With the release of enrollment figures to be used in the next reclassification cycle in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, eight football programs set to be reclassified have decisions to make.

Most schools have decided to stay where they are.

When contacted this week by wyoming-football.com, coaches and activities directors with five of the eight programs said they will either opt up or down to stay in their current classification.

So far, just two football programs have indicated a change, with both Big Piney and Guernsey making the move to Class 1A nine-man in 2022. Riverside is still considering its decision.

The five schools that will either opt up or down to stay in their current classification are:

Big Horn: The Rams will continue to opt up to Class 2A, AD Mike Daley said. The Rams were in classified in 1A nine-man both in the current and the upcoming reclassification period.

Cokeville: The Panthers will continue opting into Class 2A, AD Tim Teichert said. Cokeville is a Class 1A six-man school by enrollment.

Moorcroft: The Wolves will continue to opt down to Class 1A nine-man, AD Dusty Petz said. Moorcroft was, and will be, classified as a 2A program.

Wyoming Indian: The Chiefs will opt down to Class 1A nine-man, AD Keith Bauder said. The Chiefs, in 1A nine-man the past two years, were classified in 2A for the 2022-23 seasons.

Saratoga: The Panthers will opt up to stay in Class 1A nine-man, AD Greg Bartlett and coach Logan Wright said. Saratoga was classified into six-man for the upcoming reclassification period.

The two schools ready to move:

Guernsey: The Vikings will move up to Class 1A nine-man, as their placement by enrollment requires, AD Glenn Freeburg said, and will not opt to stay in six-man.

Big Piney: The Punchers will move from Class 2A to Class 1A nine-man, AD Jeff Makelky said. Makelky said the decision was difficult, but it was in line with the Punchers’ projected participation numbers.

Still deciding is:

Riverside: The Rebels’ decision was not clear as of this week, both AD Cindi Smith and coach Jason Mitchell said. Mitchell said numerous constituent groups, including players, parents and board members, will meet to talk before any decision is reached. The Rebels are currently in 1A nine-man but will be classified in 1A six-man for 2022 and 2023 if they choose not to opt up.

Classification opt-up and opt-down requests will not be finalized until, and unless, approved by the Wyoming High School Activities Association’s board of directors. The group’s first quarterly meeting will be Tuesday in Casper. Final reclassification decisions will come during the second quarterly meeting later this fall.

–patrick

It’s not a stretch to call this week’s game between Wind River and Shoshoni the most important game in the 53-year history of their rivalry.

The series itself has been one of the most even in the state between two consistent rivals. They’ve met every year since 1969, when Wind River became a school after the consolidation of Pavillion and Morton. Wind River leads the series 29-26, and the average score has been 20-19.

Even, but not always important.

Despite being neighbors, separated by 35 miles of farm and range in Fremont County, and despite being relatively the same size and often in the same conference, Wind River and Shoshoni have never finished first and second, side by side, when paired in the same conference. That has rendered most regular-season games between the programs important in terms of rivalry but not in terms of conference championships or home-field advantage.

Also, their only playoff meeting came in the first round of the 2000 Class 1A Division I playoffs, a game undefeated Shoshoni unsurprisingly won against a .500 Cougar team.

Of the 55 games the Wranglers and Cougars have played, none has been bigger than that one.

This week’s game, scheduled for Thursday night in Shoshoni, could surpass it.

Already in 2021, every other team in the Class 1A nine-man West has at least one conference loss. Shoshoni and Wind River are the exceptions. They’re atop the conference standings at 2-0 and 1-0, respectively, with everyone else is chasing them.

Moreover, both are undefeated at 3-0, and both have a victory over the defending state champions in 1A nine-man, Southeast.

This game is more than just critical for the season. It’s historic for a rivalry that has been great on the field but has rarely has implications beyond bragging rights.

+++

Week 4 is chock full of critical games — lots of opportunities for teams to prove they belong in championship chases. And several games are just downright interesting:

Is Class 4A more than a two-team race? Even with four teams at 3-1, all chasing 4-0 Sheridan, it’s easy to think so. However, two 3-1 teams can jump immediately back into the War Memorial conversation this week. Both Natrona (playing at Rock Springs) and Cheyenne East (hosting Sheridan) have tremendous opportunities to turn the 4A conversation into something new. …

The Coal Bowl between Thunder Basin Campbell County is a heck of a lot more interesting this year considering the Camels’ two victories have been by more than 40 points each, while the ‘Bolts’ Ws have been a bit more modest. …

The 3A West never disappoints, and every week of the season is filled with huge games. This week’s a little more special, though, as the rivalry games between Jackson and Star Valley (in Afton) and between Powell and Cody (in Cody) will set the pace for the rest of the season. Moreover, both Cody and Powell are undefeated so far this year, creating some extra motivation that goes beyond just a county rivalry. (And, oh yeah, Evanston is 4-0 and playing at Green River. Like I said, never disappoints.)…

The 1A six-man West is also loads of fun, and Saturday’s game between Dubois and Snake River will be right at the top of the list of ones I’d love to see in person. The Rattlers are rolling, but the Rams are dangerous. …

Hanna took the last two weeks off, canceling games against East’s and Natrona’s sophomores. The Miners are (hopefully) entering this week’s game with Guernsey refreshed and healthy. But it’s weird to be at the end of September and seeing a team playing just its second game this year, and its first home game to boot.

+++

Each week, I surmise who I think will win and lose each game. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, but I always note the teams I think will win in bold so you and I can look back after games are done and see just how much I’ve screwed it up that week:

Thursday
Class 2A

Big Piney at Lyman
Class 1A nine-man
Riverside
at Wyoming Indian
Wind River at Shoshoni
Friday
Class 4A

Cheyenne South at Cheyenne Central
Laramie at Kelly Walsh
Natrona at Rock Springs
Sheridan at Cheyenne East
Thunder Basin at Campbell County
Class 3A
Evanston at Green River
Jackson at Star Valley
Lander at Worland
Powell at Cody
Rawlins at Buffalo
Riverton at Douglas
Class 2A
Burns at Big Horn
Cokeville at Pinedale
Lovell at Thermopolis
Mountain View at Kemmerer
Tongue River at Newcastle
Torrington at Upton-Sundance
Wheatland at Glenrock
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at Rocky Mountain
Lusk at Lingle
Pine Bluffs at Southeast
Wright at Moorcroft
Class 1A six-man
Meeteetse at Burlington
Saturday
Class 1A nine-man

Saratoga at St. Stephens
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Snake River
Guernsey-Sunrise at Hanna
Kaycee at Hulett
Interclass
Kelly Walsh sophs at Midwest
Natrona sophs at Encampment
Open: Farson.

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 4” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

+++

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

Last week: 25-7 (78 percent). This season: 88-23 (79 percent).

+++

Which Week 4 game has you ready to make a trip across the state to see it, even if you don’t know any of the players? 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

A trove of Rocky Mountain football game tapes — including the Grizzlies’ three championships in the 1990s — have been uploaded to YouTube on the RMHS TV channel.

Here are the Grizzlies’ title-game videos:

The 1995 Class 1A 11-man championship vs. Lusk:

The 1997 Class 1A 11-man championship, also vs. Lusk:

AND the 1998 Class 1A 11-man championship vs. Pinedale:

Other football games offered by the channel include:

1994: vs. Pinedale, vs. Shoshoni, vs. Wyoming Indian, at Greybull.

1995: vs. Saratoga.

1997: vs. Riverside, vs. Sundance, at Cody JV, vs. Greybull, vs. Burlington, at Pinedale.

1998: this is weird, as two games are labeled as vs. Cody JV... and vs. Cody JV. Also, at Tongue River, vs. Shoshoni, at Sundance. And a highlight tape.

2000: at Lovell.

2001: vs. Lovell, then at Lovell.

2003: vs. Tongue River, vs. Wright and Lovell.

2007: vs. Greybull.

2008: vs. Wind River, at Big Piney, vs. Burlington.

2009: vs. Saratoga, vs. Shoshoni, at Wind River.

2010: at Cokeville, at Saratoga, vs. Riverside, at Southeast, vs. Burlington.

2011: at NSI.

2012: vs. Wind River, vs. NSI. And a highlight tape.

2016: vs. Saratoga, vs. Kemmerer.

2017: vs. Saratoga.

2018: vs. Greybull, vs. Wind River.

The channel doesn’t have only football, though. It has basketball, prom, musical performances, graduations and more. Check out the full offerings here.

And specifically for non-football interesting things, check out the 2A boys basketball championships from 1999 (Riverside winning its first), 1997 (won with a shot at the buzzer by a freshman) and 1995 (featuring a young Brett Keisel).

–patrick

At least 10 schools in a variety of sports will be up for moving classifications when the Wyoming High School Activities Association makes its changes for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

And in football, at least eight schools will have decisions, or changes, to make.

No sport with more than one classification will be unaffected by the changes, which will be discussed and voted on by the WHSAA’s board of directors this fall and, if approved, go into effect with the fall 2022 seasons.

Enrollment numbers for the latest round of reclassification were distributed to schools during the WHSAA’s quarterly district meetings across the state the past two weeks.

Wyoming high schools are reclassified for sports and activities every two years based on enrollment numbers, calculated as Average Daily Membership, or ADM. Those numbers for each school, as provided by the WHSAA, are below:

  1. Kelly Walsh, 1,996.17
  2. Natrona, 1,954.82
  3. Cheyenne East, 1,689.80
  4. Rock Springs, 1,615.71
  5. Cheyenne South, 1,454.89
  6. Cheyenne Central, 1,417.00
  7. Thunder Basin, 1,310.36
  8. Campbell County, 1,304.18
  9. Laramie, 1,171.84
  10. Sheridan, 1,142.88
  11. Star Valley, 906.08
  12. Jackson, 870.46
  13. Evanston, 831.24
  14. Riverton, 773.04
  15. Green River, 771.12
  16. Cody, 626.28
  17. Lander, 581.71
  18. Powell, 573.73
  19. Douglas, 490.33
  20. Rawlins, 471.01
  21. Worland, 393.03
  22. Buffalo, 360.68
  23. Pinedale, 354.27
  24. Torrington, 342.78
  25. Wheatland, 278.74
  26. Mountain View, 252.51
  27. Newcastle, 231.67
  28. Lyman, 230.29
  29. Lovell, 229.18
  30. Glenrock, 222.63
  31. Thermopolis, 220.73
  32. Moorcroft, 197.26
  33. Kemmerer, 192.82
  34. Burns, 192.61
  35. Tongue River, 192.40
  36. Wyoming Indian, 152.13
  37. Big Piney, 148.90
  38. Wright, 143.32
  39. Big Horn, 140.50
  40. Wind River, 140.48
  41. Greybull, 139.04
  42. Shoshoni, 129.81
  43. Pine Bluffs, 124.47
  44. Rocky Mountain, 123.14
  45. Sundance, 122.34
  46. Lingle, 97.76
  47. St. Stephens, 82.74
  48. Lusk, 81.43
  49. Southeast, 78.51
  50. Guernsey, 78.51
  51. Burlington, 78.13
  52. Saratoga, 77.08
  53. Upton, 75.48
  54. Riverside, 74.33
  55. Cokeville, 70.99
  56. Snake River, 65.69
  57. Hanna, 58.99
  58. Hulett, 53.25
  59. Midwest, 49.53
  60. Farson, 48.24
  61. Dubois, 44.81
  62. Meeteetse, 44.09
  63. Encampment, 40.28
  64. Kaycee, 39.29
  65. Ten Sleep, 33.98
  66. Arvada-Clearmont, 32.65
  67. Rock River, 28.96
  68. Glendo, 12.96
  69. Chugwater, 10.45

Each set of sports will see its own changes.

FOOTBALL (10-12-14-14-rest): Five programs — Big Piney, Wyoming Indian, Guernsey, Saratoga and Riverside — face new decisions, while three others face situations similar to what they have now.

Big Piney moves down from 2A to 1A nine-man, while Wyoming Indian moves from 1A nine-man to 2A. Both can remain in their current classification if they decide to opt up or down, respectively.

Meanwhile, Guernsey will be classified as a 1A nine-man school, while both Saratoga and Riverside will be classified into 1A six-man. Right now, Guernsey plays in six-man, while Saratoga and Riverside both play in nine-man. Guernsey would be the smallest 1A nine-man school, separated by less than one ADM student (78.51 to 78.13) from the largest six-man school, Burlington.

Three schools currently opting up or down will be in positions to continue those choices. Big Horn and Cokeville, both currently opting up to Class 2A, face the same decision for 2022 and 2023, with Big Horn classified in 1A nine-man and Cokeville in 1A six-man. Moorcroft, currently opting down to 1A nine-man from 2A, also faces the same decision in 2022 and 2023.

All opt-up and opt-down appeals are pending WHSAA board approval. Programs that opt down are usually ineligible for postseason play.

BASKETBALL, TRACK, VOLLEYBALL (16-16-16-rest): Six schools are scheduled to make moves in the traditional four-classification sports. Glenrock and Moorcroft are scheduled to move to Class 3A, with Burns and Kemmerer scheduled to drop to Class 2A to take their place. Also, Lingle jumps to Class 2A, while Riverside moves to Class 1A.

GOLF, WRESTLING, CROSS COUNTRY (12-16-rest): Star Valley will move to 4A, with Evanston moving to 3A.

SWIMMING (12-rest): Evanston is scheduled to switch to 3A. No program will replace Evanston in 4A as Star Valley, the school to jump Evanston, does not have a swimming program.

SOCCER (14-rest): Riverton and Green River are scheduled to swap, with Riverton moving to 4A and Green River to 3A.

ALL ONE-CLASS SPORTS: No scheduled changes.

All changes listed here are tentative and subject to WHSAA board approval. Tentative regional and conference alignments will be set prior to the first WHSAA board meeting on Sept. 28. Final approval of reclassification will come in November.

–patrick

Unintentionally, the schedule-makers for Wyoming high school football made Week 3 an episode of “Survivor.”

Wyoming has 19 high school football teams that are still undefeated.

That number will take a huge dip this week, as six games pair off 12 of those undefeated teams.

The last two undefeated teams in 4A (Rock Springs and Sheridan), four of the five remaining teams in 3A (Douglas/Powell and Buffalo/Cody), four of the five remaining teams in 2A (Upton-Sundance/Wheatland and Lyman/Lovell) and the last two undefeated teams in the 1A nine-man East (Pine Bluffs and Saratoga) all play one another this week.

And each game has its own special place in a week full of opportunity.

The “real” game of the week, or at least the one that will draw the most attention, is in 4A, where Rock Springs travels to Sheridan for the last battle of unbeatens we’ll see in the big-school ranks this season. The Tigers and Broncs have truly been mirrors of each other, and that’s most obvious in their point totals each team has accumulated in their respective 3-0 starts. Rock Springs has a scoring differential of 141-25; Sheridan, 144-20.

But the other games are just as critical, and deserve just as much love.

In 3A, both Douglas-Powell and Buffalo-Cody match up 3A teams that are undefeated. These games won’t affect playoff seeding, but by the time the brackets settle, they could definitely end up influencing playoff strategy.

Upton-Sundance (2-0) hasn’t lost. Neither has Wheatland (3-0). Something’s got to give. Meanwhile, uh… stop me if you’ve heard this before. Lyman (3-0) hasn’t lost. Neither has Lovell (2-0). Something’s got to give. And both games could end up deciding top seeds before the season finishes.

Finally, Pine Bluffs and Saratoga are the only ones to emerge unscathed so far in the 1A nine-man East. Oddly enough, Saratoga’s first game (62-8 over Wyoming Indian) equals Pine Bluffs through two games (30-0 over Riverside plus 32-8 over Lusk equals 62-8).

The only undefeated teams to avoid the “Survivor” tribal council are Evanston, Tongue River, Shoshoni, Wind River and the four zero-loss six-man teams (Hulett, Snake River, Dubois, Farson). They will all have to survive their own games this week to stay in the Goose Egg Club, though, including road games for all four six-man teams.

+++

Unbeaten matchups are fun, but a handful of other games also have an outsized amount of my attention this week:

The Oil Bowl between Kelly Walsh and Natrona is the first 4A rivalry game to hit the calendar this year, and after both Casper teams started 2-1, I’m optimistic this one will be close. And that’s all you can ask for in a rivalry game. …

Evanston is 3-0, which I didn’t see coming, and that makes every game the Red Devils play intriguing to me. This week, the Red Devils have Lander, a tough challenge but a setup for a heck of a game nonetheless. …

Thermopolis was put into quite a bind the last two weeks, unable to practice or to play — or even attend in-person classes — due to COVID-19. The Bobcats play their first game of the season at home against Kemmerer, already two games behind but with no lost opportunities to finish the season strong. Kemmerer, meanwhile, is coming off its first victory in 18 games, so the Rangers have to feel good about what’s possible in a weird set of circumstances this week. …

Glenrock-Burns is the most intriguing 2A game this week. Fight me. …

Wind River won by 50 last week. Are the Cougars for real? Well, how about a date agains the defending state champs, Southeast, in Goshen County? That’ll do. …

+++

Now, the picks, where I put the teams I think will win in bold and leave the rest to your imagination:

Friday
Class 4A

Cheyenne Central at Thunder Basin
Cheyenne East at Laramie
Cheyenne South at Campbell County
Kelly Walsh at Natrona
Rock Springs at Sheridan
Class 3A
Buffalo at Cody
Douglas at Powell
Lander at Evanston
Riverton at Jackson
Star Valley at Rawlins
Worland at Green River
Class 2A
Glenrock at Burns
Kemmerer at Thermopolis
Lyman at Lovell
Mountain View at Cokeville
Newcastle at Big Horn
Pinedale at Big Piney
Tongue River at Torrington
Upton-Sundance at Wheatland
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Wright
Moorcroft at Lusk
Pine Bluffs at Saratoga
Rocky Mountain at Riverside
St. Stephens at Shoshoni
Wind River at Southeast
Wyoming Indian at Greybull
Class 1A six-man
Snake River at Burlington
Interclass
Hulett
at Sheridan JV
Interstate
Sioux County, Neb., at Guernsey-Sunrise
Saturday
Class 1A six-man

Dubois at Meeteetse
Farson at Encampment
Interclass
Natrona sophs
at Midwest
Open: Kaycee. Also, Hanna canceled its game this week with the Natrona sophs.

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 3” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

+++

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

Last week: 28-4 (88 percent). This season: 63-16 (80 percent).

+++

Which Week 3 game looks like your can’t miss? 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

Updated at 9:21 p.m. Sept. 16 to fix reference to Wheatland in blog post.

Last season, the NFL had three players from Wyoming high schools on their active rosters — Jacob Bobenmoyer (Cheyenne East) with Denver, Taven Bryan (Natrona) with Jacksonville and Logan Wilson (Natrona) with Cincinnati.

In Week 4 last season, Bryan’s Jaguars played Wilson’s Bengals. Unfortunately, Wilson missed the game due to injury. If he had played, it would have given Wyoming football fans a rare opportunity to see two Wyoming high school graduates play against each other in an NFL game.

This season, the Bengals, Jaguars and Broncos all play each other once. Jacksonville hosts Denver this Sunday, in Week 2 (Sept. 19), Cincinnati hosts Jacksonville in Week 4 (Sept. 30, Thursday night game) and Denver hosts Cincinnati in Week 15 (Dec. 19).

If Bobenmoyer, Bryan and Wilson can all remain on rosters, active and injury-free, three games where two Wyoming high school players lined up on opposite sidelines would give us more games of that kind than any time since the 2005 season and Wyoming’s first since 2012.

Using my Wyoming-to-NFL listings, which includes every player who took at least one NFL regular-season snap, as a starting point, I combed pro-football-reference.com to see when we’ve had such games. I found 27 such games. Here is what I could find:

Sept. 29, 1963: Boyd Dowler’s (Cheyenne Central) Packers beat Jerry Hill’s (Lingle) Colts 31-20. Coincidentally, Hill and Dowler scored the first two touchdowns of the game. Dowler had five catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns; Hill finished with four carries for 8 yards.

Oct. 27, 1963: Dowler’s Packers beat Hill’s Colts 34-20. Dowler had two catches for 23 yards; Hill had three carries for 6 yards.

Sept. 20, 1964: Hill’s Colts beat Dowler’s Packers 21-20. Hill carried 15 times for 49 yards and caught two passes for 28 yards; Dowler had seven catches for 66 yards.

Oct. 18, 1964: Hill’s Colts beat Dowler’s Packers 24-21. Dowler had two catches for 55 yards; Hill didn’t make the box score. (Hill may have missed this game due to injury, but reports from the time are unclear.)

Sept. 26, 1965: Dowler’s Packers beat Hill’s Colts 20-17. Dowler had four catches for 53 yards; Hill had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Dec. 12, 1965: Dowler’s Packers beat Hill’s Colts 42-27. Dowler and Hill each scored a touchdown. Dowler had four catches for 40 yards; Hill had nine carries for 24 yards.

Dec. 26, 1965: Dowler’s Packers beat Hill’s Colts 13-10 in the divisional playoffs. Dowler had five catches for 50 yards; Hill had 16 carries for 57 yards.

Sept. 10, 1966: Dowler’s Packers beat Hill’s Colts 24-3. Dowler had six catches for 73 yards; Hill ran 13 times for 51 yards and had two catches for 10 yards.

Dec. 10, 1966: Dowler’s Packers beat Hill’s Colts 14-10. Hill carried 25 times for 88 yards; Dowler didn’t make the box score.

Nov. 5, 1967: Hill’s Colts beat Dowler’s Packers 13-10. Dowler had four catches for 60 yards; Hill carried 11 times for 48 yards and had two catches for a net zero yards.

Nov. 9, 1969: Hill’s Colts beat Dowler’s Packers 14-6. Dowler had three catches for 37 yards; Hill carried 10 times for 45 yards and had one catch for minus-3 yards.

Oct. 9, 1977: Don Westbrook’s (Cheyenne Central) Patriots beat Nick Bebout’s (Shoshoni) Seahawks 31-0. Neither one was in the box score; Bebout started for the Seahawks on the offensive line.

Oct. 5, 1980: Westbrook’s Patriots beat Jesse Johnson’s (Cheyenne East) Jets 21-11. Neither one was in the box score.

Nov. 2, 1980: Westbrook’s Patriots beat Johnson’s Jets 34-21. Neither one was in the box score.

Oct. 11, 1981: Johnson’s Jets beat Westbrook’s Patriots 28-24. Neither one was in the box score.

Nov. 15, 1981: Johnson’s Jets beat Westbrook’s Patriots 17-6. Neither one was in the box score.

Sept. 22, 1985: Jim Eliopulos’ (Cheyenne Central) Jets beat Mike McLeod’s (Cheyenne East) Packers 24-3. Neither one was in the box score.

Oct. 31, 2005: Brett Keisel’s (Greybull) Steelers beat Aaron Elling’s (Lander) Ravens 20-19. Keisel had one tackle; Elling handled kickoffs and had one tackle.

Nov. 6, 2005: Keisel’s Steelers beat Brady Poppinga’s (Evanston) Packers 20-10. Each player had two tackles.

Nov. 20, 2005: Elling’s Ravens beat Keisel’s Steelers 16-13. Keisel had one tackle; Elling handled the Ravens’ kickoffs.

Dec. 20, 2009: Keisel’s Steelers beat Poppinga’s Packers 37-36. Poppinga had one tackle, a sack; Keisel had one tackle.

Oct. 3, 2010: Poppinga’s Packers beat John Wendling’s (Rock Springs) Lions 28-26. Wendling had two tackles; Poppinga had one tackle.

Oct. 16, 2011: Keisel’s Steelers beat John Chick (Campbell County) and Chris Prosinski’s (Buffalo) Jaguars 17-13. Keisel had six tackles, including a sack, and a pass deflection; Chick had a sack and a forced fumble; Prosinski had two tackles.

Dec. 24, 2011: Keisel’s Steelers beat Poppinga’s Rams 27-0. Poppinga had four tackles; Keisel had three tackles and a pass deflection.

Nov. 4, 2012: Wendling’s Lions beat Chick and Prosinski’s Jaguars 31-14. Prosinski had four tackles; Wendling and Chick played but did not make the box score.

Dec. 16, 2012: Poppinga’s Cowboys beat Keisel’s Steelers 27-24. Keisel had a fumble recovery; Poppinga had one tackle.

+++

I also found these times when two Wyoming high school products played on the same NFL team:

1935: Win Croft (Lovell) and Walt McDonald (Worland) played together on the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1973, 1974 and 1975: Nick Bebout (Shoshoni) and Dennis Havig (Powell) played together on the Atlanta Falcons.

1983: Jim Eliopulos (Cheyenne Central) and Jesse Johnson (Cheyenne East) played together for part of the season with the Jets.

2011 and 2012: Chris Prosinski (Buffalo) and John Chick (Campbell County) played together with the Jaguars.

Note: Some years, like 2020, gave us opportunities for these kind of games but didn’t happen. For example, in 1961, Dowler’s Packers twice played Hill’s Colts, and even though Hill was on the roster, he wasn’t activated for those particular games. Or, in Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, 2011, Keisel’s Steelers played Poppinga’s Packers, but Poppinga was on injured reserve and did not play. Or, in 2014, Keisel’s Steelers played Prosinski’s Jaguars, but the game came the week after Proskinski had been cut. Games that matched up teams where Wyoming players were on injured reserve or inactive have been removed.

Those games have been removed from these listings.

Similarly, Don Bracken (Thermopolis) and Mike McLeod (Cheyenne East) both played for the Packers in 1985. However, their times with the team did not overlap.

Additionally, in 2021, if either Bryan or Wilson, both defensive players, lines up on the other side of Bobenmoyer, a long snapper, it would represent one of just a handful of times that Wyoming high school players lined up across from each other in a regular-season NFL game. The only times such matchups could have happened in the games listed above were in the games between Westbrook (WR) and Johnson (DB) in 1980 and 1981 and the games between Keisel (DE) and Elling (K) in 2005.

–patrick

Cover of the Wyoming high school football preview magazine.

The 2021 version of the Wyoming high school football preview magazine, after a bit of a delay, is finally out!

The magazine has full previews on every team in Wyoming. No other publication does this to the depth you’ll find in this magazine.

The magazine is available here online. Hard copies should be available for free at the locations of the advertisers in the next week or so.

Please support the advertisers — they’re the ones that allow for this magazine to happen.

Thanks for your patience, and enjoy!

–patrick

After looking at the Class 4A standings two weeks into the season, and then the upcoming Week 2 schedule, a simple question crept into my brain:

When was the last time Kelly Walsh and Rock Springs played each other when both teams were undefeated?

So, because I can, I looked.

The answer? If you don’t count season openers… Never. The answer is never.

This isn’t too surprising. Despite being consistent Class 4A rivals, the Trojans and the Tigers have found their peaks at separate times. Of their 31 meetings, only three have been in the playoffs — the quarterfinals in 2001 and championship games in 1980 and 1981.

The 1980 title-game meeting is the closest we’ve ever come to having an undefeated Tiger-Trojan game; both teams came into the championship at 8-1, with KW winning its first of back-to-back titles at Rock Springs’ expense.

The lack of undefeated encounters ends on Friday, though, when the 2-0 Tigers host the 2-0 Trojans in Sweetwater County.

Rock Springs was my preseason No. 1 in Class 4A, so it’s not much of a surprise to see them at 2-0 after two weeks. The Tigers wasted Campbell County to start the season and topped last week’s No. 1 team in the Wyopreps Coaches and Media Poll, Thunder Basin, by double digits in Gillette.

Kelly Walsh? Well, the Trojans notched a huge victory last week by beating Cheyenne Central 21-13 in Casper, their second of two victories against Cheyenne schools after overwhelming outmanned Cheyenne South in Week 0.

Together, they represent two of the three remaining undefeated teams in Class 4A, with Sheridan and its 113-0 scoring advantage through two games the other.

Between the Tigers and Trojans, that number of undefeated teams will shrink by at least one after this week.

And that’s the first time anyone has been able to say that.

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Some other games that look like they could be something really special this week:

Lander made my socks leave my feet — almost as if those sweaty foot coverings were blown that way — in its Week 1 game against Green River. I’m insanely curious to see how they stack up at home against Powell. If the Tigers can somehow win this one, watch out. …

Evanston has won two one-point games in a row to start the season and already have more victories than the past two seasons combined. It will be interesting to see if the Red Devils can keep the momentum going against Riverton in an intriguing matchup. …

If “slugfest” could be bottled and sold, you’d probably be able to buy it in Lyman on Friday, where the Eagles will face Cokeville in a game that has either 6-0 or 42-41 written all over it. I just can’t figure out which. …

It doesn’t seem fair that Lusk and Pine Bluffs play each other in the 1A nine-man East lid-lifter. This should be a Week 8 game. A conference championship might just be on the line in Week 2. …

Encampment and Snake River both got off to quick starts last week, and in a conference as competitive as the 1A six-man West, every game will be crucial. The whole direction of the conference could be dictated by what happens in Baggs on Friday.

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Here are this week’s picks. Projected winners are in bold, but so are classifications and days of the week, which is a subconscious reminder that we’re all winners when football is happening.

Thursday
Class 2A
Newcastle at Upton-Sundance
Interclass
Natrona JV at Hulett
Friday
Class 4A

Campbell County at Cheyenne East
Kelly Walsh at Rock Springs
Natrona at Laramie
Sheridan at Cheyenne Central
Thunder Basin at Cheyenne South
Class 3A
Cody at Worland
Green River at Buffalo
Powell at Lander
Riverton at Evanston
Class 2A
Big Horn at Wheatland
Burns at Tongue River
Cokeville at Lyman
Kemmerer at Pinedale
Lovell at Mountain View
Torrington at Glenrock
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at Wind River
Lusk at Pine Bluffs
Saratoga at Moorcroft
Shoshoni at Rocky Mountain
Southeast at Lingle
Wright at Wyoming Indian
Class 1A six-man
Encampment at Snake River
Midwest at Dubois
Interstate
Belle Fourche, S.D., at Douglas
Jackson at Pocatello, Idaho
Rawlins at Moffat County, Colo.
Sugar-Salem, Idaho, at Star Valley
Saturday
Class 1A nine-man

Riverside at St. Stephens
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Farson
Meeteetse at Kaycee
Interclass
Hanna at Cheyenne East sophs

Thermopolis at Big Piney has been postponed to Oct. 19. Guernsey also forfeited its game to the Cheyenne Central JV this week due to the Vikings being in quarantine due to COVID-19. Mask up, stay safe, get vaccinated and do your part to help keep football, and everything else, going.

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 2” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

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

Last week: 22-8 (73 percent). This season: 35-12 (74 percent).

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Undefeated, winless or 1-1 — who are you watching in Week 2? 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

Guernsey has been forced to forfeit its Week 2 game with the Cheyenne Central JV due to a COVID-19 quarantine.

Guernsey activities director Glenn Freeburg said via email to wyoming-football.com on Wednesday that the Vikings’ team is in quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure.

It was unclear Wednesday if other sports were affected at Guernsey or if the quarantine was limited to the football team.

Guernsey lost to Farson in its season opener last week. The Vikings are scheduled to play Sioux County, Nebraska, next week.

This story was originally reported on Twitter by Wyopreps.

–patrick

Both Lingle and Torrington have forfeited their Week 1 football games, to Wind River and Douglas respectively.

Lingle forfeited its game to Wind River on Thursday; Torrington forfeited its game to Douglas on Friday morning.

Lingle activities director Mike Lashley, when reached by email by wyoming-football.com Thursday, declined to elaborate on the reasons for Lingle’s forfeit, saying only that the Doggers could not field a team this week.

A Torrington High School Facebook post on Friday said the forfeiture was due to “injuries and illness.” Torrington activities director Gabe Bartlett reiterated that in an email to wyoming-football.com on Friday, citing both factors as the reason for the forfeit.

“Just not enough students to safely play the game,” Bartlett wrote.

Also on Thursday, the Goshen County school board voted 5-4 to mandate masks in the schools. The school district website said 189 students were in COVID-19 quarantine across the district, and that 19 active cases of COVID-19 were present among students or staff.

The Goshen County school district spans Torrington, Lingle, Southeast and LaGrange schools. The district had 1,606 students in K-12 last fall, according to the Wyoming Department of Education’s annual enrollment count.

The third of three Goshen County football teams, Southeast, will play its scheduled game today at Shoshoni, the Torrington Telegram’s Andrew Towne reported on Twitter. Lingle and Southeast are both Class 1A nine-man programs, while Torrington competes in Class 2A.

In all, five Wyoming high school football games have now ended in either forfeiture or cancellation. Burns and Thermopolis lost their Week 1 games due to COVID-19, while St. Stephens cited injury and eligibility issues in a Wednesday school Facebook post as its reason for forgoing its Friday game against Lusk.

Note: This story was updated at 11:04 a.m. MDT Friday with comments from Bartlett. This story will be updated as necessary when, or if, new information becomes available.

–patrick