LSRV to open pursuit of three-peat Sept. 1 in Ten Sleep, Wyo.
The Little Snake River Valley High School football team's schedule for 2012:
(date — opponent — time/location)
Sept. 1 — Ten Sleep High School — 2 p.m./Ten Sleep, Wyo.
Sept. 7 — Dubois High School — 3 p.m./Baggs, Wyo.
Sept. 15 — Guernsey High School — 3 p.m./Guernsey, Wyo.
Sept. 21 — Meeteetse High School — 3:30 p.m./Baggs
Sept. 29 — Hanna High School — 2 p.m./Baggs
Oct. 5 — Kaycee High School — 1 p.m./Kaycee, Wyo.
Oct. 12 — Midwest High School — 3 p.m./Baggs
Oct. 19 — Farson-Eden High School — noon/Farson, Wyo.
“Losing that game on that field has always been a thorn in my back. We’ve been waiting to get back there.”
—Mike Bates, Little Snake River Valley High School football coach, about the team’s Oct. 5 game at Kaycee High School this season
If the Little Snake River Valley High School's six-man football team is going to win a third consecutive state title, the Rattlers will have to be as good on the road as they are at home in Baggs, Wyo.
This season is the fourth year for 1A six-man football in Wyoming, and LSRV has been dominant, winning 21 straight games en route to state championships in 2010 and 2011.
The Rattlers’ road to another championship this season will begin with difficult games.
On Sept. 1, they travel to Ten Sleep High School, a high-scoring offense featuring 2011 all-state selection Friscoe Erdahl.
In the second game of the season Sept. 7, LSRV will play Dubois High School in a rematch of last year’s state title game.
LSRV head coach Mike Bates is looking forward to the game.
“That’s a huge one,” Bates said of the Dubois game. “We’re definitely going to have the kids ready. That’s one game everybody is going to be excited for.”
The next major tests for the team will come Oct. 5 and 12, in games against Kaycee High School and Midwest High School, respectively.
“The (Kaycee) coach, he’s a great coach,” Bates said. “We’ve only played there once, but we didn’t’ win. It was the first six-man game for both teams. Losing that game on that field has always been a thorn in my back. We’ve been waiting to get back there.”
Midwest High School gave LSRV a bigger scare than any other team during its undefeated run last season.
Bates said that was due to the Rattlers overlooking them, a mistake he hopes won't be duplicated this season.
“We definitely have that game marked on our calendars,” he said. “I didn’t take that game as serious as I should have. They were a No. 2 type team, and came out and punched us in the mouth. Even though we won that game, we lost a couple quarters. You can’t call it revenge because we won, but we’re looking for restitution.”
Overall, Bates said the landscape in Wyoming 1A is starting to become more difficult, with teams that have been weaker in the past improving rapidly.
“There’s good parity among six-man this year I believe,” he said. “A lot of it’s going to come down to how coaches use their players and get the right lineups on the field.”
Still, Bates is confident in his players. “It’s not like our kids aren’t tested,” he said. “It’s a new year so we have new leaders and lost some guys, so it will be interesting to see how they react.
"I have all the faith in the world in the new guys, though.”