Short Scrimmage Closes Cowboys Spring Training

April 20, 2002


It was scheduled to be a short scrimmage anyway, but mother nature made sure Wyoming's final workout of spring training was even shorter by delivering a driving snowstrom Saturday afternoon in War Memorial Stadium.

The snows came just as the Cowboys were beginning their first series of the short scrimmage--scheduled for 50 plays--and intensified as the workout continued. Fearing injury, Head Coach Vic Koenning stopped the proceedings after 25 minutes and some 40 plays. Worsening conditions caused poor footing which forced closure of the final workout.

"The team wanted to scrimmage today," Koenning said. "With the weather forecast we had thought about cancelling, but they wanted to play. They didn't want to stop today, either, and were lobbying pretty hard to continue. "But the footing was such we had to stop. I know they are disappointed but the conditions were just too bad.

"Today was fun. We had accomplished everything we needed to during our spring training, so this was a day to have fun. There is a much different attitude on this team. These guys really enjoy playing the game. They also are much hungrier. They are raising the bar. They are so far from the team that we started with two years ago.

"We sent a message with this practice," Koenning continued. "I thought it was important that we came out and had a spring game. It was an opportunity for the players, and for the fans who have supported us.

A number of front-line players were held out of the scrimmage due to injury, including starting quarterback Casey Bramlet and starting running back Derek Armah.

The Cowboys ran just nine series before the scrimmage was stopped. The offense failed to score during those nine possessions, while the defense returned a fumble for a touchdown, and scored 21 other points thanks to a scoring system devised by the coaching staff.

There were only 120 yards of total offense, including 82 through the air and 38 on the ground, and three first downs. The offense turned it over twice, including a 17-yard return by cornerback Roderrick Jackson who scooped up the loose ball and was off to the races for the only touchdown of the day.

Quarterbacks J.J. Raterink and Corey Bramlet were a combined 8 of 20 through the air for the 82 yards. The top receiver was redshirt freshman Jovon Boukinight who had two catches for 37 yards, including the play of the day, a 28-yard catch and run. Running back Kit Bradshaw caught two for 23 yards and wide receiver Dustin Pleasant had two catches for 15 yards.

Bradshaw was the leading ball carrier with 26 yards on 10 carries.

Defensively, in addition to Jackson's heroics, cornerback Chris Dixon had three tackles and two pass-breakups, and linebackers Shane Powell and Andy Deselms each had three tackles. Powell forced one of the two fumbles.

Koenning also utilized the scrimmage to announce the captains for the 2002 season as well as the spring-training awards. Captains for the Cowboys will be Casey Bramlet and receiver Ryan McGuffey on offense, linebacker Herman White and bandit Jon Aimone on defense, and kicker Jarvis Wallum for the special teams.

"We have a number of outstanding leaders on this team," Koenning said, "but these were the guys who the team voted for. It was a close vote, believe me. But we are pleased with these guys, they are all outstanding leaders. I'm pleased with the leadership on this team."

For the spring, defensive end Casey Adams and corner Roderrick Jackson earned Most Improved honors on defense. Tight end Chris Cox was Most Improved on offense. The Lifter of the Year was Casey Bramlet. "All of those guys have made tremendous strides this spring," Koenning said.

The head coach indicated that all but, "about 20 percent of the starting jobs" have been won. Those jobs will have to wait until two-a-days in August to be determined.