Nic Talich dominated the defensive side of the ball for the Cody Broncs football team this year.
For his efforts he was named Casper Star-Tribune Super 25 defensive player of the year on Sunday.
Many words were used to describe Talich by his teammates and coaches this year including “stud,” “team workhorse,” “freak,” but none more complementary than the description of “leader,” by coach Matt McFadden, who considers Talich one of the best Wyoming high school football players of all time.
“He loves football, he loves contact, he loves hitting people,” McFadden said. “Just really unstoppable. He made so many tackles, just a terrific player. Some guys have a natural ability to get to the ball and he has that.”
Talich led the state in total defensive points, notching a state-best 128 tackles, along with seven tackles for a loss, two sacks, and four interceptions. Taking on offenses from the linebacker position, Talich was feared among an already strong Broncs defensive front.
“My mentality, along with the whole defense, was just to get the football back in our offenses’ hands,” Talich said. “The whole team did such a great job at doing their jobs starting with the D-line and trickling back through the linebackers, corners and safeties, which allowed me to make plays without being touched.”
He hardly missed a beat, despite playing with a broken thumb for a significant part of the season.
One of Talich’s biggest moments came in the Oct. 23 conference championship-clinching win against Jackson, when he tallied16 tackles. In this game, Talich also had a pick-six at the end of the second quarter that gave the Broncs a four-score lead they would only build on in the blowout win.
When Cody beat Jackson in the state championship three weeks later, he added another 16 tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack.
He was also a solid contributor on the offensive end as well, rushing for 567 total yards and scoring six touchdowns.
Talich, a senior and three-year varsity starter, was also named 3A West defensive player of the year and has received two straight All-State honors. He is currently entertaining athletic scholarship offers from Black Hills State, South Dakota School of Mines, Montana Tech, Dickinson State and Rocky Mountain College to play football.
Also named to the Super 25 first team and making the All-State team for the second time was fellow senior Keaton Stone, who starred at tight end and linebacker.
“I couldn’t have done it without my great coaches and teammates,” Stone said of the All-State honor.
Stone averaged 12.8 yards per reception with three touchdowns, while also finishing tied for second in the state with 99 tackles.
He has received an athletic scholarship offer from South Dakota School of Mines.
Making the second team for the Broncs was junior Jonny Williams, who also earned All-State. Williams had a strong year at center after playing guard in his first varsity season. He also overcame a serious injury when he dropped a bar on his head in the weight room.
“I think it’s awesome that I was recognized and that always feels good, but I couldn’t have done it without my brothers backing me up throughout the season,” Williams said after being named All-State.
Williams led an offensive line that powered a strong Cody rushing core, and protected passer Caleb Pryor, who finished second in 3A in QB efficiency rating. On defense, Williams also collected seven tackles.
Cody Phillips was a third team Super 25 member who also earned All-State. Phillips was one of the fastest players on the team and led the offense with seven touchdowns and 687 total yards.
“It feels amazing receiving an honor such as this,” Phillips said.
Coach Matt McFadden was named 3A coach of the year by the Wyoming Coaches Association and was selected head coach of the north team for the 48th annual Wyoming Shrine Bowl to be played June 12, 2021, at Cheney Alumni Field at Natrona County High School in Casper.