I’ve been using the Wyoming Digital Newspaper Collection a lot recently to track down information from before 1923, especially coaches. Some updates:

Games

Found the location for the Oct. 20, 1922, game between Lovell and Greybull; it was in Greybull.

Coaches project

Added the first name for Torrington coach Gordon Warren, who was coach in 1922 and 1923.

Found Riverton’s coach for 1922; it was Richard “Tripp” Tripplett. Tripplett was a center for the University of Nebraska before coming to work in the oil industry and coach in Riverton.

Found the first name and corrected the spelling of the last name for Leo Kische, one of Basin’s head coaches in 1921.

Found Buffalo’s coach for 1916; it was Lynn Myers.

Found the coach for Laramie in 1910 and corrected the name for the Laramie coach in both 1911 and 1912; they were all E.E. Smith.

Found the first name for Lander’s coach in 1910; it was William Kemp.

Found the first name for Natrona’s head coach in 1908; it was Rolla Hoffman.

Found the coach for Cheyenne Central in 1908; it was B.H. Claypool. Claypool coached at Douglas the next year.

Found the first name for Cheyenne Central’s coach in 1907; it was Russell Townsend.

Found the last name for Cheyenne Central’s coach in 1905; it was Lee. Still looking for the first name.

All the updates have been made on all the relevant pages.

–patrick

Glenrock is on the search for a new head football coach after the Herders’ coach of the past two years resigned.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported on Friday that Ryan Collier had stepped down after two years as Glenrock’s head coach.

Glenrock went 2-6 in Collier’s first season but improved to 4-5 last year. The Herders did not make the Class 2A playoffs in either season.

Class 4A Laramie and Class 1A nine-man Greybull have hired new head football coaches for 2021. At this point, no other school has announced an open head coaching position for football. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Ten Sleep may not field a football team in 2021, the school’s activities director said Thursday.

“At this time we are short numbers,” Ten Sleep AD Sarah Novak told wyoming-football.com via email. “There is a good possibility that we may not be able to field a team.”

The Pioneers play in Class 1A six-man’s West Conference. Novak did not reply to a follow-up email with further questions sent on Thursday.

This will be the third time in the past four years that Ten Sleep has failed to field a football team. Ten Sleep had a team last year, finishing 1-7 while forfeiting two games. The Pioneers did not have teams in either 2019 or 2018.

Some Class 1A six-man West Conference schools have already replaced Ten Sleep on their 2021 schedules. For example, Meeteetse has scheduled a game with Kaycee the week it was to play Ten Sleep, while Encampment scheduled a game with Hanna to replace Ten Sleep on its schedule.

Ten Sleep is the second six-man program to drop for 2021. Sheridan-based program NSI Academy ended its football program permanently when its facility closed in March.

–patrick

The past 10 years have provided us with 3,095 Wyoming high school football games.

Some were great. Some weren’t. This post is about the former — specifically, the best 20 games of the past 10 years.

Of course, “best” is subjective. These are the games I remember best over the past 10 years, for whatever reason. I definitely gave preference to high-stakes games, which is why you’ll see a lot of playoff games on this list. I also prefer close games, which is why you’ll see no game decided by more than one possession on this list. I also prefer games where exciting things happen late, which is why you’ll see a lot of games decided by fourth-quarter or OT scores here, too.

You’re welcome to disagree; the comments area on this post is ready for your thoughts, too!

From my list of 20, I chose one to be the “game of the decade.” See the end of the post for that choice. Meanwhile, here are my top 20 Wyoming high school football games for 2011-20, presented chronologically:

Cheyenne East 28, Evanston 27, OT, 2011 4A quarterfinals — Jeremy Woods has three TDs, including the game winner on fourth-and-1, as East rallies from down 14 at half.

Powell 23, Green River 21, 2011 3A semifinals — The Panthers score 20 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 45-yard TD with 12 seconds left.

Powell 15, Douglas 14, 2011 3A championship — Powell’s Olie Olson intercepts Douglas’ 2-point conversion attempt with 15 seconds remaining to end Bearcats’ bid at a four-peat.

Green River 32, Douglas 25, 2012 3A quarterfinals — Blaine Christensen’s TD catch with 1:09 to go puts a cap on a thrilling playoff game.

Southeast 16, Cokeville 8, 2012 1A 11-man semifinals — The Cyclones’ hopes for a title are saved by a big tackle on final play.

Lyman 22, Lovell 20, 2012 2A championshipRevenge for Eagles is sweet as they beat the Bulldogs in a title-game rematch from the previous year.

Midwest 64, Dubois 62, 2013 1A-6 semifinal — The Oilers score 20 points in the final 2:08, and two TDs in the final 39 seconds, to rally past the defending state champions.

Powell 19, Douglas 13, OT, 2013 3A championship — In this 3A title game, it came down to the QBs near the goal line; one sneak didn’t work, the other did.

Cokeville 13, Lusk 12, 2013 1A-11 championship — Cokeville’s defense comes up big twice late in the fourth quarter, ending two separate Tiger drives on fourth down.

Cheyenne East 14, Natrona 13, 2013 4A championship — Natrona’s fourth one-point loss of 2013 is determined by the uprights; a missed field goal for NC would’ve been good on high school posts.

Sheridan 38, Gillette 31, 2015 4A championship — A high-scoring 4A shootout ends Gillette’s bid for an undefeated season.

Newcastle 31, Mountain View 28, 2OT, 2016 2A quarterfinal — Despite a big rally from the Buffalos, the Dogies pull off a huge first-round upset.

Pine Bluffs 19, Upton-Sundance 13, 2016 1A-11 semifinal — The Hornets upset the Patriots, a team that beat them 39-0 in the regular season, on the road, ending U-S’s perfect season while en route to their first state title.

Mountain View 35, Glenrock 28, 2017 2A championship — In a huge rally, Mountain View comes back from down 28-14 and scores the winning TD with 7 seconds left.

Pine Bluffs 20, Big Horn 16, 2017 1A-11 championship — In two words: the flip. Pine’s late TD clinches the Hornets’ second consecutive title.

Cody 29, Douglas 26, 2018 3A quarterfinals — Cody scores 21 unanswered in the fourth quarter to win a road playoff game in the opening round.

Torrington 22, Jackson 21, 2018 3A semifinals — Don’t let the controversial final minute distract you from the first 47 minutes, a thriller all the way.

Thunder Basin 19, Natrona 14, 2020 4A quarterfinal — The Bolts’ rally from down 14-0 at halftime was pretty epic; Natrona fans might still be upset about one missed call.

Mountain View 34, Wheatland 30, 2020 2A quarterfinal — Ashton Schofield’s 60-yard fourth-quarter TD helps Buffs survive a back-and-forth affair.

Farson 42, Encampment 41, 2020 1A-6 semifinal — The Pronghorns’ undefeated season almost came to an abrupt stop against the Tigers; Farson didn’t lead until the fourth quarter.

Honorable mentions: Lovell 23, Newcastle 20, 2011 2A semifinals; Meeteetse 50, Guernsey-Sunrise 48, 2012 1A-6 quarterfinals; Lovell 29, Big Horn 28, 2012 2A semifinals; Thermopolis 20, Burns 12, 2013 2A quarterfinals; Cheyenne East 28, Sheridan 27, 2013 4A semifinal; Riverton 41, Rawlins 37, 2014 regular season; Gillette 34, Cheyenne East 31, 2OT, 2014 4A semifinal; Star Valley 16, Green River 15, 2015 regular season; Greybull 27, Big Horn 25, 2015 2A quarterfinal; Tongue River 28, Cokeville 21, 2015 1A-11 quarterfinal; Glenrock 13, Lovell 10, OT, 2015 2A semifinal; Big Horn 20, Pinedale 14, OT, 2016 2A quarterfinal; Natrona 30, Gillette 28, 2016 4A semifinal; Pine Bluffs 10, Tongue River 7, 2016 1A-11 championship; Glenrock 30, Big Piney 27, 2017 2A semifinal; Kaycee 47, Burlington 38, 2017 1A-6 semifinal; Star Valley 20, Cody 16, 2018 regular season; Natrona 21, Cheyenne East 14, 2018 4A semifinals; Cheyenne South 36, Laramie 35, 2019 regular season; Thunder Basin 24, Gillette 20, 2019 4A quarterfinals; Cokeville 20, Wright 16, 2019 1A-11 QF; Powell 20, Cody 13, 2019 3A semifinal; Cheyenne Central 20, Sheridan 17, 2020 regular season; Natrona 38, Sheridan 31, 4OT, 2020 regular season; Douglas 16, Star Valley 14, 2020 3A quarterfinal; Rocky Mountain 44, Saratoga 40, 2020 1A-9 quarterfinal.

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After looking over this list, I made a personal, subjective call for game of the decade. It’s the game that had me the most excited, most engaged, most curious, most frustrated I couldn’t be there in person to watch it all.

If you follow my work closely, you might already know what’s coming. I chose Midwest’s 64-62 come-from-WAY-behind victory against Dubois in 2013 as my Wyoming high school football game of the decade.

Yes, I’m an alumnus of Midwest. Yes, that probably influenced my choice. But objectively, this game had it all. A playoff game, a big comeback, an improbable set of circumstances, a long championship-game drought broken — they all coalesced into one of the most thrilling comebacks of this, or any, decade of Wyoming high school football.

I remember listening to the live audio stream of the game. I was stunned. I was exhilarated. I was surprised. And when Midwest took the lead for the final time, and then held on to win, I was proud, proud of my hometown team for reaching the championship game, something it hadn’t done in more than two decades (and hasn’t done since).

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If you’re feeling nostalgic, I did the same thing on this blog 10 years ago for the years 2001-2010. Here’s the same list, but for the 2000s.

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So what’s your game of the decade? Leave a comment. I’d love to know what game from the last 10 years stands out in your memory bank as the one to top them all.

–patrick

Jerome Pouska, a former Riverside assistant coach, will be the new head football coach at Greybull.

The Greybull Standard first reported the hiring in its Thursday edition, noting that Pouska’s hiring was made official at the April 12 board meeting for Big Horn County School District No. 3.

Pouska works for Big Horn County as a maintenance supervisor.

Class 4A Laramie is the only other Wyoming program to have hired a new head football coach for 2021 at this point, and no other school has announced an open head coaching position for football. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Wyoming, meet Bob Wood. Again, for the first time.

Bob Wood, Ten Sleep distance runner.

One of Wyoming’s most accomplished high school distance runners — and the pioneer of a feat that’s quite uncommon — had his accomplishments more or less lost to time.

A 1967 graduate of Ten Sleep High School, Wood carved out his Wyoming track legacy by becoming what I believe is the state’s first four-time individual event champion. He won the Class C mile run four years in a row from 1964-67.

But this accomplishment somehow was lost or forgotten to history. Only in the last two weeks did I add Wood and Deaver’s Jim Gomendi, the Class C champion in the 880-yard run from 1969-72, to my list of four-time event champions, a list that only includes six people and seven events over 99 years of state track and field history.

The problem? I don’t know if that list is complete.

Inspired by uncovering Wood’s accomplishments — and by the upcoming 100th anniversary of the state track and field meet, which is coming in 2022 — I have renewed my efforts to uncover all the individual event champions for all of the state track and field meets back to their start nearly 100 years ago.

Of the 7,856 individual event and relay champions since 1922, I have found 7,670, including 100% of the girls champions.

I’m almost 98% there. And I’m asking for your help with the remaining 2%.

Below, I’ve outlined what I’m missing: the 210 event champions, the 121 first names and the 33 marks or times I’m missing from completing this record of Wyoming’s state track and field champions.

The hope this that, once this project is done, no one else will slip through the cracks in the record-keeping like Bob Wood once did.

Email me your updates to pschmiedt@yahoo.com or leave a comment on this post letting me know any missing info that will help complete this project. To see the project in full to this point, visit the Wyoming track and field champions archive.

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Lists last updated 6:09 p.m. MDT May 14. Names, times/marks and events that have been found have been struck through with a line.

Missing first names

BOYS
Basin: Smith, 880, 1960; Johnson, pole vault, 1958.
Buffalo: Brown, mile, 1931; Brown, mile, 1925.
Byron: Wirth, long jump, 1963.
Cheyenne Central: Fleischle, high jump/long jump, 1936; Garrett, pole vault, 1935; Morgan, shot put, 1934; Davidson, shot put, 1932/1933; Fitzmorris/Fitzmaurice, discus, 1932/1933; Erickson, javelin, 1927; Whelan, shot put, 1925; Rhone, discus, 1923.
Cody: Kincaid, 120 hurdles, 1952; Freeley, long jump, 1933; Brundage, 220 hurdles, 1931; Walters, javelin, 1931; King, shot put, 1930; Major, javelin/shot put, 1928.
Cowley: Baird, mile, 1956.
Douglas: A. Anderson, discus, 1960; Gentle, 120 hurdles/220 hurdles, 1932/1933.
Egbert: Barkell, shot put, 1957.
Encampment: S. Starks, mile, 1957.
Evanston: Smith, mile, 1947; Neilson, discus, 1946; Stevens, shot put, 1941.
Fort Laramie: Martin, mile, 1958.
Glendo: Haynes, discus, 1958.
Glenrock: Hanson, 440, 1922.
Goshen Hole: McConnaha, 440, 1967.
Green River: Raymon, 440, 1941; Ono, 440, 1940; Pirtle, 880, 1935.
Hanna: Jackson, 120 hurdles, 1953/1954.
Hawk Springs: Howery, high jump, 1948.
Kemmerer: Hatch, high jump, 1963.
LaGrange: Meier, 440, 1966.
Lander: Coleman, 440, 1923.
Laramie: Espach, 120 hurdles, 1949; Allen, 880, 1942; Davidson, mile, 1942.
Lingle: Stephenson, long jump, 1951; Walters, discus, 1951.
Lusk: Thoelke, mile, 1932; Montague, 120 hurdles/220 hurdles, 1930.
Lyman: Reece, 440, 1954; Berrier, 220/180 hurdles, 1951.
Midwest: Sinadin, high jump, 1938; Thompson, high jump, 1931.
Moorcroft: Jesperson, mile, 1966.
Morton: Raymond, high jump, 1958; Lookingbill, shot put, 1955.
Natrona: West, mile, 1929; Turner, 440, 1928.
Parkerton: R. Porter, 880, 1922.
Pavillion: Jaycox, 440, 1942.
Pine Bluffs: Soule, mile, 1970; Binning, 220, 1967; Hockersmith, 220, 1966; McColley, shot put, 1953; Haith, high jump, 1923.
Pinedale: Sievers, 120 hurdles, 1965; McIntosh, shot put, 1957; Cozier, shot put, 1951.
Powell: Northrup, 440/880, 1925.
Reliance: Jurich, discus/shot put, 1935.
Riverton: Laue, mile, 1954; T. Chapin, 120 hurdles/high jump, 1935; Gamble, 440, 1930.
Rock River: Vierya, mile, 1962/1963; Hillbird, 880, 1957.
Rock Springs: Collins, mile, 1946; Jew, long jump, 1945; Buchan, mile, 1944/1945; Begovich, javelin, 1940; Steiteler, discus, 1940; Berta, 200 hurdles, 1937; King, 880, 1936/1937; Melinkovich, 100, 1934; J. Debernardi, long jump, 1931; Starman, 100/200, 1931.
St. Mary’s: Hammer, 440, 1950.
St. Stephens: Boyd, 880, 1965; Brown, mile, 1963.
Star Valley: Haderly, 2 mile, 1972.
Sunrise: Robbins, pole vault, 1951.
Superior: Steniac, discus, 1936.
Thermopolis: Scriffin, mile, 1940; Powell, javelin, 1933; Ingraham, 440/high jump, 1926; Cover, javelin, 1924; E. Penfield, 220 hurdles, 1925; Cover, pole vault, 1923/1924.
Torrington: Johnson, 880, 1958; J. Croft, 120 hurdles/200 hurdles, 1946; Sullenberger, 800, 1946; Loffing, javelin, 1938; Chavarria, mile, 1937.
University Prep: Cochrane, high jump, 1963.
Veteran: Huckfeldt, 120 hurdles, 1957.
Wheatland: West, high jump, 1941.
Worland: McGarvin, high jump, 1951.
Yoder: Martinez, 180 hurdles, 1957.

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Event winners and times/marks are missing for these years, classes and/or events:

BOYS
1972 Class AA: pole vault.
1972 Class A: 220, 440, 880, 180 hurdles, mile relay.
1972 Class B: 100, 220, 440, 880, mile, discus.
1971 Class B: triple jump.
1969 Class B: two mile, long jump.
1969 Class C: discus, long jump, triple jump.
1968 Class AA: 440, 880, 180 hurdles, 880 relay, mile relay, discus, pole vault, shot put.
1968 Class A: 100, 440, 880, mile, 2 mile, 120 hurdles, 880 relay, mile relay, discus, high jump, long jump, shot put, triple jump.
1968 Class B: 880, mile, 2 mile, 120 hurdles, 180 hurdles, 880 relay, mile relay, discus, shot put.
1968 Class C: 100, 220, 440, 880, mile, 2 mile, 180 hurdles, 880 relay, mile relay, discus, long jump, shot put, triple jump.
1967 Class A: 2 mile, triple jump.
1967 Class B: 2 mile, pole vault.
1967 Class C: 2 mile, 180 hurdles, high jump, triple jump.
1966 Class AA: mile relay, high jump.
1966 Class A: mile.
1966 Class B: 880.
1965 Class A: discus.
1964 Class C: long jump.
1962 Class AA: discus, high jump, pole vault, shot put.
1962 Class A: discus, long jump, shot put.
1962 Class C: discus, long jump, shot put.
1961 Class A: 120 high hurdles, high jump, long jump, pole vault.
1961 Class B: 120 high hurdles, 880 relay, discus, high jump, pole vault.
1961 Class C: 100, 220, 440, mile, 180 low hurdles, 880 relay, mile relay, discus, long jump, pole vault, shot put.
1960 Class A: long jump.
1960 Class B: discus, long jump, shot put.
1960 Class C: discus, long jump, shot put.
1959 Class A: 100, 220, 440, high hurdles, low hurdles, 880 relay, discus, long jump, pole vault, shot put.
1959 Class B: 440, high hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put.
1959 Class C: 100, 220, 440, high hurdles, low hurdles, 880 relay, mile relay, long jump.
1958 Class C: 880, low hurdles, discus, long jump, pole vault.
1956 Class B: 440, 880, discus, high jump, pole vault, shot put.
1955 Class A: 100, 440, mile, high hurdles, low hurdles, high jump.
1955 Class B: 100, 220, mile, high hurdles, low hurdles, 440 relay, discus, high jump, pole vault.
1954 Class A: discus, pole vault.
1954 Class B: long jump, shot put.
1953 Class A: 100, 220, 440, 880, mile, high hurdles, low hurdles, 880 relay, high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put.
1953 Class B: 220, 440, 880, mile, discus, high jump, long jump.
1952 Class A: high jump, pole vault.
1952 Class B: 100, 220, 440, high hurdles, low hurdles, 880 relay, discus, high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put.
1951 Class B: 880 relay.
1934 all-class: 50, 440, 880, mile, 120 high hurdles, 200 low hurdles, discus, high jump, javelin, long jump, pole vault.

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Finally, the winning times or marks are missing from the following:

1972 Class AA: 880 (won by Riverton’s Rob Blacky), long jump (won by Rock Springs’ Dick Tullock)
1972 Class B: 120 hurdles (won by Big Piney’s Mike Thorsby), 180 hurdles (won by Big Piney’s Mike Thorsby), 880 relay (won by Glendo), mile relay (won by Pine Bluffs)
1972 Class C: high jump (won by Deaver-Frannie’s Mark Irion), shot put (won by Deaver-Frannie’s Larry Simpson), triple jump (won by Medicine Bow’s Leonard Padilla)
1970 Class A: high jump (won by Greybull’s Duane Powers)
1969 Class B: shot put (won by Byron’s Rick Tanner)
1968 Class A: 220 (won by Kemmerer’s Larry Capellen and Torrington’s Eric Kufeldt)
1968 Class B: 100 (won by Hanna’s Jim Isaac), 220 (won by Hanna’s Jim Isaac), long jump (won by Hanna’s Jim Isaac)
1967 Class C: 440 (won by Goshen Hole’s McConnaha)
1965 Class B: mile medley relay (won by Deaver-Frannie)
1963 Class AA: shot put (won by Cheyenne Central’s Burton Hill)
1963 Class A: pole vault (won by Thermopolis’ Kenny Keil)
1963 Class C: high jump (won by Ten Sleep’s Ed McPherren)
1959 Class A: mile medley relay (won by Torrington)
1953 Class AA: 880 relay (won by Rock Springs)
1952 Class A: 880 relay (won by Cheyenne Central), discus (won by Green River’s Jim Shell), long jump (won by Green River’s Jim Shell)
1950 all-class: 880 relay (won by Cheyenne Central)
1948 all-class: 880 relay (won by Rock Springs)
1936 all-class: 880 relay (won by Natrona)
1927 all-class: 100 (won by Worland’s Carl Dir), mile medley relay (won by Thermopolis)
1923 all-class: 880 relay (won by Thermopolis)

Thanks in advance for your help!

–patrick

Ten Sleep's Bob Wood in 1967
Ten Sleep’s Bob Wood in 1967, from his senior yearbook.

Bob Wood’s initial passion was basketball.

He only went out for track because his coach at Ten Sleep, Joe Daniel, asked him.

He only ran the mile because Daniel made freshmen run the mile; no one else on the team would.

However, by the end of Wood’s high school career in 1967, he was a four-time state champion in the mile; he is believed to be Wyoming’s first four-time event champion in track and field.

Wood’s success at Ten Sleep was just the start of the intertwining of his fate and his future, leading to his career as one of the most influential people in American distance running.

Auspicious start

Before Wood left Wyoming, made international running connections and established himself in high places, he dodged cow patties on a makeshift practice track in Ten Sleep.

In Wood’s first timed mile – a practice run on a marked-off cow pasture near the school – Wood ran the distance in 5 minutes, 15 seconds, “not knowing what I was doing,” he said.

Ten Sleep’s mile record at the time was 5:26.

Later that week, in his first high school meet on an actual track in Morton, Wood ran a 5:06, bettering the school record by 20 seconds.

By the state meet, Wood had continued to improve and was one of the favorites to win the mile in Class C, the 1960s equivalent of Class 1A. But he wasn’t THE favorite, so Wood and Daniel figured a fifth-place finish would be good.

At the midpoint of the race, Wood was in fifth, ready to meet expectations. Then the first-place runner dropped out of the race, puking.

All of a sudden, Wood was in fourth, and the favorite was out.

Expectations flipped, and Wood flipped the field. He started picking off runners one by one and took the lead for good on the last half of the final lap.

Down the final stretch, “I could hear my coach over everyone, saying, ‘You better win it now,'” Wood said. ” … I was just overwhelmed that I had won the thing.”

He wasn’t done winning.

As a sophomore, Wood fought off both a kidney infection and a bad midseason cold and, despite only running the mile once during the regular season, repeated as state champion.

Wood won both the Class B cross country championship and the Class C mile title as a junior, but by then, he started looking for more competition – and found it in Lander’s Nelson Moss. Even though the two ran in different classifications, they were Wyoming’s best distance runners, competing against each other.

Wood’s senior year, 1967, brought both a crowning achievement and a short-lived record.

With no Class C competition to push him, Wood set his own pace in the mile, hoping for a time that would hold up against Moss’s time. Wood finished in 4:29.9, a time that did more than just push his rival. It set an all-class state meet record.

The record lasted about 20 minutes, until the end of the Class AA race, when Moss notched a 4:26.6 to reset the all-class record Wood had just broken.

The newspaper reports the following day were filled with reports of the Wood-Moss mile record trade. No report mentioned that, most likely, Wood had just become Wyoming’s first four-time event champion, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the state meets started in 1922, and repeated since by only five other male high school athletes in Wyoming.

After Ten Sleep

Wood’s college career at the University of Utah never blossomed the way he hoped it would. He raced behind an all-American as a freshman, limiting his opportunities to be a frontrunner as he had in high school, and then took a two-year Mormon mission to Scotland.

After he returned, he fought injuries, and his motivation waned.

“I came back, but I never really had the fire,” Wood said.

Nevertheless, once his collegiate career was over, he found ways to stay involved in track and field. He was an assistant coach at Utah and also coached at the high school level in Utah. But when he was passed over to be Utah’s head track coach, Wood left coaching.

His next career move, though, kept him in track and field circles for years to come.

It all started with a conversation with distance runner Paul Cummings. Cummings was the NCAA champion in the mile while at BYU and was entering the world of professional running.

He needed an agent.

He told Wood: “You’re the only guy I trust.”

Wood hesitated but finally relented. He became Cummings’ agent. From there, Wood’s reputation, and his influence, in distance running grew. And grew. And grew.

Over his career, Wood represented hundreds of runners, including 54 Olympians from 22 different countries, although he eventually specialized in working with American runners. He used that influence to become an active part of USA Track and Field, serving as the head of long distance running and on the national executive committee from 1992 to 1997.

Wood remains proud that he ran his agency as a solo operation for four decades – no assistants, no partners – and represented some of the world’s best runners.

“They hire me because they want me, and that’s why I did what I did the way I did it,” Wood said.

Today, Wood is mostly retired but still represents a handful of runners with whom he has built close relationships.

More than his career, though, he’s proud of his family. He and his wife Kay have been married for more than 40 years, building their lives in the Salt Lake City area. He has three sons. Samuel, Seth and Isaac have molded their own careers, Samuel and Isaac around track and field, Seth with linguistics.

Wood had eased into a steady retirement rhythm until March 17, less than a month ago.

That’s when Wood had the first colonoscopy of his life.

The procedure led doctors to find a growth the size of a tangerine.

On March 30, Wood underwent surgery. Wood says the doctors “got it all,” and now he’s back home, with no further complications or necessary treatments in the foreseeable future.

When recalling his life, from his family to his track accomplishments to his career to his health, he often uses the same word: “Blessed.”

“I can’t complain, for a kid from Ten Sleep,” he said.

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Coming Friday: Bob Wood’s place in Wyoming track and field history is set, but others’ accomplishments have been lost to time. You can help fix that.

–patrick

The most recent round of updates includes two big updates tied to forfeits in both 1923 and 1991. I also updated several games tied to Lyman, Neb., after I found some helpful newspaper clippings from Lyman’s paper, as well as a couple other updates. The updates:

Natrona’s 1923 season: Researching some other parts of Wyoming’s sports history led me to new information on Natrona’s 1923 season. The Mustangs forfeited their entire 1923 season after the season was complete. The problem for Natrona that year was a player named Glenn Stanton, who the Casper Daily Tribune called “the best player ever seen on the Casper field.” Turns out Stanton faked his credentials to enroll at Natrona; he had graduated from high school in Montana two years prior. Administrators at the Casper high school didn’t realize they had been duped until the Christmas break. In a letter published in the Casper Daily Tribune, Casper high school principal C.K. Fletcher said when Stanton was confronted with the evidence, “he ‘beat it.'” But Stanton made good later, attending UW (and playing on the Cowboy football team), passing the bar exam, becoming an attorney in Rock Springs and eventually becoming a district judge. He died in 1968. As part of this update, Natrona’s 1923 victories against Lander, Worland, Riverton, Laramie and Douglas have been denoted as forfeits to those teams.

1991 forfeits: The WHSAA had a big crackdown on ineligible players in 1991, with five teams being caught using ineligible players. I had long known this, but I had not been able to pin down which games Douglas and Riverside had to forfeit during the season. But I’ve figured it out. With that, I noted that Douglas forfeited its victory on Sept. 6, 1991, to Glenrock and that Riverside forfeited its victory on Sept. 13, 1991, to Shoshoni.

Mountain View and Sundance also forfeited victories during the 1991 season — Mountain View to Thermopolis and Sundance to Wright. Those forfeits were previously noted on the site. Dubois was also hit with a forfeiture penalty for playing an ineligible player in 1991, but the Rams didn’t have any victories to forfeit at that point in the season.

I also encountered one other previously un-caught forfeit: I noted that Pine Bluffs forfeited its victory on Sept. 12, 1986, to Guernsey-Sunrise.

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Other updates that I’ve made to the site:

I added the location and narrowed the date range for Huntley’s 33-6 loss to Lyman, Neb., on Sept. 14-16, 1967; I left it on the missing games list because no specific date could be determined.

I added the location for Huntley’s 19-7 victory against Lyman, Neb., on Sept. 26, 1958; it was in Lyman.

I added the location and date for Albin’s 46-6 loss to Lyman, Neb., on Sept. 21, 1951; it was in Albin.

I added the location for Cowley’s victory against Deaver-Frannie on Oct. 26, 1951; it was in Deaver. I left it on the missing games list because I still haven’t found a final score.

I added the location for the 14-14 tie between Lander and Midwest on Sept. 15, 1939; it was in Midwest.

I added the result for Sunrise’s 7-0 loss to Morrill, Neb., on Nov. 13, 1936.

I added Guernsey’s 8-6 victory against Lyman, Neb., on Nov. 2, 1934, in Lyman.

I added the location for Lingle’s 25-0 victory against Lyman, Neb., on Oct. 12, 1928; it was in Lingle.

I added the result for Sundance’s 27-0 loss to Spearfish, S.D., on Oct. 18, 1924. (This was the first game in Sundance’s program history.)

I noted the Nov. 5, 1920, game between Buffalo and Newcastle was not played.

I noted the Oct. 16, 1915, game between Cheyenne Central and the Colorado State JV was canceled.

All the updates have been made on all the relevant pages.

–patrick

Paul Ronga, a veteran high school football coach who’s spent nearly three decades coaching in New York, will be the next head coach for the Laramie Plainsmen.

The Albany County School District announced Ronga’s hiring on its website Friday.

The district release said Ronga has spent more than 25 years in coaching, all in New York. Most recently, he was the head coach at Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, New York, last year. He was also the head coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, New York, from 2013-17; Lincoln High School in Yonkers, in 1997; and Iona Grammar School in New Rochelle, New York, in 1992.

Ronga takes over a Laramie program that hasn’t had a winning season since finishing as Class 4A runners-up in 2000.

“I am aware of the challenge ahead of me, and I will do all I can to give back to the community and to Laramie High School,” Ronga said in the release. “I have been a fan of Wyoming sports for many years, and I respect the excellent sports programs that Laramie High School has under (activities director) Ron Wagner. … I hope to work hand in hand with the assistants, players, administration, community, and Mr. Wagner to do all we can to rebuild and restore Laramie High School football and Plainsmen pride.”

Ronga has been involved in coaching high school football since 1992, the district release said. He also had high school coaching experience at Lakeland High School in Shrub Oak, New York; Walter Panas High School; Haldane High School in Cold Spring, New York; Lincoln High School in Yonkers, New York; and Westlake High School in Thornwood, N.Y. He also was the president and coach of the Cortlandt Manor youth football organization, the Cortlandt Panthers, for four years.

Ronga was a running back at Marist College, finishing his career in 1988.

“He has close, personal connections to Laramie and has a passion and excitement for football that is contagious,” Wagner said in the release. “His preparation and attention to detail was evident during the hiring process and will serve LHS and the football program well.”

Class 1A nine-man program Greybull is the only other Wyoming program seeking a new head football coach at this point. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

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