After five seasons as the head football coach at Wyoming Indian, Todd Ghormley has resigned.

Ghormley confirmed his resignation via email Friday to wyoming-football.com.

Ghormley said he was planning to stay at WIHS, where he teaches science and is also the head wrestling coach. He said a replacement has not yet been named.

The past two seasons, the Chiefs have played mostly sub-varsity opponents in an effort to gain experience and keep the program running. The team is 3-34 the past five years, including 1-4 last season.

Wyoming Indian joins Lovell and Glenrock as schools looking for new head coaches for 2019. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Lovell’s Jeny Gardner was let go as the Bulldogs’ head football coach on Wednesday.

Gardner said via Twitter direct message with wyoming-football.com that the decision to change coaches was not her choice.

In a tweet, Gardner thanked her players “for believing in what we were trying to do with Lovell Football.”

The Bulldogs finished 1-8 last season. In a Twitter message, Gardner — an assistant with Lovell for three years before she became the state’s first female head coach — said she feared the Bulldogs’ record this year could be used as an excuse to keep other women from coaching football teams. Gardner did say she hopes to continue coaching football.

Lovell joins Glenrock as schools looking for new head coaches this offseason. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

As you may have heard by now, Torrington reached its second consecutive Class 3A title game by beating Jackson 22-21 on Friday, scoring a touchdown as time ran out before notching the game-winning two-point conversion.

You may have also heard that Jackson supporters were not happy about the way in which the clock was turned on or off in the final few moments of the game — specifically, the final six plays.

Local News 8, the ABC station in Idaho Falls, covered this controversy. Kind of. Unfortunately, the story posted doesn’t match the video of what actually happened. (For example, the story says Torrington never went out of bounds in the final six plays, when Torrington did on its third play of the six; it also notes a fumble “blown dead” that could have happened on the same play, but player and official reactions show that the play was clearly over before the ball came loose.)

So let’s set the record straight.

Well, as straight as we can with gifs.

For this post, I watched the NFHS Network replay of Friday’s game. I timed each play in Torrington’s final drive and compared the announced times on the KGOS/KERM radio broadcast that accompanied the video feed to times I compiled by hand. (The images in this post come from that NFHS Network feed and are used here under fair use journalistic purposes.)

On its final drive, Torrington went 67 yards in 17 plays in 1 minute, 10 seconds. The first 11 plays were pretty standard, with no huge timing problems that I noticed.

The dispute really centers on the final six plays of the game, which Torrington ran in 10.4 seconds without the use of a timeout. (Neither team had any timeouts remaining by this point.) The first two plays were incomplete passes, each running about two seconds off the clock. Let’s take a look at gifs of those two plays.

Play 1

Play 2

 

So far, so good. No controversy. After the first two plays, the announcers from KGOS/KERM radio say the clock is down to 6.3 seconds. I hand-timed these two plays myself and ended up with a similar number of where the clock should be (I had it at 6.0, an acceptable range of difference).

Play 3 is where things start to go a little haywire. On this play, Torrington’s Bryan Lemmon catches a swing pass and is knocked out of bounds. The play takes about 4.6 seconds, according to my stopwatch.

Play 3

This should put the game clock at about 2.2 seconds remaining. (We don’t know what the clock read at this point, because it’s not announced on the audio feed. However, we can assume the clock read more than 2.2 seconds, based on the play call that follows and the reaction of the players after that play.)

Play 4 in the sequence adds to the questions. On fourth-and-1, Lemmon takes a pitch and plows for three yards, reaching the 2-yard line for a first down. The clock stops at this point to reset the chains. By my watch, this play takes 4.1 seconds.

Play 4

The clock starts before Play 5 begins. Play 5 is a spike to stop the clock after the chains are set for the first down. And Torrington does so nice and fast — in 0.9 seconds, according to my watch, from the signal to start the clock to when the ball hits the ground. (In this gif, watch the white hat ref on the right side; also watch the umpire stopping the ball from being snapped until the signal is given to go. This follows proper timing rules.)

Play 5

Play 6 is Lemmon’s 2-yard touchdown. The radio announcers say that, prior to this play, 1.6 seconds remained on the clock. And it doesn’t matter how long this play takes, because (as every player and coach knows) scoring on a play after time has run out is OK as long as the snap happens before the clock runs out.

Play 6

After this touchdown, Lemmon scored on the 2-point conversion to send Torrington back to the 3A title game.

The five plays prior to the game-winning touchdown took, by my stopwatch, 15.4 seconds. The Torrington clock operator said those same five plays took 8.8 seconds.

+++

Ultimately, Torrington won the game, and Torrington will play for a state championship. As Local News 8’s Max Cohan noted on Twitter (via a screencap of an email Cohan says is from Jackson AD Mike Hansen), the WHSAA isn’t in the habit of overruling game officials.

The WHSAA has rarely intervened in cases like this. In fact, I can find only one instance in which the WHSAA has overruled game officials. That came in 1967 in a game between Basin and Byron. Basin originally won 40-34 by scoring in the final minute of their game on Oct. 27, but Byron protested the game’s final 2 minutes, 24 seconds after claiming the officials mis-applied the rules on a fumble. The WHSAA upheld the protest, and the WHSAA forced the two teams to re-play the final 2:24 three days later. No one scored and the game finished as a 34-34 tie, officially.

The only other high-profile questionable timing incident I know of came even further back than that: the final game of the 1955 season between Laramie and Cheyenne Central. Laramie won 18-14 on its home field to claim the Class AA championship, but Cheyenne filed a protest claiming “timing irregularities” gave Laramie an unfair advantage. Two Cheyenne players also punched and tackled an official after he ejected a Cheyenne player. Although the protest was eventually tossed, the timekeeper that day, Edwin Hitchcock, died just days after the game due to a heart attack.

More recently, the most controversial final-play playoff finish came in a Class 5A semifinal game in 2006. In that game, Natrona kicker Garrett Hill’s field goal attempt on the final play of the game was ruled wide left, despite video showing that the kick may have actually gone between the uprights as it went over the top of the left post. Cheyenne East won that game 5-3. Then as now, the WHSAA delegated that responsibility to the officials on the field and supported the ruling the officials made on the field.

The same standard applies here. If Jackson fans have a beef, it’s with the officials, not with the WHSAA. I daresay the beef isn’t even with the timer, who I don’t want to name here (and couldn’t even if I wanted to, because I haven’t asked and don’t plan to). However, if you think you can do better than the officials, prove it by becoming a WHSAA official. It’s a hard and thankless job, especially when we (you and me) can watch replay after replay and critique tenths of a second of their in-the-moment calls and decisions. I thought hard about whether to even post this, because I think many people will use this post as an excuse to trash the game officials and timer even more. Please don’t be that person.

In the course of a 48-minute game, 6.6 seconds slips off the clock, or stays on the clock, easily. To Torrington’s benefit, and Jackson’s dismay, it just so happened these 6.6 seconds came when they did.

–patrick

Glenrock football coach Ray Kumpula, who built a legacy of hard-nosed, championship football in two separate stints as the Herders’ head coach, will retire at the end of the season.

The Douglas Budget’s Eddie Poe first reported Kumpula’s retirement on Twitter after the Herders’ 61-8 victory against Moorcroft on Friday in Glenrock’s final regular-season game.


Heading into the Class 2A playoffs as the No. 2 seed from the East Conference, Glenrock will be trying to win its fourth championship under Kumpula. He led the Herders to state championships in 2002, 2003 and 2008.

Kumpula’s all-time record of 133-87 unofficially places him tied for 14th all-time among the state’s coaches. His victory total is fourth among active coaches statewide, behind only Cokeville’s Todd Dayton, Natrona’s Steve Harshman and Southeast’s Mark Bullington.

Kumpula started as Glenrock’s head coach in 1990. He led the Herders to three playoff appearances in seven seasons before stepping down after the 1996 season. He re-assumed the position of head coach prior to the 2002 season, winning titles in his first two seasons back as head coach.

He also led Glenrock to title-game appearances in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2015 and 2017.

Glenrock will host Big Piney in the quarterfinals of the 2A playoffs on Friday.

A replacement for Kumpula has not yet been named.

–patrick

Here’s a quick look at the playoff scenarios for Wyoming high school football teams entering Week 8 of the 2018 season:

Class 4A
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Central at South, Kelly Walsh at Gillette, Laramie at Thunder Basin, Natrona at Rock Springs, Sheridan at East.
Cheyenne East, Natrona, Sheridan, Thunder Basin: In. Will be seeded 1-4 in some way. (See below.)
Laramie: In. No. 5 seed.
Rock Springs: In. No. 6 seed with victory. Seeded 6, 7 or 8 with a loss. (See below.)
Cheyenne Central: Neither in nor out. No. 7 seed with victory. No. 8 seed with loss and Gillette victory. Out with loss and Kelly Walsh victory.
Kelly Walsh: Neither in nor out. Seeded 6, 7 or 8 with victory. (See below.) No. 8 seed with loss and Cheyenne Central victory. Out with loss and Cheyenne South victory.
Cheyenne South: Neither in nor out. Seeded 6, 7 or 8 with victory. (See below.) Out with loss.
Gillette: Out.

Here’s all 32 scenarios for the 4A playoffs:

South beats Central
East Natrona Thunder Basin Sheridan Laramie Rock Springs Central KW South
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 8 out 6 7
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 8 out 6 7
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Rock Springs, Sheridan win Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) 5 6 out 7 8
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Natrona, East win 1 2 3 4 5 8 out 6 7
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Sheridan win 4 2 1 3 5 6 out 7 8
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Natrona, East win Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) 4 5 8 out 6 7
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Rock Springs, East win 1 2 3 4 5 6 out 7 8
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Cheyenne East win 2 3 1 4 5 6 out 7 8
Gillette, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 7 8 out 6
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 6 8 out 7
Gillette, Laramie, Rock Springs, Sheridan win Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) 5 6 8 out 7
Gillette, Laramie, Natrona, East win 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 out 6
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Sheridan win 4 2 1 3 5 6 8 out 7
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Natrona, East win Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) 4 5 6 8 out 7
Gillette, Laramie, Rock Springs, East win 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 out 7
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Cheyenne East win 2 3 1 4 5 6 8 out 7
Central beats South
East Natrona Thunder Basin Sheridan Laramie Rock Springs Central KW South
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Rock Springs, Sheridan win Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Natrona, East win 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Sheridan win 4 2 1 3 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Natrona, East win Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) 4 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Rock Springs, East win 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 out
Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Cheyenne East win 2 3 1 4 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Natrona, Sheridan win 4 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Laramie, Rock Springs, Sheridan win Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3-4 (coin flip) 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Laramie, Natrona, East win 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Sheridan win 4 2 1 3 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Natrona, East win Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) Tie 1-2-3 (coin flip) 4 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Laramie, Rock Springs, East win 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 out
Gillette, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Cheyenne East win 2 3 1 4 5 6 7 8 out

Class 3A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Worland at Lander.
Torrington: In. No. 1 seed.
Douglas: In. No. 2 seed.
Lander, Worland: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Rawlins, Riverton: Out.

Class 3A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Green River at Cody, Star Valley at Evanston.
Star Valley: In. No. 1 seed.
Jackson: In. No. 2 seed.
Evanston: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory and Green River victory. No. 4 seed with Cody victory, win or lose. Tie for 3-4-5 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Green River victory.
Cody: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory. Tie for 3-4-5 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Star Valley victory. Out with loss and Evanston victory.
Green River: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory and Evanston victory. Tie for 3-4-5 spots (coin flip to break) with victory and Star Valley victory. Out with loss.
Powell: Out.

Class 2A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Burns at Thermopolis.
Buffalo: In. No. 1 seed.
Glenrock: In. No. 2 seed.
Wheatland: In. No. 3 seed.
Burns, Thermopolis: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Out with loss.
Moorcroft, Newcastle: Out.

Class 2A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Lovell at Kemmerer, Mountain View at Greybull.
Greybull, Mountain View: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss.
Big Piney: In. No. 3 seed.
Pinedale: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with Lovell victory. Out with Kemmerer victory.
Kemmerer: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Out with loss.
Lovell, Lyman: Out.

Class 1A 11-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Lusk at Pine Bluffs, Tongue River at Wright.
Big Horn: In. No. 1 seed.
Upton-Sundance: In. No. 2 seed.
Pine Bluffs: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Tongue River victory. Tie for 3-4-5 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Wright victory.
Lusk: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory and Tongue River victory. Tie for 3-4-5 spots (coin flip to break) with victory and Wright victory. Tie for 4-5-6 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Tongue River victory. Out with loss and Wright victory.
Wright: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory and Pine Bluffs victory. Tie for 3-4-5 spots (coin flip to break) with victory and Lusk victory. Tie for 4-5-6 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Pine Bluffs victory. Out with loss and Lusk victory.
Tongue River: Neither in nor out. Tie for 4-5-6 spots (coin flip to break) with victory and Pine Bluffs victory. Out with loss OR Lusk victory.
Southeast: Out.

Class 1A 11-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cokeville at Wind River, Rocky Mountain at Wyoming Indian.
Cokeville: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss.
Wind River: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss and Wyoming Indian victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with loss and Rocky Mountain victory.
Shoshoni: In. No. 3 seed with Wind River victory OR Wyoming Indian victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with Cokeville victory and Rocky Mountain victory.
Rocky Mountain: Neither in nor out. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with victory and Cokeville victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Wind River victory. Out with loss.
Wyoming Indian: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Out with loss.
Saratoga: Ineligible for playoffs.

Class 1A six-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Guernsey at Hanna, Hulett at Lingle, Kaycee at NSI.
Hanna: In. No. 1 seed with victory. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (coin flip to break) with loss and Kaycee victory. No. 2 seed with loss and NSI victory.
Kaycee: In. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (coin flip to break) with victory and Guernsey victory. No. 2 seed with Hanna victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Guernsey victory.
Guernsey: In. No. 1 seed with victory and NSI victory. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (coin flip to break) with victory and Kaycee victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Hulett: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Tie for 4-5-6 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Kaycee victory. Out with loss and NSI victory.
NSI: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory and Lingle victory. Tie for 4-5-6 spots (coin flip to break) with loss and Lingle victory. Out with Hulett victory.
Lingle: Neither in nor out. Tie for 4-5-6 spots (coin flip to break) with victory and Kaycee victory. Out with loss OR NSI victory.
Midwest: Out.

Class 1A six-man West
Week 8 games potentially affecting playoff seeding: None.
Farson: In. No. 1 seed.
Meeteetse: In. No. 2 seed.
Snake River: In. No. 3 seed.
Burlington: In. No. 4 seed.
Dubois, St. Stephens: Out.
Riverside: Ineligible for playoffs.

–patrick

Updated 3:54 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, with scenarios for 1A six-man East; updated 4:47 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, with scenarios for 1A six-man West.

Rock River will not complete its 2018 football season.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Tuesday that the Longhorns were hit by injuries, leaving the six-man football team unable to fill every spot on the field.

Rock River opened the season by playing scrimmages against Saratoga and the Natrona JV. The Longhorns had previously forfeited their Week 2 game against Kaycee.

This is the second consecutive season in which Rock River has started a season but failed to play a game.

Rock River is the second six-man team to fail to complete its season; Ten Sleep canceled its 2018 season before practice started.

Also Tuesday, Rocky Mountain announced it was forfeiting its Week 3 game against Newcastle.

–patrick

Antoine Proctor will be the new head coach at NSI for 2018.

Proctor takes over for Anthony Simmons, who has been the Wolves’ head coach the past four years. NSI went 8-23 under Simmons, reaching the six-man playoffs for the first and only time as a program under him in 2015.

In a text to wyoming-football.com, Simmons said he has “a lot (of) other duties and obligations” and couldn’t fulfill the responsibilities of head coach.

Proctor played basketball at Sheridan College, Sacramento State and Montana State-Billings. He later played professionally in Slovakia and Iceland before moving back to Sheridan.

Proctor did not reply to a Facebook post or to text messages left Tuesday or to emails sent late last week to his posted address. This post will be updated when possible.

–patrick

Due to declining participation numbers, Ten Sleep will not field a high school football team this fall.

Ten Sleep activities director Sarah Novak said Wednesday to wyoming-football.com that the Pioneers wouldn’t have enough players to field a team to play in the Class 1A six-man West Conference. Only four solid commitments came in over the summer and only about five students had expressed any interest in playing this fall.

Novak said school administrators made the decision Tuesday night.

“In talking with our administration, we have kind of struggled… with participation numbers over the last two or three years,” she said. “We’ve had to forfeit games or quit at halftime and we’re just not having a positive experience right now.

” … We can’t continue to play with six kids, and this year I’m not even sure we’d have six.”

Ten Sleep has gone a combined 4-26 the past four seasons, winning one game each year since 2014. The program has had three different head coaches in that span.

Ten Sleep’s middle school program will run as usual this year. Novak said she had double-digit participation numbers for that program, which incorporates grades 5-8.

Novak, who also coaches girls basketball, has seen similar problems with low participation in that sport, as well.

“You hate to give up a program because sometimes it’s hard to get it back,” she said.

Novak said the Pioneers who want to continue to play football can do so by joining the program at Worland.

“We’re sad about not having our program, but we’re pleased to have an alternative for those young men,” Novak said.

–patrick

 

Saratoga will not play its varsity 11-man football schedule in 2018.

Saratoga activities director Greg Bartlett said Wednesday the program only expected 10 to 12 players to come out this fall, not enough for pursuing a full 11-man season.

With low participation, Bartlett said, “it’s tough to keep a season together.”

Instead, the Panthers will pursue a six-man sub-varsity schedule this season, scheduling as many games as possible against nearby junior varsity squads. Bartlett said he’s already got one game scheduled but would prefer five or six games. He said the team’s schedule should be mostly in place by the end of next week, but some games may be added later depending on how the schedule comes together.

Bartlett said the move is likely temporary.

“In about two to three years, we have some elementary boys coming into the middle school where there might be 20 boys per class,” Bartlett said.

The Panthers play in the Class 1A 11-man West Conference. The program also draws players from nearby Encampment.

Bartlett said about three seniors, a couple juniors, about four sophomores and three freshmen showed interest in playing this fall. He said more may join when the season starts, but the decision to forgo the varsity season had to be made based on the numbers of committed players, not on the number of maybes.

Logan Wright, who previously coached in Rock River and taught in Laramie, will be the Panthers’ new head coach this fall. Wright will also teach PE in Saratoga.

Wright previously was a six-man assistant at Rock River, as part of the middle-school program in 2013 and the high school in 2014 and 2015.

“I’m certainly going into it looking at like were a varsity team and we’re going to put our best foot forward every day,” Wright said via telephone on Wednesday. “Whether the games count or not doesn’t matter to me.”

Saratoga played in the Class 1A six-man East Conference for one season, in 2013. Otherwise, the Panthers have fielded a varsity 11-man program every year since moving up after a two-year stint of nine-man football in 1991. The program has played a varsity schedule every season since 1955.

–patrick

Saratoga’s football coach has resigned and its 2018 season is in question due to a lack of players.

Saratoga activities director Greg Bartlett said via email Tuesday that if a full 11-man squad can’t be fielded, the Panthers would field a six-man team and try to secure games against nearby junior varsity squads. A final decision on Saratoga’s 2018 season will likely be made in the second week of July, Bartlett said.

Meanwhile, coach Kegan Willford, the Panthers’ coach the past two seasons, said via email early this week that he is no longer the head coach at Saratoga. It was unclear whether Willford resigned or was let go from the position; Willford did not respond to follow-up emails.

Saratoga went 3-7 last season and lost to eventual Class 1A 11-man champion Pine Bluffs 58-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

Saratoga played in the Class 1A six-man division for one season, in 2013. The Panthers have fielded a team every season since 1955, occasionally fielding eight-man or nine-man teams.

Of the 21 players listed on the Saratoga roster from last season, seven were seniors.

–patrick

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