Heading into last season’s Class 2A semifinals, the Glenrock-Greybull rivalry was no rivalry at all.
The teams shared little history and no parity. In four previous meetings — two in the regular season, two in the postseason — Glenrock had never lost to Greybull.
Then 2016 came along.
Greybull picked apart Glenrock in the 2A semifinals, winning 26-0 and ending Glenrock’s undefeated season in the process.
For Glenrock, the loss was unexpected. The only other time a Herder squad entered the playoffs unbeaten and failed to reach the state championship game was all the way back in 1949.
Greybull, meanwhile, advanced to its first state championship game in 33 years, losing to Big Horn in the 2A title game.
Eleven days after Glenrock’s loss, schools from across the state met in Casper for the statewide scheduling meeting. With schools now allowed to schedule their own nonconference games, Greybull and Glenrock found their way to each other to schedule a Week 1 rematch of last year’s semifinal showdown.
The game quickly became one of the most highly anticipated nonconference games of the season — and maybe the biggest nonconference game in 2A this year. Greybull and Glenrock both figure to be at the top of 2A again this year, and Friday’s game in Greybull will show us a lot about how both teams figure to fit into the championship race.
In the process, the two schools are developing a nice, new little rivalry, one based on mutual success rather than geographical proximity.
If they meet again in Laramie, don’t be surprised to see them show up on each others’ nonconference schedules again in 2018.
That’s what rivals do.
Here’s the other games that have piqued my curiosity in Week 1:
Cheyenne East-Kelly Walsh is the only 4A game that matches up two teams who won in Zero Week. East piled up a school-record number of points in knocking off Gillette, but KW probably worked harder to beat Laramie. Seeing how that success manifests itself this week will be fun. …
The one week of nonconference play in six-man gives us some interesting matchups, but none more interesting than Guernsey-Sunrise traveling to Farson. In my preseason rankings, I had Farson at No. 2 and Guernsey at No. 3, so expect a good one. …
Staying in six-man, Midwest at Burlington and Snake River at Lingle are potential first-round playoff matchups. It’s nice to see those games on the schedule for Week 1. …
Cokeville playing at Mountain View could be a great game. The Buffalos are one of 2A’s best, and 1A dynamo Cokeville has proven year in and year out it has the ability to play with 2A’s best. …
Kemmerer’s best chance this season to break its losing streak may come at home this week against 1A Saratoga. On paper, the two teams match up similarly in depth and size. What they hey… I think the Rangers get this one. …
On to this week’s picks, where the teams I project to win the scheduled game are indicated with thicker lettering:
Upton-Sundance at Moorcroft
Cheyenne East at Kelly Walsh
Cheyenne South at Thunder Basin
Gillette at Natrona
Laramie at Rock Springs
Sheridan at Cheyenne Central
Cody at Buffalo
Green River at Lander
Worland at Powell
Glenrock at Greybull
Lyman at Pinedale
Newcastle at Lovell
Class 1A 11-man
Rocky Mountain at Big Horn
Wright at Tongue River
Class 1A six-man
Kaycee at Dubois
Midwest at Burlington
NSI at Riverside
Rock River at Meeteetse
St. Stephens at Hanna
Snake River at Lingle
Cokeville at Mountain View
Evanston at Rawlins
Lusk at Burns
Saratoga at Kemmerer
Shoshoni at Thermopolis
Wheatland at Torrington
Wind River at Big Piney
Bayard, Neb., at Southeast
Jackson at Sugar-Salem, Idaho
Pine Bluffs at Mitchell, Neb.
Star Valley at Preston, Idaho
Class 1A six-man
Guernsey-Sunrise at Farson
Ten Sleep at Hulett
Lander JV at Wyoming Indian
Open: Douglas, Riverton.
For a full schedule including kickoff times, check out the 2017 schedule and results page.
As usual, I’m tallying my success on my picks, mostly so you can make fun of me when I get stuff wrong. Here’s how I did last week, minus a game that ended up being a triangular jamboree:
Last week: 13-3 (81 percent). This season: 13-3 (81 percent).
Most teams in the state donned pads against a different team last week. But most of what happened in Zero Week was for practice’s sake than for the final records’ sake. That changes this week. So who’s ready to pull a season-opening upset? Post a comment and let’s chat about the uncertainty of the start of a new season.