Elijah Kothe grew up around the Faith Lutheran football program admiring many of its best players.
Now, Kothe is the one on the receiving end of that adulation.
Kothe, a 6-foot-4-inch junior receiver, has six early scholarship offers and continues to draw attention from college recruiters this spring.
“For me, it’s been really humbling,” Kothe said. “I just can’t share how grateful I am for my teammates, my coaches and my family, just the positive influence they’ve all been in my life. Just being around this program, it means a lot to me.”
Kothe’s father, Jake, was the head football coach at Faith Lutheran for 12 seasons before he resigned after the 2012 season.
Kothe caught 55 passes for 1,053 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, helping Faith Lutheran reach the Class 4A Sunset Region semifinals. He was named to the All-Northwest League first team and was a second-team all-state selection.
“I think my strengths would be I’m a big receiver and being a team-first guy,” Kothe said. “Whatever the team needs, all the dirty work, anything they need me to do, I’ll do. Whatever helps the team win.”
Kothe was offered a scholarship Monday by Northern Iowa, where his dad caught passes from quarterback Kurt Warner in the early 1990s. He also has offers from Cornell, Hawaii, Princeton, San Diego State and UNLV.
Kothe made unofficial visits to San Diego State and UNLV last month, and he visited Boise State last weekend.
Kothe said he plans to make more campus visits before the fall and could participate in The Opening regional combine May 21 in Northern California.
“I’m just looking for the best opportunity I have to better myself on and off the field,” Kothe said. “I just feel really blessed to have this.”
Kothe and his teammates also will have a chance to gain exposure this fall when the Crusaders travel to play Valor Christian (Colorado) and St. Pius X (Texas) in high-profile nonleague games.
“There’s a lot of kids here who have been waiting for the opportunity, and I think it’s going to come to make themselves known on the national stage,” Kothe said. “Everyone is just excited to go out and compete.”
Centennial’s girls basketball team finished No. 2 in the espnW 25 Power Rankings, the Bulldogs’ highest ranking in any of the final major national polls.
Clovis West, the California open division champion, was No. 1 by espnW. Centennial went 1-1 against Clovis West, including a 70-46 Bulldogs victory on Jan. 16.
Also, Centennial (31-2) was No. 4 in the USA Today Super 25 poll.
Findlay Prep’s boys basketball team jumped four spots to No. 3 in the final USA Today rankings. La Lumiere (Indiana), which eliminated the Pilots in the semifinals of the Dick’s High School Nationals Tournament last week, finished No. 1.
The Pilots (34-4) were No. 10 in the final FAB 50 National Team Rankings.
■ Bishop Gorman senior Dominic Proctor to Miami for men’s basketball.
■ Centennial seniors Sarah Kruthaupt and Courtney Walker to Laramie County Community College (Wyoming) and Lauren Welch to Hampton for women’s basketball.
■ Clark senior Sterling Penniston-John to Peninsula College (Washington) for men’s soccer.
■ Bishop Gorman sophomore Isabel Rolley to Southern California and Coral Academy sophomore Zia Makhathini to Yale for women’s soccer.
■ Rancho senior Karime Raygoza to New Mexico Military Institute for women’s volleyball.