The champions, all-state teams and state results from the spring sports season have been added to Here’s a quick rundown of some of this spring’s highlights:

Softball: Thunder Basin won its second consecutive state championship after beating Cheyenne East in the championship. Three players earned their third consecutive all-state selection: Campbell County’s Avery Gray, Cheyenne East’s Trista Stehwien and Thunder Basin’s Lauren O’Loughlin. Gray is a junior.

Soccer: The boys teams from Thunder Basin and Worland and the girls teams from Kelly Walsh and Cody won team titles. Thunder Basin’s title was its first, while Worland (15-0-1) won its fifth title in a row, not including the canceled 2020 season. KW’s title was its first since 2005, while Cody, which went 17-0, won its second in a row and fifth in the past six state tournaments. Eleven players earned their third all-state nod, with Cody’s Ally Boysen, Jessa Lynn and Reece Niemann, Jackson’s Taya McClennen, Lander’s Delaney Sullivan and Laramie’s Allison Beeston earning those honors for girls and Cody’s Matt Nelson, Douglas’ Jackson Hughes, Sheridan’s Colson Coon, Thunder Basin’s Caleb Howell and Worland’s Court Gonsalez for boys’ teams. McLennen is a junior.

Track and field: Cheyenne Central’s girls won their fifth consecutive state track meet, while Powell won its third straight and Saratoga its second straight. Big Piney won the remaining girls title. Eleven girls state meet records fell: 4A and overall 400 (Addie Pendergast, Sheridan, 54.62); 1A 1600 (Bryli Groll, Cokeville, 5:21.44); 1A 3200 (Groll, 11:50.81); 1A 300 hurdles (Addison Barnes, Cokeville, 44.92); 3A 4×100 relay (Worland, 49.97); 1A 4×100 relay (Riverside, 50.82); 4A and overall 1600 medley relay (Cody, 4:12.26); 3A 1600 medley relay (Rawlins, 4:14.04); 1A 1600 medley relay (Burlington, 4:33.15); 4A and overall 4×800 relay (Cody, 9:26.48); 4A and overall long jump (Taliah Morris, Cheyenne East, 19-8.5).

Natrona, Powell, Big Horn and Burlington all won boys track titles. Natrona’s boys won their 24th state championship, tying Cheyenne Central for the most in state history. Nine boys state meet records fell: 2A 400 (Cody Hape, Burns, 48.46); 2A 800 (Colby Jenks, Big Piney, 1:53.64); 2A 3200 (Owen Burnett, Kemmerer, 9:26.38); 3A 110 hurdles (Gage Gose, Lander, 14.24); 3A and overall 300 hurdles (Gose, 36.10); 2A 300 hurdles (Jenks, 38.22); 2A 4×100 relay (Big Horn, 43.88); 4A 1600 medley relay (Sheridan, 3:32.09); 2A 1600 medley relay (Kemmerer, 3:37.26).

Four all-time best marks fell this season, including three at the state track meet. Gose turned in a 36.10 in the 300 hurdles at state, the only boys’ mark to fall this year. Pendergast ran a 23.58 in the 200 at the Trojan Invite in April, the only individual girls’ mark broken in 2023. The other two all-time bests set this year were in relays, as Cody set the best marks in both the 1600 medley relay (4:12.26) and the 4×800 relay (9:26.48), both at state.

If you see anything on the site that looks incorrect, give me a shout and let me know. 🙂


Zane Perez, an assistant coach with the Glenrock wrestling team, will be the Herders’ new head football coach.

Perez’s hiring was approved at the April 18 meeting of the Converse County School District No. 2 board, and he confirmed his hiring via email this week with

Glenrock’s website listed him as an assistant wrestling coach this year.

He replaces Carl Federer, who was the Herders’ head coach for one season.

Statewide, WheatlandGuernseySaratoga and Wright are also searching for a head coach for next season. Meanwhile, Campbell County, Rock SpringsEvanstonGreen RiverLanderRiverton and Rocky Mountain have hired a new head coach for the 2023 season. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at


The thought of reclassification is a biennial stressor for some schools, a complete nonstarter for others.

Through more than 70 years of changes, some schools have changed classifications so many times that they’re about ready to take off their socks to keep the count going. Others are drawing their Thanksgiving hand turkeys with no feathers, because they haven’t even had to start counting.

Same old song and dance

A total of 19 schools have been more or less unaffected by (non-football) reclassification over the past 70 years or so. These include a bevy of 4A schools: Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Laramie, Natrona, Rock Springs, Kelly Walsh, Thunder Basin and Sheridan. Also, 3A schools Buffalo, Douglas, Newcastle and Wheatland; 2A schools Tongue River, Rocky Mountain, Wind River and Wyoming Indian; and 1A schools Farson, Snake River and Ten Sleep have been unaffected by reclassification.

When Class C was restructured — and other classifications followed suit — in 1974, it gave permanent homes to several other schools, including C/1A-ever-since schools Chugwater, Burlington, Kaycee, Arvada-Clearmont, Cokeville, Encampment, Glendo and Rock River. Similarly, Torrington (3A) and Campbell County (4A) found homes prior to the 1974 shakeup, and Green River (4A) shortly after, and have been largely unaffected by (non-football) reclassification over the past 50 years.

The move from the AA-A-B-C to the 4A-3A-2A-1A setup in 1983 moved a few schools around into more settled classifications; six schools (3A Powell and Worland, 2A Greybull and Lusk and 1A Meeteetse and Midwest) have remained in their classifications since that shakeup.

The last big change to classification of programs that affected some of the more popular four-class sports like basketball, volleyball and track came in 1990, when Evanston moved to 4A and Lander and Rawlins moved into 3A. Shortly before that, Wright and Sundance found permanent homes in 2A.

Together, those 41 schools — almost two-thirds of Wyoming’s high schools — have remained unaffected by (non-football) reclassification since 1990.

Living on the edge

However, the 28 other schools currently participating in those sports have all been reclassified at least once since biannual reclassification started in 1991. In those in 32 years and 16 reclassification cycles, Lingle has had to change classifications the most, alternating between Class 2A and Class 1A nine times.

Yep — with nine changes in 16 opportunities, Lingle changes classifications more often than it doesn’t.

Other frequent movers straddle the 2A/1A line right along with Lingle, with one exception: Lovell. Both Lovell (3A/2A) and Southeast (2A/1A) have changed classifications six times in that span, and Upton (2A/1A) has changed five.

Schools with four changes since 1991 are Dubois, Shoshoni, Lyman and Thermopolis, three are Big Horn, Hanna, Guernsey-Sunrise, Saratoga, Star Valley and Kemmerer, two each are Pine Bluffs, Hulett, Mountain View, Cody, Riverton, Big Piney, Burns and Glenrock, and one are Pinedale, Cheyenne South, Jackson, St. Stephens, Moorcroft and Riverside.

The past few years

The reclassification changes mentioned are for the four-classification sports: basketball, volleyball and track. Starting in the 2018 school year, though, the WHSAA started using different classification systems for different sports, with cross country, golf, wrestling and swimming using one system; soccer using another; and indoor track yet another. Over the past three reclassification cycles, several schools have flipped across either the 4A/3A line or the 3A/2A line in a variety of sports.

That will end starting in the fall of 2024, as the WHSAA’s latest decision standardizes classifications in all sports except football.

What might be coming

The new enrollment cutoffs of 700 for Class 4A, 210 for Class 3A and 110 for Class 2A could send some schools into new classifications for the 2024-25 school year. Moreover, the WHSAA board’s decision to standardize classification across all sports except football will mean some schools will change classifications in some sports but not in others — at least the first time through the process.

If current enrollments hold, 13 schools will change classifications in at least one sport:

  • Star Valley, Jackson: Up to 4A in indoor track
  • Evanston, Riverton: Up to 4A in cross country, golf, wrestling, swimming and indoor track
  • Green River: Up to 4A in soccer, cross country, golf, wrestling, swimming and indoor track
  • Cody: Down to 3A in basketball, volleyball and track
  • Lovell, Glenrock, Thermopolis: Up to 3A in cross country, golf and wrestling
  • Moorcroft: Down to 2A in basketball, volleyball and track
  • Lingle, St. Stephens, Lusk: Down to 1A in basketball, volleyball and track

Classifications will TENTATIVELY be comprised of:

  • Class 4A (15 schools): Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Cheyenne East, Rock Springs, Cheyenne South, Cheyenne Central, Thunder Basin, Campbell County, Laramie, Sheridan, Star Valley, Jackson, Evanston, Riverton, Green River.
  • Class 3A (16 schools): Cody, Lander, Powell, Douglas, Rawlins, Worland, Buffalo, Pinedale, Torrington, Wheatland, Mountain View, Newcastle, Lyman, Lovell, Glenrock, Thermopolis.
  • Class 2A (14 schools): Moorcroft, Kemmerer, Burns, Tongue River, Wyoming Indian, Big Piney, Wright, Big Horn, Wind River, Greybull, Shoshoni, Pine Bluffs, Rocky Mountain, Sundance.
  • Class 1A (24 schools): Lingle, St. Stephens, Lusk, Southeast, Guernsey, Burlington, Saratoga, Upton, Riverside, Cokeville, Snake River, Hanna, Hulett, Midwest, Farson, Dubois, Meeteetse, Kaycee, Encampment, Ten Sleep, Arvada-Clearmont, Rock River, Glendo, Chugwater. (Glendo and Chugwater have not regularly fielded team sports in several years.)

Conference alignments will be set by participating schools.

The WHSAA will receive enrollments from schools over the summer and share them with schools prior to the first of four district meetings in September.


Headline from the April 18, 1974, Casper Star-Tribune, reads: "Prep realignment is a sticky issue."

The year 1974 was a good one for dismantling broken systems.

So when the Wyoming High School Activities Association focused on its system — the one where Rock River and all 25 of its high school students was opting up to Class B — the group’s board of control decided to fix it.

Rock River’s plight was a small piece of a fracturing system. By 1974, only eight schools remained in Class C, now Class 1A.

In April of that year, the WHSAA board considered numerous changes it could make to its classification system to make Class C viable again, or perhaps eliminate it altogether in drawing up something new.

The proposals ran the gamut of possible solutions:

  • One proposal would have eliminated Class C, with all C schools moving to Class B, giving Wyoming three classifications for the bulk of its sports.
  • Another proposal called for a return to a two-classification system, with the dividing line between Class A and Class B schools set at 200 students, thereby eliminating both Class AA and Class C.
  • Yet another proposal called for even splits of 18 teams for each of the top three classifications of AA, A and B, with the remaining 19 teams in C.
  • The final proposal would have split Wyoming into five classifications, with dividing lines between the classifications set at 600, 250, 120 and 60 students.

Of the four proposals before it, though, the board selected none of them.

Instead, the WHSAA board went with a fifth option, the one that ultimately saved small-school sports in Wyoming.

That option wasn’t a “proposal” at all. The WHSAA simply stuck with the system it had, with one caveat: It stopped accepting requests from Class C schools to play in Class B. It also canceled the existing opt-ups, like Rock River’s. That, coupled with slight adjustments in the enrollment cutoffs for each classification (including moving the boundary for Class C from 50 to 75 students), boosted the Class C numbers from eight schools to 20.

The road to that decision was a bumpy one, the result of one of the most turbulent times for small Wyoming high schools.

The root of “opting up” came about throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s as Class C schools struggled with conference schedules. Schools in Wyoming’s four districts — the northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest quadrants — worked hard to maintain full conference schedules as seven small Wyoming schools closed between 1966 and 1971 (Hawk Springs/Veteran/Yoder to form Goshen Hole; Morton/Pavillion to form Wind River; Hillsdale; Carpenter; Fort Laramie; and Arvada).

As those smaller schools closed, though, Class C schedules got harder and harder to fill. Class B, with more schools and more stability, became an attractive option. Moreover, schools that had lost enrollment and could have moved to Class C did not so they could maintain rivalries and full schedules.

The tipping point came in 1973, when a trio of tiny schools — Encampment, Medicine Bow and Rock River — all opted up to Class B together.

That’s how Wyoming reached the peak of reclassification ridiculiousness prior to the 1973-74 school year: Rock River, with its 25 students in grades 9-12, a Class B school.

Even so, entering that April 1974 meeting, the path forward was unclear, with different factions of coaches and administrators each proposing their solution as the right answer.

Rather than tear it all down and rebuild, though, the WHSAA simply reinforced its existing structure. That, coupled with small adjustments in enrollment boundaries, brought some equity to each classification.

It worked. Class C schools could still play Class B competition in the regular season, and regional tournaments in both classifications became more competitive across the board. The four-classification system was saved.

Perhaps the enduring sign of the importance of this decision is its longevity. Over the past 49 years, the four-class system has never really been challenged. And the WHSAA’s recent reclassification decision not only reinforced it, it returned Wyoming’s high schools to the system that was saved in 1974. The direct line between 1974 and 2024 is clear, as the state retains four classifications with only small adjustments to the enrollment boundaries for each classification.

What’s old is new again.

At least this time, Rock River didn’t have to become a 2A school to instigate it.

Up next: A look at who’s been affected the most, and the least, by reclassification.



That single word, maybe more than any other, has done more to shape the face of Wyoming high school sports.

Reclassification answers one of the most important questions any team will ever have in pursuit of a championship: Who’s my competition?

Where a school lands in this process dictates schedules, travel, rivalries… and a school that falls on the unfavorable side of the line could be destined for the end of a promising opportunity, or the favorable side of the line an unexpected chance.

It’s no surprise, then, that the reclassification process itself has always been the subject of debate, and change, for the Wyoming High School Activities Association.

At close to a dozen times, the process of how schools are classified has undergone significant changes, driven by changes across the state and the desires, or whims, of the schools involved in the process.

It all starts, though, with a concept that’s easy to grasp but difficult to account for:

Size matters.

Prior to 1940, all sports in Wyoming were in one classification. However, by 1940, the need for a large-school and small-school division led to the first set of classification rules for basketball. Track and field followed suit in 1951; later that year, Wyoming split into the four-classification system we know today for sports like basketball, volleyball and track.

Since then, the largest overhauls to Wyoming’s classification system came in 1974, 1983, 1990 and 2018. And at the end of April, the WHSAA added a new decision to its history of reclassification decisions, affecting classification makeup in significant ways. Each overhaul, though, came with its own set of new rules, sending schools into different classifications and determining how changes would be made.

Here are some of the highlights of Wyoming’s reclassification journey.

  • 1940: For the first time, classifications are introduced. The WHSAA splits from one classification to two for basketball: A and B. Class A schools had an enrollment of more than 100; Class B schools were 100 or below.
  • 1951: In its next big shift, the WHSAA splits from two classifications to four: AA, A, B and C (B/C stayed combined for track). Class A schools had an enrollment of larger than 500; Class A schools were between 150 and 500; Class B schools were between 51 and 149; Class C schools were 50 or below. (In October of this year, the WHSAA officially changes from the Wyoming High School Athletic Association to the Wyoming High School Activities Association to encompass its expanding scope.)
  • 1953: Class A and Class AA are combined for basketball, but not for track and field. A Class C track and field classification starts a few years later, in 1957.
  • 1962: Class A and Class AA are split again for basketball. The split for Class AA and Class A schools is set at 500 students.
  • 1974: With Class C shrinking as schools opted up to Class B to fill out schedules and play traditional rivals, the WHSAA — instead of eliminating Class C as suggested in a separate proposal — voted in April 1974 to expand Class C’s enrollment limits, changing other classifications in the process. Class AA was set as schools with 600 students or more; Class A schools were set between 200 and 600 students; Class B schools were set from 75 to 200 students; Class C schools were 75 or smaller.
  • 1983: Classes are changed from AA/A/B/C to 4A/3A/2A/1A, and the enrollment dividers change as well. Class 4A’s boundary is moved to 650 students; Class 3A is between 250 and 649; Class 2A is between 100 and 249; Class 1A is 99 or smaller.
  • 1988: The WHSAA juggles enrollment cutoffs slightly, making 600 the cutoff for Class 4A, 274 the cutoff for 3A and 101 the cutoff for 2A. Representatives from several schools, including Kemmerer and Lander, either challenge or testify in hearings against the changes.
  • 1990: For the first time, the WHSAA tries to split classifications based on a set number of schools in a classification rather than a strict enrollment cutoff. The WHSAA adopts a 12-16-20-24 structure, with the 12 largest schools in 4A, the next 16 in 3A, the next 20 in 2A and the remaining 24 in 1A. Also for the first time, football classifications are set differently from other sports as the state expands to five classifications for that sport. Football classification has remained separate from other sports ever since.
  • 1991: After vacillating between annual, every-two-years and every-three-years reclassification, the WHSAA sets a once-every-two-years schedule for reclassifying schools.
  • 2013: The WHSAA delayed reclassification for one year while debating changes to classifications. However, no significant changes passed the board.
  • 2018: For the first time in almost two decades, the WHSAA makes significant changes to classification structure, creating separate structures for a variety of sports. Basketball, volleyball and track changed from a 12-16-20 format to a 16-16-16 format; soccer changed from a 12-team 4A to a 14-team 4A; wrestling, cross country, golf and swimming remained unchanged, with 12 teams in 4A, 16 in 3A and the remainder in 2A (except for swimming, which has no 2A).
  • 2023: The WHSAA board voted to return to enrollment cutoffs rather than school number cutoffs for all sports and to standardize classifications across all sports except football, similar to before 2018. In the new guidelines, set to be used for the first time in the 2024-25 school year, schools above 700 students will be 4A; schools from 210 to 699 will be 3A; from 110 to 209 will be 2A; and smaller than 110 will be 1A.


Up next: A closer look at the 1974 decision that saved Wyoming’s four-class structure.


Kelly Walsh senior Chris Pickering was one of 13 athletes from across the country recognized with a Lead ‘Em Up Green 13 Award, recognizing exceptional leadership and character.

Visit for more on Pickering’s award.


Ted Holmstrom, whose previous head football coaching stops in the state took him to Lyman, Laramie and Riverside, will be the new head football coach at Rock Springs.

Rock Springs High School announced the hiring on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

Holmstrom was the head coach in Lyman for three years, from 2009-11, helping the Eagles ta state title game appearance in his final season. He also was the head coach at Laramie in 2012 and Riverside to start the 2013 season.

Since then, Holmstrom spent the 2015 season as the offensive coordinator at Vermilion Community College in Minnesota, the 2016-18 seasons as the head coach at Hancock Central High School in Michigan, and most recently, the head coach at Mobridge-Pollock High School in South Dakota for one season.

Prior to coming to Laramie, he coached at the high school and college levels in Michigan.

He replaces Mark Lenhardt, who left Rock Springs to take the head coach’s spot at Riverton.

Statewide, GlenrockWheatlandGuernseySaratoga and Wright are also searching for a head coach for next season. Meanwhile, Campbell CountyEvanstonGreen RiverLanderRiverton and Rocky Mountain have hired a new head coach for the 2023 season. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at


Post updated at 10:15 p.m. May 10 to correct an error in the coaching history.

With the archive of weekly football rankings complete, I wanted to turn my attention to something that I now have the opportunity to fully research and expand upon: the shared state championship.

Several championships were already listed as shared on my state champions listings. In the pre-playoff, polls-only era, this isn’t unprecedented. However, with both the complete AP and UPI rankings now fully available, it’s afforded me a chance to look back at season-ending polls to see if everything matches up.

In short, it doesn’t. And that’s what this post is designed to do — give some teams the props, and championships, they’ve earned but not had listed here.

This isn’t a new exploration of mine. When I first worked through shared champions in 2009 on this site, I made the decision to solely accept the UPI polls. With the extended research, though, I’ve come to the realization that both the AP and UPI polls were just about as equally valid, run just as often and about just as far and wide across the state as each other.

I defaulted to the UPI rankings because they were the favorite of my adopted hometown paper, and later my employer, the Casper Star-Tribune, which often didn’t even run the AP rankings for an entire season. But the AP rankings definitely had validity, and they need to be recognized as such. That means this site should accept the champions of both the AP and UPI polls, not just the UPI.

So that’s what I’m doing.

This means four teams — Torrington and Glenrock from 1972, Deaver-Frannie from 1971 and Cheyenne Central from 1966 — will retroactively have the championships they earned in those years added to the site. All four were AP champions in some form:

  • Torrington and Glenrock were AP champions in their respective classes (A and B) 1972, as opposed to UPI champions Star Valley and St. Mary’s.
  • Glenrock and Deaver-Frannie tied for the top of the Class B rankings in the final AP poll in 1971, whereas Glenrock won the UPI poll outright.
  • Cheyenne Central and Powell tied atop the final AP poll of the 1966 season, as Powell won the UPI outright.

Two other final polls where teams shared the top spot in the polls were NOT added for the following reasons:

  • The 1971 AA final polls’ top spots were shared between Laramie (AP) and Natrona (UPI). However, by 1971 Class AA had a championship game, which Laramie won. Likewise, the final polls were taken prior to the championship game, in which Laramie beat Rock Springs.
  • In 1961, Greybull (AP) and Laramie (UPI) finished atop the final polls of the season. These, too, came before the playoffs, in which Greybull as a Class A school was involved. Greybull’s loss to Buffalo in the Class A semifinals ended its title run and could not be accounted for in the polls, leaving Laramie as the sole Class AA title claimant and Star Valley, the team that beat Buffalo in the Class A championship game, as the titleist for that class.

Other shared championships that are already listed will remain, including Byron and Glenrock sharing the 1968 Class B championship, Sheridan and Laramie sharing the 1958 Class AA championship, and Sheridan and Natrona sharing the 1957 Class AA championship.

Shared titles before the start of statewide polls in the mid-1950s were “by acclaim” champions, as no formal polling system existed prior to the AP/UPI polls, and in earlier days the polls by the Wyoming Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

Researching the polls week to week has given me significantly more insight to the processes used in these times to choose a state champion. I think these updates accurately reflect the sentiment at the time.

And it makes me glad that we have playoffs these days.


Campbell County’s new head football coach is a Gillette native and Camel alumnus.

Orah Garst, who comes to Gillette off of four years at the University of Nebraska and 14 years of college coaching and recruiting, will be the Camels’ new head coach this season.

The Gillette News-Record first reported Garst’s hiring on Thursday.

Garst’s resume includes four years with the Cornhuskers, where he led recruiting efforts via graphic design and was also a coach on offense. Prior to that, he was at both Baylor and TCU in similar roles and also spent a year at Southwestern Assemblies of God University coaching linebackers and leading recruiting efforts.

His longest coaching stint was at Trinity Bible College, where he spent 2009 to 2015 as a defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

He graduated from Campbell County High School in 2006. His hiring was approved Tuesday by the Campbell County School District No. 1 school board.

Statewide, Rock SpringsGlenrock, WheatlandGuernseySaratoga and Wright are also searching for a head coach for next season. Meanwhile, EvanstonGreen RiverLanderRiverton and Rocky Mountain have hired a new head coach for the 2023 season. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at


Wheatland is on the search for a new head football coach.

Cody Bohlander, the Bulldogs’ head coach the past five seasons, resigned in March to pursue a career opportunity outside teaching and coaching, he said in an email to on Wednesday.

Bohlander said the new job will afford him more time with his family and will allow him to stay in Wheatland.

“As for now, I do not intend to coach again for the time being,” he wrote. “It was a tough choice to leave football and coaching, but I will forever be grateful for all the kids, coaches, and officials I was able to work with during my time as a coach for Wheatland.”

Wheatland reached the Class 2A semifinals twice in the past five years, in 2018 and 2021. Combined, Bohlander’s Bulldog teams went 27-22.

Statewide, Campbell CountyRock SpringsGlenrockGuernsey, Saratoga and Wright are also searching for a head coach for next season. Meanwhile, EvanstonGreen RiverLanderRiverton and Rocky Mountain have hired a new head coach for the 2023 season. If you know of other head coaching changes in the state, please email me at


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