I compiled these records using my “spare time” at the Star-Tribune. We ran the records in the paper last week leading up to the big game. Surprisingly, I didn’t hear a word about it, either good, bad or helpful. Anyway, the records ran here, and I’m posting them here, too. I plan on keeping these records up to date as the games and years go on.


Shrine Bowl Records
Top three in each category, plus extras for North/South team records
From 1974-2009
Records from 1991-1994, 1996-1997 are incomplete; records from the 2009 game, which was cut short by weather, are not included
Total offense (passing, rushing and receiving)

308 Corky Davis, Natrona, 1975 (North)
291 Darin Schiller, Upton, 1984 (North)
204 Thaine Wilkins, Gillette, 2006 (North) (196 pass, 8 rush)

198 Scott Muir, Rawlins, 2001 (South) (74 rush, 124 receive)
44 Travis Bandemer, Laramie, 1988 (South)
28 Larry Deal, Natrona, 1976 (North)
27 Steve Dover, Kemmerer, 1975 (South); Terrence Johnson, Central, 1980 (South)
Rushing Yards
177 Steve Dover, Kemmerer, 1975 (South); Travis Bandemer, Laramie, 1988 (South)
145 Matt Romanowski, Rock Springs, 2003 (South); Mark Ruggles, Laramie, 1992 (South)

140 Jim Pehringer, Sheridan, 1987 (North)
Passing Attempts
45 Darin Schiller, Upton, 1984 (North)
35 Thaine Wilkins, Gillette, 2006 (North)
30 John McDougall, Cody, 1986 (North)

29 Kyle Crandall, Evanston, 2008 (South)
Passing Completions
22 Darin Schiller, Upton, 1984 (North)
18 Thaine Wilkins, Gillette, 2006 (North)
16 Corky Davis, Natrona, 1975 (North)

13 Kyle Crandall, Evanston, 2008 (South)
Passing Yards
315 Darin Schiller, Upton, 1984 (North)
277 Corky Davis, Natrona, 1975 (North)
204 Adam Fitch, Gillette, 2001 (North)

189 Corey Bramlet, Wheatland, 2001 (South)
Touchdown Passes
4 Darin Schiller, Upton, 1984 (North)
3 Thaine Wilkins, Gillette, 2006 (North); T.J. Ramaeker, Gillette, 1999 (North)
2 Brick Cegelski, Cheyenne Central, 2007 (South); Levi Greenwood, Big Piney, 2006 (South); Ben Trautwein, Wheatland, 1994 (South); Brooks Shepard, Wheatland, 1985 (South); Blake Scott, Douglas, 1984 (North); Mark Martini, Sheridan, 1983 (North); Dave Gosnell, Kelly Walsh, 1981 (North)
8 Chuck Johnson, Sheridan, 1984 (North)
7 Clifford Hill, Natrona, 1975 (North); Jeremy Zebroski, Lander, 1995 (North)
6 Scott Cogdill, Natrona, 2004 (North); Darren Neely, Cheyenne East, 2008 (South); JeNey Jackson, Guernsey, 1993 (South); Eric Naugle, Sheridan, 1986 (North); Elivis Cooper, Rawlins, 1978 (South)
Receiving Yards
151 Chuck Johnson, Sheridan, 1984 (North)
133 Clifford Hill, Natrona, 1975 (North)
125 Robb Lewis, Natrona, 1981 (North)

124 Scott Muir, Rawlins, 2001 (South)
Touchdown Catches
3 Blake Richendifer, Douglas, 2007 (South)
2 Ryan McGuffey, Riverton, 1999 (North); Wes Davis, Evanston, 1994 (South); Jon Schroeder, Douglas, 1985 (South); Brent Saunders, Evanston, 1984 (South); Chuck Johnson, Sheridan, 1984 (North); John Robinson, Kelly Walsh, 1984 (North); Robb Lewis, Natrona, 1981 (North)
Field Goals Made
4 Brooks Paskett, Riverton, 1998 (North)
2 Jonathan Haidsiak, Rock Springs, 1999 (South); Jason Yockey, Meeteetse, 1994 (North); Chris Michie, Rawlins, 1986 (South); Dennis Rate, Natrona, 1980 (North)
Longest Field Goal
48 Jordan Abrams, Star Valley, 2008 (South)
47 Dennis Rate, Natrona, 1980 (North)
44 Brooks Paskett, Riverton, 1998 (North); Sean Powers, Gillette, 1989 (North)
PAT Kicks Made
4 Larry Demshar, Rock Springs, 1993 (South)
3 Kraig Tafoya, Cheyenne Central, 2006 (South); Dusty Rodriguez, Laramie, 1994 (South); Sean Powers, Gillette, 1989 (North); McKay Erickson, Star Valley, 1985 (South); John Mitchell, Sheridan, 1983 (North); Ken Crouse, Kelly Walsh, 1982 (North)

Total offense

(possible record set by 1997 North team, which ran for 488 yards)
439 South, 2001
438 South, 2003
422 North, 2001
Offensive Touchdowns
5 South, 1985
4 North, 1983; North, 1984; South, 1988; South, 1991
74 North, 1976
72 South, 1988
71 South, 1979
Rushing Yards
488 North, 1997
438 South, 2003
366 South, 1981
Passing Attempts
46 North, 1984
37 North, 2006
32 North, 1986

29 South, 2008
22 North, 1984
18 North, 2006
17 North, 2004

15 South, 1980
Passing Yards
315 North, 1984
277 North, 1975
207 North, 1986

189 South, 2001
39 North, 1983
37 South, 1985
36 South, 1993
Total Touchdowns
6 North, 1983
5 South, 1985; South, 1993
First Downs
24 South, 2007; North, 1983
22 South, 2001
Yards Allowed

7 South, 1974
61 North, 2005
74 South, 1979
Rushing Yards Allowed
-17 South, 1974
2 South, 1979
19 South, 1985; South, 1986

27 North, 2005
Passing Yards Allowed
0 North, 1981; North, 2003
2 South, 1979; North, 1976; North, 1975
7 North, 1989
4 South, 1974
3 North, 2008; South, 2002; North, 1998; South, 1986; South, 1976
First Downs Allowed
3 North, 2005; South, 1979
4 South, 1974
Fumble Recoveries
5 North, 1981
4 South, 2007; North, 2000; North, 1980; South, 1978

The 2009 Shrine Bowl ended with 10:32 remaining in the second quarter — a 3-3 tie that will allways remain a game of what could have been.

Severe weather forced the game’s premature ending. Tornado warnings were issued for Natrona County during the game, as were severe thunderstorm warnings.

The decision to take the teams off the field and clear the stands proved to be the right move about a half-hour after the game ended. The game was called off at 8:09 p.m.; by 8:30, lightning was popping all around Cheney Alumni Field, and by 8:50 lightning and hail made any outdoor activity potentially life-threatening.

The shame is that by 10 p.m., the storm had moved east and the game could have continued.

The game was called by the Casper Police Department, who had to make a decisive choice. They went with safety, and by 9 p.m. that looked like the right move.

By 10 p.m., it looked like they could have waited.

The problem came not with the players finding safety on the field — it came with the fans finding safety off of it. Getting more than 2,000 people organized and safe is a problem, especially when you consider that most of these fans had no place to hide when the storm approached. During one first-quarter delay, which ate up about 25 minutes before play resumed, about 1/4 of the fans remained in the bleachers because there was nowhere for them to go — the bowels of Cheney Alumni Field, as well as the halls of Natrona County High School, were already filled with fans waiting out the delay.

It’s unfortunate that if the game had been less popular, it might have been able to be finished.

That said, the Shriners will still come out ahead — the crowd, and therefore the gate and the donation to the Shriners Hospital, was outstanding.

Those that will suffer are those who win only if the game rolls on — the booster clubs from NC and KW running the concession stands, the t-shirt and sweatshirt salespeople and the advertisers who missed out on their in-game promotions.

Everyone who was a part of this game deserved to see it finished. But everyone who was a part of this game also deserved to be safe. And I think I’d rather be disappointed than unsafe.


I’ve slowly been collecting football schedules for 2009 (REAL ones, with kickoff times and dates, not just the WHSAA listing) and it looks like at least two schools have added lights for next season.

According to the start times, at least, both Upton and Pinedale will have lights on their fields this fall.

I found this Youtube video of some of the dirt work on the Upton field, but that, plus the start times, is all the proof I can muster for Upton. One thing looks for certain — the new field will certainly be much more accessible to the school than the old field.

Meanwhile, aside from a May school budget item, I can’t find anything about Pinedale’s lights. Can anyone let me know what’s going on up there?

Also, according  to the start times, Wind River has its lighting situation rectified and will be taking to night games again this fall. Wind knocked down some of the poles last season, poles that were installed in 2006….

Anyway, can anyone out there fill me in on what’s new in Upton, Pinedale or Pavillion?


More than 16,000 football games have been played by Wyoming high school teams in the past 60 years.

Everyone has their favorite — the one that sticks out for either the stakes, the circumstances or the personal investment.

For pure drama, though, no Wyoming title game stacks up to the one Worland and Torrington played for the 1955 Class A title.

After Torrington rallied from a 14-0 deficit to force overtime, the two teams abided by the rules then in place — the ball was spotted on the 50-yard line and each team was given five plays, alternating. The team that had the ball on its opponents side of the 50 after those 10 plays was declared the winner.

Here’s the account of overtime from Ray Griffin’s story in the Casper Tribune-Herald:

Torrington’s first play: 3-yard run by Bobby Hankins (ball on Worland’s 47)

Worland’s first play: 2-yard run by Terry Smothermon (ball on Worland’s 49)

Torrington’s second play: 1-yard run by Hankins (ball on Worland’s 48)

Worland’s second play: 1-yard run by Smothermon (ball on Worland’s 49)

Torrington’s third play: incomplete pass (ball on Worland’s 49)

Worland’s third play: Offsides penalty on Worland, followed by a 1-yard loss by Cote (first name unavailable) on a reverse (ball on Worland’s 43)

Torrington’s fourth play: No gain on a run by Ron Wood (ball on Worland’s 43)

Worland’s fourth play: 6-yard run by Smothermon (ball on Worland’s 49)

Torrington’s fifth play: No gain on a run by Hankins (ball on Worland’s 49)

Worland’s fifth play: 3-yard run by Smothermon (ball on Torrington’s 48)

In the end, as Griffin put it, “The ball was perhaps five feet inside Torrington territory when the game ended.”

Frankly, the 1955 method was a pretty cruddy way to decide a championship. Alternating plays is the worst way to gain any type of offensive or defensive consistency and it’s tough to establish any kind of set-up for a trick play (although both teams tried in 1955, with Torrington running one of those tricky passing plays and Worland trying a reverse, neither of which worked).

However, you can’t argue the drama that hung over that final play, with one yard standing between two teams and a championship. No matter the system, you can’t argue that there wasn’t a more exciting way to end a game — and a season.

Just for perspective, the other four championship games to go into overtime were the 2002 Class 4A title game (Worland over Star Valley 17-14); the 1990 Class 2A title game (Thermopolis over Lovell 21-20); the 1983 Class 3A title game (Buffalo over Evanston 13-12); and the 1976 Class AA title game (Cody over Laramie 41-40 in triple overtime).

I wrote about this a while back on my old Sports Goulash blog at the Star-Tribune. I listed the 1955 Class A title game as the No. 1 game in Wyoming’s history. Here were the other four I posted at the time, although I think some of my list has changed:

So here they are, “The Top Five Games in Wyoming High School Football History, or At Least the Ones I Can Remember”:

5. Natrona County 7, Sheridan 0, 1996 Class 4A championship: Sheridan was the juggernaut, having won four of the previous five big-school titles. Despite beating Sheridan 16-0 earlier in the season, NC was still the underdog, still rising from the ashes of some rough years. The Mustangs won on a second-quarter pass play from Jacque Finn to Josh Daniels. It was Steve Harshman’s first championship with NC, and he still has the paper clipping on his bulletin board at NCHS.

4. Riverton 33, Lander 27, 1994 Class 3A championship: At the time, then-Riverton coach Don Julian (now at UW) called it “the greatest high school football game I’ve ever been associated with.” Corte McGuffey, who later starred at Northern Colorado and in the XFL, threw for 419 yards and led the Wolverines’ comeback victory in front of 4,000 fans at Tonkin Stadium. The winning TD by Kevin DeVries came with 1:15 to go.

3. Cokeville 14, Southeast 13, 2003 Class 1A championship: Give Southeast coach Mark Bullington credit. He went for the win. However, the Panthers’ Nathan Fiscus stopped Cyclones’ QB Alan Moore on a two-point conversion attempt with 2:14 remaining, and Cokeville won its third consecutive small-school championship.

2. Big Horn 45, Riverside 45, 3OT, tie, 1987: Ties were abolished after the 1974 season. Somehow, this 1987 season opener between the Rams and Rebels finished in a tie — the only deadlock in Wyoming before or since the rule change. All I remember about this one is that it ended in a tie because the officials thought three overtimes was the limit. I could be wrong, though. … Anyone?

Here are a couple comments from that list:

“I can remember one other important OT game played during the 1960 regular season when Tommy Wilkinson’s Greybull crew beat Lander in the same OT format but the game was disputed and Greybull and Lander had to play again at the conclusion of the season with Greybull winning 33-7. Greybull went on to beat Evanston and Gary McLean, 14-7 for the title.”

“Just found this. Interesting that the 1976 Cody victory over Laramie doesn’t show up in your top 5 list. I was there, all of 11 years old. Game decided 41-40 in Cody in triple overtime. Laramie under John Deti, Sr., was heavily favored, but Cody, led by Rob Russell, Clark Fuller, Mike Mees and many others, fought back from being down 20-8 at halftime to force overtime. 41-40 triple overtime. David beats Goliath. John McDougall’s first state championship as coach. A great moment in a small town. I was proud to be there, standing alongside my dad, who in 1958, played on the Torrington team that traveled to Cody the day after a snowstorm and lost the state title by a touchdown. … The game was amazing. Laramie was bigger, stronger, faster. Cody’s only score of the first half was on a kickoff return for a touchdown by Rob Russell. The game was tied 28-28, I believe, at the end of regulation. The California playoff was the mode of settling the winner. I do remember that Laramie scored in the second overtime and missed the extra point (I think it was on a two-point try by their huge fullback). Cody scored and then had the opportunity to kick the extra point for the win. From the stands Russell’s kick looked good, but it was ruled no good. Laramie scored again, rather quickly, but again failed on the two-point try. Cody scored, and Russell’s kick was true and there was chaos. There must have been at least 5,000 fans in attendance rooting on the Broncs. The next year, Mike Mees, who went on to BYU and then later punted in the USFL for the Arizona Outlaws, and Clark Fuller passed their way to another improbable appearance in the state championship game against Cheyenne Central. That game was a shootout, and the Indians prevailed. It was an exciting time to be a youngster growing up in Cody. Many years later, Mees ended up coaching basketball in Worland.”

“I can understand why their are no Guernsey games on the list, it must have been hard enough to choose as it was. But, if you had a top ten list at least three of Guernsey’s recent playoff games deserve a shot at that list. There’s already been mention of this past year’s state championship game in Cokeville. The game their two years before, however, saw Guernsey drive I think 97 yards, eating up almost all of the fourth quarter, to score the go ahead touchdown. To put together that kind of a drive on Cokeville defense, with no long plays on the drive either, and just pounding it down the field, was pretty impressive. Also, the week before that game Guernsey beat Burlington in the semis in overtime with a field goal. The game was back and forth throughout regulation and ended 21-21 (could’ve been more but each team had goal line stops). Burlington got the ball first in overtime but Guernsey stopped them. Thus, Guernsey scores and they win. On the first play they get the ball to the 2, then get stuffed twice and decide to kick a field goal. The only field goal ever attempted by the Vikings during Matt Calvert’s tenure turned out to make the season. Just thought I’d throw those out there.”

“The best game I ever played in was Cokeville vs. Southeast in 1993 in a state semi-final game in Yoder. Both teams scored 14 points early in the first half. From there on it was a defensive struggle. The game went to overtime where Southeast had the ball first. They scored quickly and added the pat to go ahead 21-14. We answered with a touchdown to pull with in a point. We called time out and coach Todd Dayton came out onto the field and into our huddle. He took the field goal kicking tee and threw it to the sidelines, making sure the Southeast side knew we were planning on going the 2 pt conversion and the win. Coach Dayton called no play in the huddle…we were going to try and get Southeast to jump offside and move the ball closer to the goal line. If they did not jump, we were going to call time out and kick the pat and head to the second overtime. Southeast did in fact jump offside and on the next play our running back Ricky Himmerich scored on a dive to the right from a yard and a half out.”

“The 1955 AA Championship game between Laramie and Cheyenne should rank up there. Laramie won 18-14 and the game ended in an on field riot.. This was the first year Laramie beat Cheyenne twice in the same season. The #1 game you have listed (Torrington)…the Torrington quarterback was John Korhonen and that team included several guys who went on to play at U of W. Actually, Torrington beat Laramie early in the season for Laramies only loss of the year.”

So there it is, the starting point for debate. Toss out your suggestions for Wyoming’s best high school football game ever with a comment below.


I’ve made two updates to the site recently.

One adds to my all-state project, as the teams from 1955-59 have been added. Click here to see those updates.

The second updates the correct dates of the Class A and Class B championship games from 1979; both games were played on Oct. 27 of that year. Those changes have been updated on all relevant pages.