5A football MVP: Jordan's Austin Kafentzis
Weeks after Austin Kafentzis led his Jordan Beetdiggers to the Class 5A state football title, the sophomore quarterback still wakes up every morning only to realize he's living a dream.
"It still hasn't sunk in because of what we did in the last game," Kafentzis said. "I still kind of get the butterflies, the same feeling I got during the game. I don't know when it's going to end, but it's definitely a good feeling, so I don't care for it to end anytime soon."
Kafentzis was the backbone of one of the best prep football teams in recent Utah history. The Beetdiggers didn't lose to an in-state team all season their lone setback came against nationally ranked St. John Bosco (Calif.) and they beat previously undefeated Syracuse 58-2 in the state title game.
Kafentzis showed along the way why many consider him to be the premier quarterback in the state.
The sophomore, who was Maxprep.com's national freshman of the year last season, threw for 3,018 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for 1,884 yards and 26 scores.
Kafentzis is on pace to shatter several state career records, including yardage and scoring marks for both passing and rushing.
"I'm not looking toward beating every record when I'm playing the games," Kafentzis said. "Definitely I know about it, but I'd rather have three state championship rings than have the stats."
Preparation for earning those other two rings already has started for Kafentzis and his Beetdiggers, many of whom have started working in the weight room for next season.
"We want to do a little bit more because it definitely worked," Kafentzis said. "People might get the clue, and they might do it. You've got to get that edge on people."
Just as surely as Kafentzis wants to win two more state titles by the time he graduates, he wants to end his career as the most prolific prep quarterback Utah ever has seen. But by stripping away those external goals, targets Kafentzis doesn't have complete control over, a much more simple motivation is unearthed.
"My motivation is just the drive to play football," Kafentzis said. "I've always loved it. Even watching people on TV just makes me want to play it even more. Everything involved in football makes me want to get better."