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Time to think about moving state title games back to towns

Nov 20, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Five years.

That is how long the Wyoming state high school football championships have been played at the University of Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium.

"I think that it has been great for kids," Wyoming High School Activities Association Associate commissioner Trevor Wilson said on Wednesday morning. "That is why we are in it. Each kid that experiences that has said that it hasn't been a bad experience win, lose or draw."

I attended last year when Dubois won the 6-man title over Little Snake River in a very empty War Memorial Stadium.

I still remember how excited Dubois coach David Trembly was and his players were after the final second ticked off the clock and DHS had its first state title.

"One of our concerns is if you get a 6-man game and you get a 100 people on each side how that was going to be in a stadium that seats 25,000 or so people," Wilson said. "The atmosphere is really cool and loud down on the field. It feels like you have 10,000 people. It has been a great thing for the kids."

The 2012 6-man title game was fantastic for the players, coaches and the fans involved in the game, but I always thought the stands would have been more packed if the game would have been played in Dubois.

The kickoff time for the state championship game was a little different as well.

The 6-man game last year was played at noon on a Friday.

This year, the 6-man title game was played on Saturday morning when Meeteetse claimed the title over Midwest.

"The 3-A game will probably continue to be the Friday afternoon game," Wilson said. "The Class 4-A game will continue to be on Saturday evening. We will try to rotate those other three games around a little bit so they are not always playing Friday at noon or Saturday at 10 a.m."

High School football fans were treated to some thrilling games in the two days in Laramie.

In Class 3-A, Powell edged Douglas 19-13 in overtime for the title.

Cheyenne East slipped by Casper Natrona 14-13 for the 4-A title.

Cokeville claimed a 13-12 win over Niobrara County in Class 1-A 11-man football.

"It was our most competitive year concerning all of those five games," Wilson said. "That is what you hope for when you have those teams meet in those championship games."

Wilson said the weather conditions weren't much of a factor in the two days of championship football.

"We can't control the weather," Wilson said. "The weather was the best that we had in five years. This year was a little breezy. We only had a few snowflakes on Friday evening."

Laramie has the bid for the state championships for the next two years.

"We know that is going to happen, and then we will see what the future holds," Wilson said. "At this time we have no intention of going anywhere else."

By the sounds of it, the WHSAA is happy with the way things have gone in the first five years.

"I would anticipate as long as University of Wyoming is willing to host and wants to host, that is where we will be," Wilson said.

I'm one of those high school football fans who would love to see the title games be moved back to the teams with the best records in the classifications.

When the bid is up for UW, I want the WHSAA to think about changing the format and the location.

It would be a perfect time for a change.

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