They’ve logged many thousands of reps together in the backfield.
Laramie High juniors Garrett Dodd and Colter Nunn first played offense together since the fifth grade in youth football — Dodd at quarterback and Nunn at running back.
The tandem will now have the chance to showcase what they’ve been doing all these years, and this time under the brighter lights of Friday night football.
The Plainsmen open the season at 6 p.m. today hosting Casper Kelly Walsh at Deti Stadium.
“We know each other so well, and I have been taking handoffs from him since the fifth grade when I started playing running back,” Nunn said. “We have some good chemistry and are good friends.”
Dodd said when he and Nunn played for the first time for Farmers Insurance, his dad and former University of Wyoming legendary linebacker Galand Thaxton were the coaches.
Nunn, who will also be the starting middle linebacker, spent most of his playing time last season on defense. He finished 10th in Class 4A with 12.6 points and 8.7 tackles per game. On offense, the running game was dominated by former quarterback Jason Upton and former running back Baxter Tuggle. Nunn, at 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, had the opportunity to carry the ball 24 times for 35 yards. He also had seven kickoff returns for 100 total yards.
“(Nunn) has always been the athlete of the class through youth football and middle school,” third-year LHS coach Clint Reed said. “He is just a hard-nosed, blue collar and coachable kid. He will lower his shoulder and run hard.”
Dodd, at 6-3, 173, was the backup quarterback last season. He was 8 of 22 for 88 yards with a long of 40 yards.
“It helped me slow down the game and understand the plays a little better — just gaining more knowledge out of the game instead of it being really fast for me,” Dodd said. “I’m pretty excited for this season. But I still have to compete against (sophomore quarterback) Jake Vigen and play better. He gives me a lot of competition. I’ve been working on my reads when it’s RPO (run-pass option) and my throws.”
Reed added: “We really hope to spread the ball around this year and give (Dodd) the freedom in the RPO game and make some choices on the field with what he sees with formations, blitzes and different coverages. He is a sharp kid who had some spot duty last year and the lights didn’t scare him. He has been doing this a long time, and this is his opportunity to shine.”
The Plainsmen finished fifth last season at 4-6 overall in the 10-team Class 4A and lost 37-21 to Cheyenne East in the playoff quarterfinals.
LHS will be a much younger team this season in just about all areas on both sides of the ball.
“We are real young,” Reed said. “We lost 16 seniors and have nine seniors with about six of them in the rotation with younger guys filling in,” Reed said. “There’s some good speed and multi-sport athletes. As a coach, that excites me because I think we beef up our special teams when we have a lot of receivers, defensive back and linebackers who can run.”
There were not any wholesale changes in offensive philosophy with a run-pass option offense and a 4-3 defensive format.
“We will be very much like the past two years,” Reed said. “But in the offseason we cleaned things up, got more efficient and spent more time perfecting what we want to do. The quarterbacks have been in the system for a couple of years and will get that RPO going. We have two young quarterbacks who understand what is going on. There will be more balls sprayed around in the air this year.
“Our defense is very much a base 4-3 defense and we will mix our cover 2 and cover 3 depending if we are blitzing or not.”
The Plainsmen lost at Kelly Walsh 27-14 to open last season.
“We are just excited to play against anyone,” Reed said. “It was tough last year coming down to the last several of minutes of the game. We want to start out strong in the opener because it sends a little tone for the rest of the season. So we want to come out hard against KW.”