“It was a fun to play another game, and hearing our fan base chanting the name of our state instead of the school was really cool. It was cool to represent Wyoming like that.”
—Daniel Wille, 2012 LSRV graduate, about playing in the Wyoming-Nebraska six-man football All-Star Game
Not even the best six-on-six football players from outside of Wyoming are good enough to beat the boys from Littler Snake River Valley School.
The football team, which has won the last two 1A Wyoming State Championships in six-man football, had four graduated seniors play June 30 on a team of Wyoming seniors against the best of Nebraska’s seniors from six-man football.
The idea was something LSRV coach Mike Bates had been working on with coaches from Nebraska for a little while. They wanted to get an annual all-star type game of the two states’ best graduated players to go head to head for insterstate dominance.
“This was a brand new thing, the first year we’ve done it, and through the year we made sure to keep track of who was playing the best,” Bates said. “We decided we wanted it to be graduated seniors only, and ended up bring 14 kids from Wyoming against 18 from Nebraska.”
Daniel Wille, Rex Stanley, Miles Englheart and Jacob Ready all represented LSRV in the game.
The result was one of the more thrilling games played in six-man football, in Nebraska or Wyoming.
Due to a significant number of turnovers and big plays, Wyoming fell behind big in the first half. Scoring and converting a two-point conversion to finish the half cut Nebraska’s lead to 46-20 going into intermission.
Wille said his team knew they were still in the game if they corrected their mistakes.
“At halftime we weren’t too discouraged because in six-man 26 points isn’t that much,” Wille said. “In six-man you put up points so fast, 26 points there is more like 10 points in 11-man.”
The Wyoming team came out with a vengeance in the second half. After surrendering the first score to Nebraska to go behind 52-20, Wyoming did not give up another point, scoring 34 of its own points to take the inaugural win.
“It was such a crazy game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it,” Bates said. “My favorite thing about it was the win took everybody, every coach and player had to contribute to get there.”
Even while mounting its furious comeback, the situation for Wyoming was still in doubt. The team still trailed when it got the ball with under a minute to play, but a 32-yard touchdown catch by Wille with 19 seconds to play put Wyoming ahead for good.
“As soon as I burnt my guy I was just thinking, ‘I hope (the quarterback) gets the ball to me,” Wille said. “I had to speed up to get to it, but I wasn’t going to let myself miss it.”
Wille enjoyed being a part of the Wyoming team beyond getting the win.
“It was a fun to play another game, and hearing our fan base chanting the name of our state instead of the school was really cool,” Wille said. “It was cool to represent Wyoming like that.”
Another game is on for next summer, according to Bates, who wants to bring it to Baggs, Wyo.
“My hope is to have the game in Baggs next year, that’s what I’m going to push for,” he said. “We’ll have nine seniors next year, and it takes a lot for the city to put it on. I think we’re up to the challenge.”
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