For the first time in five years, the Class 4A State Championship football game has a new team. Thunder Basin will take on Sheridan on Saturday in Laramie.

In just its third year of existence, Thunder Basin High School is making its first appearance in the football title game.

Sheridan, by contrast, has 26 state championships on the gridiron, including five since the title games moved to Laramie in 2009. This is also the Broncs’ fifth consecutive appearance in the 4A championship game. They are 5-2 in Laramie with losses to Natrona County twice.

Entering this game, the Bolts are 11-0 on the season, while Sheridan is 10-1. That only loss was a week 3 setback to Thunder Basin, in Gillette, 37-30.

Now, it might be a new high school, but this is pretty much the same Gillette-Sheridan rivalry.

The Broncs have been on a roll lately scoring 62 points in both playoff victories over Kelly Walsh and Cheyenne Central.

Thunder Basin took over the top spot in the rankings back in week 3 and have looked like the team to beat the rest of the way. Their big question coming in is whether starting quarterback Mason Hamilton plays or not? He was injured in last week’s semifinal win over Cheyenne East. His status is not known at this time.

Statistically, these teams are very similar. They are within six yards of each other in total offense. They are within three points of each other on offense. Thunder Basin does have the No. 1 overall defense that allows only 222.1 yards per game. Sheridan has the No. 1 scoring defense that gives up only 15.6 points per game. Which offense can get on track might be the key? For more of a breakdown on each team’s stats, click the link below.

WyoPreps discussed the matchup with both head coaches, Thunder Basin’s Trent Pikula and Sheridan’s Jeff Mowry. They talked about their season so far, some of their keys to get to this point, the regular-season meeting, what they expect from the other team, and their keys to winning this game.

Kick-off is at 4 p.m. Saturday from War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

Series History

2-2: All tied up – this is the 2nd meeting in the playoffs – Sheridan won last year, 14-7 in the semifinals; the road team won the first 3 games in the series

Championship games

None previous

Championship Appearances in Laramie (including 2019)

Thunder Basin = 1

Sheridan = 8


Some series record information is courtesy of

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