Shrine Bowl: Four Broncs hit field together for final time

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SHERIDAN — Sheridan has an eclectic mix of talent participating in the annual Wyoming Shrine Bowl. From the trenches to the backfield to the secondary, a quartet of Broncs will take the field Saturday at 2 p.m. at Natrona County High School.

All four Sheridites will suit up for the North team, which will square off against the best players from the southern portion of the state.

“It has been super cool to see all the players that we’ve been competing against for the last few years come together and kind of work together to make big things happen and form a team,” Sheridan’s Kyle Custis said. “That’s been pretty fun.”

Custis joins Blayne Baker, Conner Jorgenson and Aaron Sessions, who all played integral parts in the Broncs winning three straight state titles.

Players from Buffalo, Cody, Greybull, Kaycee, Kelly Walsh, Lovell, Moorcroft, Natrona, Newcastle, Powell, Riverton, Rocky Mountain, Thermopolis, Thunder Basin, Worland and Wright fill out the North’s roster.

The Natrona County Mustangs — who fell to the Broncs in the state title game this past season — boast the most representatives with five, while Cody, Kelly Walsh and Thunder Basin send three apiece.

Players have taken part in practices for the past week as the team rapidly tries to gel and find its identity ahead of Saturday’s game.

“All the players are really clicking and we are having a great time,” Sessions said. “We are coming together real nice.”

Greybull head coach Marty Wrage will lead the North with assistant coaches from Greybull, Natrona, Cody, Hulett and Wright.

The North, in an annual affair that dates back to 1974, leads the series 23-18-3. The North has dominated the last decade, winning eight of 10 and five in a row.

But it isn’t all about football this week. Both teams traveled to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City, Utah, to visit with patients of all walks of life.

All four Sheridan players shared similar feelings during their time with the kids battling through sicknesses and ailments.

“Seeing those kids that would love to be in our position is definitely a humbling experience,” Baker said. “It’s nice to know what you’re playing for. It’s more than North and South. It’s for those kids at the end of the day. That’s what it’s all about.”

Unlike some of his North teammates, Baker will continue his football career  next year when he takes his talents to the University of Wyoming. Former Bronc and North squad teammate Aaron Sessions will also play football at the next level for Weber State.

As for Custis and Jorgenson, they’re just soaking this entire week in as it will likely mark the final time they take the field in helmets and pads.

“It’s going to be pretty sad knowing that this is going to be the last time I’m going to purposefully step onto a football field and play with a purpose to win,” Custis said. “To go through all the pregame and practices, it’s going to be pretty sad. But I’m excited to keep growing and move on to a new part of my life.”

“I definitely have mixed emotions,” Jorgenson added.

The South Team encompasses players from Big Piney, Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Cokeville, Douglas, Evanston, Glenrock, Green River, Laramie, Little Snake River, Lyman, Mountain View, Pine Bluffs, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Star Valley and Torrington. East, Green River and Star Valley sent the most players with four apiece.

Star Valley’s McKay Young will take the reins for the South Saturday with assistant coaches from Star Valley, East, Little Snake River and Pine Bluffs.

By |June 7th, 2018|

About the Author:

Bud Denega joined The Sheridan Press in November 2017 as the primary sports reporter. He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Wyoming. Prior to working in Sheridan, Bud spent time as a sports reporter for the Minot Daily News in Minot, North Dakota, before being a sports reporter for the Laredo Morning Times in Laredo, Texas. Email Bud at: bud.denega@thesheridanpress.com

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