The roster

Don HarkinsQBWorland
Irvin RedhairQBSheridan
Wayne ColvinRBCheyenne Central
Carl DirRBWorland
Lee KizzireRBGreybull
Martin KrpanRBRock Springs
Buster LongRBBuffalo
Harry BraistedWRLaramie
Ralph CottrellWRWorland
John HancockWRNatrona
Lewis RoneyWRPowell
Wedge ThompsonWRThermopolis
Taft HarrisTENatrona
Ben JoyceTESheridan
Leonard ScottTENatrona
Jack AstleOLCheyenne Central
Oscar EricksonOLCheyenne Central
John EricksonOLCheyenne Central
Verle HarlowOLNatrona
Thomas KassisOLNatrona
Tim MoynihanOLRawlins
Gene MooreOLNatrona
Clayton ThobroOLRock Springs
Roy ThompsonOLSheridan
Walter BentleyDLNatrona
Win CroftDLLovell
Sam MavrakisDLSheridan
Fremont MillerDLLander
Pete SedarDLNatrona
Vince SmithDLCheyenne Central
Ken SturmanDLLusk
Herbert GageLBCheyenne Central
Lucien MonciniLBSheridan
Vic NiethammerLBNatrona
Bob PriceLBNatrona
Ivan ThreetLBLovell
Lewis WilliamsLBLaramie
Johnny WinterhollerLBLovell
Willis BallDBRock Springs/Sheridan
Walter CookDBNatrona
Franklin “Duke” DeForestDBLaramie
Thurlow DoyleDBSheridan
Jesse EkdallDBCheyenne Central
Fred MarbleDBCheyenne Central
Paul SandersDBBasin
Glenn StantonDBNatrona
Ken BirdRoverSheridan
Ervin CheneyRoverLander
Bill AlbrightKNatrona
Bill StranniganPRock Springs
Jeff DoyleRSSheridan
William “Kayo” LamATHGlenrock
Earl “Shadow” RayATHNatrona

Hardest players to leave off the team: Walt McDonald and Harry Barnes (Worland); Wes Christensen (Laramie); Ken Gardner (Star Valley); Dan Sedar, Bill Logan, Lee Shrum and Stan Hendrickson (Natrona); Fay Thompson (Midwest); Hugh Crawford and Clarence Smith (Cheyenne Central).

Impressions: The first of eight all-decade teams kicks off with this combined team from the 1920s and 1930s, although I probably could have made separate teams for both decades. … This is by far the smallest of the teams, weight-wise. For players whose weights could be found, the offensive line averages only 188 pounds; the defensive line only averages 182. The offensive line is the second-smallest of any team. … Several team members were not stars in high school but flourished in college. That includes Kayo Lam, who didn’t even play high school football in Glenrock but became a star in the Colorado backfield. Two others are Rawlins’ Tim Moynihan and Natrona’s Thomas Kassis, who were mainstays in the offensive line at Notre Dame while the Irish were busy winning national championships and piling up unbeaten seasons. … Several members of Wyoming’s 1943 national championship basketball team are also all-decade selections (on this team, Shadow Ray), while Taft Harris was part of Wyoming’s 1934 national championship team, proving that athleticism goes well beyond one sport. … World War II took a notable toll on both this team and the 1940s/1950s team, but Lee Kizzire’s story deserves to be told more often.

Up next: The 1940s/1950s, Monday.

–patrick

As I’ve been hyping for several months now, the Wyoming high school football all-decade teams — followed by the all-decade tournament — is coming up quickly.

Teams will be released every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday on the wyoming-football.com blog, The HQ (where you’re at right now), working forward in time, leading up to the first game. Dates for team releases include:

  • 1920s/1930s: Saturday, July 13
  • 1940s/1950s: Monday, July 15
  • 1960s: Wednesday, July 17
  • 1970s: Saturday, July 20
  • 1980s: Monday, July 22
  • 1990s: Wednesday, July 24
  • 2000s: Saturday, July 27
  • 2010s: Monday, July 29

Rosters will include information about the players, including their high school team, the position they will play in the simulation, their number for both high school (when available) and in the simulation, their height and weight in their senior year (when available, or in a year or two before or after their senior year), and a short biography.

Unfortunately, your favorite player may have been left off the team. That said, I looked up, down, left and right for information on everyone who I thought deserved a look. I fell down so many rabbit holes while I weighed your suggestions, which I asked for several times on my Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as on this site. Although I made the final decisions on all roster choices, I also sought the expertise of several former and current coaches, media and others whose opinions I value to help provide their insight and expertise. And I know, for sure, that I couldn’t catch everything or everyone. Regardless, there were some difficult choices, and I feel like even rosters of 100 players for every decade couldn’t cover the depth and breadth of talent in Wyoming in each 10-year span. Putting these teams together is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done for this site, knowing all the while that exclusions of qualified players was going to happen.

As for positions? Well, I had to use a mix of a player’s high school and college/pro experience. Some players who were running backs in high school were defensive linemen in college, or a defensive back in high school was a linebacker in college, or a quarterback in high school was a tight end in college. I tried to use high school positions, but I also wanted to put the best football players into the simulation; consequently, while most players’ high school positions are used, some college and pro positions are also used in several instances for where players will play in the all-decade tournament.

I also tried to use players’ high school numbers when I could find them for their in-game uniform numbers. If two players had the same number, I tried to use a player’s college number or, sometimes, a similar number — for example, if two players were No. 11, one might keep 11 and the other one could become 1, 17, 41… something like that. When I couldn’t find a player’s number for either high school or college, which was especially common in the early days before numbers were worn, I picked one randomly.

As for the All-Decade Tournament itself: Games will be simulated using customized rosters on EA Sports NCAA Football 25 on a PS5. Live streams (with my occasional commentary of the games; I’ll try to be entertaining) will be shown on my YouTube channel, allowing for both live watching and rewatching. Games will be streamed on the following schedule, with all games scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Mountain:

  • Game 1: 2010s vs. 1970s, Wednesday, July 31
  • Game 2: 1990s vs. 1950s/1940s, Thursday, Aug. 1
  • Game 3: 2000s vs. 1960s, Friday, Aug. 2
  • Game 4: 1980s vs. 1930s/1920s, Saturday, Aug. 3
  • Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, Sunday, Aug. 4
  • Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, Monday, Aug. 5
  • Game 7: Semifinal, Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Tuesday, Aug. 6
  • Game 8: Semifinal, Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, Wednesday, Aug. 7
  • Game 9: Seventh place, Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, Thursday, Aug. 8
  • Game 10: Fifth place, Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Friday, Aug. 9
  • Game 11: Third place: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, Saturday, Aug. 10
  • Game 12: Championship, Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, Sunday, Aug. 11

Not coincidentally, the first practice of the 2024 season for Class 4A teams is Monday, Aug. 12.

This has been one of my most daunting projects for wyoming-football.com, so I hope you appreciate what comes from it. Thanks again for your support, and hopefully we’ll see you in the chat on the livestreams.

–patrick

How would a team of Wyoming high school football players from the 1970s stack up against a team of players from the 2010s?

We’ll never know for sure.

But we can try, if we get a little creative about it.

Welcome to the Wyoming high school football all-decade tournament — an eight-team, 12-game cornucopia of possibilities to figure out which decade just might have been the state’s best.

The three-round bracket will include teams from each of the six most recent decades — the 2010s, 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s and 1960s. Players from the 1950s and 1940s will be combined into one team, as will players from the 1930s and before.

Games will be simulated using customized rosters on EA Sports NCAA Football 25 on a PS5. Live streams and commentary of the games will be show on my YouTube channel. Dates and times are to be announced, but be on the lookout for an early August start.

Teams and rosters will be introduced on this site in the coming days. Each team will have rosters of 53 players with the following breakdowns:

  • Offense: Two quarterbacks, five running backs, five wide receivers, three tight ends, nine offensive linemen.
  • Defense: Seven defensive linemen, seven linebackers, eight defensive backs, two rovers.
  • Special teams: One kicker, one punter, one return specialist.
  • Wild cards: Two “athletes” who could show up anywhere on the field.

With 53 players over eight teams, that’s 424 players in total.

Yeah, it’s an undertaking. But it’s been fun to go down the rabbit holes. I’ve already dug into the histories of probably close to 800 players to try to find the right mix of 424. Rosters are being chosen using a mix of both a player’s performance in high school as well as their performance afterward. For example, how can the team of the 1990s not include Cheyenne East’s Troy Dumas, who starred at Nebraska before playing in the NFL but was never actually an all-state selection? Or how can the team of the 1980s not include Pinedale’s John Burrough, who was a star at Wyoming and played several seasons (and in a Super Bowl) in the NFL but, again, was never an all-state pick? I am trying to find the right balance between high school success and collegiate/pro success, and often I will use the post-high-school success to help make decisions. That said, not every member of every roster has to have played collegiately.

I’m also trying to get a good mix of big-school, medium-school and small-school athletes, as well as a good mix of players from all parts of the state. That said, I am still in the process of finalizing the selections. If you have some players that you think are worth consideration for the team, please leave me a comment below, or tag wyoming-football.com on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

All that said, I hope you enjoy the selections and enjoy the tournament. I can’t wait to share it with you!

–patrick

The NFL Network recently aired a half-hour documentary on the Heart Mountain Eagles football team, including an interview with the last surviving member of the team and the author of the book “The Eagles of Heart Mountain.” Here is a link to the full documentary on YouTube. (I would have embedded it here, but the NFL doesn’t allow embedding of its YouTube videos.)

Also, here’s my review of the book “The Eagles of Heart Mountain.” Check it out if you haven’t yet.

–patrick

Here’s a quick spring sports recap from Champlists on the highlights from last week’s state culminating events:

Soccer: The boys teams from Jackson (4A) and Cody (3A) and the girls teams from Kelly Walsh (4A) and Lander (3A) won the state soccer tournaments this spring.

The Jackson boys won the 4A state title for the fourth time in six years. In all, Jackson has won eight state championships, all since 2012, and tied Cheyenne East for the most state titles in boys soccer history. They outscored their state tournament foes by a combined 11-0.

Cody won the 3A boys title for the fifth time overall and for the first time since 2017. The Broncs’ combined winning margin at state was 13-1, including a 3-0 victory against host Green River in the title game; the Wolves’ appearance in the championship game was the program’s first.

Kelly Walsh’s girls were the only repeat champion from 2023. KW won its fourth title in program history and its first repeat championship. The Trojans needed two goals in overtime to beat Jackson 3-2 in the 4A championship game.

Lander’s 3A girls title was its second in program history, going with the one it won in 2021. The Tigers were in thrillers throughout the tournament, beating Buffalo 3-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals, Douglas 3-2 in a 7-6 shootout victory in the semifinals, and a tight 2-1 victory against Cody in the championship.

Jackson’s Taya McClennen became just the 20th girl in state history to be a four-time all-state selection. Six boys — Douglas’ Luke Ewing, Jackson’s Braden Hills and Teddy Opler, Kelly Walsh’s Parker O’Neill, Powell’s Chance Franks and Sheridan’s Dane Steel — were three-time all-state picks, as were six girls — Cheyenne Central’s Ekena Little, Kelly Walsh’s Peyton Hill, Laramie’s McKenna Barham, Natrona’s Rian Barthel, and Riverton’s Cameran Paskett and Savannah Morton.


Track and field: Boys team champions were Sheridan (4A), Douglas (3A), Big Horn (2A) and Burlington (1A); both Big Horn and Burlington were repeat champions. Girls team champions were Sheridan (4A), Lander (3A), Kemmerer (2A) and Cokeville (1A). Sheridan’s 4A sweep of team titles was the first time such a feat had been accomplished at the big-school level since Campbell County did so in 2006.

Two athletes joined the ranks of four-time event champions. Cheyenne East’s Taliah Morris won the Class 4A girls long jump for the fourth consecutive year, while Mountain View’s Mylie Micheli claimed the Class 3A pole vault championship for the fourth year in a row.

In all, a whopping 10 overall state meet records were broken; another 14 state meet classification records were broken:

Boys

  • 100 (Class 2A and overall): Gavin Stafford, Big Horn, 10.31; broke overall record of 10.50 (Stephen Michel, Laramie, 2008) and 2A record of 10.83 (Jose Wright, Kemmerer, 1987)
  • 200 (Class 4A and overall): Chance Morris, Sheridan, 21.11; broke 4A and overall record of 21.39 (Stephen Michel, Laramie, 2008)
  • 4×400 relay (Class 4A and overall): Thunder Basin, 3:19.02; broke 4A and overall record of 3:20.07 (Natrona, 2014)
  • 1600 medley relay (Class 4A and overall): Cody, 3:28.35; broke overall record of 3:31.42 (Star Valley, 2018) and 4A record of 3:32.09 (Sheridan, 2023)
  • 200 (Class 2A): Gavin Stafford, Big Horn, 21.16; broke 2A record of 21.68 (Jose Wright, Kemmerer, 1987)
  • 4×100 relay (Class 2A): Big Horn, 43.07; broke 2A record of 43.88 (Big Horn, 2023)
  • 1600 medley relay (Class 1A): Saratoga, 3:45.61; broke 1A record of 3:45.89 (Farson, 2018)
  • Long jump (Class 2A): Gavin Stafford, Big Horn, 23-0.75; broke 2A record of 22-4.5 (Trent Bowers, Lovell, 1995)
  • Shot put (Class 1A): Quade Jordan, Encampment, 57-6.5; broke 1A record of 55-2.25 (Matt Davis, Kaycee, 1999)

Girls

  • 100 (Class 4A and overall): Taliah Morris, Cheyenne East, 11.68; broke 4A and overall record of 11.91 (Arnetta Simpson, Cheyenne Central, 1998)
  • 200 (Class 4A and overall): Taliah Morris, Cheyenne East, 23.45; broke 4A and overall record of 23.79 (Jerayah Davis, Kelly Walsh, 2013)
  • 400 (Class 4A and overall): Addie Pendergast, Sheridan, 54.40; broke 4A and overall record of 54.62 (Pendergast, 2023)
  • 300 hurdles (Class 4A and overall): Addie Pendergast, Sheridan, 42.69; broke 4A and overall record of 43.21 (Lauren Taubert, Natrona, 2016)
  • 1600 medley relay (Class 4A and overall): Cody, 4:06.74; broke 4A and overall record of 4:12.26 (Cody, 2023)
  • Long jump (Class 4A and overall): Taliah Morris, Cheyenne East, 20-8.5; broke 4A record of 19-8.5 (Morris, 2023) and overall record of 19-9 (Ann Wingeleth, Lyman, 2015)
  • 100 (Class 3A): Brooklyn Asmus, Torrington, 11.91; broke 3A record of 12.12 (Kereston Thomas, Rawlins, 2011)
  • 200 (Class 3A): Brooklyn Asmus, Torrington, 24.24; broke 3A record of 25.03 (Kereston Thomas, Rawlins, 2011)
  • 300 hurdles (Class 1A): Addison Barnes, Cokeville, 44.88; broke 1A record of 44.92 (Barnes, 2023)
  • 4×100 relay (Class 3A): Torrington, 48.81; broke 3A record of 49.97 (Worland, 2023)
  • 4×400 relay (Class 3A): Lander, 4:03.66; broke 3A record of 4:04.20 (Lander, 2001)
  • 1600 medley relay (Class 3A): Wheatland, 4:10.56; broke 3A record of 4:14.04 (Rawlins, 2023)
  • 1600 medley relay (Class 1A): Cokeville, 4:29.43; broke 1A record of 4:33.15 (Burlington, 2023)
  • Long jump (Class 3A): Lily Nichols, Wheatland, 18-9.5; broke 3A record of 18-8.75 (Naya Shime, Riverton, 2018)
  • Shot put (Class 3A): Adelyn Anderson, Lander, 44-7.25; broke 3A record of 44-4.25 (Jesseca Cross, Powell, 1992)
  • Shot put (Class 1A): Harper Boche, Southeast, 41-8.75; tied 1A record (Shelby Ekwall, Southeast, 2022)

Another eight all-time marks were set during the 2024 season; (1) Taliah Morris’ 23.45 in the 200 and (2) 20-8.5 in the long jump; (3) the Cody girls’ 4:06.74 in the 1600 medley relay; (4) Gavin Stafford’s 10.31 in the 100; (5) Chance Morris’ 21.11 in the 200; (6) the Thunder Basin boys’ 3:19.02 in the 4×400 relay; (7) the Cody boys’ 3:28.35 in the 1600 medley relay; and (8) Kelly Walsh’s Landon Walker’s 49-1 in the triple jump. All records were set at the state championships except for Walker’s.


Softball: For the third consecutive year, Thunder Basin won the state softball championship. The ‘Bolts ran through Cheyenne East 10-0 in the state title game. Thunder Basin’s closest game of the tournament was a 9-7 victory against Natrona in the first round; after that, Thunder Basin won its remaining four games by 10 runs apiece.

Campbell County’s Avery Gray became the state’s first four-time all-state softball selection. Meanwhile, Campbell County’s Lanae Kimbley, Thunder Basin’s Natalie Clonch and Macie Selfors, Cheyenne East’s Aleah Brooks and Gracie Oswald, Cody’s Riley Simone and Violet Wollschlager and Green River’s Kodi Allred all notched their third all-state selection.


What stuck out to you in this spring sports season? Leave a comment below, and be sure to visit Champlists for full champion histories of all of Wyoming’s high school sports.

–patrick

Correction, updated 8:09 a.m. MDT May 17: As it turns out, Campbell County HAS won a girls discus title, with Shana Paynor winning in 2004. I had Shana’s title mislabeled as a victory for Rock Springs. So, as it turns out, Campbell County’s girls have also won every state track and field event, in addition to those listed below. The lists have been updated to reflect that, although the story has not been changed. Thanks to Matt Albin for catching that mistake and letting me know!

+++

Burns’ Brooke Hansen and Campbell County’s Halo Miller will compete in the same event at this weekend’s Wyoming State Track and Field Championships — the discus.

And although they’ll be competing in different classifications, with Hansen in Class 2A and Miller in Class 4A, they’ll both be in competition for state championships.

If they do win, they’ll accomplish something no one in their gender at their school has ever completed, a state discus championship. And they’ll win a state title in the final remaining event for their school to claim a track and field full event sweep.

Track team championships are a good way to measure a school’s overall athletic ability.

But if you want to try to find a school’s athletic diversity, another measure might work better — looking at schools who have had at least one winner of every track and field event.

In all, 13 boys teams and four girls teams have won each of the 17 track and field events since 1970, the start of the first girls state track meet. Those tallies do not include the recently added 18th event, the 1600 medley relay, which only became part of the state track meet in 2018.

Also, keep in mind that boys and girls have not had the same opportunities over those 54 years to win every event. At the state meet, girls did not add the 3200, the 200/300 hurdles or the triple jump until 1980, the 4×400 or 4×800 relays until 1983, or the pole vault until 1996.

Since 1970, the start of the girls state track meet, here are the schools that have won each currently offered event at the state track meet aside from the 1600 medley relay:

Boys
Campbell County
Cheyenne Central
Cheyenne East
Cody
Cokeville
Douglas
Glenrock
Kelly Walsh
Lander
Laramie
Natrona County
Southeast
Torrington

Girls
Campbell County
Cheyenne Central
Dubois
Sheridan
Worland

Some schools are just one event away from a sweep. Burns’ Hansen and Campbell County’s Miller are two of close to 30 athletes competing this weekend in Casper who have a chance to add their school to the list of programs with event sweeps. Here’s those schools, with the event they have never won, or in some cases for the boys haven’t won since 1970, along with the competitors in those events from those schools for 2024:

Boys
Big Horn: discus (Chase Garber, Will Taylor, Paul Lobdell)
Burlington: discus (Hunter Aagard, Mickey Maroni)
Evanston: 4×800 relay (team of Jamar McDowell, Paul Baxter, Aidan Conrad and Gideon Stahl)
Green River: 4×100 relay (4×110 relay last won by Green River in 1953) (none)
Guernsey: pole vault (Kaiser Edwards)
Lingle: high jump (none)
Rock Springs: high jump (high jump last won by Rock Springs in 1960) (Chandler Smith, Jonas Slater)
Saratoga: 4×100 relay (none)
Sheridan: 1600 (mile run last won by Sheridan in 1959) (Shaun Gonda, Landrum Wiley, Aadan Luna)
Upton: 1600 (mile run last won by Upton in 1960) (Ben Carpenter, Tyson Huckins)
Worland: 110 hurdles (120 hurdles last won by Worland in 1955) (Noah Mitchell, Dawson Utterback, Wyatt Dickinson)

Girls
Burns: discus (Brooke Hansen)
Guernsey: 4×800 relay (none)
Kelly Walsh: 1600 (Lexi Longhurst)
Mountain View: 100 (none)
Natrona: pole vault (none)
Powell: 3200 (Kinley Cooper, Shelby Zickefoose, Kenna Jacobsen, Karee Cooley)
Southeast: 800 (Kaycee Kosmicki, Lizzy Boche, Anna Hartman)
Ten Sleep: pole vault (none)

–patrick

Not all that long ago, Wyoming high school track athletes would have been forgiven for having dirty spikes.

It would have made sense, given that many runners ran their races on dirt.

All-weather track and field surfaces have been around since the 1970s, and state track meets have been run on all-weather surfaces since the early to mid-1970s, but only recently have the rubberized surfaces become commonplace at nearly every Wyoming high school.

In fact, from what I can find, only five schools still have the old dirt or cinder track surfaces.

As of early 2024 via Google Maps, Satellites Pro and/or current photos I could find, the five schools still running on dirt or cinder track surfaces appear to be Encampment, Hulett, Lingle, Rock River and Southeast.

Two other schools have non-regulation tracks for practice. Arvada-Clearmont has an all-weather track that’s about half sized; Ten Sleep has some weird non-regulation track that has a surface that is… um… difficult to ascertain. (Anyone in Ten Sleep want to let me know what this is made of?)

Moreover, almost two-thirds of Wyoming high schools now have eight-lane, all-weather tracks, a number that has grown steadily over the years. Several others have six-lane tracks.

Here is a breakdown of who has what, at least what I could see of it:

Eight lanes (46): Big Piney, Buffalo, Burns, Campbell County, Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Cheyenne South, Cody, Douglas, Evanston, Fort Washakie, Glenrock, Green River, Guernsey, Jackson, Kelly Walsh, Kemmerer, Lander, Laramie, Lusk, Lyman, Mountain View, Natrona, Newcastle, Pine Bluffs, Pinedale, Powell, Rawlins, Riverton, Rock Springs, St. Stephens, Saratoga, Sheridan, Shoshoni, Snake River, Star Valley, Sundance, Thermopolis, Thunder Basin, Torrington, Upton, Wheatland, Wind River, Worland, Wright, Wyoming Indian.

Six lanes (13): Burlington, Cokeville, Dubois, Farson, Greybull, Kaycee, Lovell, Meeteetse, Midwest, Moorcroft, Riverside, Rocky Mountain, Tongue River.

Four lanes (2): Big Horn, Hanna.

Not regulation size (2): Arvada-Clearmont, Ten Sleep.

Dirt or cinder (5): Encampment, Hulett, Lingle, Rock River, Southeast.

No track (2): Arapahoe Charter, Casper Christian.

–patrick

Quick: Name the first consensus all-America college football player who grew up in Wyoming.

Even the most seasoned Wyoming sports trivia veteran might struggle to come up with the name that answers this question. The reason makes sense, though: The first all-America pick to come from the Equality State never played football in the state, opting instead to make a name for himself back east before returning to Wyoming.

Richard “Dick” Luman was a consensus all-America choice while playing end at Yale in 1924. The Pinedale native is believed to be the first Wyoming native to be chosen as a consensus all-America football player.

A photo of Richard "Dick" Luman from the Dec. 14, 1924, Chicago Tribune.
Richard “Dick” Luman is highlighted as an all-America football team selection in this article from the Dec. 14, 1924, Chicago Tribune.

Luman was born in 1900 in Sublette County into a prominent ranching family. For secondary school, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, which eventually led him to Yale. As a Bulldog, he emerged as an equally effective offensive and defensive player at end and a hard-to-stop center for the basketball team.

In 1924, Luman earned consensus all-America status by being named to two of the six all-America teams — the All America Board team and the International News Service team. He was one of four ends to earn consensus all-America status.

He was also named the Yale basketball team’s captain in 1925.

After Yale, Luman lived in a few different places before he returned to work the Luman family ranch near Pinedale. He later embarked on a career of public service. He served in both the Wyoming Senate and House of Representatives before becoming the chairman of Wyoming’s state Board of Equalization and Public Service Commission; he was also Wyoming’s deputy state treasurer. His career ended in 1969.

Luman died on his 73rd birthday — April 26, 1973 — in Houston, Texas, where he had been living with his son, Edgar.

The list of college all-American football players with roots in Wyoming is indeed short; looking only at consensus all-Americans produces a list that’s even shorter. At a glance, I can’t find any other consensus all-America choices with Wyoming roots — something beyond being born in the state’s borders. Does that make Luman the first, and only, of his kind? Trivia buffs can help me out with this one. I’d love to hear from you! Comment below.

–patrick

Editor’s note: This post was written by “Stat Rat” Jim Craig, formerly of Lusk and now of Cheyenne, who has provided significant help to the research on Wyoming sports history.

+++

The 1960s was a tumultuous decade in the United States as the country came to grips with numerous changes within its social fabric. The civil rights movement, Great Society programs, space race and counterculture gains were offset by the Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, a spate of assassinations and the Vietnam War. Wyoming was not immune from controversy as “The Black 14″— the number of black UW football teammates suspended in 1969 for wanting to wear armbands protesting BYU—grabbed national headlines in an era of protests, sit-ins, and anti-war/anti-establishment sentiments.

It was, however, a stellar time for us Baby Boomers to grow up in, even among all the turmoil and change. The music, for one, brought us folk/protest ballads, the British Invasion, the Motown sound, soul music, and psychedelic rock, and was immortalized at the decade’s end at a concert and subsequent film called “Woodstock.” So bear with the Stat Rat as he dons a tie-dye then waxes and wanes on 60s-related prep basketball. From a time of love-ins, sit-ins and be-ins, the Rat will stage a “coach-in” and discuss the best to walk the sidelines from 1960 to 1969.

First, as always, a chart:

Top 1960s Coaching Records by Wins
CoachSchool(s)SeasonsWinsWin%Q-FactorMedal
Champ
*Jim StoreyCheyenne Central10194.7821.000.6004
*Lloyd McCulloughUniversity Prep10181.767.800.6003
*Bob DoerrLyman; Byron10169.738.600.2001
Bill SollarsShoshoni; St. Mary’s10135.590.500.3003
*Keith BloomPowell10132.557.700.2001
*Burt St. JohnPavillion; Glenrock8131.712.750.1251
Otto LowBig Piney8130.688.500.3750
Lewis MonsenStar Valley8128.736.625.3751
*B. F. ‘Tead’ WeaverUpton10126.529.900.0000
Ron SchliskeLaGrange7122.705.857.5713
*Bud MillikenRock River10121.590.800.2000
*Jack RaffertySunrise; Guernsey; Buffalo9113.546.444.1110
Dean GerkeLovell6104.7031.000.5001
*Sandy MichelenaTen Sleep; Mountain View; Tongue River7104.658.571.1430
*Bob CookLaramie7104.658.429.2862
Bill KennedyCody; Campbell County998.485.556.1110
Morris ZempelSheridan698.662.833.5000
Gene HittnerRawlins897.495.625.0000
John BirleffiDouglas894.461.625.2500
Tom KennedyRiverton791.558.429.2860
*Bill StranniganSt. Stephens; Riverton590.738.800.4001
Jacque SchmiedtWheatland888.503.375.0000
Joe LindseyKaycee786.606.429.2861

Q-Factor=percentage of times qualified for the state tourney
Medal=percentage of times finishing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd
*Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame member

The WHSAA regulated the number of regular-season games to 18, so the overall win numbers are lower compared to earlier decades. The top three separated themselves from the rest of the pack, so to speak, that cement their Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame credentials. Jim Storey leads the decade, and his 194 wins during the ’60s comprise over 80% of his 238 wins at Cheyenne Central in 13 years there as head coach. Lloyd McCullough coached his entire career at University Prep, and his Buckaroos were never far out of the running for championship consideration. Like Coach Storey, McCullough’s teams hung up four championship banners and finished second five times. His career win total at UPrep was 311 dating from the 1954-55 season to the school’s final year in 1972-73. Bob Doerr’s career was a lengthy one beginning with Lyman in the 1954-55 season, moving to Byron/Rocky Mountain in the 1961-62 season and ending in 1985-86. His boys teams totaled 501 wins and add to that another 25 girls hoops wins, as well. For the top three in the chart, the three total over an impressive thousand combined Ws.

Two to consider—While longevity is a key consideration for Hall of Fame eligibility, possibly a greater indication in my opinion is the number of state championships won. It’s tough to win one, even tougher to repeat, and notching three is rarefied air for only a handful, the elite in the profession. Bill Sollars has a brief decade-long career of hoops coaching in Wyoming. However, during a remarkable three-year stretch during the 1961-62, 1962-63, and 1963-64 seasons, his Shoshoni Wranglers won three state titles, the first as a No. 4 seed. Granted, his teams featured a cat named Bebout in the paint, but Class B play in the Big Horn Basin was tougher than pig hide boots, with notable opposition like St. Stephens (state runners-up in 1961-62), Cowley, Byron, and Manderson (runners-up in 1963-64). Winning three championships in a row is special, and Coach Sollars deserves a HOF nod.

Ron Schliske
only coached eight seasons in LaGrange before giving up his hoops coaching gig to move into school administration. But over those eight seasons, Coach Schliske won four state championships, the first in the 1958-59 season (which isn’t reflected in the above chart of 1960’s success.)  That title was followed by successive championships in 1959-60 and 1960-61, as his Longhorns three-peated as well, part of a four-in-row span of banners. In the 1964-65 season, the Longhorns took first in the state again, followed by a second-place finish during his final season of coaching in 1965-66. In fact, LaGrange qualified for the state tourney in seven of his eight seasons as hoops mentor. LaGrange thrived due in part to playing Class C ball in the loaded-for-bear SE where state Class C champs from that corner of the state reigned in 15 of 17 years dating from the early 1950s to the end of the 1960s. That’s HOF worthy, period.

Given the Rat’s snail-like progress constructing and deconstructing hoops seasons, don’t hold your breath for a 1970s chart anytime soon. Or better yet, make your own chart with a glimpse at Patrick Schmiedt’s wyoming-basketball.com, a veritable treasure of Wyoming prep hoops information and date.




In concert with updates to sister sites champlists.com and wyoming-basketball.com, here are some highlights from the 2023-24 winter high school sports season in Wyoming:

Alpine skiiing: Jackson swept the team titles for the 13th consecutive year, with the Jackson girls winning their 15th consecutive state championship, after the state meet was cut short due to dangerous conditions on the second day of the meet. Only the giant slalom was contested, with Jackson’s Dylan Witherite winning the girls title and Liam Logan winning the boys. The cancelation was the first time since 1986 and just the second time ever that the state meet could not be finished.

Nordic skiing: For the first time since 2009, neither Jackson team won a state title, with Kelly Walsh winning its first boys Nordic title since 1995 and the Lander girls winning their second straight Nordic championship. Natrona’s Ally Wheeler swept the girls individual titles for the second consecutive year, winning the 5K freestyle and 10K classic events, and in doing so became just the sixth girl in state history to notch at least four individual Nordic championships. Lander’s Bennett Hutchison won the boys freestyle race for the second straight year, while Kelly Walsh’s Fisk-Bergstrom Johansson won the 10K classic race.

Boys swimming: Lander continued its 3A run of dominance, winning its 28th consecutive state championship. Meanwhile, the Laramie boys won their seventh consecutive 4A championship. Double championship winners were Sheridan’s Ben Forsythe (4A 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke), Lander’s Benny Kulow (3A 100 and 200 freestyle), Cheyenne South’s Caleb Brewer (4A 200 IM and 100 butterfly), Lander’s Finn Richards (3A 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke), and Lander’s Reed McFadden (3A 200 IM and 100 butterfly).

Indoor track: Sheridan won the 4A boys title for the fifth time in six years, while Cheyenne East won the 4A girls title for the second time and the first since 2012. Cody swept the 3A team titles for the second consecutive year in just the second year of the 3A level being offered. Multiple individual champions included Cheyenne East’s Taliah Morris (4A girls 55, 200, long jump) and Maggie Madsen (4A girls 800, 1600, 3200); Star Valley’s Valerie Jirak (3A girls 55, 200, 400); Cody’s Ada Nelson (3A girls 800, 1600); Cheyenne Central’s Tegan Krause (4A boys 55, 200); Natrona’s Kaiden Lee (4A boys high jump, long jump, triple jump); Star Valley’s Habtamu Wetzel (3A boys 1600, 3200); and Lander’s Reed McFadden (3A boys 55 hurdles, 200, 400).

Wrestling: Three wrestlers completed four-time state championship runs, with Thunder Basin’s Antonio Avila, Rock Springs’ Broc Fletcher and Green River’s Kale Knezovich all pulling off the feat in 2024 — the first time three wrestlers had ever finished four-year title runs in a year. Thunder Basin won its first state title in wrestling by winning the 4A title, while Green River repeated as 3A champ and Moorcroft won its first 2A championship since 2020. Star Valley won the second girls wrestling title even though the Braves only had one individual champion.

Boys basketball: Some familiar teams won state titles in 2024. Cheyenne Central won its 27th state championship in taking the 4A title, extending its state record; Wyoming Indian won its 13th 2A championship; Upton won its third 1A title in four years. And then Powell finished 26-0 to win the 3A title and become the first Wyoming boys team to go undefeated since 2012. Buffalo’s Eli Patterson became just the sixth boys basketball player from the state to notch four all-state selections.

Girls basketball: Douglas’ 27-0 run in Class 3A led to the Bearcats’ state-record sixth consecutive state title (not counting 2020, when the state tournament was canceled). Sheridan (4A), Tongue River (2A) and Southeast (1A) also took home state crowns. Cheyenne East’s Bradie Schlabs and Cody’s Molly Hays became the 21st and 22nd girls basketball players from Wyoming to finish their careers with four all-state selections.

What were some of your highlights of the winter sports season? Leave a comment below. And please let me know if any of my 2023-24 winter sports season updates are wrong or look weird; I appreciate the help!

–patrick

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