News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Chiefs to play 6-man football next season
Nov 2, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Wyoming Indian High School will be playing 6-man football for the 2013 season.
After playing in the Class 1-A 11-man division during the 2012 campaign, the Wyoming High School Activities Association approved the move Tuesday during a board meeting in Casper. WIHS was winless on the football field this past season.
The Chiefs will join Fremont County schools St. Stephen's and Dubois in the 6-man division. St. Stephen's played a junior varsity 6-man schedule this year to prepare for the move into the varsity division, while the Dubois Rams are the top-ranked 6-man team in Wyoming heading into Friday's sate semifinal game.
"When we started 6-man football three years ago, we left our rules open in 1-A," said WHSAA associate commissioner Trevor Wilson on Friday morning. "Any team in 1-A classification football has the opportunity to play 11-man football or 6-man. The purpose of that was to try and grow 6-man football."
The 6-man division will have 14 teams in 2013.
"We are surprised that it's growing, but that is a good thing," Wilson said.
The Chiefs, Saratoga and Normative Services will all be dropping down to play in 6-man after playing in Class 1-A.
"I think that Wyoming Indian started with 14 players and finished with maybe 12 or 13," Wilson said.
"They have really struggled in winning and losing the last couple of years.
Hopefully, it will help them grow a program and get some kids interested. They will probably have to go 11-man after this year.
They will still have an opportunity to opt down if they choose.
I hope that it works out for Wyoming Indian right now."
Dubois played Midwest Friday in one of the 6-man semifinals. Meeteetse and Little Snake River battle each other in the semifinal.
The winners play in the title game. The Rams are undefeated on the season.
"Some people call 6-man football basketball on grass," Wilson said. "It's a great sport. It's a wide-open sport.
If you miss a tackle in 6-man football then it's pretty much a score. There are a lot of fundamentals that go with tackling and blocking."
The Rams lost to Little Snake River in the 2011 6-man football title game at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
The 6-man division in 2013 will have a East and a West conference.
"St. Stephen's had 10 to 12 kids this year," Wilson said. "In the middle of the season, they were excited for the opportunity to start varsity football."
Dubois, St. Stephen's, Little Snake River, WIHS, Farson-Eden, Meeteetse and Ten Sleep are in the 6-man West conference.
The 6-man East conference has Saratoga, Hanna-Elk-Mountain, Guernsey, Midwest, Kaycee, Hulett and Normative Services.
Wilson said WHSAA will make more changes in 1-A and 6-man football in 2014.
"The largest 12 teams in 1-A will play 11-man, and the rest of will play 6-man," Wilson said. "It will be exactly how we classify every other sport.
We just decided that we would treat it like every other sport. We always have a rule that you can opt up or down in any sport."