Name: Elijah Sindelar
High School: Caldwell County High School
Career prior to senior season: There's not many of them out there, but Caldwell Co. has one of them in senior quarterback Elijah Sindelar. Three-year starter Elijah Sindelar, that is.
But it's not what he was coming in or his God-given talents that have him where he's at now. It's his humble attitude and persistent work ethic.
He wasn't molded by some quarterback guru, he doesn't have a personal trainer. It's just him, his dad, some buckets, a tire hanging from a rope on a tree and a football.
Growing into the best signal-caller in the Commonwealth doesn't come without bumps in the road and taking some licks. In his freshman campaign, the Sindelar-led Tigers went 5-6, losing in the opening round of the 2A state tournament.
Though the legend of Elijah Sindelar began in his first ever varsity start when he threw for 552 yards against Calloway Co. A performance good for ninth in the KHSAA record books under passing yards in a single game.
Still he threw as many interceptions that year as he would combined over the next two, in just eleven games. And became better from it, a lot better.
Sindelar took a huge leap statically as a sophomore. His elevated play equated to more wins for Caldwell Co. and a run to the 2A state championship.
In fifteen games, he threw for 32 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards -- cutting his interceptions in half in the process.
And it was out there -- Elijah Sindelar is for real.
So after a sophomore season filled with success, Sindelar and the Tigers were poised to get back to the state finals, but take it home this time.
It was all mapped out before the first game was even played Caldwell would advance from Region 1 unscathed and meet one, of two, pesky Louisville teams -- DeSales, Christian Academy of Louisville -- in a battle for the right to head to Bowling Green.
As we all know, things don't always go according to plan. Caldwell Co. was bounced from competition by Murray, and the road to redemption came to an abrupt dead end. Sindelar had his best statistical season cut short and remains without a state championship on his resume.
In thirteen games, he threw for 3,374 yards, scoring an eye-popping 44 passing touchdowns on only 196 completions -- less than his sophomore season and only ten more than his freshman year.
His career totals through 39 games -- 585-947 (61.7) 9,028 yards, 95 touchdowns, 32 interceptions -- will leave his name in the record books several times, still with a season to play.
For now, he stands at 12th in all-time passing yards and 18th in passing touchdowns. To surpass said records he'll need 38 touchdowns and 4,614 yards through the air this fall.
2014 outlook: As they were in 2013, expectations are high for Caldwell Co. and quarterback Elijah Sindelar. The Tigers are instilling the mantra "unfinished business" and it's all about being crowed 2A state champions.
While it's never a guarantee -- see: last year -- it's looking pretty good for the Tigers in 2014. Threats DeSales, CAL and Murray all lost key pieces of their team to graduation. Of course Glasgow and, as always, Newport Central Catholic will be extremely good in 2014. So don't pencil them in just yet.
The skill players around the three-star quarterback could really make this a special year for the Caldwell Co. football program. There's 6-foot-8 wide out Eli Pepper, speed back Jaylen Boyd, sure-handed tight end Elijah Anderson and elite athlete Dee Cain.
When you have a guy who can make the players around him better surrounded with athletes who are above average by Bluegrass standards, the sky is the limit.
Pleading Sindelar's case: Sindelar is an outspoken christian who gives God the glory for all his worldly feats. And he's as good, if not better, in the classroom than on the field.
I know those things don't win games or awards, but for a highly-recruited prep athlete it's somewhat rare.
Then you have this guy on the field who commands his huddle, looks almost robotic going through his reads and delivering accurate on-time balls. He's going to be starting for the fourth consecutive year, something you don't see often and when you do it usually doesn't pan out as Sindelar's career has.
Most of the time, when a young athlete with a lot of upside is given a starting or important varsity role, in any sport, they begin to plateau. Where they're at in their game is enough to be "the man" where they are at. Making small strides here and there to stay above the competition, but never enough to become an elite prospect. That is where this young man differs.
Elijah Sindelar: A True Story of Perseverance