Poll position: Week 8

This wasn’t an easy week to vote in the WyoPreps.com Class 4A football poll, especially if you put a lot of stock in head-to-head matchups. Here’s how I ultimately voted and why.

No. 1. Gillette (8-0): The Camels crushed Laramie 52-6. Senior quarterback Austin Fort, a University of Wyoming commitment, is finally healthy and threw for 151 yards and rushed for 145 more. Gillette is the team to beat going into what should be a tough matchup with Cheyenne East.

No. 2 Cheyenne East (7-1): This is where the rankings get tricky on head-to-head criteria. I had East third over the past few weeks because it lost at Sheridan, which I had ranked No. 2. Then Sheridan went and lost to visiting Casper Natrona County 38-20. That’s the Natrona team that East beat in triple-overtime in Casper. It’s also the Natrona squad that Gillette beat in overtime in Casper. The injury bug really started biting East heading into that Sheridan game and the T-Birds were bottled up offensively and big-played to death defensively. Now they’re healthy and rolling Evanston 41-6.

No. 3 Casper Natrona County (5-3): It’s odd putting a three-loss team here but the Mustangs are better than their record shows. Those three losses have come by a combined three points, in overtime and at home. I’ve had one coach repeatedly tell me that Natrona is the state’s best team, winning 38-20 at Sheridan is a strong indication that this coach isn’t just blowing sunshine up my skirt.

No. 4 Sheridan (6-2): I had a hard time putting the Broncs here after just one loss, especially since they beat East head-to-head. I’ve seen them on video and I’ve seen them play live at Cheyenne Central and I have been very impressed with the Broncs. Just like Natrona are probably better than 5-3, the Broncs might be better than they showed in the 38-20 loss to the Mustangs.

No. 5 Casper Kelly Walsh (5-3): I hate moving teams down my ballot after a win and the Trojans did nothing wrong by holding on to beat Central 34-26. What dropped the Trojans from No. 4 to No. 5 on my list was what Natrona did at Sheridan. The Trojans have played much better after starting the season 0-2. They beat Natrona in overtime and played Cheyenne East tough in a 12-3 loss in sloppy conditions. Kelly Walsh could be dangerous come playoff time.

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