Some history could be made this weekend in Casper as two Class 3A basketball teams enter their respective state tournaments undefeated.

The Douglas girls, at 24-0, and the Powell boys, at 23-0, will try to join the ranks of Wyoming’s undefeated state basketball champions. In all, 20 boys teams and 23 girls teams have accomplished this feat in state history.

Another 49 teams — 25 boys, 24 girls — have entered the state tournament undefeated but lost in the final weekend of the season.

When I looked at undefeated teams three years ago, I could only look at teams from 1990 forward, the only time when full records were available. However, with some more digging, we’ve been able to uncover quite a bit in that time, mostly thanks to “Stat Rat” Jim Craig and his research into year-by-year game results, published on wyoming-basketball.com.

And although we’re still a little short on records for every team participating in the state tournament for every season, particularly on the girls’ side, I can say with a fairly high degree of certainty that the lists below represent every team that has ever entered the state tournament undefeated. (That said, if you see something missing, let me know!)

Here they are: The teams that didn’t lose a game for a whole season, and the teams that only lost on the final weekend of play.

Boys undefeated teams (20)
1A: Snake River 2012, 28-0
2A: Big Horn 2011, 28-0
3A: Thermopolis 2004, 25-0
4A: Campbell County 1993, 23-0
4A: Cheyenne Central 1991, 23-0
2A: Wyoming Indian 1985, 22-0
2A: Wyoming Indian 1984, 22-0
3A: Torrington 1987, 23-0
1A: Big Horn 1986, 21-0
B: Southeast 1981, 22-0
A: Glenrock 1978, 23-0
B: Mountain View 1977, 24-0
A: Lusk 1969, 23-0
C: Goshen Hole 1967, 23-0
AA: Cheyenne Central 1962, 27-0
B: University Prep 1961, 26-0
B: St. Stephens 1960, 28-0
A: Cheyenne Central 1947, 26-0
One: Laramie 1934, 24-0
One: Evanston 1919, 27-0

Another 25 boys teams have entered the state tournament undefeated but did not finish the job. Those teams, and their final record for the season, include:

1A: Saratoga 2023, 23-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Pine Bluffs 2017, 26-2 (lost in semis/3rd)
1A: Burlington 2013, 26-1 (lost in semis)
4A: Campbell County 2010, 26-1 (lost in championship)
2A: Southeast 2010, 26-1 (lost in championship)
2A: Wind River 2008, 29-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Lusk 2001, 22-1 (lost in championship)
1A: Arvada-Clearmont 2001, 23-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Tongue River 1999, 22-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Wyoming Indian 1994, 22-1 (lost in championship)
2A: Upton 1994, 22-1 (lost in quarters)
3A: Star Valley 1993, 23-1 (lost in quarters)
3A: Torrington 1991, 22-2 (lost in quarters/conso final)
AA: Natrona 1982, 22-1 (lost in semis)
B: Wyoming Indian 1982, 20-2 (lost in quarters/conso final)
B: Lyman 1980, 20-1 (lost in semis)
C: Burlington 1979, 19-1 (lost in semis)
AA: Rock Springs 1977, 22-1 (lost in championship)
B: Byron 1965, 24-1 (lost in championship)
B: University Prep 1960, 25-1 (lost in championship)
B: University Prep 1958, 23-1 (lost in championship)
C: Dayton 1956, 19-1 (lost in quarters)
C: Dayton 1955, 21-2 (lost in quarters/conso semis)
C: Big Horn 1952, 18-1 (lost in semis)
B: Rozet 1942, 29-1 (lost in championship)

Girls undefeated teams (23)
4A: Cody 2023, 25-0
4A: Cheyenne East 2022, 28-0
3A: Douglas 2021, 24-0
3A: Douglas 2018, 27-0
2A: Tongue River 2013, 28-0
1A: Snake River 2012, 28-0
3A: Douglas 2005, 26-0
2A: Tongue River 2005, 23-0
2A: Big Horn 2001, 26-0
3A: Mountain View 1998, 25-0
1A: Burlington 1998, 24-0
2A: Tongue River 1997, 22-0
3A: Lyman 1995, 23-0
4A: Campbell County 1991, 23-0
2A: Lusk 1991, 22-0
2A: Lusk 1990, 21-0
1A: Cokeville 1990, 21-0
2A: Greybull 1989, 21-0
4A: Riverton 1984, 23-0
B: Saratoga 1981, 22-0
AA: Rock Springs 1980, 24-0
AA: Lander 1978, 24-0
C: Snake River 1977, record unknown but finished undefeated

Another 24 girls teams (at least) have entered the state tournament undefeated but did not finish the job. Those teams, and their final record for the season, include:

4A: Cody 2022, 24-1 (lost in championship)
2A: Southeast 2015, 24-1 (lost in championship)
3A: Douglas 2013, 28-1 (lost in championship)
4A: Natrona 2012, 25-1 (lost in championship)
2A: Big Horn 2010, 28-1 (lost in championship)
1A: Guernsey 2006, 26-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Pine Bluffs 2004, 22-1 (lost in semis)
3A: Star Valley 2001, 25-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Wright 1999, 21-2 (lost in quarters/conso semis)
3A: Mountain View 1997, 23-1 (lost in championship)
4A: Green River 1996, 23-1 (lost in championship)
2A: Tongue River 1996, 24-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Tongue River 1994, 22-1 (lost in championship)
4A: Sheridan 1992, 22-1 (lost in semis)
2A: Saratoga 1992, 22-1 (lost in championship)
B: Tongue River 1987, 20-1 (lost in quarters)
B: Tongue River 1986, 20-1 (lost in semis)
1A: Kaycee 1984, 20-1 (lost in championship)
B: Shoshoni 1982, 19-2 (lost in semis/3rd)
A: Newcastle 1981, 20-1 (lost in championship)
AA: Lander 1979, 23-1 (lost in semis)
AA: Lander 1977, 21-2 (lost in semis/3rd)
A: Torrington 1976, 18-1 (lost in championship)
C: Snake River 1976, record unknown (lost in semis)

All boys championship team records have been accounted for. Girls championship team records are missing for 1978 Class B (Pine Bluffs, not undefeated), 1977 Class C (Snake River) and 1979 Class C (Byron, not undefeated).

–patrick

The assistant coaches for the 2024 Wyoming Shrine Bowl all-star football game were released Friday.

Shrine Bowl Executive Director Frank Selby announced via email that both squads would have six assistant coaches.

For the North, joining head coach Rob Hammond of Buffalo are David Trembly of Dubois, Henry Glacking and Ross Walker of Buffalo, Nicc Crosby of Lovell, Rod Frederick of Wind River and Trent Pikula of Thunder Basin.

The South will have Torrington’s Russell Stienmetz as head coach and assistants Scott Hayes of Cheyenne East, Blaine Christensen of Green River, Robb Nicolay and Ryan Workman of Torrington, Brandon Gifford of Lingle and Hart Jordan of Encampment.

Trainers will be Tanner Gillette of Buffalo (North) and Emily Yorges of Torrington (South).

Selby said players will be announced soon.

The game will be June 8 at Natrona County High School in Casper.

–patrick

Securing Wyoming’s track and field champions has been an arduous task, but we’re almost there.

Of the 8,274 individual and relay champions in state history, we’ve located 8,272.

Do the math: We’re missing two. Just two. We have 99.9758% of all the champions in state history.

But those last two… the completionist in me really wants to find them.

In short, both “Stat Rat” Jim Craig and I have exhausted all of our resources. We’ve looked up and down every available newspaper and yearbook we can get our eyes on. Time and again, we’ve come up with nothing.

This post is my best attempt at logic-ing our way to finding the last two we haven’t yet found.

The good news? Both missing champions are from 1969, so there’s a good chance both of our missing champions are still alive, or someone is alive who knows who was the champ.

So I’m asking you, dear reader, to help us find the 1969 Class B boys long jump champion and the 1969 Class C boys discus champion — the 0.0242% of champions we don’t have yet.

Here are my best guesses as to who MIGHT have won those titles.

1969 Class B boys long jump: My best guess is Byron’s Dan Williamson. Williamson won the Class B triple jump and set a new state record in the process and also won the 120-yard hurdles. He also long jumped in the Meet of Champions after the state meet with a personal best of 21 feet even, the best among all Class B or Class C long jumpers. Other teams that could have had the champion include Upton, Cowley, Shoshoni, Cokeville, Lingle, Morton, Guernsey-Sunrise and Mountain View. Who it’s NOT is Burlington’s Larry Johnson, who won the regional meet long jump championship over Williamson the week before state; it can’t be Johnson because Burlington didn’t rack up enough team points at state to have had even one individual champion. It’s also NOT Joe Phipps from Glenrock, who also won his regional meet but was not listed among Glenrock’s individual track champs in the Herders’ yearbook. It’s also NOT Williamson’s Byron teammate Rick Tanner, who won the high jump, pole vault, shot put and 110 hurdles (let’s see someone try to pull THAT four-event sweep off in 2024), but had his individual titles stop there. Similarly, it also was NOT Upton’s Jim Mosley, who won the 100, 220 and 440 but won no other individual titles.

1969 Class C boys discus: My best guess is Arvada’s Les (Leslie) Drake. Drake won the discus title at the Class C North regional meet and also won the shot put at state. But he’s not listed in his own school’s yearbook as any kind of champion, which is kind of weird. Other teams that could have had the champion include LaGrange, Deaver, Manderson, Rock River, Carpenter, Ten Sleep and Medicine Bow. Of that group, Carpenter’s Ed Poelma had the best chance of challenging Drake, but his regionals mark was 10 feet short of Drake’s regionals mark.

So, if you know someone who knows Dan Williamson from Byron, or Leslie Drake from Arvada… or you know someone who does… can you give ’em a call on my behalf? Ask them if they won these events 55 or so years ago? Let us know what they say?

+++

We’re also still missing two first names — a Sims from Mountain View who won the Class B boys high jump championship in 1961, and a Jurich from Reliance who won the Class B discus and shot put championships in 1935.

As for times and marks, we’re still missing a few of those, too:

  • The winning mark for Class B shot put champion Rick Tanner from Byron in 1969 (can you tell the newspaper coverage of the 1969 state track and field meet was awful?)
  • The winning time for Lyman’s Class B 880 relay team in 1951
  • The winning time for Natrona’s all-class 880 relay team in 1936
  • The winning time for Worland’s Carl Dir in the all-class 100 in 1927
  • The winning time for Thermopolis’ all-class mile medley relay team in 1927

And that’s it. Of those 8,274 individual and relay champions, we have full names and marks for 8,263 of them. That’s 99.87%. That’s not bad. But it’s soooo annoyingly close to 100%.

Maybe with your help, we could get there.

–patrick

It’s tradition ’round these parts to start looking ahead to next season as soon as the last one ends. The cycle never ends. With that in mind, despite being eight months away from the first practice and nearly nine months away from the first game, now seems to be a good time to figure out which teams may be the best entering 2024.

And, yes, it’s too soon to do this. But that’s part of the fun. When I did this last year, I got two eventual champions right, and two other champions were ranked second. And I whiffed on one (coughTorringtoncough). That’s the fun, though — as expectations change, as players move or leave or return and as coaches change, so will expectations. The preseason rankings in August may look quite different. For now, though, here’s who I have as my top five teams in each class:

Class 4A
1. Sheridan
: Normally, I absolutely despise it when someone pulls out the cliche of “they’re No. 1 until someone beats them” to describe who should be ranked first in a preseason poll. Yet here I am. Because with three straight titles and 31 consecutive victories behind them, and a lack of returning talent elsewhere in 4A, I think the Broncs — despite just one returning first-team all-conference player, that being kicker/punter Ty Gilbertson — deserve that respect.
2. Campbell County: Straight up, no other team in 4A returns as much talent as the Camels do. With five returning first-team all-conference players, a mark three better than any other squad, this could be Campbell County’s finest season in years.
3. Thunder Basin: Cort Catlin and Logan Mendoza are two of just four returning first-team all-staters across the entirety of Class 4A, and they’re both with the ‘Bolts this fall. That’s a good place to start for a team that’s a consistent contender.
4. Cheyenne East: In another case of respect for a program over respect for returning numbers, the Thunderbirds return only one first-team all-conference player (senior lineman Jesse Kirkbride) but have tons of program momentum.
5. Natrona: The Mustangs have two first-team all-conference players back in seniors Rogan Potter and Tucker Sides. Normally, that wouldn’t be enough to be an immediate contender, but in 2024, where all bets are off, they should help make NC a title threat.
Wild card: Cheyenne Central. The Indians also return a pair of first-team all-conference players in seniors Brycen Bailey and Tate Berry. Gain a little confidence early in the season, and Central could be one of 4A’s toughest teams. (Side note: 4A should have a lot more parity this fall…)

Class 3A
1. Star Valley
: How original, I know. But the Braves return six all-state selections from last year’s title team, including senior quarterback Smith McClure, and should be the prohibitive favorites entering 2024.
2. Cody: How original, again. But the Broncs, last year’s runners-up, like Star Valley return six first-team all-state selections, including senior quarterback Maddax Ball. As frustrating as a Cody-Star Valley title game might seem to every other 3A team, you can’t deny what both these programs have accomplished over the past decade. Everyone else is chasing these two.
3. Powell: It’s a wide gulf between Star Valley and Cody and the rest of 3A this year — combined, the remaining 10 teams in 3A have just seven all-staters returning, where Cody and Star Valley have six each. But Powell, with its three all-staters in senior linemen Doug Bettger and Dusty Carter and linebacker Keona Wisnewski, are the biggest threat to the hierarchy.
4. Buffalo: After the top three, it’s a crapshoot, but Buffalo’s three returning all-conference selections, led by all-state senior lineman Hayden Jawors, is the most among 3A’s returners.
5. Douglas: If linebackers are the core of a defense, then the Bearcats will be set. All-stater Carter Archuleta and all-conference pick Cash Tillard, both seniors, will help Douglas reload.
Wild cards: Torrington, Riverton and Evanston. Yes, it’s a cop-out to pick three wild card teams, but so what? Torrington moves up to 3A after winning the 2A title last year, its first title since 1990, and returns enough talent to be immediately competitive. Meanwhile, Riverton and Evanston both had resurgent seasons last year and could be in the mix again if they get development deep on the roster.

Class 2A
1. Big Horn
: The Rams have two big things going for them. First, they’ve been to Laramie each of the past two years, coming up just short of a title last year and winning it all in 2022. Second, they’re the only team in 2A this year that has more than one returning all-state choice, those being seniors Avon Barney and Kolby Butler.
2. Mountain View: People tend to overlook just how dominant Mountain View was in last year’s regular season, winning every conference game except one by double digits — and even that one was by eight. With three all-conference players back, led by junior all-state quarterback Justus Platts, the Buffalos should be right back in the title conversation.
3. Worland: The Warriors, in returning four of their five all-conference selections (including all-state lineman Brody Thiel), were already going to be a resurgent team in 2024. Moving from 3A to 2A immediately makes them a title threat in a classification where depth is at a premium, but they’ll have to adjust to a new coach.
4. Cokeville: The Panthers have four returning all-conference players, all seniors, tied with Big Horn and Worland for the most in 2A. Depth is always a concern for 2A’s smallest school, but the Panthers handle it every season. They’ll be right there to contend.
5. (tie) Lyman and Lovell: Yes, it’s a cop-out to pick two teams in the No. 5 spot, but so what? Both return a pair of all-conference players, and all-staters Davin Crosby (Lovell) and Max Gregory (Lyman) should help make each one competitive. Oh, and yes, the West is absolutely loaded this season.
Wild card: Newcastle. Looking for a team on the rise? Check out the Dogies, whose three all-conference returners is second only to Big Horn in the East. Trouble is, none of those three will be seniors in 2024.

Class 1A nine-man
1. Lingle
: Maybe the Doggers just needed some more experience to break through. After all, with all four of their all-state choices and six of their eight all-conference choices — both tops in 1A nine-man — coming back this year, it makes sense to see the Doggers on top of a preseason list like this.
2. Pine Bluffs: The Hornets should again be a contender thanks to four returning all-conference choices and all-state senior Shawn Shmidl leading the way.
3. Rocky Mountain: Not many teams return the experience the Grizzlies do, who had to play a lot of inexperienced players last year due to graduation losses. That should pay off this year, with five all-conference choices and senior all-stater Tucker Jackson fronting the effort.
4. Lusk: The Tigers get back a pair of all-state picks (senior Jackson Smith and sophomore Raynce Brott) and all four of their all-conference players. Not a bad place to start.
5. Southeast: The Cyclones will have a new coach for the first time this century, but the cupboard isn’t bare as all-staters Ayden Desmond and T.J. Moats lead a team that’s got enough returning to contend with nine-man’s best.
Wild cards: Big Piney and Wind River. Yes, neither one of last year’s championship-game teams are listed here. That’s with good reason. Combined, they return just two all-state/all-conference players (one apiece) and will have to get young players to step up in a hurry to return to their lofty heights of 2023.

Class 1A six-man
1. Burlington
: Here’s a number for you: Burlington returns four all-state selections this year, all seniors. Combined, all the other teams in six-man have three. The defending champs are in good shape for a repeat.
2. Snake River: The Rattlers should be in great shape to challenge for a title, as well. Seniors Bridger Cozzens and Mason Jones were all-state picks, and the program — despite losing in the six-man championship — still has great momentum.
3. Riverside: All-state senior Curtis Strohschein leads a Rebel team that returns three all-conference players from its nine-man team last year. As they move to six-man this year, the Rebels should be immediate title contenders.
4. Encampment: After six-man’s top three, no other team returns even a single all-state selection. Encampment, though, with senior all-conference picks Tyrel Brown and Gunner Henrie, looks like on paper to be the best of the rest.
5. Kaycee: The Buckaroos consistently play beyond their numbers, and in a muddled group of potential contenders, Kaycee could be the best of the bunch despite a lack of depth.
Wild cards: Meeteetse and Hanna. Both the Longhorns and Miners will be young teams in 2024, but those young cores bode well for the future — and potentially the present.

Who do you have as your potential champs, or your potential teams that everyone might be overlooking? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re thinking, way too soon ahead of the 2024 season.

–patrick

The head coaches for the 51st Wyoming Shrine Bowl all-star football game have been selected for this summer’s game in Casper.

Russell Stienmetz of Class 2A champion Torrington will be the head coach for the South, while Rob Hammond of Class 3A Buffalo will lead the North.

Assistant coaches will be selected next, with player selections to follow. The game will be June 8 in Casper.

Hammond was the head coach for the North in 2019, a 29-19 victory for the North team.

The North leads the all-time series 26-20-3, but the South won last year’s game 27-24.

–patrick

If you just look at the cumulative effect of NSI Academy’s scores from the 2007 season, you would not have expected much from the Wolves.

For the year, the Wolves were outscored 281-150.

And with a score differential like that, what kind of record would you expect?

Well, there’s some math we can do to figure that out.

Using something called the Pythagorean expectation, the Wolves — who played 10 games that season — would have been roughly expected to finish with a record of about 2-8. After all, most teams with that kind of score differential across that many games finish with about that kind of record.

But the Wolves finished 6-4. They won 4.2 more games than the Pythagorean model would have expected them to.

And across more than 100 years of Wyoming high school football, the Wolves’ 4.2 wins above expectation is the highest difference for a single team in state history.

+++

Here’s the math part, as simplified as I can make it: In short, the Pythagorean expectation model looks at a team’s scoring differential and then tries to estimate what a team’s win-loss record should be based on that differential alone. For example, a team that goes 4-4 and finished with a scoring differential of zero would have a Pythagorean score of 0.0 — and the logic follows that you’d expect a team that scored as many points as it gave up to have a .500 record.

A positive Pythagorean score means you won more games than the model would predict; a negative Pythagorean score means you lost more. (For a breakdown of the math used in this post, check out Wikipedia’s article on Pythagorean expectation.)

For a more recent example of the Pythagorean model, let’s look at the 2023 season, and two teams that share a both a 2023 victory total and a first letter: Worland and Wright.

Worland, playing in Class 3A, finished 3-6. Wright, a Class 1A nine-man team, finished 3-5. So we would expect their point differential to be about the same, right?

Well… Would you believe that Wright outscored its opponents 201-124, while Worland was outscored 286-69?

The Pythagorean expectations vary greatly because of those totals. Through that math, we would have expected Wright to win 6.1 games out of its eight with that kind of scoring margin. Instead, Wright won three, giving Wright a score of negative 3.1 (3 wins minus 6.1 predicted wins = negative 3.1). Meanwhile, we’d expect Worland to win 0.3 games out of its nine, so the Warriors’ Pythagorean score is a positive 2.7 (3-0.3=2.7).

In short: With their score differentials, Wright should have won about six games; Worland should have won zero. Instead, both teams won three games. Together, they were the biggest outliers of the 2023 season, Wright the team with the lowest number of victories from what would be expected from their season point differential, Worland the highest.

But they are still far from some of the biggest single-season outliers we’ve ever seen.

+++

Across the 5,469 Wyoming high school football seasons where a team played at least five games, the Pythagorean expectations correctly predicted a team’s record within one game in 3,596 cases, or about 66% of the time. (Yes, I ran the math for all 5,469.)

The outliers, though — like NSI’s 2007 season — are the most interesting.

NSI’s 2007 season was by far the biggest outlier on the positive side. On the negative side, well… meet Rawlins, whose 1928 team had a Pythagorean win expectation of 7.3 wins over their eight games. The Outlaws finished the season with a 151-56 point differential. Still, Rawlins only mustered a 3-3-2 record, a Pythagorean win expectation that was -4.3 fewer than expected. It’s the lowest mark in state history.

Oddly enough, just two years later, basically the same thing happened to Rawlins, which tied with Green River’s 1940 team for the second-worst Pythagorean outcome in state history. That year, Rawlins outscored opponents 112-41 and had a Pythagorean win expectation of 8.2 across nine games. The Outlaws went 4-4-1, a -4.2 below expectations.

The Pythagorean expectations can also be extrapolated to predict winning percentage, as well. Below are some of the best and worst outcomes we’ve seen using the Pythagorean expectations model for teams that played a minimum of five games in their season:

Best Pythagorean win differences (overachievers)
1. NSI 2007 (+4.2): Predicted 1.8 victories, actual record 6-4, point differential 150-281
2. Gebo 1932 (+3.6): Predicted 1.4 victories, actual record 5-3, point differential 66-126
3. Cheyenne East 2008 (+3.4): Predicted 3.6 victories, actual record 7-3, point differential 207-263
4t. Glenrock 1995 (+3.3): Predicted 1.7 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 85-157
4t. Greybull 1991 (+3.3): Predicted 1.7 victories, actual record 5-3, point differential 93-161
4t. Kemmerer 1981 (+3.3): Predicted 1.7 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 80-146
7t. Cody 1926 (+3.2): Predicted 1.8 victories, actual record 5-2, point differential 72-113
7t. Natrona 1945 (+3.2): Predicted 1.8 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 75-134
7t. Big Piney 2007 (+3.2): Predicted 2.8 victories, actual record 6-3, point differential 122-169
10t. Evanston 2021 (+3.1): Predicted 1.9 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 135-238
10t. Torrington 1980 (+3.1): Predicted 0.9 victories, actual record 4-3, point differential 42-94
10t. Lovell 1976 (+3.1): Predicted 0.9 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 64-161
13t. Midwest 1956 (+3.0): Predicted 1.0 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 65-160
13t. Cody 1953 (+3.0): Predicted 1.0 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 113-261
13t. Pine Bluffs 1975 (+3.0): Predicted 1.0 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 65-147
16t. Rawlins 1931 (+2.9): Predicted 1.1 victories, actual record 4-3-1, point differential 47-103
16t. Wright 2005 (+2.9): Predicted 4.1 victories, actual record 7-4, point differential 123-153
18t. Ten Sleep 1978 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 66-139
18t. Cody 1978 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 60-132
18t. Star Valley 1974 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 79-162
18t. Superior 1955 (+2.8): Predicted 1.2 victories, actual record 4-4, point differential 84-172
18t. Lingle 1925 (+2.8): Predicted 0.2 victories, actual record 3-7, point differential 58-274

Worst Pythagorean win differences (underachievers)
1. Rawlins 1928 (-4.3): Predicted 7.3 victories, actual record 3-3-2, point differential 151-56
2t. Rawlins 1930 (-4.2): Predicted 8.2 victories, actual record 4-4-1, point differential 112-41
2t. Green River 1940 (-4.2): Predicted 7.2 victories, actual record 3-2-3, point differential 94-37
4. Cheyenne Central 1920 (-4.0): Predicted 8.0 victories, actual record 4-3-2, point differential 98-40
5t. Torrington 1925 (-3.9): Predicted 6.9 victories, actual record 3-4-1, point differential 159-72
5t. Green River 1965 (-3.9): Predicted 5.9 victories, actual record 2-3-3, point differential 115-74
5t. Lingle 1936 (-3.9): Predicted 7.9 victories, actual record 4-2-3, point differential 71-31
8. Torrington 1922 (-3.8): Predicted 7.8 victories, actual record 4-5, point differential 222-101
9t. Kemmerer 1956 (-3.7): Predicted 7.7 victories, actual record 4-4-1, point differential 149-70
9t. Green River 1929 (-3.7): Predicted 6.7 victories, actual record 3-2-2, point differential 72-20
11t. Sheridan 1954 (-3.6): Predicted 7.6 victories, actual record 4-3-2, point differential 168-81
11t. Natrona 1936 (-3.6): Predicted 10.6 victories, actual record 7-1-3, point differential 156-40
11t. Kemmerer 1931 (-3.6): Predicted 9.6 victories, actual record 6-2-2, point differential 169-46
11t. Rawlins 1940 (-3.6): Predicted 9.6 victories, actual record 6-3-1, point differential 191-52
Since 2000:
1. Burlington 2005 (-3.5): Predicted 8.5 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 322-101
2. Mountain View 2000 (-3.3): Predicted 8.3 victories, actual record 5-5, point differential 253-131
3. Wright 2023 (-3.1): Predicted 6.1 victories, actual record 3-5, point differential 201-124
4t. Rock Springs 2019 (-3.0): Predicted 7.0 victories, actual record 4-6, point differential 246-172
4t. Sheridan 2020 (-3.0): Predicted 10.0 victories, actual record 7-4, point differential 390-148
6. Pine Bluffs 2011 (-2.9): Predicted 7.9 victories, actual record 5-4, point differential 196-84

Best Pythagorean win percentage differences (overachievers)
1. Superior 1944: Predicted win percentage 0.083, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.517, point differential 21-58
2. Cody 1926: Predicted win percentage 0.256, actual win percentage 0.714, difference +0.459, point differential 72-113
3. Gebo 1932: Predicted win percentage 0.178, actual win percentage 0.625, difference +0.447, point differential 66-126
4. Torrington 1980: Predicted win percentage 0.129, actual win percentage 0.571, difference +0.442, point differential 42-94
5. Rawlins 1931: Predicted win percentage 0.135, actual win percentage 0.563, difference +0.428, point differential 47-103
6. Lovell 1942: Predicted win percentage 0.158, actual win percentage 0.583, difference +0.425, point differential 38-77
7. NSI 2007: Predicted win percentage 0.184, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.416, point differential 150-281
8. Greybull 1991: Predicted win percentage 0.214, actual win percentage 0.625, difference +0.411, point differential 93-161
9. Sunrise 1949: Predicted win percentage 0.208, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.392, point differential 100-176
10. Guernsey 1937: Predicted win percentage 0.215, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.385, point differential 33-57
Since 2000:
1. NSI 2007: Predicted win percentage 0.184, actual win percentage 0.600, difference +0.416, point differential 150-281
2. Big Piney 2007: Predicted win percentage 0.316, actual win percentage 0.667, difference +0.351, point differential 122-169
3. Evanston 2021: Predicted win percentage 0.207, actual win percentage 0.556, difference +0.349, point differential 135-238
4. Cheyenne East 2008: Predicted win percentage 0.362, actual win percentage 0.700, difference +0.338, point differential 207-263
5. Saratoga 2015: Predicted win percentage 0.070, actual win percentage 0.375, difference +0.305, point differential 98-291

Worst Pythagorean win percentage differences (underachievers)
1. Sundance 1933: Predicted win percentage 0.834, actual win percentage 0.333, difference -0.500, point differential 79-40
2. Gebo 1930: Predicted win percentage 0.884, actual win percentage 0.400, difference, -0.484, point differential 59-25
3. Sunrise 1939: Predicted win percentage 0.875, actual win percentage 0.400, difference -0.475, point differential 59-26
4. Wheatland 1981: Predicted win percentage 0.816, actual win percentage 0.375, difference -0.441, point differential 133-71
5. Cowley 1925: Predicted win percentage 0.576, actual win percentage 0.143, difference -0.434, point differential 82-72
6. Lingle 1940: Predicted win percentage 0.931, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.431, point differential 132-44
7. Torrington 1925: Predicted win percentage 0.867, actual win percentage 0.438, difference -0.430, point differential 159-72
8. Torrington 1922: Predicted win percentage 0.866, actual win percentage 0.444, difference -0.422, point differential 222-101
9. Rawlins 1942: Predicted win percentage 0.916, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.416, point differential 107-39
10. Rawlins 1930: Predicted win percentage 0.915, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.415, point differential 112-41
Since 2000:
1t. Burlington 2005: Predicted win percentage 0.940, actual win percentage 0.556, difference -0.384, point differential 322-101
1t. Wright 2023: Predicted win percentage 0.759, actual win percentage 0.375, difference -0.384, point differential 201-124
3t. Mountain View 2000: Predicted win percentage 0.828, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.326, point differential 253-131
3t. Pine Bluffs 2011: Predicted win percentage 0.882, actual win percentage 0.556, difference -0.326, point differential 196-84
5. Lusk 2019: Predicted win percentage 0.803, actual win percentage 0.500, difference -0.303, point differential 304-168

–patrick

This week, wyoming-football.com has transitioned to a new way of displaying game-by-game results on both team and year pages.

The new table-based display allows for a more dynamic and consistent way of showing game scores that also provides more consistency between and among pages than the old text-based display allowed. It also allows for more dynamic searching and filtering of results, allowing users to find out more about their favorite teams, rivalries, seasons and more.

Click here for a primer on how to use the new score display to its full potential.

This new approach has been a thought of mine for years, but only recently — thanks to the financial support of wyoming-football.com’s page sponsors — could I buy the kind of technical support I needed to implement the change. I don’t want to get too lost in the techno-babble here, but the quickest way to explain it is that all game results come from one place and are loaded on demand rather than the results themselves resting on any one page. What that means is when I do an update, I can do one update to the database rather than updates to the year page and each team page. And the benefit you get is the chance to have more of an opportunity to comb through those results to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Thanks to my wife, Charlynn, for sharing a bit of web development expertise beyond my understanding for helping me make it work.

If you see anything that looks weird or incorrect as you explore the new display, please let me know!

–patrick

Two games with the wrong winners have been fixed and updated. In both games, it was a case of the original source I looked at having the winner and score wrong:

Powell beat Lovell 7-0 on Sept. 3, 1954; I had Lovell winning by the same score.

Huntley beat Glenrock 12-7 on Sept. 10, 1965; I had Glenrock winning 17-12.

I also fixed the score for Sundance’s 41-27 victory against Moorcroft on Oct. 2, 1963; I had listed 40-21.

I also knocked off some missing coaches’ names from the Coaches Project:

Basin’s coach in 1930 was Frank Sharrar and 1948 was Martin Darling. … Burns’ coach in 1940 and 1941 was Bill Fiegenbaum. … Cokeville’s coach in 1927 was Okie Blanchard. … Cowley’s coach in 1924 was Andrew “Red” Willis and 1948 was Harry Mangus. … Guernsey’s coach in 1931 was Ray Frink. … Shoshoni’s coach in 1945 was Bill Gibney and in 1946 was Bob Porter. … Star Valley’s coach in 1928 was Newell Peterson. … Ten Sleep’s coach in 1940 was Ralph Crowton.

I also found the first initials for Lovell’s coach in 1923, C.H. McClure; added the full first name for Manderson’s coach in 1940, Harold Bender; and corrected the spelling for Sunrise’s coach in 1943, Jack Secrest.

All the updates have been made on all the relevant pages. As always, if you see anything that looks wrong on this site, please let me know: pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

I’ve tracked down a few more dates, locations and scores for some missing games, including several for Star Valley:

Found the date for Star Valley’s Oct. 21, 1949, game with Malad, Idaho; found the location for Star Valley’s Oct. 29, 1948, game vs. Malad, Idaho (it was in Afton); and the dates for four Star Valley games in 1945: the Oct. 5 game against Downey, Idaho; the Oct. 19 game at Paris, Idaho; the Oct. 20 game at Superior (yes, the Braves played two road games in one weekend); and the Oct. 26 game at Montpelier, Idaho.

Found the score for Sunrise’s 43-0 victory against Albin on Sept. 24, 1954.

Found the date for the Sept. 15, 1967, game between Huntley and Lyman, Nebraska.

Found the score for Albin’s 23-14 victory against Hawk Springs on Nov. 11, 1941; I knew Albin had won, but I didn’t know the score.

Fixed the date and added the location for Bridger, Montana’s, 7-6 victory against Deaver-Frannie on Oct. 21, 1939, in Bridger.

Fixed the date and added the location for Sunrise’s 12-0 victory against Wheatland on Nov. 1, 1935; it was in Sunrise. Also noted that Wheatland’s game scheduled with Manville on Nov. 1 was not played.

Corrected the date for Guernsey’s game with Sunrise on Sept. 29, 1934; I originally had Guernsey playing two games on Sept. 28, one with Manville and one with Sunrise. Guernsey played two games that weekend, with the Sunrise game coming a day after the Manville game.

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

Also, the Casper Star-Tribune released its Super 25 team recently. That team has been added to the Super 25 page on this site, as well.

–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 time span of 1929 through 1939—the aptly coined “Dirty Thirties”—was a decade of hardship for the entire United States as the country was rocked by The Great Depression, triggered by a collapse of the stock market in October of 1929. Unemployment during that time rose to a staggering high of 24.7% in 1933 and remained above 14% from 1931 to 1940. Those raised during that era—that Tom Brokaw labeled “The Greatest Generation”—experienced challenges that toughened their resolve, encouraged economy as well as thrift and fostered a “can-do” approach to facing serious issues of day-to-day living. My father, for one, graduated high school in 1928 and took six years to complete his civil engineering degree, attending for a year of schooling then working menial jobs for a semester to save up enough for another year of college, repeating that process until he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1934.

The Great Depression didn’t spare Wyoming, and school systems felt the economic crunch along with the rest of the country. Athletic seasons were suspended due to the economy; for example, Lusk’s 1932 football season was suspended. The Lusk citizenry volunteered to help with the situation by offering car pools and coaching help, but the true problem was lack of money to outfit the team and alas, the season was cancelled. A common occurrence I’ve found in my research were gatherings called “Hard Times” dances, proof that the state’s population shouldered the hardships with good humor and Cowboy State spirit.

Those listed on the chart below were some of the luckier citizens as their coaching records are proof of employment during a time when many had no jobs. However, coaching back then was quite the chore. To coach in the 1930s meant you were a coach for all sports—most likely the school’s only coach—meaning football, basketball and track seasons. A quick check in Patrick Schmiedt’s superb tome on all things Wyoming prep football, “A Century of Fridays,” shows that 20 of the 21 listed below coached football during that time—the exception being no football program in Pine Bluffs. Coaching was a young man’s endeavor, as the time invested in practice, home games, and road games (many coaches drove their own cars—filled with players—to and from opposing courts) would be time spent away from home for a family man. Yet, due likely to the scarcity of jobs during the 30s, more coaches taught/coached in Wyoming for all ten years of the 1930s than the combined total of the 1940s and 1950s decade-long coaching stints.

Top 1930s Basketball Coaching Records by Wins
CoachSchool(s)SeasonsWinsWin%Q-FactorMedalChamp
*Okie BlanchardRock Springs; Natrona102330.883100%70%4
John PowellCheyenne Central102090.73990%20%1
Floyd ForemanLaramie101940.75590%70%2
Wendell PoulsonByron; Lovell91710.78489%11%0
Glen RogersWheatland91390.59133%11%1
Cliff WilsonKemmerer; St. Michael’s81150.67363%13%0
Ken NoddingsSundance; Powell101140.54550%10%0
Lou NeelyEvanston71030.67843%14%0
*Joe BushThermopolis61020.73950%0%0
Fred ChezSheridan7980.62871%0%0
Alva StrawNatrona6910.62683%0%0
Henry HartwellMidwest10870.4080%0%0
Eldon BoydCokeville10860.50310%0%0
John EngstromRawlins8810.56363%0%0
Wallace RollinsCowley5780.74380%20%0
Victor ReavesCampbell County4720.67975%0%0
Melvin LarsonPine Bluffs7710.47714%0%0
Loyd NelsonUpton8680.4690%0%0
LaVerne JungWorland5680.60760%0%0
James JiacolettiManderson; Superior; Kemmerer8630.460%0%0
Walter DowlerUniv. Prep; Basin; Rock Springs4590.6750%25%1

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

(Two notes about the chart’s data: 1. There was only one classification back then. What should total 10 state championships for the decade is actually nine. No state tourney was held in 1936 due to a scarlet fever epidemic. 2. The 29-30 State Tourney was open to all teams. Teams were sorted into Classes A, B, C, and D according to the male school enrollments. Champions in each division would play for the state title. Rather than count all 54 teams eligible, to count a team as a qualifier, I took the last four teams remaining in each division. Having played three or four days of double elimination would count as the qualifying portion of the tourney and winnowed the 54 down to 16—four in each class).

As he did in the 1940s and 1950s, Okie Blanchard dominated the decade, leading in wins, win percentage, Q-factor, and championships as well as tying with Laramie’s Floyd Foreman for medal finishes. Cheyenne’s coach John Powell, Big Horn Basin coach Wendell Poulson and the aforementioned Foreman notched up nifty numbers with winning percentages topping 75%.

Hall of Fame?  This decade’s group is almost totally ignored by the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame, but it’s understandable, given that the group began bestowing that honor in the mid-1980s, almost a half century since most of the above paced the sidelines. That’s unfortunate as the numbers above show several deserving candidates. In a few months I’ll have the 1960s chart completed as my work on the 1967-68 season is almost completed and I’m only missing data from the 1968-69 campaign.

Post Navigation