Calhoun quarterback Boerm developing into primary option
CALHOUN VS. BEEVILLE
7:30 p.m. start at Sandcrab Stadium, Friday
RADIO: KTKO 105.7 FM and KITE 93.3 FM
It was just a cameo. But those few snaps Hunter Boerm took last November in a bi-district playoff game gave the quarterback an indicator of varsity football.
His 81 yards and first varsity touchdown that night in Port Lavaca were just a preview of the numbers he would post when it was his turn to be the starting quarterback.
"That helped a lot. It showed me the speed of the game," Boerm recalled about that performance against San Antonio Lanier on Thursday afternoon.
Now a junior, Boerm is the decision-maker for a Calhoun football team that is once again undefeated, ranked in the state poll and on the cusp of District 30-4A championship.
"Last year, we ran a lot of double options," Hunter said about his time on the junior varsity. "I've learned the whole offense this year. Learning all the plays has helped me out."
Boerm did not spend much time with the varsity, except for that brief introduction to boys just as big as he is. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, the junior has been a battering ram for opposing defenses - just ask Victoria West.
Last week, Boerm ran 38 times for 255 yards and five touchdowns against the Warriors. His first touchdown was a 71 yard run, which erased Calhoun's first deficit of the season.
"Hunter has made great strides. Each week he's gotten better and better. I thought the Gregory-Portland game was the breakout game for him," said Calhoun football coach Richard Whitaker, referencing an Oct. 12 game where his quarterback had 120 rushing yards and a touchdown.
"He ran the triple option almost to perfection in the G-P game. Up to that point he played very well, but there were some things that he was lacking in. That game was the best he had."
Hunter, 16, is the oldest of Gene and Tanya Boerm's four children. He has been a quarterback since he played youth football in Bloomington when he was younger.
Earlier this year, Corpus Christi Carroll head coach Tony Trevino found out the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to Hunter's athleticism. Trevino's wife went to school with Tanya, an all-everything athlete at Skidmore-Tynan.
Trevino laughed when recalling their humorous conversation about a young man who produced 103 total yards and two rushing touchdowns against Trevino's Tigers - in Hunter's first career start.
"I think he's a difference maker," Trevino said in a Sept. 27 interview. "Port Lavaca, you know they are going to give the ball to their running backs, but if you have a great quarterback, who can run and throw, it makes them extremely dangerous and extremely difficult to defend."
Through seven games Calhoun (7-0, 4-0) hasn't needed to throw the football this year, only attempting nine passes. It's the fewest attempts for the Sandcrabs in the last five years.
Calhoun averages 440 rushing yards per game. During District 30-4A play, Boerm has been the biggest contributor to the Sandcrabs triple-option offense. In four district games, the quarterback averages 24 carries for 184 yards.
"I understand quarterbacks are the key to most offenses," Whitaker said. "I know there are a lot of teams that spread the field and throw the ball quite a bit. That's a tough position for a quarterback to be in because they have to read the secondary they have to read coverages and things.
"But, if you look at that situation they usually have four seconds or so to make that decision. In our situation, that quarterback usually has the blink of an eye to make that decision. That's hard and it takes a lot of reps and mental conditioning. We work on training our eyes."
Those mental reps will be paramount Friday night against Beeville. Fullback Cory Williams will not play in that contest after sustaining a knee injury in the West victory. Gabriel Casarez, Trey Robinson, Marcus Klamm and Dustin Snyder may all rotate at fullback against the Trojans.
After Williams left the West game, Boerm produced a memorable performance with 181 rushing yards and four touchdowns. However, the 42-21 win over the Warriors was not one of Boerm's highlights this year.
To date, two moments have stuck out for the quarterback, the season-opening win against Carroll and the shutout victory over Calallen on Sept. 28. "Those two were the most fun parts. After we won, those were the best times," he said.
Perhaps, but a win over the Trojans (2-5, 0-3) would clinch at least a share of the district championship. It would be a chance to return to the playoffs, with a more featured role this time.