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1A Football Championship

Big Horn head coach Kirk McLaughlin talks to his team after the Rams' win over Cokeville in the Wyoming State High School Class 1A/11-man Football Championship game Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

The Big Horn senior football player who was stretchered off Jonah Field during Saturday afternoon’s Wyoming State High School Class 1A/11-man Football Championship game returned home over the weekend and is scheduled to return to school on Wednesday, Big Horn head coach Kirk McLaughlin told the Star-Tribune.

Jon Cunningham shed a block and attempted to make a head-on tackle along the far hashes when his teammate Seth Mullinax, who had already initiated a tackle from behind, barreled into him. Their bodies collided, with Cunningham, much smaller than his teammate, taking the brunt of the hit. Cunningham is listed at 5-foot-7, 175 pounds while the lineman is listed at 6-4, 280.

Cunningham was knocked unconscious when his head hit the turf. By rule, when a player loses consciousness on the field, they have to be stretchered off the field.

“Both kids were trying to make a play and both were playing hard,” McLaughlin said. “Sort of a big truck, little truck kind of thing and Jon got the brunt of it.”

The Big Horn senior was taken by ambulance to Laramie’s Ivinson Memorial Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a master concussion. He stayed Saturday night at the hospital as a precaution so doctors could monitor his oxygen levels before being discharged and going home Sunday afternoon. McLaughlin said Cunningham planned on returning to class on Wednesday.

“I feel bad he wasn’t there for the celebration as a senior,” McLaughlin said, “but thankful he’s all right.”

Big Horn defeated Cokeville 56-3 to win the state championship.

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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