From the time Wyatt Pedigo was a little kid he always wanted to play football for the Hoisington Cardinals at Elton Brown Field. Hoisington is a Central Kansas town of around 2,500 people in Barton County located about 10 miles north on Highway 281 of Great Bend.
“Growing up in a small town it’s just what every kid looks forward being able to put that Cardinal jersey on.” Pedigo said.
That thought is a reality now as Pedigo, now a junior in high school, is one of the players to watch in 2A football this season. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound, linebacker and running back, is about as physical of a player that you’ll find in Kansas high school football. Hoisington, under head coach Zach Baird, is known for hard-hitting and physical football, Pedigo fits that mold perfectly.
“I take pride in being physical and so does our team. My favorite thing about football is being able to unload on someone.” Pedigo said.
While Pedigo likes to hit and is physical, he’s also quite talented. Not only is he a rising linebacker in 2A, he’s also one of the states best wrestlers. He was the 3-2-1A 182-pound state wrestling champion as a sophomore last fall.
“I watch a lot of film and am a student of the game. I like to play fast and I feel I have the ability to get off blocks. Wrestling has helped tremendously with football. It's pushed my body to limits I didn't think I could go.” Pedigo said.
Pedigo still has nearly two entire years left of football and already has 146 career tackles, starting since his freshman year. He also has 864 career rushing yards out of the backfield, a place we really expect him to shine going forward in 2018.
Pedigo is also extremely strong in the weight room for his age and size. Entering his junior year, he cleaned 315 pounds and squatted 405 pounds while barely weighing over 200. He has packed on about 15 pounds and added muscle since last season. He's also a 3.75 GPA student where math is his favorite subject.
Hosington, who finished 8-4 last season, is off to a 1-1 start in 2018. Pedigo missed the only loss this year to a very solid Pratt squad due to a strained hamstring. With him back they got their first win of the season last week in the 28-14 win over Nickerson. When he is in the game it’s a complete game-changer for the Cardinals on both sides of the ball.
Hoisington and Pedigo are ready to make some more noise in 2018 as they travel to Larned in week three to take on the Indians before district play begins in 2A for week four.
“I think we have a shot this year. Don’t count out the Cardinals in 2A.” Pedigo said.
We caught up with the rising junior talent below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.
This feature is presented by 2nd Street Hair Depot at 155 W. 2nd St. in Hoisington. Proud to support the Cardinals and Wyatt Pedigo!
This feature is presented by Blake E. Herres, DDS. Best of luck to the Cardinals in 2018!
How did you get involved in football?
Growing up in a small town it’s just what every kid looks forward being able to put that cardinal jersey on.
What are your goals this season?
My goals this season are to rush for 2,000 yards and have 100 tackles.
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
We have a great shot to make a run this year. We have a bunch of guys that are willing to do whatever it takes to push us to the level we need to play.
What makes you such a force as a player?
My ability to play fast, get off of blocks and make plays. I watch a lot of film on hudl and try and be a student of the game.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
It's one of the best feelings I have felt. Knowing that the whole town is behind us. We also have a great student section that supports us.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
We play extremely hard and take pride in being physical.
Who are other key players on your team?
Our offensive line is a big key to what makes this team go. Without them I wouldn’t be half the player I am.
Favorite thing about football?
Being able to just unload on someone.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that?
I wrestle and do track. Wrestling is definitely one of my favorite sports as it has taught me to push myself past the point to where my body thinks it can’t go no more.
What is it like to play for your coach?
He makes the game fun for us as a team by keeping our practices upbeat. He expects nothing but the best from each and every player on the team.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
This summer we were up at 6 in the morning lifting weights, running, and trying to do what we can to make this season a good one.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
Right now I am undecided with what I want to do at the next level. I could see myself playing football or wrestling, a lot of it will come down to what is the best option for me.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
Hangout with the team and family.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years i’m hoping to be either still continuing my athletic career or being a coach for a high school football team.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
My favorite subject in school is Math, I’m the type of student to pay attention in class and turn all my school work in on time. My GPA is 3.75.
Who is your role model?
My role model is my mom she has always told me that nothing is handed to me and that I need to work for everything, and that’s what pushes me to work as hard as I can in everything I do.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
My favorite is Dairy Queen.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a very loud person always trying to have a good time.
Anything else to add?
Don’t count the Cardinals out this year in 2A.