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Boulder High School's Ethan Kunkel (No. ...
Daily Camera file photo
Ethan Kunkel will lead Boulder as a do-it-all kind of player on offense and defense.

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 Boulder Panthers.

While there’s still a lot to sort out for Boulder’s football team before the fall season, including the new-age football equivalent of basic human necessity, or for the Panthers, ‘Who will be our quarterback?’, Casey Geiger has already sketched out an idea of what he wants the program to look like in his tenure.

“I don’t believe in just being a football coach,” said Geiger, the Panthers’ third coach in three years. “The program that we want to run at Boulder High School, is to build young leaders and that’s really is what it comes down to. Give tools and work ethic to be successful outside the field.”

Geiger, following recent Boulder coaches in current athletic director Ryan Bishop and last year’s interim coach Craig Van Patten, said one of his main focuses for the program will be giving back to the community.

This past weekend, supporters of his program shared a tweet saying Geiger and six of his players helped the non-profit organization, There with Care, which supports families with children facing a medical crisis.


“Community service is going to be a part of the program at Boulder,” Geiger said. “I want to give them as many opportunities as possible to be a part of the community and see how football translates outside the field.”

As for on it …

The Stalwart

Senior Ethan Kunkel. He’s the kind of player who can succeed at a number of positions.

Geiger said the senior will play on both sides of the ball this fall, including at the back of the defense as a hybrid-type safety, as well as possibly at running back.

Kunkel has played in 17 varsity games over two seasons, although his most production came last year. His stats include 76 tackles, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and six sacks (including a team-leading five last year).

“Ethan is committed and has been there for everything,” Geiger said. “He’s a leader and holds accountability for others. He’s going to be a contributor for sure.”

Star in the making

Senior Jaden Seligman. Seligman is Boulder’s top returning receiver, catching 22 balls for 212 yards a season ago.

Geiger said he’s impressed by the senior’s athleticism and, like Kunkel, he is sure to play on both sides of the field and has already asserted himself as a team leader.

“He’s dedicated just like Kunkel is,” Geiger said. “Between those two and a couple others who have stepped up in those leadership roles, they’ve shown how to do things the right way.”

Solidifying a presence

On paper, Boulder appears young and a bit inexperienced.

Its quarterback from last fall, as well as top running back, wide receiver, tackle and interceptions leader, graduated. So while talented guys with varsity experience like Kunkel and Seligman should ease the transition, there are sure to be plenty of spots left for unproven newbies.

Geiger said before any of that, though, he is preaching team culture.

“As a program, we need to adopt and live by our core values of commitment, character and grit,” Geiger said. “And if we can do that, everything else kind of takes care of itself. The on-the-field, the community service off the field, that naturally happens.”