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All-American selection capped a great year for Boschee

Out of Dickinson State's Cain Boschee, head football coach Pete Stanton, and Boschee's father, Jerry, Cain was the last to know. Stanton called Cain and emailed Jerry Tuesday morning. The call came at 8 a.m., so naturally Cain was asleep. When he...

Dickinson State defenders Cain Boschee (26) and Drew Johnson (51) team up on a tackle of Dakota State's Robert Johnson on Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State safety Cain Boschee (26) makes a tackle against Dakota (S.D.) State on Oct. 22 at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

Out of Dickinson State's Cain Boschee, head football coach Pete Stanton, and Boschee's father, Jerry, Cain was the last to know.

Stanton called Cain and emailed Jerry Tuesday morning.

The call came at 8 a.m., so naturally Cain was asleep.

When he woke up a few hours later, he called his coach back to learn he was an NAIA all-American.

The safety was one of two Blue Hawks - senior defensive end Noey Tauave the other - to have received the honor. Tauave was named to the first team, while Boschee was placed on the second team.

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"I was smiling all day. I was pretty excited," the sophomore said. "When I got off the phone with coach Stanton, I told my dad. He had already found out, of course he was pretty happy, too."

The announcement was a perfect ending to a great season for Boschee, one of the best by a defensive back in school history.

The instinctive safety at one point had a four-game interception streak this year, and ended with nine total - tied for most in the nation during the regular season. He had more than a third of his team's 24, which was the most in the regular season, and no one in the nation - regular season or playoffs - matched his four touchdown returns off interceptions.

"He's as deserving as they come. He made so many big plays for us all year long," Stanton said. "To not only have that many interceptions but to also have returned four of them, that just really says a lot about him always being in the right position."

The Kalispell, Mont., native came to DSU as a freshman having spent his entire high school career as a cornerback, but with an influx at his natural position, Boschee began a transition to his current spot.

Still, with cornerback Rob Sterling splitting time between corner and quarterback last year, Boschee was in constant rotation between the two positions.

This year, without any doubts about where he would be, the safety position became a lot more comfortable to him.

Perhaps the most memorable couple of moments during his 2016 campaign came in an early-season conference game against Presentation College.

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Having already notched an interception in the first half, Boschee broke open a close second half game with two nearly back-to-back pick-sixes. His heroics turned a 38-36 game into a blowout in a matter of minutes.

For whatever reason, Presentation quarterback Austin Eggl kept throwing his way that game.

That was a theme Boschee picked up on.

"I felt like I got picked on a little more this year than I did last year, at least at the beginning of the year. Quarterbacks went after me I felt a little more than they did last year," he said. "I wasn't really opposed to it."

Though that may have been his most impressive on-field exploit this season, Boschee said his favorite game was in the playoffs against Montana Tech, when the Blue Hawks fell behind 21-0 in the first half but came all the way back to within a touchdown late in the game.

DSU ultimately fell short, but it was a much closer outcome in the same scenario against the Orediggers a season ago.

With that game came the impending graduation of one half of the Blue Hawks secondary. Having spent the last two seasons under the leadership of seniors Rob Nalewaja and Sterling, Boschee and fellow sophomore Jay Liggins will be the veterans of the defensive back unit next season.

It is a new role, but it is not an unexpected or unwanted one.

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"He's just got a great head on his shoulders, he's a great student and a great student of the game. He's a well-liked teammate and a leader on the team. We just expect very good things to come from Cain," Stanton said. "He's not going to go into the season saying, 'Hey, I wanna be an All-American.' He's just going to go into it and do whatever he has to do to make our team better."

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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