Last season, two Wyoming football teams — Lovell and Snake River — finished the season undefeated.

As it turns out, the 2011 season was dead-on average for producing state champions with goose eggs in the loss column — and, actually, pretty close to average in producing a state champion with several losses, too.

Since the first consensus state champion was recognized in 1921, a total of 271 teams have won state championships. Of those, 130 (48 percent) were undefeated and 109 (40 percent) were both unbeaten and untied, including Lovell and Snake River last year. (It’s worth noting here that numerous other teams prior to the development of statewide playoffs in 1975 finished unbeaten/untied but did not win state championships.)

It’s one thing to win a state championship by pure force — winning every time you step on the field. It’s another to win after going through some scoreboard adversity. And a handful of Wyoming football teams have won state championships in seasons when they have been far from perfect in the regular season.

In fact, of those 271 championship squads, one actually won a state championship and finished its season with a losing record. That was Upton’s 1961 team, which won the Class B state title despite finishing with a 3-4-1 record. The only playoff game Upton had that season was the state championship game. Upton’s three victories is also the fewest ever victories for a Wyoming state champion. (I’m preparing a blog post all about Upton’s 1961 team; check back here later to read it.)

The records here on show one team winning a state title with four victories — Cowley in 1955 — but, despite my best efforts, I feel like several games are missing from the records for Cowley’s 1955 season.

Also, one other team finished at .500 the year it won a state championship: Cokeville in 1987. The Panthers finished 3-5 in the regular season that year but won two playoff games to win the Class 1A championship with a 5-5 record. Cokeville’s five losses that season is the most ever for a Wyoming state champion; nine schools, including Upton in 1961, have won a state championship with four losses. (The other four-loss champions were Laramie and Natrona, which split the AA championship in 1951 at 5-4; Laramie in 1958 (AA, 5-4), Jackson in 1986 (3A, 6-4), Powell in 1987 (3A, 5-4), Star Valley in 1995 (3A, 7-4), Cheyenne Central in 2005 (5A, 7-4) and Big Piney in 2006 (3A, 7-4).)

Besides Cokeville in 1987, the two Laramie seasons of 1951 and 1958, Natrona in 1951 and Powell in 1987 are the only other teams to win state championships in seasons of five total victories.

Unbeaten? Sure, it’s nice and pretty and impressive. But finding a way to eke out a state championship with four or five losses? That’s just straight up rare, ugly and, well, impressive in its own right, too. Winning a title that way takes a lot of moxie and determination — and a little luck, too.


There’s no other way to say it: The 1970s were a rough time for the Hulett football program.

No one number demonstrates the struggles accurately; it’s the accumulation of statistical anomalies that make the Red Devils’ struggles stick out above all others.

In one seven-year stretch, the Red Devils had six winless seasons — 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, all winless.

Prior to its first game of the 1979 season, Hulett had lost 57 of its previous 58 games; the lone victory was a 3-0 slobberknocker over Sundance at home in 1974.

In fact, the Hulett graduating class of 1979 went all four years of high school without knowing what a victory on the high school gridiron felt like.

Partly, Hulett’s struggles were due to its inability to win on the road. Hulett, at one point, lost 33 consecutive games away from home, still the state record for a road losing streak.

The road woes came to an end on Sept. 21, 1979, when Hulett beat Sundance 16-6 on the Bulldogs’ home field. The last road victory had come more than eight calendar years prior to that, a 2-0 victory over Moorcroft on Sept. 17, 1971.

Glendo struggled nearly as much as Hulett did in the 1970s, though. At one point, the Eagles lost 29 consecutive road games and went 30 games without winning on the road (the 29-game streak was capped on the front end by a tie). However, the Eagles put a stop to those struggles when they beat Burns 20-6 on Sept. 15, 1978, in Burns, the school’s first road win in football since the final game of the 1970 season.

Hulett’s record is not in immediate danger; Rawlins has the longest active road losing streak at 16 games, a streak that dates back to a 10-0 victory over Pinedale on Sept. 12, 2008.

Here is a short rundown of the state’s longest all-time and current road losing streaks:

Longest road losing streaks
Hulett, 33 games, 1971-79
Glendo, 29 games, 1971-78
Wyoming Indian, 25 games, 1975-81
Greybull, 22 games, 1978-83
Newcastle, 22 games, 2001-06
Rawlins, 16 games, 2008-current
Farson, 15 games, 1990-current (includes gap between 1990 and 2009 when team was not fielded; does not include four forfeit losses)
Longest road non-winning streaks (includes ties)
Glendo, 0-29-1 (30 games), 1971-78
Big Horn, 0-24-1 (25 games), 1957-66
Evanston, 0-24-1 (25 games), 1969-74
Gebo, 0-22-1 (23 games), 1933-37 (does not include one neutral site loss)


Sure, anyone can win at home.

But to go on the road? With the distractions of the bus trip, the unfamiliar locker rooms, the new fields, the hyped-up home teams?

Winning on the road takes some real gusto.

And several Wyoming high school football teams have put together impressive road winning streaks.

The all-time best goes to Rocky Mountain, which went 25 consecutive road games from 1994 to 2000 without a loss. That streak helped the Grizzlies win three state championships (1995, 1997, 1998) and 46 consecutive regular-season games.

The streak came to an end on Sept. 8, 2000, when Rocky lost to regional rival Lovell 12-0 on the Bulldogs’ home field.

Only one other school has put together a road winning streak of longer than 17 games. That’s Cokeville, which won 20 straight on the road from 1987-92.

The Grizzlies’ record appears safe for now, as the longest active road winning streak belongs to two-time defending six-man champion Snake River, which has won eight consecutive games on the road, not counting two neutral-site victories the past two years in the state championship games at War Memorial Stadium.

Here is a short rundown of the state’s longest all-time and current road winning streaks:

Longest road winning streaks
Rocky Mountain, 25 games, 1994-2000
Cokeville, 20 games, 1987-92 (one neutral site victory not counted)
Byron, 17 games, 1945-52 (one victory of unknown location not counted)
Laramie, 17 games, 1959-62
Several teams tied at 15 games
Snake River, 8 games, since 2010 (two neutral site victories not counted)
Lovell, 6 games, since 2010
Longest road non-losing streaks (includes ties)
Worland, 18-0-1 (19 games), 1953-56
Byron, 17-0-1 (18 games), 1965-69
Worland, 15-0-1 (16 games), 1924-28 (one neutral site victory not counted)

Coming tomorrow: The longest road losing streaks.


Losing is always difficult.

Losing at home, though, always seems to sting a bit more.

Losing in front of a sprinkling of fans on a road trip always seems like less of a mental train than losing on front of a stadium full of friends, family, neighbors and alums.

At times, though, several Wyoming high school football teams have struggled to win at the very place where winning is most common.

Two programs — Lander and Newcastle — put together streaks of 18 consecutive home losses, the longest in state history.

Lander’s streak ran from 1967-71. In between beating Lovell 20-0 on Sept. 29, 1967, and beating Green River 12-7 on Oct. 22, 1971, Lander actually won four games, but all four of those victories came on the road. Lander’s home losing streak ended against Green River in the Tigers’ final home game of the 1971 season, giving the squad its only victory of the 1971 season. In 1972, the Tigers went 8-1, narrowly missing a berth in the Class AA championship game.

Newcastle, meanwhile, lost 18 straight home games from 1999 to 2004. The victory that broke the streak — a 34-20 victory over Wheatland on Sept. 24, 2004 — was Newcastle’s only victory in the span of four seasons, 2002-05. However, in 2006, the Dogies turned it around to finish second in the 3A East Conference and host a playoff game.

Even so, the longest home streak without a victory belongs to Saratoga, which went 19 games (18 losses and one tie) between 1965 and 1970 without a home victory. The Panthers ended that streak in style, topping the Rawlins JV 54-0 on Sept. 19, 1970. By 1974, the Panthers had put together an undefeated season.

Those quick turnarounds should give this year’s team in Rawlins some hope.

The Outlaws’ current 15-game home losing streak is the longest active such streak in Wyoming. Rawlins’ last home win came on Sept. 5, 2008, a 7-3 victory over Mountain View.

Here is a short rundown of the state’s longest all-time and current home losing streaks:

Longest home losing streaks
Lander, 18 games, 1967-71
Newcastle, 18 games, 1999-2004
Glendo, 16 games, 1975-79
Hulett, 16 games, 1975-78
Rawlins, 16 games, 1992-95
Shoshoni, 16 games, 1971-75
Rawlins, 15 games, since 2008
Tongue River, 11 games, since 2008 (two neutral-site losses not counted; no 2011 season)
Longest home non-losing streaks (includes ties)
Saratoga, 0-18-1 (19 games), 1965-70
Shoshoni, 0-17-1 (18 games), 1971-75
Basin, 0-16-1 (17 games), 1948-52

Coming tomorrow: The longest road winning streaks.


Long before Under Armour made it trendy, Wyoming high school football teams understood the importance of winning at home.

Putting together a long winning streak is tough enough, given the short seasons and high turnover of high school football teams.

Putting together a long winning streak of only home games is tougher than that; such a streak relies on consistency of play not only from game to game, but also from year to year and sometimes from coach to coach, too.

In Wyoming, two schools have put together long home winning streaks that no other schools can claim to match.

Byron’s 30-game home winning streak from 1953-61 stands alone. The Eagles’ streak started at the end of a lackluster 1953 season in which Byron went 2-3.

Then the Eagles started to win. A lot.

Undefeated seasons followed in 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1960. In between the 1953 and 1961 seasons, the Eagles won 30 consecutive games at home. (And maybe more — three games Byron won in which the location of the game could not be determined are not included in the tallies of this streak.)

Byron’s home streak ended with the opening game of the 1962 season, a 26-0 loss to Shoshoni.

Oddly enough, Byron had at least three different coaches in the nine seasons from 1953-61.

However, those 30 games do not represent the longest streak any one Wyoming team has put together in which there hasn’t been a loss at home. Instead, that streak belongs to Natrona.

For 40 consecutive games from 1934 to 1940, the Mustangs didn’t lose a single game at home, going 37-0-3 in Casper during that stretch. Oddly enough, NC never had an undefeated team in that span; however, all the losses came on the road.

The Mustangs’ streak came to a close in the final game of the 1940 season, in which Natrona lost 13-0 to Rock Springs; after that loss, NC went 14-0-1 in its next 15 games at home. In that 1940 season, NC beat teams from four different states — Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming — at home.

Natrona, like Byron, went through three different coaches during its nine-year run at home.

However, both the Byron streak and the Natrona streak might be in danger.

Douglas has won 24 consecutive home games since 2008. If the Bearcats can sweep their home games this year and win at least one home playoff game, they will tie Byron’s all-time state record winning streak.

Here is a short rundown of the state’s best all-time and current home winning streaks:

Longest home winning streaks
Byron, 30 games, 1953-61 (three victories of unknown location are not counted)
Natrona, 28 games, 1936-40
Cokeville, 27 games, 1993-97
Sheridan, 25 games, 1920-24
Shoshoni, 25 games, 1976-81
Douglas, 24 games, since 2008
Southeast, 14 games, since 2009
Longest home non-losing streaks (includes ties)
Natrona, 37-0-3 (40 games), 1934-40
Cody, 25-0-2 (27 games), 1929-35

Coming tomorrow: The state’s longest home losing streaks.


Here are the rosters for the 39th annual Shrine Bowl all-star football game, which will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday in Casper.

BURNS: Kaleb Morgan.
CHEYENNE CENTRAL: Kyler Robinson; Matt Carver.
CHEYENNE EAST: Cameron Jaure; Trevon Hinker; Jeremy Woods; Anthony Valdez.
COKEVILLE: Bronson Teichert.
DOUGLAS: Braidy Parks.
EVANSTON: Will Barker; Matt Eddington; Tyler Chandler; Jordan Johnson.
GLENROCK: Troy Pinkerton.
GREEN RIVER: Colter Hamel; Jerome Krysl.
KEMMERER: Ethan Archibald.
LARAMIE: Josh Teeter; Brady Wilkison.
LINGLE: Garrett Meyer.
LUSK: Taylen Arnett.
LYMAN: Wade Eyre; Justin Covington; Bryce Bluemel.
PINE BLUFFS: David Baker.
ROCK SPRINGS: Chance Malmstrom.
SNAKE RIVER: Miles Englehart; Daniel Wille; Rex Stanley.
SOUTHEAST: Zac Zimmerer.
STAR VALLEY: Ridge Hillyard; T.J. Guild; Conner Hoopes.
WHEATLAND: David Chesser; Kolby Braisted.
Head coach: Chad Goff, Cheyenne East. Assistant coaches: Kirk Nelson, Cheyenne East; Mark Lenhardt, Torrington; Scott Schultz, Wheatland; Will Gray, Pine Bluffs; Michael Bates, Snake River.
Support: Karlie Schultz, Wheatland, manager; Emily Underwood, Cheyenne East, student trainer.

BUFFALO: Christopher Mikal.
BURLINGTON: Anson George.
CODY: Taylor Hubbell; Zach Swope.
DUBOIS: Mitchell Baker.
GILLETTE: Kade Wasson; Burke Burgess; Nick Bazemore; Cody Okray; Tanner Moser.
GREYBULL: Austin Frazier.
KELLY WALSH: Terry Jackson Jr.; Austin Wright; Casey Keith.
LANDER: Tanner Simpson.
LOVELL: A.J. Montanez; Mark Grant; Eli Moody.
MIDWEST: Adam VanNorman.
MOORCROFT: Thomas Johnson.
NATRONA: Cody Vollmar; Caleb Seghetti; Khaymon Bell; Jake Thomas.
NEWCASTLE: Mitch Weigel.
POWELL: Cooper Wise; Olie Olson; Josh Cragoe.
RIVERSIDE: Brynnt Wood.
SHERIDAN: Jordan Roberts; Aaron Gray.
SHOSHONI: Dalton Linnan.
TONGUE RIVER: Austin Bolin.
WRIGHT: Baily Hepp.
Head coach: Jim Stringer, Powell. Assistant coaches: Richard Despain, Powell; Jon Vance, Kelly Walsh; Doug Hazen, Lovell; Mike Aagard, Burlington; Jake Zent, Ten Sleep.
Support: J.R. Larsen, Powell, adult certified trainer; Landon Doyle, Worland, student trainer; Curt Bennion, Powell, manager.