SHERIDAN — Entering the season, seniors on the Sheridan High School football team had the goal to be the first or second seed for the playoffs. With one loss on the season, to the top-ranked team, the Broncs are in position to enter the playoffs as the second seed.
Head coach Jeff Mowry said being the first or second seed allows Sheridan to play at home for the first two weeks, only traveling if the team wins out and qualifies for the state title game held in Laramie at War Memorial Stadium.
The Broncs still need to win the next three games against Campbell County, Laramie and Cheyenne East high schools to reach their goal.
“Just going out every day and trying to get that much better,” said senior Jacob Boint about the goals for the team following the Broncs win against South. “Not focusing on anything too far in the future, just going out every practice and work our technique and focus on the process. Just get better every day and build on the day before.”
Sheridan is on the road this week against Campbell County, a team with only one win this year. Mowry said the Broncs need to look past the record and recognize Campbell County is a team that has improved over the past two years.
Campbell County has a strong rushing attack, Mowry said. Starting running back Vijay Pitter rushed for 200 yards against Laramie and for at least 180 yards against top ranked Thunder Basin and Natrona.
Pitter is the leading rusher for 4A after Week 5, with 802 yards on the ground, 133.7 yards per game, and eight touchdowns.
Mowry said Campbell County scored 28 points against Natrona, a team Sheridan scored 31 points against. The defense will need to shut down the run to keep the pressure off the offense.
Mowry said the defense has played consistent the entire year; the only time Sheridan allowed greater than 20 points was in their only loss against Thunder Basin, who scored 37 on the Broncs.
The defense averages 14 points allowed per game while the Sheridan offense averages 35 points per game. Mowry said since he is the offensive coordinator, he will be more critical of the offense.
Effort and consistency have led to defensive success. The points allowed show the consistency of the Broncs defense and Mowry has seen the defense work hard on film.
In the most recent game against South, defensive back for the Broncs Kyle Meinecke returned an interception for 87 yards and a touchdown. Following the game, Meineke said it was the blocking that allowed him to return the ball for a touchdown.
Mowry said after watching film, he saw defensive linemen running to get in front of Meinecke and linebacker Camden McArthur blocking South’s athletic quarterback twice to help set up the touchdown. Players hustling to pick up blocks shows the effort the Broncs bring every week.
Consistent effort is something for which Sheridan always strives. The Broncs will not always be the biggest, strongest or fastest team, but the effort helps negate any disadvantage Sheridan can have physically. Mowry said effort is something that cannot be coached, players have to decide for themselves to have the effort.
Mowry said the coaches will talk with the seniors prior to the season and it is the leaders on the team that help make sure the Broncs have strong effort each year, setting the example for the next class of leaders.