By Sam Ojeda / Staff writer
Dylan Kedzior was the surprise of the season for the Hutchinson Community College football team back in September. Kedzior broke out for HutchCC during a game at Coffeyville, and the rest of the season was smooth sailing.
Kedzior is a third-year sophomore running back from Claremore, Oklahoma. He returned to Hutchinson for a third season because he had goals.
“I went Juco to go Division 1,” Kedzior said.
Through two seasons, he was given a third due to the Covid pandemic, he was disappointed with the results. “When schools did not come calling after season two, I knew I only had one more shot at chasing my dream,” Kedzior said. Kedzior’s patience paid off, and he seems to be on track in heading to the NCAA Division 1 level.
The HutchCC running back did not see the field time he wanted through the season’s first three games. He only had nine carries, and he was hungry for more opportunities. “I tried to control what I could control,” he said. Kedzior’s patience wavered during the start of the season, but he stayed prepared. “My goal was to be ready to run the ball when my name was called,” Kedzior said.
Blue Dragons coach Drew Dallas called Kedzior’s name at Coffeyville. After injuries decimated the position, and the Blue Dragons unable to move the ball, Kedzior entered the game and led the Blue Dragons to a win. He had 85 yards rushing and a touchdown in the fourth quarter, as Hutchinson won 14-9.
The season kept rolling, and Kedzior was the starting running back for the rest of the season. Reps kept coming, and he took advantage. “My performance consistency is what allowed me to get consistent reps,” Kedzior said.
The next game solidified Kedzior as a top running back in the country. He ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-19 win over Butler. Kedzior had two more 100-yard outings, and his name was getting around the country.
The running back picked up his first scholarship offer of the season on Nov. 11 to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The hype got out, and he continued to pick offers, from Buffalo, McNeese State and Texas-El Paso. With all the hype, Kedzior had to put his head down and continue balling out.
The offers did not seem to shake him.
“I’ve always been told to work hard and stay focused, and everything else will fall into line,” Kedzior said. “I have been living by that.” The expectations for him this season have been high, and Kedzior said he knows how important it is to fulfill those.
“Being nervous because of high expectations is a big deal because people do not normally hold themselves to that standard,” Kedzior said. “I have always expected that out of myself, so it has not been that big of a deal.”
Kedzior is heading into the NJCAA semifinals on Saturday at Gowans Stadium, incidentally against Coffeyville, with 921 rushing yards this season. A bulk of those yards have come in the last seven games. He also has nine rushing touchdowns. Kedzior has shined for the Blue Dragons this season and hopes to help lead them to a second NJCAA national championship in three seasons.