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Four Panthers named to Shrine Bowl

Four members of the 2013 Powell Panthers champion football team have been named to the Wyoming Shrine Bowl roster.

Seniors Hayden Cragoe, Anthony Lujan, Garrett Lynch and Garrett Michael will play for the North squad in the June 14th All-Star game at Natrona County High School in Casper.

“I actually believe we could have a few more on there,” said PHS head coach Jim Stringer. “I was very happy we were able to get the four that we got.”

Where the All-State teams usually favor the top two-way talent in Wyoming, the Shrine Bowl rosters are built with an actual game in mind, meaning rosters must be balanced and include players from every position.

“We do the best we can to represent the best seniors we have throughout the state,” Stringer said.

Cragoe was second in Class 3A in total yards (1985), passing yards (1704) and second with 21 touchdown passes as Powell’s quarterback. In the defensive backfield Cragoe picked off two passes and broke up three more.

Stringer said Cragoe will likely be the North’s backup quarterback (presumably behind Gillette’s Austin Fort) and starting safety.

Lujan racked up eight tackles for a loss, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups as a stalwart linebacker, but Lujan will play primarily — if not exclusively — on the offensive line in Casper.

Stringer said he believes Lujan is one of the state’s top linebackers but “we needed another good offensive lineman” for the North.

Lynch was second on the Panthers in sacks (three) and pass break-ups (four). He also had an interception, fumble recovery and a blocked kick on defense. Lynch was also a contributor on offense. The University of Wyoming-bound Lynch ran for 228 yards and four touchdowns, and caught 14 balls for 174 yards and another two touchdowns.

Michael, a three-year starter for PHS, anchored a talented offensive line that led the way for a Powell rushing offense that was first in touchdowns (42) and fourth in yards (2433).

“When it came to us needing to fill in the offensive line he was one of the first people I was pushing for really hard,” Stringer said. “He’s one of the best offensive lineman, at least in 3A for sure.”

Running back/cornerback Cory Heny was named as an alternate for the North.

“I was very hopeful we could get Cory on (as a starter),” Stringer said.

Class 3A is loaded with running back/defensive back talent, Stringer said, so Heny was bypassed despite being second in 3A with 21 total touchdowns, second with 15 rushing touchdowns and ninth with 65.5 rushing yards per game.

As a defensive back Heny was tied with Douglas’ Tanner Gamble for the 3A lead with five interceptions. He was also 3A’s top punt return man with a 20.8 yards per return average.

East Cheyenne (Class 4A) led all Wyoming schools with five players selected. Powell, Douglas and Gillette each had four players named.

Stringer will be one of the North’s assistant coaches, giving him a last hurrah with four of the players that led the Panthers to a 19-13 win over Douglas in the 3A state title game.

“I was afraid that might be our last go back in November,” Stringer said. “It will be really nice to be able to work with them one last time.”

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