When it comes to scoring touchdowns, few have made it look easier than what Kankakee running back Ky’ren Edmon did during his 2020-2021 Pop Warner football season.
The 11 year-old running back took the state by storm after he was forced to switch teams due to his hometown organization, the Kankakee Colts, having to shut its season down because of COVID-19. This resulted in Edmon eventually opting to play for the 10u Dixmoor Vikings/Next Level youth football team out of Bolingbrook, where he went on to rush for 1,500 yards and 30 touchdowns on the season.
“We haven’t had a kid like him since [current University of Michigan receiver] A.J. Henning,” Dixmoor Vikings head coach Dwayne Tyson said. “Henning was the number one ranked player in the state last year and he was in our program years ago.
“It’s kind of a reincarnation of him with Edmon when Henning was playing on the same Pop Warner level.”
Playing on the Vikings travel team this season Edmon saw higher levels of competition than in year’s past but that didn’t stop the youth football star from displaying his dominance on the gridiron. As the lead back, Edmon helped the Vikings secure the Pop Warner Illinois State Championship before they went on to defeat the second-ranked ranked Kansas City Dynasty, 26-7, in the Midwest Regional Championship.
The Vikings’ dominant play within the Midwest earned them a spot in the Florida Nationals where they ended up taking a third-place finish in the sunshine state.
“This season was fun because I had one of the best years I’ve ever had,” Edmon said. “I got to face better competition which only makes me get better.”
Unlike most youth football players, Edmon’s season didn’t stop there. Hungry for more action the star running back joined the Bolingbrook All-Stars after his Vikings season concluded. He and his new squad then traveled to Atlanta, where the Bolingbrook All-Stars eventually went on to best the New York All-Stars, 42-7, to win the National Championship in a tournament over this past Martin Luther King weekend.
Edmon’s play showed that he can hang with the nation’s best. In the championship game the New York All-Stars, he finished with 267 rushing yards on eight carries and scored three touchdowns, which helped him earn MVP honors.
“It was so exciting to get MVP honors in the championship game,” Edmon said. “It was a great experience and I was glad that all my hard work paid off.”
Tyson’s favorite example of Edmon’s dominant play came when he performed the football equivalent of turning water into wine.
“A play that stuck out to me was when it was fourth-and-40 against the Gary Steelers, and we decided not to punt and all the fans were questioning our call,” Tyson said. “We handed the ball off the Edmon, and he took it 80 yards for the score and we just turned to the crowd and said that’s why we don’t punt.”
Some would think Edmon’s dominance could eventually get to his head, however that doesn’t look to be the way the 11 year-old is wired. He’s all business, all the time.
“Ky’ren doesn’t get caught up in being the best or the chatter from the crowd,” Tyson said. “He just wants everybody to be quiet, get back in the huddle and focus on playing ball and winning the game.”