Herders quest for ninth state title starts

Steven Turk breaks a run against Pinedale Wranglers Sept. 2, 2016, en route to a 37-14 victory. The Herders start the season Sept. 1 at home.
By: 
Ryan Mitchel Collins

Ray Kumpula’s Glenrock Herders are headed to begin two-a-day practices Aug. 9 as they prepare for the upcoming season.

The Herders went 9-1 last season, ending with a playoff loss to Greybull 26-0. Coming into the playoff game, the Herders were undefeated and had some impressive victories along the way.

This season is a new chapter and the bitter taste of defeat still lingers from the playoff loss to Greybull, but in order to earn their ninth state title and first since 2008, the new starters will need to carry the torch from last year’s team.

The Herders will get an early chance for some revenge when they open the season against Greybull, the team that upset the Herders in the playoffs to end their season.

The first game will be an early indication of where the team is at, compared to last season. Glenrock enters the season ranked second in the 2A maxpreps preseason polls, just behind Greybull. According to the preseason ranking, the Herders are the 11th ranked team in the state. That’s an honor not to be overlooked coming from a 2A program.

If the Herders walk away from the opener with a victory, the playoff loss from last season might not sting as bad.

In the second game of the season, the Herders will play a non-conference game against Lander at home.

They follow up the Lander game on the road against non-conference Riverton, followed up by a game at home against conference foe Newcastle. The Herders defeated Newcastle last year 34-7 in Newcastle. The second conference game of the year will be pivotal for the Herders and they will be looking for a similar result as last year.

Following the Newcastle game, the Herders will face another conference foe in Wheatland, who they defeated last year in a close 21-7 match in Wheatland.

The Herders will then go on the road to play Thermopolis who they handily defeated at home last year 61-0.

The road trip will continue after the Thermopolis game as the Herders will travel to Moorcroft to face a squad they beat last year at home 54-8. The season finale will see the Herders play Burns at home, who the Herders took care of 49-14 last year on the road.

As it stands right now, the first game of the season against Greybull will be one of the most important games of the season and will play a pivotal role in playoff seeding.

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Glenrock Independent

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