After three weeks of hard work, the season has arrived. The Laramie Plainsmen begin 2018 in Casper against the No. 3 Kelly Walsh Trojans Friday night.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at Harry Geldien Stadium. KOWB (AM 1290) has the only coverage beginning at 6 p.m.

Laramie went 3-7 in head coach Clint Reed’s first year. They return 16 lettermen and three starters on both sides of the ball, as well as one specialist.

Reed says they can’t wait for 7 p.m. Friday.

“Coaches and players, both, are just anxious to get Friday night here. We’re happy two-a-days are over. We’re happy that we’re actually game-planning for an actual opponent and not ourselves. (We’ve got to) shake off some of that anxiety going in, make sure everybody’s calm, relaxed, and ready to go, and prepared.”

Coming off his first season Reed admitted we still need to grow.

“We need to get more disciplined and accountable in our program. We need to continue to grow numbers and that’s just been a constant struggle.”

Their goal is not only to get to the playoffs but to host a game at the new high school. Laramie hasn’t hosted a playoff game since 2000.

Leading the charge in 2018 will be seniors Jason Upton, Baxter Tuggle, Ethan Sell, Ben Martinez and Woodrow Gamboa, just to name a few.

The start to the season isn’t easy, as the Plainsmen face a solid Kelly Walsh team that finished 7-4 last year and made the semifinals of the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They return a solid core led by returning All-State players Brock Spiegelberg (No. 8), Kameron Mellon (No. 76) and Connor Shopp (No. 77).

Last year the Trojans took it to LHS in a 37-21 victory over the Plainsmen in Laramie. KW had a 466-to-165 advantage in total offensive yards. They kept the ball more than 35 minutes in the game and took advantage of three Plainsmen turnovers, plus two bad snaps on Laramie punts that led to safeties.

The teams have split the last 10 meetings in the series with Kelly Walsh winning the last two.

The 43rd game between the two schools in football happens on Friday night at 7 p.m.