The two things we all could use more of are time and money.

And if I had both of those things in an unlimited supply, I would use it to venture around the state, catching football game after football game.

Work through the scheduling and travel logistics, and I could make it to 31 games over the nine regular-season weeks of the year. And, after consulting the 2023 schedule, here’s what I’d hit up, when I’d hit it up and why I’d hit it up to enjoy the season without time or money worries:

Week 0
Thursday, Aug. 24
: Kemmerer at Cokeville scrimmage, 4 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 25: Malad, Idaho, at Lyman, 3 p.m.; Kelly Walsh at Rock Springs, 6 p.m.
The only Zero Week Thursday action is in Lincoln County, so a Southwest swing makes the most sense. Picking up the Eagles in some interstate action, plus a 4A game to cap the weekend, is a good way to start a busy season.

Week 1
Tuesday, Aug. 29
: Casper Christian at Meeteetse, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 31: Shoshoni at Pine Bluffs, 4 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 1: Riverside at Southeast, 2 p.m.; St. Stephens at Lingle, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 2: Burlington JV at Casper Christian, 1 p.m.
The only Tuesday game of the year is one of the Week 1 highlights. The Thursday game between Shoshoni and Pine Bluffs, a rematch of last year’s 1A nine-man title game, is the can’t miss game of the week, but seeing the two Goshen County nine-man teams is also an opportunity that’s not worth missing. The only in-state game on Saturday is Casper Christian, again, so we’ll see the Mountaineers, Wyoming’s newest football program, twice in a week.

Week 2
Friday, Sept. 8
: Lovell at Cokeville, 1 p.m.; Sugar-Salem, Idaho, at Star Valley, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 9: Dubois at Snake River, 2 p.m.
Lincoln County gives us two of what might be the best games of Week 2, so it made sense to hit up both of them. It’s a long drive from Afton to Baggs on Saturday morning, but worth it to see what might be the most important six-man game of the year.

Week 3
Thursday, Sept. 14
: Rocky Mountain at Wyoming Indian, 5 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 15: Ten Sleep at Kaycee, 2 p.m.; Kelly Walsh at Natrona, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16: Farson at Casper Christian, noon; Burlington at Midwest, 5 p.m.
We’re a little all over the place, but that’s OK — in the middle of everything is the Oil Bowl, and that should make it all worth it. Saturday’s schedule allows us to pick up two more six-man games in Natrona County, so why not?

Week 4
Thursday, Sept. 21
: Big Piney at Wind River, 5 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 22: Meeteetse at Burlington, 2 p.m.; Douglas at Worland, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23: Shoshoni at Rocky Mountain, 2 p.m.
The 1A nine-man West Conference should be crazy this year, and no two games personify that better than the Thursday and Saturday games in Week 4. In between are two more Bighorn Basin games that should be worth the admission price.

Week 5
Friday, Sept. 29
: Sheridan at Cheyenne East, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 30: Midwest at Hanna, noon.
Other options could have gotten me more games, but there’s absolutely no way I’m missing the Sheridan-East game, a rematch of last year’s 4A championship game. So with that game the priority, others had to fall by the wayside — except Hanna.

Week 6
Thursday, Oct. 5
: Ten Sleep at Meeteetse, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 6: Star Valley at Cody, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7: Wyoming Indian at St. Stephens, noon.
Again, other ways could have landed more games, but Star Valley-Cody was must-see football last season and could be again this season. I’m not taking the risk of missing it.

Week 7
Thursday, Oct. 12
: Rocky Mountain at St. Stephens, noon.
Friday, Oct. 13: Big Horn at Tongue River, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14: Kaycee at Hulett, 11 a.m.
For the third straight week, I’m taking quality over quantity and finally making my way up to the far Northeast corner. The Thunder Bowl between Big Horn and Tongue River will be huge this year, at least on paper, and I wouldn’t want to miss it.

Week 8
Thursday, Oct. 19
: Cokeville at Lyman, 4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 20: Douglas at Lander, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 21: Burlington at Dubois, 1:30 p.m.
The Week 8 schedule is heavy on Friday night games, and with a Thursday schedule that’s heavily skewed toward teams on the west side of the state, this schedule will do quite nicely.

What’s your can’t-miss game of the 2023 season, at least before the season starts? Leave a comment below.


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