Koenning Announces Three Junior-College Players Sign With Wyoming Football Program

Dec. 20, 1999

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming head footballcoach Vic Koenning announced today the signing of three junior-collegestudent-athletes to national letters-of-intent. The three are: Chad Beuhlerof Belleview, Fla., Sidney Lewis of Chicago, Ill., and Pete Merrill ofPinetop, Ariz. All three will join the Cowboy football program this comingJanuary.

Chad Beuhler 6-2 250 DL

Belleview, Fla. (Coffeyville Community College, Kan.)

Beuhler comes to Wyoming from Coffeyville Community College inCoffeyville, Kan. He played only one season at Coffeyville, and will havethree years of eligibility for the Cowboys. He started every game atnoseguard for Coffeyville as a freshman, recording 6.0 quarterback sacks.He played for Skip Foster at Coffeyville.

In High School, Beuhler played both linebacker and noseguard. Hewas named Second Team All-State in Class 5A (the second largestclassification in Florida). Beuhler was also honored as his conference'sDefensive Player of the Year as a high school senior. He led his BelleviewHigh School team to the second round of the state playoffs as a senior.

"Chad (Beuhler) will add both depth and experience to our defensivefront," said Koenning. "We need Chad to add some weight. He currentlyweighs about 250. We hope to get him up in the 265 to 275-pound range bythe start of next fall. Chad is a physical player, who plays extremely hardand plays with a lot of confidence. We really needed to add some depth tothe defensive line, and we needed someone who could step in right away andcontribute. I think Chad fits both of those criteria."

Sidney Lewis 5-10 180 CB

Chicago, Ill. (The College of Siskiyous, Weed, Calif.)

Lewis played two years for Greg Gatlin at The College of Siskiyousin Northern California. Lewis was described by Gatlin as a quality covercorner and good hitter, with outstanding speed. Lewis intercepted twopasses as a sophomore. He also qualified for the California Junior-CollegeChampionships in track and field as a hurdler.

"Sidney Lewis was an important signee for us," stated Koenning. "Weof course lost two very good starting cornerbacks in seniors Robbie Duncanand Trent Gamble. Sidney will definitely be a leading contender for astarting spot at cornerback. He's got great speed, and also ran track injunior college. He comes to us from the same junior college (College ofSiskiyous) as our current running back Nate Scott."

Pete Merrill 6-1 190 S

Pinetop, Ariz. (Eastern Arizona Junior College)

Merrill had an outstanding two-year career at Eastern Arizona JuniorCollege in Thatcher, Ariz. As a sophomore, Merrill earned Second TeamAll-Conference honors while ranking second on his team with 62 totaltackles. He was credited with 30 solo tackles, to rank first on the team.He also had 30 assists and two tackles for losses, with one interception.As a freshman at Eastern Arizona, Merrill recorded 29 total tackles --15solos, 13 assists and one tackle for a loss. He combines great speed withhis size. At Blue Ridge High School he was the Arizona State 100-meterchampion for Class 3A. At Eastern Arizona, he played for head coach ScottGiles in a defense much like the current style coached by Koenning --pressure defense with the safeties playing a key role in blitzing and runsupport, as well as pass coverage.

"Pete Merrill is exactly what we were looking for," said Koenning."He fits our mold perfectly. He is a mature player, having already gone onhis LDS Church mission. He has great size for a defensive back, and was anArizona state sprint champion. Pete reminds me a lot of senior MattLehning, who was a Second Team All-Conference player for us this pastseason. I expect Pete to challenge for one of our safety spots right away.He will combine with Al Rich and a number of younger players at safety tomake that position a strong one for our football team."

These are the first three junior-college signees for the Cowboysthis year.