Laramie Football Receives Numerous Honors for 2016 Season
For the first time since 2000, the Laramie Plainsmen have more than three First Team All-State selections for the high school football season.
Laramie had six players chosen First Team All-State for the 2016 season. Quarterback Taylor Dodd, receiver Connor Beeston, offensive lineman Zane Garner, linebacker Carless Looney and defensive back Idris Elias received the honor as seniors. They are joined by junior defensive lineman Garrett Worden. A total of 15 Plainsmen received some recognition for their efforts on the gridiron this past season by the Wyoming Coaches Association.
Beeston earned the accolade for the second time after being First Team All-State as a junior. He led Laramie and was second in 4A with 76.1 receiving yards per game. Beeston finished with 51 catches for 761 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 14.9 yards per reception. Beeston also received Honorable Mention All-Conference at defensive back.
Dodd was selected First Team All-State at QB, but also received Second Team All-State at Punter. He was also First Team All-Conference at Quarterback and Punter, plus was runner-up in the voting for Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Dodd led 4A in all-purpose offense at 239 yards per game. He was responsible for 21 total touchdowns. Dodd was second in passing at 167.8 yards per game in 4A with 12 TD’s and 9 interceptions. He completed 57 percent of his passes. Dodd also averaged 38.4 yards per punt, which was third-best in 4A.
Looney led 4A and was third in the state in defensive points with 21.2 per game. The three-year starter finished with 131 total tackles, including seven tackles for loss. He also had an interception and blocked a kick. Looney averaged 9.6 tackles per game and had a 4A single-game high of 14 against Evanston. He was also runner-up for Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Elias finished eighth in 4A in defensive points with 15.2 per game. He recorded 76 total tackles with one tackle for loss. The senior also two fumble recoveries, an interception and blocked three kicks.
Garner anchored the offensive line at left tackle for the past two seasons at LHS. He missed two games due to an injury, but helped the Plainsmen have the second-best passing attack in 4A and the overall fifth-rated offense at 302.5 yards and 18.7 points per game.
The lone underclassmen among the honorees, Worden was a one-man wrecking crew at defensive end. He led 4A and was tied for first in the state with 21 tackles for loss. Worden also had six sacks for a total of 28 stops behind the line of scrimmage. That also led 4A and tied for the most in the state. He was seventh in 4A in defensive points and registered 44 total tackles, had a pass break-up, three fumble recoveries and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown at Cheyenne East. Worden was runner-up for Conference Lineman of the Year.
Second Team All-State honors were earned by junior Nate Burman and sophomore Jason Upton. Burman received it as a defensive back and an At-Large selection on offense. Upton was chosen at running back. Both were First Team All-Conference.
Second Team All-Conference 4A honors were bestowed upon senior Tony Ortega on offensive line, senior kicker Blake Moore and junior Daylon Puckett at linebacker. Burman and Elias at receiver, Looney at running back, Beeston as kick return specialist and At-Large defensive player and Garner on the defensive line were also named Second Team All-Conference.
Honorable Mention All-Conference accolades were given to senior Zach Rivord and junior Alex Mendoza on the offensive line; senior Dan Graeff on the defensive line; senior Isaiah Wookey at linebacker and senior Connor Beeston as defensive back.