By Dave Morrison
It would be hard to classify running back Caleb Bower’s career at Wyoming East as anything but a rousing success.
Just look at the numbers.
Bower finished with 3,998 rushing yards on 534 carries (7.5 yards per carry) and 47 rushing touchdowns in 34 career games (117.6 yards per game).
Still, it would be understandable if Bower asked ‘what if?’
What if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t shortened his season to just five games?
He most certainly would have topped 4,000 career yards and with the red-hot finish he had in 2019 he might have pushed 5,000.
But he doesn’t ask questions.
“I definitely think that I got the most out of my high school career,” Bower said.
One thing that was not derailed was Bower getting a chance to play at the next level. The 5-10, 200-pound running back recently signed to continue his career at Concord and play for fellow Wyoming Countian Dave Walker.
“I really liked the school and it’s close to the house, about 45 minutes away,” Bower said. “Plus coach Walker being there.”
He doesn’t see his size being a drawback at all, he’ll fall back on his natural ability and the work he has put in during off-season conditioning and weight lifting. He said he is currently at 32 reps at 225 pounds on the bench.
“As much work as I’ve put in, I don’t think (size) will be a problem,” Bower said. “Those bigger guys (permeating opposing defenses) will be on my side too. That’s going to help me out in the run game and all together in football.
“I hope to (stay in the backfield),” Bower said. “Coach Walker said that was the plan for me, to play running back and get some reps in.”
Bower also showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield with 39 career receptions for 331 yards and three touchdowns, so he brings that to the table as well.
“I think he’s (Walker) going to put me in the best position I can be in,” Bower said. “I think that will be to run the ball. But I can catch the ball too.”
Bower said he figures to continue the success he had at the college level, but it would be hard to match the three-game stretch he enjoyed at the end of the 2019 season against PikeView, Independence and Liberty when he rushed for 977 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Included in that span was a school record-setting 388 yards against Independence.
“Everything just fell into place,” Bower said, particularly of that Independence game and generally of the three-game span. “We were a really good football team.”
Bower finished that junior season with 2,034 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns en route to being named a first-team all-state running back. This year he was a second-team all-stater with 656 yards and eight touchdowns.
He was a special honorable mention all-stater as a sophomore after rushing for 1,290 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Bower said he will major in criminal justice at Concord.