It’s tradition ’round these parts to start looking ahead to next season as soon as the last one ends. The cycle never ends. With that in mind, despite being eight months away from the first practice and nearly nine months away from the first game, now seems to be a good time to figure out which teams may be the best entering 2024.

And, yes, it’s too soon to do this. But that’s part of the fun. When I did this last year, I got two eventual champions right, and two other champions were ranked second. And I whiffed on one (coughTorringtoncough). That’s the fun, though — as expectations change, as players move or leave or return and as coaches change, so will expectations. The preseason rankings in August may look quite different. For now, though, here’s who I have as my top five teams in each class:

Class 4A
1. Sheridan
: Normally, I absolutely despise it when someone pulls out the cliche of “they’re No. 1 until someone beats them” to describe who should be ranked first in a preseason poll. Yet here I am. Because with three straight titles and 31 consecutive victories behind them, and a lack of returning talent elsewhere in 4A, I think the Broncs — despite just one returning first-team all-conference player, that being kicker/punter Ty Gilbertson — deserve that respect.
2. Campbell County: Straight up, no other team in 4A returns as much talent as the Camels do. With five returning first-team all-conference players, a mark three better than any other squad, this could be Campbell County’s finest season in years.
3. Thunder Basin: Cort Catlin and Logan Mendoza are two of just four returning first-team all-staters across the entirety of Class 4A, and they’re both with the ‘Bolts this fall. That’s a good place to start for a team that’s a consistent contender.
4. Cheyenne East: In another case of respect for a program over respect for returning numbers, the Thunderbirds return only one first-team all-conference player (senior lineman Jesse Kirkbride) but have tons of program momentum.
5. Natrona: The Mustangs have two first-team all-conference players back in seniors Rogan Potter and Tucker Sides. Normally, that wouldn’t be enough to be an immediate contender, but in 2024, where all bets are off, they should help make NC a title threat.
Wild card: Cheyenne Central. The Indians also return a pair of first-team all-conference players in seniors Brycen Bailey and Tate Berry. Gain a little confidence early in the season, and Central could be one of 4A’s toughest teams. (Side note: 4A should have a lot more parity this fall…)

Class 3A
1. Star Valley
: How original, I know. But the Braves return six all-state selections from last year’s title team, including senior quarterback Smith McClure, and should be the prohibitive favorites entering 2024.
2. Cody: How original, again. But the Broncs, last year’s runners-up, like Star Valley return six first-team all-state selections, including senior quarterback Maddax Ball. As frustrating as a Cody-Star Valley title game might seem to every other 3A team, you can’t deny what both these programs have accomplished over the past decade. Everyone else is chasing these two.
3. Powell: It’s a wide gulf between Star Valley and Cody and the rest of 3A this year — combined, the remaining 10 teams in 3A have just seven all-staters returning, where Cody and Star Valley have six each. But Powell, with its three all-staters in senior linemen Doug Bettger and Dusty Carter and linebacker Keona Wisnewski, are the biggest threat to the hierarchy.
4. Buffalo: After the top three, it’s a crapshoot, but Buffalo’s three returning all-conference selections, led by all-state senior lineman Hayden Jawors, is the most among 3A’s returners.
5. Douglas: If linebackers are the core of a defense, then the Bearcats will be set. All-stater Carter Archuleta and all-conference pick Cash Tillard, both seniors, will help Douglas reload.
Wild cards: Torrington, Riverton and Evanston. Yes, it’s a cop-out to pick three wild card teams, but so what? Torrington moves up to 3A after winning the 2A title last year, its first title since 1990, and returns enough talent to be immediately competitive. Meanwhile, Riverton and Evanston both had resurgent seasons last year and could be in the mix again if they get development deep on the roster.

Class 2A
1. Big Horn
: The Rams have two big things going for them. First, they’ve been to Laramie each of the past two years, coming up just short of a title last year and winning it all in 2022. Second, they’re the only team in 2A this year that has more than one returning all-state choice, those being seniors Avon Barney and Kolby Butler.
2. Mountain View: People tend to overlook just how dominant Mountain View was in last year’s regular season, winning every conference game except one by double digits — and even that one was by eight. With three all-conference players back, led by junior all-state quarterback Justus Platts, the Buffalos should be right back in the title conversation.
3. Worland: The Warriors, in returning four of their five all-conference selections (including all-state lineman Brody Thiel), were already going to be a resurgent team in 2024. Moving from 3A to 2A immediately makes them a title threat in a classification where depth is at a premium, but they’ll have to adjust to a new coach.
4. Cokeville: The Panthers have four returning all-conference players, all seniors, tied with Big Horn and Worland for the most in 2A. Depth is always a concern for 2A’s smallest school, but the Panthers handle it every season. They’ll be right there to contend.
5. (tie) Lyman and Lovell: Yes, it’s a cop-out to pick two teams in the No. 5 spot, but so what? Both return a pair of all-conference players, and all-staters Davin Crosby (Lovell) and Max Gregory (Lyman) should help make each one competitive. Oh, and yes, the West is absolutely loaded this season.
Wild card: Newcastle. Looking for a team on the rise? Check out the Dogies, whose three all-conference returners is second only to Big Horn in the East. Trouble is, none of those three will be seniors in 2024.

Class 1A nine-man
1. Lingle
: Maybe the Doggers just needed some more experience to break through. After all, with all four of their all-state choices and six of their eight all-conference choices — both tops in 1A nine-man — coming back this year, it makes sense to see the Doggers on top of a preseason list like this.
2. Pine Bluffs: The Hornets should again be a contender thanks to four returning all-conference choices and all-state senior Shawn Shmidl leading the way.
3. Rocky Mountain: Not many teams return the experience the Grizzlies do, who had to play a lot of inexperienced players last year due to graduation losses. That should pay off this year, with five all-conference choices and senior all-stater Tucker Jackson fronting the effort.
4. Lusk: The Tigers get back a pair of all-state picks (senior Jackson Smith and sophomore Raynce Brott) and all four of their all-conference players. Not a bad place to start.
5. Southeast: The Cyclones will have a new coach for the first time this century, but the cupboard isn’t bare as all-staters Ayden Desmond and T.J. Moats lead a team that’s got enough returning to contend with nine-man’s best.
Wild cards: Big Piney and Wind River. Yes, neither one of last year’s championship-game teams are listed here. That’s with good reason. Combined, they return just two all-state/all-conference players (one apiece) and will have to get young players to step up in a hurry to return to their lofty heights of 2023.

Class 1A six-man
1. Burlington
: Here’s a number for you: Burlington returns four all-state selections this year, all seniors. Combined, all the other teams in six-man have three. The defending champs are in good shape for a repeat.
2. Snake River: The Rattlers should be in great shape to challenge for a title, as well. Seniors Bridger Cozzens and Mason Jones were all-state picks, and the program — despite losing in the six-man championship — still has great momentum.
3. Riverside: All-state senior Curtis Strohschein leads a Rebel team that returns three all-conference players from its nine-man team last year. As they move to six-man this year, the Rebels should be immediate title contenders.
4. Encampment: After six-man’s top three, no other team returns even a single all-state selection. Encampment, though, with senior all-conference picks Tyrel Brown and Gunner Henrie, looks like on paper to be the best of the rest.
5. Kaycee: The Buckaroos consistently play beyond their numbers, and in a muddled group of potential contenders, Kaycee could be the best of the bunch despite a lack of depth.
Wild cards: Meeteetse and Hanna. Both the Longhorns and Miners will be young teams in 2024, but those young cores bode well for the future — and potentially the present.

Who do you have as your potential champs, or your potential teams that everyone might be overlooking? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re thinking, way too soon ahead of the 2024 season.


If you just look at the cumulative effect of NSI Academy’s scores from the 2007 season, you would not have expected much from the Wolves.

For the year, the Wolves were outscored 281-150.

And with a score differential like that, what kind of record would you expect?

Well, there’s some math we can do to figure that out.

Using something called the Pythagorean expectation, the Wolves — who played 10 games that season — would have been roughly expected to finish with a record of about 2-8. After all, most teams with that kind of score differential across that many games finish with about that kind of record.

But the Wolves finished 6-4. They won 4.2 more games than the Pythagorean model would have expected them to.

And across more than 100 years of Wyoming high school football, the Wolves’ 4.2 wins above expectation is the highest difference for a single team in state history.


Here’s the math part, as simplified as I can make it: In short, the Pythagorean expectation model looks at a team’s scoring differential and then tries to estimate what a team’s win-loss record should be based on that differential alone. For example, a team that goes 4-4 and finished with a scoring differential of zero would have a Pythagorean score of 0.0 — and the logic follows that you’d expect a team that scored as many points as it gave up to have a .500 record.

A positive Pythagorean score means you won more games than the model would predict; a negative Pythagorean score means you lost more. (For a breakdown of the math used in this post, check out Wikipedia’s article on Pythagorean expectation.)

For a more recent example of the Pythagorean model, let’s look at the 2023 season, and two teams that share a both a 2023 victory total and a first letter: Worland and Wright.

Worland, playing in Class 3A, finished 3-6. Wright, a Class 1A nine-man team, finished 3-5. So we would expect their point differential to be about the same, right?

Well… Would you believe that Wright outscored its opponents 201-124, while Worland was outscored 286-69?

The Pythagorean expectations vary greatly because of those totals. Through that math, we would have expected Wright to win 6.1 games out of its eight with that kind of scoring margin. Instead, Wright won three, giving Wright a score of negative 3.1 (3 wins minus 6.1 predicted wins = negative 3.1). Meanwhile, we’d expect Worland to win 0.3 games out of its nine, so the Warriors’ Pythagorean score is a positive 2.7 (3-0.3=2.7).

In short: With their score differentials, Wright should have won about six games; Worland should have won zero. Instead, both teams won three games. Together, they were the biggest outliers of the 2023 season, Wright the team with the lowest number of victories from what would be expected from their season point differential, Worland the highest.

But they are still far from some of the biggest single-season outliers we’ve ever seen.


Across the 5,469 Wyoming high school football seasons where a team played at least five games, the Pythagorean expectations correctly predicted a team’s record within one game in 3,596 cases, or about 66% of the time. (Yes, I ran the math for all 5,469.)

The outliers, though — like NSI’s 2007 season — are the most interesting.

NSI’s 2007 season was by far the biggest outlier on the positive side. On the negative side, well… meet Rawlins, whose 1928 team had a Pythagorean win expectation of 7.3 wins over their eight games. The Outlaws finished the season with a 151-56 point differential. Still, Rawlins only mustered a 3-3-2 record, a Pythagorean win expectation that was -4.3 fewer than expected. It’s the lowest mark in state history.

Oddly enough, just two years later, basically the same thing happened to Rawlins, which tied with Green River’s 1940 team for the second-worst Pythagorean outcome in state history. That year, Rawlins outscored opponents 112-41 and had a Pythagorean win expectation of 8.2 across nine games. The Outlaws went 4-4-1, a -4.2 below expectations.

The Pythagorean expectations can also be extrapolated to predict winning percentage, as well. Below are some of the best and worst outcomes we’ve seen using the Pythagorean expectations model for teams that played a minimum of five games in their season:

Best Pythagorean win differences (overachievers)
1. NSI 2007 (+4.2): Predicted 1.8 victories, actual record 6-4, point differential 150-281
2. Gebo 1932 (+3.6): Predicted 1.4 victories, actual record 5-3, point differential 66-126
3. Cheyenne East 2008 (+3.4): Predicted 3.6 victories, actual record 7-3, point differential 207-263
4t. Glenrock 1995 (+3.3): Predicted 1.7 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 85-157
4t. Greybull 1991 (+3.3): Predicted 1.7 victories, actual record 5-3, point differential 93-161
4t. Kemmerer 1981 (+3.3): Predicted 1.7 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 80-146
7t. Cody 1926 (+3.2): Predicted 1.8 victories, actual record 5-2, point differential 72-113
7t. Natrona 1945 (+3.2): Predicted 1.8 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 75-134
7t. Big Piney 2007 (+3.2): Predicted 2.8 victories, actual record 6-3, point differential 122-169
10t. Evanston 2021 (+3.1): Predicted 1.9 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 135-238
10t. Torrington 1980 (+3.1): Predicted 0.9 victories, actual record 4-3, point differential 42-94
10t. Lovell 1976 (+3.1): Predicted 0.9 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 64-161
13t. Midwest 1956 (+3.0): Predicted 1.0 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 65-160
13t. Cody 1953 (+3.0): Predicted 1.0 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 113-261
13t. Pine Bluffs 1975 (+3.0): Predicted 1.0 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 65-147
16t. Rawlins 1931 (+2.9): Predicted 1.1 victories, actual record 4-3-1, point differential 47-103
16t. Wright 2005 (+2.9): Predicted 4.1 victories, actual record 7-4, point differential 123-153
18t. Ten Sleep 1978 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 66-139
18t. Cody 1978 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 60-132
18t. Star Valley 1974 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 79-162
18t. Superior 1955 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 84-172
18t. Lingle 1925 (+2.8): Predicted 0.2 victories, actual record 3-7, point differential 58-274

Worst Pythagorean win differences (underachievers)
1. Rawlins 1928 (-4.3): Predicted 7.3 victories, actual record 3-3-2, point differential 151-56
2t. Rawlins 1930 (-4.2): Predicted 8.2 victories, actual record 4-4-1, point differential 112-41
2t. Green River 1940 (-4.2): Predicted 7.2 victories, actual record 3-2-3, point differential 94-37
4. Cheyenne Central 1920 (-4.0): Predicted 8.0 victories, actual record 4-3-2, point differential 98-40
5t. Torrington 1925 (-3.9): Predicted 6.9 victories, actual record 3-4-1, point differential 159-72
5t. Green River 1965 (-3.9): Predicted 5.9 victories, actual record 2-3-3, point differential 115-74
5t. Lingle 1936 (-3.9): Predicted 7.9 victories, actual record 4-2-3, point differential 71-31
8. Torrington 1922 (-3.8): Predicted 7.8 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 222-101
9t. Kemmerer 1956 (-3.7): Predicted 7.7 victories, actual record 4-4-1, point differential 149-70
9t. Green River 1929 (-3.7): Predicted 6.7 victories, actual record 3-2-2, point differential 72-20
11t. Sheridan 1954 (-3.6): Predicted 7.6 victories, actual record 4-3-2, point differential 168-81
11t. Natrona 1936 (-3.6): Predicted 10.6 victories, actual record 7-1-3, point differential 156-40
11t. Kemmerer 1931 (-3.6): Predicted 9.6 victories, actual record 6-2-2, point differential 169-46
11t. Rawlins 1940 (-3.6): Predicted 9.6 victories, actual record 6-3-1, point differential 191-52
Since 2000:
1. Burlington 2005 (-3.5): Predicted 8.5 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 322-101
2. Mountain View 2000 (-3.3): Predicted 8.3 victories, actual record 5-5, point differential 253-131
3. Wright 2023 (-3.1): Predicted 6.1 victories, actual record 3-5, point differential 201-124
4t. Rock Springs 2019 (-3.0): Predicted 7.0 victories, actual record 4-6, point differential 246-172
4t. Sheridan 2020 (-3.0): Predicted 10.0 victories, actual record 7-4, point differential 390-148
6. Pine Bluffs 2011 (-2.9): Predicted 7.9 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 196-84

Best Pythagorean win percentage differences (overachievers)
1. Superior 1944: Predicted win percentage 0.083, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.517, point differential 21-58
2. Cody 1926: Predicted win percentage 0.256, actual win percentage 0.714, difference +0.459, point differential 72-113
3. Gebo 1932: Predicted win percentage 0.178, actual win percentage 0.625, difference +0.447, point differential 66-126
4. Torrington 1980: Predicted win percentage 0.129, actual win percentage 0.571, difference +0.442, point differential 42-94
5. Rawlins 1931: Predicted win percentage 0.135, actual win percentage 0.563, difference +0.428, point differential 47-103
6. Lovell 1942: Predicted win percentage 0.158, actual win percentage 0.583, difference +0.425, point differential 38-77
7. NSI 2007: Predicted win percentage 0.184, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.416, point differential 150-281
8. Greybull 1991: Predicted win percentage 0.214, actual win percentage 0.625, difference +0.411, point differential 93-161
9. Sunrise 1949: Predicted win percentage 0.208, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.392, point differential 100-176
10. Guernsey 1937: Predicted win percentage 0.215, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.385, point differential 33-57
Since 2000:
1. NSI 2007: Predicted win percentage 0.184, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.416, point differential 150-281
2. Big Piney 2007: Predicted win percentage 0.316, actual win percentage 0.667, difference +0.351, point differential 122-169
3. Evanston 2021: Predicted win percentage 0.207, actual win percentage 0.556, difference +0.349, point differential 135-238
4. Cheyenne East 2008: Predicted win percentage 0.362, actual win percentage 0.700, difference +0.338, point differential 207-263
5. Saratoga 2015: Predicted win percentage 0.070, actual win percentage 0.375, difference +0.305, point differential 98-291

Worst Pythagorean win percentage differences (underachievers)
1. Sundance 1933: Predicted win percentage 0.834, actual win percentage 0.333, difference -0.500, point differential 79-40
2. Gebo 1930: Predicted win percentage 0.884, actual win percentage 0.400, difference, -0.484, point differential 59-25
3. Sunrise 1939: Predicted win percentage 0.875, actual win percentage 0.400, difference -0.475, point differential 59-26
4. Wheatland 1981: Predicted win percentage 0.816, actual win percentage 0.375, difference -0.441, point differential 133-71
5. Cowley 1925: Predicted win percentage 0.576, actual win percentage 0.143, difference -0.434, point differential 82-72
6. Lingle 1940: Predicted win percentage 0.931, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.431, point differential 132-44
7. Torrington 1925: Predicted win percentage 0.867, actual win percentage 0.438, difference -0.430, point differential 159-72
8. Torrington 1922: Predicted win percentage 0.866, actual win percentage 0.444, difference -0.422, point differential 222-101
9. Rawlins 1942: Predicted win percentage 0.916, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.416, point differential 107-39
10. Rawlins 1930: Predicted win percentage 0.915, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.415, point differential 112-41
Since 2000:
1t. Burlington 2005: Predicted win percentage 0.940, actual win percentage 0.556, difference -0.384, point differential 322-101
1t. Wright 2023: Predicted win percentage 0.759, actual win percentage 0.375, difference -0.384, point differential 201-124
3t. Mountain View 2000: Predicted win percentage 0.828, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.326, point differential 253-131
3t. Pine Bluffs 2011: Predicted win percentage 0.882, actual win percentage 0.556, difference -0.326, point differential 196-84
5. Lusk 2019: Predicted win percentage 0.803, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.303, point differential 304-168


Information from the 2023 season has been added to Take a look around and let me know if you see anything weird, incorrect or misspelled.

Some of the more notable or interesting things that happened in 2023, as noted on the site:

Individual records: In all, 15 players reached the top 10 for either single-game or single-season performances in 2023.

Jackson’s Seb Brunner and Riverton’s Nick McIntosh finished third and fifth, respectively, in receiving yards in a season. Brunner finished with 1,205 yards, while McIntosh had 1,122.

Powell’s Trey Stenerson finished fourth all-time in receiving yards in a game with his 249-yard effort against Douglas.

Cheyenne East’s Cam Hayes finished seventh all-time in passing yards in a season with 2,762. Hayes also produced the No. 4 game all-time in passing yards, throwing for 457 in a loss to Sheridan during the regular season.

In nine-man, where records only go back to 2020, three players reached the top 10 in rushing yards in a season: Riverside’s Try Strohschein (fifth at 1,575 yards), Moorcroft’s Braydnn Terry (eighth at 1,382 yards) and Big Piney’s Caden Clifford (ninth at 1,286 yards). Three players also reached the top 10 in receiving yards in a season: Lusk’s Nathan Miller (third at 757 yards), Big Piney’s Karsyn Gurr (fifth at 634 yards) and Pine Bluffs’ Shawn Shmidl (sixth at 568 yards). In passing yards, Pine Bluffs’ Justin Lerwick finished fifth all-time with 1,485 yards, while Lusk’s Jackson Smith was seventh at 1,260 yards.

Miller also set nine-man’s single-game receiving yards record with 271 yards against Lingle. Miller also put up the No. 6 all-time game with 177 yards against Big Piney. Smith finished second in nine-man passing yards in a game with 397 against Lingle.

Dubois’ Wyatt Trembly finished third all-time in six-man in rushing yards in a season, putting up 2,201.

In a single game, Hulett’s Cash Huven notched 258 receiving yards against Kaycee, a mark good for No. 2 all-time. Snake River’s Seth Maxson put up 387 rushing yards against Dubois to finish eighth all-time.

Coaching records: The coaching records remained mostly intact, with no new coaches cracking 100 victories. However, Lyman’s Dale Anderson (98 victories) and Wright’s Larry Yeradi (96 victories) moved within striking distance for 2024. Coaches entering the top 100 all-time included Sheridan’s Jeff Mowry, Snake River’s Jack Cobb and Buffalo’s Rob Hammond. In all, 18 of the top 100 are current coaches, although two — Southeast’s Mark Bullington and Dubois’ David Trembly — have announced their retirements. Bullington ranked sixth all-time and second among active coaches with 172 victories, while Trembly was sixth among active coaches and 28th all-time with 106 victories.

Scoring records: Two Class 4A offenses set record paces with their offenses this season. Sheridan set the state 11-man record for points in a season with 608, while Cheyenne East finished third all-time with 566 total points. Sheridan’s average of 50.67 points per game was good enough for third all-time among 11-man teams, trailing only 2018 Big Horn (52.45 ppg) and 1924 Kemmerer (51.4 ppg).

Burlington, which averaged 64.4 points per game, finished eighth all-time in average points per game regardless of classification.

Three games from 2023 entered the top 10 in combined points. Kaycee’s 93-62 victory against Hulett is third all-time with 155 combined points. Burlington’s 80-73 playoff victory against Encampment is tied for fifth all-time at 153 combined points and also took the top spot as the highest scoring playoff game in state history. Burlington’s 80 points is also tied for eighth all-time for single-game points in the postseason by one team. Also in the top 10 is Hulett’s 79-72 victory against Midwest, which is tied for seventh with 151 combined points.

Meanwhile, Hulett set an unwanted record by giving up 615 points, the most points ever allowed by a team in state history. Hulett’s 68.33 points allowed per game ranked ninth in state history. Meanwhile, Midwest finished seventh on that list this season, allowing 69.00 points per game over its seven games this season.

Cheyenne East also crept into the top 10 in 11-man points allowed, giving up 448 to finish 10th.

Streaks: Two teams set long winning streaks in 2023. Sheridan will enter 2024 on a 31-game winning streak, the second-longest verified streak in state history behind Laramie’s 34 straight from 1959-63. Sheridan’s unbeaten streak is also fifth all-time.

Snake River also saw its 30-game winning streak come to an end in the state championship game. The Rattlers’ winning streak is tied for third-longest in state history, while their unbeaten streak is tied for sixth.

Cheyenne South’s losing streak reached 38 games, tied for the state record. The Bison’s home losing streak reached 18 games, also tied for the state record for losing streaks and second-longest for winless streaks. South’s road winless/losing streak reached 24 games, the fourth-longest road losing streak and sixth-longest road winless streak. Pinedale also ended its losing streak this season at 23 games, one of the 20 longest such streaks in state history, and ended its home losing streak at 16 games, tied for seventh-longest.

Snake River continued its hold on second place for scoring streaks, having scored points in 147 consecutive games back to 2009. Star Valley is now fourth on that list with points in 128 consecutive games back to 2012, while Sheridan is seventh with 107 consecutive games with points back to 2015.

Cokeville notched its 36th consecutive winning season, extending its state record, while Sheridan finished with its 17th consecutive winning season, No. 2 all-time behind Cokeville’s streak. Cokeville also had its 38th consecutive non-losing season (at .500 or better), also a state record.

Laramie set a state record for consecutive losing seasons. The Plainsmen’s 23rd consecutive losing season broke a tie with Newcastle from 1984-2005. Laramie still trails Wyoming Indian’s 24 consecutive non-winning seasons by one season.

Moorcroft moved up to fourth all-time with its 15th consecutive losing season, while Worland and Wyoming Indian moved into a tie for fifth with their 14th consecutive losing seasons. Cheyenne South and Wright are tied for eighth with 13 consecutive losing seasons. Wright has also gone 17 seasons without a winning season (.500 or worse), tied for fifth all-time.

Other notables: Sheridan’s championship was its 30th, an extension of its state record. The Broncs were the only Wyoming team to finish undefeated this season. … Star Valley won its 14th state title, Big Piney its ninth, Torrington its fifth, Burlington its third. … Casper Christian wrapped up its first full varsity season. … Cokeville continued to be the top-ranked team in all-time winning percentage at .730. Natrona leads the victories total with 632, while Sheridan is the only other school above 600, with 626. … Snake River set a state record with 24 consecutive weeks ranked No. 1, a streak that will be active entering the preseason poll for 2024. … Star Valley is now fifth all-time with 83 consecutive weeks being ranked in the weekly polls. Cheyenne East is 12th at 70 consecutive weeks, while Cody and Thunder Basin are tied at 16th with 63 consecutive weeks ranked.


Here are the playoff scenarios for all classifications of Wyoming high school football entering Week 8 of the 2023 season:

Class 4A
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cheyenne Central at Rock Springs; Natrona at Thunder Basin; Sheridan at Campbell County.
Sheridan: In. No. 1 seed.
Cheyenne East: In. No. 2 seed.
Natrona: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 5 seed with loss and Campbell County victory. Tie for 3-4-5 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Sheridan victory.
Campbell County: In. No. 3 seed with victory and Thunder Basin victory. No. 4 seed with Natrona victory, win or lose. Tie for 3-4-5 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Thunder Basin victory.
Thunder Basin: In. Tie for 3-4-5 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Sheridan victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Campbell County victory. No. 5 seed with loss.
Cheyenne Central, Rock Springs: In. No. 6 seed with victory. No. 7 seed with loss.
Kelly Walsh: In. No. 8 seed.
Cheyenne South, Laramie: Out.
In the scenario where Natrona, Campbell County and Thunder Basin tie for the 3-4-5 seeds, score differential breaks the tie. Current differentials are Natrona +10, Campbell County +2, Thunder Basin -12. In this scenario, if Thunder Basin wins by eight or fewer, Natrona wins the tiebreaker and the No. 3 seed, with Campbell County 4 and Thunder Basin 5. If Thunder Basin wins by nine or more, Campbell County wins the tiebreaker, with Thunder Basin 4 and Natrona 5.
Note: Kelly Walsh loses potential tiebreakers for the 6-7-8 seeds with both Central and Rock Springs, so the Trojans cannot climb higher than the No. 8 seed.

Class 3A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Douglas at Lander; Rawlins at Buffalo; Worland at Riverton.
Buffalo, Douglas, Riverton, Worland: In. Seeding options galore. See below.
Lander, Rawlins: Out.
Potential scenarios include:

Douglas beats Lander    
Riverton win, Buffalo win*1234
Riverton win, Rawlins win2314
Worland win, Buffalo win4123
Worland win, Rawlins win**4213
Lander beats Douglas    
Riverton win, Buffalo win1234
Riverton win, Rawlins win1234
Worland win, Buffalo win***4123
Worland win, Rawlins win****Tie 1-2-3-4Tie 1-2-3-4Tie 1-2-3-4Tie 1-2-3-4

*In case of a Buffalo-Riverton-Douglas three-way tie for the 1-2-3 seeds, Riverton wins the No. 1 seed by point differential (Riverton +3, Buffalo -1, Douglas -2). Buffalo gets the No. 2 seed by virtue of the head-to-head victory against Douglas.
**In case of a Riverton-Buffalo-Worland three-way tie for the 2-3-4 seeds, Buffalo earns the tiebreaker with the victory over the highest-ranking non-tied team (Douglas). Worland would earn the No. 3 seed with the victory over Riverton.
***In case of a Riverton-Douglas-Worland three-way tie for the 2-3-4 seeds, Douglas earns the tiebreaker with head-to-head victories over both teams. Worland would be No. 3 by defeating Riverton.
****In case of a four-way tie for first, the WHSAA’s four-way tiebreaker is used. I believe (but am not certain) Buffalo would be No. 1 and Douglas No. 2, as they are 2-1 against opponents in the tie and have the “advantage,” with Buffalo earning the head-to-head against Douglas for No. 1. Then Worland, with a head-to-head against Riverton, would be No. 3, and Riverton No. 4. That said, we’ve never seen a four-way tiebreaker used. I say we ro-sham-bo for it.

Class 3A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Evanston at Green River; Jackson at Star Valley; Powell at Cody.
Star Valley: In. No. 1 seed.
Cody, Powell: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Evanston: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Out with loss and Jackson victory. Tie for 4-out-out seeds with loss and Star Valley victory (point differential to break).
Jackson: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory and Green River victory. Tie for 4-out-out seeds with loss and Green River victory. Out with Evanston victory, win or lose.
Green River: Neither in nor out. Tie for 4-out-out seeds with victory and Star Valley victory (point differential to break). Out with Jackson victory. Out with loss.
If Green River, Evanston and Jackson tie for the No. 4 seed, point differential will help decide the tiebreaker. Evanston is currently +12, Jackson 0 and Green River -12. Green River would have to beat Evanston by 12 or more to force a coin flip for the final spot. If Green River wins by 11 or fewer, Evanston wins the tiebreaker and would earn the No. 4 seed.

Class 2A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Tongue River at Wheatland.
Big Horn: In. No. 1 seed.
Torrington: In. No. 2 seed.
Tongue River, Wheatland: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Burns, Glenrock, Newcastle, Upton-Sundance: Out.

Class 2A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cokeville at Lyman; Thermopolis at Lovell.
Mountain View: In. No. 1 seed.
Cokeville: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Thermopolis victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (point differential to break) with loss and Lovell victory.
Lyman: Neither in nor out. No. 2 seed with victory and Thermopolis victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (point differential to break) with victory and Lovell victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Lovell victory. Tie for 3-4-out seeds (point differential to break) with loss and Thermopolis victory.
Lovell: Neither in nor out. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (point differential to break) with victory and Lyman victory. No. 3 seed with victory and Cokeville victory. Tie for 3-4-out seeds (point differential to break) with loss and Cokeville victory. Out with loss and Lyman victory.
Thermopolis: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory and Lyman victory. Tie for 3-4-out seeds (point differential to break) with victory and Cokeville victory. Out with loss.
Kemmerer, Pinedale: Out.
In the scenario where Cokeville, Lyman and Lovell tie for the 2-3-4 seeds, the score differential tiebreaker will be used. Current differentials are Cokeville +12, Lovell -4, Lyman -8. In this scenario, if Lyman beats Cokeville by nine or fewer, Cokeville wins the tiebreaker and would be the No. 2 seed, with Lovell then No. 3 and Lyman 4. If Lyman beats Cokeville by 10 or more, Lyman wins the tiebreaker and is No. 2, with Cokeville No. 3 and Lovell No. 4.
In the scenario where Lyman, Lovell and Thermopolis tie for the 3-4-out seeds, the score differential tiebreaker also comes into play. Current differentials are Lovell +8, Lyman +4 and Thermopolis -12. In this scenario, if Thermopolis beats Lovell by four or fewer points, Lovell wins the tiebreaker and the No. 3 seed, with Lyman getting the 4 and Thermopolis finishing out. If Thermopolis wins by five points or more, then Lyman wins the tiebreaker, with Thermopolis getting the No. 4 seed and Lovell finishing out.

Class 1A nine-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Pine Bluffs at Southeast; Wright at Lusk.
Lingle: In. No. 1 seed.
Pine Bluffs: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Wright victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Lusk victory.
Lusk: In. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Southeast victory. No. 3 seed with Pine Bluffs victory, win or lose. No. 4 seed with loss and Southeast victory.
Southeast: In. No. 2 seed with victory and Wright victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Lusk victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Guernsey, Saratoga, Wright: Out.
Moorcroft: Ineligible.
In the scenario where Lusk, Pine Bluffs and Southeast tie for the 2-3-4 seeds, score differential will be used to break the tie. Right now, differentials are Pine Bluffs +7, Southeast -2, Lusk -5. In this scenario, Southeast would need to beat Pine Bluffs by five points or more to earn the No. 2 seed, with Pine Bluffs then earning the No. 3 seed by head-to-head victory against Lusk, which would be No. 4. If Southeast wins by four points or fewer, Pine Bluffs would be No. 2 by differential, and Lusk would be 3 by virtue of head-to-head victory over Southeast, and the Cyclones would be 4.
Note: Saratoga could tie both Lusk and Southeast in the right scenarios, but since the Panthers lose tiebreakers to both teams, Saratoga can’t qualify for the playoffs.

Class 1A nine-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Big Piney at Riverside.
Wind River: In. No. 1 seed.
Big Piney, Riverside: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Rocky Mountain: In. No. 4 seed.
Greybull, Shoshoni: Out.
Wyoming Indian: Ineligible.
Note: Wind River holds tiebreakers over both Big Piney and Riverside, while Rocky Mountain loses tiebreakers to both of those teams.

Class 1A six-man North
Burlington: In. No. 1 seed.
Kaycee: In. No. 2 seed.
Meeteetse: In. No. 3 seed.
Hulett: In. No. 4 seed.
Midwest, Ten Sleep: Out.

Class 1A six-man South
Snake River: In. No. 1 seed.
Encampment: In. No. 2 seed.
Dubois: In. No. 3 seed.
Farson: In. No. 4 seed.
Casper Christian, Hanna: Out.

First-round games we already know: Kelly Walsh at Sheridan in 4A; Rocky Mountain at Lingle in 1A nine-man.

Six-man pairings:
(4S) Farson at (1N) Burlington
(3N) Meeteetse at (2S) Encampment
(4N) Hulett at (1S) Snake River
(3S) Dubois at (2N) Kaycee

I think that covers all the possible scenarios. If something looks weird or wrong, let me know and I will update.


“Sometimes the distance from point A to point B is not always a straight line. Sometimes it takes funny curves along the way.” –Jackson football coach Jim Rooks, speaking to the Jackson Hole Guide, Nov. 11, 1986

In the history of Wyoming high school football, no championship chase has seen more curves than the Class 3A championship race from 1986.

In that season, six different teams were ranked No. 1, and neither of the two teams ranked No. 1 in the final two weeks of the regular season played in the state championship game. Every team in the classification finished with at least three losses. Neither the East nor the West Conference had an undefeated champion. And every single top-ranked team eventually fell victim to “the curse.”

Ultimately, the Class 3A title race of 1986 was one where several teams had a chance, but seemingly none of them wanted to win.


(Optional but recommended: To establish the correct atmosphere for reading this post, I recommend that you click on the following YouTube video and let it play in the background as you read.)

The preseason buzz in Class 3A heading into 1986 was where it belonged: squarely on the shoulders of the defending champions. In 1985, Evanston overcame a pair of early losses and swept through the 3A West part of its schedule. The Red Devils, in doing so, earned the right to host the championship game, and once there Evanston blew out Torrington by 39 points to win its first championship since 1951.

But Evanston had a problem. All six of its all-state choices had been seniors, and none of the seniors entering 1986 were returning starters, leaving the defending champs inexperienced all over the field — and, as it turns out, overrated.

A bunch of suitors were ready to take the Red Devils’ place. As a Class 3A preseason story in the Casper Star-Tribune on Sept. 5 of that year noted in its lead: “At least eight teams could win the 1986 3-A state title…”

There was Torrington, runner-up the year before and talented. There was Glenrock, 6-2 the year before and experienced on the backfield. There was Douglas, 5-4 in 1985 but with a dozen returning starters. There was Star Valley, traditionally tough and rebuilding. There was Wheatland, steadily improving and just a year removed from the title it had earned in ’84. There was Jackson, which brought back eight senior starters. There was Powell, which boasted 21 returning lettermen in the senior class alone. And then there were Buffalo, Worland, Newcastle and Thermopolis, all eager to prove they, too, belonged in the discussion.

Then came Week 1, the first curve in the road.



Of those 12 Class 3A teams, only three earned victories to open the season — Glenrock’s 14-8 nail-biter against Thermopolis; Jackson’s 27-0 shutout of Livingston, Montana; and Star Valley’s 15-14 squeaker against Rock Springs.

Preseason No. 1 Evanston lost, 15-12 to Green River. So had No. 2 Torrington, losing 12-7 to Kimball, Neb. So had No. 3 Wheatland, losing 12-6 in overtime to Cheyenne East. So had No. 5 Douglas, taking a 19-6 beating from Rawlins.

Jackson’s Broncs, the only ranked team to win, shot to the top of the polls.

Rankings after Week 1: 1. Jackson, 2. Evanston, 3t. Torrington, Star Valley, 5. Wheatland.



If Week 2 was supposed to bring stability to the Class 3A race, it didn’t.

Jackson’s good fortune ran out in a 12-10 loss to South Fremont, Idaho. Defending champion and No. 2 Evanston lost again, this time 28-0 to Rawlins. And Torrington lost again, this time 24-6 to Cody.

Just like that, the three teams ranked 1-2-3 all lost.

Star Valley emerged as the shining beacon of hope in the second week, taking out Bear Lake, Idaho, 13-3 to join Wheatland (35-8 over Thermopolis) as the only ranked teams to win. Meanwhile, Powell — idle in Week 1 — made a statement by beating Buffalo on the road, 13-6, and Glenrock improved to 2-0 by beating Morrill, Neb., 34-18.

And in a game few people paid attention to at the time, Worland knocked off Douglas 14-6. By the time the season would finish, both teams would be key players in the championship race; right now, it was a nonconference game between two unranked opponents.

Rankings after Week 2: 1. Star Valley, 2. Wheatland, 3. Glenrock, 4. Jackson, 5. Powell.



In three weeks of rankings and two weeks of play, three different West teams had enjoyed the top spot in the rankings. Star Valley, lightly regarded but still a threat after a 2-6 season in 1985, became the first to enjoy it, taking a bye in Week 3 and keeping the threats to the No. 1 spot at bay.

Meanwhile, Wheatland caved to the pressure. As did Jackson. As did Powell. All three ranked teams lost: No. 2 Wheatland 43-17 to Rock Springs, No. 4 Jackson 7-6 in overtime to Green River and No. 5 Powell 7-0 to Cody. Once again, it was Glenrock — unranked to start the season — that came out on the other end victorious, a 15-8 W against Rawlins to its credit.

But defending champ Evanston lost, again, as did Worland; Buffalo beat a JV team; Torrington barely survived against a smaller Mitchell, Neb., team. Who wants to win this thing?

Rankings after Week 3: 1. Star Valley, 2. Glenrock, 3. Jackson, 4. Powell, 5. Wheatland.



Star Valley’s first chance to defend its No. 1 ranking went just as well as it had for the other teams who had been in the same position so far this year.

Not well.

The Braves couldn’t put a single point up against Green River, falling 6-0 and losing their grip on the top spot in the rankings in the process. And they lost that No. 1 spot to… Glenrock, which couldn’t screw up its fast start while taking a bye week.

But Jackson lost, as did Wheatland — Jackson 23-13 to Lander, Wheatland 36-6 to Rawlins — as the majority of ranked teams again lost. Powell was the only ranked survivor, and even that wasn’t all that impressive, a 20-14 overtime victory against a struggling Riverton program. Evanston and Worland also lost nonconference games, but the East started to take shape as Douglas beat Buffalo 14-0 to move to 2-0 in league play.

At this point, 3A teams were a combined 17-28.

Rankings after Week 4: 1. Glenrock, 2. Star Valley, 3. Powell, 4. Torrington, 5. Jackson.



By virtue of its non-loss against “bye” in Week 4, Glenrock jumped into the top spot of the 3A rankings heading into Week 5.

Guess what? The Herders promptly lost, continuing a streak of losses by 3A No. 1 teams — who were now 0-4 while playing with that ranking to start the 1986 season.

A 17-0 thumping at the hands of unranked Wheatland ended the Herders’ perfect start and sent them freefalling down the East Conference standings, where Douglas and Wheatland shared the top spot at 2-0 despite mirroring overall records of 2-3. While Wheatland was beating Glenrock, Douglas was losing, again, this time to Scottsbluff, Neb., in a game that didn’t affect the conference race.

In the 2-vs.-3 matchup between Star Valley and Powell, the higher-ranked team lost. Because of course they did, as was now tradition in 1986 3A play. Powell survived the trip to Afton and left victors, 24-22, and were the highest-ranked team to win that week.

Torrington did survive despite being in the rankings, blanking downtrodden Newcastle 21-0, and Jackson, too, came away victorious, 22-6 against Worland in a game that few realized the importance of at the time.

Rankings after Week 5: 1. Powell, 2. Torrington, 3. Glenrock, 4. Star Valley, 5. Jackson.



The Powell Panthers had earned their spot atop the 3A rankings, coming in with a 3-1 record and a focus on ending the curse that had plagued No. 1 teams all year.

Did it work?

Do you even need to ask?

Final score: Worland 3, Powell 0.

Just like every other 3A No. 1 team before them, Powell failed at its opportunity to retain its prestige.

Two East teams, however, proved up to the pressure. Both Torrington and Glenrock won — the Trailblazers beating rival Wheatland 27-12 and Glenrock edging past Buffalo 21-7 — to justify their spots. And Star Valley won big, 41-6 over Thermopolis.

As for Jackson? Well, winless Evanston (Remember Evanston? This is a story about Evanston.) picked up its first victory of the year, and how, in a 27-7 shellacking of the Broncs in Uinta County. With the victory, Evanston was now the lone remaining undefeated team in West Conference play at — get this — 1-0.

Rankings after Week 6: 1. Torrington, 2. Glenrock, 3. Star Valley, 4. Powell, 5. Douglas.



Just seven weeks into the season, Torrington became already the sixth different Class 3A program to be voted to the top of the rankings.

For their sins, Torrington was scheduled to face Glenrock, who just happened to be ranked second and was the only one-loss team remaining in 3A at 4-1. (Remember how Wheatland beat Glenrock 17-0? Yeah, Wheatland, now 2-4 and unranked… yeah.)

But curses don’t last forever, and the Trailblazers did everything they could to end this stupid trend. And they did just that, embarrassing the Herders on their own field in doing so in a 35-0 Trailblazer road romp.

No. 1 had finally proven worthy of the ranking.

No. 3 wasn’t, though. Star Valley’s resurgence ended with a 22-21 loss to Worland that sent the Braves to the West Conference cellar at 0-2 in league play. Evanston couldn’t keep its West record spotless any longer either, though, and Powell’s 32-0 beatdown of the Red Devils turned some heads.

Torrington looked set. With Wheatland beating Douglas 20-13 to KO the No. 5 team, the Trailblazers were alone as the only undefeated team in East play. And they were still No. 1.

Rankings after Week 7: 1. Torrington, 2. Powell, 3. Glenrock, 4. Star Valley, 5. Worland.



At home, No. 1, in control of their postseason destiny and facing an unranked team with a losing record, Torrington had every reason to be confident heading into Week 8 against Douglas.

But the curse? The one they had buried deep in the end zone in Glenrock? Well, it crawled out of the dirt, attached itself to the team bus before it left town, hung around Goshen County for a few days and showed up at Wiseman Field right around kickoff to take a big ol’ dump on Torrington’s plans. At the end of it all, Torrington had lost control of everything — ranking, championship hopes, all of it — in a 12-6 loss to Douglas.

No. 1, losers again.

The East race was just as exciting in the middle, as Buffalo upset Wheatland 22-7. Heading into the final week of the regular season, five of the six playoff-eligible East teams — Douglas, Torrington, Wheatland, Glenrock and Buffalo — were still alive for the conference championship. ADs actually set plans for what would happen in case of a five-way tie for the East title, which was a mathematical possibility.

Powell smelled its opportunity to jump back to No. 1 all the way from Goshen County, and the Panthers made good by shellacking Thermopolis by 40. But Star Valley couldn’t make good on its ranking, losing to Jackson for the first time since 1981, 17-6, to all but fall out of title contention. And Worland barely survived against one-win Evanston, 15-8.

Rankings after Week 8: 1. Powell, 2. Torrington, 3. Glenrock, 4. Worland, 5. Douglas.



Powell was in the absolute dumbest of situations as the No. 1-ranked team heading into the final week of the regular season.

Powell and its Week 9 opponent, unranked Jackson, were both 2-1 in the West. They were both chasing Worland, which was 3-1 and off playing winless Thermopolis in a nonconference game to end the regular season.

If Powell lost, Jackson and Worland would tie, and Jackson would win the tiebreaker. If Powell won, Powell and Worland would tie, and Worland would win the tiebreaker.

So despite being top-ranked, tied with Glenrock for the best 3A record (5-2) and potential conference co-champion, Powell’s season would end against Jackson, no matter what.

You could call it a curse. But this was simply a case of one team having something to play for and the other one not. Jackson took that spot, beating Powell 12-0 in the shadows of the Tetons to tie for the conference title, win a tiebreaker and earn its spot in the 3A championship game.

Yes, that Jackson. The one that’s not anywhere to be found in this week’s rankings, that entered the final week at .500, victim of the curse in Week 2, losers to one-win Evanston. Those guys. Title game.

And No. 1 had lost again.

Meanwhile, in the East, it was Douglas — ranked behind conference rivals Torrington and Glenrock — that has the biggest say in its postseason fate. With the potential five-way tie looming, the Bearcats did their part to avoid it, beating Converse County rival Glenrock 25-22 to win the East’s bid to the title game. Never mind what Torrington did. Incidentally, the Trailblazers beat Buffalo 8-0. Didn’t matter. With both teams at 4-1 in league play, Douglas had won the tiebreaker with its victory against Torrington (the curse game last week).

Ranked No. 5 to start the week, Douglas was in. And hosting.

Rankings after Week 9: 1. Torrington, 2. Douglas, 3. Jackson, 4. Powell, 5. Wheatland.

Standings after Week 9
Douglas 5-1 5-4
Torrington 4-1 6-3
Wheatland 4-2 4-5
Glenrock 3-3 5-3
Buffalo 3-3 4-5
Newcastle 1-5 2-7
Thermopolis 0-5 0-9
Jackson 3-1 5-4
Worland 3-1 5-4
Powell 2-2 5-3
Star Valley 1-3 4-4
Evanston 1-3 1-7



Entering the final week of the regular season, Jackson was unranked, Douglas was No. 5. Now, with identical nonthreatening 5-4 records, and with neither team sporting the No. 1 ranking (no threat of a curse, at least…), they faced off for the 3A championship.

Again, the question arose: Does anyone actually want to win this thing?

Douglas took a 16-0 lead in the third quarter, but the fact that the Bearcats only had 16 points after four Jackson turnovers, including several in Douglas territory, kept the momentum from totally swinging Douglas’ way. Once Jackson did get on the board to cut it to 16-8, Douglas lost the momentum war and fumbled deep in its own territory. However, when Jackson scored again to make it 16-14, the Broncs couldn’t convert on the potential game-tying 2-point conversion.

Late in the fourth quarter, Douglas fumbled, again, near midfield, and Jackson got a big pass play to get inside the Bearcat 5-yard line. But three rushes produced less than three yards, meaning the foot of Bill Wiley — later head coach of the Broncs, but just a sophomore lineman/kicker at the time — would be the one to decide it all.

For once, someone decided that No. 1 wasn’t such a bad thing.

Wiley’s field-goal kick from 19 yards was true. Douglas’ last drive ended with an interception, and Jackson ran out the clock to win the title 17-16 in the weirdest, wackiest, most curse-ridden season across a single classification in state history.



As defending champion, Jackson started the 1987 3A season ranked No. 1. The Broncs lost to Lander 29-7 in their season opener.


On eBay right now, you can buy this custom license plate supporting the Powell Panthers.

If you happen to live in eastern Park County, it would be a pretty cool move to have one of these hanging in your office or den.

It’s just that your dollars would be going to Tennessee, not Wyoming.

And that is because Wyoming’s orange-and-black Powell High School Panthers are not the only orange-and-black Powell High School Panthers in America.

In fact, Wyoming’s cats share a name, a mascot and a set of colors with Powell High School in Tennessee.

Powell is one of two Wyoming high schools to share a name, a mascot and a color scheme with another American high school. Campbell County’s Camels have doppelgangers in Alexandria, Kentucky. I mean, come on — none of these shirts would look out of place in Gillette. But your dollars would support the Bluegrass State.

Using’s search capabilities, I found that Campbell County and Powell are the only two Wyoming high schools to have their name and colors replicated by another high school program somewhere else in America. That said, three others have had their name and mascot repeated — just not their colors.

The United States is a big country. Those kinds of repeats are understandable.

But I still think it would be fun to settle it, once and for all, on the field.

I’d like to see the two Powell teams and the two Campbell County teams on each other’s schedules next year. And, heck, let’s make the stakes high: Winner gets to keep their mascot and colors. Loser has to change at least one of them.

Logistics aside — distance, cost, 4A round-robin schedule, the fact that no one at any of these four schools would actually want to risk giving up their identity on the result of one game — it’s a fun thought. If the visual identity of your entire school or community was on the line, how hard would you play? How hard would you cheer? How many shirts or novelty license plates would you buy? And, wait a minute… isn’t having a twin actually kind of fun?

Regardless, if you ever find yourself in Alexandria, Kentucky, or Powell, Tennessee, keep your eyes peeled. You just might see a little slice of Wyoming.


On Monday, WyoFile published my story on Cokeville’s longtime coaching duo of Todd Dayton and Keith Nate. In July, I had the pleasure of going to Cokeville and meeting with the Dayton and Nate families, who were incredibly gracious with their time and thoughts. It’s one of the most ambitious stories I’ve ever taken on. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out.


Back in 2012, I wrote a blog post indicating the most-played opponents for each Wyoming high school football program.

But over the past 11 years, a ton more games have been played. Some series have been discontinued, while others have had significant additions to their lore.

A few series have even cracked 100 games, with the rivalry between Torrington and Wheatland scheduled to become the latest addition to that group this season.

Here are the most-played in-state opponents for each Wyoming high school, entering the 2023 season, with their series record in parentheses:

Class 4A
Campbell County: Sheridan, 80 games (She 48-31-1)
Cheyenne Central: Laramie, 138 games (CC 70-62-6)
Cheyenne East: Central, 73 games (CC 43-30)
Cheyenne South: Campbell County, 13 games (Cam 11-2)
Kelly Walsh: Natrona, 64 games (NC 50-14)
: Central, 138 games (CC 70-62-6)
: Sheridan, 116 games (NC 59-51-6)
Rock Springs: Green River, 96 games (RS 60-32-4)
Sheridan: Natrona, 116 games (NC 59-51-6)
Thunder Basin: Sheridan, 8 games (She 6-2); Natrona, 8 games (NC 5-3); Kelly Walsh, 8 games (TB 6-2); Cheyenne East, 8 games (TB 5-3); and Cheyenne Central, 8 games (TB 5-3)

Class 3A
Buffalo: Douglas, 73 games (Buf 37-35-1) and Campbell County, 73 games (Buf 35-31-7)
Cody: Powell, 125 games (Cody 67-54-4)
: Wheatland, 96 games (Dou 57-36-3)
Evanston: Green River, 100 games (GR 59-35-6)
Green River: Evanston, 100 games (GR 59-35-6)
Jackson: Star Valley, 87 games (SV 69-18)
: Riverton, 126 games (Riv 63-56-7)
: Cody, 125 games (Cody 67-54-4)
Rawlins: Rock Springs, 78 games (RS 53-22-3)
Riverton: Lander, 126 games (Riv 63-56-7)
Star Valley: Evanston, 95 games (SV 55-36-4)
Worland: Thermopolis, 97 games (Wor 58-34-5)

Class 2A
Big Horn: Tongue River, 61 games (TR 34-26-1)
Burns: Pine Bluffs, 54 games (PB 31-23)
Cokeville: Big Piney, 70 games (Cok 37-32-1)
Glenrock: Newcastle, 49 games (Glk 28-21)
Kemmerer: Evanston, 76 games (Eva 47-27-2)
: Greybull, 92 games (Lov 58-30-4)
: Big Piney, 87 games (BP 48-38-1)
Mountain View
: Lyman, 83 games (MV 49-34)
Newcastle: Buffalo, 71 games (Buf 44-26-1)
Pinedale: Big Piney, 107 games (BP 61-46)
Thermopolis: Worland, 97 games (Wor 58-34-5)
Tongue River: Big Horn, 61 games (TR 34-26-1)
Torrington: Wheatland, 99 games (Tor 78-20-1)
Upton-Sundance: Pine Bluffs, 10 games (US 7-3) and Tongue River, 10 games (US 9-1)
(Sundance: Upton, 75 games (Upt 38-32-5))
(Upton: Sundance, 75 games (Upt 38-32-5))
Wheatland: Torrington, 99 games (Tor 78-20-1)

Class 1A nine-man
Big Piney: Pinedale, 107 games (BP 61-46)
Greybull: Lovell, 92 games (Lov 58-30-4)
Guernsey-Sunrise: Lingle, 52 games (Lin 27-25)
Lingle: Pine Bluffs, 67 games (Lin 40-25-2)
: Lingle, 60 games (Lus 45-12-3)
: Sundance, 62 games (Mor 36-26)
Pine Bluffs: Lingle, 67 games (Lin 40-25-2)
Riverside: Greybull, 32 games (Gre 17-15)
Rocky Mountain: Wind River, 36 games (RM 28-8)
St. Stephens: Meeteetse, 13 games (Met 9-4)
Saratoga: Hanna, 54 games (Sar 33-21)
Shoshoni: Wind River, 59 games (Sho 30-29)
Southeast: Lusk, 48 games (Lus 26-22)
Wind River: Shoshoni, 59 games (Sho 30-29)
Wright: Moorcroft, 31 games (Wri 20-11)
Wyoming Indian: Shoshoni, 37 games (Sho 30-6-1)

Class 1A six-man
Burlington: Meeteetse, 63 games (Brl 33-26-4)
Dubois: Shoshoni, 40 games (Sho 25-15)
Encampment: Farson, 13 games (Far 8-5)
: Snake River, 21 games (SR 14-7)
: Saratoga, 54 games (Sar 33-21)
: Midwest, 57 games (Mid 32-24-1)
: Midwest, 17 games (Kay 12-5)
: Burlington, 63 games (Brl 33-26-4)
Midwest: Upton, 57 games (Upt 33-22-2) and Hulett, 57 games (Mid 32-24-1)
Snake River: Farson, 21 games (SR 14-7)
Ten Sleep: Meeteetse, 58 games (Met 29-28-1)


The two things we all could use more of are time and money.

And if I had both of those things in an unlimited supply, I would use it to venture around the state, catching football game after football game.

Work through the scheduling and travel logistics, and I could make it to 31 games over the nine regular-season weeks of the year. And, after consulting the 2023 schedule, here’s what I’d hit up, when I’d hit it up and why I’d hit it up to enjoy the season without time or money worries:

Week 0
Thursday, Aug. 24
: Kemmerer at Cokeville scrimmage, 4 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 25: Malad, Idaho, at Lyman, 3 p.m.; Kelly Walsh at Rock Springs, 6 p.m.
The only Zero Week Thursday action is in Lincoln County, so a Southwest swing makes the most sense. Picking up the Eagles in some interstate action, plus a 4A game to cap the weekend, is a good way to start a busy season.

Week 1
Tuesday, Aug. 29
: Casper Christian at Meeteetse, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 31: Shoshoni at Pine Bluffs, 4 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 1: Riverside at Southeast, 2 p.m.; St. Stephens at Lingle, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 2: Burlington JV at Casper Christian, 1 p.m.
The only Tuesday game of the year is one of the Week 1 highlights. The Thursday game between Shoshoni and Pine Bluffs, a rematch of last year’s 1A nine-man title game, is the can’t miss game of the week, but seeing the two Goshen County nine-man teams is also an opportunity that’s not worth missing. The only in-state game on Saturday is Casper Christian, again, so we’ll see the Mountaineers, Wyoming’s newest football program, twice in a week.

Week 2
Friday, Sept. 8
: Lovell at Cokeville, 1 p.m.; Sugar-Salem, Idaho, at Star Valley, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 9: Dubois at Snake River, 2 p.m.
Lincoln County gives us two of what might be the best games of Week 2, so it made sense to hit up both of them. It’s a long drive from Afton to Baggs on Saturday morning, but worth it to see what might be the most important six-man game of the year.

Week 3
Thursday, Sept. 14
: Rocky Mountain at Wyoming Indian, 5 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 15: Ten Sleep at Kaycee, 2 p.m.; Kelly Walsh at Natrona, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16: Farson at Casper Christian, noon; Burlington at Midwest, 5 p.m.
We’re a little all over the place, but that’s OK — in the middle of everything is the Oil Bowl, and that should make it all worth it. Saturday’s schedule allows us to pick up two more six-man games in Natrona County, so why not?

Week 4
Thursday, Sept. 21
: Big Piney at Wind River, 5 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 22: Meeteetse at Burlington, 2 p.m.; Douglas at Worland, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23: Shoshoni at Rocky Mountain, 2 p.m.
The 1A nine-man West Conference should be crazy this year, and no two games personify that better than the Thursday and Saturday games in Week 4. In between are two more Bighorn Basin games that should be worth the admission price.

Week 5
Friday, Sept. 29
: Sheridan at Cheyenne East, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 30: Midwest at Hanna, noon.
Other options could have gotten me more games, but there’s absolutely no way I’m missing the Sheridan-East game, a rematch of last year’s 4A championship game. So with that game the priority, others had to fall by the wayside — except Hanna.

Week 6
Thursday, Oct. 5
: Ten Sleep at Meeteetse, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 6: Star Valley at Cody, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7: Wyoming Indian at St. Stephens, noon.
Again, other ways could have landed more games, but Star Valley-Cody was must-see football last season and could be again this season. I’m not taking the risk of missing it.

Week 7
Thursday, Oct. 12
: Rocky Mountain at St. Stephens, noon.
Friday, Oct. 13: Big Horn at Tongue River, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14: Kaycee at Hulett, 11 a.m.
For the third straight week, I’m taking quality over quantity and finally making my way up to the far Northeast corner. The Thunder Bowl between Big Horn and Tongue River will be huge this year, at least on paper, and I wouldn’t want to miss it.

Week 8
Thursday, Oct. 19
: Cokeville at Lyman, 4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 20: Douglas at Lander, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 21: Burlington at Dubois, 1:30 p.m.
The Week 8 schedule is heavy on Friday night games, and with a Thursday schedule that’s heavily skewed toward teams on the west side of the state, this schedule will do quite nicely.

What’s your can’t-miss game of the 2023 season, at least before the season starts? Leave a comment below.


Since the institution of overtime in 1975, Wyoming high school football has had 283 games go into overtime. Some of those games came in the most high-stakes situations — games that decided conference titles, playoff appearances, playoff games or even state championships.

From that group of 283, here are the top 10 overtime games in state history, followed by the “next 10” and then 26 others I found fascinating in their own right.

The top 10

N7/2014 Campbell County 34 Cheyenne East 31 4A SF-2OT: The only OT game of 2014 season gave the Camels a spot in the 4A championship game. Talon Nelson’s 20-yard TD catch in the second overtime boosted the Camels past the Thunderbirds after East could only notch a field goal in that session. Gillette rallied from a 21-7 fourth-quarter deficit with two touchdowns to force overtime. 

N15/2013 Powell 19 Douglas 13 3A Championship-at Laramie-OT: In a battle of undefeated teams, Powell survived thanks to Hayden Cragoe’s 1-yard run in overtime and won its third consecutive state championship. Powell’s defense had two interceptions, a blocked extra point and a stuff of Douglas’ fourth-and-1 run in OT, all in advance of Cragoe’s score.

S18/2009 Kelly Walsh 28 Natrona 27 2OT: The Trojans rallied from a 21-0 third-quarter deficit thanks to three touchdowns and an interception on defense from Lucas Nolan. Then, after a scoreless first overtime, the Trojans got a score from Riley Moore to take the lead. A Clay Brownell touchdown pulled Natrona within one, but Cormick Eaton stopped Brownell on the 2-point conversion attempt to give KW the Oil Bowl victory.

N4/2005 Cheyenne Central 23 Natrona 20 5A SF-OT: The Indians rallied from a 17-3 third-quarter deficit to force overtime and upset the Mustangs. The game-tying touchdown from Corey Wheeler in the final minute pushed the game to extra time. Bryan Hill’s 1-yard run sealed the game after Natrona had to settle for a field goal on its OT possession. The Indians beat East in the 5A championship the next week.

O26/2001 Glenrock 33 Big Piney 34 3A SF-OT: Big Piney survived this semifinal thriller only after squandering a 27-0 first-quarter lead. Glenrock rallied to score 27 points of its own in the second and third quarters, setting up overtime. Glenrock’s missed extra point in OT was the difference. Big Piney won the 3A championship the next week.

N3/1990 Rawlins 0 Torrington 6 3A SF-OT: Rawlins, which entered the game at 3-5, nearly pulled off the upset of the century against the undefeated Trailblazers. The only points of the game came on the final play, when Jory Kaufman caught a 7-yard pass from Lance Petsch. Torrington won the 3A title the next week.

O17/1986 Midwest 14 Big Horn 21 OT: Top-ranked Big Horn beat second-ranked Midwest in a game that decided a playoff spot, as the 7-1 Oilers stayed home for the postseason. Peter Pelissier scored the game-winning touchdown and also recovered a Midwest fumble in overtime. But getting to OT was tough for Big Horn, which rallied from a 14-0 deficit with 14 fourth-quarter points. Cecil Garland’s 84-yard touchdown catch with 40 seconds remaining, and Rich Garber’s conversion run, tied the game at 14 and sent it to overtime – that is, after a Midwest touchdown pass with 8 seconds remaining was called back by a penalty.

N5/1983 Buffalo 13 Evanston 12 3A Championship-OT: Evanston missed two chances to win the Class 3A championship – one a field goal on the final play of regulation, the other a 2-point conversion attempt that ended with Buffalo tackling David Petersen just short of the end zone. Steve Pabst scored the game-winner for Buffalo, and Eric Thompson provided the extra point; Brent Sanders brought Evanston within one before opportunity slipped by, again.

O23/1982 Saratoga 28 Moorcroft 20 B SF-OT: Despite trailing 20-0 early in the third quarter, Saratoga rallied and scored the game’s final 28 points, including three touchdowns by David Jones (who ran for 214 yards) and the OT winner from Rob Pigg. The victory sent Saratoga to the Class B championship.

N13/1976 Laramie 40 Cody 41 AA Championship-3OT: One of the most famous championship games in state history, the Broncs beat the Plainsmen in triple overtime to win the Class AA title in Laramie coach John Deti Sr.’s final game. Cody rallied from a 20-8 halftime deficit, and Rob Russell’s extra point in overtime was the difference after the Broncs blocked Laramie’s kick in that frame. Both teams had scored 2-point conversions in the first overtime and missed conversions – Laramie a run, Cody a kick – in the second OT.

The next 10 best

S30 and O3/2022 Lander 29 Riverton 28 OT: This game was delayed in first quarter due to lightning and eventually postponed to the following Monday, but the drama more than made up for the delay. Gabe Harris’ catch on a 2-point conversion cemented the victory for the Tigers in the Fremont County rivalry game that was odder than most.

O2/2020 Sheridan 31 Natrona 38 4OT: Believe it or not, this one was 10-10 in regulation. Natrona scored TDs on all four of its overtime possessions, including three by QB Tyler Hill, and then recovered a fumble by Sheridan on the final play of the game.

N2/2007 Campbell County 34 Cheyenne East 35 5A SF-2OT: The Camels almost produced the most epic goal-line stand in state history, but Alex Stratton scored on a 1-yard plunge on fourth down, and Jeremy Kurz kicked the critical extra point, to boost East into the 5A championship. East blocked the Camels’ extra point attempt in the second OT to set up the opportunity for the final margin. East won the 5A championship a week later.

N9/2002 Star Valley 14 Worland 17 4A Championship – OT: Casey Lass’ 18-yard field goal, shorter than an extra point, was the final play of a defensively focused games where points were in short supply. Marc Bradshaw scored both of Worland’s touchdowns, as the Warriors avenged an 18-16 loss from earlier in the season and won despite being outgained by nearly 100 yards.

O30/1993 Cokeville 22 Southeast 21 1A SF-OT: The Panthers went for the win and reaped the benefits, as Rick Himmerich’s 2-point conversion gave Cokeville the victory. The Panthers led 14-0 early but Tim Williams scored three touchdowns for Southeast to keep the Cyclones in it. Cokeville won the 1A 11-man championship one week later.

N10/1990 Lovell 20 Thermopolis 21 2A Championship-OT: Richie Mitchell’s extra point in overtime gave the Bobcats the 2A title and an undefeated season. Rick McKinney scored twice for Thermopolis and Kovi Christiansen scored twice for Lovell, although the OT touchdowns went to Steve Montanez (Lovell) and Corey Wahler (Thermopolis).

O9/1987 Lovell 22 Greybull 14 OT: Three touchdowns by Steve Sessions, including the go-ahead score in overtime, was the deciding factor that got Lovell into the playoffs, and kept Greybull out, as the Bulldogs marched toward their eventual Class 2A championship. Sessions’ 4-yard score in OT held up as Greybull failed to score on its possession.

O21/1983 Laramie 3 Cheyenne Central 6 2OT: One of Wyoming’s more controversial overtime finishes, the Indians were given new life after the first overtime when their potential game-winning field goal was blocked. Laramie’s John Cowper picked up the blocked kick and ran, but officials blew the play dead. Then, in the second overtime, Laramie scored a field goal but Andre Rudolph’s touchdown ended it all. Laramie protested to the WHSAA, but to no avail. If Laramie would have won, it would have created four-way tie for first in the old EWAC; as it was, Central won outright and beat Rock Springs easily in the 4A championship game.

O3/1980 Evanston 13 Star Valley 14 OT: Star Valley’s Class A championship season never happens without this victory against the Red Devils, who were ranked No. 1 at the time and would have eventually won the conference title (and booted the Braves from the playoffs entirely) if they had gotten this victory. However, the Braves held out the Red Devils on a two-point conversion attempt, as Jamie Lowe’s 2-yard run, and Tod Spencer’s PAT kick, just moments earlier held up.

S9/1977 Newell (SD) 34 Upton 26 5OT: The Wyoming Bobcats and the South Dakota Irrigators combined for a state record for the number of overtimes. After a 14-14 regulation, neither team scored in either of the first two overtimes and then matched each other with 12 combined points in third and fourth overtimes. Brian Pope had the winning touchdown and conversion run in the fifth overtime for Newell, scores that Upton couldn’t match.

The boxscore from the Rapid City Journal for the game between Upton and Newell, S.D., from 1977.

The boxscore from the Rapid City Journal for the game between Upton and Newell, S.D., from 1977.

26 others worth your time

S16/2022 Lovell 12 Lyman 6 OT: Jared Mangus’ 6-yard touchdown run on the final play dictated the champion of the 2A West and ended Lyman’s 20-game winning streak.

S13/2019 Laramie 41 Campbell County 48 OT: The victory that broke the Camels’ 21-game losing streak was a wild shootout where 35 points came in the fourth quarter alone. Kaden Race’s 12-yard run and a subsequent defensive stand gave the Camels the victory.

O28/2016 Pinedale 14 Big Horn 20 2A QF-OT: Big Horn’s march to the 2A title almost ended in the first round. The Rams were down 14-0 at half and, even after two scores from Colton Williams, still needed two interceptions in the red zone in the fourth quarter to push it to OT.

S6/2013 Cheyenne East 42 Natrona 41 3OT: The loss, punctuated by a bobbled snap on the final play of the game on an extra-point try, was a portend of things to come for snakebit NC, which lost three OT games that year and four games by one point.

O28/2011 Evanston 27 Cheyenne East 28 4A QF-OT: Jeremy Woods had three touchdowns, including East’s overtime touchdown, to send the Thunderbirds into the 4A semifinals. Extra points were the difference, as East made its kick in OT after Evanston missed its try. East rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit.

S24/2010 Campbell County 27 Sheridan 24 OT: The Camels needed 17 points in the fourth quarter just to get to overtime (an offensive explosion in a game that was 3-0 at halftime), and Jordan Rueschhoff’s two field goals – one with 28 seconds remaining, the second on the final play of the game – gave the Camels the Energy Bowl victory.

N5/2010 Buffalo 24 Cody 21 3A SF-OT: Cody went for the win, but Aaron Tyser made sure the Broncs didn’t get it. Tyser’s tackle on Brady Gulde on fourth-and-2 in overtime – when Cody could have kicked a field goal which, if good, would have prompted a second overtime – sent the Bison to the 3A championship game. Wyatt Witty’s field goal in overtime provided the winning points, which cemented Buffalo’s rally from a 14-0 deficit.

O17/2008 Buffalo 14 Douglas 21 OT CST: In a preview of the 4A championship game that came less than a month later, the Bearcats won the East Conference and secured home-field advantage for the playoffs. Douglas overcame a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to win, with Cody Bohlander’s 10-yard run and a subsequent defensive stand did the trick.

N8/2008 Powell 27 Douglas 28 4A SF-2OT: Cody Bohlander was a busy guy. His 2-point conversion run after a Powell penalty gave the Bearcats just enough to win. Bohlander also scored a 3-yard TD with less than a minute remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime and also scored on another 3-yard run in the second overtime to set up the winning score. Douglas won the 4A title the next week.

S14/2007 Big Horn 13 Riverside 12 OT: In a preview of thriller of a title game a few weeks later, the Rams came out on top thanks to Colby Wollenman’s extra point, sealing the victory after Riverside’s 2-point conversion had failed on their preceding overtime possession. The Rebels got their revenge, though…

O29/2004 Guernsey-Sunrise 24 Burlington 21 1A SF-OT: Shawn King’s field goal in overtime was the difference for the Vikings, who won their first state title in school history the next week.

O28/2000 Cheyenne Central 21 Laramie 27 4A SF-OT: Laramie rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter and scored the game-tying points on David Milam’s 14-yard touchdown catch from Jackson Hoopes with 20 seconds remaining. James Grimes’ 10-yard run sealed the Plainsmen’s berth in the 4A championship game.

O1/1993 Cheyenne Central 20 Natrona 21 2OT: Natrona scored 14 points in the final 57 seconds of regulation on a pair of Josh Kalinowski touchdown passes to send the game to overtime. After a scoreless first overtime, Chase Anfinson’s 10-yard touchdown gave Natrona its lead. Central scored but missed its conversion.

O11/1991 Cheyenne East 21 Cheyenne Central 22 OT: In a season where neither Cheyenne team did much, Central’s victory, assured by Ty Alexander’s touchdown and subsequent 2-point conversion, was the season highlight in the Capital City.

O26/1991 Pine Bluffs 22 Moorcroft 14 1A QF-OT: Pine Bluffs had to score a touchdown and a 2-point conversion with no time remaining in the fourth quarter just to get the game to overtime – and did just that. The Hornets drove more than two-thirds of the field in the final 33 seconds; once in overtime, Duane Gilbert’s 1-yard run gave the Hornets the points they needed.

N2/1991 Star Valley 20 Torrington 13 3A SF-2 OT: In a game the Casper Star-Tribune said was played in minus-28 wind chills, the Braves’ Kade Kennington scored the only touchdown of the second OT period with a 2-yard touchdown run to send the defending state champs packing on their home field. Kennington scored twice in the game, including an 87-yard run in the first quarter.

O20/1989 Douglas 31 Glenrock 37 4OT: Mick Lehner’s final game as the head coach of the Herders was a memorable one, as the Converse County rivals went blow for blow four overtimes deep. Bruce Johnston’s 2-yard TD run sealed the game; Jake Hagar’s fumble recovery of a Bearcat bobble in the first half of the fourth OT gave the Herders the opportunity. It was the second of three consecutive overtime games over three seasons between the Herders and Bearcats.

O25/1988 Green River 0 Evanston 7 1/2 playoff-at Rock Springs OT: This victory in a half-playoff game launched Evanston into the playoffs. Then the Red Devils knocked off Laramie in Laramie in the semifinals to reach the 4A title game. Shortly after beating Riverton 6-3 in the first half of the triangular playoff, the Red Devils and Wolves played a scoreless half of football. Garth Wagstaff sealed the victory with an interception on Green River’s first play of overtime; Jason Mitchell had scored Evanston’s only touchdown of the playoff moments before.

S4/1987 Big Horn 45 Riverside 45 3OT-tie: Can’t get much weirder than this. The game should have gone into a fourth overtime, but the officials mistakenly called the game after three extra frames, resulting in a tie. Becket Hinckley scored six touchdowns for Riverside, while six different players scored touchdowns for Big Horn.

O9/1981 Moorcroft 12 Sundance 13 OT: Greg Taylor’s 10-yard touchdown catch from Corey Vail, followed by Brian McInerney’s extra point, gave the Bulldogs their first playoff berth in school history. Moorcroft’s Rock Mirich scored on Moocroft’s possession, but when the Wolves went for two, Neil Warden bobbled a potential game-winning catch. However, the Wolves needed Warden’s 84-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter just to get into overtime.

S8/1978 Lingle 12 Pine Bluffs 6 OT; S29/1978 Southeast 0 Lingle 6 OT: Lingle had to win two overtime games in September to secure the Texas Trail championship and a spot in the Class B playoffs in October, where the Doggers eventually finished as runners-up. Bruce Mowry’s 7-yard run supplied the victory against Southeast.

O7/1977 Meeteetse 32 Ten Sleep 26 2OT: Meeteetse’s TD in the second overtime gave the Longhorns the Big Horn Basin’s northern section crown and eventually a spot in the Class B playoffs. The teams matched each other score for score in a 20-20 regulation. Clair Bennion and Guy Watts each scored twice for Meeteetse.

O21/1977 Star Valley 26 Kemmerer 32 2OT: Russell Lee of Star Valley had a dynamite game, scoring on runs of 92 and 75 yards as well as a 97-yard kickoff return, but the Braves couldn’t convert on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the second overtime, opening the door for Kemmerer. Matt Fagnant scored the winner for Kemmerer, and Jim Joslin added three touchdowns of his own for the Rangers.

S11/1976 Big Piney 12 Lyman 18 4OT: In a parity-filled Southwest Conference, Lyman’s eventual Class B state championship run was almost thrown off by last-place Big Piney in early September. Clyde Gillespie’s touchdown pass to Russ Eyre in the fourth overtime was the difference.

N1/1975 Pinedale 6 Basin 0 B SF-OT: The first overtime playoff game in modern times went to the Wranglers, who won a defensive struggle behind Neil Reed’s 9-yard touchdown in the extra frame. Basin actually out-gained Pinedale 175-132 but couldn’t punch in a score. Pinedale won the Class B title the next week.

S5/1975 Basin 30 Tongue River 24 2OT: Wyoming’s first overtime game went double, as Basin ended Tongue River’s 18-game winning streak and gave the Eagles their first loss to a Wyoming team in four years. Mike Dellos scored three times for Basin, including both Basin touchdowns in overtime.

Don’t see an overtime game on these lists that you think should be on here? Let me know in the comments below! I was limited in what I could share here by what I could find online. If the game you think deserved more attention isn’t on this list, you’re probably right! I wasn’t able to find details on every single overtime game, unfortunately, and I KNOW there were other OT games that had big stakes and fascinating endings that I just couldn’t find anything about. Also, I didn’t want to touch on EVERY overtime game, which by their nature are thrilling. All 283 games could have made this list. Which one was YOUR most memorable?


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