A family, gridiron tradition for Glenwood player and dad | PostIndependent.com

A family, gridiron tradition for Glenwood player and dad

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The first time Dakota Stonehouse ever played quarterback, he cried.

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” the Glenwood Springs High School senior recalled of his fifth-grade self.

“He had never played football in his life,” said Dakota’s dad, Steve, an assistant coach for his son’s team at the time. “It was his first game ever and they had just taken the other quarterback away in an ambulance for a pretty good hit on him. I think that scared him.”

The younger Stonehouse didn’t stay scared for long.

By his sixth-grade season in Three Rivers Youth Football, the precocious passer had more than found his way behind center.

“The next year I went out for quarterback and we won the Super Bowl,” Dakota said. “I remember a couple games where I threw for over 150 yards. I had something like 180 yards and four touchdowns in the Super Bowl.”

Stonehouse has been torching opposing defenses ever since.

Since his sophomore year of high school, the versatile face of Demon football has accounted for 85 touchdowns ” 55 through the air and 30 on the ground. During the same time frame, he’s passed for 4,959 yards and run for 1,551, superlative numbers unrivaled elsewhere on the Western Slope.

Numbers like those, particularly in a tough circuit like the 3A Western Slope League, are sure to carve a path to playing on Saturdays.

And Dakota wouldn’t be his family’s first to play college football. His dad played fullback at Fort Lewis College in Durango and set the school record for longest rushing play (90 yards) in 1970. The record stood for more than 36 years.

Still, the elder Stonehouse says he has nothing on his son when it comes to football.

“He is so much more talented than I ever was,” Steve said. “I was big and strong and ran forward. He’s got a lot of talent. All these (Glenwood) kids do.”

Dakota’s weathered a deluge of interest from various programs since schools since Sept. 1, the first day schools were allowed to contact prospects.

Stonehouse and his dad got a head start on the game during Glenwood’s spring break earlier this year, embarking on an intensive road trip through Utah, Montana and Wyoming to check out seven schools in five days.

Summer camps and more trips to scope out potential college landing spots followed in the summer time.

But the coveted quarterback, who stands a hair under 6 feet tall, isn’t ready to divulge his preferences, or what, if anything, is on the burner. He prefers to wait and see how everything shakes out.

“I just want whatever fits me best, of course,” Stonehouse explained. “Academically, I want to get a good education. That’s me No. 1 priority. I just want to go some place that fits my style.”

One would infer such a place would run a pass-happy, spread offense akin to what’s in place at Glenwood Springs.

All that remains to be seen.

Stonehouse is just content to have the chance to play at the next level.

“Some parts are overwhelming, but at the same time it’s amazing,” he said. “Not everyone gets this chance.”

College football is something the Demon senior has always dreamed of playing. He fondly remembers watching games with his dad on Saturdays, and his dad’s playing-days stories.

“When I was little, my dad and I would watch football games,” Dakota said. “He would tell me stories about playing in college.”

Although he played sports like soccer and baseball before he ever set a cleat on a football field, Stonehouse has always been magnetized by the latter sport.

“Every time a game would come on, he’d run up the steps, put on a helmet and shoulder pads and watch football,” his dad recalled. “Every time there was a break we’d throw the football. We had the footstool out and he’d dive over the footstool and dive for the ball as he landed in the big chair.”

Dakota’s love for football hasn’t wavered since, and it likely won’t waver any time soon. He just has to pick a place to play once his days in high school are done.

Currently occupied with leading a Glenwood team that has the talent and potential to win a state title, that’s something the heady quarterback doesn’t mind waiting to figure out.

“Once the season’s over with, I’ll worry about that,” he said. “The team comes first. All that other stuff comes second.”

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