July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

High school football: Kinsey pipes up when needed, but prefers listening

The son of his youth football coach and still the younger brother of the quarterback, Coltin Kinsey has always gotten a lot of advice.

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while the talented Highland receiver/cornerback likes to get in his two cents worth.

Highland wideout/cornerback Coltin Kinsey (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

“He’ll say, ‘Bruce, if I do this, this and this, you should tell Coach (Tom) Lombardo this is open,’” Hornets senior quarterback Bruce Kinsey said with a laugh. “I always tell him we haven’t run it in practice. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.”

Having been coached by his father Brian at the youth level and having caught more practice passes than he can count from his brother — not to mention currently playing for one of the most respected high school coaches in the business — Coltin Kinsey certainly has picked up a few pointers over the years.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior has applied them on the field, where he has amassed 51 catches for 593 yards (11.6-yard average) and nine touchdowns for the Hornets (12-0), who will meet Avon (12-0) for the Division II, Region 4 championship Friday at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium.

“Coach Lombardo really wants perfection, and it’s nice having Bruce there to push me,” Coltin Kinsey said. “We talk about it outside of practice, and he’ll demand me being as good as I can be.”

Coltin Kinsey has only dropped two passes this season and, in Wes Welker fashion, has gained 335 yards after his catches.

“Being brothers helps a ton,” Bruce Kinsey said. “We have a large amount of chemistry. It’s not just us. It’s the whole team, but having a brother on the team helps so very much.

“He’s quick and shifty. In a read offense, that works well. It helps us get third-and-3s. He just finds the opening and gets yards when we need him to.”

Unlike his older brother, who plays only offense, Coltin Kinsey rarely comes off the field. He has returned five kicks for a 23.2-yard average and has 29 tackles from his cornerback spot, including 4½ tackles for loss. He also has four interceptions.

“After the games, I’m exhausted,” he said. “I go home and sleep.”

The efforts of his younger brother have made an impression on Bruce Kinsey.

“He’s a lot more hard-nosed than I would ever be on defense,” he said. “For being 165 pounds, he’s not afraid to stick his head in there.”

Fully aware he’s not the biggest player on the field, Coltin Kinsey tries to tackle low and relies on solid form. He may not produce the bone-crushing hit, but he’s reliable in the open field.

“He’s one of our best tacklers,” two-way lineman Myles Houska said. “If he gets contact on someone, he’s most likely taking them down.”

With a 4.1 grade-point average, a score of 31 on the ACT and 4.7-second speed in the 40-yard dash, the younger Kinsey also has a great combination of intelligence and physical ability.

“He’s a great open-field tackler,” Lombardo said. “For his size, he does a heck of a job. Of course, you can’t play corner if you can’t cover. The proof was in the pudding (in a 17-14 win over Massillon in the regional semifinals).”

“We play a press man-to-man, so it’s one-on-one alone on an island,” Coltin Kinsey said. “You have to mentally prepare yourself or you’re going to let the team down. Every single play, you’re going to have to give 100 percent.”

The younger Kinsey does that on both sides of the ball, which means he doesn’t have a ton of time to talk to his brother during games. He does, however, sometimes get some friendly advice between offensive plays.

“I jumped offsides against Avon Lake,” Coltin Kinsey said of the Hornets’ first-round playoff game. “He came over and hit me and said, ‘You? Really?’”

The Kinseys go over the game some more on their way home and then get up at 6 a.m. Saturday to start preparing for the next opponent. Coltin usually does more listening than talking.

“I probably get on him more than any of the other receivers,” Bruce Kinsey said. “He’s my brother and I expect so much out of him.”
Coltin Kinsey wouldn’t have it any other way.

“He demands a lot out of me,” he said. “He gets the most mad at me, but it’s nice because we have each other’s back.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.