Wyoming Student-Athlete Hometown Reports

Oct. 8, 2004


Following are periodic highlights of selected University of Wyoming student-athletes, detailing recent performances and their contributions to their respective UW teams.

Check out these reports on Cowgirl Volleyball player Lauren Scott; Cowgirl Soccer goalkeeper Ashley Sheppard; and Cowboy Football players Josh Barge, Derrick Martin and John Wendling.

Lauren Scott, MB, 6-1, Fr., Lone Tree, Colo. (Highlands Ranch HS)

Freshman Lauren Scott

Lauren Scott, a freshman from Lone Tree, Colorado (Highlands Ranch High School), is becoming a major force for the University of Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team. Scott is having a wonderful freshman season heading into conference play and has garnered some awards along the way for her outstanding play. She earned Mountain West Player of the Week Honors for the week of September 27 when the Cowgirls played Air Force and New Mexico. The 6'2" middle blocker helped the Cowgirls open the season 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 1997. Against New Mexico, Scott had a .409 hitting percentage with 12 kills and six blocks. Against Air Force she hit .400 and matched her career high with 13 kills. In addition to those impressive stats, Scott also had a career-best two solo blocks (eight total blocks) and a dig in four games vs. the Falcons. Scott has also received an All-Tournament Team award at the Idaho State Bengal Classic when she averaged 3.1 kills and 1.73 blocks per game during the tournament run. With all of these remarkable statistics in her first year, Scott is currently leading the Cowgirls in blocks (1.28), ranking fifth in the MWC in that category. Look for Scott and the Cowgirls to return to the nets for some high-spiking action in Fort Collins this Friday versus the Colorado State Rams.

Ashley Sheppard, Fr., GK, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch HS)

Freshman Ashley Sheppard

After last season, the Wyoming Cowgirl Soccer team knew that whoever filled in at goalkeeper for them would have to fill the big gloves of former Cowgirl star Lori Scheider, who is all over the career leaderboard in many categories for the Cowgirls. Ashley Sheppard, a freshman from Highlands Ranch HS, has stepped in and filled that void superbly for UW. Her play shows in the Cowgirl's current record, (in which she has appeared in 10 games and started nine) 5-3-4. Sheppard has played so well in goal that even the Mountain West Conference took notice and gave her the Defensive Player of the Week when the Cowgirls played Northern Colorado and Cal State Fullerton. During those two games, Sheppard recorded two of her three shutouts, and had 14 saves. Sheppard also has the MWC high for saves in a game with 12 against Denver. She currently has allowed 12 goals, a 1.16 goals against average, and has 59 saves. Her goals against average would currently be good enough for the Cowgirls season record. Look for Sheppard and the rest of her Cowgirl teammates when they open MWC play against the Air Force Falcons this Friday.

Josh Barge, WR, 6-0, 203, Jr., 2L, Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs HS)

Junior Josh Barge

Josh Barge, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri is helping the University of Wyoming Cowboys bust out the big play and out to their best start since 1999. Even though Barge might not play against the San Diego State Aztecs this weekend in Laramie due to an abdominal injury suffered against Louisiana-Monroe, he has contributed largely to the early success of the Cowboys. His main contributions to the Cowboys came from the first three games of the season. He had to leave the Louisiana-Monroe game early on with his injury. Against Ole Miss, Barge had two major plays that contributed to the Cowboys' huge 37-32 victory. Barge had an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown (the first since 1995) and a 69-yard wide receiver reverse pass from Jovon Bouknight that went to the house late in the game to help secure the victory. The play from Bouknight to Barge was nominated and won the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Week on ESPN. By winning the fan balloting, the University of Wyoming will receive a $5,000 scholarship from Pontiac to go toward it's general scholarship fund. With all of these long yardage plays, Barge has established himself as a big play man for the Cowboys. He currently has four plays of 30 yards or more, three punt returns and one pass play. Barge enters this week ranked No. 4 in the nation in punt returns, averaging 22.7 yards per return. He has caught eight passes for 158 yards and one touchdown. He is also ranked No.10 in the Mountain West Conference in all-purpose yards at 88.8 yards per game.

Derrick Martin, CB, 5-11, 182, So., 1L, Westminster, Colo. (Thomas Jefferson HS)

Sophomore Derrick Martin

Derrick Martin, a former prep standout at Thomas Jefferson High School in Westminster, Colorado has been dominating non-conference play at his cornerback position for the University of Wyoming. Martin has played especially solid defense in the secondary against Ole Miss and Louisiana-Monroe. Against Ole Miss, Martin shined. The sophomore had nine tackles (eight unassisted), broke up seven passes, and had one interception in the end zone during a critical point in the game. His play during that game netted Martin two awards: the Mountain West Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week, and an award that had never previously came to Laramie, the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the week. It was the second week in a row that the Nagurski award had resided in the Mountain West Conference. In addition to winning the award, Martin is now on the Nagurski Watch List as a top defensive player in NCAA Division I. In the following week against Louisiana-Monroe, Martin's stellar play continued. Martin had seven tackles (six unassisted). For the season, Martin has 26 tackles, 22 of them unassisted. He is currently second in the MWC for pass breakups with nine. He also has one punt block and a fumble return for a touchdown that came off a blocked punt against Appalachian State early on in the season. With Martin's play and the defense revived in Laramie, look for another dominating performance by the Cowboys against the San Diego State Aztecs in Laramie on Saturday.

John Wendling, FS, 6-1, 203, So., 1L, Rock Springs, Wyo. (Rock Springs HS)

Sophomore John Wendling

John Wendling, a sophomore from Rock Springs, Wyoming, has established himself as a hard hitting, strong tackling free safety for the University of Wyoming Cowboys. After getting some playing time last year, Wendling is making the most of his starting role this season and it shows in his performances the last two games against Ole Miss and Louisiana-Monroe. In those games, Wendling totaled 20 tackles (14 of them unassisted) and had one interception. The majority of the tackles came against Ole Miss when he had a team high 16 tackles. The interception also came against Ole Miss during their opening drive when Wendling picked a pass off in the end zone for his first career interception. Even though he did not have the same individual stats against Louisiana-Monroe, Wendling and the rest of the dirt-covered defense did their part to get the win and only allowed 36 yards of total offense in the second half for the Indians. He currently is tied for the team lead with 26 tackles, 14 of them unassisted, and has recovered one fumble. Wendling is enjoying his chance to shine for the Cowboys in the secondary and the Cowboys are looking for good things out of him the rest of the season. Look for Wendling and the rest of the rejuvenated Cowboy Football team as they return to the gridiron this Saturday against the San Diego State Aztecs.