Snake River headed back to state championship

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Wyoming 6-man state championship game

• No. 2 Little Snake River Valley School vs. No. 1 Dubois High School

• At the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo.

With one more win, the Snake River Valley Rattlers will three-peat as football state champions.

After a loss to Dubois early in the regular season, the team from Little Snake River Valley School in Baggs, Wyo., has been on a roll. Now it has a chance at revenge against Dubois, on the state’s biggest stage.

The Rattlers made it back to the state championship game with an 80-24 win over Meeteetse High School Friday afternoon in Baggs.

Head coach Mike Bates saw a full-team effort and good execution of the game plan as the difference.

“I felt we came out and executed our game plan, what we wanted to do in practice,” Bates said. “The last two or three games we’re doing that a lot better. We’ve been getting kids in the right place and coaching them up, that way they’re more sure of what they need to do.”

At the beginning of the season Bates shuffled his lineup, trying to get his players in the correct niche on both sides of the ball. He believes that contributed to the loss against Dubois and some closer results in the season’s first month.

But now, the Rattlers appear to be firing on all cylinders, especially on offense after an 80-point performance, the highest of 2012 for Snake River.

“The offense clicked really well, and we had a couple nice bounces go our way on defense,” Bates said. “That was nice, but I think we did score on every drive we had. That’s what you always hope happens.”

Now Snake River will take its shot at revenge at Dubois, which beat the Rattlers 43-36 in week two. That was Snake River’s lowest offensive output of the season, but Bates thinks his team is in better shape now than it was then.

“I’ve been preaching to the kids that, you know, we need to play our best ball at this time of the year,” he said. “I think part of that is having them in the correct positions and then just being up for the game. They definitely were (Friday). They played to the best of their ability I thought.”

Now Bates wants a solid week of practice and he believes his team will be ready take its third straight title.

“Practice is not going to be any different,” he said. “You’re definitely playing on a bigger stage, but the kids have been there before. It will just be a normal week to get them to the crescendo next weekend.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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