In all, 38 teams start conference play this week. Those games are in Class 2A, Class 1A nine-man and Class 1A six-man, where bigger conferences mean more league games.
Of those 19 games, a few stand out as potential title-deciders.
In particular, the 1A six-man South game between Dubois and Snake River will have big ramifications come playoff time. The South is shaping up as a three-team race between the Rams, Rattlers and Encampment, but Farson will also be a tough out and newcomer Casper Christian — don’t look now — is 2-0. While Dubois/Snake River is the game drawing top billing, Encampment’s game with Farson this week is also crucially important.
In the 2A West, Lovell and Cokeville met in last year’s semifinals and will meet again in the first week of conference play. Both teams played in thrillers last week, Lovell beating defending 2A champion Big Horn in double overtime and Cokeville losing by seven to Upton-Sundance. And while Lovell appears to have that early advantage, Cokeville hasn’t started a season 0-2 since 1987. This one may not decide a title, but for two teams used to winning, a loss will be a rough sting.
And in 1A nine-man, the most intriguing game of the week might be between Lingle and Lusk in Goshen County. Lusk lost last week, yes, but played well enough against a ranked Big Piney squad to keep it respectable. Lingle… well, we can’t learn too much about a team when it wins by 71 against clearly inferior competition. This week will give us a chance to learn a lot about both these teams and their title chances.
In each case, six more weeks of conference matchups await. No titles will be decided this week. But it’s hard to win a conference title if you lose your first conference game of the year, and that makes Week 2 just as critical as any other.
Up in Class 4A, conference play is already into its third week. Although the schedule wasn’t designed for this to happen, a weird quirk of how things have gone so far makes Week 2 “separation week.” The four teams with 1-1 records (Campbell County, Rock Springs, Cheyenne Central and Natrona) all face one another in a week of potential make-or-break games. A loss here for any one of these four teams sends hopes of a first-round home playoff game into deep trouble. …
Class 4A also gives us what might objectively be called the game of the week with 2-0 Thunder Basin traveling south to play 2-0 Cheyenne East. Thunder Basin has a 105-24 scoring advantage through two weeks, East a 94-19 advantage. Arguably, though, East has had the tougher schedule. Either way, seeing them face each other will help clarify a lot about the top of 4A. …
Three teams start the competitive parts of their schedules in Week 2. Saratoga (against Moorcroft) begins its season after canceling its Week 1 game due to questionable numbers. Meanwhile, Midwest and Ten Sleep meet in a game of teams with 0-0 records. …
St. Stephens will again sit out a week as Wind River, which was scheduled to play the Eagles this week, will play a sub-varsity team from Natrona instead. Oddly enough, Wind River also had to scramble to find a make-up game last week, too, after Saratoga canceled on them. At this point, it’s unclear if St. Stephens’ season will get off the ground at all this year. …
One of last year’s most exciting out-of-state games will see its rematch on Friday when Loveland’s Resurrection Christian comes from Colorado to Buffalo. Last year, the Bison lost 20-14 in overtime, so it’ll be interesting to see how they match up when they’re in Johnson County as opposed to greenie-land. …
Also on the out-of-state list this week is the now-traditional showdown between Star Valley and Sugar-Salem, Idaho. Both programs are their respective state’s defending 3A champ (Sugar-Salem has actually won four titles in five years). Neither team has lost yet this year, either, with the Braves at 2-0 and the Diggers at 3-0. Always a good one. …
Speaking of out-of-state foes, Rich County, Utah, is off to a 3-0 start. The Rebels will play their next seven games against 2A West opponents, and that stretch starts this week with Mountain View. …
It’s been an odd start for Cheyenne South, which has lost games by scores of 56-10 and 69-3. Both games are Wyoming high school football scorigami, meaning it’s the first time those final scores have ever been achieved in a Wyoming high school football game. So far, we’ve had six scorigami games this year: South’s two games (56-10 loss to Thunder Basin and 69-3 loss to Sheridan), Cody 56-2 over Lander, Casper Christian 61-53 over Kaycee, Mitchell, Neb., 55-24 over Wheatland and Snake River 78-28 over Meeteetse. …
This week’s can’t-get-a-read coin-flipper game: Kaycee/Meeteetse. I’m watching this one extra-close, because I literally have no idea which direction to lean. …
Here are this week’s picks. I put the team I think will win in bold. Somehow, it generates an emotional response. Language is weird.
Class 1A nine-man
Moorcroft at Saratoga
Campbell County at Rock Springs
Cheyenne Central at Natrona
Kelly Walsh at Cheyenne South
Sheridan at Laramie
Thunder Basin at Cheyenne East
Cody at Worland
Green River at Rawlins
Powell at Lander
Riverton at Evanston
Burns at Torrington
Kemmerer at Thermopolis
Lovell at Cokeville
Pinedale at Lyman
Tongue River at Glenrock
Upton-Sundance at Big Horn
Wheatland at Newcastle
Class 1A nine-man
Guernsey at Pine Bluffs
Lusk at Lingle
Riverside at Wyoming Indian
Shoshoni at Greybull
Wright at Southeast
Class 1A six-man
Hulett at Burlington
Kaycee at Meeteetse
Gering, Neb., at Douglas
Jackson at Wood River, Idaho
Loveland Resurrection Christian, Colo., at Buffalo
Mountain View at Rich County, Utah
Sugar-Salem, Idaho, at Star Valley
Class 1A nine-man
Big Piney at Rocky Mountain
Class 1A six-man
Casper Christian at Hanna
Dubois at Snake River
Farson at Encampment
Midwest at Ten Sleep
Natrona JV at Wind River
For a full schedule including kickoff times, click here. You can click on “Week 2” at the top of the page to take you directly to this week’s schedule.
Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:
Last week: 28-7 (80 percent). This season: 43-10 (81 percent).
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