Union Running Back Focused on Championship
By MIKE MOGUIN
Union Boundary Sports Writer
DARIUS BOONE: The Redskins’ top running back this season has committed to Eastern Michigan with dreams of playing in the NFL.
Photo by MIKE MOGUIN for GTR Newspapers
Darius Boone is a key component to Union’s ground attack. But, when he is on the field, he plays for more than just fun.
“What I like about football is you get to be physical. You get to score touchdowns,” Boone says. “And, I do it for my family.”
Boone, 5-11, 190, senior, has long-term plans to start a legacy for his family by playing in the , make money and help put his mother in a new home.
“She’s done a lot of struggling for me. So, has my pops, but I’ve lived with my mom for most of my life,” Boone says. “She’s done everything she can, while we were down in the trenches to where we are now. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, she has done everything she has had to do.”
In his junior year with the Redskins, Boone ran for 18 touchdowns, 1,600 yards on 247 carries. He had 389 total yards and three TDs in a 45-31 win against Norman North.
“I just want to thank my family and my coaches,” he says.
Between Union and the , he will be playing college football at Eastern Michigan, who he made a verbal commitment to in late June. An instant connection on a visit was the determining factor in Boone’s decision.
“When I first got there, it was like I was already home,” he says. “Everybody treated me like I was already on the team. The guys on the team said, ‘even if you don’t commit here, if you decommit, no matter what, we’re still going to be your brothers.’
Boone did commit, choosing Eastern Michigan over Iowa State, Tulsa, Western Illinois and Abilene Christian.
Having played the game since pre-kindergarten, Boone has also played quarterback, linebacker, safety and special teams. Entering his second year as a starter, Boone also competes in wrestling at Union and is considering a return to track after taking a year off.
“I feel like everything I do helps me in football,” Boone says. “Wrestling helps me with my stamina, being able to stay up with my physicality and track helps me with my wind span.”
Patience and being explosive is what Boone points out as his best attributes as an athlete.
Favorite running backs that Boone likes to model after are Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders, Saquon Barkley, a rookie from Penn State with the New York Giants and Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Lynch runs hard every time he gets the ball,” Boone says. “Barkley is explosive, real explosive, and Bell has patience.”
Favorite team of this Eastern Michigan commit is the Green Bay Packers. But, “If I make it to the , I don’t care what team I go to, because I’m going to play the same game, no matter what,” he adds.
For now, Boone is focused on getting Union back to winning a state championship.
“We’ve worked really hard in the offseason,” he said. “We’ve kept together as a team, a brotherhood, and we all have each other’s back.
“It was hard (losing last year’s Class 6AI final),” Boone said. “It was my first year starting and It was like we had it in our hands and we lost it. But we don’t look at that game. We don’t always remember the game, but we always remember the feeling, so, we’re going to use that game and take it into everything we do.”
Union entered the 2018 season ranked No. 1 in 6AI, scheduled to meet No. 2 Broken Arrow on the road in a marquee matchup on Aug. 24. It was to take on Mansfield (Texas) Lake Ridge in its home opener (Aug. 31), followed by its annual backyard bowl matchup against Jenks (Sept. 7) at Chapman Stadium.
After a week off, Owasso comes to Union-Tuttle on Sept. 21 for the Class 6AI state championship rematch.
“We know they’re pretty good teams, but what we have to do is, we can’t lose to ourselves. We can’t put ourselves into a bad situation. We have to make them put us in a bad situation, and when they do that, we’ll overcome them with no problem.
The Redskins conclude the rest of their regular-season schedule with opponents from the west side of Oklahoma, beginning with a road trip to Mustang (Sept. 28), at home against Putnam City North (Oct. 5), back-to-back away games with Moore (Oct. 12) and Norman North, and closing out at home against Southmoore (Oct. 26) and Edmond North (Nov. 2).