CHEYENNE – Richard Prescott is one of the best all-around track and field athletes in Wyoming.

The Cheyenne Central junior is a strong sprinter, jumper and hurdler, and he has used that athleticism and versatility to get by on the football field. Sometimes he used it to make up for deficiencies in fundamentals or reading plays.

Prescott, a safety, has improved his technique and his football IQ. He is standing out for the Indians now that he has meshed those with his existing skills.

“Last year, I kind of went off my athleticism or I overran a lot of plays, and I wasn’t really using my head,” he said. “Now, I feel like I understand what I see on film and on the field, and I’m playing a lot better.”

Prescott is currently tied for third in Class 4A in defensive points per game entering tonight’s game at No. 3-ranked Cheyenne East. The Indians (1-5) tee it up against the Thunderbirds (5-1) at 6 tonight at Okie Blanchard Stadium.

Prescott averages 14.8 points per game, which matches the total of East junior linebacker Ethan Brinkman. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder has 42 tackles on the season (26 solo) with two interceptions, two pass breakups and a blocked kick.

“He is as dynamic an athlete as you’ll see at this level,” fourth-year Central coach Mike Apodaca said. “There are a lot of good athletes at the varsity level, and that’s when it comes down to: preparation.

“Earlier this season, he would catch himself in positions where lesser athletes got the better of him. Now, he’s trusting the scheme, getting in good position and finishing with a tackle or pick.”

Prescott had just seven tackles as a sophomore. He credits Indians assistant Jahmari Moore with helping him excel this season. Moore played at the University of Wyoming, starting his career as a linebacker before moving to tight end and fullback.

“I’ve learned a lot about the game from coach Moore this fall,” Prescott said. “Not just about tackling, but about footwork, breaking to the ball and breaking up passes.”

Prescott’s production hasn’t been limited to defense. He has returned six punts for a total of 64 yards, and has seven kickoff returns for a total of 108 yards.

“Because he’s such an explosive athlete, we’re trying to get him more opportunities in the return game,” Apodaca said.

Prescott’s improvement didn’t come by accident, the coach said.

“He is fully committed to what we’re doing,” Apodaca added. “If we have an off-season workout, he’s there. If he’s not, he’s improving his skills through track. He’s an all-in kid, and that’s what you need when you’re building a program.

“He is just a tough, hard-nosed kid who does everything all out.”

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.

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