Muskegon’s Pimpleton named AP Division 3-4 Player of Year
MUSKEGON (AP) — It came in a variety of ways, but Muskegon wanted to get Kalil Pimpleton as many touches as possible on the football field.
The senior speedster played quarterback, slot receiver and returned kicks and put up big numbers in a record-setting season for the Big Reds, ranked No. 1 in Division 3 all season.
On the field, Pimpleton had a big part in Muskegon setting a school record for points in a season, accounting for 41 touchdowns and nearly 2,700 all-purpose yards.
Off the field, Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield said it was Pimpleton’s leadership and the way he touched others that keyed the team’s run to this week’s Division 3 state championship game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
For his efforts, Pimpleton has been named the Player of the Year on The Associated Press Division 3-4 all-state football team as selected by a statewide panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
“It’s a humbling thing because he’s so talented, but it goes beyond his talents,” Fairfield said. “He’s a man of character and he assumes this award not just as a football player, but for what a great human being he is.”
The 5-foot-7, 155-pounder with 4.4 speed was the full-time starter at quarterback as a junior, but has shared the role this fall. A Virginia Tech commit, he is expected to play receiver and return kicks in college.
When asked about splitting the load at quarterback, Pimpleton said it’s been good.
“We’re getting points on the board and we’re winning. That’s all that matters,” he said. “We just want to play ball and leave a legacy and win a state championship. It’s something we’ve always talked about since middle school while we were going to the 2006 and 2008 (state championship) games. Now that it’s here, we’re going to do everything in our power to win.”
Pimpleton’s touchdown breakdown was 22 rushing, 14 passing, three on punt returns and two receiving going into the state finals.
In the season opener, he played multiple positions for the first time and put on a five-touchdown performance as Muskegon rolled past Ann Arbor Pioneer in “The Battle at the Big House” at Michigan Stadium.
“It just tells you how savvy he is to learn all those positions,” Fairfield said. “Playing slot, 90 percent of that is not getting the ball. You have to block, run motion, know all the signals. Plus, everything he has to know at quarterback. He’s been a kid that has been able to handle that overload. He plays so fast and so confident.”
Also considered for the Player of the Year award was linebacker Josh Ross of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, a Michigan commit who will go up against Pimpleton in the state finals.
The Coach of the Year is Nick Boucher of Lake Odessa Lakewood.
Receiving honorable mention All-State honors is Three Rivers’ linebacker Traven Van Oss (6-foot-0, 200).
Van Oss led the Wildcats (7-3) in tackles this season with 105, including 18 for loss of yardage, three quarterback sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception, one blocked kick and one touchdown.
“Sometimes kids have that savvy that you aren’t really able to coach. Traven has a nose for the football and he’s a pure football player. He is a hard-nosed kid who understands the game and see things well out on the field,” said Three Rivers coach J.J. Wagner.
Last year as a freshman, Van Oss became the first freshman to start at Three Rivers in Wagner’s 19 years as a coach. He had 104 tackles during the 2015 season.