Pigskin postmortem: Cheyenne South

Cheyenne South junior running back Marquez Jefferson, center, earned All-Class 4A East Conference honors after rushing for 887 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Photo by Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Cheyenne South junior running back Marquez Jefferson, center, earned All-Class 4A East Conference honors after rushing for 887 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Photo by Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

A few weeks ago, I came home late from work and turned on ESPN’s “College Football Final.” They were going into a Colorado highlight when host Rece Davis said something along the lines of, “There are no two teams in the country who are more improved but have less to show for it than Colorado and Arkansas.”

Clearly this was before Arkansas beat LSU and Ole Miss in consecutive weeks.

You might be thinking to yourself, what does this have to do with the 2014 Cheyenne South football team?

Well, that’s an apt description for the Bison, is it not?

There was no team in Class 4A more improved but with less to show for it in the standings.

South finished its fourth season of varsity football 2-7, a school record for wins. It scored its first win over a cross-town rival and its first road win (31-28 at Cheyenne Central on Sept. 5). Continue reading

Pigskin postmortem: Cheyenne East

Chad Goff has coached the Cheyenne East football team to a 59-39 record, two state championships and two runner-up finishes in nine seasons. Photo by Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Chad Goff has coached the Cheyenne East football team to a 59-39 record, two state championships and two runner-up finishes in nine seasons. Photo by Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Cheyenne East’s season ended with a 34-31 double-overtime loss to Gillette in the Class 4A semifinals.

The Thunderbirds (8-3) may have ended up short of their ultimate goal, but ninth-year coach Chad Goff deemed the season a success.

“We started the season as a great group of individuals and ended the season as a great team,” Goff said. “We grew a lot. These kids did a lot of things together, spent a lot of time together, created a nice brotherhood, created memories that they’ll have forever and became a nice team.

“… We got as much out of the kids as we could and they gave us as much as they could. High school football requires a lot of things to go your way. All season, we had things go our way but, in that final game, we had some things that hadn’t happened to us all year happen in that game.” Continue reading

Pigskin postmortem: Cheyenne Central

Severn, Drew

Drew Severn

Drew Severn had spent four seasons as an assistant football coach in Burns before being hired as Cheyenne Central’s head coach this season. There also was time spent as a sub-varsity coach in his native Arizona before he returned to the Cowboy State, where he lettered football for the University of Wyoming from 2002-05.

Severn knew this season would be a learning experience as he got used to the responsibilities that come with being the head coach.

It was just that.

“I made the final call on everything we were doing,” Severn said. “I had always given my opinion but I had never been the person that made the final decision before this year. That was uncharted territory, but I got more comfortable with that as the year progressed and I was making decent enough calls to get us in the right spot.

“We got better towards the end of the year and I got better towards the end too.” Continue reading

BLOG BREAKDOWN: Cheyenne East boys basketball

EastJeff Bailey is confident entering his second season as the Cheyenne East boys basketball coach.

Taking a team from five wins to a 21-7 mark and third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament has that effect on coaches. So does returning two all-state players.

More than anything, though, Bailey is just more comfortable in the lead chair and the responsibilities that come along with it.

“Any time you start something new, it’s a little intimidating,” Bailey said. “Now we have a foundation set and the kids know the expectations and we’re building off of a lot of good things that we saw from last year.” Continue reading

BLOCK BREAKDOWN: Cheyenne South boys basketball

SouthThe Bison finished last season 8-20 and reached the Class 4A state tournament for the second time in their mere four-year history in Wyoming’s top classification.

South graduated Kyhler Cummings, Robert Dilsaver and Adam Haberkorn, all of whom were four-year starters. Cummings is playing for Laramie County Community College, where he is averaging 3.4 points in eight games with the Golden Eagles (11-2 overall, 3-1 Region IX).

“I kind of feel like I should have graduated right along with them,” Bison coach Jim Shaffer joked. Continue reading

BLOG BREAKDOWN: Cheyenne Central boys basketball

CentralTagg Lain takes over a team that went 7-19 and placed fourth at the Class 4A state tournament in 2014.

The Indians graduated all-state guard Josh Fearing, who is suiting up for Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs. Fearing has played in nine games for the Mustangs (9-2).

Senior Tayton Montgomery also decided to skip basketball in favor of indoor track and field. Classmate Rhett Muchmore did the same, but with wrestling. Seniors Paul Sheppard and Blane Cowley also didn’t go out for basketball this season.

Those five players accounted for an average of 28.3 of Central’s 41.5 points per game, so they’re significant losses.

Here is what you should know about what Central will put on the court this winter: Continue reading

Tate took on bigger role in East win over Natrona

Junior Savannah Tate’s role with the Cheyenne East volleyball team has grown throughout this season. But it has never been larger than it was during Thursday evening’s 25-20, 25-17-23-25, 25-21 victory over Casper Natrona County.

Not only did Tate play more than she has in any other match that I’ve seen this season, but she also played well and notched several key kills that stemmed Fillies’ runs.

“She’s a smart hitter and did a great job against their big blocker out there,” East coach Dan Box said. “We’ve been able to use certain people in the certain situations and Savannah did a good job there.” Continue reading

Ten years on: Central’s last girls swimming and diving championship

In 16 years of professional newspapering I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Blowouts, squeakers, 0-0 ties, four-overtime ridiculousness, 90-point bull rides – it takes all kinds to make an interesting existence in this line of work.

Few events have equaled the sheer excitement of the 2004 WHSAA State Swim and Dive Championships.

Cheyenne Central won its second straight championship by one point over host Gillette. One. Point. Continue reading

Bartlett brothers get special moment in East’s rout

Tevis Bartlett

Tevis Bartlett

Tevis Bartlett was the last  player expected on the field with Cheyenne East leading Casper Kelly Walsh 57-27 when it took over on its own 26-yard line with 6 minutes, 23 seconds to play in the Class 4A quarterfinal game.

Most of the Thunderbirds’ starters were also on the field, but nobody would have blamed coach Chad Goff for keeping Wyoming’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year on the sideline during what amounted to little more than garbage time.

That play – an 8-yard completion – was Bartlett’s last Friday.

And that’s just the way Goff wanted it. Continue reading