The 2023 Wyoming Cowboy Football Season Has Begun

Columnist Dave Walsh writes: Sure, the first game of the season is still five months away. But the 2023 Cowboy Football season began last week when the Pokes conducted their first spring practice.

Dave Walsh

April 07, 20234 min read

Dave walsh Uw

Ah.  Springtime in the Rockies!  There is nothing quite like it!  

I know it hasn't risen to expectations quite yet here in Wyoming, but it is officially Spring.  Spring actually "sprung" about two weeks ago.  And really, this is pretty typical of "early spring" conditions here in the Cowboy State.  

Of course, Spring signals a new beginning of sorts.  The weather gradually moderates, the temperatures slowly rise, and the days get longer.  

And in the most obvious example of the beginning of Spring to me:  Cowboy Football begins.  

The 2023 Wyoming Cowboy Football season has begun.  

You may be quick to point out that the first game of the season is still some five months away.  The Pokes will play Texas Tech in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 2nd.  

But the 2023 Cowboy Football season is already underway.  It began last week when the Pokes conducted their first spring practice.  

Many will tell you that the 2023 season actually began the moment the 2022 season ended.  For the coaching staff and the players, that certainly holds true.  Coaches have been planning and players have been studying and conditioning.  

Let's face it, Spring is here and Cowboy Football has begun.    

The Cowboys conducted their first team practice of the Spring 10 days ago.  There have been many team meetings, a lot of position meetings over the past few months since the Cowboys played their last game.  And there's little doubt that the upcoming season has been discussed.  

But when there's consistent action on the practice field, when the Pokes are lining up and running plays, and there might even be a bit of contact, well, that's preparation.    

The Cowboys have started getting ready for the upcoming season.  

Wyoming Football has already completed five of the 15 practices allowed in the Spring.  The last practice of the Spring session is, of course, the Spring Game.  This year's Brown and Gold Game will be played Saturday, April 29th, at 2 pm, in War Memorial Stadium.  

This Spring was met with great anticipation by the Cowboys for two obvious reasons.  

First, the Cowboys are coming off a very successful season.  The Cowboys were picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference last season.  But the Pokes finished second in the Division and would earn their fifth bowl-game appearance in the past seven seasons.  

And second, the Pokes entered Spring Drills returning 18 of 24 starters.  Last spring the Cowboys returned just 10 of 24 starters, making Wyoming the fourth least experienced team in the nation.  

Spring is a time of "getting the band back together".  It's a time of gathering-up a bunch of individuals, bonding as a team, and running some plays.  It's back to playing football.  

Spring is a time of learning and re-familiarizing with the process.  

New Cowboys will be taught "the Cowboy Way".  They will be taught by a veteran coaching staff and the returning players.  There is no accounting for experience.  And with so many returnees in this Cowboy Camp, there is plenty of experience and know-how to go around.  The young Pokes will be well-schooled.  

Of course, the quarterback position will be highly-scrutinized this Spring.  The position appears to be returning-starter, Andrew Peasley's, to win or lose.  But it has been said that sophomores Evan Svoboda and Kolbey Taylor have impressed, and will compete for the quarterback position as well.  

The Cowboys are loaded at running back.  Dawaiian McNeely, D.Q. James, and last season's quality Arizona Bowl fill-in, Jordon Vaughn, return.  And the Pokes added junior Harrison Waylee, a transfer from Northern Illinois.  

And look who's back in Laramie to coach the Cowboys defensive ends.  One of the best linebackers to ever perform in the brown and gold returns as a coach.  Brian Hendricks takes over for the retired Marty English.  

Count me as one of those Cowboy fans who is excited about, and ready for Cowboy Football.    

After all, it's Spring.    

And it's Football Season.  

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Dave Walsh

Sports Columnist