Let me get this out of the way right now: I feel like a jerk for writing this post.

In general, I try to use this blog to highlight the good things happening in Wyoming high school sports — and, although all that surrounds high school sports is not all roses and unicorns, I try to bring attention to the negative only when I feel like it’s deserved.

That’s why I feel like a jerk, because Rawlins doesn’t deserve this.

Rawlins doesn’t deserve what’s happened to its football program. Specifically, the Outlaws don’t deserve to break the state record for consecutive losses, which they will do if they lose to Torrington at home on Friday. Generally, the program doesn’t deserve what has happened the past 12 years, or, really, the past 25-plus years.

Since winning the Class 3A championship in 2000, the Outlaws are 8-88. Spelled out, it looks more dramatic: eight victories, eighty-eight losses.

Only once since 2001 have the Outlaws won more than one game in a season; that came in 2008, when Rawlins went 2-7. The 2008 season also had one of Rawlins’ two playoff qualifications in this span, as the 2003 team, at 1-7 in the regular season, barely qualified for the playoffs and earned the right to be crushed in the first round of the postseason.

But the struggles on the Rawlins gridiron date to well before 2000. In fact, in the 13 years leading up to the title run in 2000, the Outlaws had just one winning season — and that came in 1999, the year prior to the Outlaws’ undefeated championship run. From 1987-2000, even including the 9-0 title season, the Outlaws were just 29-85.

What’s weird, though, is that Rawlins’ drop-off, minus the flare-up of the 2000 championship class, was incredibly quick and incredibly thorough, and it stunned a program that had been fairly successful prior to 1987. In fact, the Outlaws were the Class AA (big school) runners-up in 1986 and in 1982, as well, losing to Sheridan in the title game both times, both at home. The Outlaws also lost the 1974 Class AA title game at home to Cheyenne East.

Heading into the 1987 season opener, the Outlaws’ all-time record was 241 victories, 272 losses and 25 ties, a winning percentage of .471.

Heading into Friday’s game with Torrington, the Outlaws’ all-time record is 278 victories, 445 losses and 25 ties, a winning percentage of .388.

In case you’re counting (and I always am), over the past 25 and a half seasons, Rawlins has had 37 victories and 173 losses, a winning percentage of .176.

That includes 35 losses in a row, heading into Friday, tied for the state record and on the brink of breaking it.

And I feel like a jerk for pointing it out, because no one should have to go through that, or go through the scrutiny that comes with setting a “negative” state record.

So, to the Rawlins Outlaws, their coaches, their fans and their supporters: Sorry you have to go through this, and I apologize for piling on.

Like all streaks, this one, too, shall pass. And the unforgiving nature of the scoreboard demands that only one solution exists.


Here are the rest of my picks for the week. Projected winners are in bold. But, of course, I don’t mind being proven wrong.

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

Last week: 27-4 (87 percent) (doesn’t include the Upton-Sundance/Natrona JV game, which wasn’t on my schedule and no one in official capacity bothered to let me know the game was being played until after it was done, so I couldn’t include it). This season: 117-25 (82 percent).

What do you think about this week’s schedule? Any games you’re excited to see? Any upsets in the making? Post your thoughts below and we can chat about it.


The Wyoming High School Activities Association on Tuesday voted to give Class 1A schools the option of joining either six-man or 11-man in 2013.

In doing so, the WHSAA acknowledged problems might arise from the offer, as four schools have approached the WHSAA about moving from 11-man to six-man next year.

An article in the Casper Star-Tribune said 11-man schools Wyoming Indian, Saratoga and NSI let the WHSAA know they were interested in moving from 11-man to six-man for the 2013 season, while St. Stephens — which has a sub-varsity six-man program — said it wanted to move to the varsity level next year.

Such moves would leave 11 programs in Class 1A 11-man and would give Class 1A six-man 14 programs, but WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird and Associate Commissioner Trevor Wilson told the Star-Tribune they will ask NSI to stay in 11-man and ask St. Stephens to play another year of JV in order to balance the number of schools in each division at 12 apiece, in order to facilitate scheduling.


My take

Good on Saratoga, Wyoming Indian, NSI and St. Stephens for trying to get into the six-man game. And, from what I can gather from the article, even though two of these schools — NSI and St. Stephens — might be stonewalled in 2013, it sounds like they’ll both be welcomed in 2014 after the WHSAA can take care of the scheduling problems an 11-team Class 1A 11-man creates.

But boo on the WHSAA for attempting to thwart those two schools from joining six-man in 2013.

I understand the scheduling problems inherent in a switch like this. Heck, the 2013 football schedule will be out in just more than a month. But we’ve seen patchwork schedules before (the Natrona JV team is in the running for the 1A title this year, right?) and a schedule could be turned around in time for 2013.

(I’m no genius, and I’m not privy to all the demands of the individual schools, but I drew up a nonconference schedule that would work for most schools in about 15 minutes — lots of 2A vs. 1A games Week 1, a East vs. West rotation in Weeks 2-3, conference games in Weeks 4-8.)

Of course, the one problem with that schedule is that it would be extremely patchwork, as most out-of-state schools already have their dates filled.

The WHSAA could also just be buying time until the two-year cooperative agreement between Sundance and Upton ends after the 2013 season. Then, with the programs splitting back into two independent teams, the WHSAA could look at having an even number of schools in each classification, which will help scheduling immensely.

All that said, I think the athletes who would be playing for NSI and St. Stephens in 2013 are being asked to unfairly shoulder a burden being asked of them. For St. Stephens to play another year of junior varsity — that would make three in a row — is a difficult task. And for NSI to play 11-man (where they’ve been getting worked for several years) instead of moving to six-man is a bit unfair when two other schools who asked the same request will likely have theirs granted, more out of convenience and geography than anything else.

As a small aside, it’s worth noting that Rock River, who is playing a sub-varsity six-man schedule this season, was not in the discussion for varsity play in 2013.


Here is how the Class 1A football conferences would look in 2013 with all requests honored:

Class 1A 11-man West Conference: Burlington, Cokeville, Riverside, Rocky Mountain, Shoshoni, Wind River.
Class 1A 11-man East Conference: Lingle, Lusk, Pine Bluffs, Southeast, Upton-Sundance.
Class 1A six-man North Conference (anticipated): Dubois, Hulett, Kaycee, Meeteetse, NSI, St. Stephens, Ten Sleep.
Class 1A six-man South Conference (anticipated): Farson, Guernsey, Hanna, Midwest, Saratoga, Snake River, Wyoming Indian.
(Six-man might also work east-west with Dubois, Farson, Meeteetse, St. Stephens, Snake River, Ten Sleep and Wyoming Indian in the West and Guernsey, Hanna, Hulett, Kaycee, Midwest, NSI and Saratoga in the East.)

Here is how the Class 1A football conferences would look in 2013 with the WHSAA suggestions:

Class 1A 11-man West Conference: Burlington, Cokeville, Riverside, Rocky Mountain, Shoshoni, Wind River.
Class 1A 11-man East Conference: Lingle, Lusk, NSI, Pine Bluffs, Southeast, Upton-Sundance.
Class 1A six-man North Conference (anticipated): Dubois, Hulett, Kaycee, Meeteetse, Ten Sleep, Wyoming Indian.
Class 1A six-man South Conference (anticipated): Farson, Guernsey, Hanna, Midwest, Saratoga, Snake River.


Your thoughts? What does Tuesday’s vote mean for your school? What do you think of the WHSAA telling a couple schools to wait a year before entering six-man? Post some thoughts below and we can discuss this as long as you want.


Saratoga’s football team is trying out something new this year — night home games.

The Panthers are the latest school to add lights to their field, debuting the new lights in a 28-6 loss to Lingle in the opening week of the season. In doing so, Saratoga joined a growing trend of schools adding the night option to their schedule.

Upton added lights recently when it built its new school and field a few years ago; Pinedale added lights in a stadium upgrade that also included artificial turf; Wind River added lights a couple years ago despite some setbacks that pushed back making night football a consistent event in Pavillion.

Now, of the 63 high schools in Wyoming that sponsor varsity high school football, only 18 don’t have lights on their home field.

The no-lights schools tend to be clumped together. There’s the “Crook County Clump” of Hulett, Sundance and Moorcroft… the “Sheridan County District 1 Clump” of Tongue River and Big Horn… the “Southwest Clump” of Lyman, Mountain View, Kemmerer, Big Piney and Cokeville… the “Big Horn County District 1 Clump” of Rocky Mountain and Burlington…. and the “Six-man Clump” of Kaycee, Snake River, Farson, Hanna, Dubois and Ten Sleep (and Hulett, again; with their move to six-man last year, the Red Devils are now in two clumps).

Speaking of six-man… Guernsey, Meeteetse and Midwest are the only six-man schools with lights; however, both Meeteetse and Guernsey have no night home games this year. Midwest is the opposite, and is scheduled to play all of its home games at night — the lone torch bearer of night six-man football in Wyoming.

Of course, most of the schools without lights are fairly small — the Bridger Valley schools of Mountain View and Lyman are the two largest schools in the state without lights, and they tally in at about 225 students apiece 9-12. However, of the 18 schools without lights, seven are in Class 2A and seven are in Class 1A six-man; only four schools in Class 1A 11-man don’t have lights.

Don’t expect lights for most of these schools any time soon. I haven’t heard any rumors of any of these schools adding lights any time soon. (If I’m wrong about that, let me know by posting a comment below or emailing me: pschmiedt@yahoo.com.)

As for Saratoga… well, after this week, the Panthers have two more home games. One will be under the lights, but the regular-season finale will be played in the mid-afternoon. Is it too early to call it a throwback game?


I’m not purposely trying to neglect this week’s games by talking about lights. Several key games dot the schedule, including Buffalo-Douglas, Glenrock-Big Horn, Cokeville-Shoshoni and Dubois-Kaycee. At least two undefeated teams will fall this week, as the Glenrock-Big Horn and Dubois-Kaycee games pit two unbeaten teams against each other.

Here are this week’s picks, with projected winners in bold:

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

Last week: 27-5 (84 percent). This season: 90-21 (81 percent).

Thoughts on the upcoming week? Thoughts on lights? Thoughts on anything Wyoming high school football-related? Post away below. Let’s start a conversation.


The consensus around Class 4A is clear this year: Cheyenne South is better this year than it was last year.

Unfortunately for the Bison, being better has yet to translate into a victory.

South, in its second varsity season and its first year with seniors, is 0-3 so far this year. The Bison were 0-9 last year.

In terms of victories, the transition to a fully fledged Class 4A football program has been tough. But by no means are the Bison walking an untrodden path. Struggles during program starts are common — and some of the best programs we know today started the same way Cheyenne South is doing now.

Several programs went winless in their first seasons (in seasons of four-plus games only): Big Horn (0-4 in 1939); Gillette (0-4 in 1921); Goshen Hole (0-5 in 1966); Kelly Walsh (0-8 in 1965); Pinedale (0-5 in 1938); Rozet (0-4 in 1953); Baggs/Snake River (0-4 in 1951); Wyoming Indian (0-6 in 1972); and, of course, South (0-9 in 2011).

However, every one of those programs won at least one game in their second season, except Rozet, which closed up shop after its one and only season.

The 12-game losing streak the Bison are on right now is far from a record to start a program. Well, depending on how you count….

* Guernsey didn’t win a game its first three seasons and lost its first eight of its fourth season; the Longhorns lost their first 21 games, eventually beating Manville 40-0 for their first victory on their 22nd attempt. However, Guernsey also started twice, playing for two years (1922-23) before sitting out for a few and then returning in 1929. Seven of the losses came in the first startup, 14 in the second startup.

* Cody had similar struggles in establishing its program. The Broncs went a combined 0-10-1 their first two seasons, and picked up a victory in their third season only after a forfeit. The Broncs didn’t win a game on the field until the 22nd time they took the field; however, Cody beat newcomer Byron in that game 109-0. (Technically, Cody’s streak ends at 13 games — 12 losses and a tie.)

* Moorcroft, on its third and final startup after two one-year experiments, lost 11 consecutive games to start. The Wolves had winless seasons in its first two years, 1952 and 1953.

* Chugwater had it even tougher. The Buffaloes went 0-12 as a program over four seasons, and, according to my research, never won a game. They have the state “record” for most games played without a victory.

* Another Cheyenne school, St. Mary’s, had an interesting first few seasons — the Gaels went 2-0 their first year, but went a combined 0-16-2 in their next three.

Establishing a program takes time. The Bison know this. The good news? If the past is any indicator, South will be winning games soon, and the rough start to the program will be a footnote, not a focus.

Here are this week’s picks. Projected winners in bold, projected teams that would love to prove me wrong in regular type:


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

Last week: 25-7 (78 percent). This season: 63-16 (80 percent).

What games on the Week 3 schedule stick out most to you? Any picks you feel like making? Anywhere I went wrong? Tired of my questioning? Post a comment below and share.


Carbon County offers the starkest contrast between gridiron success and struggle.

One county school — Snake River — has the state’s longest active winning streak. Another — Rawlins — has the longest active losing streak.

Both are closing in on state records.

Rawlins has the more immediate chance at a record, but the record is one the Outlaws would rather not have.

After last week’s 45-35 loss to Wheatland, Rawlins has now lost 32 consecutive games, a streak dating back to the team’s last victory on Sept. 12, 2008. Three more losses and Rawlins will bypass Greybull’s 35-game losing streak from 1978-82 for the state’s longest.

The Outlaws would rather that it not come to that. And their best chance to stop that from happening may come on Friday at home against Jackson.

After all, Rawlins has reasons to be optimistic.

The 35 points the Outlaws scored last week were the most in one game since they scored 39 in beating Powell 39-14 in the 3A championship game in 2000 — a game that seems like a lifetime ago in Carbon County. The 35-point total tops the entire SEASON totals Rawlins had in 2002 (18 points) and matches the season total offensive scoring output the Outlaws had just two years ago.

Down in Baggs, though, a different story is developing.

The Snake River Rattlers won their 22nd consecutive game last week in their 59-0 demolition of Ten Sleep. After a 10-0 season in 2010 and an 11-0 mark in 2011, the Rattlers are going for three titles in a row and, barring a cancellation or a loss, a chance at their 32nd consecutive victory by season’s end.

The state’s longest recorded winning streak belongs to Laramie (34 consecutive victories from 1959-63) and Worland (36 consecutive unbeaten, including two ties, from 1953-56). Byron also unofficially has a winning streak that stretches well past 40 games in an undefeated run from 1945-50, but several of the games that made that streak have not been verified. Snake River can climb to second all-time on the winning streaks list and fifth all-time on the unbeaten streaks list if they can win No. 32 in Laramie in November.

As coincidence would have it, in the same week Rawlins has what may be its best chance at victory in 2012, Snake River has what may be its toughest regular-season game, facing the team it beat in last year’s state championship game, Dubois. Both games are Friday; the kickoff in Baggs is at 3 p.m., while the kickoff in Rawlins is at 7 p.m. Go to both.

Streaks have a way of self-perpetuating. Unless habits or circumstances change, streaks feed into themselves and become bigger than any one game. For better or worse, they give a program momentum that is only understandable in the moment.

Fortunately for Rawlins, it showed last week that maybe, just maybe, circumstances are changing for the Outlaws.

And fortunately for Snake River, it showed last week that maybe, just maybe, circumstances aren’t changing for the Rattlers.


This week’s picks. Projected winners in bold:

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

Last week: 24-8 (.750). This season: 38-9 (.809).

Any thoughts you want to share? Any picks you want to make? Share them below in the comments.