AJ Yeaman truly earned the Courage Award given by the Wyoming Chapter of the National Football
Foundation, according to President Kermit Sweeney.
The award was to be presented at the foundation’s 26th annual banquet honoring the state’s football scholar- athletes on March 21 at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, but the event was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus.
Yeaman was the only representative from the Douglas football team, with 79 scholar-athletes from 16 high schools being nominated based on a criteria that was 40 percent football ability, 40 percent academic achievement and 20 percent on community service, with the Courage Award given to athletes who overcame serious injuries or medical conditions.
Yeaman met and exceeded expectations at every level of that process.
He was the team captain and starting quarterback both his junior and senior seasons, earning All-State and All-Conference both seasons, despite suffering an injury in the fourth game of his final season. After that game doctors diagnosed him with a ruptured plantar plate in his foot, as well as tearing two tendons in his foot and dislocated sesamoid bone. The injury didn’t stop him from finishing out his season, leading the Bearcats to a 6-3 record and a playoff appearance.
Overall in his career he passed for 2,120 yards and 25 passing touchdowns, and added another 13 touchdowns with his legs.
“I was very honored to receive the award,” Yeaman said. “My senior year of football didn’t end the way I wanted it to so this is more of a positive way to end my football career. It meant a lot just knowing my coaches wanted me in a leadership position, as well as my teammates and classmates.”
Yeaman was also the captain of the Bearcats basketball team, where he played four seasons. After missing the first eight games of the season the team started 2-6 then dropped the next two games while they struggled to find their groove with him in the lineup.
“I took some time off to heal a little and I followed the advice of my doc- tor,” Yeaman said. “It took awhile but I took slow steps to get into the swing of things.”
The team then finished the season 8-8 holding their own with every 3A opponent, with Yeaman leading the team in assists and coming in second in points, rebounds and steals on his way to being named All-Conference.
Yeaman was just as much of a leader in school and in the classroom as he was on the football field and the basketball court.
He was named class president his sophomore, junior and senior years and named as a member of the Wyoming High School Activities Association Student Advisory Board, as well as being a member of the National Honor Society for three years.
For his community service he helped with Father Hubbard’s Cupboard, Noel’s Christmas Giving and worked in youth camps for football and basketball, according to a press release from the National Football Foundation.
Yeaman will continue his education at the University of Wyoming where he will study pre-dental.