Some short notes about updates to stadiums across Wyoming:

* Thermopolis’ school board is in the process of renaming its football stadium LeRoy Hayes Field. Hayes’ son Heath said via email that the field dedication will be at halftime of the Bobcats’ Sept. 20 game against Wright. LeRoy Hayes, who died in 2013, was a longtime coach in the Thermopolis school system.

* Moorcroft was set to install the lights that formerly shined at Okie Blanchard Stadium in Cheyenne, but delays in the take-down of the stadium in Cheyenne pushed back Moorcroft’s light installation until next year, Wolves coach Dusty Petz said via email. All of Moorcroft’s home game times have been pushed to daylight hours.

* Southeast’s installation of artificial turf was also delayed. Coach Mark Bullington said via email that the Cyclones will have their artificial surface installed next year and it will be ready in time for the 2015 season.

* As previously noted, four schools (Kemmerer, Glenrock, Cheyenne East and Big Piney) added turf over the summer, while Kemmerer and Big Horn added lights.


Five schools will add artificial turf to their football fields this summer, bringing the state’s total number of fields with artificial surfaces to 21.

Glenrock, Big Piney and Southeast will add artificial surfaces to their existing stadiums in time for this fall. Glenrock and Southeast gained approval for their turf fields in the past week from their respective school boards.

Kemmerer, meanwhile, built a new football stadium that will have a turf field.

One of the biggest overhauls, of course, comes at Cheyenne East, where Okie Blanchard Stadium will be rebuilt and receive an artificial surface.

In all, 21 schools have exchanged grass fields for artificial surfaces. See which ones here.


Three Class 2A schools — Kemmerer, Burns and Big Horn — and Class 1A 11-man school Moorcroft will undergo major changes to their football facilities this year.

The most dramatic changes will occur in Kemmerer and Burns.

Kemmerer will christen its new football facility this fall with something the school has never had before: night games. The new field is near the Kemmerer Middle School and west of the high school on the southern edge of the city.

Kemmerer’s new facility will include lights and an artificial surface. The Rangers’ old field, occasionally referred to as “The Pit” due to its location at the bottom of a set of steep hills, will likely continue to stay open for school and community use.

Kemmerer will be the 17th school in Wyoming to switch to an artificial surface.

Burns, meanwhile, is rebuilding its football field and may not have any true “home” games this year, as the field might remain under construction through the fall. Burns’ new facility is being built at the site of the school’s current field. Unlike Kemmerer, Burns will keep its natural grass surface. Burns’ new facility will also include an eight-lane track.

Big Horn and Moorcroft, meanwhile, will add lights to their fields for the first time this year.

Moorcroft is the first of Crook County’s three high schools to add lights.

Oddly enough, Lyman will be the opponent for the first game under the lights for both Big Horn and Kemmerer — at Big Horn on Sept. 12 and at Kemmerer on Sept. 19. Moorcroft will host Wyoming Indian on Sept. 5 in its first home night game.

With the addition of lighted facilities in Big Horn, Kemmerer and Moorcroft, only seven Wyoming 11-man schools (Big Piney, Burlington, Cokeville, Lyman, Mountain View, Sundance and Tongue River) remain without lights. However, of Wyoming’s 13 six-man schools, nine (Dubois, Farson, Hanna, Hulett, Kaycee, Rock River, St. Stephens, Snake River, Ten Sleep) don’t have lights.

If you know of any other field renovations taking place this summer, let me know: Leave a comment below, hit me up on Twitter @wyomingfootball or email me at


Saratoga’s football team is trying out something new this year — night home games.

The Panthers are the latest school to add lights to their field, debuting the new lights in a 28-6 loss to Lingle in the opening week of the season. In doing so, Saratoga joined a growing trend of schools adding the night option to their schedule.

Upton added lights recently when it built its new school and field a few years ago; Pinedale added lights in a stadium upgrade that also included artificial turf; Wind River added lights a couple years ago despite some setbacks that pushed back making night football a consistent event in Pavillion.

Now, of the 63 high schools in Wyoming that sponsor varsity high school football, only 18 don’t have lights on their home field.

The no-lights schools tend to be clumped together. There’s the “Crook County Clump” of Hulett, Sundance and Moorcroft… the “Sheridan County District 1 Clump” of Tongue River and Big Horn… the “Southwest Clump” of Lyman, Mountain View, Kemmerer, Big Piney and Cokeville… the “Big Horn County District 1 Clump” of Rocky Mountain and Burlington…. and the “Six-man Clump” of Kaycee, Snake River, Farson, Hanna, Dubois and Ten Sleep (and Hulett, again; with their move to six-man last year, the Red Devils are now in two clumps).

Speaking of six-man… Guernsey, Meeteetse and Midwest are the only six-man schools with lights; however, both Meeteetse and Guernsey have no night home games this year. Midwest is the opposite, and is scheduled to play all of its home games at night — the lone torch bearer of night six-man football in Wyoming.

Of course, most of the schools without lights are fairly small — the Bridger Valley schools of Mountain View and Lyman are the two largest schools in the state without lights, and they tally in at about 225 students apiece 9-12. However, of the 18 schools without lights, seven are in Class 2A and seven are in Class 1A six-man; only four schools in Class 1A 11-man don’t have lights.

Don’t expect lights for most of these schools any time soon. I haven’t heard any rumors of any of these schools adding lights any time soon. (If I’m wrong about that, let me know by posting a comment below or emailing me:

As for Saratoga… well, after this week, the Panthers have two more home games. One will be under the lights, but the regular-season finale will be played in the mid-afternoon. Is it too early to call it a throwback game?


I’m not purposely trying to neglect this week’s games by talking about lights. Several key games dot the schedule, including Buffalo-Douglas, Glenrock-Big Horn, Cokeville-Shoshoni and Dubois-Kaycee. At least two undefeated teams will fall this week, as the Glenrock-Big Horn and Dubois-Kaycee games pit two unbeaten teams against each other.

Here are this week’s picks, with projected winners in bold:

Class 4A
Cheyenne Central at Evanston
Cheyenne South at Cheyenne East
Gillette at Laramie
Sheridan at Rock Springs
Class 3A
Buffalo at Douglas
Cody at Green River
Lander at Torrington
Powell at Jackson
Rawlins at Riverton
Worland at Star Valley
Class 2A
Burns at Tongue River
Glenrock at Big Horn
Greybull at Pinedale
Lyman at Big Piney
Moorcroft at Wheatland
Mountain View at Lovell
Wright at Newcastle
Class 1A 11-man
Burlington at Riverside
Cokeville at Shoshoni
Lusk at Lingle
Pine Bluffs at Southeast
Wind River at Rocky Mountain
Wyoming Indian at Saratoga
Class 1A six-man
Guernsey at Hanna
Meeteetse at Snake River
Class 4A
Natrona at Kelly Walsh
Class 2A
Thermopolis at Kemmerer
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Kaycee
Hulett at Ten Sleep
Midwest at Farson
Big Horn JV at Normative Services
Open: Upton-Sundance.

Last week: 27-5 (84 percent). This season: 90-21 (81 percent).

Thoughts on the upcoming week? Thoughts on lights? Thoughts on anything Wyoming high school football-related? Post away below. Let’s start a conversation.


Three Wyoming high schools made the switch to artificial turf over the summer, bringing the total number of schools with fake grass on their football fields in the state to 14.

Cheyenne Central, Powell and Lusk all switched over to artificial turf. They join Big Horn, Cody, Douglas, Jackson, Moorcroft, Natrona, Pinedale, Riverton, Rock Springs, Sheridan and Star Valley as schools with artificial surfaces.

Here is a look at Riske Field in Cheyenne, courtesy of Jeremiah Johnke of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle:

Riske Field, Cheyenne

Riske Field, Cheyenne


Construction in Lusk is a bit behind that in Cheyenne. In addition to a new turf football field, Lusk will have a new track surface, as well. Here are a couple looks at the progress in Lusk, courtesy of Cory Griffith:

Lusk football field

Lusk football field

Lusk football field

Lusk football field


The work in Powell was a bit more extensive, as an entirely new facility was constructed. The stadium was completed last year. To see photos of the field in Powell, check out the school district photo gallery.


Just a little random checklist to make sure I have all of the schools with turf fields accounted for. If any are missing, let me know.

Big Horn







Powell (next year’s new field)


Rock Springs


Star Valley

That makes 12 total. Anyone I am forgetting?


Tonkin Field. Photo courtesy Ernie Over.

Tonkin Stadium. Photo courtesy Ernie Over.

Tonkin Stadium, the home of the Riverton Wolverines, will end its run as the school’s home field on Friday night when Riverton hosts Cody.

The field is unique due to its placement, dug into the side of a hill. The stadium’s location allows for one of the most unique and intimate settings for high school football in the state.

Riverton will begin playing home games at the new Wolverine Stadium after the Cody game.

Do you have a story or memory to share about Tonkin Stadium? What events helped make Tonkin the unique place it is today? Share some of your thoughts below and let’s help send the stadium out on a high note on Friday.

Tonkin Field. Photo courtesy Ernie Over.

Tonkin Stadium. Photo courtesy Ernie Over.