Due to declining participation numbers, Ten Sleep will not field a high school football team this fall.
Ten Sleep activities director Sarah Novak said Wednesday to wyoming-football.com that the Pioneers wouldn’t have enough players to field a team to play in the Class 1A six-man West Conference. Only four solid commitments came in over the summer and only about five students had expressed any interest in playing this fall.
Novak said school administrators made the decision Tuesday night.
“In talking with our administration, we have kind of struggled… with participation numbers over the last two or three years,” she said. “We’ve had to forfeit games or quit at halftime and we’re just not having a positive experience right now.
” … We can’t continue to play with six kids, and this year I’m not even sure we’d have six.”
Ten Sleep has gone a combined 4-26 the past four seasons, winning one game each year since 2014. The program has had three different head coaches in that span.
Ten Sleep’s middle school program will run as usual this year. Novak said she had double-digit participation numbers for that program, which incorporates grades 5-8.
Novak, who also coaches girls basketball, has seen similar problems with low participation in that sport, as well.
“You hate to give up a program because sometimes it’s hard to get it back,” she said.
Novak said the Pioneers who want to continue to play football can do so by joining the program at Worland.
“We’re sad about not having our program, but we’re pleased to have an alternative for those young men,” Novak said.