Colors: black and orange
Stadium: Warrior Stadium
State championships: 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1989, 2001, 2002 and 2003
Times worth remembering: Few teams can claim the type of success Worland had in the 1950s. The Warriors won five consecutive Class A championships from 1952-56, won another in 1959 and finished as runners-up in 1951. Worland reached double-digit victories for six straight seasons, 1951-56, and had a combined 61-6-2 record. At one point, Worland went 36 consecutive games without losing — a state record. (Not to be overshadowed is Worland’s more recent success. The Warriors won three consecutive 4A titles from 2001-03, going 29-4 those three years while winning 19 straight.)
Times worth forgetting: The Warriors’ toughest times came in the 1990s, when the team went the entire decade without winning a playoff game — a big dip for a historically successful team. The Warriors didn’t have a winning record for seven consecutive seasons from 1990-96, went 7-2 but lost in the first round of the playoffs in 1997, then bottomed out with an 0-8 season in 1998.
Best team: Picking one team out of a host of greats is difficult in Worland’s case, but the 1956 team stands out simply because of its defensive dominance. On its way to the Class A championship for the fifth consecutive year, the Warriors allowed only 18 points all season — and 12 of those came in the title game against Torrington, a game the Warriors won 46-12. Worland finished the season 10-0-1, the lone smudge a scoreless tie with Natrona. The Warriors got used to seeing the zero on the opponents’ side of the scoreboard: nine of the Warriors’ 11 opponents were held scoreless.
Biggest win: Worland’s championships in 2001 and 2002 were too similar to be coincidence. Both years, the Warriors beat Star Valley in the championship after losing to the Braves during the regular season. And both championship games were defensive struggles, with Worland winning 6-0 in 2001 and 17-14 in 2002. The 2002 game, though, really cemented Worland’s dynasty. After falling behind 14-7, Worland blocked a punt to set up the game-tying touchdown, then blocked a short field goal to help send the game to overtime. After forcing Star Valley into an interception in overtime, the Warriors’ Casey Lass thumped an 18-yard field goal through the uprights for the win — Worland’s second of three straight titles. (Worland is the only team to play in two state championship games that went to overtime; the Warriors also won the 1955 championship in extra time.)
Heartbreaker: The 1988 3A championship game against Torrington started so well for Worland. The Warriors’ opening drive went 80 yards, but, poised to put the game’s first points on the boards, Worland missed a field goal. Unfortunately, that was the Warriors’ best scoring chance in a 6-0 loss to the Trailblazers. Worland managed only 133 total yards.