KANSAS CITY, Mo. — St. James Academy routed Arkansas City 56-34 on Friday in the Kansas Class 4A state championship game at Hutchinson Community College.
Thunder running back La'James White did most of the damage, rushing for 264 yards and five touchdowns to help the program capture its first state title.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet," White said.
But it wasn't just the championship game when White shined. He recorded 19 total touchdowns, 17 rushing and two receiving, during St. James' postseason run, which included an overtime upset against the six-time defending 4A champs Bishop Miege in the semifinals.
“I didn’t really know I had scored that much until a guy tweeted about it and I was like, 'Holy crap! Dang, I didn’t even think about it," White said.
White, a senior, joined the Thunder this fall after spending his freshman through junior years at Piper High School.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many students into a virtual learning environment and threatened to cancel the Pirates' season, White transferred schools.
He said the students and his teammates at St. James were welcoming, which made the transition easier.
After one season with the Thunder, White said Tuesday he was not ready for his senior season to come to an end and, even though he's a state champion, he will miss practice with his teammates and coaches.
“I did win state and my season is over, but I’m like, 'State champ or still have practice?'" said White.
After graduation, White hopes to continue his football career in college, but he's still waiting to find the right fit.