On a team predicated on its physicality, Jon Baumgardner set the tone.
The 6-foot, 225-pound senior fullback and linebacker rarely left the field for the Knights, starting on every unit but kickoff. And he packed a punch each time, a feat he relished.
“They both have their ups and downs,” Baumgardner said of offense and defense. “Blitzing on defense is fun, and kicking defensive ends out on power is fun. I like both of them a lot.”
The captain anchored the defense as one of two inside linebackers, racking up 80 tackles and getting the defense set up. On offense, his brutal blocking paved the way for the Knights’ vaunted rushing attack that carried them to the first state title three-peat in 4A history.
“He didn’t carry the ball that much, but if people got yardage, a lot of the reason was because of the blocks he made,” Bishop Kelly coach Tim Brennan said.
While Baumgardner spent most of his time blocking, the Knights also snuck him out of the backfield when they needed a spark. And he delivered, catching 15 passes for 241 yards (16.1 yards per catch) and three TDs.
286.7 Rushing yards Bishop Kelly averaged per game behind its lead blocker
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING
“I’ve looked back through the tape and I have a linebacker who met him right at the line of scrimmage, and it looks like a crime scene.” — Ian Smart, Kuna
OFF THE FIELD
Baumgardner attends every Bishop Kelly boys and girls basketball game, setting up camp in the front row with his friends.
Baumgardner said Idaho, Boise State, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State and Montana have all accepted him academically. He wants to major in business or finance, and he’s focusing on compiling highlights to work his way onto one of those football teams.