With the 2019 high school football season kicking off in a few weeks, East County residents will get one more year-long shot to watch senior Liberty quarterback Jay Butterfield. And if the past is any indication, spectators won’t want to look away.
Butterfield — considered the nation’s third best pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class — guided the Lions football team to its first North Coast Section (NCS) and state titles in back-to-back seasons, all while launching his personal stock skyward.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 206-pound, four-star senior — son of former Stanford University and professional quarterback Mark Butterfield — fielded at least 15 Division I college scholarship offers before verbally committing to the University of Oregon in May, turning down the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin and a slew of other Pac-12 schools, among other colleges.
“I really couldn’t think of a con for Oregon,” Jay said. “I really like the campus, the facilities, the coaches.”
Jay has completed 270 of 439 passes for 4,688 yards and 58 touchdowns in 25 games over two seasons for the Lions, while compiling a 17-1 record as a starter — his only loss coming from powerhouse De La Salle in last year’s NCS Open Division championship game, the Spartans’ 27th-straight section title win.
The loss, however, didn’t keep Jay down for long.
In the ensuing two weeks, he went on to guide the Lions to a 33-21 win over San Jose’s Valley Christian and a 19-17 victory over Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth), as Liberty secured its first state championship in its 116-year history. Jay completed 29 of 49 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns in the two games, combined.
But with those games now in the record books, Jay has his eye on at least two new goals this season: winning another state title and seeking revenge against the one team, De La Salle, that left a blemish on his otherwise perfect high school varsity record as a starter.
“The main goal is to get back to the state championship — that’s up there,” he said. “But beating De La Salle is probably up there, too.”
The Lions’ 2019 opening game is at Vacaville, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m.