Kade Street is six feet, six inches tall. He’s north of 210 pounds. Colorado Mesa University’s football program should be so lucky.
On Wednesday, Rifle High School’s formidable offensive and defensive lineman signed to play collegiately for the Mavericks.
“It’s great,” Street, surrounded by friends, family, coaches and, essentially, the entire football team, said. “I’m really excited for the opportunity.”
Like so many local student athletes nowadays, Street’s high school football career endured some of the most unique circumstances ever known to Rifle High School.
In standard football fashion, Street’s freshman year — in 2019 — he didn’t see too much playing time. The COVID-19 pandemic then hit in March 2020 and delayed Street’s sophomore year of football until spring 2021.
Meanwhile, former longtime Rifle football coach Damon Wells resigned and Rifle quickly hired Todd Casebier. And despite this managerial scramble amid a global pandemic, Street joined the Bears in winning a 3A state championship that spring.
Casebier has since moved on to Durango, with current Rifle football coach Ryan Whittington taking over the program in fall 2021.
Street ended his senior year leading the team in sacks (3) while picking up a respectable 76 tackles.
“My freshman and junior year, I struggled a bit,” Street said. “I kind of lost my motivation for football, but winning the state championship sophomore year — and then this year — I had a lot of fun.”
Whittington said he told Mesa coaches about what they’re getting: a consistent hard worker who comes up big in big moments.
With Street’s massive build and eye for the ball, he helped the Bears make an unsuspecting push into the 2A quarterfinals last fall.
“He’s had a great run here,” Whittington said of Street. “With the success he had as a freshman and his sophomore year winning the state championship and basically getting us back on track and getting us into the second round of playoffs this last year, I think it was a huge accomplishment.”
Whittington said anytime a student athlete like Street leaves a high school program, it’s a huge loss.
“But I think the legacy that (Street) left, and the work ethic he installed on the younger guys, will help us be even better in the future because there’s kids that want to follow in his footsteps,” he said.
Street’s mother, Jennifer, was by her son’s side when he signed to play for CMU on Wednesday. She said she wants Kade, through his continued journey toward college, to be “accepted, successful and happy.”
“He’s worked hard to get to this point,” she said.
Street, who intends to study construction and business management at CMU, still has a few more months of high school left. He intends to spend it right.
“I’m going to play baseball,” he said. “And have fun with friends.”