Prep Football Athletes to Watch for in 2022: Casper Viewing Area

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 1:27 AM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming high school football season kicks off on Friday, Aug. 26 with Week Zero. All of the 4A schools will be in action that day to begin their efforts to earn postseason berths. The rest of Wyoming’s high schools have either scheduled a game or will likely play in a jamboree or scrimmage.

There are few feelings quite like playing under the Friday night lights. It’s an opportunity that many high school football players prepare for many hours all year to shine for a few short hours each Friday in the fall.

Wyoming News Now dove into the rosters of the high school players returning for the 2022 season, and we came up with this list of five players to keep an eye on heading into their final seasons on the high school gridiron in the Cowboy State from our Casper viewing area.

Breckin McClintock, Natrona County, WR/DB

During his junior season, McClintock led the Mustangs in receiving with 51.4 receiving yards per game. He hauled in 34 grabs for a total of 565 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He opened and closed the season with a vengeance for the black and orange. In the season opener at Central, he snagged five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, which was the biggest receiving day of the season for Natrona County. In the state semifinals at Sheridan, McClintock had seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also was selected as a first-team all-state wide receiver last season.

“Throughout the season, our coaches, we have a motto as receivers and it’s ICE, which means ‘I catch everything,’” said McClintock during an interview over the weekend. “So we really live by that, and if the ball’s catchable, you better come down with it.”

Chris Pickering, Kelly Walsh, C/DT

Pickering will not be the center of many highlights, but he will anchor the Trojans’ offensive line. He’ll be a starting center for the second straight season and was selected by his teammates to be a captain for his senior year.

“I love playing football,” said Pickering after he was selected as a captain last week. “I also like being able to just hit people and not be in trouble for it and just be able to go out and play with my teammates, and I just like being aggressive and mean.”

Gabe Harris, Lander Valley (3A), WR/LB/DE

In his 2021 junior campaign, Harris was one of the measuring sticks on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers. He led the team in receiving and tackling. He tallied 526 receiving yards with seven receiving touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. His 58.4 receiving yards per game was seventh at 3A last season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Harris tallied 96 total tackles, which was the ninth most in 11-man football in Wyoming. The Tiger averaged 18 defensive points per game, which was the fifth most at 3A last season. Against Star Valley on Oct. 29, he racked up 36 defensive points, which was the third most in a game in Wyoming 11-man football and the second most in a game at 3A last year.

“Looking back on dudes that I’ve been with, they’ve been leaders by example rather [than] by talk, so that’s a big thing that I want to leave, and I want to show the young kids how to do that as well, so you know I want to show people how to be more of a player by player, not a player by talk,” said Harris during an interview at practice last weekend.

Logan Jones, Glenrock (2A), RB

Jones was a tough man to bring down for opposing defenses last season. The Herder led all of Wyoming’s 11-man football in rushing per game last season with 146.9 yards per contest. He also found the end zone on the ground five times and was second at 2A in all-purpose yards. Jones was also an all-state selection in 2021.

“If it’s [the] first snap or [the] last snap, I’m still just going 100%,” said Jones at practice last Friday. “I’ll just put on a show.”

Pehton Truempler, Shoshoni (1A 9-man), RB/LB

The 2021 1A 9-man state champion was a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball last season. As a junior for the Wranglers, Truempler rushed for 1,521 yards and 21 touchdowns. He posted 23 total touchdowns, and defensively, he registered 100 total tackles including six tackles for loss. He was also an all-state selection in 2021.

“You can never be perfect,” said Truempler last week at practice about what motivates him. “You always [have] to work hard. There’s always somebody out there that’s bigger and faster, so you [have to] work to be the better person. Hard work is how you do that.”

Congratulations to all of these guys. Week Zero kicks off Friday, and Wyoming News Now will continue to provide high school football coverage throughout the season.