As the saying goes, “the eye in the sky doesn’t lie.”
For a high school football player, there are few feelings greater than when you make a huge play on Friday night and get to rewatch that dominance in front of the whole team during a film session. Conversely, when you miss a tackle or make a mental mistake on a play – there’s not much worse than having it broadcast for all to see.
For Santa Barbara High senior lineman Chase Kamin, the latter came to fruition as the team watched the film of its 31-6 loss to St. Bonaventura on Sept. 13.
“It was really just owning up to your play and owning up to what you’re responsible for,” Kamin said after practice on Tuesday, referring to the September film session. “I really just had to eat up how I played that game. It was really more just taking it and not letting it happen again.
“It was missed assignments and missed blocks,” the right tackle admitted. “That was on me mentally. I was just making critical errors before the snap and I just really had to own how I played that game and how we as an offensive line played. I think that since then, accountability has been big for us.”
While some players may refuse to re-watch their mistakes, Kamin said he watches the St. Bonnie film every few weeks.
“You have highs and lows in football,” he said. “Not every game is going to go perfect. You have to go back to that and use it as a reference. It humbles you.”
Coach J.T. Stone said that loss was a turning point in the season for the Golden Tornado, who went on to wrap of their first outright league title since 2001 and won their first playoff game in 30 years with their 44-0 throttling over Gahr last week.
“This is a team game and Chase knows that,” Stone said. “For me, everything I give is love. I think in that situation it was my expectations of him. It was like my son had failed and I needed my son to own that.
“I think because of where he comes from, the type of person that he is and the type of person that his mom is – he’s been with me for a while and he understood that I can get on him for a while, but where it’s coming from is that I’m your biggest fan. I’m upset that my son did not play well. Chase knew it, and he accepted it,” Stone said. “He’s played well ever since.”
Kamin has played a key role in unlocking the Golden Tornado running game, which propelled them to a 27-21 win at Lompoc in October and helped them finish off their 5-0 run in the Channel League with a victory over Dos Pueblos Nov. 1.
The three-year letter winner cut his teeth with the varsity squad as a sophomore playing the defensive line. He switched to right tackle as a junior and has started the last 21 games for Santa Barbara protecting the quarterback’s front side.
“I was kind of a late bloomer,” said Kamin, who started playing football in eighth grade. “My mom was scared of me getting concussions and getting hurt as a kid, so I always kept to basketball throughout my youth.”
He was able to convince his mom to let him play football a year before he entered high school, and Kamin said he fell in love with the game right away.
“It just gave me pride and joy to be able to put in all the work and be able to go out and play with your brothers,” he said. “You feel like you accomplish something.”
Kamin believes that by playing both the offensive and defensive line, he has an advantage into the mental side of the game.
“It just helps me knowing how guys might attack me,” he said. “It’s helped me be able to read a defensive lineman – how he can move, how he will come at me… it’s helped me gauge how I want to attack them, too.”
As is the case with most offensive linemen, Kamin is selfless. He loves doing all of the dirty work as long as it means the team is successful.
“I told (coach Stone) that I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said. “Whatever play he calls, I’m just going to do what he asks me and whatever happens I’m just going to get it done however I can.”
After Santa Barbara defeated Dos Pueblos 31-13 in the regular season finale, Kamin told the News-Press that all he could think about was dominating his matchup.
“I just want to get my brother in end zone or for as many yards as I can,” he said. “I’m just thinking about how I’m going to dominate the guy lined up across from me.”
It was during that post-game interview that Kamin said the St. Bonnie game served as a “gut check” for the team.
“Chase knows that we’re only going to go so far,” Stone said. “If my right tackle doesn’t play well, we’re not going to go anywhere.”