Wyoming High School Football Pre-Season Rankings 2016 [POLL]
The votes have been counted, and Wyoming High School football coaches and media weren't interested in choosing politicians.
Teams are hard at work preparing for the upcoming 2016 season.
Although anything is possible, the voters have issued their say on which teams are the early season contenders.
Two of last year's 5 state champs start the pre-season at #1.
In Class 4A, the usual suspects are ranked 1-4. In each of the last 6 seasons, it's been Gillette, Sheridan, Natrona and Cheyenne East in the semi-finals, so it's no surprise that they start the season ranked #1 through #4. East is the team that has to pay the most attention to the first game of the season. The Thunderbirds visit #5 Rock Springs, and it's a safe bet that the Tigers are going to be focused on East. Last year RS made 2 trips to East, and lost by 6 and 1 point respectively. RS knows they can beat the T'Birds, but can they put it together and get the job done? Speaking of which, although not ranked, this maybe Cheyenne South's last chance for awhile, to get their first ever win vs. Evanston, because it appears the Red Devils will drop to 3A next year. The last 4 games between these 2 teams have been decided by less than a touchdown.
Last year's 3A Champs are the early season pick to repeat, but that's easier said than done. Star Valley collected all but 1 first-place vote and have a very challenging non-conference schedule to start the season. State Runner-Up and #2 Green River should have the same, as they play 2 non-conference opponents on the road in their first 3 games. Douglas checks in at #3, followed by Riverton and Torrington. Riverton may have the toughest schedule to start the season, playing #2 and #1 back-to-back. Unranked Cody probably has the most to prove this season, considering they went from state champs 2 years ago, to not making the playoffs last year.
2A could be the most unpredictable class, because they are many teams that have potential. The question is, which team will make-up the most for what they lost to graduation? The voters give the #1 nod to Glenrock. Last year's state runner-ups bring back a history of success. Greybull didn't lose much to graduation, and the Buffalos are ranked at #2, not far behind the Herders. Wheatland and Big Horn tie for the #3 ranking. The Bulldogs, Rams and Glenrock all tied for first in a very competitive East conference last year. Mountain View will start the season ranked #5. Meanwhile, unranked Kemmerer has an unpleasant record eyeballing them. If the Rangers put together another 0-8 season, they will break Rawlins' futility record from 2008-2012, and claim the longest losing streak in state history. The record is 35, and Kemmerer is at 28.
Similar to 3A, the top 2 teams in 1A, were the top 2 finishers from last year. The Upton-Sundance Patriots have the bulls-eye on their back. #2 Tongue River hopes to stay on their heels until they can get their hands on them in week 8. #3 Shoshoni along with #5 Cokeville have something to prove, because both were stunned with an early exit in last year's playoffs. The early end to the season left a bad taste in the mouths of the Wranglers who had an undefeated regular season, and for the Panthers, who are used to going deep into the post-season. Southeast will claim to the #4 ranking to start the season. You better believe that Shoshoni wants another piece of the Cyclones, when week 2 rolls around.
With the addition of 3 more teams, 6-Man could be the most competitive that's it has ever been. State Runner-Up Meeteetse is the early season King of the Mountain. Guernsey-Sunrise and defending champ Kaycee occupy rankings #2 and #3, followed by Little Snake River and Farson-Eden. The Rattlers and Pronghorns should have good early season tests. LSR welcomes in 6-Man newcomer Lingle-Ft. Laramie, while F-E travel to G-S to start the season.
Disclaimer: The rankings have no official say on post-season positioning, and are only to be used as a measuring stick on the regular season. Please don't read too much into the rankings.