One thing that constantly amazes me is that no matter how much research I do into Wyoming’s sports history, I always keep finding more interesting things.
The latest? Wyoming’s 1930 all-state football team, published in a Nebraska newspaper published in 1957.
Yep, you read that right.
The 1930 all-state team was one of just a handful of missing all-state teams on wyoming-football.com, a list that now includes only the all-class teams from 1926 and 1932 and the elusive 1994 Class 1A nine-man team.
But I did not expect to find the 1930 all-state team the way I did, published in an out-of-state paper nearly 30 years after the season was done.
In doing research for a big project (details coming, maybe this summer), I fell into a deep dive of looking into Sheridan’s 1930 championship team. I started looking into a few of the players, particularly guys like Raymond “Jeff” Doyle, Sheridan’s speedy halfback; center Rusty Thompson; and end Clarence Brokaw. They were cornerstones of the Broncs’ team that beat Laramie (and later Cody) for the championship in the final year before state-sanctioned playoffs and the formation of the Wyoming High School Activities Association.
When I threw their names into a search on newspapers.com — a subscription made possible by the site sponsors (thank you!) — I stumbled into a column from the Oct. 29, 1957, edition of the Scottsbluff Star-Herald in Nebraska from Bill Madden. More on him in a bit.
In that column, Madden said the upcoming game between Scottsbluff and Laramie would be his first time seeing the Plainsmen since 1930, when he was a boy in Sheridan and the Plainsmen came north for a key game. He then went into detail on the 1930 game between the Plainsmen and Broncs, which for all intents and purposes decided the state championship, and those who played in it. Madden said the rosters included five all-staters from Sheridan (Doyle, Thompson, Brokaw, guard Clint Endicott and tackle Albert Husman) and two from Laramie (end Lester Forsyth and fullback Wes Christenson).
But in addition, he also mentioned the other four players named all-state that year: tackle Dan Sedar and quarterback Porter Davis of Natrona, guard Fay Thompson of Midwest, and halfback Don Tottenhoff of Cheyenne Central.
That’s 11 guys. An all-state team from that era only had that many. I double-checked the names in other publications and yearbooks I could access online, and the list looks legit. No unexpected names here.
However, Madden didn’t cite his source, which is always a big question in research like this. After looking into his career, though, if there’s one Nebraska journalist whose word we can trust on matters like this, it’s Madden’s.
Madden grew up in Sheridan an avid sports fan and attended Hastings College in Nebraska. From 1955 to 1974, Madden was a sportswriter for the Scottsbluff Star-Herald; he then moved on to the nearby Gering Courier, where he stayed until he retired in 1991.
He was named to the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996; his bio said he was “a noted historian of high school athletics.” In reading a selection of Madden’s work, it’s easy to draw comparisons to Chuck Harkins, Casper Star-Tribune sports editor in the 1970s and the one person who has taught me more about Wyoming sports than anyone else I’ve never met. Madden died in 1997.
In his 1957 pontifications of a 1930 football game and the all-state players in it, Madden didn’t need to cite a source because he was the source. That’s good enough for me.
The 1930 all-state team is now listed among this site’s all-state listings — with any luck, never to be lost again.