Aaron Makelky, who has been Big Piney’s head football coach for the past seven years, has taken over as head coach at Kelly Walsh.

The Casper Star-Tribune first reported Makelky’s hiring, which he later verified on Twitter:

Makelky was a combined 22-37 in his seven years with the Class 2A Punchers, but he led the team to back-to-back winning seasons and playoff berths in 2017 and 2018. Big Piney reached the 2A semifinals in 2017.

In his Twitter post, Makelky said he will miss his players in Big Piney but also spoke to his future team in Casper.

“I will pour my heart and soul into your future success,” he wrote.

He replaces Jon Vance, who was let go as head coach after eight seasons leading the Trojans. KW finished 3-7 last year and lost in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Makelky previously coached in Bozeman, Montana, and Timber Lake, South Dakota. He will be the head coach for the South squad in the 2019 Shrine Bowl, which will be played in June in Casper.

Glenrock and Lovell have also named new head coaches for 2019, while GilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Big Piney and Wyoming Indian are searching for new head coaches. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.


Athletic trainers, student trainers and student managers have been added to both the North and South teams for the 2019 Wyoming Shrine Bowl.

A release Thursday from Shrine Bowl executive director Frank Selby noted the additions to the squads.

The North team will include adult athletic trainer Leah Washington from Natrona, student athletic trainer Faith Faldalen from Gillette and student manager Reata Cook from Big Horn. The South team will have adult athletic trainer Zach Olivarez from Douglas, student athletic trainer Juliana Ross from Cheyenne East and student manager Karla DelaCruz from Pine Bluffs.

The game will be June 8 at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.


Wyoming’s top scholar-athletes pose for a photo during the National Football Foundation’s Wyoming Chapter banquet recognizing them on Saturday in Laramie. Photo courtesy Ernie Over.

Big Horn’s Kade VanDyken was named the top football scholar-athlete in Wyoming by the National Football Foundation’s Wyoming Chapter during the group’s annual banquet Saturday in Laramie.

VanDyken was one of 15 different players recognized during the banquet. A total of $19,200 in scholarships was awarded, including $1,200 for each finalist and an additional $1,200 for VanDyken for being selected for the top spot.

Eight other special awards were given at Saturday’s banquet.

For a full list of award winners and more info on the banquet, click here.


Evanston head football coach Pat Fackrell has resigned after nine seasons leading the Red Devils.

Fackrell confirmed his resignation via email Monday with wyoming-football.com. The resignation was listed last week on the Football Scoop website.

A replacement has not yet been named, Fackrell said.

Fackrell took over the Red Devils in 2010. He led the program to six consecutive Class 4A playoff berths from 2010-15. Evanston transitioned to Class 3A in 2017; last year, the Red Devils finished 6-4 and made the 3A playoffs.

In nine seasons, Fackrell’s teams went a combined 32-55. His nine-year stay as Evanston’s head coach is tied for the second-longest tenure in school history behind the 18-year tenure of Kay Fackrell, Pat Fackrell’s father.

Fackrell teaches physical education at Evanston High School.

Evanston is the first Class 3A football program to make a change at its head coaching position this offseason. Other programs seeking new coaches for 2019 include Gillette, Kelly Walsh, Rock Springs and Wyoming Indian. Additionally, Glenrock and Lovell have named new head coaches for 2019. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.


The Wyoming rosters have been set for the 2019 Wyoming-Nebraska Six-man Shootout all-star football game, which will be played June 15 in Chadron, Neb.

The game has moved to Chadron permanently after rotating between various locations in Wyoming and Nebraska the past seven years, a press release sent out by team Wyoming head coach Trip Applequist of Farson. The game will be on the campus of Chadron State College.

Wyoming leads the all-time series 4-3.

Coaches for the Wyoming team include head coach Applequist and assistants Curtis Cook (Guernsey), Scott Reed (Farson) and Tony Rouse (Kaycee).

The roster for team Wyoming includes:

BURLINGTON: Jacob Cook, Dontae Garza.
FARSON: Cortland Barker, Clancy Gines, Michael Gribowskas, Hagan Jones, Lain Mitchelson, Cody Sloan.
GUERNSEY: Austin Albrecht, Dylan Rose.
HANNA: Tylor Goodro.
HULETT: Ethan Dykes.
KAYCEE: Hunter Rouse.
MEETEETSE: Nick Anderson, Kirwin Johnson.
MIDWEST: Kaleb Smith.
ST. STEPHENS: Vincent Brown.
SNAKE RIVER: Thomas Duncan.

Applequist said he was not sure when the Nebraska roster would be released.


The Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation has named 10 Wyoming high school football players as finalists for the state’s top football scholar-athlete award.

The winner of the award will be announced at the chapter’s annual banquet, which will be March 16 in Laramie, a release from event organizers sent out Friday said.

In addition, two University of Wyoming football players will be honored as scholar-athletes, while three other high school players will receive other awards from the chapter. Nine others will receive awards recognizing contributions in coaching, officiating and supporting football across the state.

Finalists include Natrona’s Jordan Bertagnole; Sheridan’s Parker Christensen; Pine Bluffs’ Hunter Jeffres; Farson’s Clancy Gines and Lain Mitchelson; Buffalo’s Luke Glassock; Wheatland’s Clayton Iacovetto; Riverton’s Treyton Paxton; Lander’s Conrad Swenson; and Big Horn’s Kade VanDyken. One player will be chosen to win the state’s top scholar-athlete award and represent Wyoming with a chance to win national recognition.

In all, 130 players were nominated for the award.

The banquet will include three speakers — NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush and former scholar-athlete award winners Dr. Justin Hopkin of Burlington (now Lander) and Gavin Mills of Powell.

Now in its 25th year, the Wyoming Chapter has awarded almost $370,000 in scholarships since its inception, with $19,200 in scholarships scheduled to be awarded March 16, the release said.

Other award recipients will include:
UW Scholar-Athlete Awards: Nico Evans, Adam Pilapil
Courage Award: Wes Eyre, Lyman
Perseverance Award: Roberto Hernandez, St. Stephens; Kolby Pisciotti, Newcastle
Greatest UW Football Fan: Roy C. Miller, Laramie/Cheyenne
Greatest High School Football Fan: Deb Jacobs, Powell; Doug Potter, Green River
Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football: Pete and Linda Haman, Douglas; Eric Worden, Laramie
Ox Zellner Football Official Career Achievement: Bryon Mowry, Casper
Coaching Career Achievement: Tyrone Fittje, Casper; Bill Pentland, Wheatland