Bronc football ends its season in Gillette

The Sheridan football season ended in the semifinals against Gillette, a heartbreaking loss that ended another strong season for the Broncs. The Broncs ended the season with a third place ranking after dropping the game 35-16 to the Camels. “The connection wasn’t there. We were off our game and it was hard to make up the score” junior Tyler Julian said about the loss. The Broncs fell in a hole early and weren’t able to recover, down 21-3 at half.

For the first time in three years the Broncs will not be featured in the state championship, and will have a challenge replacing such a strong class. Julian said, “we’re losing some players, but are returning a lot and the freshman are pretty good.” The Broncs will lose several starters and key players, a strong senior class that contributed to last year’s state title. The Broncs will lose super 25 players Nate Kane and Collin Eisenman, as well two year starting quarterback Kevin Bakkehaug and four lineman who helped create the most dynamic rushing game in the state for the last two years.

Sheridan finished the year with 8 wins and 3 losses, the losses coming to once to Natrona and twice to Gillette. While the season didn’t end quite as they expected, the year still had its strong moments. The team was undefeated on the road in the regular season and accomplished many season goals, including winning senior night, homecoming, and having no ineligible players. Coach Kevin Rizer described the best moment of the season as winning against East in a pivotal regular season matchup to determine the 3rd place ranking. “We found a new light for the team. A lot were expecting them to beat us… but we were able to grit that out, we fought and came out on top.”

As far as next season, the Broncs will look to find their way back to the state championship, which they had been involved in three straight years. Senior Caleb Sawyer said, “the team will do really well next year, Julian always builds a strong team.” Sheridan still has several returning players to help the program, including juniors Daniel Sessions, Nick Gill, Ethan Hall and Julian, all key contributors to this season. “It’ll be challenging, which will be both positive and negative,” says Rizer, who adds “We’ve got guys to build around.”