A handful of times in century-plus of Wyoming high school football, teams have scheduled each other one time for a regular-season contest only to never play each other again.
Many times, the one-and-done scenario isn’t played out a second time because the first game was so non-competitive that the schools realized the matchup was a bad idea in the first place.
Occasionally, though, teams scheduled each other one time, played a pretty decent game — and then never played each other again.
I compiled a list of these times — when two current programs played each other once, and only once, in the regular season in their histories. I found 79 such games. The games fell into eight categories:
- Teams punching above their weight in games in the 1920s and 1930s, when no one really fully understood the advantage big schools had.
- Games scheduled right before a program went away, either temporarily or for good, which disallowed a return game in the process.
- Games from 2013. (I’ll explain more on that in a second.)
- Games from 2019. Those involve Encampment, which just came back last year and hasn’t had a chance to play return games.
- Games that fall into that “mistake” category — blowouts of 40-plus points.
- Games that fall into the “too far” category — they weren’t blowouts of 40-plus points, but the trips were more than 250 miles one-way.
- Games that were actually decent matchups: within 250 miles, within 40 points.
- Games that were scheduled but never played because they were forfeited, and then never put on the schedule again.
I mentioned 2013, which ended up being a bizarre year for scheduling. If you’ll remember, that’s the year the Wyoming High School Activities Association had to put together a schedule that was more temporary than the rest. The WHSAA was deep in some reclassification discussions and put everything on hold for a year but still allowed teams to change classifications in football for the 2013 season before reclass fully hit in 2014, returning then to the normal two-year cycle. Consequently, the 2013 football schedule ended up with a lot of games that couldn’t be returned in 2014 as classifications and conferences changed the following year, including 10 games that were the only regular-season matchups ever between the participating schools.
However, of the 79 games that fall into one of these eight categories,
eight 10 are on the schedule for 2020: Encampment’s games with Burlington, Midwest, Dubois, Meeteetse and Snake River; Lingle vs. Wright; Pine Bluffs vs. Riverside; Meeteetse vs. NSI; and St. Stephens vs. Wyoming Indian and Greybull.
Of the 16 games that I actually called decent matchups that might be worth seeing again, only three are probably feasible today due to classification changes since the games were originally played. None of the 16 games involved teams that are now in the same classification, but games involving 2A or 3A programs (where scheduling could actually make it happen) could be Cokeville-Jackson, Evanston-Pinedale and Pinedale-Worland.
Here are the times when current programs played each other one time and then never again, with the score of the game included and a $ mark indicating games we’ll see in 2020:
Punching above their weight in the early days
Gillette-Moorcroft 1922: Gil 58-0
Greybull-Natrona 1922: Nat 52-12
Greybull-Sheridan 1922: She 68-0
Glenrock-Natrona 1924: Nat 52-0
Cheyenne Central-Lingle 1925: CC 59-0
Green River-Saratoga 1926: GR 53-0
Powell-Ten Sleep 1926: Pow 72-0
Rawlins-Saratoga 1926: Raw 32-6
Rock Springs-Saratoga 1926: RS 47-0
Cokeville-Star Valley 1928: Cok 17-3***
Cheyenne Central-Lusk 1929: CC 38-0
Midwest-Rawlins 1930: tie 7-7***
Buffalo-Ten Sleep 1932: Buf 52-0
Hanna-Lander 1932: tie 6-6***
Cody-Ten Sleep 1933: Cod 25-0
Hanna-Natrona 1933: Nat 41-0
Riverton-Shoshoni 1933: Sho 6-0***
Kemmerer-Sheridan 1939: She 24-0
***-the little guy actually won, or tied
Programs be gettin’ canceled out here
St. Stephens 1965 (last season for several decades)
Buffalo-St. Stephens 1965: Buf 43-0
Greybull-St. Stephens 1965: SS 12-7 $
Kemmerer-St. Stephens 1965: Kem 12-0
Encampment and Farson 1990 (last seasons for several decades)
Big Horn-Farson 1990: BH win by forfeit
Burlington-Encampment 1990: Brl 21-0 $
Encampment-Midwest 1990: Mid 49-0 $
Farson-Lingle 1990: Lin win by forfeit
Hulett 2009 (played 2010 as a JV six-man)
Hulett-Lusk 2009: Lus 24-10
Hulett-Pine Bluffs 2009: PB 22-20
Rock River 2016 (hasn’t returned since)
Lingle-Rock River 2016: Lin 92-13
And then 2013 happened
Big Piney-Riverside 2013: BP 19-10
Burlington-Thermopolis 2013: The 40-26
Farson-Wyoming Indian 2013: Far 67-61
Guernsey-Sunrise-St. Stephens 2013: GS 85-0
Kaycee-Wyoming Indian 2013: Kay 77-26
Lingle-Wright 2013: Lin 35-18 $
Midwest-St. Stephens 2013: Mid 63-20
Pine Bluffs-Riverside 2013: Rsd 34-16 $
St. Stephens-Wyoming Indian 2013: WI 86-6 $
Snake River-Wyoming Indian 2013: SR 46-12
Too soon, man
Dubois-Encampment 2019: Enc 60-24 $
Encampment-Meeteetse 2019: Enc 45-15 $
Blowout mistakes (victories by 40-plus)
Lusk-Powell 1944: Pow 47-0
Cokeville-Farson 1988: Cok 48-0
Buffalo-Rocky Mountain 2003: Buf 42-0
Burns-Midwest 2005: Bur 60-0
NSI-Upton-Sundance 2012: US 48-6
NSI-St. Stephens 2014: NSI 59-12
Kaycee-Riverside 2016: Kay 56-0
Kemmerer-Rocky Mountain 2016: RM 47-7
Pine Bluffs-Wind River 2016: PB 41-0
Tongue River-Wyoming Indian 2016: TR 68-0
Rawlins-Wind River 2017: Raw 49-0
Ever look at a map? (victories by 39 or less but more than 250-mile trip one-way)
Jackson-Kelly Walsh 1966: KW 33-0
Lovell-Rawlins 1970: Lov 28-14
Sundance-Wyoming Indian 1986: WI 12-6 OT
Kemmerer-Worland 1988: Wor 12-0
Laramie-Powell 1990: Lar 48-13
Hulett-Wyoming Indian 1994: Hul 38-0
Hanna-Upton 1995: Upt 32-0 (played in Lingle)
Guernsey-Sunrise-Riverside 2002: GS 41-14 (played in Casper)
Glenrock-Jackson 2004: Glk 24-13
Newcastle-Rawlins 2004: Raw 21-13
Kemmerer-Lusk 2017: Lus 22-12
Hey that was actually a decent matchup (victories by 39 or less, fewer than 250-mile trip one-way)
Lingle-Newcastle 1937: Lin 13-12
Lander-Shoshoni 1950: Lan 40-25
Encampment-Snake River 1956: Enc 16-6 $
Moorcroft-Ten Sleep 1962: Mor 12-0
Big Piney-St. Stephens 1964: SS 13-0
Dubois-Mountain View 1968: MV 20-0
Cokeville-Jackson 1974: Cok 31-12
Evanston-Pinedale 1974: Eva 19-2
Gillette-Rawlins 1976: Raw 13-6
Lyman-Wind River 1976: Lym 32-0
Guernsey-Sunrise-Sundance 1978: GS 26-14
Greybull-Meeteetse 1985: Gre 39-6
Riverside-Thermopolis 1990: The 45-14
Greybull-Sundance 1995: Sun 14-13
Moorcroft-NSI 2004: Mor 26-14
Pinedale-Worland 2017: Wor 27-7
Good job, good effort
Meeteetse-NSI 2001: Meeteetse win by forfeit $
Wright-Wyoming Indian 2016: Wright win by forfeit
Updated 10:40 a.m. Feb. 25 to add St. Stephens-Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens-Greybull to the list of games that will be played in 2020.