March 22, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy football team will be traveling to central Wyoming in August in an exciting new outreach opportunity to connect University of Wyoming Athletics to Cowboy fans across the state. The Pokes will conduct a scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 21 at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper. This late summer event is being offered as an alternative to the Wyoming Shootout, which in past years had been held in Casper during December and featured the Cowboy and Cowgirl basketball teams.
Head coach Dave Christensen, last year's Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year Austyn Carta-Samuels and 2009 All-Conference performers Chris Prosinski and Brian Hendricks will be among the Cowboys signing autographs and meeting fans in a Fan Appreciation event after the scrimmage. UW cheerleaders and the UW marching band, Western Thunder, will also take part to bring a game-like atmosphere to the fans of central Wyoming. The game time for the scrimmage will be announced at a later date.
"We were looking for a new way to reach out to our fans and give them an opportunity to meet our coaches and student-athletes," said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. "We hope that by offering this event in August, it will not only get people excited about the upcoming football season but will be at a time of the year that will be easier for our fans to travel to and attend.
"We also intend to take our men's and women's basketball programs to other communities within Wyoming for scrimmages or exhibition games in the future. Our goal is to begin those events this coming year.
"The Shootout was a great event and a great outreach opportunity for the University for many years. But interest has waned in recent years. With the excitement surrounding last year's successful football season, we felt this was an opportunity to create a new outreach event for Casper and the surrounding area."
Christensen became only the second UW football coach in history to take his first Cowboy squad to a bowl game (the other was Paul Roach in 1987), and Christensen became the first to win a bowl game in his first year at Wyoming. He sees the August scrimmage in Casper as a perfect way to kick off the 2010 football season for his team and for Wyoming fans.
"I think it will be an excellent time for our football team to scrimmage in a game-like atmosphere," said Christensen. "We will have been practicing for over two weeks when we go up to Casper, and our players will be ready to scrimmage in front of a crowd. I am looking forward to having a large number of Cowboy fans come out to meet my staff and our players."
In terms of future events featuring the men's and women's basketball teams in scrimmages or exhibition games around the state, UW basketball coaches Joe Legerski and Heath Schroyer are excited about their teams participating in new outreach opportunities.
"My staff and I are working hard to secure an opponent to play at one of the Wyoming community colleges this coming fall," said Legerski. "We look forward to the opportunity to bring Cowgirl Basketball to fans around the state of Wyoming in the years to come."
"We are very appreciative of our fans who travel to Laramie on a regular basis to support our teams," said Schroyer. "To show our appreciation, I believe these types of outreach events are important, and it also gives our players and coaches a sense of how far our fans have to travel to come see the Cowboys and Cowgirls play."
Included in the postgame Fan Appreciation event on Aug. 21 will be giveaways of UW football tickets and official UW merchandise. There will be no charge for the scrimmage or the fan appreciation activities on Aug. 21.
In addition to autographs, fans are encouraged to bring cameras and take photos with Cowboy players and coaches.
The 2010 football season will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Southern Utah in Laramie. The Cowboys will also host one of the nation's top ranked teams in 2010 preseason polls in the Boise State Broncos on Saturday, Sept. 18. UW's non-conference road games will include trips to Texas on Saturday, Sept. 11 and to the University of Toledo on Saturday, Oct. 2. The Mountain West Conference schedule, including dates for conference games, will be released by the conference office later this spring, and will include home games versus Air Force, Colorado State, San Diego State and Utah.