Some things are just meant to happen. In the third game of the 2010 season, an injury to Albany's starting quarterback forced the Lions to turn to an untested sophomore. Now, nearly three seasons later, Jake Bumguardner is "the man" at the controls and has led Albany to a 31-3 record, two of them playoff losses. His latest win for the 9-1 Lions was a 55-14 pasting of Hamlin, which clinched the District 7-1A title. Jake scorched the Pied Pipers, rushing 19 times for 243 yards (13.5 yards per pop!) and four TDs, completing seven passes for 56 yards, and booting seven PATs. That scintillating performance came on the heels of a six-TD, 279-yard rushing effort in a 73-23 blowout of Cross Plains on Nov. 2.
Jake, an all-stater as both a QB and a kicker, juggles a busy athletic schedule, which includes baseball, basketball, golf, and track & field. He is a two-time state silver medalist in the 400 meters and is among the top ten in the 100 (10.61). In the classroom, he maintains a slick 3.71 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. He's also heavily involved in FCA, FFA, and his church youth group.
"Jake is our leader, our go-to guy," says Coach Denney Faith. "He'll do anything it takes to win. He's the first person to praise his O-line and his teammates but as the team's playmaker, he does things that few can do. He's definitely our version of Johnny Manziel (the BFT Player of the Year in 2010)."