high school football schedule regardless of classification.

The reduced travel comes with tradeoffs, though.

Namely, eight schools don’t have full schedules. Rocky Mountain, Tongue River, Powell, Evanston, Cody and Wright all tentatively have bye weeks scheduled; Rocky Mountain actually has two open weeks, back-to-back, right now. Also, Riverton and Douglas have a scrimmage scheduled for the opening week of the season, which is far from ideal. No one had a scheduled open week last season.

We’ve seen that competitive equity scheduling increased travel but decreased competitiveness. Those trends continued in both 2015 and 2016. Maybe 2017 will bring us closer games AND reduced travel. For eight programs, though, the tradeoff might be one (or more) Friday night on the couch instead of on the field.

How mileage was calculated: Using Google Maps directions, distances from city to city were calculated for each game of the 2016 season and each scheduled game for the 2017 season. Scrimmages and jamborees were not considered. Games involving Upton-Sundance used the closer of the two schools for road games and the actual site for home games. Travel went “through the park” via Yellowstone when possible. Google Maps’ suggestions were used unless a shorter mileage option that did not significantly add to travel time (15 minutes or more) was available.

–patrick

Note: This post was originally written and published on Oct. 10, 2007, at the now-defunct Sports Goulash site for the Casper Star-Tribune and trib.com.

Friday’s game between Natrona County and Sheridan is the renewal of a rivalry that dates back nearly a century. And for a time, the two teams battled not only for a victory, but for the “Queen Marie Trophy.”

What was it? Well, here is this excerpt from the Nov. 11, 1943 Casper Tribune-Herald (an old cousin of the current Casper Star-Tribune):

“Several years ago when the local citizens were looking around for some trophy as a stake for the annual Armistice Day games the late Queen Marie of Rumania happened to be passing through the city. She was asked to autograph a football which she graciously did and since that time the autographed pigskin has been the highly prized award of the winner of the annual Armistice Day football game between Casper and Sheridan.

“The somewhat faded pigskin is carried back and forth between the two cities as a token of their victories. It is believed to be the only such trophy in the state where two teams annually battle for the possession, and it has become a tradition.

“The honored pigskin has changed hands often. The football games played between the Broncs and the Mustangs are the fiercest fought games of the season.”

Then there’s this, from a preview of the 1944 Casper-Sheridan game in the Star-Herald:

“The team which won three years in successions was to have permanent possession. Casper won permanent possession but later put the trophy up again and they are still playing for the football.”

The question now becomes: Where is this football now? Is it in the trophy case at either NCHS or Sheridan? Is it on a dusty mantlepiece in someone’s home, or tucked away in a forgotten box in an attic? Or was the football overlooked and carelessly thrown away several decades ago?

Personally, I have no idea. Google “Queen Marie Trophy” and nothing comes up. If I’m not mistaken, if you look in the trophy cases at both Natrona County and Sheridan, you’ll have similar success.

If the football can be found between now and Friday, and put on display during the contest, I’m sure both schools would be more than happy to renew this tradition.

For now, though, it’s a matter of finding it.

–patrick

Post Navigation