One of the more intriguing matchups in this week’s high school football playoffs will be the Division 5 showdown between Olivet and Portland.
And one of the players to watch is Olivet two-way senior lineman Don Kyre.
The 6-2, 250-pound Kyre, who will play next season at Central Michigan, has been essential to the Eagles’ success this season, according to Olivet coach Dean Peters.
“Donny is our leader, our vocal leader,” Peters said. “Usually in high school, when you get big kids, they don’t necessarily work that hard. Donnie’s work ethic is ridiculous. He’s been a great leader, his example is huge.”
Tonight’s game will have a certain measure of role reversal. Portland has built a tradition of sending big linemen on to play college football, but has less bulk and more athleticism in the trenches this season. Olivet has a bulky bunch at the line of scrimmage, led by tackles Rich McKim and Kyre.
Peters said that Kyre has a rare skill-set.
“He’s a freak,” Peters said. “(He is) relentless, high-energy, very fast for his size, unnaturally strong. It’s not that unusual in high school football to get big kids, but to get big kids with great feet, and a motor like Donny’s, it’s unusual for someone his size to go as hard as he does all the time.”
Kyre was recruited as a defensive lineman by the Chippewas, and he also drew the attention of Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Wayne State, Saginaw Valley State and Grand Valley State, among others.
But first, he wants to add to the rich football tradition at Olivet, of which he is a product.
“My dad played (for Olivet), all of his friends played, a couple other of my relatives have played. So it’s special to put the Olivet uniform on,” Kyre said.
The winner between the Eagles and the Raiders will face the Flint Powers Catholic/Frankenmuth winner in next week’s regionals.