FOOTBALL: WLW's Bambard keeps piling up the numbers while hoping to grab scholarship |
WALLED LAKE – When he arrived at Walled Lake Western four years ago, many were aware of what Kyle Bambard was capable of doing with his foot.
He's proved himself as one of the nation’s best prep placekickers the past three seasons.
But that's far from all he's done for the Warriors on the gridiron.
Bambard has also quickly evolved into one of the state’s most dangerous quarterbacks, more than able to make big plays with his arm or his legs.
Last season as a junior, he rewrote the Western record-book, finishing the year with 2,504 yards of total-offense, the most in school history while directing a Warriors' offense that averaged 35 points per game. Come playoff time, he took Western to a repeat Division 2 district title.
So far this fall, Bambard has led the Warriors to a perfect 7-0 start and its second KLAA North Division crown in three years.
Bambard has thrown for over 1,300 yards with 17 touchdown passes, completing 62 percent of his passes, along with another 600 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Showing confidence in the pocket, he has an innate ability to read and break down opposing defenses.
“I think my knowledge of the game helps me out there,” he said. “I've got to a point in reading defenses where the game is really slowing down for me. My coaches have been a great help with that as well. I worked with him throughout the offseason a lot and it's paying dividends on the field.”
During his sophomore season, Bambard made a fast impact, helping navigate Western on a trip into the final four.
Western head coach Mike Zdebski noted that over the course of the past three seasons, Bambard has brought a leadership quality to the Warriors squad, which has played a vital role in their playoff runs in recent years.
“He has the ability to make big plays at almost every turn,” he said. “He’s provided us with that game in, game out. His leadership he gives to us is big too, by his actions on and off the field.”
Holding his school's record for PAT’s in a season (49 in 2012) and in a career (87), he booted longest field goal in Western football history, a 52-yarder, in 2012, too.
“It’s been all of the camps that I go to,” Bambard said of what’s helped him improve as a kicker. “All of the great competition from throughout the country who you get to put yourself up against and see how you stack up with the best of the best. Going up against kids that have had 15 offers and choose wherever they want to go, that’s definitely been the difference.”
Zdebski said that he was well aware of Bambard’s kicking ability since he was in middle school and added that the senior has surpassed any and every expectation the Warriors have had for him.
“We knew he was going to be our guy when he was in middle school,” he said. “He was already kicking the ball well and we could see what he could do at that time and he’s proceeded to get better and he’s exceeded every expectation we’ve had of him.”
Despite all of the accolades and accomplishments he has racked up in his kicking career, including being listed as a three-star kicker and being listed as a Top 10 player in the country at his position by numerous recruiting services, Bambard has yet to receive a college scholarship offer.
“It can be frustrating,” he said. “You see other guys getting offers and even though I'm being told that I'm one of the best around I don’t have any. But this is my senior season and I need to put that on the back burner and focus on the task at hand. That’s next year and this is this year. Right now I’m just worried about my team at Western and making sure we do all that we have to do to go as far as we can go come the state tournament in a couple weeks.”