Boyer a steady leader for CMU

Colorado Mesa University center Brett Boyer, 58, looks for someone to block as Jake Cimolino, 32, breaks a tackle during a game earlier this season. Boyer will start his 33rd consecutive game today in the Mavericks’ season finale at Stocker Stadium.

Brett Boyer knew he wanted to go to college at Colorado Mesa University.

His grandparents live in Grand Junction and the university offered courses he wanted to study, but he wasn’t recruited to play football.

The former coaching staff liked what it saw in Boyer, who walked on to the team, and gave him a chance.

Five years later, the 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior center will make his 33rd consecutive start for the Mavericks (5-5, 4-4 RMAC) in their season finale against Adams State at noon today at Stocker Stadium.

“I guess I’ve kind of thought about it,” Boyer said. “It’s kind of sinking in this week. This is the last time I’ll suit up and be around all these guys. I remember Monday in the weight room, thinking this is my last week down here.

“I’m trying to keep it suppressed a little bit because it’s kind of depressing.”

The Loveland native came to visit his grandparents in Grand Junction often as a child and has some fond memories of his childhood visits that made a big impact on what he wanted to do with his life.

“I used to come up to the police basketball games,” Boyer said. “I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement for awhile. Mesa, at the time, had a good criminal justice program. I was really drawn to that and the coaching staff.”

Although the coaching staff didn’t have scholarship money for him, they encouraged him to walk on.

He redshirted his first year, then played in six games his redshirt freshman year.

By the end of fall camp his sophomore year, Boyer earned a starting spot at guard. He played two seasons there without missing a game.

This season, CMU coach Russ Martin and offensive line coach Mike Chavez asked Boyer to move to center.

“Brett has been a great leader for us in the time I’ve been here,” Martin said. “This year, it was a change for him because he moved from the guard to the center. He accepted that change and did a great job of directing the offensive line.

“That’s one of the big keys and one of the reasons we talked to him about moving. Our center really dictates our calls on the offensive line. He is a smart young man and understands our system. He does a great job of getting everyone going in the right places. He’s a very good football player.”

Boyer has started every game this season.

“When you’re able to start every game the past three years, remain healthy all those years and be someone they can rely on, it’s an honor to do that,” Boyer said.

The Mavericks are rushing for 162.7 yards per game, averaging 3.9 yards per carry behind their offensive line. The line has allowed 24 sacks in 10 games this season.

Boyer has also accomplished something many offensive linemen don’t — score a touchdown. Boyer recovered a Mesa fumble in the end zone in the first quarter of the Mavs’ 49-11 victory over Black Hills State on Sept. 28.

It was his first touchdown in organized football.

“I think I was in more disbelief than anything,” Boyer said. “The ref put up the touchdown signal. I thought, ‘Goodness, all right!’ I threw it down and ran off the field with my hands in the air. It was pretty exciting and overwhelming. It’s going to stick with me awhile.”

And true to every lineman’s dream, he’d like another chance at a touchdown dance.

“I always joke with the coaches to get me out on a screen and let me score a touchdown,” Boyer said. “I told them, ‘Just so you know I’m spiking the football if I ever get in the end zone.’ I never expected to get in the end zone, especially that play when it wasn’t designed. Normally, I’m running to someone to celebrate and not everyone running to me to celebrate.”

Boyer was one of five captains this year, along with seniors Michael Brady and Jake Edmiston and juniors Jake Cimolino and Travis McRae.

“He’s definitely been a leader, I’d say even five years,” senior quarterback Jason Haferman said. “I don’t believe his leadership has ever changed. It’s always been lead by example. He’s not the loud, hurrah guy. He doesn’t have to be. He works hard in the weight room and the practice field. What he’s done here the past four years playing in games has been outstanding.

“He manages pressure and different situations very well. That’s hard to find. He’s the center this year for a reason. He knows how to control the line as a whole pretty well.”

The Mavericks want to send their 11 seniors out with a victory, but Boyer wants to win for his teammates and the program’s future.

“It’s not only important for the team going forward, but to send the seniors out with a win and have a winning season,” Boyer said. “It wasn’t the season we expected. It wasn’t the outcome we expected when we were winning those four games in a row, but this game is huge.”


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