High school football: Pine View quarterback Kody Wilstead shining on the football field
"They were very close," Randy Wilstead said. "They had a special relationship. He dedicates everything he does on the athletic field to her. He doesn't want anyone to know, but when he scores a touchdown or throws a TD pass, he does a very discreet point up to heaven for his grandma."
That's a lot of pointing as Kody has thrown 35 TD passes this year and run for five more. But his biggest number is the massive amount of yardage the junior signal-caller has accumulated. Wilstead has 4,058 yards in 11 games. He needs 384 to break Hart's 4-year-old record. That's no stretch, since Wilstead averages 368.9 yards per game, also second only to Hart's 2009 record of 370.2.
"He's one of the best and I'll tell you why: He's 17 going on 30," Anderson said. "He is so mature and very bright. He grasps things very quickly. And he's the best pure passer I've ever coached."
Anderson has a good list to compare, having coached Lance Pendleton at Dixie and James Lark, Nick Marinko and Alec Meacham at Pine View.
"The thing that's so amazing is we're talking about a very young man," Anderson said. "He just turned 17 last week. He's just now coming into his own. He's so smart, I think he gets bored easily. We constantly need to challenge him with new stuff. He also thinks he's 5-10 and runs a 4.3 40 when he's actually 6-6 and runs an I don't know 40."
Anderson also said he thinks he knows why Wilstead is no longer a fan of baseball.
"Baseball has a lot of downtime," he said. "Mentally, you have to keep motivating yourself. In football, you are constantly in the grind, being motivated with your game plan. There's always something to go do. You've got to gut it up and get right back at it."
The brainy Wilstead, a 4.0 student, has a quiet nature about him.
"A lot of people take his quiet reserve as being cocky and arrogant," Randy said. "That's so wrong. His heart is so big. He cares so much for others, not just in sports, but in life."
Kody and his teammates have taken the task of winning Pine View its first state football title very seriously. In fact, all the talk of breaking the all-time passing record makes him a bit uncomfortable.
"That's crazy about the record," he said. "My friends have told me about it, but I just want to be holding that championship trophy on Friday."
Andy Griffin is a southern Utah broadcaster and sports writer and has been involved in covering sports in Utah, including professional, college and high school sports, since 1989. He is the sports editor at STGNews.com.
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