It’s never too early to look ahead — and in that spirit, here are the top five teams entering 2021 for every classification of Wyoming high school football. Obviously, these lists were put together way too early, but that’s part of the fun, right?
1. Sheridan: The Broncs return three all-conference players, tied for the most in 4A, and will have both speed and strength returning.
2. Cheyenne East: Last year’s champs lose a lot to graduation but do return all-state receiver/defensive back Gavin Goff.
3. Rock Springs: The Tigers have two all-staters back in Isaac Schoenfeld and Cadon Shaklee and could break through with them leading the way.
4. Thunder Basin: The ‘Bolts will need to reload after all but one all-conference player; that one, though, is QB Ryan Baker.
5. Cheyenne Central: If the Indians can recover from last year’s rough ending, they’ll be tough again.
Wild card: Natrona. The Mustangs lose a lot to graduation but also consistently develop talent quickly in a big program.
1. Jackson: The Broncs are loaded for a title run: All six of Jackson’s all-state selections this year were juniors.
2. Cody: With four returning all-staters, the defending champs will be tough to beat.
3. Douglas: The Bearcats return some talented playmakers, particularly RB Keltan Ewing and WR Rylan Wehr.
4. Powell: Three returning all-staters will keep the Panthers capable of playing with anyone in 3A.
5. Star Valley: Count out the Braves at your peril; they’ve got enough returners to stay competitive.
Wild card: Lander. The Tigers have gotten consistently tough the past couple years but are still looking for a postseason breakthrough.
1. Torrington: Three returning all-staters, more than anyone else in 2A, put the Trailblazers in the catbird seat.
2. Lyman: Rho Mecham and McCoy Smith give the defending champs a good base from which to build.
3. Wheatland: Kade Preuit is a tough QB to stop, and he’ll have help around him to keep the Bulldogs growing.
4. Upton-Sundance: In a tough East Conference, the Patriots’ three returning all-conference players will be key.
5. Cokeville: Three returning all-conference players, tied with Lyman for most in the West, will boost the Panthers.
Wild card: Mountain View. The Buffalos’ young players will have to grow quickly for them to remain a West threat.
Class 1A nine-man
1. Lusk: The Tigers return five all-state players, most in nine-man, giving last year’s runners-up a good base.
2. Pine Bluffs: All four of the Hornets’ all-state selections are returning in 2021, so watch out.
3. Southeast: The defending champs graduate a lot but do get back all-staters Cord Herring and Ryan Clapper.
4. Shoshoni: The Wranglers return four all-conference selections, most in the West Conference.
5. Moorcroft: All-state QB Zane Linder leads a growing group of Wolves who could surprise.
Wild card: Riverside. The Rebels could be a fun team to watch grow next year.
Class 1A six-man
1. Meeteetse: With only six all-staters coming back in the entire class, Meeteetse has the upper hand by returning two.
2. Encampment: Koye Gilbert is a playmaker, and the Tigers proved in 2020 they’re never to be counted out.
3. Kaycee: The Buckaroos return three all-conference selections, most in six-man this year.
4. Snake River: The young Rattlers return their key playmakers and are on the rise.
5. Farson: Cree Jones is the only returning all-state or all-conference player for the defending champs.
Wild card: Dubois. The West will be tight again, but the young Rams showed flashes of competitiveness last year.
What do you think? Who’s ready for a title run in 2021? Leave your thoughts in a comment, and let’s think way too hard about something that’s still months and months away.