Two of my biggest questions of the 2019 offseason will be answered on Friday:
- Which Class 3A team is the biggest threat to defending champ Star Valley — Jackson or Cody?
- Can anyone threaten Big Horn in Class 1A 11-man?
Week 4 gives us two absolutely massive games with Jackson traveling to Cody for a nutty 3A West game, which helps us with the answer to the first question.
Since November, Star Valley has been the clear No. 1 team in Class 3A. However, both Jackson and Cody have proven to be completely capable of making a championship run themselves.
Throughout the offseason, I flip-flopped these two teams in my projected 3A West standings so many times that after awhile, I gave up. These two teams were both proven contenders with proven returners and proven coaches. They both deserved championship consideration. I flipped a coin.
Four weeks into the regular season, both Bronc squads have proven to be worthy of their preseason adulation — as well as my consternation about having to choose between the two of them for the No. 2 spot in the West. Cody is 3-0, Jackson 3-1, with both playing so well that neither one has separated themselves from the other.
Now, the day of reckoning has come, and I have to actually choose one of these teams to win the game between them.
Uh… where’s that dime?
Meanwhile, in Class 1A 11-man, the big game of the week — my top-ranked team, Big Horn, heading east to play at my No. 2 team, Upton-Sundance — has just as much intrigue around it.
Big Horn hasn’t lost since 2017, having won 14 in a row. The Rams of 2018 were one of the most dominant groups in state history, and the Rams of 2019 — while not quite as dominant — are completely capable of running the table again.
But Upton-Sundance is always hanging around. This year, the Patriots have started 4-0 and have looked sharp in those four victories, outscoring their opponents by a combined 175-29.
If anyone in 1A 11-man is going to threaten Big Horn, it’s Upton-Sundance.
And yet, the past two years, Big Horn has owned the series, beating U-S 53-13 two years ago and 55-14 last year.
At least on Friday, the Patriots’ and Rams’ effort, and by proxy the final score, will answer one of my biggest questions about Wyoming high school football this season.
Every game is special in its own right. But some games are more special than others. These are those:
In the mishmash that is the top of Class 4A, Friday’s game between Cheyenne East and Natrona could end up being for one of the top two seeds — of course, Sheridan still has something to say about that. But I love what East is doing this year, and I’m on the T-Bird bandwagon after being in the opposite camp to start the season. Y’all won me over. …
How crazy would the Energy Capital of the World be on Friday night if the Camels somehow beat the ‘Bolts in the Coal Bowl? …
Rawlins showed me something in the nonconference season and could give Douglas fits, especially at home in Rawlins. I still like the Bearcats to win it, but don’t be surprised to see the Outlaws hang tough. …
Lyman-Lovell might be the most interesting game on the 2A schedule. They’re both at 2-2, and both will need this game in what appears to be a competitive 2A West (after Mountain View, of course). And I got reminded this week that I’ve picked against Lyman in both the Eagles’ victories, so Lovell… sorry, either way? …
In addition to the Big Horn/Upton-Sundance game, another Week 4 game is a battle of unbeatens, with Riverside traveling to Farson in the 1A six-man West. After this week, there’s only two more potential opportunities for regular-season games between unbeaten teams. Cody and Star Valley are both unbeaten (for now) in the 3A West and meet in Week 7; also, the winner of this game potentially could make an unbeaten run before meeting also-potentially-unbeaten Snake River. (Snake plays Riverside in Week 5 and Farson in Week 6.) …
I have no idea what to make of the six-man showdown between Meeteetse and Burlington. They’ve both had flashes of brilliance and moments of head-shaking frustration. This one will be key in the 1A six-man West playoff chase, and neither one wants to play from behind the rest of the season — not in a conference that still has three unbeaten teams (see above). …
Now it’s time for choices! I think the teams in bold will win. But, to be honest, I kind of like this sport more when the unexpected happens.
Natrona JV at Rocky Mountain
Cheyenne East at Natrona
Kelly Walsh at Sheridan
Laramie at Cheyenne Central
Rock Springs at Cheyenne South
Thunder Basin at Gillette
Douglas at Rawlins
Evanston at Powell
Jackson at Cody
Lander at Torrington
Star Valley at Green River
Worland at Riverton
Big Piney at Kemmerer
Burns at Wheatland
Glenrock at Buffalo
Greybull at Pinedale
Lyman at Lovell
Moorcroft at Newcastle
Mountain View at Thermopolis
Class 1A 11-man
Big Horn at Upton-Sundance
Cokeville at Shoshoni
Lusk at Southeast
Tongue River at Pine Bluffs
Wind River at Wright
Class 1A six-man
Kaycee at Midwest
Meeteetse at Burlington
NSI at Guernsey-Sunrise
Riverside at Farson
Snake River at St. Stephens
Class 1A six-man
Encampment at Dubois
Lingle at Hanna
Saratoga at Hulett
Wyoming Indian at Cokeville JV
For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 4” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.
Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:
Last week: 29-4 (88 percent). This season: 87-29 (75 percent).
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