The 2016 Laramie Plainsmen football season came to an end last Friday with a loss in the first round of the 4A playoffs, but there was progress this season.

Laramie improved their overall record and made a big jump on defense from a statistical and turnover standpoint. They just missed out on a goal of hosting a playoff game and couldn’t find a way to get to the semifinal round of the playoffs. A case can be made that LHS may have let a couple of games slip away.

In other notable accomplishments, Laramie won four straight games for the first time since 2000 and swept the Cheyenne schools for the first time since that same season. They also won a Homecoming game for the first time since 2001.

Plainsmen head coach Chuck Syverson just finished his fourth season at the helm. He believes they’ve made another step forward, but also realizes Laramie’s got to find a way to get more kids out. Coach glimpsed ahead to next year and also broke down what’s left in 4A.

Laramie finished with a 4-6 record. It’s their best mark since 2005. They finished fifth in offense after ten games with an average of 302.6 yards and 18.7 points per game. On the other side of the ball, Laramie was eighth at 316.6 yards per game. That was over 100 yards less per game than 2015. They surrendered 22.5 points per game compared to 37.9 last season.

Individually, Taylor Dodd averaged 239 yards of total offense per game to lead class 4A through the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. He was second in passing at 167.8 yards and ninth in rushing with 71.2 yards per game. Dodd accounted for 21 total TD’s. Receiver Conor Beeston finished second in receiving for class 4A with 51 receptions for 761 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Plainsmen ended up with seven players in the top 50 of 4A’s defensive points. That includes senior Carless Looney, who led the class with 21.2 points per game. Junior Garrett Worden and senior Idris Elias also finished in the top ten. Sophomore Jason Upton and junior Daylon Puckett ranked in the top 18.

Laramie returns five starters on offense and six on defense for 2017.

The schedule for the 2017 season will be released in about two weeks. Post-season accolades for the 2016 season will be determined in coaches meetings on Nov. 17 and 18 in Casper.