Shocked but happy overall.
That’s how Boonville senior football player Gabe Rumbaoa described his selection to the Missouri Football Coaches Association All-State Third Team for the 2017 season.
While selected as an offensive lineman for the Pirates, Rumbaoa capped off his career having earned all-conference, all-district and now all-state as a four-year starter on both side of the ball for Boonville.
Boonville Pirates football coach Barry Blank said receiving all-state whether it’s first, second or third team is a great award for Rumbaoa.
“I think anytime coaches that coach against you award you with an award like all-state, it’s a great accomplishment,” Blank said.
While starting all four years at center and two years at defensive end, Blank said there were two things that probably separated Rumbaoa with the other offensive lineman across the state.
“Gabe always had great effort but he was one of the guys who really led,” Blank said. “He was a very good vocal leader, very smart and very knowledgeable of the game. He would get the other four linemen in position to make the correct blocking schemes and then defensively he just played with a great motor.”
In addition to receiving all-state honors, Rumbaoa has also earned all-conference and all-district two years running along with being selected to the KMZU Dream Team.
Of course if you ask Rumbaoa who his biggest rival was playing football, he said it was himself. He said as a junior he achieved a lot but was scared of not playing as well as a senior.
He said he also had a tie between his two best games. The first came as a junior against Kansas City Center in the first round of the district playoffs in 2016. He said he played very well and had many tackles for losses. The second, he said, was against Holden this season. In that game, Rumbaoa said he had nine tackles, many of which were for losses.
As for the highlight of his career, Rumbaoa said it was the first game of his sophomore year.
“We played California and won a close game,” Rumbaoa said. “I got injured later that season, but the potential shown through that game was better than a 2-8 season.”
Blank said Rumbaoa was more than just a football player.
“While I’m sure his feet and hands obviously helped get him all-state, I think it was just his ability and the way he controlled the offensive line and his communication,” Blank said. “It’s basically like being the quarterback of the offensive line. Gabe just had a great mental approach to the game.”
Rumbaoa also had a pre-game ritual that he went through before every game. He said he would get to the school at 4 p.m., change into his pants and get everything ready. Then he would listen to music until meetings. After the meetings, Rumbaoa said he would get taped up, listen to music again until warmups.
“After warmups until 10 minutes to walk, I would pray by myself at seven minutes to walk,” Rumbaoa said, “and then I would pray again with the team at two minutes to walk.”
As a defensive end for the Pirates, Rumbaoa ranked sixth in tackles with 20 solo stops and 15 assited tackles for a total of 35. He also finished third in tackles for losses with nine and had two blocked field goals, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
He said he liked playing with his friends the most. “They go through all the hard work with you, and have your back through any possible situation,” Rumbaoa said. “That’s what I am going to miss the most-the team aspect. Football is the only sport where 11 men have to all be on the same page to score. The dependability and trust you build in football is unparalled.”
As for the biggest influence on him playing football, Rumbaoa said his father was far his biggest influence.
“He always pushed me to get better and learn more about the game,” Rumbaoa said.
Rumbaoa also has a decision to make about his football career. He said if he chooses to play football, he will probably go to Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. However as of right now, Rumbaoa said he would like to go to Mizzou and study at their business school.
Rumbaoa earns all-state in Class 3 for 2017 football season
Shocked but happy overall.