v Faces in KS: Keyon Baccus - Sports in Kansas
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Faces in KS: Keyon Baccus

Keyon Baccus is looking for a big year in 2A. (photo: Jon Robichaud)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Aug 24, 2020

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Minneapolis High School senior offensive and defensive lineman Keyon Baccus is looking for a big senior season after starting the last two seasons on both sides of the football for the Lions.

Baccus, who isn’t the biggest lineman by any stretch, is one of the more explosive players in the smaller classes of Kansas for his size (5’11”, 210 lbs) with a 440 squat and 300 bench along with a 4.78 40-yard dash time. He earned all-league honors on both sides of the football last year as he racked up 61 tackles and six sacks in 2019 as a junior. He was also an all-state honorable mention pick for Non-Seniors at Sports in Kansas.

Baccus also got it done in wrestling as he qualified for the 3-2-1A state wrestling tournament at 182 pounds last season.

Baccus also has a 3.3 GPA and his favorite subjects are Science and Weights. He plans on playing football at the next level and that will likely be on the defensive side of the ball at a defensive end position. He also participates in track and field in the spring as well as the trapshooting team at the high school.

Minneapolis (2A) finished 4-5 last fall under Tom Flax but returns eight starters on offense and eight on defense for the 2020 season. In addition to Baccus, Spencer Davidson, Colton Bradford and Daniel Watson are expected to have big seasons.

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Q&A w/ Baccus

How did you get involved in football?

I started playing flag football in 1st grade, but I indeed found my passion for it in 4th grade when we got to wear pads and tackle.  I then decided not to play summer baseball and attend football camps instead. I am smaller for a lineman, but my goal was to be able to compete with larger players than me, so I started lifting weights with Coach Haehn and Coach Humphrey. Next, I began training at Sharp Performance, with Blaze Foltz, who helped improve my technique on the line and shared my passion for football.  Cale and Jake Sharp have helped improve my speed and always pushing me to do more than I thought I could.  I have been lucky to have great coaches along the way to help me to improve my skills.  They are always pushing me to do my best.

What are your goals this season?

I want to break our school record for career sacks.  As a team, I hope we can stay healthy and build on last year.

Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?

If we can all stay healthy and injury-free, I believe we will surprise some people.

What makes you such a force as a player?

I may not be a 6’+ guy, but I have worked hard to make up for that with my strength and speed. 

What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town? 

A home game means the football field is the place to be on a Friday night. Everyone in town is there.

For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?

I am explosive off of the snap and fun to watch on defense.

No matter the outcome of the game, our fans are always there cheering for us.  After the game, the seniors host a prayer circle for players, students, parents, and community members.  Me seeing and feeling that support is fantastic.

Who are other key players on your team?

I think Colton Bradford is going to have a great year.  He had a back injury that held him back some last year.  Daniel Watson had good stats last year, and I expect he will again.

Favorite thing about football?

I love playing DE and being able to tackle someone. I love the energy when the crowd and sideline get involved.

Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?

Last year, I wrestled at 182 and went to State.  In spring, I throw the javelin, shot put, and discus.  I also am part of the Trapshooting Team.

What is it like to play for your coach?

Coach Flax is quiet but loud when he needs to be.  He expects upperclassman to be leaders and everyone to do their jobs.  He demands and expects the best out of us on and off the field.  He cares about us and we are more than just players to him.

What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?

I attended camps and weights every day.  Even when school was closed, I still did daily workouts.

We, as a team, held each other accountable for showing up to weights and working out.  If younger players needed rides or wake up calls, you just did it.  If others are not putting in the time, we can’t win as a team.

What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?

I am talking with some NAIA schools and JUCOs.  I want to continue playing football at the next level.

Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?

I enjoy being outdoors, fishing, camping, and hunting.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to be doing one of two things teaching and coaching or training and coaching.  I love sports and working with people.

Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?

Weights and Science

I work hard and study for my classes.

 3.3 (4.0 scale)

Who is your role model?

Chase Young because he dominates on the defensive side of the ball.

Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?

My favorite place to eat is Honk Kong Buffet in Salina.

One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?

I am a lifeguard and help teach little kids to swim.

Anything else to add??

In 2018, I played on the USA National Team in the International Bowl.

I am more than just an athlete.  I am very active in improving our school and community.  I am on the executive board for the Student council, the Superintendents Advisory Board, and help with many community service projects.


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