There were plenty of two-way football players in Pierce County who competed this past fall and earned recognition for their play on both sides of the ball. None impacted the game quite like senior Aaron Borgerding of Spring Valley, whose contributions on offense, defense and special teams helped lead the Cardinals to the Level 3 round of the playoffs and a runner-up finish in the Dunn St. Croix Conference.
Borgerding, the Republican Eagle Player of the Year in Pierce County, started as his team’s quarterback, defensive back and kicker.
Borgerding became the starting quarterback for Spring Valley in the second week of his sophomore season and since then started 33 career games on both sides of the ball. That sophomore year he was named Second Team All-Dunn St. Croix Conference as a quarterback and defensive back. His junior year he earned first team all-conference honors and was all-region as a defensive back. This fall, Borgerding racked up the awards: first team all-conference as a quarterback, defensive back and kicker; DSC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year and all-region again.
“It’s really an honor to receive those awards, both for my teammates and my family, but it shows how well our team was rounded both offensively and defensively,” Borgerding said about being named offensive and defensive player of the year. “Me winning both of those awards, and our team not winning the conference title, really shows how much people respect our program and respect me personally and our talent that we have.”
Borgerding was productive across the board for Spring Valley in all three phases of the game. On offense he threw for more than 600 yards and six touchdowns and ran for 1,220 yards and 23 touchdowns. As a defensive back, he racked up 63 tackles, one tackle for loss, a forced fumble, three interceptions and 10 passes defended. On special teams, he returned a punt for a touchdown, blocked a kick and made 48 extra points and a field goal.
Spring Valley’s offense was dynamic this season and a large part of that was Borgerding. The Cardinals scored more than 30 points eight times between the regular season and playoffs. If a team focused on stopping Borgerding, his teammates had big games. And if the opponent focused on stopping other players like Nate Fesenmaier or Brenden Williams, Borgerding more than took advantage.
The Cardinals went 10-2 and reached the Level 3 round of the postseason after losing in the second round the previous three years. Spring Valley lost to Regis in that third-round game 29-8.
Borgerding said both he and his team made a major jump over the summer heading into his senior season.
“Probably one of the biggest things is the time spent in the weight room was even more this last summer before the football season. And then the combination of getting not just me, but also the rest of my teammates into the weight room so we had a large number in the weight room,” he said.
“That led to our team success which led to my individual success as well. I’d say I improved a lot, just watching film you can see how much physically bigger I was, I was probably 10-15 pounds bigger and a lot of it was muscle, that’s just from being in the weight room. Games weren’t as tiring my senior year as they were junior year and I didn’t quite feel as beat up as I had in previous years.”
Borgerding finished his prep football career with more than 2,500 rushing yards and almost 50 touchdowns, close to 1,600 passing yards and 15 touchdowns and 182 tackles with eight interceptions. On special teams he made 70 extra points and in all scored 349 points over his career.
He said he would like to play football in college but had not made a college choice and was still debating what side of the ball he’d prefer to play. Borgerding is a three-sport athlete, playing basketball and baseball as well. He is the point guard on a Cardinals’ basketball team that has started 3-0. Just like in football, he is a leader on the team and runs the offense.