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KW vs Thunder Basin

Former Kelly Walsh standout Brock Spiegelberg runs for yardage during the Trojans' game against Thunder Basin on Oct. 12, 2018 in Casper.

Brock Spiegelberg’s high school football career will end on the exact same mix of rubber and artificial grass where his Kelly Walsh career was finalized. He’ll represent the North team in the 2019 Shrine Bowl on Saturday at Cheney Alumni Field, where Spiegelberg and the Trojans lost to rival Natrona County 35-7 in the Class 4A quarterfinals back in October.

The reality of saying goodbye hasn’t set in yet. But when it does, he’ll gladly do so alongside his one-time only teammates.

“I probably won’t be thinking about that until the game’s over,” Spiegelberg said.

“It’s in the back of my mind a little bit but I’ll be going out with great guys. We’ve meshed well and I love them already even though we’ve only been together a few days. They’re a great group to go out with.”

Last year’s leading rusher in Class 4A after averaging 157.1 yards per game will be one of many featured running backs for the North squad in Saturday’s all-star game. He’s also seen some snaps at fullback, which is an exciting change of pace for him.

He’s also enjoyed his team with one-time coaches, not only North head coach Rob Hammond from Buffalo, but assistant Trent Pikula from Thunder Basin, who has spent the most time with the skill position players during the week’s practices. Pikula is likely happy to be coaching Spiegelberg this time as opposed to coaching against him. The former Trojans’ standout ran for 209 yards and a touchdown against Thunder Basin during the season.

Development, meshing and raw natural abilities have Spiegelberg optimistic that the North will win for a seventh consecutive season.

“We’ve got big guys at all positions,” he remarked.

But the 2019 Shrine Bowl won’t be Spiegelberg’s last football game altogether. He was courted by a multitude of area colleges before ultimately committing and signing with Montana State. He reports to Bozeman in late July, when he’ll likely learn the position he’ll play for the Bobcats. (In addition to his career as a standout running back, Spiegelberg led the Trojans with 11 tackles for loss as a linebacker last season.)

His decision wasn’t an easy one. It hardly ever is for players in his position. But Montana State showed an interest in him from an early stage and Spiegelberg never forgot that. Then, on one of his two visits, everything fell into place.

“It really just felt like home and I love the coaching staff,” he explained. “The vibe I got from them and the vibe I got from Bozeman, all around, I really loved it up there.”

He’ll join Sheridan graduate Coy Steel as the only Wyoming natives on the FCS Bobcats’ roster in the fall and he’s excited about that.

The Shrine Bowl players’ annual trip to the Shriner’s Hospital in Salt Lake City was an eye-opener for him, he said. There he realized how blessed he’s been up to this point in nearly every aspect of life.

Spiegelberg’s already waved goodbye to the Kelly Walsh crowd for a final time. Saturday gives him the opportunity to wave goodbye to Casper, and Wyoming, before joining the Bobcats. And he won’t know how to feel about that until after Saturday’s game.

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Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @BradyOltmans

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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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