Red Devils place two on All-Conference team

Red Devil senior captain Kody Rex (No. 57) was named to the 3A West All-Conference and the 3A All-State teams over the weekend, for his outstanding play during the 2021 season. At 5-4, Evanston finished with a winning record for the first time since the 2018 season. (HERALD PHOTO/Don Cogger)

Two members of the 2021 Evanston High School football team were recognized last weekend by the Wyoming Coaches Association for their outstanding contributions on the football field.

Red Devil senior Kody Rex, an offensive and defensive lineman, and fellow senior Jaxin Moore, quarterback and defensive back, were named to the 3A West All-Conference team. Rex was also named to the 3A All-State team as an offensive lineman.

“It’s a great thing — it’s great for those kids, but it’s also great for the program, in that the better we do, the more those kids get recognized,” said EHS head coach Jim Burton. “I would have liked to have seen a few more of our guys on the list, but I understand the process.”

Behind Rex and the rest of the offensive line, the Red Devils averaged 227.5 rushing yards per game, second in the state in Class 3A. The senior captain also made his presence felt on the defensive line, finishing the season with 27 tackles, including a sack.

“It’s a great honor to be part of the Red Devils football team and to receive this award,” Rex said. “I’m very proud to know that I was nominated by my coaches to receive this award.”

Burton said Rex is a player with a work ethic that is unmatched.

“Kody is a kid that doesn’t quit,” Burton said of Rex. “Pound for pound, he’s the toughest kid I’ve ever coached. He’s in the weight room, he’s at everything we do. Just a good, hard-nosed kid. He led the team in pancake blocks — you look at him, as a sophomore, he’s really small, junior, OK he’s getting bigger. Senior year, it all came together for him — there’s no quit in that kid.”

Though he was technically a quarterback, Moore was named to the 3A West All-Conference team as a running back, finishing the season with 603 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 117 attempts, a 75.4 yards per game average. As a quarterback, Moore completed 23 of 58 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Like Rex, Moore was also a factor on defense, with 61 defensive points — 36 tackles and five pass break-ups.

“It was nice to be able to just be nominated for All-Conference from coach Burton — a lot of our teammates deserved more recognition, as well,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, our conference was loaded with talent this year, and some players on our team were probably overlooked.”

Burton said Moore deserved All-State recognition, as well, though the Red Devils missing out on the postseason most likely hurt his chances.

“Jaxin was one of the top actual running backs, not just in our conference, but in the state,” Burton said. “He had almost 900 yards of total offense, so that’s a big deal. It turned into a bit of a dogfight, trying to get him in for All-State — when you only get two quarterbacks and so many running backs, it limits what we did.”

Burton went on to say the Red Devils will have some big holes to fill now that Rex and Moore have played their final game for Evanston. The Red Devils had their best season of the Jim Burton era in 2021, posting a 5-4 record and missing the playoffs by one game.

“They’re not rah-rah guys — those are example guys,” Burton said of Rex and Moore. “They’re going to do things the right way, let their pads do the talking and let the results speak for themselves. They are true examples of what a football player is. Those are kids that you can’t replace. It was a great senior season for them.”

Asked what he’ll miss most about being a Red Devil, Rex — who, along with Moore, will lead Evanston on the wrestling mats this winter — said the camaraderie between him and his teammates.

“I’m going to miss so much about this sport, like my coaches and playing at the high school level,” he said. “But most of all, I love my brothers and I’m going to miss playing this sport with them. I’m going to miss the great pride that is felt while playing football as a Red Devil, and I’m going to miss playing football on Friday nights in Kay Fackrell Stadium.”

Moore agreed.

“I’ll miss the brotherhood we created, and just the fun times we had together whether it was at practice, on the bus or during games,” he said. “It was just a blast to be able to play for these coaches and teammates. It’s something I will never forget.”

Rex was quick to thank teammates, coaches and family for their support during a successful season.

“I want to give immense thanks to my coaches, who have coached me since middle school and have helped me become the young man that I am,” Rex said. “I want to give thanks as well to my teammates that have become my brothers over the years. They have brought me so much joy, and I learn and look up to these guys constantly. Lastly, I want to thank my family for giving me support and motivation throughout my entire life, especially my mom, who has done so much for me.”

Moore also thanked everyone who played a part in his success.

“I’d like to thank all my teammates for not only this season, but all the years we grew up playing with each other,” Moore said. “This group of seniors made football fun and exciting to play every year. I’d also like to thank the coaches for always believing in us, and giving us the best chance to win week in and week out. And lastly, my family and friends for their support through all the ups and downs. They were always encouraging and loving.”

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