If there was ever a year a “primetime” player might escape notice, this was it. The year of the “Super Senior” will live on (in infamy according to some) in the annals of Kentucky High School football forever.
There was the returning Mr. Football winner at QB electing to make one last tour through the fairground midway. There was the quarterback at “pass-happy” Daviess County lighting up the stat sheet like some sort of Madden NFL player character (PC). We had a “Super Senior” back at Boyle County and a hold-back guy quarterbacking LCA.
Point is, there were lots of QBs on whom to focus attention, including the long, tall, drink of water quarterbacking Frederick Douglass against the Spartans in the 5A Title game. Tough crowd in which to have to compete for attention.
Everyone came into the year talking about “Mr. Football” coming back to play a fifth season. Who has ever heard of something like that? We just don’t usually see seasons where reigning Mr. Footballs return for part Deux.
Title weekend also threw up some performances to rival the best from any position player. Look at the numbers registered by Isaac Dixon in the 3A game for instance.
Still Caden Veltkamp went about his business the same way his team did, the same way his head coach did. Minus the glitz, minus the fanfare, minus the falderal, and with plain, old fashioned performance.
Along the way, South Warren won its 3rd-championship in the immediate seven (7) past seasons. The Spartans were the team of which no one had heard and about which no one was talking.
They were going to lose, big-time, to Frederick Douglass. Just ask anyone.
Then Caden Veltkamp showed a crowd of some 6,500 fans on Saturday why he is a three-star rated QB by both Rivals and 247Sports. He showed all onlookers why the Hilltoppers from his hometown WKU, the same college team for which his head football coach once played, prioritized signing him.
Veltkamp, quietly and somewhat imperceptibly passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns to lead the South Warren High School football team to a 38-26 victory over a Frederick Douglass team everyone in the commonwealth (not living in Bowling Green, Kentucky) believed was going to walk all over the Spartans. It didn’t look flashy. It didn’t look hard to do. It was just random, run of the mill…spectacular.
All year long, Veltkamp made a 68.2% completion percentage on 174 completions in 255 attempts look commonplace. He made 2,710-passing yards look “ho-hum.” He made 35-passing TDs against only 5-thrown INTs look like “no big deal.”
The great ones always seem to make the spectacular look attainable. The fact it really isn’t attainable is what makes them “great.”
Michael Jordan flew through the air as easily as your little sister brushes her hair in the morning. Tom Brady made winning Super Bowls look as easy as bending over to fetch a newspaper from off one’s front door stoop.
In the championship game, South Warren’s 6-5, 215-pound QB threw touchdown passes of 49 yards to Luke Burton and 21 and 31 yards to Tyler Snell like a business man drinks his morning cup of coffee. No big deal. Anyone could do it.
At the end of the game, we were all left exactly how players of Veltkamp’s ilk usually leaves everyone. We were rubbing our eyes, wondering just what we had witnessed; left lacking the words to describe it.
We all felt that way; speechless. Then Veltkamp’s tall silhouette walked just beneath Kroger Field’s tunnel back toward the locker rooms, and into our collective memories to reside there forevermore.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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