Yelm’s Kiamco bided his time. Now he’s an impact player for reigning 3A champion Tornados
Excerpt from The News Tribune (Tacoma) via MSN:
In any number of Yelm’s blowout games last year on the way to the Class 3A state title, when Jason Ronquillo pulled his starters in the second half, one backup player stood out: running back Anthony Kiamco.
“Any time he would go in with our backups, we’d put him in and sometimes we didn’t slow down — we got faster,” Ronquillo said.
It should be no surprise then that Kiamco, now a senior, has enjoyed a breakout season for the Tornados. No longer a reserve, Kiamco has made the most of his opportunities for the Tornados, who are undefeated and have advanced to this week’s state tournament quarterfinal round.
“Last year, I felt like I really didn’t do anything,” Kiamco said “So I wanted to make this year’s run worth it. …. I knew I had to prove something. I wanted to just work harder, prepare myself for this year.”
Kiamco, who has split carries with lead back and Oregon commit Brayden Platt this year, has racked up 877 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 69 carries. His impact has gone beyond just offense though — Kiamco has been a difference maker in all three phases of the game. At linebacker, he has returned two interceptions for touchdowns and on special teams, has a kickoff return for a touchdown and has returned three punts for touchdowns.
“I take a lot of pride in that,” he said. “I was always a special teams guy.”
It’s the area where Ronquillo and his coaching staff have been most pleasantly surprised.
Kiamco, listed at just 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds on Yelm’s roster, doesn’t have Platt’s size or strength. But if either back gets to the second level, watch out.
“Pound for pound, he’s one of our best athletes,” Ronquillo said. “He’s small, but incredibly gifted. He’s got so many skills to work with.”
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