The Air Force Academy is located just north of Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a service academy, its recruiting base is national, not just local.
Wyoming has six players on its roster from Colorado Springs, and their ties to the Air Force academy and Air Force football varies.
Senior punter Ethan Wood (Liberty HS) lived on the Air Force Academy for a brief time while his father worked there. He also attended a few football games as a kid.
Wood is coming off one of his best games in UW’s 38-17 win at Colorado State last Saturday. Wood averaged 44.5 yards per punt, four of his six punts were downed inside the 20-yard line — including two at the 1.
Wood said that was one of his best games in his career. However, he also said last year’s game at Air Force that UW lost 31-17 may have been his best-ever. He punted eight times for a 47.1-yard average, including a long of 62 yards. Four of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.
Wood gets his last chance to play against Air Force Saturday in Laramie.
“It’s fun to play the team from your hometown, and it is one of the more personal games to me than most. Still, you have to treat it like any other game,” Wood said.
Redshirt freshman walk-on defensive end Josiah Hall (Falcon HS) was born and raised in Colorado Springs. Hall said he went to “a couple” of Air Force games growing up. He’s not an Air Force fan, but also not an Air Force hater. However, Hall’s grandfather taught computer science at the academy for about a decade.
Hall also is looking forward to seeing one of his high school teammates, senior free safety Brodie Hicks, a starter for Air Force. Hicks blocked a punt that led to a field goal in the Falcons’ 28-14 home win over Navy last Saturday.
Senior fullback Jordan Ellis said he moved to Colorado Springs for high school. He went to Texas-San Antonio before he transferred to UW in 2014.
“The first time I went to (an Air Force) game was when we played them there last season,” Ellis said.
UW’s other players from Colorado Springs are sophomore fullback Matt List (Pine Creek), redshirt freshman walk-on linebacker Austin Lopez (Palmer) and junior nose tackle Dalton Fields (Pine Creek).
A new player has emerged on UW’s defensive depth chart. See who that is in Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and online at wyosports.net.