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Prep Athlete of the Week: Kaeden Wilcox

Natrona County’s Kaeden Wilcox put up the performance of a lifetime during a 35-2 win over Campbell County last Friday, and he accomplished a lot to earn Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the Week honors.
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 8:19 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Natrona County’s Kaeden Wilcox was on our list of “players to watch” heading into this season, and he was can’t miss on Friday night for the Mustangs against Campbell County. He turned in a performance that is hard to describe during a 35-2 win over the Camels.

As a result, let’s list all of Wilcox’s accomplishments earning him Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the Week honors.

On offense, Wilcox scored the first touchdown of the game for the Mustangs on a 42-yard touchdown catch. He’d add another score on the ground, which was the final touchdown of the game.

A two touchdown performance is noteworthy, but it’s on the defensive side of the ball where Wilcox’s star really shined.

He intercepted four passes with each of them being more impressive than the last. Wilcox couldn’t decide which one was his favorite.

“I think it was the one that isn’t on film (the third interception),” said Wilcox as he pointed to the spot in the Natrona County end zone where he made the diving grab. “I had a hard slant almost on me, and we were in man coverage or the one-handed tip one (second interception). That was pretty cool.

“The one in the middle [of the field] (first interception), I got pretty lucky on. I got burnt a little bit, and then, good thing I play baseball, and my dad’s hit thousands of balls to me in the backyard and made up for it there.”

The first one was an over-the-shoulder grab in the middle of driving rain. Natrona County Head Football Coach Steve Harshman said it was “crazy,” but the second one was also impressive to him.

“He covered so much ground on that and dove in front of it,” said Harshman. “I don’t think anybody saw that coming.”

In addition to the four interceptions, Wilcox finished with 21 total tackles, two pass breakups, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal. This tallied him up with 67 total defensive points, which broke the previous Natrona County school record of 35 set in 1987 by Todd Biggs.

Defensive points is a number adding up all of the tackles, interceptions and other statistics accumulated during the course of a game to finish with a total tally.

“Every game I go into thinking I want to make a difference on every play, and Friday I almost made a difference every play,” said Wilcox. “It just went my way honestly.”

Harshman compared Wilcox’s performance to a basketball player scoring 80 points in a single game.

“I think his big story is there’s still a lot of growth left in him,” said Harshman about Wilcox. “That’s not gonna be his best. He’ll still show more I think and continue to keep developing, and it’s been a good story to kind of watch him grow up, and it’s been really neat. So we want to see more of that, and we will I’m sure.”

Congratulations to Kaeden Wilcox, Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the Week.

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