Luke McCaffrey, Blake Stenstrom look to continue tradition of excellent QBs at Valor

Blake Stenstrom and Luke McCaffrey are hoping to continue the tradition of elite quarterbacks at Valor Christian High School.

The biggest factory in Colorado doesn't have smokestacks. But, it does have an assembly line. 

And, we're talking about the Valor Christian football program. The school has been churning out more top products than any manufacturing company in the state. In recent years, it's been the quarterbacks. 

After losing Dylan McCaffrey--last year's Gatorade player of the year who's now heading to play football at the University of Michigan--there's no void under center for the Eagles this year. Then again, there's never a void. 

"To coach two unbelievable kids that come from great families is awesome," Head Coach Rod Sherman said. 

As is the case almost every year at Valor, a star player graduating rarely leads to a drop-off in talent the following season. 

It's just an opportunity for the next guy to step up, because the player beside is probably nudging him upward already. 

This year, Valor has not one, but TWO Division one quarterbacks on its roster. First, there's Blake Stenstrom, a senior who's committed to play for the Buffs at the University of Colorado.

Then, there's Luke McCaffrey, the last of the ridiculously talented McCaffrey brothers. He's just a junior, and already has offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, Virginia and Washington. 

Both are...solid options for the defending state champs. So far, Coach Rod Sherman has yet to name a starter for the team's season opener Aug. 25. 

"There's no substitution for competition," Stenstrom said. "I've spent my whole career at Valor competing with the guys on a national state, between Dylan and Luke. And, it's made both of us a lot better. It's definitely an advantage for both of us."

Like any successful program, a little competition can be good, as long as it's healthy. And, there's no feud between these two talented gun-slingers. 

"(The competition) has been great," McCaffrey said. "Blake is a great guy. I'm just really appreciative that he's just a good person. It makes the competition fun."

Plus, the two aren't necessarily even competing against each other. They're just worried about becoming some of the best quarterbacks in the country. 

"Their goals are well past what they do at Valor," Sherman said. "They have goals collegiately and beyond. So, in some ways, they're not feeling that, 'I'm competing against THAT guy?' They're feeling like, 'How do I get the best out of my abilities? How do I get the most out of my gifts?' And, they both do that so well."

Whoever the starter is, expect to see Blake AND Luke on the field a whole lot this season, which means, the rest of the state should watch out. 

"I'm going to step on the field, give my heart and soul out for everybody, for all of my teammates, because they're working so hard," McCaffrey said. 

"I'm fired up for the season," Stenstrom said. I'm itching for the games to start."

There is only about one week left before the Eagles have their first contest. And, already, the team is rolling through camp. Every part is coming together. 

And, the factory at Valor Christian doesn't need smokestacks. The quarterback power is nuclear. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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