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Natrona County

Gillette at Natrona County

RIVALRY RENEWED: Since Steve Harshman took over at Natrona County in 1991 the Camels and Mustangs have faced off 39 times, with NC leading the all-time series 23-16. The Mustangs have won four in a row and 12 of the last 14.

OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS: Since the opening of Thunder Basin High School across town in 2017, the Gillette football program has struggled. Beginning with a 30-28 loss to Natrona County in the 2016 semifinals, the Camels enter Friday’s game having lost 20 in a row. The Mustangs have won the last two games by a combined score of 134-12.

Harshman doesn’t expect that streak to continue much longer.

“Two years ago they were playing freshmen and sophomores,” he said. “Now they’re playing a lot of older guys and you can tell they’re starting to figure things out.”

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FAST LEARNERS: After watching tape of the Mustangs’ season-opening rout of Cheyenne South, Harshman said one thing really stood out about his team.

“We played fast,” he said. “I thought our overall team speed was great. And we continued to get better as the game went along.”

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Not only did the Mustangs open with a big win in front of their home fans, but Harshman was able to get everyone on the roster in the game.

“We played a ton of kids, which you always like to do,” he said. “But I think we also saw that we have lots of room for improvement, so that’s what we’re hoping to do this week. We just want to keep getting a little better every day.”

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Sports Editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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