Fall is football time — and what better way to enjoy the season by attending as many games as possible?
That’s what this blog post intends to do: map out the most efficient possible way to see as many, and some of the best, Wyoming high school football games in the 2021 season.
When I’ve done this the past couple years (see 2020 and 2019‘s dream trips), I’ve always struggled to decide which Friday night game should get top billing. Sometimes I choose a game that I know I wouldn’t want to miss. Sometimes I choose a game because it’s near an afternoon game and I can catch two games instead of one. Sometimes I throw a dart at a map and see what fate wants for me.
With significant help from the 2021 schedule, here’s my dream trip, existing only in a world where I had every Friday and Saturday off and plenty of money for gas, grub and hotels:
Friday, Aug. 27: Natrona sophs at Glenrock, noon; Thunder Basin at Cheyenne East, 6 p.m.
A host of scrimmages and other Zero Week shenanigans dot the schedule, so I decided a short trip down I-25 would work best. The chance to see the rematch of last year’s 4A title game is too much to pass up.
Thursday, Sept. 2: Pine Bluffs at Riverside, 2 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 3: Hulett at Burlington, 2 p.m.; Worland at Powell, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 4: Hanna at Snake River, 2 p.m.
The Northwest corner has some really intriguing games, and I could catch three of them by hitting Basin, Burlington and Powell. It’s a long morning drive to Baggs to catch the Carbon County rivals go at it, but worth it.
Friday, Sept. 10: Cokeville at Lyman, 11 a.m.; Lovell at Mountain View, 4 p.m.; Kelly Walsh at Rock Springs, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11: Burlington at Farson, 1 p.m.
The schedule allows for a rare triple-header attempt in the Southwest, with two 2A West games in the Bridger Valley the essential viewing on this trip (and maybe the second half of Trojans-Tigers?). A six-man game on Saturday is a great capper to a week that will set the pace in a competitive 2A West for the rest of the season.
Friday, Sept. 17: Lander at Evanston, 3 p.m.; Worland at Green River, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18: Dubois at Meeteetse, noon.
Week 3’s schedule has great games all over it, but the Evanston-Green River 3A double-dip offered the most bang for the buck. From there, it’s a long but doable drive to catch the Rams and Longhorns in an intriguing six-man matchup.
Thursday, Sept. 23: Riverside at Wyoming Indian, 5 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 24: Burns at Big Horn, 2 p.m.; Rawlins at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25: Kaycee at Hulett, 1 p.m.
I was destined to head northeast this week, as Burns-Big Horn is the only non-six-man afternoon game. But, hey — three games, plus a bonus trip to Ethete, is all good.
Friday, Oct. 1: Shoshoni at Pine Bluffs, 2 p.m.; Wheatland at Burns, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 2: Pinedale at Mountain View, 1 p.m.
Laramie County gets some love this week as the best two-for-one option is down in the southeast corner. A little bonus 2A ball on Saturday (and a long drive) makes for a good weekend.
Thursday, Oct. 7: Wind River at St. Stephens, 4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 8: Guernsey at Kaycee, 2 p.m.; Campbell County at Natrona, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9: Encampment at Hanna, 2 p.m.
It’s a hodgepodge of games for Week 6, mostly based on convenient times and geography. But all four games are intriguing in their own ways, and that’ll make it fun.
Friday, Oct. 15: Southeast at Lusk, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 16: Burlington at Guernsey, 1 p.m.
After last year, you’d have to be out of your mind to think I’d miss a game between Southeast and Lusk. I could have watched more games with a different schedule, but this was worth it — plus some six-man bonus ball on Saturday.
Thursday, Oct. 21: St. Stephens at Rocky Mountain, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 22: Pinedale at Thermopolis, 3 p.m.; Jackson at Cody, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23: Dubois vs. Hulett, at Ten Sleep, TBD.
Again: If you think I’d miss Jackson-Cody, you’ve got another think coming… I might have to leave Thermopolis a bit early to catch it all, though. Add in a couple six-man games and a nine-man, and it makes for a full week.
I’d catch 44 of Wyoming’s 63 teams on this trip — six of the 10 4A teams, nine of 12 in 3A, 10 of 16 in 2A, nine of 14 in 1A nine-man and 10 of 11 in 1A six-man. I’d see Worland, Burns, Mountain View, Pine Bluffs, Riverside, St. Stephens, Dubois, Guernsey, Hanna and Kaycee twice; I’d see Burlington and Hulett three times. And I’d be broke, tired and totally happy.