Projected playoff pairings for the 2020 Wyoming high school football playoffs. Official pairings will be released by the Wyoming High School Activities Association at the end of the regular season:

Class 4A
(8) Laramie at (1) Cheyenne East
(5) Rock Springs at (4) Sheridan
(7) Kelly Walsh at (2) Cheyenne Central
(6) Natrona at (3) Thunder Basin

Class 3A
(4E) Worland at (1W) Cody
(3W) Powell at (2E) Lander
(4W) Star Valley at (1E) Douglas
(3E) Riverton at (2W) Jackson

Class 2A
(4W) Cokeville at (1E) Torrington
(3E) Wheatland at (2W) Mountain View
(4E) Big Horn at (1W) Lyman
(3W) Lovell at (2E) Upton-Sundance

Class 1A nine-man
(4W) Riverside at (1E) Southeast
(3E) Pine Bluffs at (2W) Shoshoni
(4E) Saratoga at (1W) Rocky Mountain
(3W) Greybull at (2E) Lusk

Class 1A six-man
(4E) Hanna at (1W) Farson
(3W) Encampment at (2E) Hulett
(4W) Snake River at (1E) Kaycee
(3E) Guernsey at (2W) Meeteetse

Championship games will be played at host sites this year. Per WHSAA specifications, the West champion will be the top seed for the 3A and 1A six-man playoffs, while the East champion will be the top seed for the 2A and 1A nine-man playoffs.

–patrick

Here’s a quick look at the playoff scenarios for Wyoming high school football teams entering Week 8 of the 2020 season:

Class 4A
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cheyenne Central at Laramie; Cheyenne East at Rock Springs; Natrona at Cheyenne South; Thunder Basin at Sheridan.
Cheyenne East: In. Either No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Can still get No. 1 seed with loss; can still get No. 2 seed with victory.
Thunder Basin: In. Seed between No. 1 and No. 3. No. 1 seed with victory in all scenarios. No. 1 seed with loss and Rock Springs victory. No. 2 seed with loss, Laramie victory and East victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Central victory.
Cheyenne Central: In. Seed between No. 2 and No. 4. No. 2 seed with victory and Sheridan victory. No. 3 seed with victory and Thunder Basin victory. No. 3 seed with loss and East victory. No. 3 seed with loss, Rock Springs victory and Sheridan victory. No. 4 seed with loss, Rock Springs victory and Thunder Basin victory.
Rock Springs: In. Seed between No. 3 and No. 5. Can get no higher than a No. 4 seed with loss; either a No. 3, 4 or 5 seed with victory.
Sheridan: In. Seed between No. 4 and No. 6. No. 4 seed with victory in all scenarios. Either a No. 4, 5 or 6 seed with loss.
Natrona: In. Seed between No. 5 and No. 6. No. 5 seed with victory and Thunder Basin victory. No. 6 seed with victory and Sheridan victory. No. 6 seed in all scenarios with loss.
Kelly Walsh: In. No. 7 seed.
Laramie: In. No. 8 seed.
Campbell County, Cheyenne South: Out.
Three-way tie explanation 1: If East, Central and Thunder Basin all finish 7-2 tied for the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds, Thunder Basin would be the 3 seed by virtue of a loss to Sheridan (the highest ranking non-tied team). East then takes the 1 seed due to a head-to-head victory against Central.
Three-way tie explanation 2: If Rock Springs, Sheridan and Central all finish 6-3 tied for the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 seeds, Rock Springs would be the 5 seed by virtue of a loss to Thunder Basin (the highest ranking non-tied team). Central then takes the 3 seed due to a head-to-head victory against Sheridan.

Three-way tie explanation 3: If Natrona, Rock Springs and Sheridan all finish 5-4 tied for the No. 4, 5 and 6 seeds, Rock Springs would be the 4 seed by virtue of a victory against Central (the highest-ranking non-tied team where the tiebreaker applies). Natrona then takes the 5 seed due to a head-to-head victory against Sheridan.
All other tiebreakers in 4A are head-to-head tiebreakers. Because the “highest-ranked non-tied team” tiebreaker breaks all potential three-way ties, score differential should not be necessary.
Note: Tables below updated 11:52 a.m. Monday to reflect that the Kelly Walsh-Campbell County game does not affect the scenarios.

4A scenarios

If Central beats Laramie…

EastThunder BasinCentralRock SpringsSheridanNatrona
East, Natrona, Thunder Basin win213465
East, Natrona, Sheridan win132546
East, South, Thunder Basin win213546
East, South, Sheridan win132546
Rock Springs, Natrona, Thunder Basin win213465
Rock Springs, Natrona, Sheridan win132546
Rock Springs, South, Thunder Basin win213456
Rock Springs, South, Sheridan win132546

If Laramie beats Central

EastThunder BasinCentralRock SpringsSheridanNatrona
East, Natrona, Thunder Basin win213465
East, Natrona, Sheridan win123546
East, South, Thunder Basin win213546
East, South, Sheridan win123546
Rock Springs, Natrona, Thunder Basin win214365
Rock Springs, Natrona, Sheridan win213546
Rock Springs, South, Thunder Basin win214356
Rock Springs, South, Sheridan win213546

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

Class 3A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cody at Jackson; Green River at Star Valley; Powell at Evanston.
Jackson: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss.
Cody: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss and Powell victory. No. 2 seed with loss, Evanston victory and Green River victory. No. 3 seed with loss, Evanston victory and Star Valley victory.
Powell: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Green River victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Star Valley victory.
Star Valley: Neither in nor out. No. 2 seed with victory, Jackson victory and Evanston victory. No. 3 seed with victory, Cody victory and Evanston victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Powell victory. Out with loss.
Green River: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Out with loss.
Evanston: Out.
Two potential three-way ties exist in 3A West scenarios for Week 8. If Jackson, Star Valley and Powell all win, Cody, Powell and Star Valley tie for second, third and fourth at 3-2. Cody wins with score differential of +5 (Powell 0, Star Valley -5) and is the second seed. Powell is the third seed with head-to-head victory over Star Valley; Star Valley is the fourth seed. … If Evanston and Green River win, Powell, Star Valley and Green River tie for third, fourth and fifth (out) at 2-3. Powell wins this tiebreaker with head-to-head victories over both. Green River would have the head-to-head over Star Valley to get the fourth seed.

Class 2A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Big Horn at Upton-Sundance; Newcastle at Wheatland; Torrington at Burns*.
Torrington: In. Seeding TBD, likely No. 1 or 2. Likely No. 1 seed with Upton-Sundance victory. Likely No. 2 seed with Big Horn victory.
Upton-Sundance: In. Likely No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Big Horn: In. Likely No. 1 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Newcastle victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Wheatland victory.
Wheatland: In. No. 3 seed with victory and Upton-Sundance victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Big Horn victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Burns, Glenrock, Newcastle, Tongue River: Out.
*-The Torrington-Burns game has been canceled due to COVID-19. It’s not certain what contingencies will be used to break any playoff seeding ties that might come of this cancellation. However, the WHSAA’s plans set out in the summer note that in cases like this, the coaches from the conference would decide on seeding. However, with no mathematical possibilities of any three-way ties, such a scenario isn’t likely needed here… but these projections come with an asterisk just in case.

Class 2A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cokeville at Lovell; Lyman at Mountain View.
Lyman, Mountain View: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss.
Cokeville, Lovell: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Big Piney, Kemmerer, Pinedale, Thermopolis: Out.

Class 1A nine-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Saratoga at Lusk.
Southeast: In. No. 1 seed.
Lusk: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss by 11 or fewer points. Tie for No. 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with Saratoga victory by 12 or more points.
Pine Bluffs: In. No. 3 seed with Lusk victory. No. 3 seed with Saratoga victory by 11 or fewer points. Tie for No. 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with Saratoga victory by 12 or more points.
Saratoga: In. Tie for No. 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with victory by 12 or more points. No. 4 seed with victory by 11 or fewer points. No. 4 seed with loss.
Lingle, Wright: Out.
Moorcroft: Ineligible.
In the case of a Saratoga victory against Lusk, which would prompt a tie for the No. 2, 3 and 4 seeds, the scoring differential tiebreaker kicks in. Saratoga has to win by 12 or more to tie the scoring differential and force a coin flip. A Saratoga victory by 11 or fewer means Lusk wins the score differential tiebreaker, with Pine Bluffs finishing third due to its head-to-head win against Saratoga.
Note: Updated 2:54 p.m. Saturday with clarification from WHSAA regarding conference standings and ineligible teams. Games against Moorcroft this year do NOT count toward conference standings, which created some different playoff scenarios than having the games count but having Moorcroft drop from the standings with regard to playoff eligibility. Apologies for the confusion.

Class 1A nine-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Riverside at Shoshoni.
Rocky Mountain: In. No. 1 seed.
Shoshoni: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Riverside: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Wind River: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with Riverside victory. Out with Shoshoni victory.
Greybull: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with Shoshoni victory. Out with Riverside victory.
In the 3-4-out tiebreaker between Riverside, Wind River and Greybull, score differential would be used. Greybull finishes +11, Riverside -4 and Wind River -7. Greybull gets the third seed. Riverside then gets the fourth seed by virtue of its head-to-head victory over Wind River.

Class 1A six-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: None.
Kaycee: In. No. 1 seed.
Hulett: In. No. 2 seed.
Guernsey: In. No. 3 seed.
Hanna: In. No. 4 seed.
Midwest, NSI: Out.
A potential tiebreaker at 2-3 for the No. 3-4-out seeds exists between Hanna, Guernsey and NSI. However, Guernsey wins that tiebreaker with head-to-head victories against the other two. Even with a victory in Week 8, NSI loses both two-way and three-way ties for either third or fourth place with either Hanna or Guernsey due to head-to-head losses against both. There’s also potential for a tie for the No. 2-3-4 seeds with Hulett, Hanna and Guernsey, which Hulett wins due to head-to-head victories against both.
Note: These scenarios were updated at 2:02 p.m. Saturday to reflect the results of Saturday’s game.

Class 1A six-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Burlington at Encampment; Farson at Snake River.
Farson: In. No. 1 seed.
Meeteetse: In. No. 2 seed.
Encampment: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Farson victory. Out with loss and Snake River victory.
Snake River: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory and Burlington victory. No. 4 seed with Encampment victory, win or lose. Out with loss and Farson victory.
Burlington: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory and Farson victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Snake River victory. Out with loss.
Dubois, Ten Sleep: Out.
In the scenario where Burlington, Dubois and Snake River tie for the No. 4 seed with 2-4 records, Snake River would win the berth on score differential (Snake River +8, Burlington 0, Dubois -8).
In the scenario where Encampment, Snake River and Burlington tie for the 3-4-out positions with 3-3 records, Snake River would win the tiebreaker due to a victory against the highest-ranked non-tied team (Farson). Then Burlington takes the No. 4 seed due to the head-to-head victory against Encampment.
Note: These scenarios were updated at 4:47 p.m. Saturday to reflect the results of Saturday’s games.

–patrick

Burns will not play one of its final two games of the 2020 season and will reschedule the other due to COVID-19 quarantines, the school’s activities director said Monday on Twitter.

Burns AD Barry Ward said the team will also cancel scheduled JV games.

Burns High School was notified on Saturday that due to COVID-19 quarantines our football team will not be playing our last 2 Varsity football games vs. Newcastle and Torrington as regularly scheduled. We will be canceling our JV games vs. Wheatland and Mitchell, Nebraska.— Barry Ward (@BurnsBronc) October 12, 2020

On Saturday, Laramie County School District No. 2, of which Burns is a part, posted on its website that a student at Burns Junior/Senior High School had tested positive for COVID-19 and that some students had been placed under quarantine.

This is the third in-season cancellation of high school football games in Wyoming due to COVID-19 this year.

Douglas and Powell canceled a mid-September game, while Newcastle and Buffalo canceled a game in early September.

During the summer, Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens canceled their fall sports seasons.

As of Monday afternoon, Wyoming had more than 1,000 active cases of COVID-19 statewide. As of Monday, the state was averaging nearly 120 confirmed cases per day, its highest total since the outbreak tracing began on March 20.

Graph courtesy of the Wyoming Department of Health. Click the graph for more.

In all, 24% of all active statewide confirmed cases are in people 18 years old or younger.

Burns’ two remaining games were with Torrington on Friday and with Newcastle on Oct. 23.

Over the summer, Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird said games lost due to COVID-19 would be treated as cancellations, not as forfeits.

Burns is 1-5. The Broncs, at 1-4 in Class 2A East Conference play, were no longer in playoff contention.

Burns will make up its game with Newcastle on Oct. 29, Ward announced Monday afternoon via Twitter. Newcastle is also not in playoff contention.

–patrick

This post was updated at 7:02 p.m. MDT to reflect the continuing status of Burns’ season.

Douglas and Powell will not play their scheduled game on Friday after two COVID-19 cases emerged in Douglas’ schools.

The story was first reported by Wyopreps.

The Douglas High School activities website noted the cancellation of Douglas’ varsity game with Powell as well as cancellations of a freshman game with Laramie on Thursday and a JV game with Riverton scheduled for Monday.

The Converse County School District No. 1 posted additional information on the cases on its website.

A release from the Converse County Emergency Management Agency said, as of Tuesday, the county has 28 active cases and 93 people under quarantine.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Wyoming Department of Health’s COVID-19 website listed 28 lab-confirmed cases, with 12 of those 28 being confirmed in the past 24 hours. As of Wednesday, the state was averaging just more than 38 new confirmed cases per day, using a 14-day average.

Powell Tribune reporter Carson Field reported Wednesday on Twitter that Douglas’ team had multiple cases.

UPDATE: Multiple players have tested positive on Douglas’ end, according to Powell AD Scott McKenzie, leading to the cancellation.— Carson Field (@CarsonDField) September 16, 2020

Douglas is 2-0, having defeated Torrington two weeks ago and Belle Fourche, S.D., last week. Powell is 3-0. The game will be listed as a no-contest cancellation, not as a forfeit.

This is the second time this season a Wyoming football game has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. A Week 1 game between Newcastle and Buffalo was also canceled after Newcastle players were exposed during a game against Hot Springs, S.D.

Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens had previously canceled their fall sports seasons due to COVID-19.

–patrick

Buffalo and Newcastle will not play their scheduled game on Friday after Newcastle officials learned their players had been exposed to COVID-19 during the Dogies’ game last week.

A press release from Weston County School District No. 1 Superintendent Brad LaCroix said a player from Hot Springs, S.D., who played against Newcastle last week tested positive for the disease earlier this week.

The Dogies did not practice on Thursday, the release said, and one Newcastle player was put on COVID-19 testing protocol.

The release said no one on the Newcastle football team has yet tested positive for COVID-19. Schools remain open. Other activities will go on as scheduled.

“We suspended team activities immediately when a member of the team went into the protocol, and had hoped we would have information this morning from health officials that would allow us to life that suspension and play tonight’s game,” LaCroix said in the release. “We were able to buy a little time last night, but we simply had to make a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ decision this morning. Without new information from health officials, we can’t justify lifting the suspension yet and sadly have to cancel tonight’s game out of caution. The health and well-being of our players and their families — both here and in Buffalo — has to be our first priority, and we just don’t have enough information at this time to go ahead and play tonight.”

The game was a nonconference game, with Buffalo in Class 3A and Newcastle in Class 2A. Previously, officials with the Wyoming High School Activities Association have said games lost to COVID-19 would be listed as no-contest games, not as forfeits.

Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens had previously canceled their fall sports seasons due to COVID-19.

This story was first reported by WyoPreps.

–patrick

Ten Sleep has selected Dane Weaver to be its football coach this season.

Ten Sleep activities director Sarah Novak confirmed Weaver’s hiring via email Thursday to wyoming-football.com. In a separate email, Weaver said his hiring was made official Monday.

Weaver has been at Ten Sleep for the past three years and has been an assistant football coach for the Pioneers.

He was Wyoming’s teacher of the year for 2020. He teaches social studies at Ten Sleep.

The Pioneers, a Class 1A six-man team, have not fielded a team in either of the past two years due to low numbers. Practice for 3A, 2A and 1A teams starts Monday.

Four Class 3A programs — Green RiverPowellRiverton and Worland — as well as Class 1A nine-man Riverside and Class 1A six-man Midwest have also hired new head coaches since the end of last season.

–patrick

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m. Aug. 13 to note Weaver’s hiring day.

Wyoming high school sports are still on track to start on time, even after the Mountain West Conference postponed fall sports, including football.

Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird said Tuesday in an interview with wyoming-football.com that the Mountain West’s decision isn’t affecting how high schools, or the WHSAA, will move forward with fall sports.

“We’re totally different than them,” Laird said, “and I would hope that everyone would continue to look at where we are in Wyoming and what’s going on in Wyoming.”

Laird said the state’s high schools have done well instituting the required protocols to protect students who participate in activities. Laird cited a survey the WHSAA did in late June, noting that more than 4,000 daily screenings of players and coaches had yielded zero COVID-19-positive results.

“Our schools have done a great job this summer of putting those protocols in place,” he said. ” … I have the utmost confidence in our schools that they’re going to continue to do that.”

Of the three tiers in place in the WHSAA’s “Smart Start Guidance,” Laird said all but two schools are in Tier I. In Tier I, schools are open and teams practice screening, sanitizing and social distancing. The only two schools not in Tier I are Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens, which both recently canceled fall sports.

Athletes from those two schools can transfer to other schools to compete this fall as hardship cases, Laird said, but both schools have to agree to the transfer first. Students can also return to their first school and retain eligibility when their first school reopens, but Laird said he hoped schools would work to arrange transfers at the end of grading periods so students who make such a move don’t lose credits.

On a statewide level, Laird said he was not naive enough to think there won’t be cases of COVID-19 on high school campuses this fall. But he also said he is confident in the protocols that are in place if a case does arise. He also said students, coaches and parents need to be honest about what they see.

“Our goal is to complete the season, and our purpose is to have kids compete,” Laird said, adding that students, coaches or parents who try to hide someone’s symptoms so they can play “wrecks it for everybody else.”

“If we want this opportunity, we’ve got to keep doing the protocols, staying safe and making good decisions.”

Laird said state and local health departments and school boards will still maintain control when, or if, COVID-19 cases arise. Laird said he was satisfied with the discussions he has had so far with Dr. Alexia Harrist, Wyoming’s state health officer and state epidemiologist.

“I was just very pleased with Dr. Harrist and her staff,” he said. “They were very reasonable.”

One of the reasons high school sports can continue while the Mountain West cannot, Laird said, were outbreak hotspots in the MW. Since high schools aren’t sending players to outbreak locations like California, Las Vegas or Boise, the risk is much lower, Laird said.

Laramie’s University of Wyoming, meanwhile, is not a COVID-19 hotspot but suffered the consequence of being associated with schools in hotspot areas.

“UW did a great job with their kids and their protocols and the safety of their students,” Laird said. “It was outstanding. … But they have just so many factors out there that they have no control over.”

Laird said one of the reasons high school sports can continue this fall even though spring sports were canceled when the state had lower infection rates is because of the evolving knowledge about how the disease is spread. This allowed schools and organizations like the WHSAA and the National Federation of High Schools to develop protocols like the ones used this fall by teams in every sport to limit the spread of disease.

“I think everybody has just learned so much more about this as we’ve gone through it, including the experts,” Laird said. ” … We’re all concerned with the total health of our students, and the mental and emotional health of our students is an important part of that, too.”

Practice for golf, tennis and Class 4A football started Monday. Practice for cross country, girls swimming, volleyball and class 3A, 2A and 1A football begins next week.

Interscholastic competition starts Wednesday for golf and Saturday for tennis. Football games start Aug. 28.

–patrick

Note: This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as necessary with new information as it becomes available. Be sure to refresh your browser to see the latest version of the story.

Wyoming Indian High School became the second school on the Wind River Indian Reservation to cancel its fall sports schedule, WIHS activities director Keith Bauder said.

In an email to wyoming-football.com, Bauder said the school will start classes online. The school will reconsider moving back to in-person classes on Oct. 1, with the earliest move to face-to-face classes being Oct. 16.

“It is sad for our students but we have to look at the safety factor first for students and families in our area,” Bauder said via email.

Wyoming Indian’s Board of Trustees voted 5-0 Tuesday to continue classes online. The school announced the decision on Twitter.

Wyoming Indian joins St. Stephens as schools that have had to cancel fall sports and move classes online to start the semester. St. Stephens’ school board made a similar move last week.

Wyoming Indian plays in Class 1A nine-man football and Class 2A in cross country and volleyball. The Wyoming Indian boys cross country program has won 22 state championships, including 13 since 2003. The girls cross country team won its first state title last year.

In an interview with wyoming-football.com on Wednesday, Bauder said the decision from the Board of Trustees helped put first the safety not only of the students but of the community.

“It’s sad because you know how important it is to the kids,” Bauder said. “Out here, families are very close and big, and their culture is family (centered).”

Both Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens are on the Wind River Indian Reservation, where a stay-at-home order has been in place for several months.

“There were so many ‘ifs’ and no answers,” Bauder said. “You can do all the planning you want, but when you’re working with ‘ifs,’ you can have every precaution you want, and (there’s a chance) it still happens.”

Bauder said students from schools closed by COVID-19 could compete for other schools for the fall sports season. When the closed schools re-open, though, those students have to choose whether to stay at their new school or return to their old school. Once students make that choice, Bauder said, they have to stick with it or be subject to traditional transfer rules.

“We haven’t crossed that bridge, but I’m sure we will,” Bauder said. “It’s sad (to lose students), but it gives the kids the opportunity to compete, which is good. We just hope we can get them all back again.”

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

–patrick

This story was updated at 8:53 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, with comments from Bauder.

Note: This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as necessary with new information as it becomes available. Be sure to refresh your browser to see the latest version of the story.

St. Stephens Indian School has canceled all fall sports for 2020, including football, and will have students participate in remote learning until at least Oct. 16.

An announcement from St. Stephens Superintendent Frank No Runner announcing the changes was posted to the St. Stephens school’s Facebook page on Friday afternoon.

The post said the St. Stephens school board met Friday morning and decided to move forward with several changes to start the school year.

Those changes include no sports for high school or junior high students and online learning until at least Oct. 16.

In his post, No Runner said safety was the primary concern for the decision.

“It was hard to come to this decision, but we are thinking about student and staff safety, and for our elders, if we lose them we lose valuable cultural and traditional knowledge that cannot be replaced,” No Runner’s post said.

The full post is available here:

In an interview Friday afternoon with wyoming-football.com, St. Stephens football coach Billy Brost said he understood the decision but was also frustrated by it.

“I know they’re trying to do right by the kids and the teachers and the families, but it’s just heartbreaking to me that everyone else is going to be playing and we’re aren’t,” Brost said.

St. Stephens’ cross country and volleyball teams will also have their seasons canceled. The football team was scheduled to play in Class 1A nine-man, while volleyball was set to move from Class 1A to Class 2A this fall.

Per capita, Fremont County — where St. Stephens is located — has had more cases of COVID-19 and more COVID-related deaths than any other Wyoming county. Data from the Wyoming Department of Health shows, as of Friday, 411 laboratory-confirmed cases of the disease in the county. Of the 26 COVID-related deaths in Wyoming, 10 have been in Fremont County, the most of any Wyoming county.

Along with St. Stephens, three other high schools — Wyoming Indian, Fort Washakie and Arapaho Charter — also operate on the Wind River Reservation. Of those, Wyoming Indian is the only school to offer full varsity athletics. Other Fremont County schools, those off reservation land, include Lander, Riverton, Wind River, Shoshoni and Dubois.

Brost said while he will miss coaching, he will also miss teaching; he teaches social studies at the school.

“It’s not just about sports,” he said. “It’s so many things that high school kids should have the right to experience that they don’t now because of this pandemic. … My heart breaks for them because they so need that interaction.

“They’re being robbed of it, and fingers crossed that things calm down by the beginning of October so we can have kids in our classroom.”

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

–patrick

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified No Runner’s position with St. Stephens schools. He is the superintendent.

Wyoming’s fall sports schedule will start on time.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association made that announcement Tuesday on its website.

The WHSAA announcement said the decision to continue sports as scheduled in the fall was made in consultation with the Wyoming state departments of health and education.

Practices start Aug. 10 and Aug. 17 for various sports, including Aug. 10 for Class 4A football and Aug. 17 for other football classifications.

In an effort to reduce large gatherings of people, the WHSAA decided to move 2020 football championship games to host sites for each classification. War Memorial Stadium at the University of Wyoming has hosted championship games since 2009. The WHSAA football guidelines posted on its website said this was “with the hopes of returning to the University of Wyoming the following year.”

The WHSAA gave schools directives to create their own plans on how they will handle shared equipment tees, ball bags, footballs and so on for practices. Schools will also need to create their own standards for game days on how to handle ticket booths, bleacher seating, concession stands, locker rooms and restrooms.

WHSAA guidelines do specify the elimination of pregame and postgame events such as tailgating and barbecues. People working at events will also be required to wear face coverings, and gloves are recommended.

The WHSAA also suggested following guidelines from the National Federation of High Schools to limit contact and exposure. For football, those recommendations include the elimination of pregame/postgame handshakes and the extension of the team box to the 10-yard lines, among others.

See the WHSAA’s press release here and its specific football guidelines here. Other sport-specific considerations are here.

–patrick

Post Navigation