Star Valley Cody

Star Valley’s Bailey Sharpe, Cody’s Sami Heimer and Star Valley’s Desa Inskeep battle for possession during a quarterfinal match at last year’s Wyoming State High School Class 3A Girls Soccer Championship.

Dahl Erickson, Star Valley Independent

Most Class 3A teams took a sigh of relief when Jackson moved up to Class 4A, finally giving way for new state champions to be crowned.

While the Broncs are having mixed success at the higher classification, their departures have created uncertainty as to who will assume the now vacant thrones.

The Cody boys were the favorites but sputtered at the finish line to give way to Lander, Torrington and Worland to gain ground on the first championship for each program. The Tigers have the best record and a talented attacking offense that is always a threat to score.

Torrington has come on strong with a stingy defense and few standouts. Worland, in its 11th appearance, has a solid back line and a late-season winning streak to give Warriors fans hope this could be the year.

Cody is the heavy favorite in the girls’ bracket despite Star Valley smudging the Fillies’ otherwise perfect resume in the regular-season finale.

Meanwhile, Riverton and Powell both struggled but won when it counted. Rawlins earned the first state tournament berth in school history and gets the most frequent qualifier in Buffalo (17 appearances) in the first round.

Star Valley vs. Worland might be the best match-up of the first round in all of Class 3A. Both teams are offensive-minded and could provide fireworks on Thursday.


Class 3A Boys

1NW Cody Broncs

Coach: Kory Jansma

Record: 9-5-0

Record against other teams at state: 4-4-0

State appearances: 14

State championships/most recent: 3/2011

Outlook: John Varian (16 goals) leads the Broncs, who have lost three of their last four.

2SW Star Valley Braves

Coach: Shane Hokum

Record: 9-3-0

Record against other teams at state: 2-3-0

State appearances: 8

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: The Braves have won four straight with Noah Hutchinson (10 goals) and Gerson Lazano (nine assists) ready to avenge the season-opening 1-0 loss to Cody.


1SE Lander Tigers

Coach: Dean Schaff

Record: 10-2-2

Record against other teams at state: 5-2-2

State appearances: 18

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: Daniel Lobera (20 goals) leads 3A in scoring and Jed Welsh leads 3A in assists (11) as the Tigers eye that elusive first state championship.

2NE Douglas Bearcats

Coach: Bryan Cropper

Record: 6-9-1

Record against other teams at state: 2-7-0

State appearances: 2

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: The Bearcats may be the underdogs, having lost 7-0 to Lander on May 1, but they did beat 4A Green River 3-1 earlier this season.


1NE Buffalo Bison

Coach: Dick Edgcomb

Record: 4-11-1

Record against other teams at state: 1-8-0

State appearances: 16

State championships/most recent: 3/2013

Outlook: Slayter Nielsen (89 saves) and Luke Glassock (12 goals) have led the Bison to this point, including shootout losses to Lander and Torrington.

2SE Torrington TrailBlazers

Coach: Jesh Arnusch

Record: 14-3-0

Record against other teams at state: 6-3-0

State appearances: 9

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: Nathan Stitt (15 goals, seven assists), Austin Shields (eight goals, six assists), Link Jirasart (seven goals) and Ethan Creager (seven assists) lead the prolific offense.


1SW Riverton Wolverines

Coach: Aziz Waheed

Record: 9-3-3

Record against other teams at state: 4-3-3

State appearances: 11

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: The Wolverines lost to Class 4A West Conference champion Rock Springs 2-1 on April 7 and have lost only once since.

2NW Worland Warriors

Coach: Ron Overcast

Record: 10-4-0

Record against other teams at state: 4-3-0

State appearances: 11

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: The Warriors are undefeated in the last six, including two Coy Larkins (90 saves) shutouts, since their April 13 1-0 loss to Riverton.


Class 3A Girls

1NW Cody Fillies

Coach: Marian Miears

Record: 14-1-0

Record against other teams at state: 8-1-0

State appearances: 12

State championships/most recent: 1/2012

Outlook: Hannah Bailey (23 goals) helped Cody beat two state-bound Class 4A teams (Green River and Rock Springs) during the Fillies’ 14-match winning streak.

2SW Riverton Wolverines

Coach: Tanya Santee

Record: 6-11-0

Record against other teams at state: 1-11-0

State appearances: 12

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: The Wolverines are at the state tournament for the first time since 2006 thanks to a 3-2 win over Torrington.


1SE Lander Tigers

Coach: Gabe Joyes

Record: 8-6-1

Record against other teams at state: 2-6-0

State appearances: 14

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: Despite a rocky start, the Tigers are in by going undefeated in the last six, including wins over Riverton and Rawlins.

3NW Powell Panthers

Coach: Jack Haire

Record: 5-9-0

Record against other teams at state: 2-7-0

State appearances: 8

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: The Panthers upset Douglas for the state berth and have given up more goals (52) than any team that qualified.


1NE Buffalo Bison

Coach: Mike Sauers

Record: 11-5-0

Record against other teams at state: 4-3-0

State appearances: 17

State championships/most recent: 2/2014

Outlook: The Bison lost to Kelly Walsh 9-0 at the Casper Jamboree but only lost twice to Class 3A opponents (Worland 2-1 and Star Valey 2-1 in a shootout).

2SE Rawlins Outlaws

Coach: Brooke Dotterer-Mendez

Record: 5-10-0

Record against other teams at state: 0-5-0

State appearances: 1

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: Ana LaTorre leads Rawlins with six goals and sophomore Brooklyn Arnold has five as the Outlaws have a tall task in their first state tournament match.


1SW Star Valley Braves

Coach: Sandy Buckstaff

Record: 10-2-1

Record against other teams at state: 7-2-1

State appearances: 7

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: Possibly more impressive than their wins is the scoreless draw the Braves played to with now-Class 4A Jackson.

2NW Worland Warriors

Coach: Danielle Warren

Record: 9-5-0

Record against other teams at state: 3-5-0

State appearances: 10

State championships/most recent: 0

Outlook: BreAnna Parra (16 goals), Casey Wassum (13 goals, 13 assists) and Hannah Ozmon (17 assists) have the Warriors clicking.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @Brady_CST

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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