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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian email@example.com
Humble gunslinger sets new state passing recordOct 27, 2012
Arizona’s newest high school career passing leader is done with football.
But don’t feel sorry for Bryce Kinsler of Cave Creek Cactus Shadows. The senior squeezed every ounce he could out of a high school career that culminated with a great high school achievement.
Kinsler became Arizona’s all-time career passing leader Friday during Cactus Shadows’ 50-17 win over Phoenix Shadow Mountain. The feat couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.
(Cactus Shadows quarterback Bryce Kinsler (middle) and his mom, Sue, and dad, Walt, share a special moment after Kinsler set a new state record.)
Kinsler didn’t intend to set passing records, seek attention or carve a football career.
“I do not want to continue playing,” Kinsler said. “I love the game. I love high school football, but I don’t think I have the desire to go to the next level. It takes a lot of determination and dedication. It’s a mental and physical grind. I don’t think I can bring that to the table at the next level.”
Kinsler wants to attend Arizona State or Northern Arizona University and major in business finance and is looking forward to “starting a new chapter” in his life.
The unassuming 17 year old just wanted to be one of the guys all along. But with a strong right arm, he was bound to throw a football, even if he is 5 feet 10. Kinsler played only one Pop Warner season before giving football another shot as a freshman.
Besides his right arm and mobility, Kinsler’s humbleness also helped him win over his teammates.
“Bryce is a level-headed kid,” said Walt, Kinsler’s father. “He can throw six interceptions or six touchdowns, and he’ll still be the same person.”
Walt and his wife, Sue, were on the sidelines when their son passed Rathen Ricedorff of Show Low in the second quarter of Friday’s game on the career passing list.
Walt was working with the chain gang, helping move the yard markers. Sue was sitting near Cactus Shadows’ sideline.
When Kinsler replaced Ricedorff as the state career leader after throwing a 16-yard pass in the second quarter, the officials stopped the game. Cactus Shadows’ players then surrounded and congratulated Kinsler, who was handed a keepsake, the football he threw to break the record.
Sue and Walt also joined Kinsler on the field for the brief celebration.
Kinsler needed 74 yards to set the record and wound up with 245, unofficially, to bring his total to 8,688.
Kinsler also set a new state record this year when he threw for 639 yards in a game, the sixth highest total ever recorded in the nation.
But injuries to a couple of key players hampered a Cactus Shadows team that finished with a 3-7 record this year. Also, last year’s head coach at Cactus Shadows, Chad DeGrenier, who ran Cactus Shadows’ potent offense, moved to Mesa Mountain View this season.
But Kinsler never thought about transferring.
“If they (Cactus Shadows) bring in a coach who runs the ball, then we’ll run the ball,” Kinsler told his dad before this season started.
But Kinsler continued to throw — all the way to the record books.
“I am so lucky and thankful to be put in this position,” Kinsler said. “To be able to play for Cactus Shadows and with my teammates and coaches was a dream come true. I love them.”