As many frequent readers of this blog might know, I’m putting together a book about Wyoming high school football. With any luck (like finding a publisher and some help) the book will be out in about a year-ish. That said, I’m putting together a crew of the state’s most talented writers to share some of the history of Wyoming football. I’ve got most of the big ideas down pat (keep watching this blog and you might catch hints about what those are), but I’m looking for a range of interesting moments to help fill the book. Here is a short list I put together in about 10 minutes of some interesting moments I want to be SURE to include in the book. In no particular order (roughly by time but not really), they are…

*  The Heart Mountain internment camp team in 1944-45. In two years, the Eagles lost just one game. Every win Heart Mountain had came by shutout…

*  The introduction of six-man into Wyoming (see this post for more on that).

*  The nation’s first lighted high school football game, Midwest, Wyoming, November 1925. Casper beat Midwest 20-0.

*  Probably the most messed-up story ever, that of Richard “Dick” Doyle. While working the chains during the Big Piney-Pinedale game on Oct. 21, 1947, the 18-year-old Doyle was killed by 14-year-old George Smith, who stabbed Doyle in the heart with a three-inch pocket knife. Doyle died before he could be taken off the field.

*  The Byron Eagles’ long win streak, one that reached more than 40 games in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I’m still digging up the info on this one…

*  The final game of the 1955 season between Laramie and Cheyenne Central. Laramie won 18-14 on its home field to claim the Class AA championship, but Cheyenne filed a protest claiming “timing irregularities” gave Laramie an unfair advantage. Two Cheyenne players also punched and tackled an official after he ejected a Cheyenne player. Although the protest was eventually tossed, the timekeeper that day, Edwin Hitchcock, died just days after the game due to a heart attack.

*  Polio. The disease wiped out a ton of games in the early 1950s and even took the lives of a few players.

*  The 1947 and 1948 Turkey Bowls.

*  The “dead era” of champions from 1939-ish to 1947.

*  Wyoming’s two games that lasted more than one day. The first came in 1951, when Greybull and Powell played to a 0-0 tie on Oct. 19, then met on Oct. 30 to play the overtime period. The OT had to be played to decide the conference champion, and Greybull officially won 2-0 by gaining more yards on five plays than Powell did on its five plays…. The other came in 1967, when Basin played Byron on Oct. 27, and Basin won 40-34 by scoring in the final minute. But Byron protested the game’s final 2 minutes, 24 seconds, the WHSAA upheld the protest, and the two teams met three days later to play the final 2:24. The game finished as a 34-34 tie, officially.

*  Cody’s 41-40 triple overtime victory over Laramie for the Class AA title in 1976. A crazy, tense game that ranks up there with Wyoming’s best ever, made all the more relevant by the fact that it was coaching legend John E. Deti’s last game on the sidelines.

*  Wyoming’s last tie game, the 45-45 shootout draw staged between Big Horn and Riverside in the 1987 season opener. The game went three overtimes, and was then called a draw by the officials. This was also Riverside’s first game in its incarnation as Riverside.

*  Speaking of Big Horn-Riverside games, how about the 2007 2A championship game when Riverside drove 99 yards for the final touchdown, then went for two (and converted) to pull out the victory?

*  Some 21st-century domination in Class 4A: Worland’s three-peat from 2001-03 and Buffalo’s 27-game winning streak from 2004-06.

*  The big changes in 2009 — the reintroduction of six-man football and the shift to Laramie for the state championship games.

Of course, the book will touch on some of the state’s great coaches: Deti and his son John R., Carl Selmer, Todd Dayton, Joel Eskelen, Art Hill, Jerry Fullmer and numerous others immediately jump to mind. And, of course, I am stringing together something about the state’s best players, including a list of those who later played in the NFL (sometime soon I’ll get around to posting that list to have y’all double-check it and see if I forgot anyone).

Are there any unique or interesting stories that stick out in your mind? Post a comment below and let’s start this discussion; I’d love to hear what some of your favorite Wyoming high school football memories are.


11 Thoughts on “Book ideas?

  1. Steve Core on May 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm said:

    Patrick, what about the 1988 three way tie playoff game between Green River, Evanston and Riverton. Evanston beat Riverton in the first half, and then beat Green River in the second half. The teams had a coin toss to determine who would play which half and against who. Evanston won both halves vs Riverton and 7-0 vs Green River. The game was played at Tiger Stadium in Rock Springs. Evanston would move on and lose to Central in the State Championship game.
    Also, if you have not yet heard, Tiger Stadium is getting a facelift this summer, new turf for football and a new track. 1.3 million dollar project.
    Anyway, continue to enjoy the site. Steve Core

  2. Patrick on May 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm said:

    Hi Steve,

    Those three-way playoffs were a mess. I played in one my junior year. We won the coin toss and got to sit the first half, but lost the second half 11-6 and stayed home for the playoffs.

    I think that 88 Evanston team is the only one to come out of a triangular playoff and play in the state title game… but I am not totally sure about that. Interesting way to break a tie, that’s for sure!


  3. Dahl Erickson on May 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm said:

    Hey Patrick, I saw this post and just wanted to ad a couple of things.

    As for the three-way tie and the state game, we have one of those in Star Valley. The 1995 team (95-96 school year) played in a three-way tie game with Lander and Riverton. SV defeated Lander in the first half and Lander won the second half with Riverton (in Riverton no less) SV and Lander then met for the title in two weeks later in Afton with the Braves taking a 32-14 victory

    As for a book idea, here’s a great one.

    In my research for SV football, it’s been a hard, hard road. Anything before WWII is very difficult to trace and it’s taken me a long time, but my favorit story is from 1929, which would have been SV’s second season overall. C. Newell Peterson started the team and the “Star Valley Athletic Club” was hosting Soda Springs, Idaho which is about an hour away. Probably more in 1929.

    Anyway, the coach for Soda was also acting as referee for the game as the article goes. Several SV plays had already been called back and after a long touchdown run was nullified by the Soda ref/coach citing the reasoning that “his team wasn’t ready” Peterson confronted him. The meeting at the middle of the field came to blows and the writer of the article stated that “there were more fists flying than Jack Dempsey ever saw” The Soda coach took his team and left after the altercation. For better or for worse, I count this as a “forfeit” in my records. Anyway, one never knows what you’ll find in history’s mysteries.

  4. Dahl Erickson on May 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm said:


    I don’t mean to dominate this thread, but one of my favorite “odd” memories of a game was in 2001 when Star Valley traveled to Bear Lake, Idaho to play the Bears. This is about 50 minutes away. There are a lot of stories in this rivalry that center around bad reffing, but this was the craziest I’ve ever seen, including the officials telling the Braves as they sat on the goal line at the end of the first half that time had expired despite there being time on the clock! Anyway, this game ended in a 2-0 final off of a late SV safety and the Braves won 2-0. It’s the only game I’ve ever seen end 2-0 so I think that’s a bit whimsical.

  5. Patrick on May 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm said:

    Dahl, those are some great stories. That weird stuff is the kind of stuff that motivates me to keep looking. Thanks!!


  6. Howard Cook on May 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm said:

    Worland’s 5 straight championships.
    Lost 1 conference game in 7 years. Avenged that conference loss 5 days later.

  7. Sisco Molina on June 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm said:

    I agree with Howard Cook, Worland’s 6 straight championships in the 50’s, as well as their 3-peat in 01′-03′.

  8. One of the funniest stories that comes to mind involves Cheyenne East’s Lee Vaughn. Man, now I’m not sure if this was football or basketball. Doh!

    Vaughn was a standout athlete, and we were talking on the air about his athletic prowess. The Uinta County Herald had a reporter, that while a gifted writer, really had no interest in sports. His modus operandi was to take a few shots at the start of the game, leave, and would then write his story, or so it seemed, from our radio sportscast.

    When his preview story came out expressing “Evanston would have to contend with ‘Levon'” I thought I would start to cry, I was laughing so hard! Of course, I felt obligated to break into song with the Elton John hit during my opener for that game — ?? Levon, Levon likes his money…??

  9. Did Lee Vaughn never play for the Dallas Cowboys? I sure thought he did. Maybe it was pre-season. Speaking of which, I know Casey Poppinga played tight end and special teams with my Steelers in a pre-season game.

  10. Patrick on October 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm said:

    Thanks for that story, Mark. Awesome!

    As for keeping track of preseason former Wyoming folks, I haven’t really tried. It’s tough enough to keep track of the guys who actually played a game in the regular season (


  11. david frahm on May 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm said:

    Speaking of Big Horn-Riverside games, how about the 2007 2A championship game when Riverside drove 99 yards for the final touchdown, then went for two (and converted) to pull out the victory?

    That same year on 9/14/2007 Big Horn won at Riverside 13 -12 in OT. I was the Referee.

    Have a ton of fun ref stories if that ever becomes appropriate….

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