TOWNSEND — Kameron Rauser recently graduated from Broadwater High with 11 varsity letters. During his four years of competing in football, wrestling and track and field, Rauser did not miss a single practice or start.
In football, as a senior last fall he played both sides of the ball, ran back kicks, and was a Class B all-state selection. On the mats, Rauser captured his third Southern B Division championship, while amassing over 150 lifetime victories and 100 pins. And as a Bulldog trackster, he led the team to the 2019 third-place State trophy, and capped off his career with State title in the 400 meter run.
And now, Kameron Rauser is the Independent Record’s All-Area 2018-19 Boys’ Athlete of the Year.
“Kam is the type of kid that made me want to become a coach … off the mat, he is one of the best leaders the ‘Dawgs have ever had,” longtime Bulldogs’ head wrestling coach John O’Dell said. “He is aggressive, he’s coachable, he’s intense, and he’s humble. And he’s an absolute stud.”
On the gridiron last fall, Rauser played wide receiver, defensive back and special teams. He caught 42 passes for 835 yards, averaging 19 yards a catch, with nine touchdowns. He ranks No. 2 on Broadwater’s season list for catches and receiving yards, behind record-holder Kenny Wilbur in 2014.
Rauser also carried the ball three times for 66 yards (22 yard average) and a TD. On special teams, he averaged 30.7 yards on kickoff returns, and 17.7 yards on punt returns, while amassing 1,458 all-purpose yards.
On the other side of the ball, the ‘Dawgs all-state gridder sparked the blue-and-white’s defense with 73 tackles and three interceptions.
“It was pretty rare that Kameron was not on the field during a game, the only special teams that he wasn’t on were when we kicked off or punted,” Townsend head coach Travis Rauh explained. “But if were kicking off or punting late in a close game, then he was out there.”
Rauser is the program’s second-leading all-time receiver with 72 catches, behind Easton Hatfield’s 103, and he stands No. 5 with 1,162 career yards. He posted 10 career touchdown catches, as well.
Defensively, Rauser – who will play football for Montana Tech this fall – compiled 159 tackles and six interceptions during his time with the ‘Dawgs.
“Kameron is one of the toughest and most competitive people I know, it doesn’t matter who you are, he is going to bring his best and expects to win with hard-nosed football,” Townsend quarterback Tyson Racht related. “He is insanely fast, and has the football I.Q. to know when he can beat a man on certain routes. Once he gets a step on anyone, he’s gone.
“If I ever threw a ball that was 50-50, I was always confident he would get it. Kameron makes tough catches all around the field … there are so many plays where he comes up with a jump ball everywhere.”
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153 mat wins
On the mats, Rauser fashioned a sparkling 44-4 record at 160 pounds his senior year, with 32 pins. A two-time all-stater, as a sophomore and junior, he garnered four Invitational championships – two Cascades and two Choteaus – to go along with his three divisional crowns.
Kameron wound up with a career mark of 153-22, and the ‘Dawgs third winningest matman, behind brothers Jade (175-0) and Val Rauser (155-5).
“Kam’s intensity cannot be matched, he trusts in his training, and he knows any match can change advantage very quickly,” coach O’Dell said. “On his feet he’s an absolute monster -- without a doubt, his takedown percentage is one of the highest of any wrestler I’ve coached.”
State track champ
Competing in six events this spring at the State B Track & Field Meet in Kalispell, Rauser was part of three school records, highlighted by his State title in the 400 run. Timed in 49.19 seconds, he broke his own BCHS mark of 50.09.
And on the 1,600 relay (with Ty Henry Steele, Zane Newman and Aaron Geisser), his split of 49.8 on the anchor leg led the ‘Dawgs to a runner-up finish and a new program standard of 3:26.82.
Rauser placed in all six of his races for another Townsend mark, finishing third in the 100 (11.26) and 200 (PR of 22.27) dashes, fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.46) and sixth in the 400 relay (with Steele, Tommy Stewart and Geisser) in 44.90.
His 28½ points spearheaded the Bulldogs’ to 41 team points and the third-place trophy, just 2-points shy of runner-up Manhattan’s 43 counters.
“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win,” Rauser wrote in a PM, when asked for a quote regarding his selection as Athlete of the Year. “I’m thankful for guys like Jace Lewis, Easton Hatfield and Cameron Mattson, for helping show me the ropes of varsity sports.”
Holden Sampson, Helena; Avery Stiles, Jefferson; Tyson Racht, Townsend; Brady Martin, Capital; Alex Johnson, Helena; Devin Crawford, Helena
Athletes from the schools in the Independent Record's coverage area were all considered for Player of the Year. Those athletes were evaluated based on season performance, statistics, intangibles witnessed by the staff, sportsmanship and the importance of each athlete's contribution to his or her team's success.