Mountain View’s Brent Walk and Powell’s Aaron Papich will be the head coaches for the 2020 Shrine Bowl all-star football game this June in Casper.

Shrine Bowl executive director Frank Selby announced the selection of Walk and Papich via an email release Saturday.

Walk’s Mountain View team won the Class 2A championship this year, while Papich’s Powell squad finished as Class 3A runners-up.

Walk was the South head coach in the 2015 Shrine Bowl. This will be Papich’s first opportunity to be a head coach for the Shrine Bowl. Assistant coaches, one from each classification, and players for each squad will likely be selected within the next couple months.

The North has won seven consecutive Shrine Bowls and leads the all-time series 25-18-3. The 47th edition of the game is June 13 in Casper.

–patrick

When the 2020 and 2021 Wyoming high school football schedules came out at the end of October, we knew they’d be different.

Reclassification, paired with a new nine-man division to replace 11-man in Class 1A, meant changes were bound to happen.

However, from top to bottom, the 2020 and 2021 schedules are significantly different from schedules of past years. Some of those changes are welcome. Some are just different. Some are new. And some are just flat-out mistakes.

Here’s a breakdown of what I’m seeing in the state’s schedules for the next couple years:

Pros

A fuller Zero Week. Many more teams are opting for games in Zero Week as opposed to scrimmages or jamborees, and I’m for it. I know, not all of you agree with my method for recording Zero Week games into the season records for programs, but I do like the tidiness a game provides, and I don’t mind seeing more games on the schedule.

Renewed rivalries. I love seeing some rivalries resurrected for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, with Thermopolis and Worland staging a Zero Week game, Greybull and Riverside playing a 1A nine-man West Conference game in Week 6 and Wheatland and Torrington meeting in a 2A East Conference game in Week 7. It’ll also be fun to see St. Stephens get Fremont County rivalries started with Wind River, Wyoming Indian and Shoshoni in the 1A nine-man West.

Travel is reduced — slightly. In the 2019 schedule, teams averaged 176.8 miles per away game, one-way, including 183.3 miles per conference game and 162 miles per nonconference game. In 2020, teams will average 171.7 miles per game, with conference games at 170.7 and nonconference at 175 — although those numbers may fluctuate slightly as teams add sub-varsity nonconference games in open weeks, especially in six-man.

Meh?

Rivalry Week in 4A is dead. I kind of liked having all the big 4A rivalry games on one week, but those opportunities are now spread out across the season. The big ones in 4A are all in different weeks, with the Oil Bowl (Natrona-Kelly Walsh) in Week 3, the Coal Bowl (Campbell County-Thunder Basin) in Week 4, the Capital Bowl (Cheyenne Central-Cheyenne East) in Week 6 and the Energy Bowl (Sheridan-Campbell County) in Week 7. Although I liked rivalry week, it might also be nice to have that rivalry energy spread out in a variety of weeks — it might give each rivalry its own moment in the spotlight.

Cons

The 1A six-man East got shafted. In what was probably the most avoidable problem, most of the 1A six-man East Conference ended up with open weeks in both Week 2 and Week 3. That’s due to the unbalanced conferences in six-man, with six teams in the East and seven in the West. However, this imbalance could have been fixed by giving BOTH conferences eight-team round-robin schedules for conference play in the final seven weeks of the season; at least then, only one East team per week has an open week in weeks 2-7 rather than having five teams from the same conference all have an open week at the same time, which is pretty much what’s happening in Weeks 2-3. The scramble for JV games is on.

The geography of the 2A West. With the 2A West next year, there will be two pretty clear geographic divisions — north (Lovell and Thermopolis) and south (the other six teams: Kemmerer, Cokeville, Pinedale, Big Piney, Mountain View, Lyman). Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for the south teams to get one north team at home and the other on the road, right? Well… that didn’t happen. Cokeville and Mountain View get both north teams on the road, while Kemmerer and Lyman get both north teams at home. That flips next year… but no one should be put into an altogether avoidable situation.

Four-in-five scheduling. Three teams (Kelly Walsh, Laramie and Evanston) got scheduled for either four road or four home games in five-week spans. Kelly Walsh got four home games in five weeks in weeks 2-6; Laramie got four road games in five weeks in the same span. The game that’s not? Laramie hosting KW in Week 4. … Evanston also got four road games in five weeks in weeks 2-6. Yes, it’ll flip-flop for these teams next season, but no one should have to do the four-in-five even once.

Three-straight scheduling. Lander and Tongue River both open their seasons with three consecutive road games — although part of that was both schools’ choice to open with a Zero Week game on the road. Riverton, though, has three straight home games in weeks 2-4 next season, and that’ll be three straight road games in 2021.

New

At least 19 new series will start up in 2020. It’s always fun to see new opponents play each other. The bulk of the new series come from schools in new classifications and conferences, including Torrington, Upton-Sundance, Cokeville, St. Stephens and Encampment, although a couple other new series sneaked onto the schedule, too. The new series are:
Zero Week
: Star Valley/South Summit, Utah.
Week 1: Lusk/St. Stephens; Burns/Mitchell, Neb.
Week 2: Wright/Wyoming Indian (scheduled once before but was not played due to forfeit); Snake River/Encampment; Jackson/Hillcrest, Idaho.
Week 3: Torrington/Tongue River.
Week 4: Upton-Sundance/Torrington; St. Stephens/Saratoga.
Week 5: Cokeville/Thermopolis; Torrington/Big Horn.
Week 6: Upton-Sundance/Burns; St. Stephens/Wind River; Encampment/Ten Sleep.
Week 7: Glenrock/Upton-Sundance.
Week 8: Cokeville/Lovell; Torrington/Burns; Lingle/Greybull; Rocky Mountain/St. Stephens.
Zero Week matchups that could be scrimmages and not full games: Big Horn/Buffalo and Lander/Pinedale.

So what do you say? What’s your favorite — or least favorite — part of the schedules for 2020 and 2021? Leave a comment and let’s talk about next season(s) now!

–patrick

Midwest is looking for a new head football coach, a post from the school on Facebook said Wednesday:

Midwest finished 1-7 last season but had to forfeit its final four games due to low numbers.

Dean Kelly was Midwest’s coach for the 2019 season, taking on the responsibility shortly before the start of the season after former coach Ken Swieter joined the staff at Kelly Walsh.

Riverton is also seeking a new head coach for 2020. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Pat Patterson, the head football coach at Riverton the past seven seasons, has resigned as the Wolverines’ coach.

Patterson confirmed his resignation Saturday via a message with wyoming-football.com but did not respond to follow-up questions. Riverton activities director Reggie Miller also confirmed Patterson’s resignation via email Monday.

Patterson had been the Wolverines’ head coach since 2013. The team went 27-39 in that time, including a Class 3A semifinal playoff berth in 2014. Last season, the Wolverines finished 4-6 and hosted a first-round 3A playoff game.

This is the first head coaching resignation in Wyoming this offseason. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Two players set unofficial single-season statistical records for Wyoming high school football in 2019 — one breaking the single-season receiving yards mark and the other setting a new standard for defensive points.

Meanwhile, three Class 4A quarterbacks finished in the top five all-time in passing yards.

The individual records page lists the unofficial top 10 performances in a variety of single-game and single-season categories. This year’s updates were based on final season statistics posted at Wyopreps.

Season records set in 2019:

  • Cheyenne East’s Chance Aumiller set a single-season record with 1,121 receiving yards.
  • Wright’s Dax Yeradi also set a season record with 331 defensive points. Thunder Basin’s Caleb Driskill finished third with 293 defensive points and Cokeville’s Nate Barnes was sixth all-time with 287.
  • Cheyenne East’s Graedyn Buell finished second all-time with 2,989 passing yards. Cheyenne Central’s Dawson Macleary was close behind in third all-time with 2,621 yards, while Thunder Basin’s Mason Hamilton was fifth all-time with 2,561 yards.
  • Jackson’s Jeydon Cox finished fifth all-time with 2,038 rushing yards. He’s the first Wyoming running back to finish a career with multiple 2,000-yard seasons.

Single-game records set in 2019 include the following:

  • Buell notched the seventh-best passing game of all time with a 390-yard passing game against Natrona on Sept. 27. In the same game, Aumiller finished with 237 receiving yards, good for fifth-best all-time.
  • On the same day, Hamilton threw for 382 yards against Gillette, 10th-best all time.
  • Also on Sept. 27, Burns’ Boe Clayson ran for 339 yards against Wheatland, tied for eighth-best all-time.
  • Big Horn’s Will Pelissier turned in the ninth-best receiving performance in state history with a 214-yard effort against Southeast.

Keep in mind that these listings are unofficial but as complete as they can be at this point. As always, I’m interested in hearing about games or seasons that should be on the records list that I’ve missed. If you’ve got any such games or seasons to add, let me know by leaving a comment here or emailing me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Longtime Laramie football coach John R. Deti died Thursday in Cheyenne at 80.

A Facebook post from a member of the Deti family was shared by the Laramie Plainsmen Twitter account on Thursday night reporting the death.

Deti was the head coach at Laramie from 1977-2002. He was also the head coach at Sheridan from 1966-70 and at Cody in 1965. He also coached at Mullen High School in Denver in 1964-65.

Deti was the son of former Laramie coach John E. Deti, who led the Plainsmen from 1944-76, when his son took over the helm. The high school football stadium in Laramie bears the family name — Deti Stadium. The elder Deti died in 1986.

His record of 188-102-2 ranks him fourth all-time in state history. His Laramie teams won Class 4A championships in 1984 and 1994.

He was a member of the Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and he was twice the head coach for the South team in the Wyoming Shrine Bowl (1988 and 1992).

Funeral arrangements are pending.

More: Casper Star-Tribune, Laramie Boomerang

–patrick

The Casper Star-Tribune on Thursday released its annual Super 25 teams, recognizing the best high school football players in the state regardless of classification.

The newspaper released its first-team, second-team and third-team selections.

At the Super 25 banquet on Thursday in Casper, Cheyenne East’s Graedyn Buell Buell was recognized as the offensive player of the year, Thunder Basin’s Caleb Driskill as the defensive player of the year and Powell’s Aaron Papich as coach of the year.

This is the 29th year of the Super 25. For previous Super 25 first team selections and for this year’s first-team picks, click here.

–patrick

The 2019 season is done, and we have five more champions.

Four went undefeated — Snake River in 1A six-man, Big Horn in 1A 11-man, Mountain View in 2A and Star Valley in 3A. Sheridan, meanwhile, won the 4A title with an 11-1 record after beating previously unbeaten Thunder Basin 35-26.

There are a host of places where you can read about these games, with info from people who were at the games. That wasn’t me — in case you weren’t aware, I live in California these days, and making it to Laramie in mid-November with work is tough — but I watched as much as I could of the championships via the live video streams online. I do miss attending championship weekend in Laramie, but I don’t miss the snow.

Things I noticed from the title games, and the season:

Both Big Horn and Star Valley will carry long winning streaks into next season. Big Horn has won 22 games in a row, including its 55-7 demolition of Cokeville in the Class 1A 11-man title game, while Star Valley has won 21 in a row with its 49-13 thumping of Powell in the Class 3A championship.

Big Horn has also won 15 consecutive home games, as well as 15 consecutive road games. The Rams’ 15 straight road victories is within sniffing distance of the top five such streaks all-time; however, Natrona has won 18 straight home games and Mountain View has won 17 straight at home.

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With its 71-38 victory in the Class 1A six-man title game, Snake River has now scored in 105 consecutive games, the best active streak in the state but still well short of the state record of 175, set by Cokeville. Snake River hasn’t been shut out since resurrecting its program in 2009.

Snake River was scored on in the title game, leaving the Rattlers tied for the state’s longest shutout streak at nine with three other programs. However, the Rattlers are the only team to have ever done so at six-man, and the only one to have ever done so after World War II. It’s an unbelievable run that I don’t know we’ll ever see again.

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Even though they lost the Class 1A 11-man title game, the Cokeville Panthers notched their 32nd consecutive winning season, a total that’s twice as good as any other program in the state. Meanwhile, Laramie finished with its 19th consecutive losing season, the second-longest such streak in state history.

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Despite losing the 1A six-man title game, Hanna finished the season with 795 points, second-best all-time. The Miners also finished with 72.27 points per game, the highest mark in state history.

Class 2A champ Mountain View didn’t score a lot in the title game, beating Buffalo 24-14, but the Buffalos finished with 549 points this season, second-best all time for 11-man teams. Their average of 49.91 points per game is third-best all time. Meanwhile, Class 1A 11-man champ Big Horn averaged 49 ppg, fourth-best all time, and had 539 total points, tied for fourth-highest in the state’s 11-man annals.

Several other efforts — some good, some not so good — ended up on the list of scoring records.

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Cokeville coach Todd Dayton will reach a heck of a milestone in the first game of the 2020 season. Right now, Dayton has 399 games to his credit; the first of 2020 will be his 400th as a head coach. Similarly, Natrona coach Steve Harshman needs seven more games to reach No. 300 in his Wyoming career. Dayton and Harshman rank 1-2 in Wyoming history in career victories, with Dayton way out in front with 335 and Harshman second with 207. This season, Harshman passed John E. Deti, who has 205 victories, for the No. 2 spot. They’re the only three coaches in state history with more than 200 career victories.

Meanwhile, Lander coach John Scott now has 102 victories in his Wyoming career; he became the 27th coach to join the 100-victory club. Two more coaches could join that group in 2020, as Upton-Sundance’s Andy Garland finished this season with 93 career victories and Cheyenne East’s Chad Goff emerged with 92.

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Here are the results of my picks from title-game weekend, this season and my “career”:

Last week: 5-0 (100 percent). This season: 250-57 (81 percent). The past 15 years: 3,584-887 (80 percent).

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Just because the 2019 season is done doesn’t mean we’re done here. Be sure to follow wyoming-football.com on Facebook or Twitter, or both. I’ll be sharing all kinds of offseason news, including coaching changes and peeks ahead to 2020, as well as all kinds of nerdy stuff related to Wyoming high school football (and occasionally other stuff I hope you find interesting).

The site has been updated with all the information I have available for 2019. Postseason recognition is yet to come — the all-state, Super 25 and all-America listings will be updated with that info when it becomes available — and I’m planning a couple other small tweaks to what’s here, too. If you see anything that’s incorrect or missing, let me know.

Finally, if you like what you see here, consider a page sponsorship. I truly appreciate all the sponsors who have already supported the site, but I also have room for more. I have to pay for my web space, and sponsorships help keep me from having to pay for the site out of my own pocket. For $20 a year, you can sponsor a page. If you like having on-demand results of 25,007 Wyoming high school football games across 5,449 team seasons — and you appreciate the work that went into it — then toss me a Jackson.

–patrick

You know what we’re here for — a breakdown of this week’s title games. So why put that off any longer?

Class 2A, noon Friday
Mountain View (1W, 10-0) vs. Buffalo Bison (1E, 10-0)
Series record: Buffalo leads 4-3.
Last meeting/last playoff meeting: Buffalo beat Mountain View 43-18 in the Class 2A championship on Nov. 10 in Laramie.
State championships: Mountain View five, most recently in 2017. … Buffalo six, most recently in 2018.
Previous title game record: Mountain View, 5-7. … Buffalo, 6-10.
The path to Laramie: Mountain View whitewashed Wheatland 72-0 in the quarterfinals before thumping Burns 56-12 in the semifinals. … Buffalo fought past Lovell 28-6 in the first round and outlasted Thermopolis 45-22 in the semifinals.
The case for the Buffalos: My goodness, Mountain View has been on a tear this season. The Buffs haven’t been in a single close game this year and have outscored opponents more than tenfold, 525-37. Their diverse offense can beat you in a thousand different ways; their defense allows fewer than 100 yards per game. For a senior class who knows its way around War Memorial (in its third consecutive title game) and knows its way to victory, a championship makes a lot of sense.
The case for the Bison: Knock, knock. Hi. Buffalo is the defending 2A champs. The Bison have won 20 games in a row. Rowen Ruby has been all but unstoppable at running back with 1,699 yards. The defense has bent a bit but hasn’t broken. And when they’ve been pushed, as they were both early in the season and in the playoffs, the Bison pushed back — and kept on winning.
The pick: Last year’s game ended up being great for Buffalo, not so great for Mountain View. If nothing else, this game should be a better game — but the Buffalos have shown all season they’re ready for a different result. … Mountain View 34, Buffalo 28.

Class 3A, 3 p.m. Friday
Powell Panthers (4W, 7-4) vs. Star Valley Braves (1W, 11-0)
Series record: Star Valley leads 29-13.
Last meeting: Star Valley beat Powell 36-0 on Oct. 4 in Afton.
Last playoff meeting: Star Valley beat Powell 28-10 on Nov. 11, 2016, in the 3A championship game.
State championships: Powell eight, most recently in 2013. … Star Valley 11, most recently in 2018.
Previous title game record: Powell, 6-3. … Star Valley, 10-10.
The path to Laramie: Powell won a pair of road games, beating Lander 41-14 in the first round and Park County rival Cody 20-13 in the semifinals. … Star Valley won a pair of games at home, topping Douglas 45-12 in the first round before beating Jackson 42-21 in the semis.
The case for the Panthers: In short, #ethanstrong. To be honest, Powell’s 5-4 regular season was nice but easily forgettable. But the Panthers have gone to another level in the playoffs. Attribute that to any number of reasons, sure, but the emotion of playing for someone who can’t has to be in the back of the mind not only of everyone in uniform, but everyone on Powell’s side of the field.
The case for the Braves: Star Valley has the favorite to win the 2019 3A title since about halfway through the 2018 season. Deep, talented, experienced… what more could you want? The Braves lead 3A in yardage defense and scoring defense; they control the pace of the game; they get stronger, not weaker, as games move along. Even with plenty of individual talent, it’s the Braves’ team chemistry that really sets them apart.
The pick: The emotional pick is for Powell to complete its incredible run. The logical pick is for Star Valley to complete its incredible run. Either way, whoever wins this game will absolutely, positively deserve it after a season that’s been memorable for divergent reasons, leading to the same concluding point. … Star Valley 35, Powell 20.

Class 1A six-man, 10 a.m. Saturday
Hanna Miners (1E, 10-0) vs. Snake River Rattlers (1W, 9-0)
Series record: Snake River leads 8-7.
Last meeting/last playoff meeting: Snake River beat Hanna 75-13 on Oct. 27, 2017, in a 1A six-man quarterfinal game in Hanna.
State championships: Hanna three, most recently in 1989. … Snake River two, most recently in 2011.
Previous title game record: Hanna, 3-3. … Snake River, 2-1.
The path to Laramie: Hanna’s offense took care of business in the playoffs, rolling up big numbers in beating Meeteetse 73-36 in the first round and Lingle 92-58 in the semifinals. … Snake River shut down Kaycee 59-0 in the quarterfinals and did the same to Hulett 61-0 in the semis.
The case for the Miners: The offense is diverse and can score seemingly at will. With 34 points in the title game, Hanna will set the record for highest scoring offense in state history, topping Farson’s 71.82 ppg from last season. Senior twins Conor McGraw and Shane McGraw are both over 1,000 rushing yards for the season, and Shane McGraw has thrown for more than 1,000, too. The defense hasn’t always been perfect, but, hey, 10-0 is 10-0.
The case for the Rattlers: Nine games. Zero points allowed. That’s what Snake River’s defense has done this year. That record-setting pace is unheard of, but at six-man? That’s just banana pants crazy. And the offense? Super efficient, with Riggen Myers consistently breaking defenders’ hearts, and ankles.
The pick: Yes, everyone will look at the Miners’ offense vs. the Rattlers’ defense, and that might be the most fun matchup to watch this weekend. But this game may be decided by the Rattlers’ offense vs. the Miners’ defense, and that’s where Snake River has the edge. … Snake River 50, Hanna 38.

Class 1A 11-man, 1 p.m. Saturday
Cokeville Panthers (1W, 10-1) vs. Big Horn Rams (1E, 10-0)
Series record: Series tied 3-3.
Last meeting/last playoff meeting: Big Horn beat Cokeville 56-3 on Nov. 10, 2018, in the 1A 11-man championship in Laramie.
State championships: Cokeville 22, most recently in 2014. … Big Horn six, most recently in 2018.
Previous title game record: Cokeville, 21-7. … Big Horn, 6-10.
The path to Laramie: Cokeville held off Wright 20-16 in the first round and held strong to beat Upton-Sundance 16-7 in the semifinals. … Big Horn rolled through Wind River 82-0 in the first round and beat Southeast 48-7 in the semifinals, both at home.
The case for the Panthers: I’ve heard rumors that UW will install a third locker room at War Memorial — one for home teams, one for visiting teams, and one for Cokeville. Because the Panthers have made trips to title games a habit over the past four decades. Who else but Cokeville would you expect in this game? Even with a team that started inexperienced, decimated by graduation, Todd Dayton and the Panthers have lost only to 2A Mountain View and blown out almost everyone else behind a surprisingly diverse offense and a defense that can stand up to pretty much anyone.
The case for the Rams: Where to start? Big Horn racks up more yards and more points than anyone in 1A 11-man, and it’s not even close. The Rams also allow fewer yards than anyone in 1A 11-man. Can’t get much better than that. Oh, and they beat Cokeville in last year’s championship by 53 freakin’ points — one of 21 consecutive victories, Big Horn’s longest in program history and the longest active winning streak in the state.
The pick: No one’s winning this by 53. But Big Horn is still the favorite, and Cokeville will need to play not just flawless to win — the Panthers will have to create opportunities they didn’t even know existed. The Rams won’t allow that. … Big Horn 38, Cokeville 21.

Class 4A, 4 p.m. Saturday
Sheridan Broncs (2, 10-1) vs. Thunder Basin ‘Bolts (1, 11-0)
Series record: Series tied 2-2.
Last meeting: Thunder Basin beat Sheridan 37-30 on Sept. 20 in Gillette.
Last playoff meeting: Sheridan beat Thunder Basin 14-7 on Nov. 2, 2018, in a 4A semifinal in Gillette.
State championships: Sheridan 26, most recently in 2017. … Thunder Basin zero.
Previous title game record: Sheridan, 16-7. … Thunder Basin, 0-0.
The path to Laramie: Sheridan put up a pair of 62s, beating Kelly Walsh 62-14 in the quarterfinals and Cheyenne Central 62-35 in the semifinals. … Thunder Basin played in a pair of tight games, beating crosstown rival Gillette 24-20 in the quarterfinals before topping Cheyenne East 27-21 in the semifinals.
The case for the Broncs: This is familiar territory for Sheridan. Since the title games moved to Laramie in 2009, the Broncs have won five championships and finished as runners-up twice, and this is their fifth title game appearance in a row. Led by Garrett Coon, their rushing game is strong; the rush defense, though, could be even stronger — and that sets up well for success in mid-November.
The case for the ‘Bolts: To be honest, a lot of the ‘Bolts’ success may ride on Mason Hamilton’s shoulders — er, shoulder, which he injured in last week’s semifinals. With him in the first half, Thunder Basin scored 27 points; without him in the second half, zero. If he can go, watch out. If he can’t, the ‘Bolts will need to rely on its defense (tops in 4A in yards allowed, by the way) to complete an undefeated season and win the program’s first 4A title.
The pick: The last game of the weekend should be the closest of the weekend. Both teams have defenses upon which they can rely. And both have offenses capable of controlling the clock AND striking for fast scores. I really like how Sheridan is looking right now, though, and as the underdogs, they have a little less pressure on them. … Sheridan 28, Thunder Basin 27.

Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:

Last week: 8-2 (80 percent). This season: 245-57 (81 percent). 

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Which five teams do YOU see leaving Laramie with championship trophies? Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

If you like what you see here, consider a page sponsorship

–patrick