When the 2009 football schedule came out last November, the Kelly Walsh Trojans knew they’d get tested right off the bat.
Week 0, at Sheridan. Week 1, at Green River.
Two games against the top two ranked teams in Class 4A.
But the Trojans weren’t intimidated — and it was the perfect opportunity to make a statement.
One down for the Trojans. A 1-0 start. And, suddenly, a fantastic opportunity.
Two KW backs (Lucas Nolan and Riley Moore) broke 100 yards and Tom Manning was five yards short of becoming the third, as the Trojans exploited the Broncs’ miscues and turned them into easy points.
And this is a sentence I never thought I’d write: Sheridan’s Austin Woodward threw for 285 yards, and the Broncs still lost.
The Trojans became the first team to upset the 4A preseason heirarchy, and did so dramatically.
That makes next week’s showdown at Green River more than just big — it’s KW’s way to prove itself as THE team to beat in 4A this fall.
Second mad props to Newcastle, 15-14 double-overtime winners over Custer, S.D. As I noted earlier this week, the Dogies were 0-for-the-century against South Dakota teams, but a successfully converted fake extra point in the second OT gave the Dogies — and new head coach Matt Conzelman — their first victory. It’s Newcastle’s first win in a season opener since 2001 and sets the team up beautifully for what could be a fun season in Weston County.
It was a fun week to start the season. I had the pleasure of attending the Central-Natrona game in Cheyenne on Friday and it was a blast. Back and forth, big play after big play, both teams matched each other. Central is senior-laden and talented enough to give teams fits trying to account for everyone; Natrona is young, but athletic and — at least from a distance — bore a hard-working attitude that will pay off as the season progresses.
But, even so, it’s Week 0. And that means I need to slip on my hip waders to slog through the bull poop.
The hypocrisy of Week 0 is everywhere. At Wyopreps, where hypocrisy is apparently justified, tossed out this mega-dose of it: Newcastle’s thrilling win over Custer counts. Cody’s blowout-turned-sorta-respectable 48-21 loss to Laurel, Mont., doesn’t.
Same game, played under the same rules. Yet one counts and one doesn’t — at least as Wyopreps sees it.
Two games — Riverton’s 26-7 win over Jackson and Lyman’s 27-0 loss to Altamont, Utah — were either relayed to me as scrimmages or were left out altogether of the schedules of the teams playing in those games.
And THAT’S the kind of stuff I’m talking about. It’s just confusing — especially for me, the self-appointed record keeper of Wyoming high school football. Sites like Wyopreps perpetuating the myth that some games should count and some shouldn’t only adds to the confusion, both personally and for the fans statewide.
For the record, here are the criteria I use to judge whether or not to call an event a “game,” and therefore list it in the standings (and, eventually, as part of the team record on this site):
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 an event meets those criteria, it’s a game, and I’ll list it as such. If the only thing missing is attitude — i.e., the coaches and players went into the game not trying to win, but trying to test out their depth and their schemes in live game situations in a game that won’t affect its playoff seeding anyway — well, I’m sorry, but that’s not justification enough to have it “not count.”
Simple request, from here on out, to the coaches statewide:
DON’T WANT IT TO COUNT? DON’T KEEP SCORE!
I’ll follow that rule if you will. It eliminates confusion and it puts forth a simple reason for counting or not counting every Week 0 contest.
Until then, we’re going to have this fight every single year.
This week: 10-2 (not counting Lander-Kemmerer, score not available). This season: 10-2.