There’s three football games remaining for the Class 4A regular season, but only one more at Deti Stadium.
Laramie High and the Plainsmen program will celebrate this season’s seniors with their families during a pregame ceremony on the field before taking on Thunder Basin at 6 tonight.
The Plainsmen will also have road games on the other side of the hill at Cheyenne South on Oct. 15 and at Cheyenne Central on Oct. 22 to complete the schedule.
Laramie has faced a large amount of adversity since the start of the season with a significantly depleted roster because of a variety of reasons including injuries, illnesses, COVID-related protocols and other personal reasons. For most of the season around 22-25 players were available to play varsity games, leaving about 10-13 inactive.
“It’s still a frustrating number,” Ronga said before last week’s game against Rock Springs.
Ronga and his staff have consistently been adjusting, nearly to the point of completely overhauling schemes and game plans, on a week-to-week basis to adjust to the cards in hand. The attrition has been throughout the roster affecting both sides of the ball, the offensive and defensive lines and other key positions.
Ronga said earlier in the season that the revolving door of linemen and overall limited veteran varsity experience has been the toughest to overcome in the highest division of prep football in Wyoming.
The win-loss result ties Laramie with Cheyenne South at 0-6 so far with five of those losses being of a lopsided nature. The other was a 34-24 loss at Kelly Walsh Sept. 24 in Casper.
But that is what the scoreboards showed. On the field, there have been recent highlights for the Plainsmen.
Senior receiver Jackson Devine has been a workhorse catching and running the ball. He leads 4A with 43 receptions to go with his fourth-ranked 54.5 yards per game (327 total yards) catching the ball. He also leads the Plainsmen on the ground with 24.8 yards a contest with 32 rushes for 149 total yards.
Sophomore quarterback Ben Malone was called up from the junior varsity squad and is now ranked sixth in 4A by completing 61.9% of his passes (70 of 113) for 116.5 yards per game to go with four touchdowns and eight interceptions. His 266 yards passing against Rock Springs is the third best single-game mark in 4A so far.
Junior receiver Adrien Calderon has been another target for Malone. He is second on the team with average yardage (45.2, 10th in 4A), total yards (271) and receptions (17). Calderon and Devine have two touchdown grabs each.
Senior punter kicker Talon Luckie leads 4A with 38.8 per punt that includes a 4A best 71-yard thumper during last week’s game against Rock Springs.
Senior safety Quail Perkins leads the Plainsmen and is 15th in 4A defensively 63 points (10.5 per game) with 35 tackles — 16 assisted and 12 solo — seven of those tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
Senior linebacker Christopher Alvarez is second on the team with 53 points (8.8 per game) with 27 tackles, including 12 assisted, nine solo, five for loss yardage, a sack and a fumble recovery.
FOCUSING ON THUNDER BASIN
Thunder Basin, which lost to Cheyenne East 29-15 in last year’s state championship game, is tied with East, Rock Springs and Sheridan at the top of the 4A standings with 5-1 records.
The WyoPreps.com Coaches and Media poll’s fourth-ranked Bolts lone loss was to top-ranked Rock Springs (33-17) on Sept. 3.
Senior quarterback Ryan Baker leads the top passing team in 4A with 1,298 yards (216.3 per game), a 56.9% completion rate to go with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.
His two primary targets have been junior Kayden Laframboise and senior Cade Ayers. LaFramboise is fifth with 314 yards (52.3) on 19 catches and five of those for scores. Ayers is sixth with 310 yards (51.7) on 29 grabs and three touchdowns.
The Bolts also have a rushing attack behind senior Isaiah Halliburton, who is third in 4A with 524 yards (87.3) to go with eight touchdowns. He also had a 213 yard, 32 carry effort in a 39-34 win against East to open the season, which is still the second-best single-game effort in 4A.