Athlete of the Week: Bellevue West football’s CJ Gauff
BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - Despite starting the year 2-3, Bellevue West football has found a way to make all of their Nebraska-bound talent click on offense.
“We’re pretty pleased with where we’re playing right now,” head coach Mike Huffman said of his Thunderbirds, who have won five straight headed into Friday’s Class A quarterfinals.
Through the ups and downs, running back CJ Gauff has been a constant for Bellevue West.
“He is consistent. We know what we’re going to get out of him,” Huffman said. He’s going to make the first guy miss. He’s got a little burst to him. He doesn’t quite have that breakaway speed where he’s gonna bust a lot of long one’s. But he’s going to get a lot of 12, 15, 20 yard runs.”
“It’s been better as the weeks went on.” Gauff said. “I feel like I played okay in the first couple games and I stalled a little bit, but I’m starting to pick it up.”
The senior picked his Thunderbirds up in last Friday’s playoff battle with Papillion-La Vista. Gauff scored four touchdowns in their 48-34 win over the Monarchs.
“We were in the locker room when I got the stats sheet. I said ‘Man, what did these Sarpy County schools do to you? Did they say something bad about your parents?’” Huffman joked. “I’m just proud of him. He’s playing his best football when we need it the most.”
Next up: a rematch with Westside with a trip to the state semifinals on the line. The Warriors made easy work of the Thunderbirds in their regular season meeting, 45-12. But Bellevue West has progressed since that game nearly two months ago. They’re peaking at the right time and prepared for what is coming.
“Emotions are pretty high,” Gauff said.” It got real chippy last game. We wanted another crack at them since we saw them the first time. I know a lot of those guys, so it’s going to be a fun game.”
“Westside is the best program around,” Huffman said. “We were for a long time and we’d like to get back up there. To get back up there, we’ve got to knock down the champs, so we’re going after them.”
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