Wind River looks to advance on a strong running game

The Cougars are a hungry football team. Wind River posted a 7-3 season a year ago with a pair of losses to eventual state champion Shoshoni, and the other a close contest in a losing effort with runner-up Rocky Mountain.

The Cougars lost just four seniors in Jaden Miler, Trey Mulholland, Cade David, and Chaumbrey Romero, and return a solid nucleus on both sides of the ball, including four all-state players in Jaycee Herbert, Cooper Frederick, Calder Johnson, and Tucker Jensen.

Wind River didn’t throw much last season with a running attack that generated 408 yards per game and it won’t change much this year under new head coach Rod Frederick.

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Frederick has extensive coaching experience over a long career and with talented assistants Hoag Mulholland and Kyle Hunter Wind River will be prepared for a deep playoff run.

Wind River assistant coach Hoag Mulholland instructed the Cougar defense. {h/t Randy Tucker}

The Cougars have a talented tandem in the backfield with Frederick and Herbert. Herbert, the Class 2-A 100 and 200-meter champion in track has blazing speed and Frederick is one of the best open-field runners in any classification in the state.

Add Chris Burke and Carter Fowler at quarterback and the Wind River running game can only improve on the excellence they had a season ago.  

“We have a couple of sophomores who will help us, one is Braden Tatro,” Frederick said. “It’s definitely going to be a little more physical.  Rowdy Shearer and Aiden Ruby will help us too. As far as our nucleus we’ll be good.”

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Wind River’s offensive unit ran a drill on their practice field {h/t Randy Tucker}

The Cougar line will feature strong, solid blockers in Isaac Gardner, Casey Befus, Caden Jones, and Tucker Jensen. On the defensive side of the ball TJ Hallock had a great season a year ago and will be a mainstay for the Cougars. Blake Snyder will be a force at defensive end as well and be a good target for Burke at tight end.

Head coach Mykah Trujillo departed for Evanston last summer, but the Cougar running game remains strong in Pavillion.

“Our offense will be the same,” Frederick said “Double-wing, we’ll throw a little more.”

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The Cougars won’t have to travel far to face the toughest teams in Class 1-A, 9-man.

“Rocky and Shoshoni will be tough again,” Frederick said. “Greybull will be better, Riverside will be better too with a great coach. Big Piney is the unknown.”

Hoag Mulholland and offensive coordinator Kyle Hunter worked with their team {h/t Randy Tucker}

The Cougars travel to Casper on Friday to face Lusk in a Week Zero scrimmage at Natrona County. After playing the Tigers at 2 p.m. they’ll take a short break in their 60-play scrimmage and face the Wright Panthers.

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“It’ll be good to see somebody else, other than our kids, it would be nice to have more of a game situation, but this will work,” Frederick said.

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