Kyle Bacus isn’t a complete outlier as a talented high school football player.
The senior running back truly enjoys the experience of playing with his friends at North Hall more than any of the many individual accolades attached to his name.
Even when Bacus wrapped up a school-record 337-yard outing in a 68-42 win against East Hall, he didn’t budge in his humble nature where his only focus is winning with the Trojans (6-4, 3-3 Region 7-AAA).
“As soon as it was over, I shook his hand, and he said ‘thanks’” said North Hall coach David Bishop. “Kyle’s just a great kid, very humble.”
Bacus set the stage for his school-record performance with three runs of over 50 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown score in the final second of the third quarter. Earlier, he had a 65-yard run down to the 1. He finished the night with three touchdowns.
For his efforts, Bacus is The Times’ Football Player of the Week.
Bacus broke the 12-year-old North Hall record for rushing yards in a game, which dated back to a 304-yard night by T.J. Pitts, who was the state’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2004, and went on to play at the University of Memphis.
North Hall’s new record-setting running back took the accolades in stride. Many teammates and fans were congratulating him on the phenomenal nigh after the game. He acknowledged the text messages he received with a heart-felt response of appreciation.
For Bacus, however, his attitude is to enjoy the time playing with his friends who he built a deep bond with after moving to Gainesville from Michigan in the seventh grade.
He said the time with teammates in the football fieldhouse after the game is most enjoyable: everyone enjoying fellowship together and not focused on what one player did remarkably well during the game.
With the win, North Hall is a lock for the postseason, which has Bacus thrilled for more time playing together. According to Bishop, the Trojans could get into the Class AAA state tournament as a No. 3 seed if Lumpkin County beats Union County on Friday. North Hall has a bye the final Friday of the regular season.
Bacus doesn’t feel the Trojans will be limited by starting the postseason away from The Brickyard.
“I feel like we can go as far as we want in the postseason,” said Bacus.
When the season is over, Bacus still has no concrete plans to play football in college, despite going over 1,500 yards for the season at running back. If the right opportunity comes along, Bacus said he’ll certainly consider it.
His primary focus is his eduction, which for Bacus currently favors a path into the medical field in the future.
Currently, he spends two days each week as an intern in the office of Dr. D.J. Campbell, a Gainesville-based plastic surgeon, through the Hall County Schools mentorship program. Interestingly, Campbell, who graduated from White County High, spent his college career as starting quarterback at Appalachian State University and is a member of the Northeast Georgia History Center’s Sports Hall of Fame.
“Very few players ever rush for over 300 yards in a game,” said Dr. Campbell. “Kyle’s just a very well-rounded kid.”
The plastic surgeon and his academically-driven, football-playing high school intern have discussed the rigors of doing both at the college level. Campbell said doing both is possible, if Bacus wants it bad enough.
“I’m happy that Kyle’s taken the time for me to be able to mentor him,” said Campbell, who graduated from Appalachian State in 3 1/2 years with a degree in biology in 1992 before attending medical school at Mercer University.