Kamiak’s Shu­bert fol­lows in his grand­fa­ther’s foot­steps

Tight end to play in Fri­day’s 4A/3A East-West All-State foot­ball game

The Daily Herald - - SPORTS - By David Krueger Her­ald Writer

Nate Shu­bert flew to Spokane on Mon­day to pre­pare for the 4A/3A East-West All-State foot­ball game with his West team­mates. But the Kamiak se­nior got a lit­tle inside in­for­ma­tion be­fore he headed east of the moun­tains from a fam­ily mem­ber that is quite fa­mil­iar with the an­nual al­ls­tar game.

Roy Yates, Shu­bert’s grand­fa­ther, played in the same game al­most 50 years ago. Hav­ing that fam­ily tie is in­cred­i­bly spe­cial to Shu­bert, who talked to his grand­fa­ther about his ex­pe­ri­ence last week­end prior to de­part­ing for Fri­day night’s 6 p.m. game at Gon­zaga Prep High School.

“It’s su­per spe­cial,” Shu­bert said. “I look up to him so much, just as my grand­fa­ther. It’s re­ally awe­some know­ing I’m go­ing where he’s gone. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing for me, be­ing able to play and hav­ing that con­nec­tion with him.”

Yates, who played for the West squad in 1957, told Shu­bert to con­tinue to do the same thing that got him to the all-star game: play hard.

“We had a fam­ily gath­er­ing in Leav­en­worth so he and I were chat­ting a lit­tle bit,” Yates said. “I just told him to do what he al­ways does: which is try re­ally hard and work hard dur­ing the week and ev­ery­thing will turn out just fine.”

In Yates’ fi­nal high school foot­ball game, his West team de­feated

the East 28-14 at Joe Albi Sta­dium in Spokane.

At the time, play­ers spent two weeks to­gether — as op­posed to the one week play­ers get now.

Yates said that ex­tra time al­lowed for strong bonds to be formed with his team­mates, many of which he’s still in con­tact with to­day.

“I think when you’re able to do this things hope­fully he’ll de­velop and main­tain some of the re­la­tion­ships I was able to main­tain when I was there and stay in con­tact with some of these guys over the years,” Yates said.

“We have a group of guys that get to­gether for cof­fee and one of the fel­lows that I met at the East-West game is some­one that I see all the time now in Everett. Like old guys do, we sit around and talk about things like that (game).”

It was Yates who first in­tro­duced Shu­bert to the East-West game, tak­ing him to the 2006 game at Everett Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

“I’m su­per ex­cited. It’s some­thing that I’ve watched,” Shu­bert said. “My grandpa took me to it when (for­mer Fern­dale High School and Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton quar­ter­back) Jake Locker was in it. I’ve seen it hap­pen. I’m ex­cited to be a part of it and ac­tu­ally play with the guys.”

An­other per­son ex­cited for Shu­bert is Kamiak head coach Dan Mack.

Mack has been prais­ing the tight end for years and is ex­cited to drive over to Spokane to see Shu­bert, who will con­tinue his foot­ball ca­reer at Idaho State Univer­sity, play one fi­nal high school game.

“Nate Shu­bert, what a great kid,” Mack said. “He’s just an out­stand­ing foot­ball player. Nate has an in­nate abil­ity to com­pete at a high level. He is ded­i­cated to the sport of foot­ball. He put in the time to get there. When Nate was a sopho­more in our pro­gram, we knew that this kid was spe­cial.

“And as good of an ath­lete as he is, he’s a bet­ter per­son. He re­ally is an out­stand­ing young man. He’s go­ing to do great things in his life. And he’s go­ing to catch a lot of balls for Idaho State. Idaho State got a very fine player when they of­fered Nate Shu­bert a schol­ar­ship.”

Mack, who has coached the East-West game twice, called Shu­bert “one of the most­liked kids on our foot­ball team at Kamiak the last cou­ple of years,” and ex­pected the play­ers on the West team to in­stantly bond with him.

“He’s a very lik­able per­son,” Mack said. “He’s com­pet­i­tive, when he crosses the lines for prac­tice he’s go­ing to be com­pet­i­tive. But he’s just a great per­son. … He’s got a lot of re­spect from the kids on our team and around the con­fer­ence. Nate’s go­ing to have a lot of fun over there.”

Shu­bert has a cou­ple goals for the East-West game.

But his pri­or­ity is fol­low­ing in his grand­fa­ther’s foot­steps once again — by end­ing up on the vic­to­ri­ous side.

“I think it would be re­ally cool to score a touch­down or have a high­light play,” Shu­bert said. “But I’m not re­ally try­ing for any of those things. I think it would just be re­ally cool to win. To emerge vic­to­ri­ous.

“Go West!”

Kamiak’s Nate Shu­bert will con­tinue his foot­ball ca­reer at Idaho State Univer­sity.

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