Zero Week, and Week 1, by default answer more questions than any other weeks during the season.
And this week’s slate is no exception.
Can Lyman keep its state-best 19-game winning streak going against a Malad, Idaho, team that stayed within a touchdown of the Eagles last season?
Can Sheridan start its Class 4A title defense with a victory against an improved Cheyenne Central?
How will Cheyenne South look in its debut under new coach Eli Moody — and how will that debut influence if the Bison can end a 20-game losing streak, the longest active streak in the state, this season?
How will former Jackson coach David Joyce do in his first game as the head coach of Teton, Idaho — against Jackson and new head coach David White?
And how will the 54 teams in action across games, scrimmages and jamborees statewide perform in their first action against someone other than their teammates?
One way or another, the course for the season is set this weekend.
Oddly enough, the game I’m most interested in won’t even be played in Wyoming. Star Valley will be the first Wyoming team to play a game on the blue turf of Boise State University, as the Braves face consistently solid Shelley, Idaho, in Boise. It’s not geographically sensical — it’s a little over two hours from Afton to Shelley but about five and a half hours from Afton to Boise — but that’s OK. The opportunity to play in that stadium is worth it.
Speaking of out-of-state foes, eight out-of-state games are on the schedule this week. Utah’s traditionally early start means a couple of teams playing against Wyoming opponents won’t have those first-game jitters. Evanston’s opponent, Ben Lomond, Utah, is already 1-1; Green River foe Uintah, Utah, is 0-2. Every other out-of-state foe is in the same boat as the Wyoming teams, playing their respective season openers.
On to the picks. The teams in bold are the teams that I think will win. But it’s the opening weekend, so there’s a lot we don’t know, and I’m more liable to be wrong this week than most. That’s fine — and fun!
Campbell County at Cheyenne East
Cheyenne Central at Sheridan
Cheyenne South at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Laramie
Rock Springs at Kelly Walsh
Riverton at Powell
Ben Lomond, Utah, at Evanston
Jackson at Teton, Idaho
Lyman at Malad, Idaho
Star Valley vs. Shelley, Idaho (at Boise, Idaho)
Torrington at Gering, Neb.
Uintah, Utah, at Green River
Wheatland at Mitchell, Neb.
Sheridan JV at Tongue River
Bridger, Mont., at Meeteetse
The rest of the schedule:
Scrimmages and Jamborees
Big Piney, Cokeville, Kemmerer at Kemmerer jamboree
Buffalo at Lovell
Burns, Glenrock, Mountain View, Rawlins at Rawlins jamboree
Casper Christian at Midwest
Cody, Douglas, Newcastle at Douglas jamboree
Lingle, Pine Bluffs, Southeast at Pine Bluffs jamboree
Lusk, Saratoga, Shoshoni, Wind River, Wright at Casper jamboree
Pinedale at Lander
Thermopolis at Worland
Dubois, Encampment, Farson at Encampment jamboree
Natrona sophs at Big Horn
Greybull, Moorcroft, Riverside, Rocky Mountain at Shoshoni jamboree
Open: Burlington, Guernsey, Hanna, Hulett, Kaycee, St. Stephens, Snake River, Ten Sleep, Upton-Sundance, Wyoming Indian.
For a full schedule including kickoff times, click here. You can click on “Week 0” at the top of the page to take you directly to this week’s schedule.
As usual during Zero Week, here is a reminder of the rules I use to determine whether a Zero Week contest is a game or is something else:
- 1. Was the game played with four 12-minute quarters with normal timing rules?
- 2. Were officials used? And were normal rules of play instituted for the game?
- 3. Was score kept?
If these three criteria are met, I call it a game and record it as such on this site.
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