August 15, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming head footballcoach Dana Dimel welcomed back 44 letterwinners and 15 starters on Sunday asthe Cowboy veterans practiced for the first time in preparation for the 1999college football season.
Among the key returnees were 1998 First Team All-Conference honoreesWendell Montgomery, a senior wide receiver, and Al Rich, a junior freesafety. Junior quarterback Jay Stoner also returns after being named aSecond Team All-Conference selection as a sophomore in '98, as do seniorcornerback Robbie Duncan and junior noseguard Jeff Boyle -- both Second Teamchoices, as well in 1998.
Dimel enters his third season as head coach of the Cowboys. He hasguided the Pokes to back-to-back eight win seasons, and has won 67 percentof his games through two seasons, posting a record of 16-8. Of Dimel's 15returning starters, six are on offense and eight on defense, along withjunior place-kicker Aaron Elling.
On Sunday, the Pokes started out fall drills with a morning kickingpractice followed by an afternoon practice in shells (helmets and shoulderpads). The afternoon drills began at 4 p.m. and ran for approximately twoand half hours.
"Today's practice was one of the longest we'll have in fall camp,"said Dimel. "Right now we're looking to develop depth at every position.
"We had a large number of guys stay in Laramie this summer(approximately 60 players), and one thing I noticed immediately in today'spractice was how much more physical and bigger we looked in our pads.
"Our plan is to work the team very hard until Aug. 25 and then starttapering down a little bit in preparation for our first game on Sept. 4."
A couple of redshirt freshmen suffered injured knees on Sundayafternoon -- Adam Goldberg an offensive tackle and Anthony Stannard adefensive lineman. The extent of the injuries was not immediately known.Senior offensive tackle Nate Selk didn't participate in the first day ofpractices due to having a knee scoped this summer.
The Cowboys will practice twice a day on Monday, and Wednesday.Tuesday will consist of three practices with a kicking practice squeezedinto the early afternoon between the morning and late afternoon drills.That will lead up to the first scrimmage of the spring on Thursday, Aug. 19from 9-11 a.m. in War Memorial Stadium. Thursday's practice will befollowed by Wyoming's annual media day Thursday afternoon. Media dayactivities will begin with a lunch for media at noon followed by photosessions and interviews between media members, UW coaches and players. Allactivities will be held in War Memorial Stadium.
Wyoming will kick off the 1999 season on Sept. 4 at defendingNational Champion Tennessee in a game to be televised live on ESPN2beginning at 5 p.m. Mountain time from Knoxville, Tenn. It is the thirdtime in the decade of the '90s that Wyoming has played a defending nationalchampion or eventual national champion. UW was the season opener fordefending National Champion Colorado in 1991 and played at eventual NationalChampion Nebraska in 1994.
The home schedule for the Cowboys will begin the following week onSept. 11 when Wyoming hosts Weber State in War Memorial Stadium in a gameset to kick off at 2 p.m. Mountain time.
The 1999 season will mark the 50th season of play in UW's WarMemorial Stadium.