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Fairview High School's Zach Lewis (No. 15) tries to get past Boulder High School's Kayden Kline (No. 14) at Recht Field in Boulder on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Fairview High School’s Zach Lewis (No. 15) tries to get past Boulder High School’s Kayden Kline (No. 14) at Recht Field in Boulder on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

This summer, will take an early look at each area football team ahead of the fall season and in this installment, we look at the Fairview Knights.

The dance between college coaches and gifted high school prospects is a delicate exercise in the elaborate and intimate. Where production value is important in the social media age for 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds, real connection and fit are hoped by traditionalists to be even more so.

In Boulder, Fairview quarterback Bekkem Kritza’s impressive freshman season quickly placed him on the ‘can’t miss list’ for college football’s powerhouses.

Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M and USC have been among those that have taken interest. Colorado schools CU and CSU have plugged away too, getting early offers in to try and convince the 6-foot-4 quarterback to stay in state.

“It’s been a great experience,” Kritza said by phone this week. “All the colleges, all the coaches, real great dudes. With the whole recruiting thing, I’m sure to have fun with it. I’m still young and have a lot of time to decide. I just want to go everywhere I can.”

Kritza, who threw for 3,192 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games as a freshman for the Knights, has already made recruiting stops in college football’s heartland cities of Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge and College Station.

Upcoming, he plans to visit each coast with stops in Florida — at “The Swamp”, Tallahassee and Miami — and “Niketown” in Oregon. He currently has offers from CU, CSU, Kansas and Texas A&M.

In the fall, Kritza will look to lead Fairview back to the postseason after the program had to forfeit its first-round game to ThunderRidge in 2021 due to COVID-19 exposure.

He has help.

The Stalwart

Senior Zach Lewis. A first teamer by BoCoPreps and a 5A all-state honorable mention as a junior, the Division-I prospect should be among the state’s best linebackers in 2022. He had 104 tackles last season, seven for loss and also had a sack.

On offense, he gave balance to Fairview’s scoring assault with 370 yards and six touchdowns on 71 rushes.

In the summer workouts, coach Tom McCartney said Lewis “leads in the weight room, on the practice field and in the 7-on-7 tournaments.”

Star in the making

Sophomore Jordan Rechel. Just as Kritza is coming into his second year in high school with flying marks, so is his favorite target from last fall.

As a freshman, Rechel took over as the team’s top receiver after Grant Page got hurt midway through the season and finished with 57 catches, 845 yards and 13 total touchdowns.

Rechel had 95 or more receiving yards in four of his final five games, including 356 yards and six touchdowns across his final two games.

He also plays at defensive back, McCartney said.

Solidifying a presence

If Fairview takes a step forward this season, it’ll be because its young talent does so.

Guys like defensive end Brock Kolstad could be interesting to monitor for the Knights after he had 57 tackles and two sacks as a freshman.

Two-way defensive backs/wide receivers Ben Holly and Naz Valadez-Benavente, now both juniors, also had “really big summers on the 7-on-7 circuit,” McCartney said.