His story: Bolin, who also plays basketball and baseball, started playing football when he was 6. He made such an impression on coaches during the spring of his freshman year at Keller Central that he was included on the varsity roster as a sophomore and became a standout contributor. This season, as a junior, he's averaging more than seven tackles per game and has a pair of fumble recoveries.
His goal: Coming into the season, his team goal was to prove doubters wrong and get the Chargers back to the playoffs, hoping this time to win a playoff game for the first time in school history. "But the first of my goals is just to get better each and every game," Bolin said. "Just to get mentally prepared and focused and play for the team."
He said: "I try to practice harder than everybody else; I try to do everything better than everybody else, like finish first in conditioning, stay after practice and do a few more sprints or ball drills, just to get better and get ready for game time. Most captains, their approach is words and talking in meetings, but I try to lead by example. During workouts and during practice, I motivate teammates to get better. I do my talking on the field. I pick my teammates up when they're struggling and tell them to keep fighting. We're really close as a family this year, closer than last year. I think that really helps us, how close we are and how we fight as a team and win as a team."
Coach Bart Helsley said: "As a freshman he just kind of showed some signs of a guy that had a knack for making plays; nothing spectacular, but just consistent play. In spring of his freshman year, when we were going through spring ball, he was just always intercepting passes, knocking passes down; he always seemed to be where the ball was. This was a freshman against a pretty experienced group of varsity offensive players. We kept watching him and he always seemed to find a way to be around the ball and be involved in the play. We didn't see that coming necessarily. When spring ball started, he wasn't really on our radar as a guy who was a varsity candidate.
"Last year, as a sophomore, he stepped in pretty early and did a great job at linebacker. He might not be the fastest guy out there, but his instincts usually put him right where he needs to be. He's that type of player. He's a junior and he's one of our captains; that by itself tells you a little bit about how his teammates feel about him. He leads by example, though he's not afraid to be vocal, either. His strength is just his determination to push himself as hard as he can and do everything he can to make himself as good a player as he can."
Fun fact: Bolin works part-time as an umpire calling youth league baseball games.
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