The 2018 season is done. All 310 games.

And I feel unfulfilled.

Maybe that’s just because of how the season ended. Natrona, Star Valley, Buffalo, Big Horn and Farson all won state championships, but none of the title games were all that thrilling. Natrona built a 21-0 halftime lead on its way to beating Sheridan; Star Valley had little trouble in wiping out Torrington 35-14; Buffalo led Mountain View by 29 after two quarters and won 43-18; Big Horn blew out Cokeville in every conceivable way to win 56-3; Farson toyed with Burlington for a quarter before running away to its first title and a 73-38 victory.

If you’re a fan of one of those five programs, that’s awesome. If you’re a fan of exciting football at the highest level the state has to offer, not so much. After all, last year we had Mountain View and Glenrock going down to the wire in 2A, and Pine Bluffs and Big Horn doing the same in 1A 11-man… in 2016, we had Big Horn and Greybull in 2A and Pine Bluffs and Tongue River in 1A 11-man provide nail-biters… in 2015, it was Gillette and Sheridan staging a 4A classic.

This year’s title games, by contrast, were all but anticlimactic at the end. Five deserving teams won state championships, and in a way the way they won proved that dominance. You won’t hear the winners complaining, anyway.

Honestly, maybe I’m just going to miss having football to look forward to every Friday.

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With the culmination of the 2018 season, high-scoring offenses from Farson and Big Horn set a few scoring records:

Farson’s 790 points finished second all-time in points in a season, finishing just short of Meeteetse’s 803 in 2013; however, Farson’s average of 71.82 points per game ranks first all-time. Also, Farson’s 90 points scored against Hulett in the quarterfinals of the six-man playoffs was the second all-time single-game playoff total.

Big Horn, meanwhile, finished with 577 points and an average of 52.45 points per game — both tops all-time among 11-man programs.

On the other side of the records was Dubois, whose 611 points allowed was the most ever from a Wyoming football program in a single season. The Rams’ 76.38 points allowed per game is No. 3 all-time.

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Speaking of scoring, and of streaks, Snake River has now scored in 95 consecutive games, which ranks sixth all-time. Big Horn has scored in 75 consecutive games, which is good enough for the top 20.

Meanwhile, Cokeville notched its 31st consecutive winning season and its 33rd consecutive non-losing season, extending the Panthers’ existing state records in both categories. And Laramie finished its 18th consecutive losing season, the second-longest such streak in state history.

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In the coaching ranks, Natrona coach Steve Harshman notched victory No. 200 in the semifinals and finishes the season with 201 in-state victories. He ranks third all-time in in-state victories and now needs just five victories to pass legendary Laramie coach John E. Deti for second place. Of course, Cokeville coach Todd Dayton leads all in-state coaches with 325 victories.

(A quick note on Dayton: He suffered the worst loss of his career, point-spread wise, in Saturday’s 53-point loss to Big Horn. Prior to that, Dayton’s worst loss at Cokeville had been by 32 points. That’s an amazing stat to me — that in 38 years, a Cokeville team had never lost by more than 32 until the Rams dumped them by 53. There isn’t another team in the state that can claim a run like that.)

Also this season, Douglas coach Jay Rhoades passed the 100-victory milestone this season; he now has 101 victories in Wyoming and ranks fifth among active coaches — fourth by 2019 when Glenrock’s Ray Kumpula makes his retirement official.

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If you take a look around the site, you should see that the 2018 season results are now a part of all the listings I have. (If they’re not, let me know!) I’m not done with 2018 yet, though. There’s still more to update here — the all-state, Super 25 and all-America listings will be updated when information is available to do so, and the individual records will be updated when final season stats are released.

The 2019 schedule, meanwhile, will most likely be mostly an inverse of the 2018 schedule. The statewide scheduling meeting is coming up this week in Casper, and I’ll post the 2019 schedule after I receive schedules from schools statewide.

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My picks for the title games went well… as in perfect. That helps me overcome a slow start and finish above 80 percent correct for the year. This means something only to me, I’m sure, but indulge me:

Last week: 5-0 (100 percent). This season: 245-58 (81 percent). 14-year overall record: 3,334-830 (80 percent).

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Finally, if you like what you’ve seen from this site, consider a page sponsorship. I have to pay for my own web space, and page sponsorships are my way of making sure that I don’t pay out of my own pocket to keep the site running. Sponsorships for single pages run $20 per year — a small contribution to a labor of love that provides me a lot of happiness. I hope it provides you the same. Thanks for your support all season, and in seasons past; it’s a lot more fun to share my passion with others who share it with me.

Now, on to wyoming-basketball.com. …

–patrick

3 Thoughts on “2018 season wrap-up: When greatness overtakes excitement

  1. Jhwiley on November 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm said:

    Great job Patrick thanks for shari g your passion with all of us!

  2. Patrick, I have a question about football travel. I just read your articles from 2014 but still had questions about how that actually looks. Do the players go there and back in the same day? for 300+ mile one-way trips? Do they take the whole day off from school? Do they get home at 3/4am Satruday Morning? I live in Washington State and we have 12 high schools between 1000-2300 students all within 30 miles just here in the SW corner of the state. That doesn’t even mention all the schools in the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympa area. I am fascinated with how different it is in your state.

  3. Patrick on November 13, 2018 at 8:06 am said:

    Hi Bryan,

    Yep, still the same issues with travel in Wyoming as always. However, the vast distances in this state are just a part of living and working in Wyoming. For comparison, Wyoming has about 10 schools of 1,000 or more in the entire state — hardly the same as a dozen within 30 miles! When I was in high school, our closest CONFERENCE opponent was more than 100 miles away, one-way. But that’s part of living in a state with so few people and so much space.

    Some schools do overnight for longer trips, usually trying to get in two or three games (varsity, JV, sophomores) on the same trip. Most smaller schools leave and come back the same day. It’s not uncommon for a team to leave at 7 a.m., travel 5-6 hours, play a 2 p.m. game, and return home by midnight. Some schools take two bus drivers because the drivers can only legally drive so many hours in a day, per OSHA.

    The state instituted rules a few years ago where all teams have to be off the bus and home by a certain time (I believe 2 a.m.). This forced a lot of kickoffs to move back. Most games used to kick off at 7 p.m.; now, most of them kick at 6 p.m. so teams can get home by 2 a.m.

    Travel has been reduced slightly by letting teams schedule their own nonconference games, but not as much as you might think. There’s only so much you can do when there’s so few potential opponents.

    –patrick

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