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.