Sunday , January 07, 2018 - 5:15 AM
PLEASANT VIEW — Austin Bartholomew has had moments away from football that helped him realize how much he loves the sport.
When he was in elementary school, he decided to stop playing for a year because he didn’t like listening to the vulgar language used by the coaches.
Another moment came at the end of Bartholomew’s junior season, and this time, it wasn’t his choice. Bartholomew was hit hard trying to scramble for a first down in a non-region contest against Kearns and suffered a torn labrum.
Now, Bartholomew is stepping away from the game once again. He plans to serve an LDS mission, then go to college. He hopes he isn’t stepping away for good.
“Life without football is flat-out boring,” Bartholomew said.
ALL-AREA FOOTBALL 2017
Regardless of what the future holds, Bartholomew is moving on with one important achievement: he was the starting quarterback for the team that proved football can still be a successful sport at Weber High.
Bartholomew rebounded from his shoulder injury a year ago to start all 11 games for the Region 1 champion Warriors this past season. He completed 68.9 percent (155 of 225) of his passes and threw for 2,124 yards (9.44 yards per attempt). He tossed 25 touchdowns to only seven interceptions.
Bartholomew is the 2017 All-Area Football Team’s Most Valuable Player.
“You look at other quarterbacks in the state … yeah, they threw for a lot more yards, but you look at if Austin would have had 300 attempts, how many yards would he have thrown for because he was so consistent,” Weber head coach Matt Hammer said.
Weber went 6-0 against region opponents and Bartholomew was undeniably the catalyst. He completed 73.3 percent of his passes, averaged over 10 yards per pass attempt and had a touchdown-interception ratio of 17-2 in those games. He didn’t throw an interception in his final four region games.
In Weber’s final region game against Layton, he completed 12 of 15 passes (80 percent) for 188 yards (12.53 yards per attempt) with six touchdowns.
Bartholomew’s consistency on the field mirrors his consistency in his personal life. When he was about 11 years old, his dad challenged him to start a habit of push-ups and sit-ups followed by scripture study every night.
He was up for the challenge despite its difficulty at the start. Now, it’s routine.
“I can’t even go to sleep anymore without doing push-ups and sit-ups and reading my scriptures,” Bartholomew said. “It’s second nature.”
He said the discipline needed for his night-time routine has “definitely helped” translate to success on the football field.
“It helped me understand that I need to work hard for what I want to accomplish and helped me understand that hard work can be monotonous,” Bartholomew said.
He’s the type of person who knows how to keep things in perspective.
His father, Dave, recalls a WFFL playoff game in Cache County, not so much because of the result (Bartholomew’s team won) but because of what happened afterward.
A supporter of the opposing team was waiting for Bartholomew in the parking lot because she wanted to tell him how much she appreciated his sportsmanship despite taking some pretty big hits.
“You kind of go through life as a parent hoping you don’t screw them up too much, but he just came that way,” Dave Bartholomew said.
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