By Cam Huffman
With three games remaining on the 2013 slate, Greenbrier East senior quarterback Isaiah Kinder has a chance to reach some pretty lofty numbers.
This week’s Register-Herald Player of the Week threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-13 win over Lincoln County Friday during Senior Night at Greenbrier East. It was also homecoming, and, at halftime, Kinder wore the crown as King of Sparta.
He’ll soon pass 1,500 yards passing for the season, and 2,000 is a real possibility. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes and is on pace for 20. On the ground, No. 10 has rushed for nearly 400 yards and eight touchdowns. Added to his passing numbers, 2,500 total yards and 30 touchdowns are seemingly within reach.
So what number means the most to Kinder? Who guessed 1998?
That’s the last time the Spartans made the Class AAA playoffs with players like P.J. Nutter and Chad McClintic leading the charge and Bob McClintic walking the sidelines. The Spartans have been through several head coaches, seen the playing surface at Spartan Stadium transformed from grass to turf and have joined and left the Mountain State Athletic Conference since that last postseason trip. Seventeen years, Kinder said, is long enough to wait.
“I would really just like to take the team to the playoffs,” he said. “It would be the first time since 1998, and it would be the biggest accomplishment for all of us. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
At 4-3, Greenbrier East is 23rd in this week’s WVSSAC football ratings. Still seven spots behind Hampshire and Hedgesville for that 16th and final playoff spot, there’s work left to do if Kinder and Co. hope to reach that goal.
East will travel to No. 18 Logan (4-2) this week and has Parkersburg South (2-4) and No. 8 Oak Hill (5-1) to round out the season. That schedule offers a chance to pick up some points and move up in the rankings, but it’s also a challenging task.
“I just feel like we’re peaking at the right point,” said Kinder. “We had some players ejected last week, and we need to stop that. But we’re in a good position. I feel like with the schedule we have left, we can do it.”
Only after that, Kinder said, will he really focus on his future, although he does hope to play on the college level.
“I’m looking forward to that,” said Kinder, who said some of the bigger schools that have shown interest want him to move to wide receiver but that he’d prefer to play quarterback. “We’re trying to get the ball rolling. After the season, I’m going to work hard and get my body ready. I know it’s a different game at that level.”
Kinder has played basketball in the past but missed the season last winter because of an injury suffered late in football season. He doesn’t plan on taking to the hardwood this year. Instead, he’ll run track and focus on training for his future in football.
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.
Get to know ...
Favorite football player: Robert Griffin III
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite college team: Texas A&M
Favorite food: Chicken alfredo
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Job: Works at movie theatre
Favorite TV show: South Park
Career plans: Medical field, possibly physical therapy
Something unique about playing for Greenbrier East: 5:30 a.m. practices