KIMBERLY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Being a freshman pulled up to the varsity football team is nerve wracking. Add onto that the fact you’re replacing a pivotal injured senior most would crumble to the pressure.
But this week’s Athlete of the Week McKade Huft stepped into the roll with stride.
“Rely on the coaches, rely on my teammates because there’s 10 other guys on the field with me. And if they’re not doing their job, and I’m not doing my job, it all goes down. We’ve all got to have each other’s backs,” McKade Huft said.
Huft wouldn’t get away from the 2016 season unscathed as he broke his ankle which required surgery in January. But every day since then his focus has been on football.
“It’s been on the back of my mind. It’s just something that happens. You could be doing warm-ups doing jumping jacks and tear your ACL. It’s just something that happens. But it doesn’t slow me down because if I’m cautious on every juke I’m just not going to be the best I can be,” Huft said.
It’s a unique situation to have an under classmen playing such a large part of a team’s growing success. But Kimberly head football coach Rich Bishop isn’t surprised by McKade stepping into the role he’s given.
“He’s kind of what you’d maybe call a blue-collar kid. Just come in and go to work. McKade is quiet, he doesn’t say a whole lot. There’s not a lot of trash talk or hey look at me kind of play. It’s just go to work, and he’s been that way since last year when we moved him up,” Bishop said.
With a humbling attitude McKade attributes any personal accomplishments to the team. He scored four rushing touchdowns in the team’s 28-0 win over Weiser to advance to the state quarterfinals.
"It felt pretty good but I can't say it was all me. Yeah I scored the touchdown but if you look at that I couldn't- I can't do that without my line, I can't do that without my receivers, I can't do that without the quarterback and the right hand-off. I mean without them I'm just a regular kid with
the ball. I've have to give all of my thanks to them," Huft said.
With two more years in a Bulldog uniform, McKade is keeping his long term goals open. The Kimberly team is taking it game by game with their scopes set on Snake River Friday for the 3A quarterfinals.