By DEAN HOCKNEY
KOKOMO, Ind. – Kokomo High School senior Kyle Wade had a whale of a year. The three-sport standout will graduate in June as one of the best athletes to ever grace the halls of KHS. But it was his historic run leading the Wildkats to the IHSAA Class 5A state championship game that earned Wade the 2017 Sports Journal Male Athlete of the Year award.
His stellar year started in the spring as a standout pitcher for the Wildkats, finishing 5-1 on the hill with one save and a 3.76 ERA. The then-junior also hit .306 while playing shortstop for the Kats. Wade has made 24 appearances in three seasons with a 10-8 record and 4.09 ERA. He has 75 career strikeouts in 90.2 innings pitched.
While baseball is where Wade will play in college (Purdue University), it was on the gridiron where he made the most impact as he rewrote the record book for quarterbacks. During the state finals run – which was a first for the Wildkats – Wade set single-season records for passing yards (1,694), completions (113) and touchdowns (tied with 17).
For his career, Wade set the Wildkats mark for passing yards (4,150), completions (274), attempts (514) and touchdowns (47). He ended his career with a 35-13 record. Remarkably, Wade started all 48 games the Kats played during his four-year career as a starting quarterback.
“He is a three-year captain as voted by his teammates. He is a two-year team mental attitude winner and will be the team MVP this year,” said Colby after the state finals. “He means everything to this program and we are going to miss him for sure next year.”
After the state championship game, he was named the Class 5A Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award – he is the eighth Wildkat to earn an IHSAA mental attitude award. He is also ranked No. 11 of 325 students in the KHS class of 2018. Add everything together and Kyle Wade had one of the best year’s in Kokomo Wildkat history.