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Senior Profile: Rolling with the changes
Kevin Buenrostro is familiar with change. In his four years at Colusa High, the football team had three coaches and the school had two mascots.
The arrival of football coach Paul Theriault turned the struggling program around with the promise of stability, and gave Buenrostro the best memories from his high school career.
"For those players that played football, we have a new look on how we can compete and how we should play sports. This season was a big turnaround. It was good to see that and actually finish off my senior year like this," Buenrostro said.
On the football field a team formed, turning the RedHawks into a high-scoring threat that earned a spot in the playoffs with a 5-6 overall record. This was despite winning just one game in the previous two years, and playing with heavy hearts after classmate Jordan Hillis was killed in an accident in the middle of the season.
The football team's success and the work the players did in the weight room made an immediate impact on the basketball team, where Buenrostro is the starting center, and the RedHawks are now 8-9 overall and 2-0 in Mid-Valley League play.
"Once you have success with one program it kind of builds up the school. From football, basketball is going to get better. I think this school is headed somewhere good. I think we're going to have success in the future," he said.
Some of the most talented athletes in the school will return next year on both the football and basketball teams, according to Buenrostro.
The possibility of future success is especially sweet for him, even though he won't be a part of it. Buenrostro's younger brother, Cesar, is a sophomore, and he has another younger sister and brother yet to reach high school.
Growing up, Buenrostro, 18, wanted to go to school with his older brother Adrian, who is seven years older, and now he cherishes being able to be around Cesar.
"That's always been a thing for me is I actually get to spend some time with my little brother. I can kind of mold him and see how he's going to grow up to be, but it shouldn't be a problem for him, and he's going to be a good athlete too," Buenrostro said.
After graduating, Buenrostro is leaning toward attending Oregon State University, at which time he will become the first member of his family to attend college.
"I had a couple options to go play football somewhere, but my parents really wanted me to go to Oregon State because it's a good university," Buenrostro said. "I could have played football for some smaller schools, Division II or III, but it's education first."
Theriault would like to see him playing on Saturday in college, and is drumming up as much interest as he can, but education is Buenrostro's top priority.
"I think you can give credit to his parents for that, they've done a great job with Kevin," Theriault said.
Buenrostro is a gifted athlete with a solid 6-foot-2, 275-pound frame and a great mind for the game. He quickly adjusted to Theriault's new schemes on offense and defense and earned Mid-Valley League all-league honors as an offensive lineman.
Perhaps more importantly, Buenrostro was one of the first players to buy into an off-season strength and conditioning program.
"Once Kevin bought in, he started dragging everybody in with him and that is what really got the ball rolling for us," Theriault said.
Buenrostro's leadership in the off-season continued on the football field where Theriault trusted him to make sure the line was in the right place on each play, because he understood the role of each position on the line.
"He's got to be one of the best leaders I've had on a team, as far as being a pure natural leader," Theriault said. "Guys would go where he led. He was a big impact guy for us this year and he'll be sorely missed next year."
Buenrostro and Theriault will team up once again in the spring in the thrower's pit at track and field events. Buenrostro joined the track team for the first time last season and took fourth place in the Northern Section Division III Championships in both the shot put and discus.
"Last year was my first year in track and, you know, I should have taken it more seriously because I never tried to learn any extra form, the spin or the slide or any of that. This year I feel like if I actually get my technique down I can go pretty far," he said.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.