Four schools will change classifications in football and two others have filed opt-up petitions with the Wyoming High School Activities Association to remain in their current class for the 2024-25 seasons.

Based on projected enrollments for the next two school years, Wyoming’s high school football conference and classification alignment will shift some schools into new classifications.

WHSAA Commissioner Trevor Wilson said this week via email that schools changing classifications include Torrington (from 2A to 3A), Worland (from 3A to 2A), Moorcroft (from 1A nine-man to 2A) and Riverside (from 1A nine-man to 1A six-man).

Conference alignments for 2024 and 2025, as provided by Wilson, are scheduled to be:

Class 4A (10 teams): Campbell County, Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Cheyenne South, Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Natrona, Rock Springs, Sheridan, Thunder Basin.

Class 3A East (6): Buffalo, Douglas, Lander, Rawlins, Riverton, Torrington.
Class 3A West (6): Cody, Evanston, Green River, Jackson, Powell, Star Valley.

Class 2A East (8): Big Horn, Burns, Glenrock, Moorcroft, Newcastle, Tongue River, Upton-Sundance, Wheatland.
Class 2A West (8): Cokeville, Kemmerer, Lovell, Lyman, Mountain View, Pinedale, Thermopolis, Worland.

Class 1A nine-man East (7): Guernsey, Lingle, Lusk, Pine Bluffs, Saratoga, Southeast, Wright.
Class 1A nine-man West (6): Big Piney, Greybull, Rocky Mountain, Shoshoni, Wind River, Wyoming Indian.

Class 1A six-man North (7): Burlington, Hulett, Kaycee, Meeteetse, Midwest, Riverside, Ten Sleep.
Class 1A six-man South (6): Casper Christian, Dubois, Encampment, Farson, Hanna, Snake River.

St. Stephens will play a JV schedule at either the six-man or nine-man levels, Wilson said.

Schools opting up include Cokeville (from 1A six-man to 2A) and Guernsey (from 1A six-man to 1A nine-man). No schools have chosen to opt down, meaning all programs are playoff-eligible.

In other sports — which use a different classification system that uses four classes instead of five — Wilson said no schools have filed with the WHSAA to opt up or opt down.

Four WHSAA district meetings are scheduled for the next two weeks. The next WHSAA board of directors meeting is Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Casper.


Enrollment numbers to be used to classify schools for Wyoming high school sports were recently released to schools, giving an indication of which classification schools will be in for sports in the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years.

For most sports, Wyoming will use a new system for classifying its schools starting in the fall of 2024. Football will keep its existing structure, but some programs may switch classifications depending on enrollment.

Enrollment figures for the next round of reclassification, as provided by WHSAA Commissioner Trevor Wilson, are as follows:

1. Kelly Walsh, 2,035
2. Natrona, 1,886
3. Cheyenne East, 1,748
4. Rock Springs, 1,548
5. Cheyenne Central, 1,416
6. Campbell County, 1,354
7. Cheyenne South, 1,331
8. Thunder Basin, 1,297
9. Sheridan, 1,140
10. Laramie, 1,127
11. Star Valley, 919
12. Jackson, 916
13. Evanston, 827
14. Green River, 776
15. Riverton, 763
16. Cody, 630
17. Lander, 592
18. Powell, 558
19. Douglas, 510
20. Rawlins, 455
21. Torrington, 356
22. Buffalo, 352
23. Pinedale, 349
24. Worland, 343
25. Wheatland, 263
26. Lovell, 239
27. Mountain View, 238
28. Lyman, 237
29. Newcastle, 234
30. Burns, 224
31. Glenrock, 215
32. Moorcroft, 203
33. Thermopolis, 192
34. Kemmerer, 188
35. Tongue River, 165
36. Big Horn, 147
37. Big Piney, 145
38. Wyoming Indian, 138
39. Greybull, 138
40. Pine Bluffs, 132
41. Shoshoni, 130
42. Sundance, 127
43. Rocky Mountain, 127
44. Fort Washakie, 121
45. Wright, 119
46. Wind River, 117
47. Arapahoe Charter, 107
48. Lingle, 100
49. Saratoga, 98
50. St. Stephens, 92
51. Lusk, 85
52. Southeast, 82
53. Upton, 77
54. Riverside, 76
55. Cokeville, 68
56. Burlington, 65
57. Hanna, 64
58. Guernsey, 63
59. Midwest, 61
60. Snake River, 58
61. Dubois, 54
62. Farson, 54
63. Hulett, 43
64. Ten Sleep, 40
65. Encampment, 34
66. Rock River, 34
67. Kaycee, 31
68. Meeteetse, 30
69. Arvada-Clearmont, 26

For all sports except football, reclassification returns to hard enrollment cutoffs for the 2024-25 school year, thanks to a WHSAA vote earlier this year. Schools with 700 or more students will be in 4A, from 210 to 699 in 3A, from 110 to 209 in 2A, and remaining schools in 1A. Classifications will be the same for all sports except football, eliminating the structure of varying classifications for each sport. With those cutoffs, classifications for all other sports will be as follows starting in 2024-25:

Class 4A (15 schools): Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Cheyenne East, Rock Springs, Cheyenne Central, Campbell County, Cheyenne South, Thunder Basin, Sheridan, Laramie, Star Valley, Jackson, Evanston, Green River, Riverton.

Class 3A (16 schools): Cody, Lander, Powell, Douglas, Rawlins, Torrington, Buffalo, Pinedale, Worland, Wheatland, Lovell, Mountain View, Lyman, Newcastle, Burns, Glenrock.

Class 2A (14 schools): Moorcroft, Thermopolis, Kemmerer, Tongue River, Big Horn, Big Piney, Wyoming Indian, Greybull, Pine Bluffs, Shoshoni, Sundance, Rocky Mountain, Wright, Wind River.

Class 1A (22 schools): Lingle, Saratoga, St. Stephens, Lusk, Southeast, Upton, Riverside, Cokeville, Burlington, Hanna, Guernsey, Midwest, Snake River, Dubois, Farson, Hulett, Ten Sleep, Encampment, Rock River, Kaycee, Meeteetse, Arvada-Clearmont.

Conference alignments will be set by participating schools.

FOOTBALL: Football varies from other sports in its reclassification procedures as it places a certain number of schools in each classification as opposed to using an enrollment cutoff number. Currently, the top 10 schools are classified as 4A, the next 12 (schools 11-22) are 3A, the next 14 (schools 23-36) are 2A, the next 14 (schools 37-50) are 1A nine-man and the remaining schools are 1A six-man.

The presence of Fort Washakie (ranked No. 44) and Arapahoe Charter (ranked No. 47) will not affect football reclassification. Fort Washakie and Arapahoe Charter typically don’t offer varsity-level team sports. In the scenarios above, they have been removed from the rankings, thus adjusting the cutoff for 1A-9/1A-6 football to school No. 52 as opposed to No. 50.

In 2024-25 and 2025-26, Torrington is scheduled to move from 2A to 3A, while Worland is scheduled to move from 3A to 2A. Guernsey will also be scheduled to move from 1A-9 to 1A-6.

Other scheduled moves are more difficult to project, as numerous schools in 2A, 1A nine-man and 1A six-man opt either up or down to fit into their preferred classification.

Current schools opting up or down include Moorcroft, Wyoming Indian, Big Horn, Cokeville, Saratoga and Riverside. However, Wyoming Indian (1A-9), Saratoga (1A-9) and Big Horn (2A) will no longer have to opt up or down, as their enrollment now places them into the classifications in which they were already playing. Wyoming Indian will be playoff-eligible with this shift.

Moorcroft, Riverside and Cokeville will have choices to make, though. Moorcroft currently opts down to 1A-9 but will continue to be a 2A school by enrollment. Riverside also presently opts up to 1A-9 despite being classified as 1A-6 by enrollment, and the Rebels will remain below the nine-man cutoff. Cokeville will likely opt up to remain in 2A despite being a 1A-6 school in enrollment, as they have done the past few years.

Upton-Sundance will also remain in 2A in their co-op agreement.

Schools scheduled to move — Torrington, Worland and Guernsey — could also choose to opt up or down, as could any other school regardless of any changes to classification.

All opt-up or opt-down proposals must be approved by the WHSAA board of directors. Wilson said via email last week that opt-up and opt-down requests won’t be finished until the end of September.

Class 4A football will remain unchanged.

Casper Christian is not included in the above projections, since its enrollments were not included in ADM figures. Casper Christian offers six-man football as its only varsity sport at this point.

The first of four WHSAA quarterly regional meetings is scheduled for Wednesday in Wheatland. The fall WHSAA board of directors meeting will be Sept. 26-27 in Casper.


The thought of reclassification is a biennial stressor for some schools, a complete nonstarter for others.

Through more than 70 years of changes, some schools have changed classifications so many times that they’re about ready to take off their socks to keep the count going. Others are drawing their Thanksgiving hand turkeys with no feathers, because they haven’t even had to start counting.

Same old song and dance

A total of 19 schools have been more or less unaffected by (non-football) reclassification over the past 70 years or so. These include a bevy of 4A schools: Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Laramie, Natrona, Rock Springs, Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin and Sheridan. Also, 3A schools Buffalo, Douglas, Newcastle and Wheatland; 2A schools Tongue River, Rocky Mountain, Wind River and Wyoming Indian; and 1A schools Farson, Snake River and Ten Sleep have been unaffected by reclassification.

When Class C was restructured — and other classifications followed suit — in 1974, it gave permanent homes to several other schools, including C/1A-ever-since schools Chugwater, Burlington, Kaycee, Arvada-Clearmont, Cokeville, Encampment, Glendo and Rock River. Similarly, Torrington (3A) and Campbell County (4A) found homes prior to the 1974 shakeup, and Green River (4A) shortly after, and have been largely unaffected by (non-football) reclassification over the past 50 years.

The move from the AA-A-B-C to the 4A-3A-2A-1A setup in 1983 moved a few schools around into more settled classifications; six schools (3A Powell and Worland, 2A Greybull and Lusk and 1A Meeteetse and Midwest) have remained in their classifications since that shakeup.

The last big change to classification of programs that affected some of the more popular four-class sports like basketball, volleyball and track came in 1990, when Evanston moved to 4A and Lander and Rawlins moved into 3A. Shortly before that, Wright and Sundance found permanent homes in 2A.

Together, those 41 schools — almost two-thirds of Wyoming’s high schools — have remained unaffected by (non-football) reclassification since 1990.

Living on the edge

However, the 28 other schools currently participating in those sports have all been reclassified at least once since biannual reclassification started in 1991. In those in 32 years and 16 reclassification cycles, Lingle has had to change classifications the most, alternating between Class 2A and Class 1A nine times.

Yep — with nine changes in 16 opportunities, Lingle changes classifications more often than it doesn’t.

Other frequent movers straddle the 2A/1A line right along with Lingle, with one exception: Lovell. Both Lovell (3A/2A) and Southeast (2A/1A) have changed classifications six times in that span, and Upton (2A/1A) has changed five.

Schools with four changes since 1991 are Dubois, Shoshoni, Lyman and Thermopolis, three are Big Horn, Hanna, Guernsey-Sunrise, Saratoga, Star Valley and Kemmerer, two each are Pine Bluffs, Hulett, Mountain View, Cody, Riverton, Big Piney, Burns and Glenrock, and one are Pinedale, Cheyenne South, Jackson, St. Stephens, Moorcroft and Riverside.

The past few years

The reclassification changes mentioned are for the four-classification sports: basketball, volleyball and track. Starting in the 2018 school year, though, the WHSAA started using different classification systems for different sports, with cross country, golf, wrestling and swimming using one system; soccer using another; and indoor track yet another. Over the past three reclassification cycles, several schools have flipped across either the 4A/3A line or the 3A/2A line in a variety of sports.

That will end starting in the fall of 2024, as the WHSAA’s latest decision standardizes classifications in all sports except football.

What might be coming

The new enrollment cutoffs of 700 for Class 4A, 210 for Class 3A and 110 for Class 2A could send some schools into new classifications for the 2024-25 school year. Moreover, the WHSAA board’s decision to standardize classification across all sports except football will mean some schools will change classifications in some sports but not in others — at least the first time through the process.

If current enrollments hold, 13 schools will change classifications in at least one sport:

  • Star Valley, Jackson: Up to 4A in indoor track
  • Evanston, Riverton: Up to 4A in cross country, golf, wrestling, swimming and indoor track
  • Green River: Up to 4A in soccer, cross country, golf, wrestling, swimming and indoor track
  • Cody: Down to 3A in basketball, volleyball and track
  • Lovell, Glenrock, Thermopolis: Up to 3A in cross country, golf and wrestling
  • Moorcroft: Down to 2A in basketball, volleyball and track
  • Lingle, St. Stephens, Lusk: Down to 1A in basketball, volleyball and track

Classifications will TENTATIVELY be comprised of:

  • Class 4A (15 schools): Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Cheyenne East, Rock Springs, Cheyenne South, Cheyenne Central, Thunder Basin, Campbell County, Laramie, Sheridan, Star Valley, Jackson, Evanston, Riverton, Green River.
  • Class 3A (16 schools): Cody, Lander, Powell, Douglas, Rawlins, Worland, Buffalo, Pinedale, Torrington, Wheatland, Mountain View, Newcastle, Lyman, Lovell, Glenrock, Thermopolis.
  • Class 2A (14 schools): Moorcroft, Kemmerer, Burns, Tongue River, Wyoming Indian, Big Piney, Wright, Big Horn, Wind River, Greybull, Shoshoni, Pine Bluffs, Rocky Mountain, Sundance.
  • Class 1A (24 schools): Lingle, St. Stephens, Lusk, Southeast, Guernsey, Burlington, Saratoga, Upton, Riverside, Cokeville, Snake River, Hanna, Hulett, Midwest, Farson, Dubois, Meeteetse, Kaycee, Encampment, Ten Sleep, Arvada-Clearmont, Rock River, Glendo, Chugwater. (Glendo and Chugwater have not regularly fielded team sports in several years.)

Conference alignments will be set by participating schools.

The WHSAA will receive enrollments from schools over the summer and share them with schools prior to the first of four district meetings in September.


Headline from the April 18, 1974, Casper Star-Tribune, reads: "Prep realignment is a sticky issue."

The year 1974 was a good one for dismantling broken systems.

So when the Wyoming High School Activities Association focused on its system — the one where Rock River and all 25 of its high school students was opting up to Class B — the group’s board of control decided to fix it.

Rock River’s plight was a small piece of a fracturing system. By 1974, only eight schools remained in Class C, now Class 1A.

In April of that year, the WHSAA board considered numerous changes it could make to its classification system to make Class C viable again, or perhaps eliminate it altogether in drawing up something new.

The proposals ran the gamut of possible solutions:

  • One proposal would have eliminated Class C, with all C schools moving to Class B, giving Wyoming three classifications for the bulk of its sports.
  • Another proposal called for a return to a two-classification system, with the dividing line between Class A and Class B schools set at 200 students, thereby eliminating both Class AA and Class C.
  • Yet another proposal called for even splits of 18 teams for each of the top three classifications of AA, A and B, with the remaining 19 teams in C.
  • The final proposal would have split Wyoming into five classifications, with dividing lines between the classifications set at 600, 250, 120 and 60 students.

Of the four proposals before it, though, the board selected none of them.

Instead, the WHSAA board went with a fifth option, the one that ultimately saved small-school sports in Wyoming.

That option wasn’t a “proposal” at all. The WHSAA simply stuck with the system it had, with one caveat: It stopped accepting requests from Class C schools to play in Class B. It also canceled the existing opt-ups, like Rock River’s. That, coupled with slight adjustments in the enrollment cutoffs for each classification (including moving the boundary for Class C from 50 to 75 students), boosted the Class C numbers from eight schools to 20.

The road to that decision was a bumpy one, the result of one of the most turbulent times for small Wyoming high schools.

The root of “opting up” came about throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s as Class C schools struggled with conference schedules. Schools in Wyoming’s four districts — the northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest quadrants — worked hard to maintain full conference schedules as seven small Wyoming schools closed between 1966 and 1971 (Hawk Springs/Veteran/Yoder to form Goshen Hole; Morton/Pavillion to form Wind River; Hillsdale; Carpenter; Fort Laramie; and Arvada).

As those smaller schools closed, though, Class C schedules got harder and harder to fill. Class B, with more schools and more stability, became an attractive option. Moreover, schools that had lost enrollment and could have moved to Class C did not so they could maintain rivalries and full schedules.

The tipping point came in 1973, when a trio of tiny schools — Encampment, Medicine Bow and Rock River — all opted up to Class B together.

That’s how Wyoming reached the peak of reclassification ridiculiousness prior to the 1973-74 school year: Rock River, with its 25 students in grades 9-12, a Class B school.

Even so, entering that April 1974 meeting, the path forward was unclear, with different factions of coaches and administrators each proposing their solution as the right answer.

Rather than tear it all down and rebuild, though, the WHSAA simply reinforced its existing structure. That, coupled with small adjustments in enrollment boundaries, brought some equity to each classification.

It worked. Class C schools could still play Class B competition in the regular season, and regional tournaments in both classifications became more competitive across the board. The four-classification system was saved.

Perhaps the enduring sign of the importance of this decision is its longevity. Over the past 49 years, the four-class system has never really been challenged. And the WHSAA’s recent reclassification decision not only reinforced it, it returned Wyoming’s high schools to the system that was saved in 1974. The direct line between 1974 and 2024 is clear, as the state retains four classifications with only small adjustments to the enrollment boundaries for each classification.

What’s old is new again.

At least this time, Rock River didn’t have to become a 2A school to instigate it.

Up next: A look at who’s been affected the most, and the least, by reclassification.



That single word, maybe more than any other, has done more to shape the face of Wyoming high school sports.

Reclassification answers one of the most important questions any team will ever have in pursuit of a championship: Who’s my competition?

Where a school lands in this process dictates schedules, travel, rivalries… and a school that falls on the unfavorable side of the line could be destined for the end of a promising opportunity, or the favorable side of the line an unexpected chance.

It’s no surprise, then, that the reclassification process itself has always been the subject of debate, and change, for the Wyoming High School Activities Association.

At close to a dozen times, the process of how schools are classified has undergone significant changes, driven by changes across the state and the desires, or whims, of the schools involved in the process.

It all starts, though, with a concept that’s easy to grasp but difficult to account for:

Size matters.

Prior to 1940, all sports in Wyoming were in one classification. However, by 1940, the need for a large-school and small-school division led to the first set of classification rules for basketball. Track and field followed suit in 1951; later that year, Wyoming split into the four-classification system we know today for sports like basketball, volleyball and track.

Since then, the largest overhauls to Wyoming’s classification system came in 1974, 1983, 1990 and 2018. And at the end of April, the WHSAA added a new decision to its history of reclassification decisions, affecting classification makeup in significant ways. Each overhaul, though, came with its own set of new rules, sending schools into different classifications and determining how changes would be made.

Here are some of the highlights of Wyoming’s reclassification journey.

  • 1940: For the first time, classifications are introduced. The WHSAA splits from one classification to two for basketball: A and B. Class A schools had an enrollment of more than 100; Class B schools were 100 or below.
  • 1951: In its next big shift, the WHSAA splits from two classifications to four: AA, A, B and C (B/C stayed combined for track). Class A schools had an enrollment of larger than 500; Class A schools were between 150 and 500; Class B schools were between 51 and 149; Class C schools were 50 or below. (In October of this year, the WHSAA officially changes from the Wyoming High School Athletic Association to the Wyoming High School Activities Association to encompass its expanding scope.)
  • 1953: Class A and Class AA are combined for basketball, but not for track and field. A Class C track and field classification starts a few years later, in 1957.
  • 1962: Class A and Class AA are split again for basketball. The split for Class AA and Class A schools is set at 500 students.
  • 1974: With Class C shrinking as schools opted up to Class B to fill out schedules and play traditional rivals, the WHSAA — instead of eliminating Class C as suggested in a separate proposal — voted in April 1974 to expand Class C’s enrollment limits, changing other classifications in the process. Class AA was set as schools with 600 students or more; Class A schools were set between 200 and 600 students; Class B schools were set from 75 to 200 students; Class C schools were 75 or smaller.
  • 1983: Classes are changed from AA/A/B/C to 4A/3A/2A/1A, and the enrollment dividers change as well. Class 4A’s boundary is moved to 650 students; Class 3A is between 250 and 649; Class 2A is between 100 and 249; Class 1A is 99 or smaller.
  • 1988: The WHSAA juggles enrollment cutoffs slightly, making 600 the cutoff for Class 4A, 274 the cutoff for 3A and 101 the cutoff for 2A. Representatives from several schools, including Kemmerer and Lander, either challenge or testify in hearings against the changes.
  • 1990: For the first time, the WHSAA tries to split classifications based on a set number of schools in a classification rather than a strict enrollment cutoff. The WHSAA adopts a 12-16-20-24 structure, with the 12 largest schools in 4A, the next 16 in 3A, the next 20 in 2A and the remaining 24 in 1A. Also for the first time, football classifications are set differently from other sports as the state expands to five classifications for that sport. Football classification has remained separate from other sports ever since.
  • 1991: After vacillating between annual, every-two-years and every-three-years reclassification, the WHSAA sets a once-every-two-years schedule for reclassifying schools.
  • 2013: The WHSAA delayed reclassification for one year while debating changes to classifications. However, no significant changes passed the board.
  • 2018: For the first time in almost two decades, the WHSAA makes significant changes to classification structure, creating separate structures for a variety of sports. Basketball, volleyball and track changed from a 12-16-20 format to a 16-16-16 format; soccer changed from a 12-team 4A to a 14-team 4A; wrestling, cross country, golf and swimming remained unchanged, with 12 teams in 4A, 16 in 3A and the remainder in 2A (except for swimming, which has no 2A).
  • 2023: The WHSAA board voted to return to enrollment cutoffs rather than school number cutoffs for all sports and to standardize classifications across all sports except football, similar to before 2018. In the new guidelines, set to be used for the first time in the 2024-25 school year, schools above 700 students will be 4A; schools from 210 to 699 will be 3A; from 110 to 209 will be 2A; and smaller than 110 will be 1A.


Up next: A closer look at the 1974 decision that saved Wyoming’s four-class structure.


With the release of enrollment figures to be used in the next reclassification cycle in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, eight football programs set to be reclassified have decisions to make.

Most schools have decided to stay where they are.

When contacted this week by, coaches and activities directors with five of the eight programs said they will either opt up or down to stay in their current classification.

So far, just two football programs have indicated a change, with both Big Piney and Guernsey making the move to Class 1A nine-man in 2022. Riverside is still considering its decision.

The five schools that will either opt up or down to stay in their current classification are:

Big Horn: The Rams will continue to opt up to Class 2A, AD Mike Daley said. The Rams were in classified in 1A nine-man both in the current and the upcoming reclassification period.

Cokeville: The Panthers will continue opting into Class 2A, AD Tim Teichert said. Cokeville is a Class 1A six-man school by enrollment.

Moorcroft: The Wolves will continue to opt down to Class 1A nine-man, AD Dusty Petz said. Moorcroft was, and will be, classified as a 2A program.

Wyoming Indian: The Chiefs will opt down to Class 1A nine-man, AD Keith Bauder said. The Chiefs, in 1A nine-man the past two years, were classified in 2A for the 2022-23 seasons.

Saratoga: The Panthers will opt up to stay in Class 1A nine-man, AD Greg Bartlett and coach Logan Wright said. Saratoga was classified into six-man for the upcoming reclassification period.

The two schools ready to move:

Guernsey: The Vikings will move up to Class 1A nine-man, as their placement by enrollment requires, AD Glenn Freeburg said, and will not opt to stay in six-man.

Big Piney: The Punchers will move from Class 2A to Class 1A nine-man, AD Jeff Makelky said. Makelky said the decision was difficult, but it was in line with the Punchers’ projected participation numbers.

Still deciding is:

Riverside: The Rebels’ decision was not clear as of this week, both AD Cindi Smith and coach Jason Mitchell said. Mitchell said numerous constituent groups, including players, parents and board members, will meet to talk before any decision is reached. The Rebels are currently in 1A nine-man but will be classified in 1A six-man for 2022 and 2023 if they choose not to opt up.

Classification opt-up and opt-down requests will not be finalized until, and unless, approved by the Wyoming High School Activities Association’s board of directors. The group’s first quarterly meeting will be Tuesday in Casper. Final reclassification decisions will come during the second quarterly meeting later this fall.


At least 10 schools in a variety of sports will be up for moving classifications when the Wyoming High School Activities Association makes its changes for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

And in football, at least eight schools will have decisions, or changes, to make.

No sport with more than one classification will be unaffected by the changes, which will be discussed and voted on by the WHSAA’s board of directors this fall and, if approved, go into effect with the fall 2022 seasons.

Enrollment numbers for the latest round of reclassification were distributed to schools during the WHSAA’s quarterly district meetings across the state the past two weeks.

Wyoming high schools are reclassified for sports and activities every two years based on enrollment numbers, calculated as Average Daily Membership, or ADM. Those numbers for each school, as provided by the WHSAA, are below:

  1. Kelly Walsh, 1,996.17
  2. Natrona, 1,954.82
  3. Cheyenne East, 1,689.80
  4. Rock Springs, 1,615.71
  5. Cheyenne South, 1,454.89
  6. Cheyenne Central, 1,417.00
  7. Thunder Basin, 1,310.36
  8. Campbell County, 1,304.18
  9. Laramie, 1,171.84
  10. Sheridan, 1,142.88
  11. Star Valley, 906.08
  12. Jackson, 870.46
  13. Evanston, 831.24
  14. Riverton, 773.04
  15. Green River, 771.12
  16. Cody, 626.28
  17. Lander, 581.71
  18. Powell, 573.73
  19. Douglas, 490.33
  20. Rawlins, 471.01
  21. Worland, 393.03
  22. Buffalo, 360.68
  23. Pinedale, 354.27
  24. Torrington, 342.78
  25. Wheatland, 278.74
  26. Mountain View, 252.51
  27. Newcastle, 231.67
  28. Lyman, 230.29
  29. Lovell, 229.18
  30. Glenrock, 222.63
  31. Thermopolis, 220.73
  32. Moorcroft, 197.26
  33. Kemmerer, 192.82
  34. Burns, 192.61
  35. Tongue River, 192.40
  36. Wyoming Indian, 152.13
  37. Big Piney, 148.90
  38. Wright, 143.32
  39. Big Horn, 140.50
  40. Wind River, 140.48
  41. Greybull, 139.04
  42. Shoshoni, 129.81
  43. Pine Bluffs, 124.47
  44. Rocky Mountain, 123.14
  45. Sundance, 122.34
  46. Lingle, 97.76
  47. St. Stephens, 82.74
  48. Lusk, 81.43
  49. Southeast, 78.51
  50. Guernsey, 78.51
  51. Burlington, 78.13
  52. Saratoga, 77.08
  53. Upton, 75.48
  54. Riverside, 74.33
  55. Cokeville, 70.99
  56. Snake River, 65.69
  57. Hanna, 58.99
  58. Hulett, 53.25
  59. Midwest, 49.53
  60. Farson, 48.24
  61. Dubois, 44.81
  62. Meeteetse, 44.09
  63. Encampment, 40.28
  64. Kaycee, 39.29
  65. Ten Sleep, 33.98
  66. Arvada-Clearmont, 32.65
  67. Rock River, 28.96
  68. Glendo, 12.96
  69. Chugwater, 10.45

Each set of sports will see its own changes.

FOOTBALL (10-12-14-14-rest): Five programs — Big Piney, Wyoming Indian, Guernsey, Saratoga and Riverside — face new decisions, while three others face situations similar to what they have now.

Big Piney moves down from 2A to 1A nine-man, while Wyoming Indian moves from 1A nine-man to 2A. Both can remain in their current classification if they decide to opt up or down, respectively.

Meanwhile, Guernsey will be classified as a 1A nine-man school, while both Saratoga and Riverside will be classified into 1A six-man. Right now, Guernsey plays in six-man, while Saratoga and Riverside both play in nine-man. Guernsey would be the smallest 1A nine-man school, separated by less than one ADM student (78.51 to 78.13) from the largest six-man school, Burlington.

Three schools currently opting up or down will be in positions to continue those choices. Big Horn and Cokeville, both currently opting up to Class 2A, face the same decision for 2022 and 2023, with Big Horn classified in 1A nine-man and Cokeville in 1A six-man. Moorcroft, currently opting down to 1A nine-man from 2A, also faces the same decision in 2022 and 2023.

All opt-up and opt-down appeals are pending WHSAA board approval. Programs that opt down are usually ineligible for postseason play.

BASKETBALL, TRACK, VOLLEYBALL (16-16-16-rest): Six schools are scheduled to make moves in the traditional four-classification sports. Glenrock and Moorcroft are scheduled to move to Class 3A, with Burns and Kemmerer scheduled to drop to Class 2A to take their place. Also, Lingle jumps to Class 2A, while Riverside moves to Class 1A.

GOLF, WRESTLING, CROSS COUNTRY (12-16-rest): Star Valley will move to 4A, with Evanston moving to 3A.

SWIMMING (12-rest): Evanston is scheduled to switch to 3A. No program will replace Evanston in 4A as Star Valley, the school to jump Evanston, does not have a swimming program.

SOCCER (14-rest): Riverton and Green River are scheduled to swap, with Riverton moving to 4A and Green River to 3A.

ALL ONE-CLASS SPORTS: No scheduled changes.

All changes listed here are tentative and subject to WHSAA board approval. Tentative regional and conference alignments will be set prior to the first WHSAA board meeting on Sept. 28. Final approval of reclassification will come in November.


In today’s ridiculous government dysfunction that just might be nuts enough to be believable, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said on Feb. 1 he’d welcome Weld County, Colorado, to join Wyoming if the county wanted to secede from its Centennial State neighbors.

Weld County, in case you aren’t aware, is the county most Wyomingites dip to the west to avoid when going to Denver — only to re-enter just north of the city. Think Greeley.

The reasons this will likely never happen are easy to find and difficult to refute.

But let’s dream — the 325,000 residents or so of Weld County say yes; the Colorado and Wyoming legislatures say yes; and the U.S. Congress says yes.

All of a sudden, Wyoming just got quite a bit bigger, in population and in acreage.

Bigger, as well, would be Wyoming’s high school sports.

By my count, Weld County has 20 high schools that either have or recently have fielded athletic programs. By enrollment, they are:

Windsor: 1,588
Greeley West: 1,567
Greeley Central: 1,545
Erie: 1,341
Northridge (Greeley): 1,137
Mead (east Longmont): 1,124
Frederick: 1,076
Roosevelt (Johnstown): 1,055
Fort Lupton: 662
Weld Central (Keenesburg): 641
University (Greeley): 605
Valley (Gilcrest): 573
Eaton: 557
Platte Valley (Kersey): 351
Highland (Ault): 285
Union Colony Prep (Greeley): 209
Dayspring Christian (Greeley): 88
Briggsdale: 60
Prairie (Raymer): 53
Pawnee (Grover): 15


If we put those 20 schools into the ADMs for Wyoming schools, we see the Weld County influence immediately — three of Wyoming’s six largest schools would be in Weld County.

1. Kelly Walsh, 1,996.72
2. Natrona, 1,943.63
3. Rock Springs, 1,642.46
4. Windsor, 1,588
5. Greeley West, 1,567
6. Greeley Central, 1,545
7. Cheyenne East, 1,513.53
8. Cheyenne South, 1,492.05
9. Cheyenne Central, 1,410.04
10. Erie, 1,341
11. Campbell County, 1,289.55
12. Thunder Basin, 1,238.04
13. Laramie, 1,159.28
14. Northridge (Greeley), 1,137
15. Mead (east Longmont), 1,124

16. Sheridan, 1,093.16
17. Frederick, 1,076
18. Roosevelt (Johnstown), 1,055
19. Jackson, 869.91
20. Evanston, 846.25
21. Star Valley, 816.05
22. Green River, 764.81
23. Riverton, 748.15
24. Fort Lupton, 662
25. Weld Central (Keenesburg), 641
26. Cody, 619.23
27. University (Greeley), 605
28. Powell, 586.88
29. Valley (Gilcrest), 573
30. Lander, 559.10
31. Eaton, 557
32. Douglas, 543.84
33. Rawlins, 473.09
34. Worland, 442.94
35. Buffalo, 356.91
36. Torrington, 352.13
37. Platte Valley (Kersey), 351
38. Pinedale, 341.15
39. Highland (Ault), 285
40. Wheatland, 282.30
41. Mountain View, 275.54
42. Newcastle, 262.35
43. Lyman, 237.37
44. Burns, 229.00
45. Lovell, 226.03
46. Thermopolis, 213.29
47. Union Colony Prep (Greeley), 209*
48. Kemmerer, 188.70
49. Moorcroft, 188.08
50. Glenrock, 182.35
51. Tongue River, 174.00
52. Big Piney, 160.72
53. Greybull, 147.59
54. Wyoming Indian, 146.95
55. Rocky Mountain, 129.86
56. Big Horn, 127.86
57. Wind River, 127.01
58. Wright, 126.78
59. Sundance, 123.11
60. Shoshoni, 122.63
61. Pine Bluffs, 112.46
62. Lusk, 90.67
63. Dayspring Christian (Greeley), 88
64. Riverside, 87.27
65. St. Stephens, 82.74
66. Saratoga, 82.62
67. Lingle, 78.54
68. Cokeville, 77.41
69. Southeast, 76.77
70. Burlington, 76.41
71. Guernsey-Sunrise, 69.39
72. Upton, 66.68
73. Normative Services, 65.00 (closing in March)
74. Hanna, 62.87
75. Midwest, 61.00
76. Briggsdale, 60
77. Farson, 57.90
78. Hulett, 56.57
79. Prairie (Raymer), 53
80. Kaycee, 52.82
81. Snake River, 51.40
82. Fort Washakie, 49.93**
83. Encampment, 43.44
84. Dubois, 42.79
85. Arapaho Charter, 40.01**
86. Meeteetse, 34.50
87. Arvada-Clearmont, 31.06*
88. Ten Sleep, 31.04
89. Rock River, 27.67*
90. Glendo, 16.42**
91. Pawnee (Grover), 15**
92. Chugwater, 7.65**
*-no football; **-no football or basketball


If we wanted to do some quick rearranging of Wyoming’s five football classifications, with breaks roughly occurring where they do now in terms of enrollment, we’d end up with some pretty interesting looking potential conference alignments:

Class 4A (18)
4A North (5)
: Campbell County, Thunder Basin, Sheridan, Kelly Walsh, Natrona.
4A Central (5): Rock Springs, Laramie, Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Cheyenne South.
4A South (4): Windsor, Greeley West, Greeley Central, Northridge.
4A Metro (4): Erie, Mead, Frederick, Roosevelt.

(Of note: Roosevelt was Colorado’s Class 3A football runner-up last year.)

Class 3A (16)
Class 3A West (8): Jackson, Evanston, Star Valley, Green River, Cody, Powell, Lander, Worland.
Class 3A East (8): Riverton, Fort Lupton, Weld Central, University, Valley, Eaton, Douglas, Rawlins.

(Speaking of success: Eaton was Colorado’s Class 2A champion in 2020.)

Class 2A (19)
2A West (6)
: Pinedale, Mountain View, Lyman, Kemmerer, Big Piney, Cokeville.
2A North (7): Buffalo, Newcastle, Lovell, Thermopolis, Tongue River, Big Horn, Upton-Sundance.
2A South (6): Torrington, Platte Valley, Highland, Wheatland, Glenrock, Burns.

(Like four conferences? Geographic feasibility is a problem. See a “southwest” of Mountain View, Lyman, Kemmerer and Cokeville, a “northwest” of Pinedale, Big Piney, Glenrock, Lovell and Thermopolis, a “northeast” of Buffalo, Newcastle, Tongue River, Big Horn and Upton-Sundance and a “southeast” of Torrington, Platte Valley, Highland, Wheatland and Burns. That “northwest” conference looks awful.)

Class 1A nine-man (14)
1A nine-man West:
Greybull, Wyoming Indian, Rocky Mountain, Wind River, Shoshoni, Riverside, St. Stephens.
1A nine-man East: Wright, Pine Bluffs, Lusk, Dayspring Christian, Saratoga, Lingle, Southeast.

(In Colorado, Dayspring Christian plays eight-man, but I think a move to nine-man would work.)

Class 1A six-man (14)
1A six-man West: Burlington, Farson, Snake River, Encampment, Dubois, Meeteetse, Ten Sleep.
1A six-man East: Guernsey-Sunrise, Hanna, Midwest, Briggsdale, Hulett, Prairie, Kaycee.


For basketball and other four-class sports, we’ll shoot for classifications of reasonable size with natural enrollment breaks driving splits as much as possible:

Class 4A (23)
Northeast (5)
: Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Campbell County, Thunder Basin, Sheridan.
Southwest (6): Rock Springs, Jackson, Evanston, Star Valley, Green River, Riverton.
South Central (6): Cheyenne East, Cheyenne South, Cheyenne Central, Laramie, Windsor, Roosevelt.
Southeast (6): Greeley West, Greeley Central, Erie, Northridge, Mead, Frederick.

Class 3A (24)
North (7)
: Cody, Powell, Worland, Buffalo, Newcastle, Lovell, Thermopolis.
Southwest (5): Lander, Rawlins, Pinedale, Mountain View, Lyman.
South Central (6): Eaton, Douglas, Torrington, Highland, Wheatland, Burns.
Southeast (6): Fort Lupton, Weld Central, University, Valley, Platte Valley, Union Colony.

Class 2A (19)
Northeast (5)
: Moorcroft, Tongue River, Big Horn, Wright, Sundance.
Northwest (5): Greybull, Rocky Mountain, Shoshoni, Riverside, St. Stephens.
Southeast (5): Glenrock, Pine Bluffs, Lusk, Dayspring Christian, Saratoga.
Southwest (4): Kemmerer, Big Piney, Wyoming Indian, Wind River.

Class 1A (20)
Northeast (5): Upton, Midwest, Hulett, Kaycee, Arvada-Clearmont.
Northwest (4): Burlington, Dubois, Meeteetse, Ten Sleep.
Southeast (6): Lingle, Southeast, Guernsey-Sunrise, Briggsdale, Prairie, Rock River.
Southwest (5): Cokeville, Hanna, Farson, Snake River, Encampment.


Just like Absaroka, or solar roadways, or good-old-fashioned migration, demographic change and reclassification go hand-in-hand.

A Weld County, Wyoming, would bring rampant change to Wyoming high school sports — likely the smallest of a world of changes such an unlikely, but fascinating, move would bring.


The Wyoming high school football makeup will see a huge shift in 2020, as reclassification introduces a nine-man classification and sends 12 schools into different classifications.

But what if reclassification had hit in 2019 instead of 2020? What if next year’s conferences were in place this year? How different would the 2019 season have turned out?

Here’s a quick hypothetical look at how 2019 may have developed if we were using the 2020 conference alignments:

Class 4A: No differences. Class 4A is untouched by reclassification. Sheridan still wins it all.

Class 3A: The only difference in 3A is Buffalo taking Torrington’s spot. And the Bison had a pretty salty team last year, finishing second in 2A. So where would Buffalo have finished in a parity-filled 3A East? Good question… but my guess is just above the three-way tie for second, just behind Lander. Maybe a final order of Lander, Buffalo, (tied teams Riverton, Douglas, Worland,) Rawlins. But Star Valley still wins it all.

Class 2A: Ready for this simulation to get weird? With Big Horn, Upton-Sundance, Torrington, Tongue River and Cokeville in (and Buffalo, Moorcroft and Greybull out), the dynamics in 2A take on a much different look. Based on interclass games and score comparisons, this is the best I could come up with in terms of what the conference standings might have looked like in 2019:

2A East: Big Horn, Burns, Upton-Sundance, Torrington, Wheatland, Tongue River, Glenrock, Newcastle.

2A West: Mountain View, Thermopolis, Cokeville, Lyman, Big Piney, Lovell, Pinedale, Kemmerer.

That means the first-round playoff matchups would have looked like this: (4W) Lyman at (1E) Big Horn; (3W) Cokeville at (2E) Burns; (3E) Upton-Sundance at (2W) Thermopolis; and (4E) Torrington at (1W) Mountain View. Those 2-3 matchups are doozies, and I’d pay good money to watch them. But ultimately, I think Big Horn and Mountain View end up in the title game, and I think Mountain View still takes it all.

Class 1A nine-man: You thought 2A was weird? Let’s try 1A nine-man, a classification that barely resembles the 1A 11-man class from 2019. It’s hard to compare across classifications here, but this is what I think the standings might have ended up looking like in 2019 with the teams in the conferences for 2020:

1A-9 East: Southeast, Wright, Lusk, Lingle, Moorcroft, Saratoga, Pine Bluffs.

1A-9 West: Shoshoni, Rocky Mountain, Greybull, Riverside, Wind River, St. Stephens, Wyoming Indian.

That leads to some interesting playoff pairings: Riverside at Southeast; Greybull at Wright; Lusk at Rocky Mountain; Lingle at Shoshoni. And from there, honestly, anything could happen. The East was the stronger conference, so it would have been entirely likely to see something like a Southeast-Wright championship game.

Class 1A six-man: A return to normalcy comes with six-man, as the two state title game opponents, Snake River and Hanna, remain in the classification. But with Lingle and St. Stephens gone, and Encampment in, a few teams would have finished higher in the standings than they did, and some of the first-round playoff pairings would have been a bit different.

1A-6 East: Hanna, Hulett, Kaycee, Guernsey, Midwest, NSI.

1A-6 West: Snake River, Burlington, Farson, Encampment, Meeteetse, Dubois, Ten Sleep (Ten Sleep didn’t field a team in 2019).

First-round pairings would have had Guernsey at Snake River, Kaycee at Burlington, Farson at Hulett and Encampment at Hanna. Ultimately, the Rattlers and Miners would have squared off again in Laramie, with Snake River winning it.

As teams, players and communities adjust to the new structure of Wyoming high school football in 2020, it’s interesting to think about what those changes will mean long-term. This little peek behind the curtain of this new structure could reveal some important distinctions about how 2020 might be different beyond just different players, coaches and schedules.

Hopefully, the season can happen.


Class 3A could see a shift in its football conference alignments for 2020 and 2021, with Powell and Cody switching places with Rawlins and Lander.

Such a move would lower overall travel but would put Fremont County rivals Riverton and Lander in separate conferences.

The proposed conference alignment would have Rawlins and Lander join Jackson, Star Valley, Evanston and Green River in a modified West Conference, while Powell and Cody would join Worland, Buffalo, Riverton and Douglas in a modified East Conference.

The proposal was confirmed in separate emails from four current Class 3A coaches to However, their understandings of the proposal ranged from “nothing super concrete” to “a done deal.”

One coach said the new proposal would help eliminate overnight travel for conference games for all teams. The necessity to travel through Yellowstone Park for conference games would also be reduced.

The potential move is precipitated in part by reclassification, which brings Buffalo’s return to 3A and Torrington’s move to Class 2A for both 2020 and 2021.

Below is a table of the mileage between 3A high schools, showing only the distances between schools that could be in the same conference in 2020. One-way distances here are calculated “through the park,” where teams take shorter trips going through Yellowstone when possible.


Total conference travel distances for respective teams would change with new conferences, with equal teams seeing more and less travel but with overall travel reduced.

With the old alignment, with Buffalo replacing Torrington in the East Conference and no other changes, teams would have averaged a total of 907 miles to their conference destinations; with the new alignment, teams would average a total of 818 miles to their conference foes, a reduction about 91 miles per school.

Schools with more travel would include:
Jackson: Old alignment, 831 miles; new alignment, 892 miles.
Star Valley: Old alignment, 878 miles; new alignment, 880 miles.
Rawlins: Old alignment, 859 miles; new alignment, 1,038 miles.
Riverton: Old alignment, 596 miles; new alignment, 744 miles.
Douglas: Old alignment, 918 miles; new alignment, 1,104 miles.
Lander: Old alignment, 673 miles; new alignment, 856 mies.

Schools with less travel would include:
Evanston: Old alignment, 1,163 miles; new alignment, 826 miles.
Green River: Old alignment, 1,062 miles; new alignment, 714 miles.
Cody: Old alignment, 1,110 miles; new alignment, 698 miles.
Powell: Old alignment, 1,206 miles; new alignment, 721 miles.
Worland: Old alignment, 722 miles; new alignment, 573 miles.
Buffalo: Old alignment, 866 miles; new alignment, 768 miles.

The WHSAA will release the conference portion of the 2020 football schedule at the statewide scheduling meeting Nov. 19-20 in Casper.


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