NC Football

Natrona County's Isaac Palomo returns a kickoff in the Mustangs' game against Gillette on Friday at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.

Class 4A

1. Natrona County (2-0, last week 1): The defending state champs travel to Sheridan for a showdown with the undefeated Broncs.

2. Thunder Basin (2-0, 2): The Bolts have been impressive so far – outscoring their two opponents 112-13 – but they have yet to face a team as good as …

3. Cheyenne East (2-0, 4): After winning 55-0 at Kelly Walsh, no one can accuse the T-Birds of looking ahead to Friday’s Thunder Basin tilt.

4. Sheridan (2-0, 3): The Broncs haven’t been dominant, but they continue to find ways to win.

5. Rock Springs (1-1, not ranked): First-year head coach Mark Lenhardt and the Tigers look to remain perfect at home when they host Cheyenne Central.

Dropped out: No. 5 Laramie (1-1).

Class 3A

1. Star Valley (2-0, 1): The defending state champs look to continue their success against out-of-state opponents when they welcome Sugar-Salem, Idaho, to Afton.

2. Cody (1-0, 4): A good early-season test for the Broncs, who travel to Worland to take on the Warriors.

3. Torrington (1-0, 5): The Blazers travel out of state to face Gering, Nebraska, as they go for their 16th consecutive regular-season victory.

4. Powell (2-0, NR): Still playing without senior Ethan Asher, who was seriously injured in an auto accident on Aug. 27, the Panthers travel to Lander to take on the Tigers.

5. Jackson (1-1, 2): The Broncs try to bounce back from a tough loss to Bear Lake, Idaho, when they play at 2A Pinedale.

Dropped out: No. 3 Douglas (1-1).

Class 2A

1. Buffalo (1-0, 1): The defending state champs open East Conference play when they host Thermopolis.

2. Mountain View (1-0, 2): The Buffalos take their offensive (and defensive) firepower to Big Piney for a West Conference battle.

3. Wheatland (1-0, 4): Yes, the Bulldogs are playing a 1A/11-man team this week, but Upton-Sundance has proven it can go toe to toe with the big boys.

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4. Burns (1-0, NR): The Broncs snapped a two-game losing streak to Moorcroft with a win last year. Make it two in a row and Burns will be tied for the conference lead.

5. Lovell (1-0, NR): Fresh off a 76-0 shutout of Wind River, first-year head coach Nicc Crosby and the Bulldogs face another Fremont County foe in Shoshoni.

Dropped out: No. 3 Glenrock (0-1), No. 5 Greybull (0-1).

Class 1A/11-man

1. Big Horn (1-0, 1): The defending state champs go for their 14th consecutive victory when they welcome 2A Greybull to town.

2. Upton-Sundance (2-0, 2): The Patriots test their mettle against Wheatland, which is likely still smarting from last year’s 44-34 defeat.

3. Tongue River (1-0, 5): In a game that could go a long way in determining playoff seeding, the Eagles play at Lusk in an East Conference showdown.

4. Rocky Mountain (1-0, NR): The Grizzlies host West Conference foe Wind River in a non-conference game. (Don’t ask us.)

5. Cokeville (1-1, 3): The Panthers look to bounce back from their first regular-season defeat in two years when they play at the Evanston JV on Thursday.

Dropped out: No. 4 Lusk (0-1).

Class 1A/6-man

1. Farson (1-0, 1): The defending state champs get their first look at a future opponent when they host Encampment, which will join the 6-man ranks in 2020.

2. Snake River (1-0, 2): The Rattlers host Burlington in a rematch of last year’s instant classic – a 57-56 Snake River victory.

3. Hanna (1-0, 3): The East Conference title still goes through Hanna, which hosts a depleted Midwest team.

4. Kaycee (1-0, NR): The young Buckaroos hope to continue their early-season resurgence when they play at Saratoga in a non-conference tilt.

5. Riverside (1-0, NR): Is this the year the Rebels end their three-year postseason drought? A win at Dubois would be a big step in that direction.

Dropped out: No. 4 Meeteetse (0-1): No. 5 Guernsey (0-1).

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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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