What do you get a football team that has everything?
If that team is unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Detroit Cass Tech, you get it Luis Borjas.
Amid all of the 5-star and 4-star blue chip prospects on the talent-laden Cass Tech roster is Borjas, Cass’s kicker.
In last week’s 32-28 Division 1 semifinal victory over Utica Eisenhower, it was Borjas who accounted for Cass’ first six points, converting field goals of 34 and 23 yards.
They were the ninth and 10 field goals Borjas, a senior, has kicked this season, a monumental accomplishment for a team in the Public School League.
PSL teams have lost state playoff games for decades because their kicking games were nonexistent. Even PAT attempts were an adventure in futility and field goal attempts were simply out of the question.
That is where Borjas comes in.
Cass is one of the few PSL schools that has a soccer team, so late last fall some Cass football assistants asked the soccer players to try kicking a football.
“The coaches said it would be nice if we had a kicker,” Borjas said. “After I kicked they said: ‘You need to come play with us.’ “
Borjas already knew the ins and outs of football, although he only attended a couple of Cass games last year.
“I’m a Lions fan,” he said proudly. “I watched football even before I thought about playing it.”
Once he committed to playing for Cass, Borjas was all in. He worked out with the team in the summer, attended a Kohl’s kicking camp in Wisconsin and was rated a 4-star prospect.
The biggest challenge for the youngster came when he put on a helmet.
“When I first put the helmet on I kept missing and missing,” he said. “But once I got the angle of looking through the helmet everything was OK.”
He began the season kicking a 30-yarder in the season opener against Oak Park, a feeling he won’t soon forget.
“I thought: ‘I could do this for a living,’ “ Borjas said.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. But Borjas has been terrific for Cass, making 10 of 12 field-goal attempts, including a 49-yarder in the PSL championship game. The only extra point he has missed was the one Eisenhower blocked last week.
Borjas has a practice routine he goes through daily but doesn’t take the field until the other players are finished. Sometimes he isn’t on the field long.
“Once we’re done practicing we’ll go to the 55 or the 54 and kick,” he said. “I’ll kick once and if it goes in practice is over.”
One of the benefits of high school athletics is the bonding process with your teammates that eventually turns into genuine friendships.
Borjas is a good example of that, because now he is just one of the guys on the Cass team.
“I was friends with a few of the guys before I was on the team, but not like real friends like we are now,” he said. “Once they saw I could kick they said: ‘Hey, we’ve got a kicker now,’ and we became friends.”
While Borjas was immediately accepted by his teammates, it did take a while before he truly felt a part of the team.
“At first they didn’t have my name right or my number right on the roster,” he said. “After the first three games I started getting a little bit popular, they started getting my name right.”
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.