The NFL Network recently aired a half-hour documentary on the Heart Mountain Eagles football team, including an interview with the last surviving member of the team and the author of the book “The Eagles of Heart Mountain.” Here is a link to the full documentary on YouTube. (I would have embedded it here, but the NFL doesn’t allow embedding of its YouTube videos.)

Also, here’s my review of the book “The Eagles of Heart Mountain.” Check it out if you haven’t yet.


Quick: Name the first consensus all-America college football player who grew up in Wyoming.

Even the most seasoned Wyoming sports trivia veteran might struggle to come up with the name that answers this question. The reason makes sense, though: The first all-America pick to come from the Equality State never played football in the state, opting instead to make a name for himself back east before returning to Wyoming.

Richard “Dick” Luman was a consensus all-America choice while playing end at Yale in 1924. The Pinedale native is believed to be the first Wyoming native to be chosen as a consensus all-America football player.

A photo of Richard "Dick" Luman from the Dec. 14, 1924, Chicago Tribune.
Richard “Dick” Luman is highlighted as an all-America football team selection in this article from the Dec. 14, 1924, Chicago Tribune.

Luman was born in 1900 in Sublette County into a prominent ranching family. For secondary school, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, which eventually led him to Yale. As a Bulldog, he emerged as an equally effective offensive and defensive player at end and a hard-to-stop center for the basketball team.

In 1924, Luman earned consensus all-America status by being named to two of the six all-America teams — the All America Board team and the International News Service team. He was one of four ends to earn consensus all-America status.

He was also named the Yale basketball team’s captain in 1925.

After Yale, Luman lived in a few different places before he returned to work the Luman family ranch near Pinedale. He later embarked on a career of public service. He served in both the Wyoming Senate and House of Representatives before becoming the chairman of Wyoming’s state Board of Equalization and Public Service Commission; he was also Wyoming’s deputy state treasurer. His career ended in 1969.

Luman died on his 73rd birthday — April 26, 1973 — in Houston, Texas, where he had been living with his son, Edgar.

The list of college all-American football players with roots in Wyoming is indeed short; looking only at consensus all-Americans produces a list that’s even shorter. At a glance, I can’t find any other consensus all-America choices with Wyoming roots — something beyond being born in the state’s borders. Does that make Luman the first, and only, of his kind? Trivia buffs can help me out with this one. I’d love to hear from you! Comment below.


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)


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