Usually, the math is pretty simple: When you win more games than you lose, you go to the playoffs.

Occasionally, though, that simple math doesn’t quite work the way it should.

Since 2000, the number of playoff-eligible teams to finish with a winning record but still miss the playoffs is short: Saratoga in 2013 (5-3), Greybull in 2011 (6-4) and Sheridan in 2007 (5-4). (Riverton finished 6-4 in 2002 and did not make the playoffs, but was 4-4 in the regular season before winning the consolation playoffs. Remember those?)

Prior to 2000, missing the playoffs with a winning record was more common, in part because many classifications still only had four teams reach the postseason. However, some programs still finished with winning records in classifications with eight-team brackets only to miss the playoffs, usually because of a poor conference record but a strong nonconference stretch. That included two programs in 1999, Sundance (6-3) and Meeteetse (4-3), the last time two teams with winning records missed the playoffs in eight-team brackets in the same year.

But 1999 has nothing on 1994, when four teams with winning records in classifications with eight-team brackets — Tongue River, Greybull, Lingle and Guernsey-Sunrise — all missed the playoffs. All four finished 4-3.

The last team to be victimized two years in a row in this way was Ten Sleep, which finished with winning records in 1996 (5-2) and 1997 (4-3) but missed the playoffs both times in eight-team brackets.

The last two-loss team to miss the playoffs was Lyman, which went 6-2 in 1998 but missed the playoffs in the four-team Class 2A bracket. The last one-loss team to miss the playoffs was Wright in 1988; the Panthers were 7-1 but did not make the four-team 2A playoffs.

(Note that Lusk finished 7-0 in 1991 and 8-0 in 1992 but did not qualify for the playoffs, as the Tigers were not eligible for the playoffs those years.)

–patrick

I’ve subscribed to an online database that has granted me access to some more newspaper archives, particularly for papers outside of Wyoming. With that access, I knocked 22 games off the missing games list and found incomplete, but helpful, info for one more:

Found the score for Hulett’s 16-8 loss to the Spearfish, S.D., JV on Oct. 17, 1981, in Spearfish.

Found the location for the Sept. 13, 1957, game between Vale, S.D., and Hulett; it was in Vale.

Found the score for Cowley’s 38-26 loss to Belfry, Mont., on Sept. 17, 1954, in Cowley.

Found the location for the Sept. 15, 1951, game between Byron and Colstrip, Mont.; it was in Colstrip. Noting this game’s location increased Byron’s road winning streak over this time to 19 games, which moved it into a tie for fourth all-time.

Found the score for the Nov. 4, 1949, game between Deaver-Frannie and Meeteetse; Deaver won 45-6. This increased Meeteetse’s losing streak to 22 games over the time period from 1947-51.

Found the date for Torrington’s 13-0 loss to Mitchell, Neb., on Oct. 11, 1946. Kept it on the missing games list because I still don’t have the location for the game yet.

Found the date for the Sept. 14, 1945, game between Powell and Laurel, Mont.

Found the date and location and fixed the score for Byron’s 58-8 victory against the Lovell third team on Oct. 5, 1945, in Byron.

Added the score for Star Valley’s 8-7 victory against Malad, Idaho, on Oct. 10, 1941.

Found the score for the Oct. 17, 1941, game between Sundance and Sturgis St. Martin’s, S.D.; St. Martin’s won 53-0. Also noted that the Oct. 31, 1941, game between the same two teams was canceled.

Found the score for the Oct. 24, 1940, game between Sundance and Sturgis, S.D.; Sturgis won 20-6.

Affirmed the score for Newcastle’s 20-14 loss to Edgemont, S.D., on Oct. 28, 1938.

Found two scores for Sunrise’s 1934 season: a 33-0 loss to Scottsbluff, Neb., on Sept. 21 and a 55-0 loss to Mitchell, Neb., on Oct. 5.

Added the score for Torrington’s 14-0 loss to Gering, Neb., on Nov. 2, 1934.

Found the location for Sunrise’s 20-0 victory against Mitchell, Neb., on Oct. 6, 1933; it was in Sunrise.

Found the location and date for Torrington’s 41-6 loss to Scottsbluff, Neb., on Oct. 21, 1932, in Scottsbluff.

Found the location for Lovell’s 6-6 tie with Cowley on Nov. 21, 1930; it was in Lovell.

Noted that the Oct. 25, 1929, game between Worland and Midwest was canceled.

Added the score for the 0-0 tie between Greybull and Basin on Nov. 24, 1927.

Found the score for the Nov. 24, 1927, game between Cowley and Lovell; Lovell won 41-6.

Added the number of points scored by Park City, Utah, in its 40-0 victory against Evanston on Sept. 22, 1923.

All the updates have been made on all the relevant pages.

Track

Using these archives, I’ve also added Green River as the 1942 state champion and Thermopolis as the 1923 champ. I’m planning on doing some more with some track archives pre-1973 soon; keep an eye on the track champion listings for occasional updates there.

–patrick

A single tip sent me down a huge rabbit hole — and from that, I’ve posted seven new all-state listings to the site.

I’ve added the Class B all-state teams from 1971 and 1970 in addition to the Class AA all-state team from 1950 and the all-class all-state teams from 1939, 1936, 1933 and 1929.

The last four teams listed above don’t have first names — for now.

The 1970 and 1971 Class B all-state teams have always been a mystery. A few years ago, I found an article that said those teams weren’t picked due to the regional loyalties of the coaches who selected the teams; research help from friend of the site Jim Craig had helped me uncover the 1970 and 1971 Class B all-conference teams, which I had posted here before:

But friend of the site Mike Ragan also alerted me to the fact that there was indeed all-state teams chosen then — he had the 1971 team cut out from the Casper paper to prove it. As it turns out, the Class B all-state teams ran in late December, after Christmas, well after I had given up looking for them (and maybe after the coaches came to their senses and voted for all-state teams after the whole regional rivalry thing got out to the public?).

Regardless, those teams are now listed as part of the site’s all-state listings.

Then I really headed down a research rabbit hole. Using a subscription I recently acquired, I uncovered the other all-state teams from 1950, 1939, 1936, 1933 and 1929 from various sources.

I also found the only missing first name I couldn’t find since 1945. For the 1969 Class B team, I found the first name for Mountain View’s Joe Aimone, who had always been listed only with his first initial.

I also added Rawlins’ Gary Eyre to the 1951 all-state team. I unintentionally left him off the original list.

In exploring all-state selections, I also corrected some spellings of some names: Cody’s Darren Wehrer (1985); Big Horn’s Nolan LaMeres (2000); Cokeville’s Kalvin Watson and Kaylan Grandy (2004); Cokeville’s Jared Watson (2002), Cokeville’s Kent Cassels (1990); Douglas’ Jon Schroeder (1984); Douglas’ Brent Plumb (1976); Guernsey’s Forest Foos (2015); Guernsey’s Greg Putnam (1972); Hanna’s Conor McGraw (2018); Kemmerer’s John Corra (1983); Kemmerer’s Curt Waisath (1982); Laramie’s Ralph Barkey (1951); Lovell’s Keith Grant (1997); Lusk’s Damien Molzahn (2017); Natrona’s Marcus Bielefeld (2005); Rawlins’ Larry Jebens (1974); Rawlins’ Floyd Rummel (1974); Southeast’s Justin Burkart (1997); Star Valley’s Todd Spencer (1982); Torrington’s Mike Cruickshank (1970); Wheatland’s Steve Loyd (1985); and Wright’s Erin Knight (1985). As always, if you spot a misspelling in my all-state listings, please let me know and I’ll get it fixed!

I’m exploring some other research regarding all-state teams, now that I’m confident that I have basically all of them from the 1940s forward — although the Class 1A nine-man all-state team from 1994 is still proving to be incredibly elusive. I still haven’t found a full listing for that team yet.

I’m still not sure if Class A or Class B all-state teams were chosen in the early 1950s, particularly 1950-54. I’m also still missing all-state teams from 1932 and 1926, which I can’t seem to find anywhere — and I’m not even sure if they were selected.

Still, it was fun to put a big dent in the research needed here to make the all-state listings complete. Thanks to Mike for the inspiration!

–patrick

Joe Campbell, who has spent several years as a youth football coach in Casper, will be the new head football coach at Midwest.

The school announced Campbell’s selection on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

Campbell, a Casper native, has spent 12 years coaching as part of the Casper Midget Football Association, the school’s post said.

Campbell replaces Dean Kelly, who was the Oilers’ head coach for one season.

Midwest, a Class 1A six-man program, finished the 2019 season 1-7 after forfeiting its final four games due to low numbers.

Four Class 3A programs — Green RiverPowellRiverton and Worland — have also hired new head coaches since the end of last season. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Debate time: 2020 will be Wyoming high school football’s 100th season (or at least the 100th since the modern form of it started in 1921). If I made a list of the 100 greatest players over those 100 years, which ONE player should definitely be on that list?

Leave a comment with your nomination…

–patrick

It’s a tradition ’round these parts to live in a fantasy world — one with reliable transportation, unlimited money and lots of free time.

How I would spend that time and money, come August/September/October/November, is on attending high school football games.

With a 2020 schedule in hand (and with an optimistic view that the season will still happen on schedule), here’s where I’d go to catch as many games, and as many good games, as I possibly could:

Week 0 (Friday, Aug. 28): East-West Jamboree, Casper, 11 a.m. Friday; Cheyenne East at Thunder Basin, 6 p.m. Friday; Big Horn-Buffalo scrimmage, 1 p.m. Saturday. The showdown in Gillette between the Thunderbirds and the ‘Bolts is the marquee matchup of the opening weekend. However, the East-West Jamboree, featuring nine of the teams in six-man nine-man facing off in Casper, will be a great opportunity to see how the classification might come together. Another scrimmage on Saturday between two teams that played in Laramie last year is a nice bonus.

Week 1 (Friday, Sept. 4): Rawlins at Lyman, 5 p.m. Thursday; Guernsey-Sunrise at Farson, 1 p.m. Friday; Mountain View at Evanston, 7 p.m. Friday; Snake River at Hanna, noon Saturday. The first two games are nice appetizers before the meal. The Mountain View-Evanston game is one of the most intriguing interclass games on the schedule in 2020, and then Saturday’s Carbon County duel between Snake River and Hanna is a reprise of last year’s six-man title game.

Week 2 (Friday, Sept. 11): Farson at Burlington, 2 p.m. Friday; Lander at Powell, 7 p.m. Friday; Ten Sleep at Meeteetse, 2 p.m. Saturday. The Northwest corner has some intriguing games in Week 2, including the Lander-Powell matchup that could be 3A’s most interesting early-season matchup. Both squads impressed last year, and I’d be curious to see how they stack up. Throw in a couple six-man games, and it’s a full weekend.

Week 3 (Friday, Sept. 18): Shoshoni at St. Stephens, 5 p.m. Thursday; Encampment at Farson, 2 p.m. Friday; Sheridan at Rock Springs, 6 p.m. Friday; Burlington at Snake River, 2 p.m. Saturday. Lots of options existed in Week 3, including the Oil Bowl, but I decided that seeing a pair of what should be awesome 1A six-man West games was too good to pass up. In between is a showdown between Sheridan and Rock Springs that should be better than people anticipate, and a Thursday nine-man Fremont County game is a nice bonus (but not the only one we’ll get this year).

Week 4 (Friday, Sept. 25): Shoshoni at Wind River, 7 p.m. Thursday; Hulett at Kaycee, 2 p.m. Friday; Rock Springs at Natrona, 6 p.m. Friday; NSI at Midwest, 2 p.m. Saturday. More six-man and nine-man fun at non-Friday night times is always cool, and the Rock Springs-Natrona game last year was a doozy. Several games with great potential dot the schedule for Week 4, so really, you can’t go wrong.

Week 5 (Friday, Oct. 2): Sheridan JV at NSI, 1 p.m. Thursday; Farson at Kaycee, 2 p.m. Friday; Torrington at Big Horn, 6 p.m. Friday; Guernsey at Hulett, 1 p.m. Saturday. We’re staying Northeast for this weekend of football, mostly because I want to see this Torrington-Big Horn matchup. Who knows? By Week 5, it may have lost some luster, but right now it looks like a really fun game. A bunch of six-man around it fills out the weekend.

Week 6 (Friday, Oct. 9): St. Stephens at Wind River, 7 p.m. Thursday; Cody at Star Valley, 4 p.m. Friday; Cokeville at Kemmerer, 6 p.m. Friday; Thermopolis at Lyman, 11 a.m. Saturday. Yes, I know, I can’t get to BOTH the Star Valley and Kemmerer fields in time to watch both games… but I can’t resist that Cody-Star Valley game, which always seems to be a good one. Everything else is gravy, even if it’s just the second half (or fourth quarter?) in Kemmerer.

Week 7 (Friday, Oct. 16): St. Stephens at Wyoming Indian, 7 p.m. Thursday; Lusk at Southeast, 2 p.m. Friday; Wheatland at Torrington, 7 p.m. Friday; Hulett vs. Hanna (at Midwest), noon Saturday. On paper, the Lusk-Southeast, Wheatland-Torrington and Hulett-Hanna games could all be huge in deciding conference championships and playoff seeding. Meanwhile, Thursday’s game is the renewal of a reservation rivalry that may not have the title stakes but might be the most meaningful game of the week.

Week 8 (Friday, Oct. 23): Glenrock at Tongue River, noon Friday; Thunder Basin at Sheridan, 6 p.m. Friday; Dubois at Ten Sleep, 2 p.m. Saturday. You’d be out of your mind to think I’d miss the ‘Bolts and the Broncs in the regular-season closer. The other two games are nice and close, and they’d bring a solid end to the regular season.

With this plan, I’d get to see 41 of Wyoming’s 65 programs play football. Thanks to the non-Friday-night scheduling, I’d see Farson four times and Hulett and St. Stephens three times each; I’d also see Thunder Basin, Sheridan, Rock Springs, Big Horn, Lyman, Torrington, Shoshoni, Wind River, Guernsey, Snake River, Hanna, Burlington, Ten Sleep, Kaycee and NSI twice each. I’d see every team in six-man thanks to its less consistent scheduling. And I’d put an extra 2,618 miles on my car, eat lots of sodium-filled gas station snacks and temporarily alienate my wife in the process. Worth it.

–patrick

Updated 9:15 a.m. May 28 to fix an error in the Week 0 listing.

Worland has promoted assistant coach Patrick Sweeney to the head coach position.

Sweeney was previously a defensive assistant with the Warriors, wyopreps.com reported.

Sweeney replaces Ryan Utterback. Utterback will stay on the staff as an assistant, wyopreps.com’s report said. In three years as head coach, Utterback led the Warriors to three playoff berths and a combined 10-17 record.

Class 3A programs Green River, Powell and Riverton have also hired new head coaches since the end of last season. Class 1A six-man Midwest is also seeking a new head coach for 2020. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Just a quick update to note a change in the 2002 4A all-state listings, which unintentionally omitted Torrington’s Kyle Cotton from the list. Kyle’s name has been added.

As always, if you see any errors or omissions on the site, let me know: pschmiedt@yahoo.com. I definitely want to get this right. 🙂

–patrick

Chase Kistler will be the new head football coach at Powell, the Powell Tribune has reported.

The paper said Kistler will transition from being the head boys basketball coach to the head football coach. Kistler had been an assistant football coach at Powell and had been the head boys basketball coach since the 2013-14 school year.

Kistler takes over for Aaron Papich, who resigned after being the Panthers’ head coach the past two seasons.

Powell reached the Class 3A championship game last season and finished 7-5.

Class 3A programs Green River and Riverton have also hired new head coaches since the end of last season. Class 1A six-man Midwest is also seeking a new head coach for 2020. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Here’s a collection of Friday’s #bethelight and #bethelightwy posts in Wyoming on social media. If you’ve got one that you’d like me to consider posting here, email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com; I’d love to have one post from each school that participated.

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Be The Light. Well done, Pinedale!?

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