SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School’s recent football success remains commendable and praiseworthy statewide. And the three straight state titles haven’t gone unnoticed within the collegiate ranks, either.
University of Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl knows the Broncs’ program exceptionally well, and he made that known Sunday afternoon at Black Tooth Brewing Company during a Cowboy Joe Club function.
“How about them Broncs?” Bohl proclaimed to the audience.
When Bohl took over the UW football program he made it a point to recruit the state of Wyoming. Whether that entailed finding a diamond in the rough from a small town like Yoder or scouring the larger Casper high schools, Bohl found Mountain West Conference talent in the Equality state.
In his search, Bohl swiftly discovered that the best 4A high school football team in the state and his FBS football team in Laramie mesh quite well — seamlessly, in fact.
“There are certain areas of this state and there are certain high school coaches where the culture just seems to match, and this place has really been special,” Bohl said of Sheridan. “… We like to recruit winners, and this community has done a phenomenal job in many sports, especially ours in football.
“Believe me, there’s not one player on (Sheridan) that we don’t know about.”
Sheridan High School standout Blayne Baker’s inclusion in Cowboys football this fall will make three Sheridan High products that have made the jump from the Broncs to the current Pokes roster. Wide receiver Dontae Crow — who led all receivers with three catches totaling 85 yards at the UW spring game — and safety Riley Sessions have already carved out a niche in Laramie.
Natrona County stands as the only high school in the state of Wyoming that has more football players than Sheridan at UW with four. However, if you expand that scope ever so slightly, no other county in Wyoming has more players playing at the University of Wyoming than Sheridan County with Tongue River’s Brennan Kutterer joining that group.
Don Julian — Sheridan High School football head coach the last 11 seasons, which has spanned three different coaching regimes down at UW — appreciates Bohl’s localized mentality in recruiting.
“It has been a breath of fresh air,” Julian said. “And there have been fruits to it. These guys are showing that Wyoming kids can play there.”
So while Bohl’s trip up to Sheridan was primarily a meet and greet with UW supporters in the Northeast portion of the state, it was also affirmation that Bohl does have his eye on Sheridan County.
Bohl developed his localized recruiting mentality at his previous position as head coach of North Dakota State. He made it a point to know about all four corners of the Peace Garden State to galvanize not the only the fan base, but also to find the best places to recruit talent that fits his style.
“There’s a lot of similarities between the two states,” Bohl said. “I felt like that was important since the day we got hired here. I tried to canvas pretty much every community in [Wyoming]. … These (meet and greets) are fun things for me. This is a right fit for me, and I think it has been a great, great process and one that can get better.”
That’s a partnership between Bohl and Sheridan. Bohl enjoys the area and enjoys interacting with the fan base, and in turn, the town forges players that can produce within Bohl’s program.