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.


Since 1984 and the start of the “one-poll” era of Wyoming high school football, a No. 1-ranked team has met a No. 2 team from the same classification 223 times.

And, as expected, the No. 1 teams win more often — although not by as much as you might think.

Overall, No. 1-ranked teams have the advantage, holding a record of 139-84 (.623) in those matchups.

Of the 223 1-vs-2 games in the past 39 years, 117 have come in the regular season and another 106 have come in the playoffs.

In regular-season games, No. 1 teams have a 72-45 (.615) record against No. 2-ranked teams. In the playoffs, No. 1 teams are slightly better, at 67-39 (.632), than in the regular season.

Combined, the No. 1 teams are 65-45 (.591) at home and 48-28 (.632) on the road. In neutral site contests, No. 1 teams are 26-11 (.703).


Here are all the No. 1-vs. No. 2 games in Wyoming high school football since 1984. This list does not include games of teams ranked 1 or 2 in different classifications. Road team listed first; bolded teams won the game; *-at Laramie.

4A Week 5: #1 Cheyenne East 39 #2 Sheridan 42
*4A Championship: #2 Cheyenne East 23 #1 Sheridan 34

3A Week 6: #1 Cody 35 #2 Star Valley 25
*3A Championship: #2 Star Valley 14 #1 Cody 7

2A Week 3: #1 Lovell 12 #2 Lyman 6 OT
*2A Championship: #1 Lovell 7 #2 Big Horn 8

1A nine-man Week 1: #2 Pine Bluffs 34 #1 Shoshoni 26
*1A nine-man Championship: #2 Shoshoni 27 #1 Pine Bluffs 33

1A six-man Week 2: #1 Snake River 44 #2 Dubois 28

4A Week 3: #2 Sheridan 27 #1 Rock Springs 24
*4A Championship: #1 Rock Springs 27 #1 Sheridan 45

3A Week 4: #1 Cody 38 #2 Powell 14
3A Week 8: #1 Cody 21 #2 Jackson 15
*3A Championship: #2 Jackson 24 #1 Cody 41

1A nine-man Week 5: #2 Pine Bluffs 34 #1 Shoshoni 25

*1A six-man Championship: #2 Encampment 24 #1 Snake River 65

4A Week 2: #2 Cheyenne Central 20 #1 Sheridan 17
4A Week 3: #2 Thunder Basin 26 #1 Cheyenne Central 38

3A Week 8: #2 Cody 48 #1 Jackson 6
3A Championship: #2 Jackson 13 #1 Cody 34

2A Week 2: #2 Mountain View 12 #1 Lovell 9
2A Week 8: #2 Lyman 21 #1 Mountain View 15

1A six-man Week 3: #2 Encampment 32 #1 Farson 74
1A six-man Week 5: #1 Farson 47 #2 Kaycee 13
1A six-man Week 7: #2 Meeteetse 16 #1 Farson 35
1A six-man Championship: #2 Meeteetse 30 #1 Farson 42

4A Week 3: #2 Sheridan 30 #1 Thunder Basin 37
*4A Championship: #2 Sheridan 35 #1 Thunder Basin 26

3A Week 7: #1 Star Valley 20 #2 Cody 7

*2A Championship: #2 Buffalo 14 #1 Mountain View 24

1A 11-man Week 4: #1 Big Horn 27 #2 Upton-Sundance 0

1A six-man Week 6: #2 Farson 0 #1 Snake River 53
*1A six-man Championship: #1 Snake River 71 #2 Hanna 38

4A Week 2: #1 Sheridan 7 #2 Natrona 34

*3A Championship: #2 Torrington 14 #1 Star Valley 35

2A Week 4: #2 Buffalo 23 #1 Glenrock 16
*2A Championship: #2 Mountain View 18 #1 Buffalo 43

1A 11-man Week 5: #1 Big Horn 42 #2 Pine Bluffs 7
*1A 11-man Championship: #2 Cokeville 3 #1 Big Horn 56

1A six-man Week 5: #2 Meeteetse 0 #1 Farson 64

4A Week 2: #2 Natrona 34 #1 Sheridan 37 OT
*4A Championship: #2 Natrona 14 #1 Sheridan 28

2A Week 1: #1 Glenrock 12 #2 Greybull 7
*2A Championship: #2 Mountain View 35 #1 Glenrock 28

1A six-man SF: #2 Burlington 38 #1 Kaycee 47

4A Week 5: #2 Campbell County 24 #1 Sheridan 21

3A SF: #1 Star Valley 61 #2 Douglas 42

1A 11-man Week 8: #2 Tongue River 20 #1 Upton-Sundance 32

*1A six-man Championship: #2 Kaycee 41 #1 Farson 30

4A Week 5: #1 Sheridan 14 #2 Campbell County 20
*4A Championship: #2 Sheridan 38 #1 Campbell County 31

3A Week 4: #2 Star Valley 13 #1 Cody 0

*1A six-man Championship: #1 Meeteetse 32 #2 Kaycee 51

4A Week 3: #2 Natrona 47 #1 Campbell County 7

3A Week 1: #1 Powell 18 #2 Douglas 17
3A Week 7: #2 Douglas 15 #1 Riverton 3
*3A Championship: #1 Douglas 0 #2 Cody 19

*2A Championship: #1 Big Horn 19 #2 Mountain View 28

*1A 11-man Championship: #1 Cokeville 26 #2 Lusk 6

*1A six-man Championship: #1 Guernsey-Sunrise 80 #2 Dubois 30

4A Week 5: #2 Sheridan 10 #1 Campbell County 39
4A Week 8: #1 Campbell County 41 #2 Cheyenne East 6
4A SF: #2 Natrona 14 #1 Campbell County 7

*3A Championship: #1 Powell 19 #2 Douglas 13 OT

*1A 11-man Championship: #1 Lusk 12 #2 Cokeville 13

1A six-man Week 4: #2 Meeteetse 56 #1 Dubois 46

4A Week 1: #1 Natrona 38 #2 Sheridan 13
4A Week 8: #2 Campbell County 17 #1 Natrona 20
*4A Championship: #2 Campbell County 7 #1 Natrona 35

3A Week 5: #2 Star Valley 0 #1 Powell 13
*3A Championship: #2 Star Valley 10 #1 Powell 13

2A Week 3: #1 Lovell 6 #2 Lyman 20

1A six-man Week 2: #2 Dubois 43 #1 Snake River 36
*1A six-man Championship: #1 Dubois 54 #2 Snake River 30

4A Week 1: #1 Sheridan 6 #2 Natrona 20

2A Week 3: #2 Lyman 7 #1 Lovell 21
*2A Championship: #2 Lyman 13 #1 Lovell 21

*1A 11-man Championship: #2 Cokeville 28 #1 Southeast 13

1A six-man Week 2: #1 Snake River 66 #2 Dubois 24
*1A six-man Championship: #1 Snake River 54 #2 Dubois 33

4A Week 6: #2 Campbell County 32 #1 Natrona 47
*4A Championship: #2 Sheridan 14 #1 Natrona 34

3A Week 4: #2 Buffalo 7 #1 Douglas 22

2A Week 5: #1 Thermopolis 7 #2 Big Horn 42
*2A Championship: #2 Thermopolis 13 #1 Big Horn 9

*1A 11-man Championship: #2 Lusk 6 #1 Cokeville 26

1A six-man Week 6: #1 Snake River 50 #2 Hanna 34
*1A six-man Championship: #2 Hanna 12 #1 Snake River 67

4A Week 7: #2 Cheyenne Central 20 #1 Sheridan 28
*4A Championship: #2 Cheyenne Central 15 #1 Sheridan 40

2A Week 1: #1 Glenrock 26 #2 Kemmerer 6

1A six-man Week 3: #1 Guernsey 72 #2 Hanna 12
1A six-man Week 7: #1 Guernsey 63 #2 Midwest 20

5A Week 0: #1 Green River 14 #2 Natrona 12

3A Championship: #1 Kemmerer 0 #2 Glenrock 18

2A Championship: #2 Big Horn 12 #1 Burns 41

1A Championship: #2 Southeast 12 #1 Burlington 0

5A Week 5: #2 Cheyenne East 35 #1 Evanston 26
5A Week 8: #2 Cheyenne Central 3 #1 Natrona 27

4A Championship: #2 Buffalo 6 #1 Jackson 10

3A Championship: #2 Glenrock 0 #1 Kemmerer 22

2A Championship: #2 Riverside 21 #1 Big Horn 20

3A Week 3: #1 Mountain View 8 #2 Kemmerer 0

2A Championship: #2 Southeast 8 #1 Riverside 6

1A Championship: #2 Guernsey-Sunrise 14 #1 Cokeville 12

5A Week 6: #1 Campbell County 17 #2 Natrona 23 OT

4A Week 1: #2 Lander 20 #1 Buffalo 45
4A Championship: #1 Buffalo 17 #2 Star Valley 14

3A Week 4: #2 Big Piney 13 #1 Kemmerer 37
3A Championship: #2 Glenrock 12 #1 Kemmerer 37

2A Week 2: #1 Big Horn 0 #2 Wright 7
2A Week 6: #2 Big Horn 22 #1 Sundance 20

5A Championship: #1 Green River 20 #2 Natrona 0

4A Championship: #2 Lander 10 #1 Buffalo 31

2A Week 6: #1 Upton 8 #2 Big Horn 24
2A Championship: #2 Upton 22 #1 Big Horn 52

1A SF: #2 Guernsey-Sunrise 24 #1 Burlington 21 OT

5A Week 1: #2 Natrona 48 #1 Rock Springs 6
5A Week 5: #2 Campbell County 21 #1 Natrona 35
5A Championship: #2 Campbell County 3 #1 Natrona 28

4A Week 3: #1 Worland 3 #2 Star Valley 0

1A Week 6: #1 Guernsey 0 #2 Southeast 21
1A Championship: #1 Southeast 13 #2 Cokeville 14

5A Championship: #2 Campbell County 14 #1 Rock Springs 36

3A Week 4: #2 Mountain View 28 #1 Glenrock 19

2A Championship: #2 Big Horn 0 #1 Lusk 31

4A Week 1: #1 Powell 31 #2 Douglas 14
4A Week 2: #2 Star Valley 20 #1 Powell 21

3A Week 8: #2 Big Piney 21 #1 Mountain View 14
3A SF: #2 Glenrock 33 #1 Big Piney 34 OT

2A Week 8: #2 Lusk 7 #1 Southeast 21

4A Championship: #1 Campbell County 28 #2 Laramie 7

3A Championship: #1 Powell 14 #2 Rawlins 39

2A Week 5: #2 Big Piney 19 #1 Lyman 35

1A-D1 SF: #1 Lusk 49 #2 Shoshoni 0

1A-D2 Championship: #1 Southeast 41 #2 Big Horn 20

4A Week 7: #2 Campbell County 0 #1 Natrona 35
4A Championship: #2 Campbell County 10 #1 Natrona 13

3A Week 4: #2 Powell 15 #1 Riverton 29
3A Week 8: #1 Riverton 17 #2 Douglas 14
3A Championship: #2 Douglas 6 #1 Riverton 14

2A Week 5: #2 Lyman 52 #1 Big Piney 7
2A Week 7: #1 Lyman 15 #2 Mountain View 15
2A Championship: #2 Lyman 16 #1 Mountain View 6

1998 (no poll after Week 7)
4A Championship: #2 Laramie 7 #1 Campbell County 14

3A Week 6: #2 Wheatland 14 #1 Riverton 17

2A SF: #2 Big Piney 15 #1 Thermopolis 13

4A Week 7: #2 Campbell County 16 #1 Natrona 13 2OT

3A Week 6: #2 Worland 0 #1 Star Valley 31

2A SF: #2 Buffalo 0 #1 Mountain View 18

1A-D1 Championship: #2 Lusk 20 #1 Rocky Mountain 32

3A Week 3: #1 Lander 17 #2 Riverton 3
3A Week 7: #1 Lander 10 #2 Star Valley 14

1A-D1 SF: #2 Moorcroft 34 #1 Rocky Mountain 20

1A-D2 SF: #2 Lingle 0 #1 Cokeville 16

1995 (no poll after Week 7)
4A Week 4: #1 Laramie 27 #2 Green River 14
4A Week 6: #2 Evanston 22 #1 Laramie 36

3A Week 8 (final poll in week 7): #1 Lander 27 #2 Cody 31
3A ½ playoff: #1 Lander 13 #2 Cody 10 (at Riverton)

2A Championship: #2 Buffalo 0 #1 Mountain View 27

1A-D1 Championship: #1 Rocky Mountain 32 #2 Lusk 20

1A-D2 SF: #2 Cokeville 28 #1 Burlington 13

4A Week 3: #1 Green River 0 #2 Natrona 7
4A Championship: #2 Laramie 30 #1 Natrona 9

3A Week 7: #1 Lander 6 #2 Star Valley 15

2A Week 4: #1 Lovell 14 #2 Thermopolis 28
2A Championship: #2 Kemmerer 16 #1 Thermopolis 6

1A 11-man Week 3: #2 Burns 12 #1 Lusk 13
1A 11-man SF: #1 Lusk 6 #2 Cokeville 7

1A nine-man Championship: #2 Hulett 20 #1 Burlington 36

4A Week 5: #1 Sheridan 44 #2 Laramie 21
4A Week 6: #1 Sheridan 15 #2 Campbell County 22

3A Championship: #2 Lander 12 #1 Star Valley 14

2A Week 6: #2 Lovell 0 #1 Buffalo 21

1A 11-man Championship: #1 Rocky Mountain 22 #2 Cokeville 40

1A nine-man Week 7: #1 Meeteetse 22 #2 Burlington 14
1A nine-man Championship: #2 Hulett 20 #1 Meeteetse 23

4A Week 3: #2 Kelly Walsh 18 #1 Sheridan 47
4A Week 6: #2 Campbell County 15 #1 Sheridan 18
4A Championship: #2 Campbell County 9 #1 Sheridan 27

3A Championship: #1 Star Valley 34 #2 Torrington 13

1A 11-man Championship: #2t Wind River 7 #1 Rocky Mountain 10

1A nine-man Week 7: #2 Dubois 41 #1 Meeteetse 22

4A Week 6: #1 Sheridan 35 #2 Campbell County 13

1A nine-man ½ playoffs: #1 Big Horn 22 #2 Hulett 0 (at Gillette)

4A Week 1: #1 Cheyenne Central 35 #2 Natrona 7
4A Week 5: #1 Cheyenne Central 28 #2 Sheridan 20
4A Championship: #2 Sheridan 35 #1 Cheyenne Central 30

3A Week 5: #1 Star Valley 31 #2 Jackson 7
3A Championship: #1 Star Valley 6 #2 Torrington 20

2A Week 4: #2 Thermopolis 46 #1 Glenrock 20
2A Week 6: #2 Lovell 20 #1 Thermopolis 28
2A SF: #2 Buffalo 19 #1 Thermopolis 20

1A 11-man Championship: #1 Sundance 6 #2 Cokeville 20

1A nine-man Week 1: #1 Meeteetse 29 #2 Hanna 7
1A nine-man SF: #2 Lingle 14 #1 Meeteetse 8

4A Week 5: #1 Cheyenne Central 13 #2 Natrona 0
4A Championship: #2 Rock Springs 0 #1 Cheyenne Central 32

2A SF: #2 Cokeville 35 #1 Greybull 11

1A nine-man Week 3: #1 Meeteetse 37 #2 Ten Sleep 20

4A Week 6: #1 Rock Springs 14 #2 Green River 6
4A SF: #2 Cheyenne Central 30 #1 Rock Springs 0

3A Championship: #2 Worland 0 #1 Torrington 6

4A Week 8: #2 Campbell County 15 #1 Laramie 21
4A Championship: #2 Rock Springs 14 #1 Laramie 13

3A Week 8: #2 Jackson 28 #1 Star Valley 7
3A SF: #1 Jackson 0 #2 Wheatland 14

2A Week 6: #2 Lovell 22 #1 Greybull 14 OT
2A SF: #2 Pinedale 7 #1 Lovell 20

1A SF: #2 Big Horn 14 #1 Meeteetse 20

4A Championship: #1 Sheridan 44 #2 Rawlins 13

3A Week 8: #1 Torrington 35 #2 Glenrock 0

2A Week 3: #2 Greybull 20 #1 Shoshoni 7

1A Week 8: #2 Midwest 14 #1 Big Horn 21 OT

1985 (poll taken before championship games)
4A Week 4: #1 Natrona 17 #2 Sheridan 13

3A Week 9: #2 Evanston 15 #1 Star Valley 14
3A Championship: #1 Torrington 8 #2 Evanston 47

2A Championship: #1 Shoshoni 18 #2t Seton 7

1A Week 7: #2 Wright 6 #1 Big Horn 25
1A Week 8: #1 Big Horn 14 #2 Midwest 12
1A Championship: #2 Wright 6 #1 Big Horn 7

1984 (poll taken before 4A/3A championship games)
3A Championship: #1 Evanston 21 #2 Wheatland 35

1A Championship: #1 Midwest 8 #2 Cokeville 12


See part 1 of this series here.

Last week, five teams — Sheridan, Cody, Lovell, Pine Bluffs and Snake River — entered the playoffs as the No. 1 ranked team in their classification.

By default, that means they’re the favorites to win the state championships.

And while the chances of the top-ranked team entering the playoffs actually winning the championship is barely above half, the chances that the eventual champion will come from one of the teams ranked either first or second is extremely high.

Since 1984, the start of the “one poll” era, teams ranked No. 1 entering the playoffs have won the state championship 52% of the time.

If it’s not No. 1 winning it all, it’s usually No. 2. Together, teams ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 entering the playoffs win a title 83% of the time. (Do the math, and the No. 2 ranked team wins the state title 31% of the time.)

The No. 3 team wins the title 10% of the time; teams ranked fourth, almost 4% of the time.

The remaining 3% of championships is evenly divided between teams ranked fifth and teams not ranked at all. A team entering the playoffs ranked fifth or unranked and winning a state championship hasn’t happened since 2011.

The six teams to win championships ranked either fifth (three titles) or not at all (three titles) entering the playoffs?

First, the three teams ranked No. 5 all entered the playoffs on a low but were at some time during their championship season ranked in the top two:

  • Powell, Class 3A 2011 (Highest rank during the season: No. 1)
  • Cheyenne Central, Class 5A 2005 (Highest rank during the season: No. 2)
  • Glenrock, Class 3A 2003 (Highest rank during the season: No. 1)

Meanwhile, of the three teams that won titles after entering the playoffs unranked, two were previously No. 1 during the season:

  • Big Piney, Class 3A 2006 (Highest rank during the season: No. 1)
  • Powell, Class 3A 1987 (Highest rank during the season: No. 5)
  • Jackson, Class 3A 1986 (Highest rank during the season: No. 1)

The seven teams to win titles that went into the playoffs as the No. 4 ranked team are dominated by 3A teams, including Cody in 2017, Worland in 2001, Star Valley in 1995 and Riverton in 1994. Other No. 4-ranked champs are Cheyenne East (4A, 2013), Glenrock (3A, 2002) and Cokeville (1A, 1986).

Either the No. 1 or No. 2 team entering the playoffs has won every title in each of the past four seasons. It’s the longest such streak since playoffs restarted in 1975.

And it just so happens that the five No. 1 teams all won last week.

See each week’s poll by clicking on each year’s set of rankings here.


Trying to pick a state champion before a single down has been played sometimes feels like a fool’s errand.

That doesn’t stop people from trying.

The WyoPreps preseason football poll of coaches and media, which came out Wednesday, tabbed Sheridan, Cody, Lyman, Shoshoni and Snake River as the teams to beat in their respective classifications. (Full disclosure, I vote in this poll.)

But the historical chances of those five teams winning a championship are barely better than one-third of the time.

Since 1984 and the start of the one-poll era, only 36% of teams ranked No. 1 to start the season end up as state champions. However, 56% of state champions start the season ranked either No. 1 or No. 2. Cheyenne East, Star Valley, Lovell, Pine Bluffs, Dubois and Encampment are in the No. 2 spots in this year’s preseason poll, with the last two tying for second in the 1A six-man poll.

Historically, chances are good that more than half your 2022 state champs will come from that list of 11 teams.

However, 17% of state champs start ranked at No. 3, 7% at No. 4 and 6% at No. 5. But nearly 14% of state champions start the season unranked. Since 1984, they’ve included:

  • Lyman, Class 2A 2020
  • Cody, Class 3A 2017
  • Pine Bluffs, Class 1A 11-man 2016
  • Star Valley, Class 3A 2015
  • Snake River, Class 1A nine-man 2010
  • Thermopolis, Class 2A 2009
  • Jackson, Class 4A 2007
  • Kemmerer, Class 3A 2005
  • Rock Springs, Class 5A 2001
  • Big Piney, Class 2A 1998
  • Evanston, Class 4A 1997
  • Riverton, Class 3A 1997
  • Wind River, Class 1A Division II 1997
  • Natrona, Class 4A 1996
  • Sheridan, Class 4A 1995
  • Laramie, Class 4A 1994
  • Rocky Mountain, Class 1A 11-man 1992
  • Burlington, Class 1A nine-man 1992
  • Lingle, Class 1A nine-man 1990
  • Hanna, Class 1A 1989
  • Big Piney, Class 2A 1988
  • Lovell, Class 2A 1987
  • Lusk, Class 2A 1986
  • Laramie, Class 4A 1984
  • Mountain View, Class 2A 1984

As you may have noticed, four consecutive Class 4A champions in the mid-1990s were unranked to start the season — Evanston in 1997, Natrona in 1996, Sheridan in 1995 and Laramie in 1994. But a preseason unranked team winning a state title hasn’t happened since at Wyoming’s big-school level since 2001 and Rock Springs.

Big Piney (1998, 1988) and Laramie (1994, 1984) are the only programs since 1984 to twice win championships after starting a season unranked.

No team since 1984 has been both unranked in the preseason AND unranked at the end of the regular season, then gone on to win the state championship. Eight of the 25 teams that started a season unranked but won a state championship were ranked No. 1 by the time the postseason started.

(Note: Preseason polls were not conducted in 2000 and are excluded here.)

See each preseason poll by clicking on each year’s set of rankings here.

Watch for another breakdown of teams’ rankings at the end of the regular season and their championship chances after Week 8.


Weekly rankings from 1955-83 and from 1952 have been added to the annual listings on

This all but completes a big chunk of research on weekly polls, the first part of which — from 1984 to 2021 — was posted and shared on in January.

Polls from 1955 to 1983 included two polls per week — one from the Associated Press and, usually, one from United Press International. Prior to 1960, though, the UPI poll was not yet being conducted, and a poll from the Wyoming Association of Sportswriters and Sportscasters fills those years.

The top five teams in each classification have been ranked since 1972. From 1965-70, the top 10 teams in both Class AA/A and Class B were ranked in the UPI polls, while the top 10 in all classes were ranked in the single AP poll. (The exception is in 1971, when the AP ran top fives for Class AA, Class A and Class B, while UPI ran top 10s in Class AA/A and Class B.) Prior to 1965, both the AP and UPI/WASS poll had one set of all-class rankings, which ranked the top 10 teams regardless of classification.

Here’s more on how rankings have changed over time.

Once again, a huge thank you goes out to “Stat Rat” Jim Craig for his help in filling in the numerous missing pieces I had in this research. This wouldn’t have been possible without his help!

You can access the weekly polls on the results by year page.


Here are some updated records on who’s had the most consecutive weeks ranked and most consecutive weeks at No. 1:

Consecutive weeks ranked (minimum 40 weeks)

Top 10 streaks
Cokeville: 194 weeks (1993-2015)
Sheridan: 114 weeks (2009-20)
Cokeville: 94 weeks (1982-92)
Campbell County: 87 weeks (1996-2007)
Cheyenne Central: 82 weeks (1963-70)
Buffalo: 77 weeks (2003-11)
Laramie: 76 weeks (1959-66)
Big Horn: 73 weeks (2012-20)
Lusk: 73 weeks (1994-2003)
Byron: 71 weeks (1965-72)
Next 10
Lovell: 70 weeks (1987-95)
Campbell County: 68 weeks (2010-16)
Lusk: 66 weeks (2008-15)
Meeteetse: 63 weeks (1987-94)
Natrona: 63 weeks (1959-65)
Star Valley: 63 weeks (2015-21) *active
Guernsey-Sunrise: 62 weeks (2002-08)
Douglas: 61 weeks (2008-15)
Farson: 61 weeks (2015-21)
Natrona: 61 weeks (2010-16)
Others longer than 40 weeks:
Big Horn: 59 weeks (1983-89)
Sheridan: 59 weeks (1981-87)
Big Piney: 58 weeks (1998-2005)
Cheyenne Central: 58 weeks (1976-82)
Upton-Sundance: 56 weeks (2014-20)
Kelly Walsh: 54 weeks (1979-84)
Natrona: 52 weeks (2001-07)
Sheridan: 52 weeks (1956-61)
Cheyenne East: 51 weeks (2011-16)
Cheyenne East: 50 weeks (2017-21) *active
Mountain View: 49 weeks (2016-21)
Rock Springs: 49 weeks (1986-91)
Laramie: 46 weeks (1967-71)
Kemmerer: 45 weeks (2005-10)
Rocky Mountain: 45 weeks (1994-2000)
Star Valley: 45 weeks (1990-95)
Natrona: 44 weeks (1955-59)
Cody: 43 weeks (2017-21) *active
Thunder Basin: 43 weeks (2017-21) *active
Southeast: 43 weeks (2005-10)
Laramie: 42 weeks (1994-99)
Laramie: 41 weeks (1955-59)
Midwest: 41 weeks (1983-87)
Natrona: 41 weeks (2016-20)
Star Valley: 41 weeks (1980-85)
Mountain View: 40 weeks (1993-98)
Torrington: 40 weeks (1987-92)


Consecutive weeks at No. 1 (minimum 10 weeks)

Top 10 streaks (OK, 12…)
Sheridan: 23 weeks (1991-93)
Rocky Mountain: 22 weeks (1997-99)
Cokeville: 21 weeks (2001-03)
Powell: 21 weeks (2012-14)
Meeteetse: 20 weeks (1989-91)
Natrona: 20 weeks (2011-13)
Tongue River: 20 weeks (1966-68)
Douglas: 19 weeks (2009-11)
Snake River: 19 weeks (2010-12)
Big Horn: 18 weeks (2018-19)
Glenrock: 18 weeks (2016-17)
Cheyenne Central: 18 weeks (1989-90)
Remainder of top 20…
Big Horn: 17 weeks (1985-87)
Kemmerer: 16 weeks (2007-08)
Rock Springs: 16 weeks (2001-03)
Laramie: 15 weeks (1969-70)
Riverton: 15 weeks (1998-99)
Big Horn: 14 weeks (2007-08)
Laramie: 14 weeks (1964-65)
Laramie: 14 weeks (1968-69)
Rocky Mountain: 14 weeks (1995-96)
Others with at least 10 consecutive weeks at No. 1…
Campbell County: 13 weeks (1997-99)
Lovell: 13 weeks (2011-12)
Sheridan: 13 weeks (2017-18)
Torrington: 13 weeks (1974-75)
Cheyenne Central: 12 weeks (1979-80)
Cokeville: 12 weeks (1996-97)
Cokeville: 12 weeks (2009-11)
Lovell: 12 weeks (1987-88)
Star Valley: 12 weeks (2016-17)
Star Valley: 12 weeks (2018-20)
Big Horn: 11 weeks (2003-04)
Dubois: 11 weeks (2012-13)
Laramie: 11 weeks (1960-61)
Laramie: 11 weeks (1962-63)
Midwest: 11 weeks (1979-80)
Powell: 11 weeks (2000-01)
Sheridan: 11 weeks (1986-87)
Thermopolis: 11 weeks (1992-93)
Tongue River: 11 weeks (1974-75)
Buffalo: 10 weeks (2004-05)
Cokeville: 10 weeks (1991-92)
Cokeville: 10 weeks (2014-15)
Meeteetse: 10 weeks (1987-88)
Meeteetse: 10 weeks (2015-16)
Natrona: 10 weeks (1963-64)
Natrona: 10 weeks (2010)
Rocky Mountain: 10 weeks (1992-93)
Southeast: 10 weeks (2007-08)
Southeast: 10 weeks (2020-21)

Got any questions about the polls? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it.


When I posted last week that weekly rankings for Wyoming high school football back to 1984 had been researched and published, I knew I would have lots of different questions I could answer with the new information.

This post is answering some of those.

Below, I have outlined answers to four different questions I immediately had: (1) Which team has spent the most consecutive weeks ranked in the top five? (2) Which team has spent the most consecutive weeks ranked No. 1? (3) Which season/classification had the most teams ranked No. 1 during the year? (4) Which season/classification had the most stability in a single season?

While some questions were limited to answers since 1984 only, some answers could be tracked back to the mid-1950s, when statewide polls began. I hope to publish weekly rankings from the 1950s through 1983 as soon as I think it’s in a state worthy of sharing publicly. It’s not there yet. 🙂

As for answers? Well, here you go:

Consecutive weeks

Cokeville had an amazing run of 194 consecutive polls in which they were ranked in the top five. That stretch ran for 23 years, from 1993 to 2015.

Sheridan had the second-longest run of consecutive polls ranked, with 114 in a row from 2009-20.

Since 1984, the top 10 streaks of being ranked somewhere in the top five are:

  • Cokeville: 194 weeks (1993-2015)
  • Sheridan: 114 weeks (2009-20)
  • Campbell County: 87 weeks (1996-2007)
  • Buffalo: 77 weeks (2003-11)
  • Cokeville: 77 weeks (1984-92)
  • Big Horn: 73 weeks (2012-20)
  • Lusk: 73 weeks (1994-2003)
  • Lovell: 70 weeks (1987-95)
  • Campbell County: 68 weeks (2010-16)
  • Lusk: 66 weeks (2008-15)

The longest active streak is Star Valley, which has been ranked in the last 63 polls back to 2015.

Meanwhile, Sheridan spent the most consecutive weeks at No. 1, going 23 polls between 1991 and 1993 ranked first.

The top 10 streaks of being ranked No. 1 since 1984 are:

  • Sheridan: 23 weeks (1991-93)
  • Cokeville: 21 weeks (2001-03)
  • Powell: 21 weeks (2012-14)
  • Meeteetse: 20 weeks (1989-91)
  • Natrona: 20 weeks (2011-13)
  • Douglas: 19 weeks (2009-11)
  • Snake River: 19 weeks (2010-12)
  • Big Horn: 18 weeks (2018-19)
  • Glenrock: 18 weeks (2016-17)
  • Cheyenne Central: 18 weeks (1989-90)

Most different teams ranked No. 1

The classification and season with the most variability was Class 3A in 1986. In that season, six different programs were ranked No. 1. While Evanston was the preseason No. 1 (and there was no poll prior to Week 2), Jackson was ranked first in Week 3, followed by Star Valley (Weeks 4-5), Glenrock (Week 6), Powell (Week 7), Torrington (Weeks 8-9) and Powell again (Week 10).

The fact that there was so much variability at the top in 3A that season was no surprise. In all, no team in 3A that season finished with fewer than three losses, but nine of the 12 programs in 3A finished with at least four victories. Jackson (6-4) beat Douglas (5-5, and never ranked No. 1) in the 3A title game that year.

No single classification in any other season has had six teams ranked No. 1, although six other seasons have had five teams ranked No. 1 in a single season. This happened most recently in 1996 in Class 4A. It also previously happened in Class AA (1966, both AP and UPI), Class A (1979, AP, and 1974, UPI) and Class B (1979, UPI).

Most stability

As noted in my first post about rankings, going wire-to-wire as No. 1 is not uncommon — 60 teams have done so since 1984 alone.

However, in one season we saw the top four teams go unchanged all season long, and it wasn’t that long ago.

In 2020, Southeast, Rocky Mountain, Lusk and Shoshoni held down the top four spots in Class 1A nine-man all season long, in order, never changing their spots. It’s the only time in Wyoming history that I can find where the top four teams remained in the same four spots all season long.

In fact, only one other time did the top three teams in a classification stay that way all season. That came in 1995, when the top three teams in Class 1A-Division I went Rocky Mountain, Lusk, Moorcroft, in that order in every poll. Eight other seasons have had the same two teams go 1-2 in every poll, most recently in Class 4A in 2017 with Sheridan and Natrona.

Got anything else you’re curious about with the weekly polls? Leave a comment and I’ll see if I can answer it.


Wyoming has never had four teams repeat as state champions in a single season, much less five.

The way 2022 is shaping up, though, it’s a distinct possibility that several of last year’s champs could end up as this year’s champs, too.

Most of the 2021 champions return loads of all-state choices, making them the early favorites in their respective classifications. Those numbers don’t always hold until the end of the following season — transfers, injuries and who knows what else will happen between now and November. But for now, here are the way-too-early top fives in each classification for 2022:

Class 4A
1. Natrona
: A strong group of seniors-to-be has been waiting for this year, and a 4A-high five first-team all-conference returners will help the Mustangs cash in on their potential.
2. Cheyenne East: Like Natrona, East also has five first-team all-conference players coming back in 2022, and a 4A high three all-state players returning will put the T-Birds in the mix immediately.
3. Sheridan: Every 4A discussion has to include the defending champs, who return someone no one else has in Gatorade POY/4A offensive player of the year RB Colson Coon.
4. Thunder Basin: The ‘Bolts get back a pair of first-team all-conference picks and should be competitive thanks to their always solid depth.
5. Cheyenne Central: The Indians had an off year in 2022 but should be bolstered by the return of four first-team all-conference selections.
Wild card: Rock Springs. The Tigers’ run to the 4A title game last year was a blast to watch. But can they do it again after graduating 11 first-team all-conference players and seven all-staters?

Class 3A
1. Cody
: Cody has six returning all-state players. The rest of Class 3A has four combined. That about sums it up… and it makes the Broncs the clear 3A favorites.
2. Douglas: The Bearcats lose a lot but get back four all-conference players, including their QB Jackson Hughes and a pair of key linebackers in Karson Ewing and Luke Skeen.
3. Star Valley: Outside of Cody, Star Valley is the only team in the 3A West to return any all-conference selections. That experience gives the Braves the early edge in chasing down Cody.
4. Buffalo: The Bison get back five all-conference players, most in the East, and WR Blake Bell is the only returning all-state receiver in 3A from 2021.
5. Lander: The Tigers return four all-conference selections and have experience returning in basically every area.
Wild cards: Jackson and Powell. Both of these programs have the ability to reload. That ability will be put to the test in a season where they combine for zero all-conference returners from 15 combined selections.

Class 2A
1. Lyman
: Much like Cody, Lyman has a big advantage in all-state returners. The two-time defending champion Eagles have three, while the rest of 2A has four combined.
2. Torrington: The Trailblazers return three all-conference players from a conference championship team — a good place to start.
3. Wheatland: The Bulldogs should be tough again with their three all-conference picks also coming back, but most of the big offensive weapons have graduated.
4. Cokeville: The Panthers look like one of the strongest teams in the West to challenge Lyman, with four returning all-conference players. But the transition to a new coach will be an adjustment.
5. Lovell: The 2021 runners-up lose a lot but return the Nichols twins to build around on both offense and defense.
Wild cards: Newcastle and Big Horn. Both the Dogies and Rams return three all-conference players, so big things could come from either team if everything lines up.

Class 1A nine-man
1. Shoshoni
: The defending champs return seven of their nine all-state players, experience that will be necessary in an absolutely stacked nine-man field in 2022.
2. Pine Bluffs: The Hornets return the bulk of their contributors and four all-state players, so they will be ready for any challenge that comes their way.
3. Rocky Mountain: The Grizzlies were runners-up last year and have five all-state players coming back — normally the recipe for a title run. But (see above) there’s a lot of competition for that.
4. Wind River: Last year’s Cinderellas return four of their five all-staters and are out to prove last year was no fluke. (Have we mentioned nine-man is gonna be crazy?)
5. Lusk: The Tigers are on the outside looking in right now, but they could be a surprise contender if their younger talent grows around the three all-conference returners.
Wild card: Lingle. The only team in nine-man to return every single one of its all-conference players, Lingle with its four key guys back should be a significantly improved team.

Class 1A six-man
1. Snake River
: The defending six-man champs return four all-state players, so they’re set up well for another deep playoff run and a shot at back-to-back titles.
2. Encampment: Last year’s runners-up get back a pair of all-staters in Quade Jordan and Ryan Miller and should contend in a deep South Conference.
3. Dubois: The Rams return two all-state choices (Wyatt Trembly and Ryan Wells) and have the experience to hold up in close games.
4. Hulett: Last year’s East champs return a couple of all-conference players and benefit from the confidence built by a dominating run through that conference last year.
5. Burlington: The Huskies don’t have a ton of decorated players back but should improve on last year’s mark with Seth Wardell leading the way.
Wild card: Midwest. No team in the rejuvenated North Conference returns as many all-conference players as Midwest does with its three, but none of them will be seniors in 2022.

Who do you have pegged as the teams to beat in 2022? Leave a comment and let’s get into this discussion way earlier than anyone ever should realistically.


I’ll be honest: During the season, one of the things I look forward to most between games is the weekly rankings.

I love them because they are a great gauge for perspective. Is that team as good as I think it is? What do others think? Are y’all seeing what I’m seeing?

I also love them because it gives every team in the state except for the five teams ranked No. 1 some motivation. You know, “everyone” is overlooking us, “no one” thought we could do it, etc. Motivation can come in many forms, but rankings are the most public. Without them, how could anyone ever feel slighted?

Most of all, though, I love them because they are basically one big way for coaches and media types to have a conversation about who they think are the best teams without ever having to talk to each other.

The problem with rankings is that they’re only good for a week. Friday comes along, a whole slew of games are played, and that new information is incorporated into a new set of votes for next week’s rankings.

However, looking at old rankings can give us lots of insight into a season. Who rallied after a poor start? Who was the team that everyone knew was coming and lived up to expectations? Who lived fast and died young?

Since I want to know the answers to those questions, I started tracking down every single weekly poll for Wyoming high school football, all the way back to the start of such statewide polls.

This research took several weeks of evenings and weekends, most of which was spent either on or the Casper Star-Tribune archive on To this point, research has taken me back to 1952, which I believe is the first year for a coordinated statewide effort at an actual poll and not just rankings put out by individual newspapers.

I’m ready to share a big chunk of that research today.

Starting today, weekly polls from 1984 to 2021 will be available on Polls for each year will be linked from the results by year page.



With 38 years of week-by-week rankings now part of — and with more to come — we can take a quick look at which teams have done what in the polls.

Most weeks ranked, most weeks at No. 1: It should be no surprise that Cokeville has spent the most weeks ranked (313) and the most weeks ranked No. 1 (141). With 345 weekly rankings available — and with not every week containing a ranking for the classification that Cokeville was in at the time — the Panthers have been ranked more than 90% of the time and have been No. 1 more than 40% of the time.

Not coincidentally, the same five programs that spent the most time both at No. 1 also spent the most time in the rankings, period.

Behind Cokeville in time in the No. 1 spot is Natrona at 94 weeks, Big Horn at 92, Star Valley at 86 and Sheridan at 80.

Behind Cokeville in total weeks ranked is Natrona (279), Sheridan (265), Big Horn (263) and Star Valley (259).

Cokeville is also the program that has spent the most weeks ranked at No. 2 with 82 weeks, tied with Lusk for the most time spent in the second slot.

Who’s been No. 1: In all, 38 teams since 2010 have been ranked No. 1 for at least one week, and since 1984 all but eight programs have failed to reach the top spot. Those who haven’t been ranked No. 1 since 1984 include:

  • Saratoga (last reached No. 1 in the final AP poll of 1982)
  • Pinedale (last reached No. 1 in the UPI poll in Week 9, 1981)
  • Newcastle (last reached No. 1 in the UPI poll in Week 5, 1980)
  • Rawlins (last reached No. 1 in the AP poll in Week 10, 1974)
  • Cheyenne South, Encampment, St. Stephens, Wyoming Indian (never ranked No. 1, according to currently researched polls)

Five more programs (Hulett, Kelly Walsh, Ten Sleep, Tongue River and Moorcroft) have been ranked No. 1 for just one week since 1984.

Of the teams that have been around since 1984, Wyoming Indian (15 weeks), Rawlins (29 weeks) and Saratoga (36 weeks) have spent the least amount of time ranked. Every other program that has existed since 1984 has spent at least 42 weeks ranked. Of the eight Class 4A programs that have existed since 1984, Kelly Walsh has the fewest weeks at No. 1 (one week) and the fewest total weeks in the polls (93 weeks).

No. 1 all season long: In all, 60 teams have gone wire-to-wire ranked No. 1, most recently Southeast and Farson in 2020. Of those 60, 41 eventually won a state championship.


At the end of this post is a table that notes the total weeks at No. 1, the total weeks ranked and the last time ranked No. 1 for each program.

Prior to 1984, two polls existed for most years — the Associated Press poll and the United Press International poll. Research is continuing on those, and I hope to share them, or at least what we can find, soon. Poll information from 1952 to 1983 is much more spotty, but I will share it all once I feel like it’s in a “shareable” state; right now, it’s not quite there yet.

Remember, weekly polls from each season from 1984-2021 are on the results by year page. More blog posts are coming, so keep your eyes open! I’m still exploring the current data, including figuring out who’s spent the most consecutive weeks ranked and the most consecutive weeks at No. 1.

My huge gratitude goes out to “Stat Rat” Jim Craig and his help for finding a few of the polls I couldn’t. Do a search for his name on this blog and you’ll see how helpful he has been for many, many years, and he’s also one of the key architects to the work posted on sister site Thanks again, good sir!

I’m always looking for new information I can post to What do you want to see next?


Weekly poll rankings, 1984-2021

TeamWeeks at No. 1Total weeks rankedLast ranked No. 1
Cokeville141313Playoffs 2017
Natrona94279Week 2 2019
Big Horn92263Playoffs 2019
Star Valley86259Week 1 2020
Sheridan80265Week 4 2021
Meeteetse66145Week 5 2021
Mountain View54217Week 8 2020
Southeast54218Preseason 2021
Campbell County51239Playoffs 2016
Powell49199Week 4 2020
Rocky Mountain46135Playoffs 1999
Buffalo46202Week 3 2019
Lovell42219Week 2 2020
Snake River39107Playoffs 2021
Glenrock37164Week 4 2018
Rock Springs36131Playoffs 2021
Torrington35169Preseason 2021
Lusk33229Week 2 2021
Jackson30144Week 2 2021
Big Piney30152Week 2 2007
Lander29112Week 8 2004
Thermopolis28105Week 5 2010
Kemmerer28120Playoffs 2008
Lyman28127Playoffs 2021
Cheyenne Central28154Week 6 2020
Guernsey27131Week 4 2015
Cody27185Playoffs 2021
Green River24143Week 6 2016
Wheatland22145Week 3 2021
Douglas22188Playoffs 2014
Farson2179Playoffs 2020
Laramie21124Week 8 1996
Burlington21163Playoffs 2008
Dubois20106Week 4 2013
Riverton20117Week 7 2014
Greybull17121Week 5 1991
Shoshoni15121Week 5 2021
Worland1493Playoffs 2003
Midwest13132Week 3 2010
Thunder Basin1257Week 1 2021
Riverside1276Week 3 2007
Kaycee1289Playoffs 2017
Upton-Sundance1173Playoffs 2016
Evanston11117Week 5 2007
Cheyenne East11182Preseason 2021
Pine Bluffs9101Playoffs 2021
Sundance886Week 2 2006
Wright762Week 4 2005
Lingle786Week 7 2015
Upton7106Week 2 2006
Wind River544Preseason 1998
Burns363Playoffs 2013
Hanna266Week 5 2000
Moorcroft154Preseason 1997
Tongue River169Preseason 2007
Ten Sleep191Week 4 1987
Kelly Walsh193Week 4 2006
Hulett193Week 6 1994
Rock River00Never
St. Stephens00Never
St. Mary's/Seton05Never
Cheyenne South07Never
Wyoming Indian015Never
Rawlins029Week 10 1974
Saratoga036Playoffs 1982
Pinedale042Week 9 1981
Newcastle043Week 5 1980

Note: Post updated 5:49 p.m. Jan. 18, 2022, to reflect Newcastle’s last No. 1 ranking in 1980.

It’s way too early for this. That’s never stopped us before. Let’s take a look at 2019’s top five teams in each class, way too early before it’s practical to do so:

Class 4A
1. Thunder Basin: The state’s most dynamic offensive duo will likely be on Gillette’s south side in 2019, with quarterback Mason Hamilton (4A’s top passer last year) and wideout Blaine Allen (4A’s top receiver last year) ready to lead the ‘Bolts to unprecedented heights in 2019. The lines lost several key players, though.
2. Natrona: Running back Dante Wallace highlights a senior class that’s done a lot of winning, including last year’s state title. The Mustangs will be tough to stop with a balanced group of players coming back.
3. Cheyenne East: Class 4A’s most diverse offense in 2019 may belong to the Thunderbirds. Between seniors Christian Anderton and Chance Aumiller and junior Graedyn Buell, East will present troubles for any opposing defense.
4. Sheridan: The Broncs only return one all-state player, senior Garrett Coon, but few programs rebuild as efficiently as Sheridan does. Count on Sheridan being in the championship chase again.
5. Cheyenne Central: New coach Mike Apodaca took some lumps in his first year at Central, but the Indians showed great potential at times. With three returning all-conference players, the Indians return a solid chunk of contributors that could make Central a threat.
Dark horse: Laramie. The Plainsmen were a solid five seed in 4A last year but need to replace a good group of seniors. If that happens as efficiently as coach Clint Reed hopes, Laramie could be a challenger again.

Class 3A
1. Star Valley: By accident or by design, the Braves’ juniors got a ton of experience last year. Five all-state players will be back this fall, including Super 25 pick Chase Merrell and three starting linemen. That will put Star Valley in perfect position to repeat.
2. Cody: The Broncs get back four all-state selections, second only to Star Valley, as well as six total all-conference picks. RB Charlie Beaudrie will be tough to stop, and lineman Keith Conner was a Super 25 pick.
3. Jackson: Jeydon Cox — who broke the 2,000-yard barrier last season — will probably be the most exciting running back in the state next year. But he can’t do it alone. The Broncs lose a big chunk of contributors but should have enough back to prove last year was no fluke.
4. Douglas: I like what the Bearcats have coming back next fall, and it starts with an experienced all-state quarterback in A.J. Yeaman. There are some other holes to fill, but the Bearcats should be competitive.
5. Torrington: The Trailblazers lost a huge senior class, so staying in the title hunt will be challenging. However, they do return a pair of all-conference linemen in seniors Corbin Harris and Tyler Schaub, and that’s a good place to start.
Dark horse: Lander. In a sentence: Don’t discount coach John Scott’s ability to quickly build a competitive program.

Class 2A
1. Mountain View: Almost all of the Buffalos’ key contributors are back in 2019. This includes four two-time all-state choices (Briggin Bluemel, Hunter Gross, Kimball Madsen and Braeden Walk). No team in 2A can match that.
2. Buffalo: The defending 2A champs aren’t going anywhere. The Bison have five returning all-state choices, tied with Mountain View for the most in the class — and those returners aren’t concentrated in any one specific area.
3. Thermopolis: After a couple years of building, the Bobcats may be ready for a breakthrough in 2019. Junior Logan Cole has proven to be a dependable running back, and he’s got a good number of key contributors surrounding him.
4. Greybull: At a glance, the 2A West seems like it doesn’t have the depth it did in 2018. However, the Buffaloes should remain competitive, with all-conference picks Ben Kraft and Felipe Gaytan leading the way.
5. Burns: The Broncs have been leading up to a breakthrough in 2019. Boe Clayson is a dynamic running back, and an experienced group of seniors will help Burns into the playoff chase.
Dark horse: Glenrock. Yeah, it seems weird to see the Herders outside the top five. But with a new head coach and a new set of leaders needing to emerge on both offense and defense, Glenrock is on the outside for now. If the program can preserve its momentum under a new coach, Glenrock should continue to be a winner.

Class 1A 11-man
1. Big Horn: Yes, the Rams lose one of the best senior classes to ever play at this level. At the same time, they return six all-state choices, more than any other program in 1A, and they’ve got momentum and confidence. A repeat will be tough, but this group has that ability.
2. Cokeville: The Panthers do lose eight all-state choices, but they also return five all-conference picks. They absolutely obliterated every other team in the West last year. And no one — no one — reloads like Cokeville reloads.
3. Upton-Sundance: All-stater Jayden Caylor and all-conference pick Kye Taylor have to lead the task of carrying on the Patriots’ tradition. There’s work to do, but U-S has depth and has shown throughout the history of its co-op that it can get players to step up when needed.
4. Pine Bluffs: Brian Steger, an all-state pick, and Donte Jacobsen, an all-conference selection, will be the leaders on a less-experienced but still dangerous Hornet team. They’ll need to build some depth, but if that can happen quickly, they’ll be in the hunt come November.
5. Lusk: The Tigers return four all-conference choices, second to Big Horn in the East, and junior Drake Lamp and senior Damien Molzahn will create a backfield duo most 1A teams would envy.
Dark horse: Rocky Mountain. The Grizzlies had seven all-conference choices in 2018: one senior, five sophomores and a freshman. If Rocky’s youth can prove itself against tougher competition, it could be the team to challenge Cokeville in the West.

Class 1A six-man
1. Hanna: Twins Connor and Shane McGraw are just the starting point for the Miners, who return five all-conference choices and are poised to build on last year’s unbeaten regular season with some postseason victories this time.
2. Snake River: The Rattlers were really competitive last season despite having a senior class small enough to fit on a motorcycle. Riggen Myers provides dynamism, and a host of others from what will be a deep senior class will make Snake River a title threat.
3. Meeteetse: This year’s deep senior class will be gone, but the Longhorns still return enough depth to stay competitive. That charge will be led by a pair of all-conference picks, Asa Eldredge and Kaden Redding.
4. Farson: Ready to play a game of “Who’s that”? The Pronghorns’ senior class will be pretty thin in 2019, but its upcoming junior class is deep and ready to fill the spots vacated by this year’s graduating class.
5. Burlington: Senior Jarom Davidson will be the lone all-conference holdover from last year’s runner-up squad, so the Huskies have some clear rebuilding to do. But the 2018 season should give the program momentum.
Dark horse: Guernsey. The Vikings return three all-conference choices (seniors Alex Delgado, Jeremy Hartt and Justin Malcolm), and all three were key contributors on defense. If the defense can hold up early, the offense could come around late and help the Vikings win in the postseason.

What do you think? Who’s ready for a breakout season in 2019? Which teams are too low? Leave a comment and let’s discuss what might be on the way by the time the 2019 season starts.


Here’s a quick look at broad playoff scenarios entering Week 7 of the 2018 Wyoming high school football season:

Class 4A
In: Cheyenne East, Natrona, Thunder Basin, Sheridan, Laramie.
Neither in nor out: Rock Springs, Cheyenne Central, Kelly Walsh, Cheyenne South, Gillette.
Out: No one.
Can the top seed be decided this week? HAHAHAHAHAHA no. There’s WAY too many scenarios possibly happening to make this a reality in Week 7.

The key game for seeding in the lower half keeps looking like the South-Central matchup in Week 8. The top half, meanwhile, looks like it’s going to end with a coin flip deciding the top three seeds. There’s parity, but it’s split in two.

Class 3A East
In: Torrington.
Neither in nor out: Douglas, Lander, Worland, Riverton.
Out: Rawlins.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Yep. Torrington can earn the top seed by beating Worland in Week 7.

Even if Rawlins wins its final two games, the Outlaws would tie with teams they’ve already lost to, so they’re out. Riverton still has a wide outside chance to make it, but the Wolverines would need to pull an upset over Douglas in Week 8 and get some help (not to mention beating Rawlins next week.

Class 3A West
In: Star Valley.
Neither in nor out: Evanston, Cody, Jackson, Powell, Green River.
Out: No one.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Yep. Star Valley can wrap up the No. 1 seed if it beats Cody and if Jackson beats Evanston.

Powell and Green River are both on the outside looking in, and each needs to win next week (against each other) to stay in consideration. The top is messy, though, as an “upset” in any of the remaining games between the top four teams (Star Valley faces Evanston and Cody and Evanston faces Jackson in the final two weeks) could make this a mess.

Class 2A East
In: Buffalo.
Neither in nor out: Glenrock, Wheatland, Thermopolis, Burns, Moorcroft, Newcastle.
Out: No one.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Actually, this one’s already been decided. Buffalo is the No. 1 seed.

Newcastle is the longest of the long shots, needing a lot to go right to keep hope alive. Glenrock has the best chance at the No. 2 seed and can wrap that up by beating Thermopolis this week. And Wheatland can secure the No. 3 seed by beating Moorcroft this week (and maybe move up to No. 2 if some wild things go down).

Class 2A West
In: Mountain View.
Neither in nor out: Greybull, Big Piney, Kemmerer, Pinedale, Lyman, Lovell.
Out: No one.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Yep. Mountain View wins the conference with a victory against Kemmerer combined with a Greybull loss to Lyman.

In between Mountain View at 4-0 and Lovell at 0-4, this whole conference is just a dang mess. I don’t even want to think about it until Week 8 is done, and then I’ll break out my tiebreaking guidelines.

Class 1A 11-man East
In: Big Horn, Upton-Sundance.
Neither in nor out: Pine Bluffs, Lusk, Wright, Tongue River, Southeast.
Out: No one.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Yep. Big Horn will be the top seed with a victory against Lusk this week.

This one could get either really messy or really simple really fast. Really. Big Horn and Upton-Sundance are in, and the game between Upton-Sundance and Pine Bluffs this week will help sort out the second and third seeds. After that, it’s a chase for No. 4, with Lusk, Wright and Tongue River (and barely Southeast) all going after that final playoff slot.

Class 1A 11-man West
In: Cokeville, Wind River, Shoshoni.
Neither in nor out: Rocky Mountain, Wyoming Indian.
Out: No one (except Saratoga, who’s ineligible).
Can the top seed be decided this week? Nope. That’s a Week 8 discussion.

Pretty simple here: The Cokeville-Wind River game in Week 8 will likely decide 1 and 2. Shoshoni’s probably 3. The winner of Rocky Mountain-Wyoming Indian in Week 8 is likely 4. The only way that isn’t the case is if Rocky upsets Wind River this week.

Class 1A six-man East
In: Hanna, Kaycee.
Neither in nor out: Guernsey, NSI, Lingle, Hulett.
Out: Midwest.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Yep, in a couple ways. Kaycee can win the conference outright with a victory against Hanna. Hanna can win the conference with a victory AND a Guernsey loss to Lingle.

There’s a weird scenario where Guernsey, NSI and either Lingle or Hulett could tie for the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Meanwhile, Hanna hosts Kaycee this week, with Guernsey lurking to potentially force a three-way tie in Week 8 (or potentially win the conference outright) if Hanna wins in Week 7.

Class 1A six-man West
In: Farson, Meeteetse, Snake River.
Neither in nor out: Burlington, St. Stephens.
Out: Riverside (ineligible), Dubois.
Can the top seed be decided this week? Yep. Farson wins the No. 1 seed with a victory against Burlington in Week 7.

St. Stephens is the team on the outside looking in right now, needing two victories and two Burlington losses to sneak into the fourth spot. Farson is the likely top seed, with Meeteetse needing only to beat winless Dubois this week to secure the No. 2 seed. Snake River’s in as the third seed if it beats Dubois in Week 8.

Wanna see the standings for yourself? Click here.

Updated at 4:44 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, to reflect updated Class 1A six-man West possibilities after Saturday’s game between Meeteetse and Riverside finished.


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