With last week’s news that Tongue River is forfeiting its 2011 season, I started thinking about how common/rare of an occurrence such a dramatic step is in Wyoming high school football.
I did a brief scan of the site and found that, since 1962, seven seasons have been canceled completely, and another nine seasons have been reduced solely to junior varsity games.
Tongue River’s season falls into the former category, as the Eagles will combine with Big Horn for this fall and take on the Rams’ junior varsity and freshman schedule.
Here is a quick look at the seasons since 1962 that have been lost due to low numbers. These lists do not include seasons where a full schedule of varsity teams was played under nine-man, eight-man or six-man formats and the teams were subsequently ineligible for the 11-man playoffs, or seasons in which programs were in their first year and did not field varsity teams.
Cancellations of entire seasons
Hanna 1986, 1993
Ten Sleep 1990
(47 times total, mostly during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s)
Forfeiture of varsity schedule/played sub-varsity schedule
Hulett 2010, 1981
Meeteetse 1995, 2002
Midwest 2002, 2008
Ten Sleep 2007, 2008 (Montana six-man)
(Farson forfeited the final half of its 1990 schedule; Normative Services forfeited the final half of its 2002 schedule.)
When entire seasons are forfeited prior to the start of the season, the games scheduled for that season are not counted in season records, either for the forfeiting team or the non-forfeiting team. When teams start but don’t finish a season, those forfeits are counted in season records. (This goes against the way the WHSAA has recently tallied entire season forfeits, but I find this system to be more consistent with how such problems have been handled in the past. It also allows for those schools playing sub-varsity schedules to have their seasons recognized more accurately.)