Of the 64 Wyoming high school football teams, arguably none had more hype, or more pressure, entering 2022 than the Cody Broncs.
It made sense. The Broncs went 11-0 last year, the first unbeaten, untied season for Cody since 1932, and won the Class 3A state championship for the second consecutive year. On top of that, Cody returned six all-state players. The rest of 3A had four, combined.
As the 11 other 3A teams were trying to find their way on trails that didn’t yet exist, it appeared the Broncs had not only mapped out their way but had built an interstate to get where they were headed.
And to build an interstate, you need a steamroller.
The Broncs have been that, winning games by 49, 60, 22, 47 and 63 points. Several people have commented on the wyoming-football.com Twitter and Facebook that Cody could be the best team in the state regardless of classification. With 21 victories in a row, the longest active winning streak in the state, the Broncs are right to think about their place in history as potentially one of the best 3A teams ever.
But don’t put that convoy on that interstate just yet.
This week, Cody may have its toughest test of all in Star Valley.
Together, the Broncs and Braves have combined to win the past eight Class 3A titles. This year, Cody and Star Valley have thus far proven to be the two best teams in Class 3A, entering ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. They meet Friday in Afton to renew acquaintances, and while Cody is the favorite, if there’s a place that the Broncs could slip, it’s potentially here.
Remember the last time Cody lost? Afton, 2020. The Braves won 21-14. Cody won the bigger prize, though, as the Broncs went on to win the 3A championship. The seven-point slip in Afton two years ago is Cody’s only loss in its past 27 games.
Star Valley’s only loss so far this season was to Idaho powerhouse Sugar-Salem. At 5-1, with every victory by double-digit margins, the Braves have shown they are capable of challenging even the best teams — even one with heavy equipment on its side.
Every game is unique, but some games this week draw more of my attention span than others. Some of those include:
The Cheyenne rivalry between Central and East will be intensified this week because both teams want to stay in the chase for some home playoff games. East suffered its first loss last week in a 42-39 shootout in Sheridan, so the Thunderbirds’ response to some adversity will be key to seeing if they can hand 4-2 Central a loss. …
The record doesn’t really show it yet, but the one team that keeps improving each game is 1-4 Glenrock. The Herders may just sneak up on Torrington this week if the Trailblazers get lulled into complacency by Glenrock’s record and not Glenrock’s potential. …
If Big Piney wants to keep any hope of a home-field playoff game alive while in the uber-competitive top half of the Class 1A nine-man West, the Punchers have to beat Shoshoni at home on Thursday — no other way around it but through the defending champs. …
In a fast-moving 1A six-man schedule, the winner of Kaycee vs. Burlington on Saturday will be the North Conference champion. Similarly, Snake River can win the South Conference if it can defeat Carbon County rival Encampment in a rematch of last year’s state championship game, but the Tigers can create a huge three-team logjam up top with an upset against the Rattlers. Remember, with no conference games scheduled for Week 8 in six-man, we’ll know that classification’s playoff pairings by the end of next week.
Choices. I make them with bold. You disagree with them. Games get played. Everybody happy!
Class 1A nine-man
Shoshoni at Big Piney
Wright at Guernsey
Natrona JV at Dubois
Cheyenne Central at Cheyenne East
Laramie at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Campbell County
Rock Springs at Cheyenne South
Sheridan at Kelly Walsh
Buffalo at Worland
Cody at Star Valley
Douglas at Riverton
Jackson at Green River
Powell at Evanston
Rawlins at Lander
Big Horn at Newcastle
Glenrock at Torrington
Mountain View at Lovell
Pinedale at Kemmerer
Thermopolis at Lyman
Tongue River at Burns
Wheatland at Upton-Sundance
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Southeast
Lusk at Moorcroft
Riverside at Rocky Mountain
St. Stephens at Wyoming Indian
Saratoga at Pine Bluffs
Wind River at Greybull
Class 1A six-man
Hanna at Farson
Hulett at Midwest
Kaycee at Burlington
Rich County, Utah, at Cokeville
Class 1A six-man
Meeteetse at Ten Sleep
Snake River at Encampment
For a full schedule including kickoff times, click here. You can click on “Week 6” at the top of the page to take you directly to this week’s schedule.
Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:
Last week: 29-2 (94 percent). This season: 151-29 (84 percent).
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