CHEYENNE – Chance Aumiller started this season looking to have a bigger impact on offense.
So far so good.
The Cheyenne East senior caught six passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-7 victory over Campbell County on Friday. Those efforts also earned Aumiller Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
All of Aumiller’s catches came during the first half, helping the Thunderbirds take a 41-0 lead. His output in the season opener nearly matched his receiving statistics from his junior campaign that saw him catch 18 passes for a total of 255 yards and four touchdowns.
“I feel like I have something to prove on offense,” he said. “I did a little bit to prove that Friday. Last year, we had so much firepower on offense that I wasn’t called on much.
“We have a lot of firepower this year, but I have much better chemistry with Graedyn (Buell). Him and the coaches are trusting me to make plays.”
What Aumiller did on defense last season went a long way toward helping him earn that trust.
The 6-foot-3, 165-pounder grabbed a Class 4A-best seven interceptions while playing safety last season. He also broke up six passes.
“(Aumiller) is a pretty special athlete,” Thunderbirds coach Chad Goff said. “You’re not going to find many kids like him who can do so many different things. He is just a backyard football player who loves to play the game.
“The sky is the limit for him.”
A wide smile crossed Aumiller’s face when he heard how Goff had described his passion for the game.
“That’s pretty accurate,” said Aumiller, who passed for 505 yards when Buell suffered a season-ending ankle injury. “I really play this game to have fun. I might be good enough to play at the next level, but I’m not really worried about that.
“Right now, I’m just trying to have fun, forget about any mistakes, move on to the next thing and be happy when things go right.”
Aumiller was a first team all-state selection as a receiver and defensive back. He was a unanimous pick on defense. Aumiller is moving from safety to cornerback this season.
“I don’t want to be known as the guy who was just good for one year,” Aumiller said. “I want to be even better this season. I have to bring intensity to the field and never be satisfied with what I did. I have to keep working to improve.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
n Christian Anderton and Graedyn Buell, football, East: Anderton, a senior, rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the T-Birds’ 41-7 win over Campbell County.
Buell, a junior, completed 21 of 30 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns.
n Ky Buell and Hailey Marshall, volleyball, East: Buell, a senior, dished out 105 assists and recorded 35 digs to help the Lady T-Birds go 5-1 at the Cheyenne Invitational.
Marshall, a junior, had 61 kills and 47 digs at the two-day tournament.
n Trevor Stephen, boys cross-country, Cheyenne Central: The senior placed second at the Horizon Invitational in Brighton, Colorado, by crossing the finish line in 16 minutes, 58 seconds.