This is the last of the Five Minute Introductions — and they are all for teams that started and ended their programs before World War II. I hope you’ve enjoyed the past year-plus of these quick little look-ins at each of the state’s high school football programs! Now, on to the final seven:

School: Carpenter
Nickname: Coyotes
Colors: blue and white
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Short history: The Coyotes won three games in two seasons of six-man football right before World War II. Carpenter beat Albin for its only victory in 1940 and beat Potter, Neb., and Burns for its two victories in 1941. Carpenter finished its two seasons a combined 3-12.

Carpenter team page.


School: Fort Washakie
: Indians
: Unknown
: Unknown
State championships
: None
Times worth remembering
: In 26 tries over six seasons, the Fort Washakie school won just one game, a 32-13 victory over Pavillion on Oct. 24, 1941. However, in that final season in 1941, the Indians found a niche in six-man football and were consistently competitive. Like many small football programs in the state, though, World War II helped put an end to the program.
Times worth forgetting: Fort Washakie went five seasons — 1936-40 — without a victory, piling up a combined mark of 0-19-2 in that span. The Indians failed to score in 14 of those 21 games.

Fort Washakie team page.


School: Gebo
Nickname: Miners
Colors: Unknown
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Times worth remembering: The 1932 season was Gebo’s lone winning season. The Miners went 5-3 and ended the season on a four-game winning streak. Gebo’s hallmark was defense; the Miners beat Basin, Shoshoni, Riverton and Ten Sleep twice — all by shutout.
Times worth forgetting: The Miners had three consecutive winless seasons from 1933-35, going 0-17-2 while playing the likes of Riverton, Thermopolis, Lander and Worland. The 1934 and 1935 teams both failed to score a point; at one point, Gebo went 13 consecutive games without scoring.

Gebo team page.


School: Grass Creek
Nickname: Unknown
Colors: Unknown
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Short history: The oilfield school northwest of Thermopolis has only one recorded game, a 45-0 loss to Thermopolis in 1926.

(Grass Creek doesn’t have a team page yet; its one game was played prior to 1930.)


School: Heart Mountain
Nickname: Eagles
Colors: Unknown
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Short history: The Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp team played for only two seasons, but in that time established a reputation as one of the state’s best teams. The Eagle varsity played seven games over two seasons, going 6-1. All six of the team’s victories were shutouts; the lone loss was a 19-13 defeat in a hard-fought game against Natrona. However, Heart Mountain was not a full-fledged member of the Bighorn Basin conference and many teams in the region refused to play the Eagles.

Heart Mountain team page.


School: Monarch
Nickname: Unknown
Colors: Unknown
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Short history: Monarch school, located north of Sheridan, has only one recorded game — a 34-6 loss to Dayton on Oct. 16, 1936.

Monarch team page.


School: Valley
Nickname: Cowboys
Colors: Unknown
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Short history: The Valley Prep school was best known as a high-end college preparatory academy, yet still played a hodgepodge schedule of Bighorn Basin squads. Even with little training and no home field, the Cowboys occasionally won and were always respected; the Cowboys beat both Cowley and Powell in 1930.

Valley team page.

School: Guernsey/Guernsey-Sunrise
Nickname: Longhorns/Vikings
Colors: orange and black/black and yellow
Stadium: Viking Stadium
State championships: 2004, 2006 and 2009
Times worth remembering: Two time periods help define the Guernsey-Sunrise program. The Vikings were consistently one of the toughest teams in the southeast corner during the 1970s, putting together eight consecutive winning seasons from 1971-78. In that span, Guernsey-Sunrise went 55-17, including a stretch of 24-3 in the 1975, 1976 and 1977 seasons. Missing from that span, though, is a state title — Guernsey missed the playoffs in 1975, lost the title game in 1976 and lost in the semis in 1977. That’s why the Vikings’ recent streak of title game appearances — five in six years from 2002-07, including titles in 2004 and 2006, and an all-too-easy 9-0 season in 2009 that gave the school its first six-man state championship — represents the second golden era of Viking football.
Times worth forgetting: The time right before the Sunrise school closed in 1963 and right after represented the toughest time for the Longhorns/Vikings. Consecutive winless seasons in 1961 and 1962 for the Longhorns were followed up with one-win seasons in 1963 and 1964, the first two years of the Vikings.
Best team: From the two “golden eras” for Guernsey, two teams stand out, the squad from 1976 and the squad from 2004. The 1976 team led the B-C division with five first-team all-staters and had its only loss in the state title game; the 2004 team had seven first-team all-staters, lost in the regular season to Lingle but won the state championship by edging out Cokeville at Cokeville (this after beating Burlington on the final play of the game in the semis). Put them on the field at the same time, I think it’s a great game, but the 2004 team’s penchant for winning the big games gives them the edge.
Biggest win: The 2004 title game, bar none. The Vikings were big underdogs in the game against Cokeville, which had beaten Guernsey 54-0 in the 2002 title game and 52-0 in the 2001 quarterfinals. The momentum built from beating Burlington in the semifinals a week earlier on the road gave the Vikings the confidence, and a touchdown in the final two minutes from Nigel Bristow gave the Vikings the title. (The 2006 title game win, a 14-12 victory also over Cokeville at Cokeville, helped lend legitimacy to the Vikings’ title-game run, as well. But the 2004 game was the bigger win.)
Heartbreaker: The Vikings just couldn’t catch a break in the mid-1970s. In 1975, the top-ranked Vikings lost to third-ranked Saratoga, a team Guernsey-Sunrise beat 16-12 earlier in the season, 20-6 on the final day of the regular season. The loss kept the Vikings out of the playoffs. Then, a year later, the Vikings went 9-0 and reached the Class B state championship game, only to get thumped by Lyman 28-12.

Guernsey-Sunrise team page.
Guernsey team page.

School: Worland
Nickname: Warriors
Colors: black and orange
Stadium: Warrior Stadium
State championships: 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1989, 2001, 2002 and 2003
Times worth remembering: Few teams can claim the type of success Worland had in the 1950s. The Warriors won five consecutive Class A championships from 1952-56, won another in 1959 and finished as runners-up in 1951. Worland reached double-digit victories for six straight seasons, 1951-56, and had a combined 61-6-2 record. At one point, Worland went 36 consecutive games without losing — a state record. (Not to be overshadowed is Worland’s more recent success. The Warriors won three consecutive 4A titles from 2001-03, going 29-4 those three years while winning 19 straight.)
Times worth forgetting: The Warriors’ toughest times came in the 1990s, when the team went the entire decade without winning a playoff game — a big dip for a historically successful team. The Warriors didn’t have a winning record for seven consecutive seasons from 1990-96, went 7-2 but lost in the first round of the playoffs in 1997, then bottomed out with an 0-8 season in 1998.
Best team: Picking one team out of a host of greats is difficult in Worland’s case, but the 1956 team stands out simply because of its defensive dominance. On its way to the Class A championship for the fifth consecutive year, the Warriors allowed only 18 points all season — and 12 of those came in the title game against Torrington, a game the Warriors won 46-12. Worland finished the season 10-0-1, the lone smudge a scoreless tie with Natrona. The Warriors got used to seeing the zero on the opponents’ side of the scoreboard: nine of the Warriors’ 11 opponents were held scoreless.
Biggest win: Worland’s championships in 2001 and 2002 were too similar to be coincidence. Both years, the Warriors beat Star Valley in the championship after losing to the Braves during the regular season. And both championship games were defensive struggles, with Worland winning 6-0 in 2001 and 17-14 in 2002. The 2002 game, though, really cemented Worland’s dynasty. After falling behind 14-7, Worland blocked a punt to set up the game-tying touchdown, then blocked a short field goal to help send the game to overtime. After forcing Star Valley into an interception in overtime, the Warriors’ Casey Lass thumped an 18-yard field goal through the uprights for the win — Worland’s second of three straight titles. (Worland is the only team to play in two state championship games that went to overtime; the Warriors also won the 1955 championship in extra time.)
Heartbreaker: The 1988 3A championship game against Torrington started so well for Worland. The Warriors’ opening drive went 80 yards, but, poised to put the game’s first points on the boards, Worland missed a field goal. Unfortunately, that was the Warriors’ best scoring chance in a 6-0 loss to the Trailblazers. Worland managed only 133 total yards.

Worland team page.

School: Rock Springs
Nickname: Tigers
Colors: orange and black
Stadium: Tiger Stadium
State championships: 1978, 1987, 2001 and 2002
Times worth remembering: An undefeated season is special, but back-to-back undefeated seasons are rare. The Tigers hung two years of utter domination on the rest of Wyoming’s 5A field, piling up a 22-0 record in 2001 and 2002 — and usually winning big in the process. Rock Springs won 18 of those 22 games by more than eight points and outscored opponents 858-216 — an average margin of 39-10.
Times worth forgetting: The Tigers had eight consecutive non-winning seasons in the 1990s, although that number is somewhat deceiving — the Tigers twice made the 4A semifinals in that span. Consistently garnering at least respect, Rock Springs just couldn’t get over the hump from 1993-95, when it went a combined 3-20. The Tigers were in games, and seven of those losses were by 10 points or less, but the team never found the right formula for consistent winning in those years.
Best team: The 2002 Rock Springs team is regarded not only as the best team in school history, but one of the best in state history. The Tigers averaged nearly 43 points per game, gave up fewer than eight points per game and notched five shutouts, including an 87-0 destruction of Cody and a 70-0 pasting of Laramie. Rock Springs had 10 first-team all-state players, including 5A’s lineman of the year (Nate Gehle) and back of the year (Matt Romanowski), and had four CST Super 25 first-team players.
Biggest win: The Tigers were clear underdogs heading into the 1978 state championship game against Laramie. After all, the Plainsmen had beaten the Tigers 28-0 earlier in the season, so why should the title game be any different? Well, it was. Playing in front of the home fans on a snowy, windy field, Robby Spence scored Rock Springs’ only touchdown in the first four minutes of the game and Don Morris added what ended up being the winning extra point as the Tigers notched a 7-6 victory – the school’s first state championship since winning the “Big Six” title in 1959.
Heartbreaker: The 1975 championship was one of those games no one should lose. With 9-0 Rock Springs meeting 9-0 Natrona County for the state championship, the two teams staged a defensive struggle for the ages, called at the time by the Casper Star-Tribune “the best-ever Class AA playoff championship.” NC held Rock Springs to just 101 total yards and won 13-6, denying the Tigers the chance to win their first state championship game — a feat Rock Springs would have to wait four more years to accomplish.

Rock Springs team page.

School: Tongue River
Nickname: Eagles
Colors: green and white
Stadium: Walt Gray Field
State championship: 1956
Times worth remembering: The Eagles can claim two dominant stretches of football — the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s. From 1962-67, Tongue River went a combined 43-5, with undefeated seasons in 1963 (7-0) and 1967 (9-0). Then, from 1972-74, the Eagles went 26-1, the lone loss coming to the Billings Senior junior varsity on the final day of the 1972 season. The 1970s teams earn the edge because of their dominance — in those three years, the Eagles won by an average score of 35-4 and posted 18 shutouts in 27 games.
Times worth forgetting: The hardest two years for legendary coach Walter Gray had to have been his last two. In 1990-91, the Eagles were a combined 2-13. Both seasons were eerily similar — the Eagles beat Wright in the season opener both years, then lost all of their remaining games, usually by a lot. The 1990 Eagles lost five times by shutout, gave up at least 37 points in its seven losses and managed only 31 points total in eight games; the ’91 squad managed more points and fewer blowout losses but still only managed the one victory.
Best team: With five undefeated teams — including four in the non-playoff era — picking TR’s best team is an exercise designed for frustration. But the one that stands out is the one in the middle of the Eagles’ 1970s dynasty: 1973. That year, the Eagles were 10-0 and were at their peak on both offense and defense. The Eagles were a juggernaut offensively, averaging 34.1 points per game, and defensively, they notched eight shutouts. Tongue River was rarely challenged in any game; its closest game was a 16-point victory over the Billings Senior junior varsity in the final game. Every other game was won by at least 20 points.
Biggest win: Tongue River’s first season was also among its best. After combining Dayton and Ranchester prior to the 1956 school year, the new Eagles quickly became one of the state’s top teams and rolled through northeast conference play unbeaten, then topped Cokeville 32-26 in Cokeville in a back-and-forth championship showdown. After staking a 12-0 lead, the Eagles gave up 26 consecutive points to the Panthers, but then staged a comeback rally of their own, scoring 20 straight to close the game while holding the Panthers scoreless in the second half. Ed Fiedor scored the eventual game-winner for TR on a 15-yard run late in the third quarter.
Heartbreaker: The Eagles were big favorites heading into the 2006 3A championship against Big Piney. After all, Tongue River was 10-0 and playing at home; Big Piney was 6-4 and making a long bus trip for the second time in three weeks. But the Punchers stymied the Eagles, making three big stops in the red zone — including an Eagles first-and-goal from the 9-yard line in the final minute — and came away with a 21-18 victory.

Tongue River team page.

School: Torrington
Nickname: Trailblazers
Colors: maroon and white
Stadium: Wiseman Field
State championships: 1988 and 1990
Times worth remembering: Three distinct stretches of success mark Torrington’s program. The first came from 1953-58, when Torrington appeared in six consecutive state championship games — but lost all six. The second came in six seasons from 1969-74, where Torrington went 48-5 and piled up three undefeated seasons (9-0 in ’69, ’71 and ’74). The third was highlighted by a 10-0 season and the school’s first official state title in 1988, followed soon after by a 9-0 season and a 3A title in 1990.
Times worth forgetting: Since its last state championship game appearance in 1996, the Trailblazers have struggled to find consistency. From 1997-2010, the Trailblazers haven’t had a winning season and have had just one playoff victory. Twice in that span, in 2000 and again in 2006, Torrington went winless — the only two times that has happened in program history.
Best team: That depends on what you’re looking for. Want offense? The 1969 team is your choice — the Blazers ran up an amazing 46 points per game, including the modern record for single-game scoring in a 93-6 win over St. Mary’s, on their way to a 9-0 record and a third-place finish in the final AA-A poll. Want defense? The 1974 team is your choice — those Blazers gave up only six points the entire season, shutting out eight of their nine foes in a 9-0 season and a tie for the mythical Class A title. Only Glenrock, in a 19-6 loss, pierced Torrington’s goal line.
Biggest win: Before 1988, Torrington never had a title to call its own. After losing six consecutive championship games in the 1950s, and after not being able to claim an outright mythical state title despite three undefeated seasons in the 1960s and ‘70s, the 1988 3A championship game victory finally gave Torrington that long-awaited title no one else could claim. The 6-0 victory over Worland in Torrington was won by Jason Nickal’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and by a stout defense that allowed the Warriors only hints of offensive success.
Heartbreaker: All six of Torrington’s consecutive championship-game losses from 1953-58 stung, but none more than the 1955 loss to Worland. The two teams finished regulation tied at 14, and under the rules of the day the two teams had an odd way to break the tie. The ball was placed on the 50-yard line, and each team had five offensive plays apiece, alternating. After nine plays, Torrington had a one-yard advantage, but the Trailblazers couldn’t hold — Worland’s Terry Smothermon plunged across the 50 on the final play as Worland won the title by just a few feet. It was the third of Torrington’s four consecutive championship game losses to Worland; Torrington lost to Powell in 1957 and Cody in 1958.

Torrington team page.

School: Wyoming Indian
Nickname: Chiefs
Colors: red and blue
Stadium: Chiefs Intertribal Stadium
State championships: none
Times worth remembering: There hasn’t been much to cheer for in Ethete. The Chiefs have had only three winning seasons (5-2 in 1982, 5-3 in 2007 and 4-3 in 2008) and only one playoff appearance (1996). The back-to-back winning seasons in 2007 and 2008, though, have been Wyoming Indian’s best — even though the Chiefs weren’t eligible for the playoffs because they had made the decision to opt down to Class 1A play rather than play in the 3A division in which it would have fit by enrollment.
Times worth forgetting: At one point, an entire class of students went through WIHS without ever knowing a win on the football field. The Chiefs went winless for four consecutive years from 1976-79, at one point losing 32 consecutive games when including the final four games of the ’75 season. Of those 32 losses, more than half — 17 — were shutout losses.
Best team: The Chiefs were ever so close to turning the program around for good in 1982. That year, the Chiefs finished 5-2, losing only to county rivals Wind River and Shoshoni. The Chiefs had a knack for winning close games, beating Byron 16-13, North Big Horn 16-12, Dubois 12-0 and Basin 18-7; however, the two losses kept the Chiefs home for the postseason.
Biggest win: Wyoming Indian’s first and only playoff berth was secured in 1996. The game the Chiefs knew they needed to win to secure their berth was against Saratoga in Saratoga — and WIHS came through with a thrilling 30-26 victory, outscoring the Panthers 22-0 in the second half to rally from a 26-8 halftime deficit. James St. Clair scored the Chiefs’ winning touchdown on a 3-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
Heartbreaker: The 1996 excursion into the playoffs did not end well for the Chiefs. Drawing unbeaten defending state champion Rocky Mountain — a team that had swamped the Chiefs 65-0 in Ethete earlier in the season — didn’t help matters at all. As expected, Wyoming Indian couldn’t keep up with the Grizzlies on either side of the ball and lost 47-6, a difficult ending to one of the best seasons in school history.

Wyoming Indian team page.

School: Hanna
Nickname: Miners
Colors: blue and orange
Stadium: Miner Stadium
State championships: 1952, 1954 and 1989
Times worth remembering: The Miners were one of the best teams in Wyoming during the early 1950s, winning titles in 1952 and 1954 and finishing as state runners-up in both 1950 and 1951. And in 1951, the team interspersed 11-man games into its six-man schedule just to stay active and fill out its schedule, and finished 7-2. The Miners had eight straight winning seasons from 1950-57.
Times worth forgetting: Losing is one thing; not playing is another. Twice in school history, the Miners have been forced to postpone entire seasons due to a lack of players — in 1986 and again in 1993. The loss of the 1993 season had deeper repercussions, though, as the Miners went 0-7 in 1994, 1995 and 1996; the squad lost 22 consecutive games after the 1993 cancellation, then beat the Laramie sophomores 12-6 in overtime in the second game of the 1997 season to break the streak.
Best team: By default, the 1952 squad gets the nod as Hanna’s best. The Miners went 8-0 that season — the school’s only undefeated season — and beat Cowley 18-12 in the six-man championship game that season. The Miners were rarely challenged in the regular season, winning by an average score of 43-8 in their first seven games, before taking down the Jags in Hanna for the school’s first championship.
Biggest win: The 1954 Hanna team was solid, finishing with only one loss in the regular season. However, the team that handed them that 50-24 loss less than a month before the playoffs, Glenrock, was the team Hanna met in the Class B playoff semifinals. Nevertheless, the Miners, off the momentum of a pair of touchdown passes by Bill Klemola and a fourth-quarter goal-line stand, pulled off the 21-20 upset victory. The next week, Hanna beat Cowley 33-19 in the Class B championship to claim the school’s second championship in three years.
Heartbreaker: In the world of the mythical state championships of the 1960s and ‘70s, one loss could doom a season. Such was the case for Hanna in 1965, when a 20-19 season-opening loss to Mountain View probably kept the Miners from winning a state championship. No Class B-C schools went undefeated that year, and Hanna — which went 5-1 that year and finished fourth in the final UPI balloting — probably could have claimed the mythical title with a 6-0 record if not for that one-point loss in the season opener.

Hanna team page.

School: North Big Horn
Nickname: Grizzlies
Colors: brown and yellow
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: none
Times worth remembering: A precursor to current-day Rocky Mountain High School, the North Big Horn team was a combination of Cowley and Deaver-Frannie. And the combo took a while to gel; in six years together before Byron joined the fold, the Grizzlies never had a season with fewer than three losses. Even so, the first NBH team in 1977 was probably the best — it posted three shutout victories, including one over future partner Byron 12-0.
Times worth forgetting: The Grizzlies’ toughest season was probably their last, 1982, not because of the number of the losses but because of the nature. The Grizzlies’ offense posted a respectable 20 points per game, but the defense gave up an average of 27 — and, consequently, the Grizzlies lost games by scores like 39-22, 16-12, 38-20, 36-22 and 32-22.

North Big Horn team page.


School: Kaycee
Nickname: Buckaroos
Colors: blue and red
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Short history: Kaycee’s first season went better than any other debut in recent history. The Buckaroos posted a 4-3 record in the 2009 regular season, but posted a pair of playoff victories on the road to advance to the state title game in its first season. The big loss to Guernsey-Sunrise in the title game, though, did little to diminish Kaycee’s impressive gridiron debut. Kaycee followed that up with a semifinal playoff appearance in 2010.

Kaycee team page.


School: Bow-Basin
Nickname: Wranglers
Colors: maroon and white
Stadium: Unknown
State championships: None
Times worth remembering: In their nine-year history, the Wranglers had only one winning season, but it sure was memorable. After dropping its first two games, Bow-Basin won six in a row to cap a 6-2 season. Early losses to Lingle and Guernsey were all that kept the team from advancing to the playoffs.
Times worth forgetting: After the 6-2 season in ’78, the Wranglers stumbled toward the end of their program, going 2-6 in 1979, 1-6 in 1980 and 0-8 in the final season, 1981, before the program was dropped.

Bow-Basin team page.

School: Newcastle
Nickname: Dogies
Colors: orange and black
Stadium: Schoonmaker Field
State championships: None
Times worth remembering: The Dogies underwent a renaissance of sorts when Erv Wentling took over as coach before the 1977 season. His first two seasons, the Dogies went a combined 14-2, and in his first five years Newcastle compiled an overall record of 32-8 and made the school’s only state championship game appearance (1981).
Times worth forgetting: Few teams have had a rougher five-year stretch than the Dogies died from 2001-05. In those five years, the Dogies won just two games, going 2-39 — at one point losing 29 consecutive games. Back-to-back winless seasons in 2002 and 2003, in which Newcastle was shut out nine times and lost 14 of 17 games by at least 25 points, were the low point of the streak.
Best team: Newcastle played some of its best football in the late 1940s, including what was probably the program’s best season in 1949. That year, the Dogies went 8-2, losing its season opener to Hot Springs, S.D., and its season finale to Cody in the Class A semifinals. In between, the Dogies won eight consecutive games and gave up only 40 points in those eight games, winning all but one game by at least 14 points.
Biggest win: After a 1-6 regular season, the 1996 Dogies were expected to be nothing more than first-round cannon fodder for 2A West champion Kemmerer in the first round of the playoffs. But no one told the Dogies. Jason Logan scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns – and, maybe more importantly, kicked two extra points – as the Dogies rallied from a 26-13 fourth-quarter deficit to come away with a 27-26 victory. The victory is the school’s only playoff win to date and inspiration for every Newcastle team to follow.
Heartbreaker: After 22 consecutive losing seasons, the 2006 Newcastle team finally made up for all the struggles of its predecessors. Until the playoffs. After losing its first two games, Newcastle won six games in a row and came into the playoffs with the No. 2 seed from the East and a home playoff game — the school’s first home postseason game in almost five decades. However, Big Piney, a playoff-savvy team that wasn’t fazed by the long trip east, gave the Dogies all they could handle. And then, with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Seth Linn’s 15-yard touchdown catch — still disputed up in Newcastle as to whether or not it was caught inbounds — gave the Punchers a 12-6 victory and left the Dogies again on the outside of the championship hunt.

Newcastle team page.

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