Pickin’ rocks and playin’ football
Kawcak boys entertain on two kinds of fields
Out on the Kawcak Ranch, the rite of passage for the grandkids is walking through the fields to pick up rocks and throw them in the trailer. It’s not a favorite of the grandchildren, but it contributed to their toughness.
“They’ve all done some hard work out on the ranch,” said Mike Kawcak, the grandfather of three starters on the Moffat County football team. “Pickin’ rocks wasn’t their favorite.”
The term “pickin’ rocks” made Jason, Justin, Blake and Blaine laugh.
“I knew that would come up some time,” said Jason with a smile, who has started on the defensive line this year. “We’ve had to do a lot of pickin’ rocks.”
“They’ve had to pick rocks of all sizes,” Mike said. “Sometimes, they try to take turns driving the tractor instead.”
Grandpa Mike has had the opportunity to watch his grandsons on another field this year. As a father, he didn’t get to many games — all but one of his sons worked on the ranch instead of playing football.
Blake and Blaine’s dad, Lonnie, was the only one to play, because he was in high school before the ranch was purchased.
“I like to watch the games all the way through,” 80-year-old Mike said. “Especially down to the win in the end.”
At one time, there were five Kawcaks playing football. That was Blaine’s senior year, in 2003, when Blake was a freshman, Jason and Justin were sophomores and their cousin Aaron, also a sophomore, played as well.
“It’s funny at practice because they’ll yell Kawcak, and we’ll all come running,” Blake said.
Blake followed his brother’s footsteps as the starting center. Blaine was a three-year starter at the position, and Blake filled in his sophomore year after Blaine graduated.
“We all looked up to Blaine,” said Justin, a starting defensive back.
Blaine is back to watch his brother and cousins for the first time this year.
He’ll be watching the last home game of the season tonight against Pueblo West. It will also be the last home game with three Kawcaks on the field.
Of course, Mike will be there, too.
“It’s hard to keep track of all of them,” Mike said. “I’m surprised they all ended up playing.”
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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