Hometown Report

Alcohol, bad behavior derail NFL career of former Napa High star quarterback

Former Napa High School star John Boyett was cut from the Denver Broncos’ practice squad this week after a run-in with the law. He was cut from the Colts after a similar incident last year.
Former Napa High School star John Boyett was cut from the Denver Broncos’ practice squad this week after a run-in with the law. He was cut from the Colts after a similar incident last year. The Associated Press

The John Boyett we remember wasn’t like this: disruptive and dangerous, derailing his NFL career with drunken behavior.

Boyett, a practice-team safety released by the Denver Broncos this week after he was charged with assault on a cab driver and theft of a shovel in a desperate attempt to evade police, was The Sacramento Bee’s Player of the Year in 2007. He quarterbacked Napa High School to a memorable championship season, leaving area coaches to mutter in defeat that he was as gifted a player as they’d ever seen.

Not only was Boyett’s skill memorable, but so was his love and loyalty of his teammates and family. He spoke of pride, of being a role model, of doing the right things.

After beating Elk Grove in the City Championship – scrambling, placing the ball in tight spaces, leading the game-winning drive – Boyett opened up about a topic he didn’t discuss publicly. He beamed about his source of inspiration, his sister, Danielle. She was sitting in a wheelchair nearby, clutching her brother’s home Napa jersey, waving at him. Danielle had been wheelchair-bound since she was 13, when doctors discovered she had a brain tumor.

Danielle died in 2011, but she never left Boyett, who told me during his standout career as a safety at Oregon that, “I’ll always compete in her honor.”

There was a maturity about Boyett then. We hardly recognize him now.

According to Denver police reports, Boyett, 24, late Tuesday night was drinking at Sports Book Bar & Grill. Employees and customers told police that Boyett was drunk and unruly. Witnesses said Boyett threatened to punch a bartender, ate food off a woman’s plate, cursed patrons who declined his offer to buy them shots, and then refused to pay his tab.

Responding police officers summoned a cab driver to take Boyett home. According to police reports, Boyett later head-butted and punched the cab driver, who phoned police. Boyett, according to police reports, took off running. He stole a shovel from a construction site and tried to cover himself in landscaping mulch in an attempt to hide from police.

When he was placed in the back of a patrol car, Boyett repeatedly slammed his head into the window, yelling and spitting and insisting arresting officers contact Broncos general manager John Elway.

Boyett was released by the Colts in 2013 after he was arrested on charges of disorderly public intoxication and resisting arrest, insisting then, “You can’t arrest me. I’m a Colts player.”

Welcome back

John Volek attended a Sacramento State football game last Saturday for the first time since he coached the Hornets 12 years ago. He was a guest of interim athletic director Bill Macriss. Volek was moved by former players who warmly approached him as he worked his way to the athletic director’s box, including one who said, “Coach Volek! You were everything to me! Don’t you age?”

Panthers revival

Injuries and a lack of defensive stops were paramount in Sacramento City College’s 1-9 season last fall. Now healthy, particularly at quarterback, and the defense vastly improved, the Panthers (4-2) are riding a three-game winning streak entering today’s 1 p.m. NorCal Conference game against College of the Siskiyous at Hughes Stadium.

Jason Samuels (Oak Ridge) is averaging 285.3 passing yards a game. He has 16 touchdown passes. He threw for 438 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions in a 52-49 victory over Chabot on Oct. 4, a game in which he also ran for a score. Jordan Morrison has nine touchdown receptions for Sac City.

Mean and lean

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes (Del Campo High School) has turned to yoga to help extend his career.

Entering his 12th NBA season, the 34-year-old told Los Angles media that he participated in a number of yoga classes in Manhattan Beach to increase flexibility, surrounded by “ladies that were 45 to 60 (years old),” Barnes said. “When I went in there, I was like, ‘Am I in the right place?’”

Yoga and a better diet helped Barnes drop 18 pounds. At 210 pounds, Barnes hasn’t been this light since his senior season at Del Campo in 1997, when he led the country with 26 touchdown receptions.

Generation gap

Miami Hurricanes star freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya has a Sacramento following.

His father, Brad Sr., is a 1984 Christian Brothers graduate who played tennis and golf for the Falcons. Brad Sr. graduated from UC Davis and wrote “O,” a modern story of Othello, centered on a high school basketball player.

Brad Kaaya Jr. passed for 3,855 yards as a senior at Chaminade Prep in West Hills.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.