Cheyenne, Wy- Even though the high school football season is just getting started, we could be watching history in the making. Pine Bluffs is going for their third consecutive State Championship, something that has never been done before in Wyoming.
It's been a Cinderella story for the Hornets. They won State after their town was nearly destroyed by a devastating hail storm. Last year they went undefeated in the regular season and went back-to-back in their championship run. This year, they hope to do it again with yet another challenge; they no longer have one of their key players.
"He's a kid you can't replace, so you just do the best you can with the kids you got and make a plan from there" Head Coach Will Gray said.
There's no doubt Haize Fornstrom left a legendary mark on the football program. This year's players are hoping to keep the legacy alive.
"I told the kids at practice Number 10 isn't coming through that door, so there's going to be times where we relied on him the last couple of years, and he is not coming through that door" Gray said.
This season we can expect Pine Bluffs to be both a veteran and a rebuilding team. Coach Gray said they "have some kids coming back but a year ago we had some really good kids at a lot of key positions, but we feel like the kids on the roster are capable of filling those holes."
This team has been working relentlessly on their run game. As long as they continue to fight, they feel they are unstoppable. However, they need to focus on some skills in order to be successful. Skills like getting better at tackling and being one group.
Senior Andrew Fornstrom said "We are still a pretty physical team. Our defense has been good." For seniors like Bradley Shmidl, back-to-back-to-back State Titles would be icing on the cake.
"It would mean the world going out my last year with one last State Championship," Fornstrom said.
So far, the Hornets are on the right track. In fact, last weekend they met up with Yuma, winning 27-0. This weekend will be a little bit different as they go helmet-to-helmet with a tough opponent against Wright.