Thunderbird Football looks to add to win total


September 2, 2020

The Hays/Lodge Pole football team is raring to go and Head Coach Josh Werk is prepared to lead them to a successful season.

The Thunderbirds will be led by seniors Josiah Runs Above and Jess King. Juniors include Estevan Granados, Vincent Chandler, Tyshawn Shambo and Lane Kirkaldie. Sophomores out this fall include William Has Eagle, Kaleb Walker, Daniel Henry and Michael Roper. Freshman playing there first season of high school ball include: Billy Granados, Damon Shambo, Tyrese Gone, Byron Werk, Tyson Stricker, Peyton Fox, William Hughes, Jacoby Ball, RJ Blackcrow, Kendon Young and Avery Boe.

The Thunderbirds have just seven returning players after a few dropped out due to COVID-19. The Thunderbirds won 3 games last fall and the returners are anxious to build on that.

Practice is off to a good start, “

We added Shawn Mount to our staff this season. Shawn coached for many years before I took the job 4 years ago. Also we have a lot of freshman out this year which is awesome to see,”” said Werk.

The Thunderbirds got started late due to restrictions in place by the Tribal Government and as such their first game with Rocky Boy has been canceled.

Werk is really impressed with his four juniors, “They are some of the most athletic guys we have had in a while. They really jumped on board with our former coach Jerry Racine’s weight training program.” Werk added, “Tyshawn Shambo is a guy that I thought could have been an all conference player last year had he not missed so many games due to injuries. He is extremely talented and is very explosive. Lane Kirkaldie showed lots of promise last season as well and will share ball carrying duties with Tyshawn this season. Estevan Granados is another really athletic guy that had averaged over 100 yards per game receiving last season.”

“The one returning Senior Josiah Runs Above is another guy we are excited about. He has lots of speed and is one of our best pass defenders. Sophomore Daniel Henry will be taking the snaps again this season. He was just a freshman last year and had to take on the responsibility of starting quarterback. He has that experience coming into this year and looks better from it this season,” said Werk.

The team is set with their goals for the season, “The short term goals are to get all try to get through this strange season with everyone’s health intact and without being shutdown. Long term, we want to continue to build on the young group of guys we have out this year. We’ve got 11 freshmen which is the biggest group of freshman I’ve ever seen out for football here,” added Werk.

The Thunderbirds will open there season on the road September 4 against Simms. I feel like physically, the team is going to be ready. I feel like they have been working hard. We are still adjusting to each other and the young lineman are still adjusting to their roles on the field. Honestly, this Covid stuff has really made it hard for all of us but the boys are excited to be back on the field and to be around each other and play the game. The energy and excitement of these boys has been great to see. They want to play,” concluded Werk.


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