Wyoming Student-Athlete Hometown Reports

Oct. 22, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. - 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 Rachel Smith and Cowboy center Trenton Franz.

Rachel Smith, OH, 5-11, Fr., Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Westlake HS)

Freshman Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith, from Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Westlake HS), has been placed on the court as a true freshman this season for the University of Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball team and has stepped up for them. The Cowgirls are a very young squad and have had to use their freshman a lot this season. Smith has answered the call by UW head coach Pat Stangle and has helped the Cowgirls in every game this season. She has had a great season so far and the future looks bright for this talented young freshman. Smith, an outside hitter, made the All-Tournament Team at the Cowgirl Classic. In that tournament, Smith finished with 3.73 kills per game, 1.18 digs per game, and a .290 hitting percentage. However, last weekend would seem to be the shining moment of her young career. Against BYU, Smith finished with 13 kills and 12 digs to help the Cowgirls beat BYU for the first time in 15 years and only the fourth time in 54 chances. It was a huge victory for Smith and the Cowgirls. Smith is currently ranked in several categories in Mountain West Conference play and in all matches for the season. She is 11th in kills in all matches played (230) and eighth in conference play (97). Smith is also ranked 12th in hitting percentage (.272) and eighth in digs (78) in conference play. Smith and the Cowgirls travel down I-25 to take on Air Force and New Mexico this weekend.

Trenton Franz, C, 6-3, 282, Sr., 3L, Fort Collins, Colo. (Rocky Mountain)

Senior Trenton Franz

Trenton Franz, a senior center who attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, is looking forward to the upcoming installment of the "Border War" between the University of Wyoming Cowboys and Colorado State University Rams. Franz and the rest of the Cowboys are hoping to retain the Bronze Boot, the trophy given out to the victor of the game. Last year the Pokes won the trophy by beating the Rams 35-28 in Laramie. In addition to all of the hype surrounding the game, Franz has quietly had a solid career outside of the spotlight, since offensive lineman don't get the glory most of the time. Coming into the game, Franz will be starting his 38th consecutive game at center for the Cowboys. He has been a mainstay performer on the offensive line since the fifth game of his redshirt freshman season. The senior was named to the Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List prior to the start of the 2004 season. He has also been named an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference performer twice. If people think his gridiron awards are amazing, they should look at his academic record. Franz graduated in May with a degree in civil engineering with a 3.814 cumulative GPA. In order to stay eligible to play this season, Franz is working on completing a master's degree at UW. Franz has also twice earned Academic All-District VII honors and is a leading candidate for Academic All-American honors this season. He is also in the process of making an application for a Rhodes Scholarship, a very prestigious award only given out to a select few each year. Franz truly exemplifies the statement student-athlete. Franz and the rest of the Cowboys return to Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins this Friday to open the next installment of the Border War (96th time) and the battle for the Bronze Boot (37th meeting for prize).