SSN: Eli Kibble Athlete Feature


Tyler Groves


Turning the Page

On a bright and sunny fall day, freshman Eli Kibble is at his freshman football practice.  Except he is isn’t participating in practice because, well, he can’t.  Kibble continues to rehab from his third stress fracture in his back in less than a year.  His last one suffered in mid-September ended his career.  Kibble will never again play contact sports because the risk of further injury is to great. Although this was a huge blow to Kibble, it hasn’t stopped him from helping out his teammates.  Kibble has been at practice every day and has even helped out some of the coaches in helping coach his position group the offensive line.  He has been able to support his teammates even with the tough situation he’s going through.  Kibble is using the period as a bridge to move from football into his next chapter without sports.


“I wanted to help and support my teammates anyway I could” said Kibble.  “I have been an assistant to coach Tyler Groves, and I help out with my former position group, the offensive line.”

Kibble has helped run drills and has coached up some of his teammates on the line. Kibble has also been there for his teammates in an emotional way.


“Kibble has helped this team a lot” said teammate Clayton Wilke. “whenever we are doing poorly or get off task, he has our back and gets us going again.”

While he has been helping his teammates, Kibble has started to think about the future. Not being able to play sports anymore has forced him to figure out what to do next.


“I think what’s next for me is getting more involved in the school” said Kibble. “I’ll join more clubs and will have more time to spend with my friends and family.”

While his future is about to become his reality, with Kibble’s help the Freshman football team went undefeated at 9-0 and was the first freshman team in over 20 years to accomplish an undefeated season.  While he didn’t play a game, Kibble made a big difference in the way he was there for his teammates.  Even though he didn’t mention it, Kibble’s future could be coaching.  He is a smart player that is respected and loved by all of his teammates.  While one journey is coming to end, another one is starting for Kibble, no one knows where it will go, but his teammates are certain that he will be successful.  Story by Tyler Groves