The first Wyopreps.com Coaches and Media Poll for football in 2011 will be out Wednesday morning. Natrona, Douglas, Thermopolis, Cokeville, and Snake River were champions last year. Will any of them be ranked #1 to start this season?
Natrona lost a ton of seniors from that squad that won it all last year. Don Julian and Sheridan will simply reload this year with a transfer from rival Gillette and should be very competitive. East looks to be tough with Hinker and Woods back on the field while Laramie could surprise some people with some younger kids coming of age. Gillette will also be in the mix as coach Wilkerson puts the pieces of the puzzle together nicely each year.
Is it Douglas and then everyone else? Perhaps. The Bearcats should most certainly take the #1 spot to start the season but after that, its anyone's guess. Green River's presence will be felt early as the Wolves and Bearcats hook up in week 1. Cody then gets a turn with the Cats in Week 2. Buffalo and GR go at it in Week 3. The Bison always find a way to be a contender. Don't count out Riverton or Powell or Star Valley.
It belongs to the Bobcats till someone takes it away. Zero week sees a 2A title rematch when Big Horn goes to THS. Front runners, say the people, should be Lovell and Lyman this year. They meet early in Week 3 at Lovell. Wheatland could be a factor but they'll have to replace, in my opinion, the Shrine Bowl offensive MVP in Ward Anderson at quarterback.
Cokeville returns 4 All Staters from their Championship team. The Panthers look like the easy favorite, especially in the West. So what about the other side of the state? Lingle, Lusk, and Southeast again should be the teams that decide the top of that division. Burlington and Rocky Mountain and Wind River fill out the rest of the West.
Snake River has a good crop of returning players in just their third year of football. The Rattlers ran through the division last year on their way to the title. Dubois, however, could have something to say after shocking the 1A ranks last year. The Rams have nearly all their skill positions back and drop down a division. It will be interesting to see how they adjust to the smaller numbers and field. LSR and Dubois meet early as well, Week 2 in the high country. Hanna, Kaycee, and Midwest look to also be in the hunt.
Stats from 2010 are also posted on the STATS and STANDINGS page.
New polls come out Wednesday. In the mean time, happy locker room fodder.....