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Living the Dream: Gordon enjoying being a part of pioneering football at West Kings


AUBURN - The past two years have been a bit of a whirlwind for West Kings student-athlete Kyle Gordon.

The 17-year-old Grade 12 student from Greenwood has not only gotten to play football at the provincial level, he has also been one of the pioneers of football at his high school.

Gordon, who has played football for four years, started out in the Western Valley minor program under Mike Upward in Middleton.

He almost got to play high school football for West Kings in Grade 10, but the launch of the program ended up having to wait a year to firm up the final details.

The start of West Kings football in the fall of 2013 was “really awesome. It was something my dad (Mark Gordon, one of the West Kings coaches) had been working toward for a year before we actually started,” Gordon said.

While Gordon benefitted directly, “it was great for all the Western Valley kids to have a place to play high school football.”

 

Love of the game

Although Gordon also plays track in field in season, competing in running and javelin, and previously played hockey, football has become his favourite sport.

“I used to play hockey, but I stopped when I started playing football,” he said.

“I really like the team aspect of the game. Hockey is a team sport, too, but in football, the teams are larger, and it seems to be more intense and passionate.”

Gordon’s skill as a football player was identified early, which led to him playing one year with the provincial U-17 team and the last two years with the U-18 team.

“I would have played this year, too, but I was too old,” he said.

 

Tough season

West Kings had a tough inaugural season in 2013, losing all eight of its games, often by lopsided scores. The team did see improvement, however, and the team was more competitive at the end of the season.

Gordon, with his experience with the provincial program, was targeted as one of the team’s leaders, and played both on defence – at linebacker, his position on the provincial teams – and offence, as running back.

This year, after an 0-2 start, the Wolverines had won three of their last four games by Oct. 21 to improve to 3-3 and were close to qualifying for the playoffs.

“For those of us who have been here two years, it’s been nice to see everything come together,” he said.

“To a certain extent, it’s experience, but really, we came into this year with a different culture and approach to the game.”

While the new division structure, getting to play Division 3 along with Central Kings, NKEC and Avon View, has helped, he said.

“It’s really been the coaching. We’re now doing a lot more things that can help us win,” he added.

 

Getting defensive

While Gordon has once again played on the offensive side of the ball this season – and assumed the starting quarterback duties since Dylan Struble was lost to a season-ending injury – his heart still remains with the defence.

“I’m really proud of how our defence has improved and come around,” he said. “We’re starting to do a lot of stuff at different positions.”

That, he said, is a function of the players being more knowledgeable and comfortable with the game.

“All the extra time we’re putting in, and the new approach the coaches are using, has made a huge difference.”

 

Looking ahead

As a Grade 12 student, Gordon has been thinking more about what we wants to do after this year, both academically and in terms of football.

“I plan to go to university somewhere,” he said, ”but I don’t know where yet.”

Ideally, given that his goal is to play CIS football in the future, it should be a school that is a good fit for him both athletically and academically.

“I’ve been recruited by several schools,” he said, “and I think I’ve narrowed it down to four – Manitoba, McMaster, Acadia and St. F.X.”

He had a tour of Acadia over Homecoming weekend and found it a positive experience.

Academically, he would like to study business with a minor in social sciences or sociology.

Prior to that, though, there is the rest of his Grade 12 experience, and specifically, helping West Kings football be as good – and successful – as it can be.

In terms of where the program has come since this time last year, it’s already largely uncharted territory for Gordon and his teammates.

“It’s always been fun,” he said – “and in some ways, we’re lucky to even have a team – but it’s a lot more fun to be winning games.”

The 17-year-old Grade 12 student from Greenwood has not only gotten to play football at the provincial level, he has also been one of the pioneers of football at his high school.

Gordon, who has played football for four years, started out in the Western Valley minor program under Mike Upward in Middleton.

He almost got to play high school football for West Kings in Grade 10, but the launch of the program ended up having to wait a year to firm up the final details.

The start of West Kings football in the fall of 2013 was “really awesome. It was something my dad (Mark Gordon, one of the West Kings coaches) had been working toward for a year before we actually started,” Gordon said.

While Gordon benefitted directly, “it was great for all the Western Valley kids to have a place to play high school football.”

 

Love of the game

Although Gordon also plays track in field in season, competing in running and javelin, and previously played hockey, football has become his favourite sport.

“I used to play hockey, but I stopped when I started playing football,” he said.

“I really like the team aspect of the game. Hockey is a team sport, too, but in football, the teams are larger, and it seems to be more intense and passionate.”

Gordon’s skill as a football player was identified early, which led to him playing one year with the provincial U-17 team and the last two years with the U-18 team.

“I would have played this year, too, but I was too old,” he said.

 

Tough season

West Kings had a tough inaugural season in 2013, losing all eight of its games, often by lopsided scores. The team did see improvement, however, and the team was more competitive at the end of the season.

Gordon, with his experience with the provincial program, was targeted as one of the team’s leaders, and played both on defence – at linebacker, his position on the provincial teams – and offence, as running back.

This year, after an 0-2 start, the Wolverines had won three of their last four games by Oct. 21 to improve to 3-3 and were close to qualifying for the playoffs.

“For those of us who have been here two years, it’s been nice to see everything come together,” he said.

“To a certain extent, it’s experience, but really, we came into this year with a different culture and approach to the game.”

While the new division structure, getting to play Division 3 along with Central Kings, NKEC and Avon View, has helped, he said.

“It’s really been the coaching. We’re now doing a lot more things that can help us win,” he added.

 

Getting defensive

While Gordon has once again played on the offensive side of the ball this season – and assumed the starting quarterback duties since Dylan Struble was lost to a season-ending injury – his heart still remains with the defence.

“I’m really proud of how our defence has improved and come around,” he said. “We’re starting to do a lot of stuff at different positions.”

That, he said, is a function of the players being more knowledgeable and comfortable with the game.

“All the extra time we’re putting in, and the new approach the coaches are using, has made a huge difference.”

 

Looking ahead

As a Grade 12 student, Gordon has been thinking more about what we wants to do after this year, both academically and in terms of football.

“I plan to go to university somewhere,” he said, ”but I don’t know where yet.”

Ideally, given that his goal is to play CIS football in the future, it should be a school that is a good fit for him both athletically and academically.

“I’ve been recruited by several schools,” he said, “and I think I’ve narrowed it down to four – Manitoba, McMaster, Acadia and St. F.X.”

He had a tour of Acadia over Homecoming weekend and found it a positive experience.

Academically, he would like to study business with a minor in social sciences or sociology.

Prior to that, though, there is the rest of his Grade 12 experience, and specifically, helping West Kings football be as good – and successful – as it can be.

In terms of where the program has come since this time last year, it’s already largely uncharted territory for Gordon and his teammates.

“It’s always been fun,” he said – “and in some ways, we’re lucky to even have a team – but it’s a lot more fun to be winning games.”

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