By: Shawn O’Brate
FREMONT COUNTY – As fall sports come to a close it’s almost time for basketball season to get ramped up and bring back some of our favorite players and teams to watch on the court while snow falls outside.
But, before that can happen, the changes to the 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A classes must be understood and identified. Because of ever-changing enrollment numbers, the schools around the county and around Wyoming move up and down in different sports which considerably impacts teams’ schedules, team configuration and more.
Basketball, volleyball and outdoor track and field classifications all mirror each other this school year as Kelly Walsh re-joins the 4A Northwest division that Riverton resides in alongside Cody, and Rock Springs. Kelly Walsh replaces Natrona County who returns to the 4A Northeast to face off against Campbell County, Sheridan and Thunder Basin.
In Class 3A, Glenrock and Moorcroft now take on Buffalo and Newcastle in the Northeast division which now kicks the Thermopolis’ Bobcats and Lady Bobcats teams into the 3A Northwest division alongside Lovell, Powell, and Worland.
Also in 3A, Lander has moved to the Southwest division to face off against the likes of Lyman, Mountain View and Pinedale while Douglas shifts to the Southeast division where Rawlins, Torrington and Wheatland stand.
There is plenty of movement in the 2A Class as well as Burns and Kemmerer drop down into 2A from 3A, pushing Burns into the 2A Southeast division and Kemmerer into the 2A Southwest division. Kemmerer now plays Big Piney, St. Stephens and the always dangerous Wyoming Indian teams while Burns will take on Lusk, Pine Bluffs and Lingle-Fort Laramie.
Because of the shift in 2A the Wind River Cougars and Lady Cougars move into the 2A Northwest division where Greybull, Rocky Mountain and Shoshoni reside. Finally, the 2A Northeast is down to just Big Horn, Sundance, Tongue River and Wright.
To cap everything off, the Class 1A movements include Riverside dropping down to join Burlington, Dubois, Meeteetse and Ten Sleep in 1A Northwest. In the 1A Southeast division there is no longer Lingle-Fort Laramie but it still contains Guernsey-Sunrise, Hanna Elk Mountain, Rock River and Southeast alongside newcomer Glendo.
The rest of the divisions remain the same as 1A Southwest still envelops Cokeville, Encampment, Farson-Eden, Little Snake River and Saratoga. The 1A Northeast also remains untouched as Arvada-Clearmont, Hulett, Kaycee, Midwest and Upton stay together.
Higher up, the 4A Southwest division still holds Evanston, Green River, Jackson and Star Valley while the 4A Southeast still contains three Cheyenne teams (Central, East, South) and Laramie.
The first basketball practices of the season begin November 21 with many local teams’ first games happening in Riverton or Lander at the annual Strannigan tournaments which happen December 8-10.
Good luck on the court this season to all Fremont County schools!