Bokitch ends Butte career with state title
In the summer of 2012, Armand Bokitch ventured south to California to enhance his football skills and to further his education.
A year and a half into his stay at Butte College in Chico, Calif., the 21-year-old Kelowna product can safely say both objectives have been met.
Bokitch capped off his second and final campaign with the Butte football program by helping the Roadrunners capture the California community college state championship.
The 5-foot-7, 192-pound running back rushed four times for 30 yards and performed three kick offs, as Butte defeated Fullerton 28-13 last Saturday in the final game in Orville, Calif.
"It was a hard-fought battle and our guys came up big in the biggest game of the year," said Bokitch who is returning home to Kelowna this week for Christmas. "It had a lot to do with how well our team got along, the chemistry we had the whole year and how we played for each other. It's been a great experience."
After two seasons with the Okanagan Sun, Bokitch enrolled at Butte College last summer to pursue an education in business and to hone his talents on the football field.
Despite some injury troubles early last season, including a concussion, the former OKM Huskie finished out 2012 on the field by helping the Roadrunners win the State Center Bowl over Fresno City.
In 2013, Bokitch managed to remain healthy throughout the year and, as part of a three-man rotation at running back, rushed 78 times for 457 yards and scored a touchdown.
One of the country's most successful junior programs of the last decade, Butte College finished out this season with wins in both the Gridiron Classic Bowl and the state final.
In addition to the thrill of hoisting three championship trophies during his stay at Butte, Bokitch said the experience gained over the last two seasons has prepared him well for the next step.
If all goes as planned, Bokitch will catch on next season with an NCCA Div. 1 or NAIA program in the U.S.
"The biggest thing I learned was how to become a next-level football player," Bokitch said. "There isn't another junior college in the country that prepares players better for the four-year schools, and that's where I want to go next. My coaches said I should expect to be getting some calls and texts about next year. That's the advantage of going to a prestigious school like this."
As for his decision last year to attend BC, Bokitch has absolutely no regrets.
"It's really been enjoyable, the football side of it was a great time, the players and coaches I'll never forget," he said. "The school aspect, there have been ups and downs there, some classes were easy, some weren't, but really it's all been working out pretty well. It's been a really good experience for me getting out on my own."
While his football days at Butte are over, Bokitch will return to Northern California after Christmas to complete his fourth and final semester of classes.