Brandon Gifford, an assistant coach who has been with Lingle for nearly a decade, will be the new head football coach for the Doggers in 2021.

Gifford, who has also been the school’s head wrestling coach for several years, confirmed his hiring Tuesday via email to wyoming-football.com.

Gifford has been at Lingle for 11 years and has been an assistant football coach for the Doggers for the past nine years, including stints in 11-man, six-man and nine-man. In addition to football and wrestling duties, he also is an assistant track coach for Lingle and teaches science at the school.

The hiring has been approved by the Goshen County School District, Gifford said.

He replaces Matthew Cornelius, who had coached the Doggers the past five seasons. Cornelius went 16-25 with the Doggers, including a trip to the Class 1A six-man semifinals in 2019.

Class 4A Laramie and Class 1A nine-man Greybull have hired new head football coaches for 2021, while Class 2A Glenrock is looking for a new head coach. 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 Wyoming roster is set with 18 players, including seven from defending state champion Farson, for the annual six-man all-star game against Nebraska.

This year’s game will be at 7 p.m. June 4 in Chadron, Neb., on the campus of Chadron State University.

Wyoming players chosen for this year’s team include:

Burlington: Gideon George.
Encampment: Dalton Peterson.
Farson: Parker Clawson; Trea Denny; Carson Jones; Colby Jones; Triston Lamorie; Colin Malec; Zander Reed.
Guernsey: Justin Malcom.
Hanna: Devon Grosstick.
Hulett: Joseph Kennah.
Kaycee: Dylan Fauber; Nathan Largent; Rhys Stafford.
Meeteetse: Hadley Abarr; Tozai May; Dale McBride.

The head coach for the Wyoming team will be Farson’s Trip Applequist. Assistants will be Scott Reed from Farson, Dave Largent from Kaycee and Zeb Hagen from Meeteetse.

Wyoming leads the all-time series 5-4 but lost last year’s game 52-25.

–patrick

Rosters for the 2021 Wyoming Shrine Bowl were released Wednesday night.

Shrine Bowl Executive Director Frank Selby announced the following rosters via email Wednesday:

NORTH
Big Horn: Winfield Loomis.
Buffalo: Hyrum Hatch.
Campbell County: Kaden Race.
Cody: Cody Phillips, Caleb Pryor, Keaton Stone, Nic Talich.
Jackson: Sam Lopeman.
Kelly Walsh: Dom Jahr, Reno Watson.
Lander: Eli Mazurie, Jack Sweeney.
Lovell: C.J. Lindsay.
Meeteetse: Hadley Abarr.
Natrona
: Braxton Bundy, Brady Dutcher, Jace George.
Powell: Kadden Abraham, Riley Bennett, Jesse Trotter.
Riverton: Damon DeVries.
Rocky Mountain: Tyler Banks.
Sheridan: Quinton Mangus, Kyle Meinecke, Justin Vela.
Shoshoni: Tryston Truempler.
Thermopolis: Logan Cole, Remington Ferree.
Thunder Basin: River Brisko, Michael Coleman, Scott O’Dell, Jaxon Pikula, Dyse Shepherd.
Upton-Sundance: Wyatt Gillespie, Brad Krueger.
Worland: Rudy Sanford.
Student trainer: Sarah Manor, Sheridan.
Student manager: Oakly Bowman, Thermopolis.
Athletic trainer: Jessica Garden, Sheridan.

SOUTH
Big Piney
: Kaden Raza.
Cheyenne Central: Andrew Johnson, Jimmy Koenig, Joey Kostelecky, Carter Lobatos.
Cheyenne East: Graedyn Buell, Dakota Heckman, Jackson Hesford, Jake Rayl, Julian Vigil.
Cokeville: Nate Barnes.
Douglas: Gabe Borman, Kody Micke.
Evanston: Jagger Mitchell.
Farson: Parker Clawson.
Green River: Seth White.
Laramie: Matthew Maiava, Micah Maiava, Michael Maiava.
Lusk: Drake Lamp.
Lyman: Hansen Bradshaw, Preston Brewer, Joseph Turner.
Mountain View: Hunter Meeks, Ashton Schofield.
Pinedale: Colby White.
Rock Springs: A.J. Kelly, Collin Madsen.
Saratoga: Noah Rimmer.
Southeast: Harrison Hall.
Star Valley: Brant Nelson, Gabe Nield, JaAren Smith.
Torrington: Dylan Dreiling, Cody Pierce.
Wheatland: Adam Suko.
Student trainer: Kristy Givens, Cheyenne East.
Student manager: Brooklyn Lowe, Cheyenne East.
Athletic trainer: Miranda Zamora, Laramie.

Officials for the game will be from Douglas and include James Bratton, Dan Edwards, Kurt Engle, Ron Erickson, Sean Geer, Monty Gilbreath, Evan Helenbolt and Nate Hellbaum.

Coaching staffs for the Shrine Bowl were announced in January.

The game will be June 12 at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper. The North leads the all-time series 25-18-3.

–patrick


Projected playoff pairings for the 2020 Wyoming high school football playoffs. Official pairings will be released by the Wyoming High School Activities Association at the end of the regular season:

Class 4A
(8) Laramie at (1) Cheyenne East
(5) Rock Springs at (4) Sheridan
(7) Kelly Walsh at (2) Cheyenne Central
(6) Natrona at (3) Thunder Basin

Class 3A
(4E) Worland at (1W) Cody
(3W) Powell at (2E) Lander
(4W) Star Valley at (1E) Douglas
(3E) Riverton at (2W) Jackson

Class 2A
(4W) Cokeville at (1E) Torrington
(3E) Wheatland at (2W) Mountain View
(4E) Big Horn at (1W) Lyman
(3W) Lovell at (2E) Upton-Sundance

Class 1A nine-man
(4W) Riverside at (1E) Southeast
(3E) Pine Bluffs at (2W) Shoshoni
(4E) Saratoga at (1W) Rocky Mountain
(3W) Greybull at (2E) Lusk

Class 1A six-man
(4E) Hanna at (1W) Farson
(3W) Encampment at (2E) Hulett
(4W) Snake River at (1E) Kaycee
(3E) Guernsey at (2W) Meeteetse

Championship games will be played at host sites this year. Per WHSAA specifications, the West champion will be the top seed for the 3A and 1A six-man playoffs, while the East champion will be the top seed for the 2A and 1A nine-man playoffs.

–patrick

Here’s a quick look at the playoff scenarios for Wyoming high school football teams entering Week 8 of the 2020 season:

Class 4A
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cheyenne Central at Laramie; Cheyenne East at Rock Springs; Natrona at Cheyenne South; Thunder Basin at Sheridan.
Cheyenne East: In. Either No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Can still get No. 1 seed with loss; can still get No. 2 seed with victory.
Thunder Basin: In. Seed between No. 1 and No. 3. No. 1 seed with victory in all scenarios. No. 1 seed with loss and Rock Springs victory. No. 2 seed with loss, Laramie victory and East victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Central victory.
Cheyenne Central: In. Seed between No. 2 and No. 4. No. 2 seed with victory and Sheridan victory. No. 3 seed with victory and Thunder Basin victory. No. 3 seed with loss and East victory. No. 3 seed with loss, Rock Springs victory and Sheridan victory. No. 4 seed with loss, Rock Springs victory and Thunder Basin victory.
Rock Springs: In. Seed between No. 3 and No. 5. Can get no higher than a No. 4 seed with loss; either a No. 3, 4 or 5 seed with victory.
Sheridan: In. Seed between No. 4 and No. 6. No. 4 seed with victory in all scenarios. Either a No. 4, 5 or 6 seed with loss.
Natrona: In. Seed between No. 5 and No. 6. No. 5 seed with victory and Thunder Basin victory. No. 6 seed with victory and Sheridan victory. No. 6 seed in all scenarios with loss.
Kelly Walsh: In. No. 7 seed.
Laramie: In. No. 8 seed.
Campbell County, Cheyenne South: Out.
Three-way tie explanation 1: If East, Central and Thunder Basin all finish 7-2 tied for the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds, Thunder Basin would be the 3 seed by virtue of a loss to Sheridan (the highest ranking non-tied team). East then takes the 1 seed due to a head-to-head victory against Central.
Three-way tie explanation 2: If Rock Springs, Sheridan and Central all finish 6-3 tied for the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 seeds, Rock Springs would be the 5 seed by virtue of a loss to Thunder Basin (the highest ranking non-tied team). Central then takes the 3 seed due to a head-to-head victory against Sheridan.

Three-way tie explanation 3: If Natrona, Rock Springs and Sheridan all finish 5-4 tied for the No. 4, 5 and 6 seeds, Rock Springs would be the 4 seed by virtue of a victory against Central (the highest-ranking non-tied team where the tiebreaker applies). Natrona then takes the 5 seed due to a head-to-head victory against Sheridan.
All other tiebreakers in 4A are head-to-head tiebreakers. Because the “highest-ranked non-tied team” tiebreaker breaks all potential three-way ties, score differential should not be necessary.
Note: Tables below updated 11:52 a.m. Monday to reflect that the Kelly Walsh-Campbell County game does not affect the scenarios.

4A scenarios

If Central beats Laramie…

EastThunder BasinCentralRock SpringsSheridanNatrona
East, Natrona, Thunder Basin win213465
East, Natrona, Sheridan win132546
East, South, Thunder Basin win213546
East, South, Sheridan win132546
Rock Springs, Natrona, Thunder Basin win213465
Rock Springs, Natrona, Sheridan win132546
Rock Springs, South, Thunder Basin win213456
Rock Springs, South, Sheridan win132546

If Laramie beats Central

EastThunder BasinCentralRock SpringsSheridanNatrona
East, Natrona, Thunder Basin win213465
East, Natrona, Sheridan win123546
East, South, Thunder Basin win213546
East, South, Sheridan win123546
Rock Springs, Natrona, Thunder Basin win214365
Rock Springs, Natrona, Sheridan win213546
Rock Springs, South, Thunder Basin win214356
Rock Springs, South, Sheridan win213546

Class 3A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Riverton at Rawlins; Worland at Douglas.
Douglas: In. No. 1 seed.
Lander: In. No. 2 seed.
Riverton: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Douglas victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Worland victory.
Worland: In. No. 3 seed with victory and Rawlins victory. No. 4 seed with loss OR Riverton victory.
Buffalo, Rawlins: Out.

Class 3A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cody at Jackson; Green River at Star Valley; Powell at Evanston.
Jackson: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss.
Cody: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss and Powell victory. No. 2 seed with loss, Evanston victory and Green River victory. No. 3 seed with loss, Evanston victory and Star Valley victory.
Powell: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Green River victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Star Valley victory.
Star Valley: Neither in nor out. No. 2 seed with victory, Jackson victory and Evanston victory. No. 3 seed with victory, Cody victory and Evanston victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Powell victory. Out with loss.
Green River: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. Out with loss.
Evanston: Out.
Two potential three-way ties exist in 3A West scenarios for Week 8. If Jackson, Star Valley and Powell all win, Cody, Powell and Star Valley tie for second, third and fourth at 3-2. Cody wins with score differential of +5 (Powell 0, Star Valley -5) and is the second seed. Powell is the third seed with head-to-head victory over Star Valley; Star Valley is the fourth seed. … If Evanston and Green River win, Powell, Star Valley and Green River tie for third, fourth and fifth (out) at 2-3. Powell wins this tiebreaker with head-to-head victories over both. Green River would have the head-to-head over Star Valley to get the fourth seed.

Class 2A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Big Horn at Upton-Sundance; Newcastle at Wheatland; Torrington at Burns*.
Torrington: In. Seeding TBD, likely No. 1 or 2. Likely No. 1 seed with Upton-Sundance victory. Likely No. 2 seed with Big Horn victory.
Upton-Sundance: In. Likely No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Big Horn: In. Likely No. 1 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Newcastle victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Wheatland victory.
Wheatland: In. No. 3 seed with victory and Upton-Sundance victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Big Horn victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Burns, Glenrock, Newcastle, Tongue River: Out.
*-The Torrington-Burns game has been canceled due to COVID-19. It’s not certain what contingencies will be used to break any playoff seeding ties that might come of this cancellation. However, the WHSAA’s plans set out in the summer note that in cases like this, the coaches from the conference would decide on seeding. However, with no mathematical possibilities of any three-way ties, such a scenario isn’t likely needed here… but these projections come with an asterisk just in case.

Class 2A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cokeville at Lovell; Lyman at Mountain View.
Lyman, Mountain View: In. No. 1 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss.
Cokeville, Lovell: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Big Piney, Kemmerer, Pinedale, Thermopolis: Out.

Class 1A nine-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Saratoga at Lusk.
Southeast: In. No. 1 seed.
Lusk: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 2 seed with loss by 11 or fewer points. Tie for No. 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with Saratoga victory by 12 or more points.
Pine Bluffs: In. No. 3 seed with Lusk victory. No. 3 seed with Saratoga victory by 11 or fewer points. Tie for No. 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with Saratoga victory by 12 or more points.
Saratoga: In. Tie for No. 2-3-4 seeds (coin flip to break) with victory by 12 or more points. No. 4 seed with victory by 11 or fewer points. No. 4 seed with loss.
Lingle, Wright: Out.
Moorcroft: Ineligible.
In the case of a Saratoga victory against Lusk, which would prompt a tie for the No. 2, 3 and 4 seeds, the scoring differential tiebreaker kicks in. Saratoga has to win by 12 or more to tie the scoring differential and force a coin flip. A Saratoga victory by 11 or fewer means Lusk wins the score differential tiebreaker, with Pine Bluffs finishing third due to its head-to-head win against Saratoga.
Note: Updated 2:54 p.m. Saturday with clarification from WHSAA regarding conference standings and ineligible teams. Games against Moorcroft this year do NOT count toward conference standings, which created some different playoff scenarios than having the games count but having Moorcroft drop from the standings with regard to playoff eligibility. Apologies for the confusion.

Class 1A nine-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Riverside at Shoshoni.
Rocky Mountain: In. No. 1 seed.
Shoshoni: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Riverside: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Wind River: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with Riverside victory. Out with Shoshoni victory.
Greybull: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with Shoshoni victory. Out with Riverside victory.
In the 3-4-out tiebreaker between Riverside, Wind River and Greybull, score differential would be used. Greybull finishes +11, Riverside -4 and Wind River -7. Greybull gets the third seed. Riverside then gets the fourth seed by virtue of its head-to-head victory over Wind River.

Class 1A six-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: None.
Kaycee: In. No. 1 seed.
Hulett: In. No. 2 seed.
Guernsey: In. No. 3 seed.
Hanna: In. No. 4 seed.
Midwest, NSI: Out.
A potential tiebreaker at 2-3 for the No. 3-4-out seeds exists between Hanna, Guernsey and NSI. However, Guernsey wins that tiebreaker with head-to-head victories against the other two. Even with a victory in Week 8, NSI loses both two-way and three-way ties for either third or fourth place with either Hanna or Guernsey due to head-to-head losses against both. There’s also potential for a tie for the No. 2-3-4 seeds with Hulett, Hanna and Guernsey, which Hulett wins due to head-to-head victories against both.
Note: These scenarios were updated at 2:02 p.m. Saturday to reflect the results of Saturday’s game.

Class 1A six-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Burlington at Encampment; Farson at Snake River.
Farson: In. No. 1 seed.
Meeteetse: In. No. 2 seed.
Encampment: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Farson victory. Out with loss and Snake River victory.
Snake River: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory and Burlington victory. No. 4 seed with Encampment victory, win or lose. Out with loss and Farson victory.
Burlington: Neither in nor out. No. 3 seed with victory and Farson victory. No. 4 seed with victory and Snake River victory. Out with loss.
Dubois, Ten Sleep: Out.
In the scenario where Burlington, Dubois and Snake River tie for the No. 4 seed with 2-4 records, Snake River would win the berth on score differential (Snake River +8, Burlington 0, Dubois -8).
In the scenario where Encampment, Snake River and Burlington tie for the 3-4-out positions with 3-3 records, Snake River would win the tiebreaker due to a victory against the highest-ranked non-tied team (Farson). Then Burlington takes the No. 4 seed due to the head-to-head victory against Encampment.
Note: These scenarios were updated at 4:47 p.m. Saturday to reflect the results of Saturday’s games.

–patrick

Burns will not play one of its final two games of the 2020 season and will reschedule the other due to COVID-19 quarantines, the school’s activities director said Monday on Twitter.

Burns AD Barry Ward said the team will also cancel scheduled JV games.

Burns High School was notified on Saturday that due to COVID-19 quarantines our football team will not be playing our last 2 Varsity football games vs. Newcastle and Torrington as regularly scheduled. We will be canceling our JV games vs. Wheatland and Mitchell, Nebraska.— Barry Ward (@BurnsBronc) October 12, 2020

On Saturday, Laramie County School District No. 2, of which Burns is a part, posted on its website that a student at Burns Junior/Senior High School had tested positive for COVID-19 and that some students had been placed under quarantine.

This is the third in-season cancellation of high school football games in Wyoming due to COVID-19 this year.

Douglas and Powell canceled a mid-September game, while Newcastle and Buffalo canceled a game in early September.

During the summer, Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens canceled their fall sports seasons.

As of Monday afternoon, Wyoming had more than 1,000 active cases of COVID-19 statewide. As of Monday, the state was averaging nearly 120 confirmed cases per day, its highest total since the outbreak tracing began on March 20.

Graph courtesy of the Wyoming Department of Health. Click the graph for more.

In all, 24% of all active statewide confirmed cases are in people 18 years old or younger.

Burns’ two remaining games were with Torrington on Friday and with Newcastle on Oct. 23.

Over the summer, Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird said games lost due to COVID-19 would be treated as cancellations, not as forfeits.

Burns is 1-5. The Broncs, at 1-4 in Class 2A East Conference play, were no longer in playoff contention.

Burns will make up its game with Newcastle on Oct. 29, Ward announced Monday afternoon via Twitter. Newcastle is also not in playoff contention.

–patrick

This post was updated at 7:02 p.m. MDT to reflect the continuing status of Burns’ season.

Douglas and Powell will not play their scheduled game on Friday after two COVID-19 cases emerged in Douglas’ schools.

The story was first reported by Wyopreps.

The Douglas High School activities website noted the cancellation of Douglas’ varsity game with Powell as well as cancellations of a freshman game with Laramie on Thursday and a JV game with Riverton scheduled for Monday.

The Converse County School District No. 1 posted additional information on the cases on its website.

A release from the Converse County Emergency Management Agency said, as of Tuesday, the county has 28 active cases and 93 people under quarantine.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Wyoming Department of Health’s COVID-19 website listed 28 lab-confirmed cases, with 12 of those 28 being confirmed in the past 24 hours. As of Wednesday, the state was averaging just more than 38 new confirmed cases per day, using a 14-day average.

Powell Tribune reporter Carson Field reported Wednesday on Twitter that Douglas’ team had multiple cases.

UPDATE: Multiple players have tested positive on Douglas’ end, according to Powell AD Scott McKenzie, leading to the cancellation.— Carson Field (@CarsonDField) September 16, 2020

Douglas is 2-0, having defeated Torrington two weeks ago and Belle Fourche, S.D., last week. Powell is 3-0. The game will be listed as a no-contest cancellation, not as a forfeit.

This is the second time this season a Wyoming football game has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. A Week 1 game between Newcastle and Buffalo was also canceled after Newcastle players were exposed during a game against Hot Springs, S.D.

Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens had previously canceled their fall sports seasons due to COVID-19.

–patrick

Buffalo and Newcastle will not play their scheduled game on Friday after Newcastle officials learned their players had been exposed to COVID-19 during the Dogies’ game last week.

A press release from Weston County School District No. 1 Superintendent Brad LaCroix said a player from Hot Springs, S.D., who played against Newcastle last week tested positive for the disease earlier this week.

The Dogies did not practice on Thursday, the release said, and one Newcastle player was put on COVID-19 testing protocol.

The release said no one on the Newcastle football team has yet tested positive for COVID-19. Schools remain open. Other activities will go on as scheduled.

“We suspended team activities immediately when a member of the team went into the protocol, and had hoped we would have information this morning from health officials that would allow us to life that suspension and play tonight’s game,” LaCroix said in the release. “We were able to buy a little time last night, but we simply had to make a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ decision this morning. Without new information from health officials, we can’t justify lifting the suspension yet and sadly have to cancel tonight’s game out of caution. The health and well-being of our players and their families — both here and in Buffalo — has to be our first priority, and we just don’t have enough information at this time to go ahead and play tonight.”

The game was a nonconference game, with Buffalo in Class 3A and Newcastle in Class 2A. Previously, officials with the Wyoming High School Activities Association have said games lost to COVID-19 would be listed as no-contest games, not as forfeits.

Wyoming Indian and St. Stephens had previously canceled their fall sports seasons due to COVID-19.

This story was first reported by WyoPreps.

–patrick

Ten Sleep has selected Dane Weaver to be its football coach this season.

Ten Sleep activities director Sarah Novak confirmed Weaver’s hiring via email Thursday to wyoming-football.com. In a separate email, Weaver said his hiring was made official Monday.

Weaver has been at Ten Sleep for the past three years and has been an assistant football coach for the Pioneers.

He was Wyoming’s teacher of the year for 2020. He teaches social studies at Ten Sleep.

The Pioneers, a Class 1A six-man team, have not fielded a team in either of the past two years due to low numbers. Practice for 3A, 2A and 1A teams starts Monday.

Four Class 3A programs — Green RiverPowellRiverton and Worland — as well as Class 1A nine-man Riverside and Class 1A six-man Midwest have also hired new head coaches since the end of last season.

–patrick

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m. Aug. 13 to note Weaver’s hiring day.

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