The 1943 NCAA champion Wyoming Cowboy basketball team had 15 members. Of those 15, six became head high school football coaches in Wyoming — an amazing ratio considering the total number of former UW basketball players to end up as head football coaches in the state.

The members of the 1943 national champs who went on to be head football coaches in the state were:

  • Vernon Jensen, of Lyman, was the head football coach at Lyman from 1948-51, going 10-9.
  • Antone “Tony” Katana, of Rock Springs, was the head football coach at Superior from 1948-53, going 26-24.
  • Earl “Shadow” Ray, of Casper, was the head football coach at Midwest in 1944, going 4-4.
  • Kenny Sailors, of Laramie via Hillsdale, was the head football coach at University Prep in 1942, going 0-1.
  • Jim Weir, of Green River, was the head football coach at Green River from 1947-52, going 38-18-3.
  • Donald Waite, of Scottsbluff, Neb., was the head football coach at Huntley in 1967, going 1-9.

Katana and Weir faced each other nine times while the coaches at their respective schools from 1948-51; Weir’s Wolves went 7-2 against Katana’s Dragons, with the biggest win a conference championship tiebreaker game in 1950 that helped propel Green River to the Class A title that year.

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Not all of the 15 members of the 1943 team lettered for the Cowboys that season. In all, though, 18 more Cowboy basketball lettermen beyond those on the 1943 team ended up as head football coaches in the state. However, it’s been a while since a Cowboy basketball player ended up as a head football coach; the last to do so was Ralph Winland, who lettered for the Cowboy basketball team 48 years ago, in 1968. Reverse chronologically by last letter date, they were:

  • Ralph Winland (lettered 1968, coach Cowley 1976, North Big Horn 1977-78)
  • Mike Harris (lettered 1961, coach Riverton 1974)
  • Nick Eliopulos (lettered 1952-54-55, coach Basin 1956)
  • Morris Samuelson (lettered 1950-51-52, coach Evanston 1956-57)
  • Robert Porter (lettered 1945-46, coach Shoshoni 1947-49)
  • Warren Capellen (lettered 1945, coach Pinedale 1950-54 and Kemmerer 1955-58)
  • Bill Strannigan (lettered 1941-42, coach University Prep 1941)
  • Jack Smith (lettered 1940-41, coach Reliance 1946-54)
  • George Dorrington (lettered 1938-39-40, coach Hanna 1950-52, Gillette 1953-60)
  • Lew Young (lettered 1936-38-39, coach Lingle 1942, Gillette 1944-46)
  • Willard West (lettered 1932-33-34-35, coach Green River 1935-37, Thermopolis 1938-40 and 1945)
  • Joe Schwartz (lettered 1930-31-32-33, coach Rawlins 1942-43, Natrona 1944-46, Rawlins 1949-52)
  • Jim Jiacoletti (lettered 1928-29-30, coach Superior 1932-36, Kemmerer 1937-42)
  • Robert Outsen (lettered 1926-27-28-29, coach Shoshoni 1932-33)
  • Oscar Erickson (lettered 1924-25-26-27, coach Sheridan 1929-31)
  • Don Harkins (lettered 1926-27, coach University Prep 1929)
  • Fred Layman (lettered 1918-19-20-21, coach Natrona 1925)
  • Andrew Willis (lettered 1915-16-17, coach Cowley 1921-23 and 1925, Lovell 1927-28)

The number of former Cowboy football lettermen who ended up as head football coaches in the state is much higher; that will be detailed in a future post.

–patrick

Two Wyoming high schools have an opportunity to pull off a rare championship sweep — winning the track and field, football and either the basketball or wrestling championships in the same calendar year.

The basketball-track-football calendar-year sweep has only been pulled off eight times; seven of those sweeps have been at the big-school level.

However, Pine Bluffs has the chance to do this in 2016. The Hornets won the Class 2A basketball championship in March and the 2A track and field championship in May.

The football team faces long historical odds — Pine Bluffs has never won a football championship and last won a playoff game in 2003.

The first school to do a calendar-year basketball-track-football sweep was Natrona in 1939. Since then, schools that have pulled off the feat include Laramie in 1969, Cheyenne Central in 1977 and 1979, Kelly Walsh in 1981, Gillette in 2008, Natrona again in 2010 and Snake River, the only small school to pull off this kind of sweep, in 2011.

Meanwhile, Star Valley could sweep the wrestling, track and field and football titles in the same calendar year, a feat that’s even rarer. The Braves won the 3A wrestling title and followed that up with the 3A track title last spring. Let’s not forget that Star Valley is also the defending 3A football champions.

Gillette is the only program to complete this trifecta in a calendar year, and the Camels have done it twice. Gillette completed the wrestling-track-football sweep in a calendar year first in 2006 and again in 2008.

+++

As noted, Star Valley won the football, wrestling and track and field titles in the 2015-16 academic year. That’s only happened five times in state history, and Star Valley became the first school to do so twice. The Braves joined Cheyenne Central (1965-66), Gillette (2008-09) and Powell (2013-14) in such a sweep; Star Valley also pulled off the same championship trifecta in 1982-83.

Eleven times, schools have swept the football-basketball-track titles in the same academic year: Sheridan in 1958-59; both Byron and Laramie in 1968-69; Cheyenne Central in 1977-78; both Southeast and Kelly Walsh in 1980-81; Burlington in 1994-95; Gillette in 1998-99; Snake River in both 2010-11 and 2011-12; and Natrona in 2014-15.

 

–patrick

When the Gillette high school football programs split apart in a year, the question a lot of Gillette Camel fans can’t seem to shake is the one about the potential success of their program.

When Thunder Basin opens — and begins Class 4A varsity play — in the 2017-18 school year, will both the Camels and the ‘Bolts have enough to be successful?

In this state, quite honestly, there’s not a lot of precedent for what’s going to happen in Gillette. Wyoming has only had two communities go from one comprehensive high school to two comprehensive high schools: Cheyenne in 1960 and Casper in 1966.

Granted, those splits happened more than 50 years ago now. Even so, looking at those results gives us an idea of how well both Gillette and Thunder Basin might do on the scoreboard.

In short: The splits had unpredictable effects on the football programs at the older of the two schools. Natrona’s winning percentage fell off slightly in the 10 years after Kelly Walsh opened in Casper; Cheyenne Central’s winning percentage improved dramatically after East opened.

Meanwhile, Cheyenne East and Kelly Walsh had nearly identical (and sub-.500) winning percentages in their first 10 years on the field.

Football in Cheyenne
Cheyenne Central records, 10 years before the split: 3-6-1, 4-4, 4-5, 6-2-1, 7-3, 5-3, 7-2, 5-3, 3-5-1, 3-5-1 (47-38-4, .551)
Cheyenne Central records, 10 years after the split: 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-2, 6-4, 9-0-1, 8-2, 6-4, 8-1, 6-2-1 (63-31-2, .667)
Cheyenne East records, first 10 years: 2-6-1, 5-4, 4-5, 5-5, 3-6, 5-4, 3-6, 7-3, 2-7, 6-2-1 (42-48-2, .467)

Football in Casper
Natrona records, 10 years before the split: 4-4-1, 2-6-1, 6-1-1, 2-6-1, 3-4-2, 8-1, 5-1-2, 7-1-1, 9-0, 7-2 (53-26-9, .653)
Natrona records, 10 years after the split: 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-3, 3-7, 6-2, 7-1-1, 7-2, 6-3, 7-2 (56-36-1, .608)
Kelly Walsh records, first 10 years: 0-8, 6-4, 5-5, 2-8, 6-3-1, 5-3-1, 4-5, 9-1, 5-4, 0-8-1 (42-49-3, .463)

++++++

The splits arguably had more effect on the basketball floor — and in opposite directions for the different cities.

Cheyenne Central’s last title before its split with Cheyenne East was in 1956. However, in the first three years after East opened (1961-63), Central won three consecutive state titles. East didn’t win its first championship until 1988, but was a fairly consistent state tournament qualifier up until that title.

Casper basketball, though, suffered deeply as a result of the split, but the recovery came within a decade. Neither Natrona nor Kelly Walsh made the state tournament in KW’s first three years — 1967, 1968 and 1969. Natrona won the state title, though, in 1970, and KW won back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975. The Trojans’ opponent in the 1974 title game? Natrona.

Basketball in Cheyenne
Cheyenne Central state tournament finishes, 10 years before the split: consolation title game loss 1960; no state 1959; 2nd 1958; qualified 1957; 1st 1956; 2nd 1955; 3rd 1954; 1st 1953; 1st 1952; 1st 1951
Cheyenne Central state tournament finishes, 10 years after the split: 1st 1961; 1st 1962; 1st 1963; 5th 1964; 4th 1965; 3rd 1966; 1st 1967; 4th 1968; 2nd 1969; 3rd 1970
Cheyenne East state tournament finishes, first 10 years: no state 1961; 4th 1962; qualified 1963; qualified 1964; no state 1965, no state 1966; 4th 1967; 2nd 1968; 4th 1969; no state 1970

Basketball in Casper
Natrona state tournament finishes, 10 years before the split: 4th 1966; no state 1965; 3rd 1964; 3rd 1963; qualified 1962; qualified 1961; qualified 1960; qualified 1959; consolation title 1958; qualified 1957
Natrona state tournament finishes, 10 years after the split: no state 1967; no state 1968; no state 1969; 1st 1970; 4th 1971; 5th 1972; 4th 1973; 2nd 1974; 3rd 1975; 6th 1976
Kelly Walsh state tournament finishes, first 10 years: no state 1967; no state 1968; no state 1969; no state 1970; no state 1971; no state 1972; third 1973; 1st 1974, 1st 1975; 5th 1976

It will be interesting to see how Gillette and Thunder Basin handle this split. Interscholastic sports are much more complex than they were in 1966, including the fact that 51 percent of our population now has opportunities to participate in ways they couldn’t in the 1960s. Sports offerings are also more diverse than ever.

And it will be interesting to track how the split affects a successful sports program like Gillette’s across the board, from wrestling to track to cross country and beyond.

If the second schools in Casper and Cheyenne were any indicators, Camel sports — and ‘Bolt sports — should come out fine. Sooner than you’d think, too.

–patrick

Big things are happening at the sister site, wyoming-basketball.com. Season records for every program in the state are now available! If you see any missing info you can provide, I would love the help!

For example, the Green River girls records are pretty much done…. the Sheridan boys records are about halfway there…. and the Dubois boys records are pretty much empty. Every program is in some state of completion, some more than others, and any help you can give to fill in any of the blanks would be greatly appreciated.

Information can be emailed to pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

A school’s football schedule often looks vastly different from a school’s basketball schedule.

Ignore for a second the obvious differences in conference alignment and schedule length, and focus instead on conference games.

For most Wyoming high schools, conference games take up more than half of the basketball schedule. And, maybe more importantly, teams get two cracks at their conference opponents — once on the road, once at home.

What if football scheduling adapted the same approach?

A round-robin conference schedule that allowed teams two chances at their conference opponents would give teams schedules with reduced travel and increased focus on regional rivalry. It sounds odd, but it actually might work.

This idea is not completely foreign.

For 15 years, from 1960-74, the Class A Southwest schools (Star Valley, Evanston, Kemmerer, Green River and, eventually, Jackson) played a round-robin schedule where the teams played each other twice during the regular season. The Class B Southwest schools (Mountain View, Lyman, Pinedale, Big Piney and Cokeville) did the same from 1970-76. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of schools that traditionally played each other twice during the regular season in football’s early days in the state (Cody-Powell, Lander-Riverton, Sundance-Upton and a host of others).

However, previous round-robin schedules fit into longer regular seasons, usually 10 weeks long. These days, Wyoming’s regular season fits into eight or nine weeks. That means, to fully execute a round-robin, no-byes schedule, we can’t have any more than four teams in a conference, giving schools the opportunity for six conference games and two non-conference games.

Splitting 49 11-man teams into four-team conferences turns out to be more difficult than first blush: It means either scaling back to three classifications of roughly 16 schools each or keeping four classifications but skewing to roughly 12 schools each. For our sake, we’ll stick with 12 per class — but that means three conferences per classification (except 1A 11-man and 1A six-man), which might make playoff qualifying a bit weird.

But whatever. Our focus for now is on the regular season, not the postseason.

Let’s give it a try.

When go to 12 teams and three conferences per class, some weird geographical splits appear. For example:

In 4A, it’s pretty much a given that we’ll have to separate the two Casper schools. With three schools (Gillette, Sheridan and Thunder Basin) in the northeast and three (Rock Springs, Green River and Evanston) in the southwest, we pretty much have to split the two Casper schools to make balanced conferences.

The same thing happens with the Fremont County schools Lander and Riverton in 3A. Again, pockets of three-school groupings — Pinedale, Star Valley and Jackson in the far west and Cody, Worland and Powell in the northwest — make it tough to keep Lander and Riverton together.

In 2A, we have to split neighbors Moorcroft and Newcastle — three-school pockets of Greybull, Thermopolis and Lovell in the Northwest and Glenrock, Burns and Wheatland in the southeast force us to split the northeast pairing of the Dogies and Wolves.

Meanwhile, in 1A, things get complicated because we have 13 remaining schools. Rather than two conferences of four teams apiece and one of five, I split the teams into four conferences of four, three, three and three schools. Because of that scheduling, most 1A 11-man teams had to play either three straight home games or three straight road games, something I worked to avoid in other classifications (along with having four road or home games in a five-week stretch) but couldn’t avoid for about half the schools in this conference setup.

Six-man gets to remain relatively unchanged except for conference structure.

Class 4A kept its nine-week schedule; other classifications stayed at eight weeks.

Here is a sample schedule of what Weeks 0-8 (with Zero Week for 4A only) might look like in 2018 if Wyoming adopted these basketball scheduling practices for football (note that “JOB” means JV, out-of-state or bye):

4A Northeast
Gillette: vs. Natrona; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Sheridan; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Thunder Basin; vs. Kelly Walsh; at Sheridan; at Thunder Basin.
Sheridan: at Cheyenne South; at Natrona; vs. Cheyenne East; at Gillette; vs. Thunder Basin; at Kelly Walsh; at Thunder Basin; vs. Gillette; vs. Kelly Walsh.
Thunder Basin: at Cheyenne Central; vs. Cheyenne South; at Cody; vs. Kelly Walsh; at Sheridan; at Gillette; vs. Sheridan; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Gillette.
Kelly Walsh: vs. Green River; at Douglas; vs. Natrona; at Thunder Basin; vs. Gillette; vs. Sheridan; at Gillette; vs. Thunder Basin; at Sheridan.

4A Southeast
Cheyenne East: at Rock Springs; vs. Evanston; at Sheridan; vs. Cheyenne South; at Laramie; vs. Cheyenne Central; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne Central.
Cheyenne South: vs. Sheridan; at Thunder Basin; vs. Green River; at Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Laramie; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Cheyenne East; vs. Laramie.
Cheyenne Central: vs. Thunder Basin; at Rock Springs; vs. Gillette; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne South; at Laramie; vs. Cheyenne East.
Laramie: at Evanston; at Gillette; vs. Rock Springs; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Cheyenne South.

4A West
Rock Springs: vs. Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Laramie; vs. Evanston; at Natrona; vs. Green River; vs. Natrona; at Evanston; at Green River.
Evanston: vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne East; vs. Star Valley; at Rock Springs; vs. Green River; at Natrona; at Green River; vs. Rock Springs; vs. Natrona.
Green River: at Kelly Walsh; vs. Lander; at Cheyenne South; vs. Natrona; at Evanston; at Rock Springs; vs. Evanston; at Natrona; vs. Rock Springs.
Natrona: at Gillette; vs. Sheridan; at Kelly Walsh; at Green River; vs. Rock Springs; vs. Evanston; at Rock Springs; vs. Green River; at Evanston.

3A East
Buffalo: vs. Glenrock; at Worland; vs. Torrington; at Rawlins; vs. Douglas; vs. Rawlins; at Torrington; at Douglas.
Torrington: at JOB; vs. Wheatland; at Buffalo; vs. Douglas; at Rawlins; at Douglas; vs. Buffalo; vs. Rawlins.
Douglas: vs. Kelly Walsh; at Glenrock; vs. Rawlins; at Torrington; at Buffalo; vs. Torrington; at Rawlins; vs. Buffalo.
Rawlins: at Riverton; vs. Powell; at Douglas; vs. Buffalo; vs. Torrington; at Buffalo; vs. Douglas; at Torrington.

3A Northwest
Riverton: vs. Rawlins; at Lander; vs. Cody; at Powell; vs. Worland; vs. Powell; at Cody; at Worland.
Cody: at Jackson; vs. Thunder Basin; at Riverton; vs. Worland; at Powell; at Worland; vs. Riverton; vs. Powell.
Worland: at Star Valley; vs. Buffalo; vs. Powell; at Cody; at Riverton; vs. Cody; at Powell; vs. Riverton.
Powell: vs. Thermopolis; at Rawlins; at Worland; vs. Riverton; vs. Cody; at Riverton; vs. Worland; at Cody.

3A Southwest
Jackson: vs. Cody; at Mountain View; vs. Pinedale; at Lander; vs. Star Valley; vs. Lander; at Pinedale; at Star Valley.
Pinedale: at Kemmerer; vs. Big Piney; at Jackson; vs. Star Valley; at Lander; at Star Valley; vs. Jackson; vs. Lander.
Star Valley: vs. Worland; at Evanston; vs. Lander; at Pinedale; at Jackson; vs. Pinedale; at Lander; vs. Jackson.
Lander: at Green River; vs. Riverton; at Star Valley; vs. Jackson; vs. Pinedale; at Jackson; vs. Star Valley; at Pinedale.

2A East
Wheatland: vs. Wright; at Torrington; vs. Glenrock; at Newcastle; vs. Burns; vs. Newcastle; at Glenrock; at Burns.
Glenrock: at Buffalo; vs. Douglas; at Wheatland; vs. Burns; at Newcastle; at Burns; vs. Wheatland; vs. Newcastle.
Burns: vs. Saratoga; at Pine Bluffs; vs. Newcastle; at Glenrock; at Wheatland; vs. Glenrock; at Newcastle; vs. Wheatland.
Newcastle: vs. Southeast; at Moorcroft; at Burns; vs. Wheatland; vs. Glenrock; at Wheatland; vs. Burns; at Glenrock.

2A Northwest
Greybull: vs. Lyman; at Tongue River; vs. Thermopolis; at Moorcroft; vs. Lovell; vs. Moorcroft; at Thermopolis; at Lovell.
Thermopolis: at Powell; vs. Big Horn; at Greybull; vs. Lovell; at Moorcroft; at Lovell; vs. Greybull; vs. Moorcroft.
Lovell: at Big Horn; vs. Rocky Mountain; vs. Moorcroft; at Thermopolis; at Greybull; vs. Thermopolis; at Moorcroft; vs. Greybull.
Moorcroft: at Upton-Sundance; vs. Newcastle; at Lovell; vs. Greybull; vs. Thermopolis; at Greybull; vs. Lovell; at Thermopolis.

2A Southwest
Kemmerer: vs. Pinedale; at Cokeville; vs. Mountain View; at Lyman; vs. Big Piney; vs. Lyman; at Mountain View; at Big Piney.
Mountain View: at JOB; vs. Jackson; at Kemmerer; vs. Big Piney; at Lyman; at Big Piney; vs. Kemmerer; vs. Lyman.
Big Piney: vs. Cokeville; at Pinedale; vs. Lyman; at Mountain View; at Kemmerer; vs. Mountain View; at Lyman; vs. Kemmerer.
Lyman: at Greybull; vs. Wind River; at Big Piney; vs. Kemmerer; vs. Mountain View; at Kemmerer; vs. Big Piney; at Mountain View.

1A 11-man Northeast
Upton-Sundance: vs. Moorcroft; at Shoshoni; vs. Tongue River; at Lusk; vs. Wright; at Southeast; vs. Lusk; at Wright.
Wright: at Wheatland; vs. JOB; vs. Lusk; at Pine Bluffs; at Upton-Sundance; at Lusk; vs. Big Horn; vs. Upton-Sundance.
Lusk: vs. Pine Bluffs; at Southeast; at Wright; vs. Upton-Sundance; at JOB; vs. Wright; at Upton-Sundance; vs. Saratoga.

1A 11-man Southeast
Southeast: at Newcastle; vs. Lusk; at JOB; at Saratoga; vs. Pine Bluffs; vs. Upton-Sundance; vs. Saratoga; at Pine Bluffs.
Pine Bluffs: at Lusk; at Burns; vs. Saratoga; vs. Wright; at Southeast; at Saratoga; vs. JOB; vs. Southeast.
Saratoga: vs. Burns; at Wyoming Indian; at Pine Bluffs; vs. Southeast; vs. Rocky Mountain; vs. Pine Bluffs; at Southeast; at Lusk.

1A 11-man Northwest
Tongue River: at Wind River; vs. Greybull; at Upton-Sundance; at Rocky Mountain; vs. Big Horn; vs. JOB; vs. Rocky Mountain; at Big Horn.
Big Horn: vs. Lovell; at Thermopolis; vs. Rocky Mountain; vs. JOB; at Tongue River; at Rocky Mountain; at Wright; vs. Tongue River.
Rocky Mountain: vs. Shoshoni; at Lovell; at Big Horn; vs. Tongue River; at Saratoga; vs. Big Horn; at Tongue River; vs. JOB.

1A 11-man Southwest
Wind River: vs. Tongue River; at Lyman; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Cokeville; vs. Shoshoni; vs. Cokeville; at Wyoming Indian; at Shoshoni.
Wyoming Indian: at JOB; vs. Saratoga; at Wind River; vs. Shoshoni; at Cokeville; at Shoshoni; vs. Wind River; vs. Cokeville.
Shoshoni: at Rocky Mountain; vs. Upton-Sundance; vs. Cokeville; at Wyoming Indian; at Wind River; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Cokeville; vs. Wind River.
Cokeville: at Big Piney; vs. Kemmerer; at Shoshoni; vs. Wind River; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Wind River; vs. Shoshoni; at Wyoming Indian.

1A six-man Northeast
NSI: vs. Ten Sleep; at Burlington; vs. Midwest; at Kaycee; vs. Hulett; vs. Kaycee; at Midwest; at Hulett.
Midwest: at Guernsey; vs. Rock River; at NSI; vs. Hulett; at Kaycee; at Hulett; vs. NSI; vs. Kaycee.
Hulett: at Lingle; vs. Guernsey; vs. Kaycee; at Midwest; at NSI; vs. Midwest; at Kaycee; vs. NSI.
Kaycee: at Meeteetse; vs. Lingle; at Hulett; vs. NSI; vs. Midwest; at NSI; vs. Hulett; at Midwest.

1A six-man Southeast
Lingle: vs. Hulett; at Kaycee; vs. Hanna; at Rock River; vs. Guernsey; vs. Rock River; at Hanna; at Guernsey.
Hanna: at Dubois; vs. Snake River; at Lingle; vs. Guernsey; at Rock River; at Guernsey; vs. Lingle; vs. Rock River.
Guernsey: vs. Midwest; at Hulett; vs. Rock River; at Hanna; at Lingle; vs. Hanna; at Rock River; vs. Lingle.
Rock River: vs. St. Stephens; at Midwest; at Guernsey; vs. Lingle; vs. Hanna; at Lingle; vs. Guernsey; at Hanna.

1A six-man Northwest
Riverside: vs. Farson; at St. Stephens; vs. Burlington; at Ten Sleep; vs. Meeteetse; vs. Ten Sleep; at Burlington; at Meeteetse.
Burlington: at Snake River; vs. NSI; at Riverside; vs. Meeteetse; at Ten Sleep; at Meeteetse; vs. Riverside; vs. Ten Sleep.
Meeteetse: vs. Kaycee; at Farson; vs. Ten Sleep; at Burlington; at Riverside; vs. Burlington; at Ten Sleep; vs. Riverside.
Ten Sleep: at NSI; vs. Dubois; at Meeteetse; vs. Riverside; vs. Burlington; at Riverside; vs. Meeteetse; at Burlington.

1A six-man Southwest
Dubois: vs. Hanna; at Ten Sleep; vs. Farson; at Snake River; vs. St. Stephens; vs. Snake River; at Farson; at St. Stephens.
Farson: at Riverside; vs. Meeteetse; at Dubois; vs. St. Stephens; at Snake River; at St. Stephens; vs. Dubois; vs. Snake River.
St. Stephens: at Rock River; vs. Riverside; vs. Snake River; at Farson; at Dubois; vs. Farson; at Snake River; vs. Dubois.
Snake River: vs. Burlington; at Hanna; at St. Stephens; vs. Dubois; vs. Farson; at Dubois; vs. St. Stephens; at Farson.

So, what do you think? Would basketball scheduling ideas work for football? Should the round-robin schedule make a comeback?

–patrick

A little bit of investigating turned up a pair of games that had somehow eluded me in previous research, and they’re both from Big Piney’s 1955 season:

Added Big Piney’s 86-14 victory against Mountain View on Sept. 30, 1955, in Mountain View.

Added Big Piney’s 45-0 victory against Lyman on Oct. 5, 1955, in Big Piney.

Both games have been updated on all relevant pages.

I also fixed the coach for Big Piney that season — it was Jerry Parker, not Robert Edwards.

The Mountain View game also reset Big Piney’s single-game scoring record and it tied the Punchers’ single-game margin of victory record. It also reset Mountain View’s most points allowed and largest margin of loss records for the school. It’s excusable; the loss to Big Piney was only Mountain View’s second game as a program.

Also, the state basketball tournament scores and all the other relevant info from 2015 has been added to the basketball record listings.

As always, if you have any updates for me, post a comment here!

–patrick

Tonight’s “rematch” between Natrona and Gillette for the 4A boys basketball championship got me thinking about times when the football title game has been repeated for the basketball title.

A quick scan of football and basketball title games showed that tonight’s Natrona-Gillette title game is only the 10th time that two football title-game combatants have met for the basketball championship a few months later.

Here are the other nine “rematches” I found:

2012/13: Powell and Star Valley (Powell won 3A football, Star Valley won 3A basketball)

2008/09: Burlington and Southeast (Southeast won 1A football and basketball)

2005/06: Cheyenne Central and Cheyenne East (Central won 5A football, East won 4A basketball)

1998/99: Gillette and Laramie (Gillette won 4A football and basketball)

1997/98: Lusk and Rocky Mountain (Rocky Mountain won 1A-D1 football and 2A basketball)

1994/95: Burlington and Hulett (Burlington won 1A nine-man football and 1A basketball)

1993/94: Lander and Star Valley (Star Valley won 3A football and basketball)

1992/93: Buffalo and Thermopolis (Thermopolis won 2A football, Buffalo won 3A basketball)

1950/51: Cowley and Hanna (Cowley won six-man football, Hanna won B basketball)

–patrick

With the Class 4A and 3A state basketball tournaments coming up this weekend — brackets here — here’s a quick look at some of the historical precedents that are possible, that are scheduled and that have already happened for the tournament:

Drought: The longest state tournament drought broken this week is by the Worland boys, who are in the state tournament for the first time since 2011.

Streaks: Gillette’s boys and girls continued a pair of current state-best streaks. The Camel girls qualified for the state tournament for the 26th consecutive year, while the boys’ squad qualified for the 28th year in a row. Natrona’s girls qualified for state for the 18th consecutive year, the third-best active streak in the state regardless of gender.

Long-awaited first-round matchups

4A girls: Gillette at Riverton are playing each other at state for the first time since 2002; the other three first-round games are rematches of games played at some point during last year’s state tournament.

4A boys: Natrona and Cheyenne Central are playing against each other at state for the first time since 2004.

3A girls: Lovell and Wheatland are playing each other at state for the first time since 1978.

3A boys: All of the games pit teams that have played each other in the fairly recent past; the longest drought is the one between Powell and Buffalo, who are playing against each other at state for the first time since 2009.

Semifinal potential: The Worland boys have the longest semifinal drought of all boys’ teams playing this week; the Warriors haven’t been to the state semis since 1996.

Gillette’s girls, meanwhile, have one of the state’s most remarkable streaks going into the tournament; the Camels have been to 22 consecutive semifinal rounds at state, having reached the final four every year since 1993. The Gillette boys have made the semis for five straight years, the longest streak of any participating team this weekend.

Title potential: The Worland boys, in addition to having the longest semifinal drought, also have the longest championship drought of any boys’ team playing this week. The Warriors are trying to reach a state title game for the first time since 1966. The Riverton boys are the only team playing this week that doesn’t already have at least one state championship to its credit.

The Riverton girls, meanwhile, haven’t been to a title game since 1989, the longest drought of any girls’ team playing this week. Girls’ teams from Kelly Walsh, Powell, Rawlins and Worland are playing for their first state championships; Powell, Rawlins and Worland are all on the same half of the 3A bracket.

Want to dig deeper? Check out our state basketball tournament score database.

–patrick

With the Class 2A and 1A state basketball tournaments coming up this weekend — brackets here — here’s a quick look at some of the historical precedents that are possible, that are scheduled and that have already happened for the tournament:

Drought: The longest state tournament drought broken this week is by the Hanna girls, who are in the state tournament for the first time since 2007.

Streaks: Tongue River’s girls qualified for state for the 13th year in a row, the longest active streak among non-4A schools in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, Burlington’s boys qualified for state for the 10th consecutive year, third-longest streak in the state behind 4A schools Gillette and Evanston.

Long-awaited first-round matchups

2A girls: Burns and Thermopolis are meeting at state for the first time; Big Horn and Lyman are meeting at state for the first time since the first state tournament in 1976.

2A boys: Pine Bluffs and Lyman are playing each other at state for the first tine since 1984.

1A girls: Hanna and Encampment, longtime Carbon County rivals, are playing each other at state for the first time.

1A boys: NSI and Burlington are playing each other for the first time at the state tournament; Cokeville and Upton are meeting in the state tournament for the first time since 1962.

Semifinal potential: If NSI can upset Burlington in the first round of the 1A boys tournament, the Wolves will reach the state semifinals for the first time in program history. Only two other active boys programs — Cheyenne South and Glendo — have never made it to the semifinal round.

Burlington’s boys, meanwhile, if they can beat NSI, will qualify for the semifinals for the 10th year in a row, the longest streak in the state regardless of classification. Snake River will need to beat Kaycee to qualify for the semis for the seventh straight year; the Rattlers’ six straight semis qualifications is second only to Burlington statewide.

Title potential: Two participants in the 1A girls bracket, Hanna and St. Stephens, are among 13 girls programs that have never played in a state championship game. Six boys programs have never played in a title game; of those, NSI is the only one playing this weekend.

Want to dig deeper? Check out our state basketball tournament score database.

–patrick

Last month, we looked at Tongue River girls basketball coach Dianne Moser’s chasing of an interesting, and unknown, milestone — the state record for victories as a Wyoming high school basketball coach.

That title belongs to Okie Blanchard, who won 706 games in his coaching career, but then came out of retirement for one season to coach Hillsdale in 1969. No one knew Hillsdale’s record in 1969, though, leaving the state’s total victories chase a mystery.

However, thanks to some helpers in Laramie County, we have the answer.

And Moser still has work to do.

Jeremiah Johnke at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne, working with Barry Ward at Burns High School, found that Hillsdale’s boys won 12 games with Blanchard as head coach in 1969. That puts Blanchard’s state-best victory total at 718.

Moser enters this weekend with 710 career victories. The Eagles (13-5) have four regular-season games remaining — against Sundance on Friday, against Lovell on Saturday, at Wright on Feb. 20 and against Big Horn on Feb. 21. Tongue River has already beaten Sundance, Wright and Big Horn this season but has not yet played Lovell.

The Eagles would need at least two victories, and maybe three, at the East Regional tournament to qualify for state, where another three games are possible.

If Tongue River wins out, Moser, who told the Casper Star-Tribune this year is her last, will finish her career with 720 victories — two more than Blanchard.

And now we know, for better or for worse.

–patrick

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