On this weeks edition of First Bank Of Wyoming Sports Friday 5 key members of the Star Valley Braves Football team that took home the state championship back in November joined Dahl and myself for an interview and talked about the season and all the things that went through their minds as this legendary season transpired. Joining the show were QB Taft McLure, WRs Chase Stewart and Wyatt Crogg, and LBs Derek Castle and Brandon Beck.
The season started in Boise State on the famous blue turf and ended at Laramie in War Memorial Stadium allowing the Braves the opportunity to both start and end their season in a major division 1 collegiate stadium. The boys all relayed the sentiment that beginning the season over in Idaho in said massive stadium was truly helpful to the team as the season reached it’s finale in helping them not find the moment too big or overwhelming “the lights weren’t too big” as McLure put it.
This was going to be important for the Braves to get them on even playing field with their opponents in the title game the Cody Broncs who had been in Laramie the previous season and were back to back defending state champs. The Braves dropped their regular season homecoming game to the Broncs during the regular season but Beck believes that game was important “It gave us confidence that we could beat them the 2nd time” which of course, they did.
Derek Astle also came into the season expecting to be a key contributor on both sides of the ball but a shoulder injury he managed to play through for the entire season ended up putting the star linebacker on a snap count offensively which he states was a real adjustment to be made and made him direct his focus toward improving as a leader since his on-field contributions would be limited for the most part to one side of the ball. This didn’t stop him from making one of the biggest offensive plays of the season however when he was needed most hauling in the game-winning touchdown grab in the State Title game, just managing to tap his foot in bounds before a nearby defender shoved him out, giving Star Valley the 14-7 late 4th quarter lead and ultimately the win.
When asked to recall their favorite memories from the season each of the gentlemen gave their own unique moment rather than simply going for the low hanging fruit of winning the state title which was interesting to hear, Wyatt Crogg’s in particular wasn’t even a game moment at all but instead chose the first snow practice of the season and remembered the team all jumping into the snow and doing snow angels.
The entire interview can be found linked below, congratulations once again to your 2022 Wyoming 3A State Football Champions, the Star Valley Braves!