Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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Jack Spady used to have to wait for something good to happen. Now, the Steamboat Springs High School senior doesn't wait for anything.
He takes his 6-foot-3 frame and makes things happen.
The change was evident during Steamboat's 41-21 win against Holy Family on Saturday. Spady caught seven passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
In the third quarter, he made a one-handed catch while falling backwards and out of bounds. It was as good a catch as you'll ever see a high schooler make. Quarterback Austin Hinder called him "my Randy Moss" after the game.
Spady was just as stout on the defensive side of the ball. From his safety position, Spady picked off two passes, thwarting Holy Family drives.
Spady sometimes gets lost in conversations about Steamboat sports.
In football, people talk a lot about the Sailors' other weapons, including Hinder and speedster Joe Dover. In basketball last season, talk was about the young guards and veteran post players. In lacrosse, it was all about the midfield and defense.
Other coaches certainly have noticed Spady. During his junior season, he was named all-conference in football, basketball and lacrosse.
Nonetheless, Saturday was a coming-out party for Spady.
Last season, when something wouldn't go right, Spady would seemingly disappear from games. That began to change during the basketball season. He led the Sailors in scoring in many of their biggest games. In the state playoff lacrosse game, Spady was Steamboat's toughest attackman to defend.
So Saturday's performance shouldn't have been all that surprising. From the first snap, Spady imposed his will. No defensive back could cover him on offense, and as the game progressed, Holy Family's offense did what it could to throw away from him.
Like many success stories, Spady's begins in the offseason. Spady spent his summer attending basketball camps and lifting weights with teammates. Some of it can be attributed to his maturation. Spady was cast into varsity sports early in his career because of his raw athletic ability.
As we know, sometimes mentality takes a while to catch up to physicality.
And the rest of the Western Slope should be put on notice.
"Jack Spady had one of those games," Steamboat football coach Aaron Finch said Saturday. "I told Jack after the game, 'I'm not surprised. I'm ecstatic.' I've watched Jack develop and work hard in the offseason. Athletically, he's just amazing."
Spady used to have to wait for something good to happen.
Now, when the ball - football, basketball or lacrosse - is in his hands, something good is almost guaranteed to happen.
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail email@example.com