By Mike Moore Photo: Ryan Kerwin, JTV Sports
Jackson — He was the pulse of things moving forward, just a piece to the grander puzzle, but integral to the foundation of what this team wanted to be, and ultimately was, in another brilliant fall season.
The Lumen Christi football team ended 2017 on top yet again, a feat made possible by a roster loaded with depth, one of the most iconic high school coaches ever, and, somewhere mixed in, a humble yet dependable player in Kyle Minder.
The JTV Sports Player of the Year, to be exact.
“The fact he was such a great player on both sides of the ball is what made him so essential,” coach Herb Brogan said.
That was one way to put it.
Minder, the senior running back and linebacker was, in fact, center stage on both sides of the ball — and rarely left the field.
On the offensive side of things he finished the year with 1,015 yards rushing, 23 touchdowns on the ground and another three through the air.
In the state final, where Lumen rushed for 514 yards as a team, Minder finished with 206 yards on 23 carries and three scores.
“He hits the whole so aggressively and he has such great balance,” Brogan said. “He has that low center of gravity.”
Along with Sebastian Toland, Minder helped replace Bo Bell, who graduated after a record-setting year of his own in 2016.
“Kyle was himself, and that’s all we asked him to be,” Brogan said.
“I don’t know that I expected all that I did, but I worked a lot in the offseason getting ready for this to become the player I am today,” Minder said. “I think that work paid off in the end. … At the same time, the offensive line is where the credit goes. Those guys made my job so much easier.”
That was just on the offensive side of things.
On defense, Minder was a force from his linebacker spot.
“One of the best run stoppers we’ve had in a long time,” Brogan said simply.
“He has a great nose for the football. He reads his keys very well and fills downhill.”
Minder ended the year with 126 total tackles, tops on the team by far.
“Guys doing their job allowed me to do mine,” Minder said. “We came together as a defense as the year went on. That was something we had to do.”
Minder ends his high school career on the football field as a back-to-back state champ.
“No way to describe that,” he said. “It’s going to be a highlight of my life, for sure, something I’ll never forget it.”
His next steps in the game will be at the college level he said, though he’s not sure just where yet.
“I plan on playing somewhere,” he explained.
Somewhere is in store for one heck of a player.
Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports.
He’s also a Realtor with Real Estate One, specializing with buyers and sellers throughout Michigan, from the Jackson area to metro Detroit. You can reach him at email@example.com or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.