Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Kansala mixes it up with state berths in basketball and tennis

THREE-SPORT - Kolby Kansala will play football and basketball at College of Siskiyous next year.
by: file photo Kolby Kansala led the Pioneers in scoring at 14.2 points per game during basketball season. His summer is slotted with all-star appearances before he heads of to the College of the Siskiyous in the fall.

Kansala wins three-sport athlete award

The term 'athletic' is thrown around a lot in today's sports culture and for many people the word has different meanings. For some it means a rare combination of size, strength, and speed while for others it's the ability to succeed across numerous sporting platforms.

For Sandy's Kolby Kansala it's a combination of both.

Kansala is the winner of this year's three-sport athlete award for his performance on the football field, basketball court, and the tennis court. While the combination of basketball and football is fairly common among high school athletics, the addition of tennis is one of the things that makes Kansala so unique.

One of the biggest advantages Kansala has over most of his competition is his size, standing 6'6' and 215 pounds. While he admits that he could have spent a little more time in the weight room over the past two years, this advantage created mismatches for opponents in all three sports.

On the football field, Kansala was the number one receiver for Sandy, as he towered over smaller defensive backs on his way to 912 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns this season. In their first season back at the 5A level, the Pioneers rode the success of players like Kansala back to the playoffs for the first time in years.

On the basketball floor Kansala was more likely to come against competition his size, however, he was able to utilize his speed and quickness to run circles around larger post players. As part of the Pioneer basketball team this season, Kansala helped orchestrate one of the most successful seasons in recent memory as they also advanced into the playoffs.

Kansala finished the season averaging 14 points, 7.5 rebounds, and just under two blocks per game, including a monster performance in the playoff play-in game against The Dalles. Needing to win in order to advance, Kansala poured in a season-high 25 points while grabbing 13 rebounds to keep the Pioneer season alive.

On the tennis court, Kansala teamed up with basketball teammate Sean Wolfe to form the school's number one doubles pairing.

'In the spring of my freshman year a bunch of my friends decided they wanted to try tennis because we thought it would be fun and a little more laid back, but I didn't get really serious about it until this season when I was paired up with Sean,' Kansala said.

Back in a situation where their size and speed was very unique, Kansala and Wolfe advanced all the way to the state tournament after finishing fourth at the district tournament.

What makes all of this even more unbelievable is his lack of experience. Kansala didn't start playing football until the sixth grade, basketball until eighth grade, and tennis until his freshman year of high school.

To think that he could achieve such great success in such a short amount of time shows the type of raw talent and ability that he has, leaving many to wonder just how good he might be.

Next season Kansala will travel to College of the Siskiyous where he will play both football and basketball, with the goal of eventually transferring to a larger program in one or two years.

'My goal is just to do the best I can next season so that hopefully I can get some looks from other places,' Kansala said.

Kansala admitted he did have offers to play football from a few different Division III programs, however with the goal of playing at the Division I level, those just weren't a real option.