Every year when the new schedule comes out, we typically see a few games on the schedule we’ve never seen.

In 2018, we will have six seven regular-season games that have never been played.

Two of the six seven involve Buffalo, which is moving from Class 3A to Class 2A, while two three others involve out-of-state foes.

The 2018 schedule is not necessarily complete. Schools below the Class 4A level still have opportunities to add Zero Week games, and some schools have open weeks they can fill.

The new series are:

Week 1: Yuma, Colorado, at Pine Bluffs; Southeast at Mitchell, Neb.

Week 2: Upton-Sundance at Wheatland; Star Valley at Sugar-Salem, Idaho

Week 3: Burns at Buffalo; Newcastle at Rocky Mountain

Week 5: Moorcroft at Buffalo

The longest active series scheduled to end in 2018 will be the series between Star Valley and Worland. The two programs have played each other every season since 1983. The Powell-Buffalo series, played every year since 1991, is also scheduled to end.

–patrick

Updated 8:11 a.m. Nov. 30 to reflect the addition of the Southeast-Mitchell series.

The biggest changes to the 2018 Wyoming high school football schedules were prompted by one move.

Buffalo, which opted up to Class 3A last year, will move to Class 2A in 2018. Worland will move from the 3A West to the 3A East to give the 12-school 3A classification equal conferences with six teams apiece. Buffalo will be in the 2A East, giving each 2A conference seven teams.

That shift brought about numerous changes to the 2018 schedules in the 3A, 2A and 1A 11-man ranks. The WHSAA released the schedules to schools today at the statewide scheduling meeting in Casper.

In 2017, the WHSAA scheduled only the conference games, leaving nonconference scheduling up to the schools. This year, however, committees met in Casper in the first week of November to help develop nonconference schedules in addition to conference schedules.

WHSAA Associate Commissioner Trevor Wilson said via email that schools will be allowed to schedule nonconference games in their open weeks but won’t be allowed to change the nonconference schedules set earlier this month and posted below. Some holes in the schedules still exist, including the first week for several six-man schools and open weeks for a handful of schools in other weeks.

Star Valley and Farson both appear to be hurt the most by the new schedule — they are the only two teams in the state to have a schedule of three home games and five road games. Both squads could add a home game in Zero Week, though.

As usual, schools outside of 4A have Zero Week open and can schedule a game, jamboree or scrimmage in that week.

The 2018 4A schedule is a mirror of the 2017 schedule. Conferences in 1A 11-man and 1A six-man will remain unchanged.

Here is the schedule, first by week and then by school:

Week 0 (Friday, Aug. 24)
Class 4A
Cheyenne East at Gillette
Laramie at Kelly Walsh
Natrona at Cheyenne South
Sheridan at Rock Springs
Thunder Basin at Cheyenne Central
Schedule TBD: All non-4A schools

Week 1 (Friday, Aug. 31)
Class 4A
Cheyenne Central at Sheridan
Kelly Walsh at Cheyenne East
Natrona at Gillette
Rock Springs at Laramie
Thunder Basin at Cheyenne South
Class 3A
Lander at Green River
Powell at Worland
Rawlins at Evanston
Riverton at Cody
Class 2A
Lyman at Pinedale
Wheatland at Newcastle
Class 1A 11-man
Upton-Sundance at Lusk
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Kaycee
Dubois at Midwest
Farson at Guernsey-Sunrise
Hanna vs. St. Stephens (location TBD)
Interclass
Big Piney at Shoshoni
Burns at Wright
Douglas at Buffalo
Greybull at Rocky Mountain
Kemmerer at Saratoga
Mountain View at Cokeville
Thermopolis at Big Horn
Tongue River at Moorcroft
Torrington at Glenrock
Wind River at Lovell
Interstate
Jackson at Bear Lake, Idaho
Preston, Idaho, at Star Valley
Southeast at Mitchell, Neb.
Yuma, Colo., at Pine Bluffs
Schedule TBD: Hulett, Lingle, Meeteetse, NSI, Riverside, Rock River, Snake River, Ten Sleep, Wyoming Indian.

Week 2 (Friday, Sept. 7)
Class 4A
Cheyenne East at Thunder Basin
Cheyenne South at Kelly Walsh
Gillette at Laramie
Rock Springs at Cheyenne Central
Sheridan at Natrona
Class 3A
Evanston at Riverton
Lander at Powell
Rawlins at Green River
Worland at Cody
Class 2A
Big Piney at Mountain View
Buffalo at Thermopolis
Glenrock at Newcastle
Lyman at Kemmerer
Moorcroft at Burns
Class 1A 11-man
Lusk at Tongue River
Saratoga at Southeast
Rocky Mountain at Wind River (nonconference)
Wright at Pine Bluffs
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Riverside
Guernsey-Sunrise at Hulett
Hanna at Midwest
Rock River at Kaycee
NSI at Lingle
St. Stephens at Meeteetse
Snake River at Burlington
Ten Sleep at Farson
Interclass
Big Horn at Greybull
Lovell at Shoshoni
Pinedale at Jackson
Upton-Sundance at Wheatland
Interstate
Douglas at Hot Springs, S.D.
Gering, Neb., at Torrington
Star Valley at Sugar-Salem, Idaho
Schedule TBD: Cokeville, Wyoming Indian.

Week 3 (Friday, Sept. 14)
Class 4A
Cheyenne Central at Gillette
Cheyenne South at Cheyenne East
Kelly Walsh at Rock Springs
Laramie at Natrona
Thunder Basin at Sheridan
Class 3A
Cody at Rawlins
Evanston at Lander
Green River at Torrington
Jackson at Worland
Powell at Riverton
Star Valley at Douglas
Class 2A
Burns at Buffalo
Glenrock at Wheatland
Greybull at Big Piney
Kemmerer at Pinedale
Mountain View at Lovell
Thermopolis at Moorcroft
Class 1A 11-man
Big Horn at Wright
Pine Bluffs at Southeast
Tongue River at Upton-Sundance
Wind River at Lusk
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at St. Stephens
Farson at Dubois
Kaycee at Guernsey-Sunrise
Hulett at Hanna
Lingle at Rock River
Meeteetse at Snake River
Midwest at NSI
Riverside at Ten Sleep
Interclass
Cokeville at Lyman
Newcastle at Rocky Mountain
Schedule TBD: Saratoga, Shoshoni, Wyoming Indian.

Week 4 (Friday, Sept. 21)
Class 4A
Cheyenne Central at Laramie
Cheyenne South at Rock Springs
Gillette at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Cheyenne East
Sheridan at Kelly Walsh
Class 3A
Cody at Jackson
Green River at Star Valley
Powell at Evanston
Rawlins at Douglas
Riverton at Worland
Torrington at Lander
Class 2A
Buffalo at Glenrock
Kemmerer at Big Piney
Lovell at Lyman
Newcastle at Moorcroft
Pinedale at Greybull
Thermopolis at Mountain View
Wheatland at Burns
Class 1A 11-man
Pine Bluffs at Tongue River
Saratoga at Rocky Mountain
Shoshoni at Cokeville
Southeast at Lusk
Upton-Sundance at Big Horn
Wyoming Indian at Wind River
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Meeteetse
Farson at Riverside
Guernsey-Sunrise at NSI
Hanna at Lingle
Rock River at Hulett
Midwest at Kaycee
St. Stephens at Snake River
Ten Sleep at Dubois
Schedule TBD: Wright.

Week 5 (Friday, Sept. 28)
Class 4A
Kelly Walsh at Cheyenne Central
Laramie at Cheyenne East
Rock Springs at Gillette
Sheridan at Cheyenne South
Thunder Basin at Natrona
Class 3A
Douglas at Torrington
Evanston at Cody
Jackson at Green River
Lander at Riverton
Star Valley at Powell
Worland at Rawlins
Class 2A
Big Piney at Lovell
Burns at Glenrock
Greybull at Kemmerer
Mountain View at Pinedale
Moorcroft at Buffalo
Wheatland at Thermopolis
Class 1A 11-man
Big Horn at Pine Bluffs
Cokeville at Wyoming Indian
Rocky Mountain at Shoshoni
Tongue River at Southeast
Upton-Sundance at Wright
Wind River at Saratoga
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Burlington
Kaycee at Hulett
Lingle at Midwest
Meeteetse at Farson
NSI at Hanna
Rock River at Guernsey-Sunrise
Snake River at Riverside
Ten Sleep at St. Stephens
Interclass
Lusk at Newcastle
Schedule TBD: Lyman

Week 6 (Friday, Oct. 5)
Class 4A
Cheyenne East at Cheyenne Central
Cheyenne South at Laramie
Gillette at Sheridan
Natrona at Kelly Walsh
Rock Springs at Thunder Basin
Class 3A
Cody at Powell
Green River at Evanston
Rawlins at Lander
Riverton at Torrington
Star Valley at Jackson
Worland at Douglas
Class 2A
Big Piney at Pinedale
Buffalo at Wheatland
Glenrock at Kemmerer
Lovell at Greybull
Lyman at Mountain View
Thermopolis at Newcastle
Class 1A 11-man
Big Horn at Tongue River
Rocky Mountain at Cokeville
Saratoga at Wyoming Indian
Shoshoni at Wind River
Southeast at Upton-Sundance
Wright at Lusk
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Ten Sleep
Dubois at St. Stephens
Hanna at Rock River
Hulett at NSI
Lingle at Kaycee
Midwest at Guernsey-Sunrise
Riverside at Meeteetse
Snake River at Farson
Interclass
Pine Bluffs at Burns
Schedule TBD: Moorcroft.

Week 7 (Friday, Oct. 12)
Class 4A
Cheyenne Central at Natrona
Cheyenne East at Rock Springs
Gillette at Cheyenne South
Laramie at Sheridan
Thunder Basin at Kelly Walsh
Class 3A
Cody at Star Valley
Evanston at Jackson
Lander at Douglas
Powell at Green River
Riverton at Rawlins
Torrington at Worland
Class 2A
Buffalo at Big Piney
Glenrock at Thermopolis
Greybull at Lyman
Kemmerer at Mountain View
Newcastle at Burns
Pinedale at Lovell
Wheatland at Moorcroft
Class 1A 11-man
Lusk at Big Horn
Pine Bluffs at Upton-Sundance
Saratoga at Cokeville
Wind River at Rocky Mountain
Wright at Southeast
Wyoming Indian at Shoshoni
Class 1A six-man
Farson at Burlington
Guernsey-Sunrise at Lingle
Kaycee at Hanna
Meeteetse at Dubois
Midwest at Hulett
NSI at Rock River
St. Stephens at Riverside
Ten Sleep at Snake River
Schedule TBD: Tongue River

Week 8 (Friday, Oct. 19)
Class 4A
Cheyenne Central at Cheyenne South
Kelly Walsh at Gillette
Laramie at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Rock Springs
Sheridan at Cheyenne East
Class 3A
Douglas at Riverton
Green River at Cody
Jackson at Powell
Star Valley at Evanston
Torrington at Rawlins
Worland at Lander
Class 2A
Burns at Thermopolis
Glenrock at Moorcroft
Lovell at Kemmerer
Lyman at Big Piney
Mountain View at Greybull
Newcastle at Buffalo
Pinedale at Wheatland
Class 1A 11-man
Cokeville at Wind River
Lusk at Pine Bluffs
Rocky Mountain at Wyoming Indian
Shoshoni at Saratoga
Southeast at Big Horn
Tongue River at Wright
Class 1A six-man
Farson at St. Stephens
Guernsey-Sunrise at Hanna
Hulett at Lingle
Kaycee at NSI
Meeteetse at Ten Sleep
Riverside at Burlington
Rock River at Midwest
Snake River at Dubois
Schedule TBD: Upton-Sundance

Schedules by team
Class 4A
Cheyenne Central: vs. Thunder Basin; at Sheridan; vs. Rock Springs; at Gillette; at Laramie; vs. Kelly Walsh; vs. Cheyenne East; at Natrona; at Cheyenne South.
Cheyenne East: at Gillette; vs. Kelly Walsh; at Thunder Basin; vs. Cheyenne South; vs. Natrona; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne Central; at Rock Springs; vs. Sheridan.
Cheyenne South: vs. Natrona; vs. Thunder Basin; at Kelly Walsh; at Cheyenne East; at Rock Springs; vs. Sheridan; at Laramie; vs. Gillette; vs. Cheyenne Central.
Gillette: vs. Cheyenne East; vs. Natrona; at Laramie; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Thunder Basin; vs. Rock Springs; at Sheridan; at Cheyenne South; vs. Kelly Walsh.
Kelly Walsh: vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne South; at Rock Springs; vs. Sheridan; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Natrona; vs. Thunder Basin; at Gillette.
Laramie: at Kelly Walsh; vs. Rock Springs; vs. Gillette; at Natrona; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Cheyenne East; vs. Cheyenne South; at Sheridan; at Thunder Basin.
Natrona: at Cheyenne South; at Gillette; vs. Sheridan; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne East; vs. Thunder Basin; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Rock Springs.
Rock Springs: vs. Sheridan; at Laramie; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Kelly Walsh; vs. Cheyenne South; at Gillette; at Thunder Basin; vs. Cheyenne East; vs. Natrona.
Sheridan: at Rock Springs; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Natrona; vs. Thunder Basin; at Kelly Walsh; at Cheyenne South; vs. Gillette; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne East.
Thunder Basin: at Cheyenne Central; at Cheyenne South; vs. Cheyenne East; at Sheridan; vs. Gillette; at Natrona; vs. Rock Springs; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Laramie.

Class 3A East
Douglas: at Buffalo; at Hot Springs, S.D.; vs. Star Valley; vs. Rawlins; at Torrington; vs. Worland; vs. Lander; at Riverton.
Lander: at Green River; at Powell; vs. Evanston; vs. Torrington; at Riverton; vs. Rawlins; at Douglas; vs. Worland.
Rawlins: at Evanston; at Green River; vs. Cody; at Douglas; vs. Worland; at Lander; vs. Riverton; vs. Torrington.
Riverton: at Cody; vs. Evanston; vs. Powell; at Worland; vs. Lander; at Torrington; at Rawlins; vs. Douglas.
Torrington: at Glenrock; vs. Gering, Neb.; vs. Green River; at Lander; vs. Douglas; vs. Riverton; at Worland; at Rawlins.
Worland: vs. Powell; at Cody; vs. Jackson; vs. Riverton; at Rawlins; at Douglas; vs. Torrington; at Lander.

Class 3A West
Cody: vs. Riverton; vs. Worland; at Rawlins; at Jackson; vs. Evanston; at Powell; at Star Valley; vs. Green River.
Evanston: vs. Rawlins; at Riverton; at Lander; vs. Powell; at Cody; vs. Green River; at Jackson; vs. Star Valley.
Green River: vs. Lander; vs. Rawlins; at Torrington; at Star Valley; vs. Jackson; at Evanston; vs. Powell; at Cody.
Jackson: at Bear Lake, Idaho; vs. Pinedale; at Worland; vs. Cody; at Green River; vs. Star Valley; vs. Evanston; at Powell.
Powell: at Worland; vs. Lander; at Riverton; at Evanston; vs. Star Valley; vs. Cody; at Green River; vs. Jackson.
Star Valley: vs. Preston, Idaho; at Sugar-Salem, Idaho; at Douglas; vs. Green River; at Powell; at Jackson; vs. Cody; at Evanston.

Class 2A East
Buffalo: vs. Douglas; at Thermopolis; vs. Burns; at Glenrock; vs. Moorcroft; at Wheatland; at Big Piney; vs. Newcastle.
Burns: at Wright; vs. Moorcroft; at Buffalo; vs. Wheatland; at Glenrock; vs. Pine Bluffs; vs. Newcastle; at Thermopolis.
Glenrock: vs. Torrington; at Newcastle; at Wheatland; vs. Buffalo; vs. Burns; at Kemmerer; at Thermopolis; vs. Moorcroft.
Moorcroft: vs. Tongue River; at Burns; vs. Thermopolis; vs. Newcastle; at Buffalo; TBD; vs. Wheatland; at Glenrock.
Newcastle: vs. Wheatland; vs. Glenrock; at Rocky Mountain; at Moorcroft; vs. Lusk; vs. Thermopolis; at Burns; at Buffalo.
Thermopolis: at Big Horn; vs. Buffalo; at Moorcroft; at Mountain View; vs. Wheatland; at Newcastle; vs. Glenrock; vs. Burns.
Wheatland: at Newcastle; vs. Upton-Sundance; vs. Glenrock; at Burns; at Thermopolis; vs. Buffalo; at Moorcroft; vs. Pinedale.

Class 2A West
Big Piney: at Shoshoni; at Mountain View; vs. Greybull; vs. Kemmerer; at Lovell; at Pinedale; vs. Buffalo; vs. Lyman.
Greybull: at Rocky Mountain; vs. Big Horn; at Big Piney; vs. Pinedale; at Kemmerer; vs. Lovell; at Lyman; vs. Mountain View.
Kemmerer: at Saratoga; vs. Lyman; at Pinedale; at Big Piney; vs. Greybull; vs. Glenrock; at Mountain View; vs. Lovell.
Lovell: vs. Wind River; at Shoshoni; vs. Mountain View; at Lyman; vs. Big Piney; at Greybull; vs. Pinedale; at Kemmerer.
Lyman: at Pinedale; at Kemmerer; vs. Cokeville; vs. Lovell; TBD; at Mountain View; vs. Greybull; at Big Piney.
Mountain View: at Cokeville; vs. Big Piney; at Lovell; vs. Thermopolis; at Pinedale; vs. Lyman; vs. Kemmerer; at Greybull.
Pinedale: vs. Lyman; at Jackson; vs. Kemmerer; at Greybull; vs. Mountain View; vs. Big Piney; at Lovell; at Wheatland.

Class 1A 11-man East
Big Horn: vs. Thermopolis; at Greybull; at Wright; vs. Upton-Sundance; at Pine Bluffs; at Tongue River; vs. Lusk; vs. Southeast.
Lusk: vs. Upton-Sundance; at Tongue River; vs. Wind River; vs. Southeast; at Newcastle; vs. Wright; at Big Horn; at Pine Bluffs.
Pine Bluffs: vs. Yuma, Colo.; vs. Wright; at Southeast; at Tongue River; vs. Big Horn; at Burns; at Upton-Sundance; vs. Lusk.
Southeast: at Mitchell, Neb.; vs. Saratoga; vs. Pine Bluffs; at Lusk; vs. Tongue River; at Upton-Sundance; vs. Wright; at Big Horn.
Tongue River: at Moorcroft; vs. Lusk; at Upton-Sundance; vs. Pine Bluffs; at Southeast; vs. Big Horn; TBD; at Wright.
Upton-Sundance: at Lusk; at Wheatland; vs. Tongue River; at Big Horn; at Wright; vs. Southeast; vs. Pine Bluffs; TBD.
Wright: vs. Burns; at Pine Bluffs; vs. Big Horn; TBD; vs. Upton-Sundance; at Lusk; at Southeast; vs. Tongue River.

Class 1A 11-man West
Cokeville: vs. Mountain View; TBD; at Lyman; vs. Shoshoni; at Wyoming Indian; vs. Rocky Mountain; vs. Saratoga; at Wind River.
Rocky Mountain: vs. Greybull; at Wind River (nonconference); vs. Newcastle; vs. Saratoga; at Shoshoni; at Cokeville; vs. Wind River; at Wyoming Indian.
Saratoga: vs. Kemmerer; at Southeast; TBD; at Rocky Mountain; vs. Wind River; at Wyoming Indian; at Cokeville; vs. Shoshoni.
Shoshoni: vs. Big Piney; vs. Lovell; TBD; at Cokeville; vs. Rocky Mountain; at Wind River; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Saratoga.
Wind River: at Lovell; vs. Rocky Mountain; at Lusk; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Saratoga; vs. Shoshoni; at Rocky Mountain; vs. Cokeville.
Wyoming Indian: TBD; TBD; TBD; at Wind River; vs. Cokeville; vs. Saratoga; at Shoshoni; vs. Rocky Mountain.

Class 1A six-man East
Guernsey-Sunrise: vs. Farson; at Hulett; vs. Kaycee; at NSI; vs. Rock River; vs. Midwest; at Lingle; at Hanna.
Hanna: vs. St. Stephens (location TBD); at Midwest; vs. Hulett; at Lingle; vs. NSI; at Rock River; vs. Kaycee; vs. Guernsey-Sunrise.
Hulett: TBD; vs. Guernsey-Sunrise; at Hanna; vs. Rock River; vs. Kaycee; at NSI; vs. Midwest; at Lingle.
Kaycee: vs. Burlington; vs. Rock River; at Guernsey-Sunrise; vs. Midwest; at Hulett; vs. Lingle; at Hanna; at NSI.
Lingle: TBD; vs. NSI; at Rock River; vs. Hanna; at Midwest; at Kaycee; vs. Guernsey-Sunrise; vs. Hulett.
Midwest: vs. Dubois; vs. Hanna; at NSI; at Kaycee; vs. Lingle; at Guernsey-Sunrise; at Hulett; vs. Rock River.
NSI: TBD; at Lingle; vs. Midwest; vs. Guernsey-Sunrise; at Hanna; vs. Hulett; at Rock River; vs. Kaycee.
Rock River: TBD; at Kaycee; vs. Lingle; at Hulett; at Guernsey-Sunrise; vs. Hanna; vs. NSI; at Midwest.

Class 1A six-man West
Burlington: at Kaycee; vs. Snake River; at St. Stephens; at Meeteetse; vs. Dubois; at Ten Sleep; vs. Farson; vs. Riverside.
Dubois: at Midwest; at Riverside; vs. Farson; vs. Ten Sleep; at Burlington; at St. Stephens; vs. Meeteetse; vs. Snake River.
Farson: at Guernsey-Sunrise; vs. Ten Sleep; at Dubois; at Riverside; vs. Meeteetse; vs. Snake River; at Burlington; at St. Stephens.
Meeteetse: TBD; vs. St. Stephens; at Snake River; vs. Burlington; at Farson; vs. Riverside; at Dubois; at Ten Sleep.
Riverside: TBD; vs. Dubois; at Ten Sleep; vs. Farson; vs. Snake River; at Meeteetse; vs. St. Stephens; at Burlington.
St. Stephens: vs. Hanna (location TBD); at Meeteetse; vs. Burlington; at Snake River; vs. Ten Sleep; vs. Dubois; at Riverside; vs. Farson.
Snake River: TBD; at Burlington; vs. Meeteetse; vs. St Stephens; at Riverside; at Farson; vs. Ten Sleep; at Dubois.
Ten Sleep: TBD; at Farson; vs. Riverside; at Dubois; at St. Stephens; vs. Burlington; at Snake River; vs. Meeteetse.

–patrick

At War Memorial Stadium, Laramie
Friday, Nov. 10
Class 2A championship, (1W) Mountain View vs. (1E) Glenrock, noon
Class 3A championship, (3W) Cody vs. (1E) Torrington, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Class 1A six-man championship, (1W) Farson vs. (1E) Kaycee, 10 a.m.
Class 1A 11-man championship, (2E) Big Horn vs. (1E) Pine Bluffs, 1 p.m.
Class 4A championship, (2) Natrona vs. (1) Sheridan, 4 p.m.

–patrick

These are the projected Wyoming high school football playoff pairings for the 2017 season. Some seeds in Class 1A six-man will be broken with games on Saturday.

Official pairings and game times will be posted by the WHSAA in the next few days.

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

Class 3A
(4W) Worland at (1E) Torrington
(3E) Douglas at (2W) Green River
(3W) Cody at (2E) Buffalo
(4E) Rawlins at (1W) Star Valley

Class 2A
(4W) Lovell at (1E) Glenrock
(3E) Newcastle at (2W) Big Piney
(3W) Greybull at (2E) Wheatland
(4E) Thermopolis at (1W) Mountain View

Class 1A 11-man
(4E) Southeast at (1W) Cokeville
(3W) Wind River at (2E) Big Horn
(3E) Upton-Sundance at (2W) Rocky Mountain
(4W) Saratoga at (1E) Pine Bluffs

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

–patrick

Updated 3:30 p.m. Oct. 21 to reflect the results of the 3A East coin flip with Buffalo, Douglas and Rawlins. Updated 3:36 p.m. Oct. 21 to reflect the results of the 1A six-man West coin flip. Updated 3:52 p.m. Oct. 21 to reflect the results of the 1A six-man East coin flip.

When the Wyoming High School Activities Association handed nonconference football scheduling back to individual schools, reducing travel was the goal.

The schools came through on that end — big time.

A breakdown of the 2017 schedule shows travel is going to be down. WAY down.

The average Wyoming high school football road game trip this year, one way, is going to be more than 20 miles shorter than it was last year. And the average nonconference trip, one way, is going to be 70 miles shorter than it was last year. Even one-way mileage for conference games is down:

  • Average one-way trip for all games: 175 miles, down from 196 last year
  • Average one-way trip for conference games: 183 miles, down from 189 last year
  • Average one-way trip for nonconference games: 147 miles, down from 217 last year

Meanwhile, the median one-way nonconference trip this season will be 137 miles; the median one-way trip in 2016 was 221 miles.

In part, this is because some of the absurdly long trips teams made have also been pared down. In 2016, seven games had one-way trips of more than 400 miles; in 2017, only one game (the ridiculous Torrington-Star Valley game) is more than 400 miles one way.

Also, shorter trips are more numerous. Last season, 24 games had one-way trips of 50 miles or less; this year, 34 such games are scheduled.

A big reason for the mileage reduction is schools’ ability to schedule sub-varsity games in nonconference weeks. Five schools, so far, have taken advantage of that opportunity, and more may do so before the season starts in August.

Another thing that helped reduce the longest trips was Evanston’s move from 4A to 3A, which eliminated the Red Devils’ trips to, or their opponents’ trips from, Gillette and Sheridan — traditionally the longest trips on the Wyoming high school football schedule regardless of classification.

The reduced travel comes with tradeoffs, though.

Namely, eight schools don’t have full schedules. Rocky Mountain, Tongue River, Powell, Evanston, Cody and Wright all tentatively have bye weeks scheduled; Rocky Mountain actually has two open weeks, back-to-back, right now. Also, Riverton and Douglas have a scrimmage scheduled for the opening week of the season, which is far from ideal. No one had a scheduled open week last season.

We’ve seen that competitive equity scheduling increased travel but decreased competitiveness. Those trends continued in both 2015 and 2016. Maybe 2017 will bring us closer games AND reduced travel. For eight programs, though, the tradeoff might be one (or more) Friday night on the couch instead of on the field.

How mileage was calculated: Using Google Maps directions, distances from city to city were calculated for each game of the 2016 season and each scheduled game for the 2017 season. Scrimmages and jamborees were not considered. Games involving Upton-Sundance used the closer of the two schools for road games and the actual site for home games. Travel went “through the park” via Yellowstone when possible. Google Maps’ suggestions were used unless a shorter mileage option that did not significantly add to travel time (15 minutes or more) was available.

–patrick

Wyoming will have 14 new high school football series begin in 2017, but nine of them will belong to the same school.

Obviously, the entire Thunder Basin schedule will consist of new series starting — nine new series with each one of the other 4A schools. The new high school in Gillette is scheduled to open this fall and start varsity football immediately.

The other five new series on the 2017 schedule include Rock River/Meeteetse (Week 1), Rawlins/Wind River (Week 3), Big Horn/Upton-Sundance (Week 6), Kemmerer/Lusk (Week 6) and Worland/Pinedale (Week 8).

Also, 13 other series will include their first meeting at a particular location: Snake River at Lingle (Week 1), Shoshoni at Thermopolis (Week 1), Jackson at Sugar-Salem, Idaho (Week 1), Newcastle at Upton-Sundance (Week 2), Riverside at Snake River (Week 2), Shoshoni at Tongue River (Week 3), Wright at Upton-Sundance (Week 4), Burlington at St. Stephens (Week 4), Riverside at St. Stephens (Week 5), Kaycee at Lingle (Week 6), Riverside at Farson (Week 7), Snake River at Burlington (Week 7) and Rock River at Lingle (Week 8). Most, but not all, of these series began last year and are the second meeting between these programs.

–patrick

Now that the 2017 Wyoming high school football schedule is (mostly) put together, we can start to see some clear patterns emerge. Some schools won. Some schools lost. Some schools just changed. And two games in particular are just plain baffling.

THE WINNERS

Thunder Basin might have the best schedule of any 4A team, and the ‘Bolts had nothing to do with it. With the WHSAA setting the full schedule for 4A teams, Thunder Basin benefited. First — Thunder Basin only has four road games. Second — one of those four road games is just down South Douglas Highway at in-town foe Gillette. Third — of the three out-of-town road trips Thunder Basin has, two come in the last three weeks, meaning the ‘Bolts only leave Campbell County once in the first six weeks of the season. Clearly, the WHSAA learned from experience; the last new 4A school, Cheyenne South in 2011, was forced to open its program by playing at defending 4A champ Natrona in Casper for its first game.

Four teams also finagled the schedule to score five home games against only three road games: Farson, Meeteetse, Southeast and Moorcroft. Southeast and Moorcroft scored their fifth home game via sub-varsity opponents; Farson and Meeteetse, meanwhile, have full varsity schedules but managed to score five home games. Also, Farson scheduled a couple of its home games for darkness hours. Is a new football facility — with lights — in the works for the 1A six-man runners-up? (Let me know if it is!)

THE LOSERS

Douglas and Riverton ended up being the odd teams out of the Week 1 nonconference bonanza. While everyone else scored an opponent, these 3A East Conference foes were left with only each other. The answer, for now, will be a jamboree in Riverton involving the Wolverines, Bearcats, Bear Lake (Idaho) and JV teams from Gillette and Natrona — a schedule that is subject to change. It’s not perfect, but given the circumstances, it might be the best either team can do.

Rocky Mountain scheduled Big Horn for its season opener but still has open weeks for Weeks 2 and 3. The kicker is everyone else has filled their schedules for those weeks, so the Grizzlies will likely have to go the sub-varsity route to fill those weeks.

Both NSI and St. Stephens got put in a poke by ending up with only three home games this season; each team has five games on the road.

Newcastle also got five road games in weeks 1-8 but augmented that with a home game against traditional Zero Week foe Custer, S.D., so the Dogies aren’t in the dire straits that NSI and St. Stephens are.

THE SHIFTERS

Glenrock went up, big time. The 2A Herders went out and scheduled last year’s 2A runner-up and the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in last year’s semis, Greybull, for Week 1 before hosting 3A Lander in Week 2 and going to 3A Riverton in Week 3. Last year, Glenrock had Pinedale and Lyman in its nonconference slate — no slouches, but not the caliber of foe the Herders will see in 2017.

Conference rival Wheatland did Glenrock one better. The 2A Bulldogs scheduled three 3A teams — Torrington, Rawlins and Douglas — before its 2A East schedule starts.

Traditional 1A 11-man power Cokeville also upgraded its nonconference slate, picking up games against three 2A foes — Mountain View, Pinedale and Lyman — in Weeks 1-3.

Kemmerer, which enters 2017 on a state-record 36-game losing streak, had the chance to pick up a couple winnable games in its schedule. The 2A Rangers scheduled a pair of 1A 11-man teams that failed to qualify for last year’s playoffs — Saratoga in Week 1 and Lusk in Week 6 — in an attempt to get off the schneid.

Wyoming Indian scheduled three sub-varsity teams (JVs from Lander, Wind River and Riverton) for its nonconference games; however, if the Chiefs decide to play Lander in Lander, they won’t have a home game until Week 6.

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THE PLUSES

At a glance, travel does seem to be reduced, although maybe not as significantly as hoped due to the dominance of conference games on the schedule. Moorcroft, Lyman, Southeast, Wind River and Wyoming Indian had chances to fill their schedules with nearby sub-varsity opponents, while several teams have open weeks that may be filled with similar opponents prior to the start of the season. That’s fortunate — after all, that was one of the goals in giving nonconference scheduling abilities back to the schools.

Also, conference rearranging means we get to see a few rivalries come back — the Thunder Bowl between Big Horn and Tongue River is back for the first time since 2012, while is the rivalries between Burns and Pine Bluffs and the one between Upton-Sundance and Moorcroft are back after one-year hiatuses.

THE MINUSES

Two games on the 2017 schedule make absolutely no sense to me. Anyone out there want to try to explain these matchups to me logically? Because I can’t figure them out:

Rawlins at Wind River. In Week 3, the 3A Outlaws will make the trip to Pavillion to play the 1A 11-man Cougars. In some fantasy worlds, a 3A vs. 1A 11-man game would be cool to see, especially if the 1A 11-man team was wildly successful and the 3A school was among the smaller ones. (For example, wouldn’t it be fun to see Upton-Sundance or Big Horn take on Buffalo?) Instead, the Outlaws — who were 4-5 last year and a coin flip away from the playoffs — are playing a Wind River team that went 1-7 and beat only winless Wyoming Indian in the state’s smallest 11-man division. I don’t see how this game will be good for either team.

Torrington at Star Valley. I thought this Week 2 meeting between 3A rivals was the exact kind of nonconference game schools were trying to avoid. Instead, the Trailblazers will go 490 miles, one way, to Afton for this contest. FYI: Torrington is closer to Iowa and to Texas than it is to Afton.

What are your thoughts on the 2017 schedule? Leave a comment and let me know who you think did the best — and the worst — with their 2017 options.

–patrick

As schools are now scheduling their own nonconference games, the 2017 Wyoming high school football schedule is likely to be much more malleable than previous seasons.

Even so, most schools have their 2017 schedules set. The schedules by week, as provided by the schools, are available here. (When schools listed different days or start times, the time provided by the home team was used. Evanston and Natrona did not submit schedules to wyoming-football.com despite repeated requests.)

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Here are the early picks for games of the week for each of the nine regular-season weeks:

Week 0: Rock Springs at Sheridan. Class 4A gets the jump start on everyone else, as usual, and this rematch of a 4A semifinal game from 2016 will probably be the most telling game of the week. Other key game: Cheyenne Central at Thunder Basin (first game for the ‘Bolts).

Week 1: Gillette at Natrona. Gillette’s only losses last year were to Natrona. Normally late in the season, this rivalry game between the Camels and Mustangs will be staged early in 2017. Other key games: Glenrock at Greybull; Snake River at Lingle; Cokeville at Mountain View; Wheatland at Torrington; Guernsey-Sunrise at Farson.

Week 2: Burlington at Farson. Beating Burlington early last season helped set the course for Farson’s undefeated regular season in 2016. Another early meeting could set the stage similarly in 2017 — for either team. Other key games: Natrona at Sheridan; Torrington at Star Valley; Lingle at Guernsey-Sunrise; Burns at Pine Bluffs; Newcastle at Upton-Sundance.

Week 3: Pine Bluffs at Big Horn. The 2016 2A champs host the 2016 1A 11-man champs. And it’s a conference game. Of all the games on the schedule for 2017, this one might be the most intriguing. Other key games: Cheyenne East at Cheyenne South; Star Valley at Evanston; Lovell at Mountain View; Shoshoni at Tongue River; Glenrock at Riverton; Snake River at Meeteetse.

Week 4: Riverton at Douglas. Riverton finished a deceiving 3-6 last season; the Wolverines have the firepower to keep up with anyone. 3A East rival Douglas knows that better than anyone. Other key games: Thunder Basin at Gillette; Cody at Green River; Greybull at Pinedale; Newcastle at Glenrock; Cokeville at Rocky Mountain; Tongue River at Pine Bluffs.

Week 5: Evanston at Green River. Since 1932, these two teams have missed each other on the schedule only a handful of times: From 1977-80 and from 2011-16. It’s nice to see this traditional rivalry back on the schedule. Other key games: Cheyenne East at Laramie; Gillette at Rock Springs; Lander at Riverton; Wheatland at Glenrock; Upton-Sundance at Southeast; Meeteetse at Burlington; Guernsey-Sunrise at Kaycee.

Week 6: 4A rivalry week. This week, we get the Capital Bowl with Cheyenne Central playing at Cheyenne East; we get the Oil Bowl with Kelly Walsh at Natrona; and we get the Energy Bowl with Sheridan at Gillette. These won’t just be rivalry games — they’ll likely all be key to playoff seeding, as well. Other key games: Jackson at Star Valley; Torrington at Douglas; Greybull at Lovell; Lyman at Mountain View; Pinedale at Big Piney; Big Horn at Upton-Sundance; Shoshoni at Rocky Mountain; Farson at Meeteetse; Kaycee at Lingle.

Week 7: Powell at Star Valley. This is one of three championship rematches this season (Natrona-Sheridan in Week 2 and Pine Bluffs-Tongue River in Week 4 the others). And this one might be the best game of that trio. Other key games: Pinedale at Lovell; Upton-Sundance at Tongue River; Kaycee at Midwest; Snake River at Burlington.

Week 8: Mountain View at Greybull. Both of these teams came up short of their championship dreams last season — Mountain View in a shocking quarterfinal upset, Greybull on the turf at War Memorial. This game could be key in 2017 to decide the 2A West champion. Other key games: Cheyenne East at Sheridan; Cheyenne South at Cheyenne Central; Rock Springs at Natrona; Powell at Cody; Riverton at Torrington; Star Valley at Green River; Cokeville at Shoshoni; Tongue River at Big Horn; Upton-Sundance at Pine Bluffs; Burlington at Riverside; Farson at Snake River.

See the full 2017 schedule here.

Coming later this week: The winners and losers with the new schedule. Which program benefited the most from scheduling its own nonconference games — and which schools got burned?

What are your thoughts on next year’s schedule? Leave a comment here and let’s use our words to express ourselves…

–patrick

Wyoming high school football state title game matchups:

Friday, Nov. 11
Class 1A six-man championship, Kaycee vs. Farson, noon
Class 3A championship, Star Valley vs. Powell, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12
Class 2A championship, Big Horn vs. Greybull, 10 a.m.
Class 1A 11-man championship, Pine Bluffs vs. Tongue River, 1 p.m.
Class 4A championship, Natrona vs. Sheridan, 4 p.m.

–patrick

The matchups for the Wyoming high school football playoff semifinals:

Class 4A
Natrona at Gillette
Rock Springs at Sheridan
Class 3A
Star Valley at Douglas
Green River at Powell
Class 2A
Greybull at Glenrock
Newcastle at Big Horn
Class 1A 11-man
Tongue River at Shoshoni
Pine Bluffs at Upton-Sundance
Class 1A six-man
Guernsey-Sunrise at Farson
Meeteetse at Kaycee

–patrick

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