Folks like me with 30 years covering sports under their belts – if indeed any remain extant – cannot help but be ‘up to here’ in Cougars and Tigers and Hawks.

Not to mention Eagles and Bearcats and Bobcats and, oh my, Mustangs till the cows come home.

Wyoming has some garden variety mascots, too. We need look no further for an example than my own beloved Powell Panthers right across town. Conversely, Nebraska trots out a clever monikers here and there, too.

On balance, however, the title must go to Wyoming, doubly so if I may be permitted to gerrymander in nearby Belfry, Mont., home of the Bats (what else?)

At risk of giving the Cowboy State credit beyond its due it must be disclosed the high schools here include Tigers, Bulldogs, Eagles, Cougars, Wolves, Warriors and similar pedestrian mascots that do not move the thoughtful and ingenious meter off the peg in my view.

But wait, there’s more. Much more when the topic is high schools in Wild West Wyoming.

We begin with the Braves of Star Valley, the Warriors of Worland, the Wyoming Indian High School Chiefs and Cheyenne Central’s Indians. Native mascots are a hot topic elsewhere, but in a state that is the ancestral home to so many proud indigenous nations it feels appropriate. All honor. No insult intended.

Lifestyle and the western landscape are obvious in team names like the Newscastle Dogies, Cody and Jackson Broncs, and the Wranglers from Pinedale in the far south. Consider the Rawlins Outlaws, Torrington Trailblazers and Riverton Wolverines. Perhaps now you begin to get the idea.

Kelly Walsh’s Trojans down in Casper have namesakes in Nebraska, however if there are any Camels in our piece of the Flatlands, I’ve not heard of them. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet the Campbell County Camels.

We have the Cheyenne East Thunderbirds, Laramie Plainsmen and the Bolts from (where else?) Thunder Basin High School.

How can any sports fan resist rooting lustily for the Wright Battlecats, Shoshoni Wranglers, Southeast Cyclones, Fort Laramie Doggers, Kemmerer Rangers, Hulett Red Devils, H.E.M Miners or Riverside Rebels?

Wait, we missed the Herders of Glenrock and the Rams of Dubois.

In our quest for Wyoming’s king of the mountain mascot (maestro a drum roll if you please) how can any school top the Big Piney Punchers?

Suggests what these folks’ home country looks like. Hints at the lifestyle and economy there and all served up with a lively alliterative lilt.

I love this stuff. Thank goodness I’m easily entertained.

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