STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — Faith Academy of Marble Falls senior football player Cab Booth on Feb. 23 signed a National Letter of Intent to play college football for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Attending the signing ceremony were three former Flames head football coaches and current head coach Pete Rhoades. Booth played for all four coaches during his high school career.
The coaches all congratulated Booth for reaching his goal of playing college football, even though he had to overcome several obstacles that many other college players might never face.
In addition to playing for four head coaches, Booth had to learn several positions as well as a different offense and defense each of his four years on the team.
Faith Academy athletic director Randy Denton, who was the Flames head coach in 2015, commended Booth for his commitment to the program and his goal.
“Any of those things could have kept him from his ultimate goal,” Denton said, “but he held true to that.”
Booth believes his ability to adapt benefited him the most, especially when it came to playing under four different coaches in as many years.
“I created relationships with every coach and learned different offenses and defenses and different positions,” he said.
Booth said picking UMHB, located in Belton, was easy when he considered the Crusaders’ success. The program was the 2016 NCAA Division III national champion and has won at least 10 games in each of its past 13 years. It also has 14 American Southwest Conference titles.
He said “the facilities, the coaches, and the way they make you feel at home” were a few other reasons for choosing the university.
While Booth played receiver, running back, tight end, defensive end, linebacker, and safety at Faith Academy, he’ll primarily be a receiver at UMHB.
“A lot of it is my ability to run routes and get open,” he said. “That’s been my ability: to find the open spots in the zone and separation.”
Flames head coach Pete Rhoades said Booth made it known to him very quickly that he desired to play college football.
During Booth’s senior year, the Flames had to cut the season short due to injuries and not being able to field a complete team, but that didn’t put a damper on his desire to play at the next level.
“He did what it took to fulfill that dream,” Rhoades said. “Because we had a shortened season, he wasn’t eligible for (all-district honors). God will take care of you. (Booth will) play on Saturdays and, hopefully, bring home a national championship.”
Stephen Shipley, who was the Flames’ head coach in 2016, said Booth holds a special place in his heart because of the friendship the youngster has with Hanner Shipley, Stephen’s son. Hanner, who is an offensive lineman at Louisiana Tech University, told his father Booth would play on the next level because of his work ethic.
“Cab does it all,” he said. “He’s a good Christian. He’ll get on the floor and wrestle with a 300-pound 6-foot-5 guy. He’ll wear you out. You never want to deny a kid the chance to work hard.”
The advice Russ Roberts, who was the Flames head coach from 2010-14, gave Booth was really more of reminder.
“It’s not an arrival; it’s an opportunity,” Roberts said as he turned to Booth. “It’s not the end but the beginning. He doesn’t move; you do.”
Denton joked that one of Booth’s annoying habits is his work ethic; he was always asking if he could go into the weight room to get in extra lifts.
“Those of you who have aspirations of playing college ball, all those things can be accomplished if you’re willing to put in the work in,” Denton said. “It’s easy to say, ‘I want to put the work in.’ The hard part is doing the work.”
The son of Angela and Jim Booth will either major in business or Biblical studies.