WHY HE IS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Shelley quarterback Kaden Schmitt separated his non-throwing shoulder in a state semifinal win over Gooding. Coach Travis Hobson didn't allow the 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior and Mountain Rivers Conference Offensive Player of the Year to throw a football - or even suit up - the entire week of practice leading up to the championship game.
When it was finally game time, Schmitt played through the pain en route to a 17-14 victory over Fruitland. It was the second state title in a row for Schmitt and the Russets.
"He's not the biggest guy out there, he's not the fastest guy out there. He doesn't even have the strongest arm out there, but he gets up from everything. You can't knock the kid down without him bouncing right back up," Hobson said. "That really plays on defenses."
JUST THE STATISTICS
144 completions, 254 attempts, 2,394 yards (school record), 30 touchdowns, nine interceptions
612 rushing yards, nine TDs
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING
"Kaden was the motor behind the machine; where he went, the team went. He improved his game on a weekly basis and learned a lot more about leading a team than he did about X's and O's. He is a tremendous leader, a potent athlete and a good teammate." - Travis Hobson, Shelley
"What stood out for me was Kaden's ability to make plays when the pocket broke down. He could extend plays and make it extremely hard for the secondary to cover his receivers." - Ryan Tracy, Fruitland
Hobson said Schmitt is an accomplished welder, having learned from his father - who is a commercial welder. "He's been welding since he could walk," Hobson said.
Schmitt is a pitcher and second baseman for the Shelley baseball team. He plans on playing college baseball, but has not yet decided on a destination.