BOISE — Austin Bolt had quite the day Friday.
Ok, that’s probably an understatement.
The Borah High School boys basketball player won a pair of awards for football and had a career night on the hardwood all on the same day. The senior was named the Gatorade Idaho and Northwest Football Players of the Year before recording a double-double. He scored a career-high 34 points on 16 of 18 (88.9%) shooting from the field to go along with 10 rebounds and the Lions won the rematch of last year’s 5A state championship game in a 59-43 nonconference victory over Madison at Borah High.
“I can definitely say this was one of the best days ever,” Bolt said. “It’s a pretty good feeling because things like this just don’t happen every day. It’s one of those once or twice in a lifetime type of things.”
The good news started bright and early for Bolt. He was on the way to his 7 a.m. weights class when his phone went off. It was an email informing him he was the 2019-20 Gatorade Idaho Football Player of the Year.
Bolt earned the award by racking up 2,771 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns. He had 62 tackles and four interceptions on defense as well on the way to leading the Borah football team to the 5A state quarterfinals. Bolt's the school’s first winner since Nathan Green won it just last year for cross country and track and field. He is also the first football winner for the Lions since Jim Pantner in 1985-86.
“I’m really just grateful for everything,” Bolt said. “I wouldn’t be here without any of my supporters like my parents, coaches and teammates. I mean this is truly a gift from God for him to give me this athletic ability to get this award at this high of a level. So getting this award just made me really appreciate everything I’ve done to get here and just appreciate everyone who’s helped me along the way.”
The accolades didn’t stop there.
At around 5 p.m. — two and a half hours before tipoff, Bolt got word that he was named the Northwest Football Player of the Year. Bolt beat out candidates from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington for the award.
His luck carried on over to the basketball court.
Bolt dropped 13 points in the first quarter that saw the Lions (4-0 overall, 2-0 5A SIC) trail 16-15. The quarter featured seven different lead changes alone.
But Bolt gave Borah the lead for good at 25-22 on a 3 from the top of the key with three minutes remaining in the half. The Lions led 27-24 at the break and the 6-foot-4, 215-pound forward was single handedly the reason why.
He nearly already had a double-double with 20 points on 9 of 10 shooting to go along with six boards. The rest of his team combined to go 3 of 13 (23%).
Bolt didn’t miss a shot until there was 2:30 left in the second quarter — and it was a 3-pointer.
“Those type of athletes and competitors don’t come around too often,” Borah coach Jeremy Dennis said. “He’s a special athlete and he’s done it for years. So nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to him.”
Bolt scored the first six points after the break and finished with 14 in the second half. The last two points summed up his night perfectly.
He found himself on a breakaway after picking up the loose ball on a mad scramble. So Bolt, who has Division I offers for football from the likes of Utah State and Boise State, put down a two-handed jam with 1:39 to go in the game.
Bolt was then seen talking to Boise State tight ends and associate head coach Kent Riddle after the game.
“That was definitely the cherry on top,” Bolt said. “I’ll never forget this night for as long as I live.”
Senior guard Isaac Dewberry added nine points and four rebounds while sophomore guard Ray Ray Bergersen chipped in with eight points for the Lions, who won their 20th straight game dating back to last season and 26th at home.
Borah will look to extend its home streak to 27 in a row when it hosts Hillcrest at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in another nonleague game.
“This right here is a special place,” Bergersen said. “We have the best student section and fans around. So it motivates us to keep it going, and we plan to.”