It’s pretty easy to figure out which players are among Wyoming’s top returners this year.
Or (shameless plug alert) read the upcoming annual Wyoming high school football preview magazine, which I wrote again this year with previews on every team in the state and will be out in mid- to late August.
Rarely, if ever, do typical season previews and postseason recognition lists indicate the number of the player’s jersey. However, that’s the most common way for fans to figure out who’s who on the field.
So what if we put together a team of returning players and chose the best players based on the number of their jerseys — choosing only one player per number?
Let’s do this for Wyoming high school football’s 2019 returners.
I’m certainly not the first to do this. The specific inspiration for this post, though, came from one of my former students, Sam Herder, who’s doing something similar for players at the FCS level of college football for HeroSports.
The problem with taking something that’s normally reserved for the NFL or college teams and applying it to Wyoming high schools is that, um… how to put it politely?… not every number has a bunch of good players from which to choose.
One of the things that became readily apparent during the production of this list was that Wyoming high schools rarely use numbers in the 90s. In fact, using last year’s final stats as my starting point, I couldn’t find a single returning player in the entire state at any level who wore number 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97 or 98 last year.
Similarly, I couldn’t find a returner who wore 46 or 59, either. A few numbers had only one returner in the state (and, no, I won’t tell you which ones, because I don’t want to embarrass anyone who’s listed below). On the flipside, some numbers — like 1, 2, 5 and 12, among others — were overloaded with talented players who would have easily made this list if they had worn a less-common number.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of these returning players will wear the same number this year that they did last year. And there’s a chance that the players listed here may not go out, or may have moved or transferred since the end of last season.
The list here is subjective; it’s my opinion, and I made it for fun. Hopefully, you have fun with it too… and I’m more than happy if you disagree with me. 🙂
Anyway, here’s Wyoming’s top returning high school football players for 2019 by jersey number:
|1||Mason Hamilton||Thunder Basin|
|4||Chance Aumiller||Cheyenne East|
|9||Andrew Johnson||Cheyenne Central|
|11||Dawson Macleary||Cheyenne Central|
|12||Quinn McCafferty||Big Horn|
|13||Graedyn Buell||Cheyenne East|
|15||Kaden Raza||Big Piney|
|16||Seth Hymas||Rock Springs|
|17||Riggen Myers||Snake River|
|19||Kimball Madsen||Mountain View|
|21||R.J. Cazier||Star Valley|
|23||Favor Okere||Rock Springs|
|25||Wyatt Duncan||Snake River|
|28||Jaxon Pikula||Thunder Basin|
|29||Emory Yoosook||Kelly Walsh|
|32||David Castillo||Star Valley|
|36||Josiah Divers||St. Stephens|
|37||McCaffrey Billings||Big Horn|
|46||No returners identified|
|48||Luke Mullinax||Big Horn|
|50||Hunter Gross||Mountain View|
|52||Gavin Thomas||Kelly Walsh|
|58||Parker Merritt||Star Valley|
|59||No returners identified|
|61||Brandon Mortenson*||Rock Springs|
|63||Colter Collver*||Wind River|
|72||Cam Thomas||Big Piney|
|76||Hunter Meeks||Mountain View|
|78||Jacob Knobloch||Tongue River|
|80||Brady Storebo||Cheyenne Central|
|81||Zion Graham||Kelly Walsh|
|83||Tyson Christiansen||Rocky Mountain|
|84||Chase Merrell||Star Valley|
|86||Jaret Taylor||Cheyenne East|
|88||Mason Masteller||Thunder Basin|
|91||No returners identified|
|92||No returners identified|
|93||Garrett Oswald||Cheyenne East|
|94||No returners identified|
|95||No returners identified|
|96||No returners identified|
|97||No returners identified|
|98||No returners identified|
*-Jennings wore both 47 and 64 last year; Mortenson wore both 61 and 63 last year; Miller wore both 62 and 77 last year; Collver wore both 63 and 40 last year; Grubbs wore both 55 and 99 last year.