Aug 28, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterShoshoni seniors will have their third head coach in four years this fall, as former assistant Tony Trumpler takes the Wrangler helm after the departure of two-year head coach Rick Lindblad for New Mexico.
Trumpler has guided resurgence in the Shoshoni wrestling program and hopes to continue that trend on the gridiron.
Trumpler inherits a team that many Shoshoni fans have been waiting a long time to arrive.
The Wranglers are led by senior quarterback Tyler Clemetson and a very talented offensive line, along with a tenacious defense.
Junior Josh Oaks and sophomore Tristan Parrish bring blazing, breakaway speed to the backfield this season, with Parrish also the Wranglers' best threat at receiver.
On the line seniors Nathaniel Lutz, J.J. Crichton and Alex Minge anchor a solid front wall. Freshman J.J. Pingetzer is expected to see time on the line and in the backfield, and 225-pound sophomore Pat Forrester will play a similar role.
Perhaps the biggest surprise this season comes at center, with Galen Lagois taking the position. "Galen has been the biggest surprise on the team so far," Trumpler said. "He's really doing a good job."
Trumpler is assisted this fall by Jesse Smith, Drew Peregoy and Max Mills.
Shoshoni has an interesting week-zero exhibition game playing in Fremont County against Class 3-A Lander at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Aug. 31. That game is at Wolverine Field in Riverton.
The regular season will be a challenge for the Wranglers, who open with Class 2-A Pinedale, a team with three times SHS's enrollment, at 4 p.m. the following Friday.
Also on the schedule is a trip to a place where Shoshoni has never fared well on the gridiron, a second-week trek to Niobrara County to play the highly touted Lusk Tigers.
Shohsoni also plays east conference opponent Pine Bluffs before tackling the West 1-A league led by perennial power Cokeville.
Rocky Mountain is a favorite in the West as well, with some solid transfers and a senior class building the last three seasons for this year. Riverside should be much improved. Burlington and Wind River will rely on talented younger players but could challenge as well for a playoff spot.
In spite of the tough schedule Trumpler is optimistic.
"It's a pretty tough schedule, but I think it will come down to us and Cokeville in that final game."