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Wolverines vs. Tigers

Sep 28, 2017 By Steven R. Peck, Publisher

Sometimes the Riverton Wolverines and the Lander Tigers meet in the sports arena with lots of external stuff on the line, the kind of thing followers of high school football who don't live here might care about.

A playoff slot might be up for grabs, or a better seeding in a regional tournament. Sometimes the winner might qualify for the state tournament, or win a regional title.

Once, unforgettably, RHS and LVHS played for the state football championship. That might well have been the greatest local sporting event in Fremont County history.

This Friday's football game between the old county rivals doesn't have any of those stakes (although it still might turn out to have playoff bearing). Both teams are struggling so far, and the rest of the schedule looks challenging, to say the least. Wins have been had to come by for all our Fremont County teams this season. Riverton and Lander have a combined record of just 2-8.

In some ways, however, all that makes Friday's game even more compelling.

Ask any kid who ever played in a Lander-Riverton game. Regardless of what else happened in the season, this game often remains the highlight of the entire year. Win this one, as they say, and the whole season is a success.

It's unwise to make too much of high school sports in our small communities. But it's unrealistic to pretend a game like this isn't meaningful to the kids, the staffs, the schools, the fans and the communities.

And it's always a lot of fun, too. Never discount that during our otherwise complicated, challenging and, too often, difficult lives.

Traditionally this has the final game of the season. That's not true this year. The Wolverines host the Tigers at 7 p.m. This Friday, Sept. 29, at Riverton High School. It doesn't cost a thing to get into the stadium -- nor to cheer for your team. Be there if you can.

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