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Waubonsie Valley running back Austin Guido finds a big whole to run through against Naperville Central High School on Friday, August 24, 2012, at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Hand him the ball on a football field and Austin Guido knows where he’s going.
The Waubonsie Valley senior running back’s journeys this fall may have taken him over, under, around or through the defense, but sooner or later it led him to the opponents’ goal line. The Beacon-News Player of the Year had a dream season, carrying the ball 319 times for 2,365 yards and 31 TDs, all area bests and single-season school records.
Described by coach Paul Murphy as a “great downhill runner with great vision who will beat you out the front door or cut it back and beat you out the back door,” Guido also obliterated the school’s career rushing mark.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder averaged 7.0 yards per carry over his three-year career, rushing 589 times for 4,114 yards. It tops the old mark of 3,000 yards set by Tyrone Gooch from 1993-94.
Now, Guido would just like to learn where his legs will carry him next fall.
“He would love to play at the highest level he can,” Murphy said. “He would love to play in the MAC (Mid-American Conference), but at this point, it looks like he might have to decide if he wants to try it as a preferred walk-on.”
Little more than a week ago, it looked as though Guido would be heading to Kalamazoo to play at Western Michigan. It was one of three MAC schools — NIU and Toledo were the others — where he attended summer camps, along with an exposure camp at Northwestern.
“I was timed at 4.5 seconds at Western Michigan last summer,” said Guido, who made an official visit for the Broncos’ season finale and head coach Bill Cubit seemed interested and said he would be in touch.
Problem was, Cubit was fired later that night and Guido doesn’t know where he’ll stand once a new coaching staff is in place.
Northern and Toledo have an interest in him as a preferred walk-on and non-scholarship FCS (Division I-AA) schools Dayton and Drake also want him.
It’s also frustrating for Murphy, who finds it hard to understand why state I-AA (FCS) schools like Western, Eastern and Southern Illinois haven’t expressed any interest in his workhorse and likens the situation to the one he experienced when he coached Tommy Koutsos at Marmion.
Koutsos, who was a little bigger than Guido at 6-foot and 200 pounds, eventually landed at SIU and became the school’s all-time rushing leader.
“I knew early this season I wanted to try and break those (school) records,” Guido said. “I knew if I could play well, I could.”
He also knows he owes a debt of gratitude to his offensive line, which included the likes of all-area first teamers Jackson Hynes and TE Troy Fumagalli and second-teamer Jon Harris, among others.
Guido was a workhorse, carrying the ball 21 or more times in nine of 12 games for the 10-2 Warriors. Five times he carried the ball 33 or more times, including a 40-carry outing against Oak Park-River Forest in a second round playoff game.
“I was pretty sore all over,” he said. “I took a lot of ice baths, too. Monday at practice I was still sore, but by Thursday’s walk-through (practice) I was finally back at it, feeling normal.”
Murphy limited his contact in practice.
“He’d get pretty banged up but he was never injured,” said the coach.
“He’s a fine young man, a ‘Yes sir, no sir,” type of kid. He set goals and has a great work ethic and goes after them.”
That included working with a personal trainer last offseason, which he has resumed after a short break following the end of the season.
“He’s just gotta be patient,” said Murphy. “There’s a school out there for him.”