gave Lions another valuable asset
By Bruce SmithMatchup
Kade Dustin caught one pass, ran the ball once, had two tackles and punted seven times yet was a candidate for the Borah football team’s Most Valuable Player award.
“I didn’t do him any favors,” Corpus said. “He was just a great asset to the team.”
Virtually all of Dustin’s accomplishments came off the field.
“I tried to keep the team pumped on the sidelines. I had our teammates cheer each other on,” Dustin recalled. “About three weeks into the season, one of the other coaches asked if I could run the scout team. I just tried to do it well so our first teams could get a good look.”
That’s how he was remembered by the coaching staff. Dustin, however, appreciated the time he got on the field much more. He said the highlight of his career was catching a 4-yard touchdown pass late in the game against Mountain View that secured a 35-21 win. He also served as Jacob Szuch’s holder on kicks.
“We were supposed to run hitches,” Dustin recalled. “I got into my hitch. The quarterback (Cole Skinner) scrambled. The defensive back thought it was a fade route and I caught it right on the sidelines.
“I celebrated a little bit, but I had to hold for the (extra) point afterward, so I couldn’t celebrate that long.”
That game ended up playing a big part as Borah tied for first place in the SIC and ended up earning the league’s No. 1 seed in the 5A playoffs. That fact was the highlight of the year for the Lions.
“We had a great season,” Dustin said. “All the seniors stepped up. We worked out every day in the winter and summer. It was a great place to be.”
Dustin put in long hours during the offseason and then did it again, despite the lack of playing time. Instead, he had to learn an opposing team’s offense and each week it was different. At practice, Dustin was the primary target for the enemy.
“We didn’t want our first team quarterback to maybe get hurt, so I had to learn,” he said. “At one time, I ran an option offense. You just have to get used to how they run it. As we watched film, I would watch the other offenses and see how they were running it.”
His efforts didn’t go unnoticed by his uncle, who was his coach at West Junior High and also saw him progress at holder, starting when he began to learn the position his sophomore year. As a senior, he did the job perfectly.
Szuch, in fact, was 26-of-26 on PATs and 12-14 on field goals. That success helped him make the all-SIC team.
“Kade is an athlete that every coach wants on his team,” Corpus said. “He is extremely bright, hard working and cares about the team as much as he cares about anything else.”
Dustin was proud to be part of Borah’s resurgence. He said he felt 2012 was going to be a good season after the season-opening game against Boise. Despite the 38-24 loss, he felt a change in the team’s mood immediately afterward.
“The coaches called us out and asked us if we had any character,” he said. “That turned around the season.”
Corpus wouldn’t take credit for the adjustment. He said the transformation was created by the players.
“It starts with senior leadership,” he said. “If you have that, you have guys working day in and day out and it rubs onto the other younger guys.”