The 43rd Annual Rick Botkin Memorial Football Game


Toge Inumaki, Reporter

Rick Botkin was a senior at Sahuaro High School who tragically passed away due to an automobile accident 44 years ago. Rick was the football team captain and had an all-state selection as both quarterback and free safety. He also excelled as a special team player for the Cougars. In football, he was known to be dedicated and fierce. Whilst in school, he was a great friend to his peers and was known as “a special person and athlete, and he made everyone feel special and gave us all courage.”  His cousin Clayton-Kidd, former Tucson Police Dept, said, “It’s hard to comprehend that 40 years have slipped by since Rick passed. I remember the night like it was only yesterday, not four decades ago.”

His brother, Steve Botkin, Sahuaro Athletic Director, keep his brother’s memory alive through the annual Rick Botkin Memorial game which took place on September 20th, 2021 at Sahuaro’s home field against Mt. View. The Rick Botkin Memorial is the longest reigning memorial in high school history across the nation.

The Botkins come from a big family with lots of cousins, and Rick had been the centerpiece of it all. They apparently have been banished from their grandparents’ house and would play outside at the local park and at the school that was just up the street from the house. One memory mentioned by Clayton was “I vaguely remember the time we were playing baseball in his mom’s backyard, and I had hit a foul ball and it ended up hitting the school window. Later that day, his mom called us inside. When we asked ‘What’s wrong?’ she turned around so worried. The cops were called on us, and she was so surprised. I don’t know what’s funnier, me thinking I could hit one of Rick’s curve balls or the look on his mom’s face.” Clayton couldn’t imagine how it must’ve felt when Rick’s parents found out of the news of Rick’s passing. The impact of the loss of someone like Rick is something that endures time and remains a constant fixture in our lives.

Though the Cougars lost the game, it was indeed a night to remember for everyone who attended.