March 28, 2012
Laramie, Wyo. -
It was a Who's Who of Wyoming Athletics in Scottsdale, Ariz., the weekend of March 23-24 as the Cowboy Joe Club hosted its spring Sun and Fun Cowboy Classic sponsored by Infinity Power and Controls in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Highlighting the weekend's events were the attendance by many former Cowboy and Cowgirl student-athletes as the Cowboy Joe Club focused this year's event on the "W-Club", its organization for former University of Wyoming student-athletes.
Among those former UW student-athletes in attendance were five of six Cowboys currently playing in the National Football League (NFL). The five current NFL Cowboys in attendance included: Malcom Floyd of the San Diego Chargers, Derrick Martin of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, Chris Prosinski of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mitch Unrein of the Denver Broncos and John Wendling of the Detroit Lions. Adam Goldberg of the St. Louis Rams was unable to attend. Another former Cowboy and NFL player, Casey Bramlet who is now living in Casper, Wyo., also was in attendance.
"Overall, it was a real special weekend to go to Arizona and meet up with some of the guys I played with and some who came before us," said current Jacksonville Jaguar Chris Prosinski. "It was good to see Coach (Dave) Christensen and meet Coach (Larry) Shyatt, but most importantly it was great to meet the people who generously donate their money in support of student-athlete scholarships. All of us as student-athletes benefitted from the generosity and love for Wyoming that these donors and fans have. It was great to be able to enjoy a weekend with many of those people.
"I would encourage any UW graduate who can make the trip in the future to go to Arizona and be part of this event. Hopefully it is something that will become an annual event."
University of Wyoming athletics director Tom Burman and head coaches Dave Christensen and Larry Shyatt both took part in the weekend's events and spoke to the group following Saturday's golf tournament.
"The response to this event in Scottsdale definitely exceeded our expectations," said Randy Welniak, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Executive Director of the Cowboy Joe Club. "There was a very good mix of attendees from around Wyoming and Colorado, as well as part-time and full-time residents of Arizona.
"We decided to change our focus this year in Scottsdale with an emphasis on the W-Club. We invited all of our former UW football players who are currently in the NFL and five out of the six players made it (only Adam Goldberg of the St. Louis Rams could not make it because of a scheduling conflict).
"Both the fans and the NFL guys seemed to truly have a great time. Furthermore, it is important to get these former players engaged and reconnected to UW. With their demanding schedules, this was the best time to have an event like this."
Over 30 former Cowboy and Cowgirl athletes participated in the weekend's events, along with over 150 Cowboy Joe members. The weekend began with a Colorado Rockies' spring training game on Saturday afternoon versus the Chicago Cubs. The game was played at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Spring Training Complex for the Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cowboy Joe Club sold out of its allotment of 120 tickets for the game.
That was followed by a VIP reception at the home of former Wyoming golf letterman John Easterbrook, who is the Executive Vice President for Operations with Troon Golf.
On Saturday, the Cowboy Joe Club hosted a sold-out (108 players) golf tournament at Talking Stick Golf Club.
The weekend concluded with a Silent and Live Auction following the golf tournament that included some personalized items from the NFL Cowboys and other UW memorabilia. The auction raised over $10,000 for current UW student-athlete scholarships.