The Burns Broncs are in the middle of a special season.
Unbeaten at 9-0 so far and the top seed in the Class 2A football playoffs, the Broncs are in position to host the state championship game if they can get past Wind River in the semifinals on Friday.
But if Burns coach Bill Fullmer had his wish, that championship game wouldn't be in Burns. It would be in Laramie, at War Memorial Stadium.
And not even the chance of hosting the state championship game on his home field has swayed the opinion he's had for years.
"Being in this position, I thought that same thing myself (that the opinion would change)," Fullmer said, "but I still think it's one of the greatest things we can do for high school football is to move it to Laramie and play it in War Memorial."
Fullmer is the only head football coach on the Wyoming High School Activities Association's 19-member board of directors, which meets Tuesday in Casper. The board will vote on a proposal to move the state championship football games away from host sites earned by teams during the season to Laramie on a one-year trial basis in 2009.
It's the second time in a year such a proposal has come to the WHSAA. A similar proposal failed a second-reading vote 9-8 at this time last year, but the specificity of Laramie's offer has made this proposal more viable, WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird said.
"All of the other times, even though it was always the assumption it would go to Laramie, it was never part of the proposal," Laird said. "It was always, 'Do we want to put all five together?'"
This time, Laramie is specifically outlined as the only destination for the championship games. Tentatively, the schedule calls for Class 1A and Class 2A championship games on Friday and Class 3A and Class 4A championship games on Saturday. The six-man championship game could also be played on the field and details are still being set for that game, Laird said.
University of Wyoming Athletic Director Tom Burman said Laramie's community leaders have pushed hard for the championship football games as UW has remained open to the possibility.
"We would love to host it at the University of Wyoming, because I think we have by far the best venue," Burman said. " … We could give those kids a wonderful opportunity.
"(But) it's not Laramie versus the other parts of the state. That's the message we don't want to send."
Right now, most of the opposition to the change comes from the Wyoming School Boards Association. It was the power swung by local school districts that helped defeat the proposal last year, and the group's stance hasn't changed since then, WHSAA board member Jim Malkowski of Daniel said.
Malkowski, one of two members representing the Wyoming School Boards Association on the WHSAA board, said added expense, time out of school and taking away the hosting rights of communities has been his group's main points of contention with a wholesale move to Laramie.
"It'll be an expense that they didn't have to have this year and, depending on how many kids that have to travel that wouldn't normally have to travel, (they will) miss another day at school," Malkowski said.
"That's part of it, but the idea of being able to host a (championship) game at home, that's what they work for."
Despite the school boards' objections, the proposal passed all four of the WHSAA's district meetings in October.
As part of the proposal, the city of Laramie or UW has committed to:
* Negotiate competitive lodging rates.
* Allow teams to access the Indoor Practice Facility the day before the game and for pre-game warm-ups.
* Staff to help run the scoreboard, sound systems and ticket operations.
The proposal calls for the WHSAA to receive 85 percent of the gate, with UW receiving 15 percent to help cover its costs. UW will also take 100 percent of concessions revenue and any revenue from the sale of programs.
Also as part of the proposal, the City of Laramie will pick up the tab for the rental fee of War Memorial and the practice facility, as well as motel rooms for officials and WHSAA staff.
Fullmer said War Memorial Stadium offers one other key item his field in Burns can't - neutrality.
"After going on the road the last two years in the playoffs, maybe other than golf, football is the biggest home field advantage there is," he said.
Contact high school sports coordinator Patrick Schmiedt at (307) 266-0615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.