Monday, December 10, 2012

Borah football: Freshmen season recap

In early December, I interviewed Borah (Idaho) High School freshmen football coach Steve Murchie and we talked about the Lions' 2012 season. Here is the article that will appear in the team's postseason yearbook.

Young team shows it’s on its way up

Freshmen finish with fine 6-3 record and show momentum

By Bruce Smith

             The resurgence of the Borah Lions football team is not just occurring at the varsity level. Freshmen coach Steve Murchie said it’s everywhere, and it starts with the team’s freshmen program.
            The ninth-graders had a 6-3 season in 2012, which was good enough for fourth place in the SIC standings. Murchie said the strength of the team was that its offense was balanced and – at times – could be “lethal.” With a 37-player roster made up of West and South junior high students, many played both ways.

            “At the end, we had a lot of kids who were tired and banged up,” said Murchie, who finished his second year. “But we thought we could win with our best kids on the field and they did a great job.”
            Fortunately, there were no major injuries. Murchie said the players seemed to enjoy the season and proud of the effort they made in the weight room during the summer.
            “The whole program is on its way up,” he said. “The kids went to the varsity games and had their heads held high. Everyone was talking about it. Word was definitely out. It’s nice to see the momentum.”
            Murchie said the team’s weakness was depth and the fact that most every opponent had bigger players.
            “We didn’t win a lot of games getting off the bus,” he said. “The Meridian teams were all bigger and had a lot more players. We’ve learned to deal with it.”
            Rocky Mountain was the freshmen league champion, and Murchie said the Grizzlies’ squad stood out. The Lions’ other losses were close and, after averaging over 60 points per game the previous three weeks, they fell to Rocky 28-13 in the season finale.
            Borah was led by Jake Paulin, who played tight end and linebacker and was selected the Jason Mann award winner as the team’s Most Valuable Player.
            “He’s smart and had great hands,” Murchie said. “He was a kid we went to when we needed a big play on offense. He could also block well.”
            Quarterback Hayden Brown directed the team’s offense and threw the ball well. Paulin, Ryan Bartunek and Mark Jerome anchored the line, although Jerome was later moved to wide receiver. Tyler Goodsell, Chris Hugon and Jace Forrey all contributed as running backs.
            Murchie said there were two primary highlights of the season. The best was when the Lions defeated Capital 74-36, scoring almost at will.
            “We weren’t trying to run it up,” Murchie said. “We scored on dives and it would go 80 yards. It was kind of ugly, but the kids were having a good time.”
            The second didn’t have a happy ending, and that was when Timberline defeated Borah on a “Hail Mary” pass at the end of the game.

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I am the author of Matchup, which provides yearbooks to high school sports teams, commemorating their seasons.