I love hopping on Google Maps and planning a trip — whether it’s to British Columbia, Australia, Kazakhstan or somewhere in between — that I will likely never take in my life.
So, once again, it’s time to plan the trip I’ll never take.
This annual version of “what if” always leads me back to Wyoming and the roundabout trip I would take if I had forgotten my job, maxed out my credit card and alienated my wife. This is that trip: the dream Wyoming high school football road trip for 2022:
Week 0 (Aug. 26-27)
Casper nine-man jamboree, noon Friday
Rock Springs at Kelly Walsh, 6 p.m. Friday
Shoshoni nine-man jamboree, 10 a.m. Saturday
Right now, five teams are scheduled to be at the Casper jamboree, including defending 1A nine-man champ Shoshoni, so a stop there will help suss out where the season might be headed. Then, to make it easy, let’s stay in Casper to watch last year’s runner-up Tigers face Kelly Walsh. The Saturday slate is jamboree-heavy, so why not another bunch of nine-man scrimmages in Shoshoni?
Week 1 (Sept. 1-3)
Pine Bluffs at Shoshoni, 4 p.m. Thursday
Kaycee at Hanna, noon Friday
Campbell County at Laramie, 6 p.m. Friday
Ten Sleep at Encampment, 2 p.m. Saturday
There’s no way I’d miss the 1A nine-man title game we missed last year, with Pine Bluffs-Shoshoni at the top of the docket for the week. A little adventuring around the Snowies will give me three games all intriguing in their own right, although none stands out on the can’t-miss list in the preseason (although seeing Ten Sleep in its first game back after missing 2021 is a cool opportunity).
Week 2 (Sept. 8-10)
St. Stephens at Wind River, 5:30 p.m. Thursday
Snake River at Dubois, 3 p.m. Friday
Evanston at Riverton, 6 p.m. Friday
Ten Sleep at Midwest, 2 p.m. Saturday
This is a big week in Fremont County, so why not hit up as many games in County 10 as I can? The marquee matchup is Snake River-Dubois, pitting two six-man teams that figure to be near the top of the classification this year. And Midwest is the closest Saturday game, so let’s go for it.
Week 3 (Sept. 15-17)
Big Piney at Greybull, 6 p.m. Thursday
Lovell at Lyman, 1 p.m. Friday
Sheridan at Rock Springs, 6 p.m. Friday
Lusk at Saratoga, 2 p.m. Saturday
It’s an early wake-up call to get from Greybull to Lyman, but it’s worth it to see rematches, plural, of two of the 2021 state title games on the same day. The 2A game is reprised in the Bridger Valley between Lovell and Lyman, while the 4A game sees a do-over in trona country between Sheridan and Rock Springs. Everything else is gravy.
Week 4 (Sept. 22-24)
Burlington at Meeteetse, 7 p.m. Thursday
Cody at Jackson, 5 p.m. Friday
Farson at Dubois, 2 p.m. Saturday
After two consecutive 3A title game showdowns, there’s no way I’d miss another Cody-Jackson showdown, especially since this one is the 3A West opener for both teams. I could have snuck in another game with some creative planning, but a one-game Friday is worth it if this is the game.
Week 5 (Sept. 29-Oct. 1)
Upton-Sundance at Newcastle, 6 p.m. Thursday
Torrington at Tongue River, 2 p.m. Friday
Campbell County at Thunder Basin, 7 p.m. Friday
Hulett vs. Snake River, at Midwest, 2 p.m. Saturday
I finally get to the northeast corner of the state in Week 5, where I can catch a pair of 2A East games as well as the Coal Bowl. Seems like the right way to spend the week.
Week 6 (Oct. 6-8)
Wright at Guernsey, 7 p.m. Thursday
Tongue River at Burns, 2 p.m. Friday
Cheyenne Central at Cheyenne East, 6 p.m. Friday
Snake River at Encampment, 2 p.m. Saturday
The Capital Bowl between Central and East is always worth your attention, and the games around it make for a fun week. A thin Saturday slate is highlighted by the six-man title game rematch, though, and Carbon County is now becoming a frequent stop… not that I’m complaining.
Week 7 (Oct. 13-15)
Shoshoni at Wind River, 7 p.m. Thursday
Cokeville at Thermopolis, 2 p.m. Friday
Worland at Lander, 6 p.m. Friday
Burlington at Ten Sleep, 2 p.m. Saturday
I’m really curious to see how the Fremont County rivals Shoshoni and Wind River stack up against each other this year, so the Thursday game is the one that drove the other choices for the week. That said, everything else is intriguing in its own way — especially as we get closer to the playoffs.
Week 8 (Oct. 20-22)
Riverside at Big Piney, 4 p.m. Thursday
Lyman at Cokeville, 1 p.m. Friday
Star Valley at Jackson, 6 p.m. Friday
Kaycee at Farson, 3 p.m. Saturday
Numbers won out here. There were lots of great games scheduled for Week 8 across the state, but the most intriguing pair of games that was geographically feasible was the Cokeville-Jackson duo, both of which could have some big postseason ramifications hanging on the line.
In this scenario, I end up seeing 46 of Wyoming’s 64 teams, including 15 teams twice — Rock Springs, Campbell County, Jackson, Lyman, Tongue River, Cokeville, Shoshoni, Wind River, Big Piney, Kaycee, Encampment, Dubois, Meeteetse, Burlington and Farson. I’d also see Ten Sleep and Snake River three times apiece. I’d see eight of the 10 4A teams, seven of 12 3A teams, nine of 15 2A teams, 11 of 16 1A nine-man teams and all 11 1A six-man teams.
I’d also make it to 28 locations, including Jackson, Shoshoni, Wind River, Dubois, Encampment and Midwest twice.
And I’d be broke, so I’d probably start a GoFundMe after Week 8 so I could see the playoffs.
If you want to plan your trip, or at least just see when and where your favorite teams are playing, check out the full 2022 season schedule. Bookmark it — it’s where I will post results all season long and any updates to the schedule.