Oct. 16—OLIVIA — The BOLD Warriors have continued their reputation for being a football powerhouse. They are currently ranked No. 3 in Class A and are undefeated.
This season's success can be credited to underclassmen, particularly 14-year-old freshman running back and defensive back Hudson Vosika.
Vosika comes into the Warriors' matchup with Kimball on Friday having totaled 1,233 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns on 130 rushing attempts.
Vosika, 5-foot-9 1/2 and weighing 170 pounds, is averaging 175 yards per game and nearly 10 yards per carry.
"He's got a frame that is not that of a freshman," BOLD coach Derek Flann said. "He's got a muscular frame that is of an older kid. So he's really been able to handle the pounding that he's got this year.
"He's probably averaging 20-plus carries a game for us. He's got a decent line in front of him but he's making a lot of things happen in the backfield as well and doing things that a lot of people just can't do."
For Vosika, the season hasn't been perfect, even if the team's record currently is.
"The season has been pretty good so far," he said. "Some things need improvement but so far I think everything's gone well."
Vosika, the youngest of his three brothers — which include Dawson and Gavin — grew his love for the sport by watching his brothers on the football field.
"It looked really fun to me as a little kid and I just always enjoyed it," he said.
In 2020, with 240-pound senior rusher Tim Peppel being the Warriors' leading running back, Vosika was moved to wide receiver. He caught 23 balls for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
"Peppel was close to 1,000 yards last year so Hudson is versatile enough that we could put him out as wide receiver last year and make that work, no problem," Flann said.
Heading into this season, the plan was to return Vosika to running back. Flann said he and his coaching staff were confident that Vosika was going to have a good season on the ground.
Vosika has scored at least three touchdowns in the Warriors' past four games and has totaled three 200-plus rushing games this season.
His best rushing game was in the Warriors' 49-38 victory over Upsala/Swanville: 268 yards and four touchdowns on 29 attempts.
"I think you're always kind of surprised when you're seeing this kind of success," Flann said. "If you have a coach tell you they expect a kid to have 200 yards a game, they're probably a crazy person most of the time."
Vosika says the numbers don't phase him.
"I don't really worry about the numbers," he said. "I just go one game at a time and just worry about the game in front of me and just go one game at a time."
Aside from Vosika, Flann says the coaching staff is excited with the amount of youth the Warriors hold.
"Basically right now we're starting three freshmen and sophomores on offense, and on defense we're starting two sophomores and a freshman, and they're holding their own," Flann said. "Right now, obviously Hudson is above and beyond holding his own. But all of these guys have done well for us this year. And it's guys that I've known and coached because I got kids at that age."
Flann also credits the upperclassmen, particularly the seniors, for helping bring the underclassmen into the forefront of the football team.
"We're happy that these guys are able to compete and work inside with our seniors right now. Because it's always kind of your senior group that you want to focus on that year; it's their last year and last time through," Flann said. "The seniors have been really accepting of some of these younger guys. They've fit them into the fold."
With the end of the regular season approaching, the games are taking a bigger meaning to the Warriors, particularly Friday's matchup against Kimball (6-0), No. 6 ranked in AA.
"We're going to find out just how talented we are," Flann said. "We're going to find out against Kimball this week if we're really tough, gritty and talented or just really tough and gritty."
Vosika is confident in his team's abilities heading into the closing regular season.
"I think we can make it really far if everyone stays healthy and we take it one game at a time," he said.
Following Friday's matchup, the Warriors host Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Olivia.