A new season is here, and the Laramie Plainsmen are looking to make it vastly different from a year ago.

It’s the second season under head coach Paul Ronga. After about six weeks of essentially cramming for a test, Laramie struggled in 2021. Between a new scheme and philosophy to injuries and more, the Plainsmen went 1-8 and failed to make the Class 4A playoffs.

Now, it’s year two. Coach Ronga has been here the whole time. The hope is to take the program in a better direction than four wins over the last three seasons.

KOWB’s David Settle, the voice of the Laramie Plainsmen for KOWB Radio (AM 1290), spoke to LHS head coach Paul Ronga earlier this week. The conversation centered around fall camp, last Friday’s scrimmage, comparing a year ago to now, preparing for a tough opponent in No. 3 Natrona County, and more. That’s in the video at the top of the story.

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Laramie has 68 kids out for football this fall, which includes 15 seniors. The team will have a 42-man roster for Friday night varsity games. The Plainsmen are also experienced with seven starters back on offense and six on defense. 19 lettermen return from last year.

Leading the way will be junior Ben Malone. He was a second-team all-conference quarterback in 2021. Seniors Adrien Calderon and Mason Branch earned honorable mention all-conference honors.

Natrona County returns seven starters from last season. That includes second-team all-state receiver Breckin McClintock and second-team all-state tight end Kayden Pharr. Running back Luke Spencer and linebacker Wyatt Powell are also key returners.

The Plainsmen and the Mustangs will meet for the 92nd time on the football field. NC has won 17 straight over LHS. They also hold the lead in the series at 56-to-34 with one tie. The last Laramie win in the series was at home in 2001. The Mustangs won last year’s game in Laramie in Week 2 of the season, 45-0.

The kick-off is at 6 p.m. from Deti Stadium. KOWB will broadcast the game live, and every game this season. Join David Settle and Aaron Lozano on the broadcast call. The coverage starts at 5 p.m. You can listen to the game on the radio (AM 1290), anywhere with the KOWB app, online, or through smart speakers.

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