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North Port Athletic Rewind

Former Bobcat finds comfort in Boise State, wins conference

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Haden Hoggarth (Photo provided by Boise State Photo Services)

Former North Port High School student Haden Hoggarth may have taken the long route to Boise

State University, but it seems the all-conference kicker has finally found where he belongs.

Hoggarth, who played football and soccer during his three years at North Port, now kicks for the Boise State football team, which won the Mountain West Conference on December 2. In the conference championship game, the 10-3 Broncos topped the Fresno State Bulldogs in a 17-14 thriller. Hoggarth contributed a field goal and two extra points to the victory. The Broncos now sit at no. 25 in the AP Poll and they will close out the season against the Oregon Ducks in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 16.

“I’m really excited to go to Las Vegas,” Hoggarth said. “This season has been an awesome welcome back to college football.”

It was also a welcome back that was never guaranteed. Prior to his senior year of high school, Hoggarth transferred from North Port to Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach. There, he was to work with a specialized kicking coach who could help him prepare to play college football.

“I loved North Port, but I thought if I was serious about college football, I needed to make that drastic change my senior year,” he said.

A broken toe, however, prevented Hoggarth from playing during most of his senior year. Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach was the only college to offer him a spot on its team for the following season, but it was not a good fit.

“It was a really rough experience for me,” Hoggarth said.

After just one season, Hoggarth left Bethune-Cookman. He spent the next two years training, eventually working out in front of coaches and sending tapes to college football programs across the country. At one point, Hoggarth decided to play at North Carolina State University, but when the special teams coach who recruited him moved to another school, Hoggarth chose not to join the Wolfpack.

Though he had more than 30 offers from Division II and FSC teams, Hoggarth knew he wanted to play at college football’s highest level. Eventually, Boise State invited him to Idaho to compete against one other kicker for the starting role, which he won during camp.

“Haden has been a wonderful addition to our program,” Boise State Special Teams Coordinator Kent Riddle said. “He earned all-conference honors in his first year, which is a testament to how hard he has worked, not just since he arrived at Boise State, but prior to joining us as well. He is an awesome kid to have around, and he has a pretty remarkable story. We feel lucky to have him here.”

Hoggarth, who will be a senior next year, is studying pre-medicine. Though it can be challenging to balance football and school work, he said, his time in Idaho – aside from the snow – has been special.

“To play football at this level, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and you have to be serious about the game,” Hoggarth said. “But when you get here, it’s just unbelievable — it feels like you’re dreaming. Once you’re here, you just want to keep getting better and better.”

Hoggarth hopes to have another strong season next year and maybe even go on to play at the professional level. Kicking is all about mental toughness, and after the journey, Hoggarth has taken to get to Boise State, it is clear that he has it in abundance.

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