GR West Catholic RB Tim Kloska named Michigan AP D5-6 POY
Tim Kloska’s performance in Grand Rapids West Catholic’s five-game playoff run alone — rushing for 1,145 yards and 19 touchdowns — might have been enough for him to garner all-state consideration.
The 6-foot, 200-pound running back ran for 330 yards and five touchdowns in a Division 6 state semifinal win over Clinton. He had 241 yards rushing and four more scores in the Falcons’ 59-14 win over Negaunee in the championship game.
“His determination and focus the second we went to playoff mode was something I’ve never seen before,” Grand Rapids West Catholic coach Landon Grove said. “The way he ran was physical and with purpose. You saw it in the Clinton game when he ran for 330 plus and in the state finals, too. It was like he was willing his way to say that we are not going to fall short, we are going to win the state final. It was really special.”
Take what Kloska did in the playoffs and combine it with his regular-season achievements, and it’s easy to see why a panel of Michigan Associate Press sports reporters voted Kloska the Division 5-6 Player of the Year.
Kloska finished the season with 2,425 yards on 283 carries and 39 touchdowns. His efforts led the Falcons to a 13-1 record and their seventh state championship in the past 13 seasons. He will continue his education and football career at the Air Force Academy.
“He means so much to this program and me personally,” Grove said. “He deserves everything that he gets. It is all earned, not given. He works harder than anybody I have ever been around, in the weight room, on the practice field. All of those things add up to why that is an award that he would get.
“No one had more pride for playing at West Catholic than that young man did. He is going to go play Division I football, but his biggest mindset was winning a state championship. His drive and determination are ultimately what helped propel us to that moment.”
The 2022 season was Grove’s first season with the Falcons after coaching Gibraltar Carlson a year ago. Grove was well aware that Kloska was a special player before he walked on campus. Kloska already set West Catholic’s career rushing record during his junior season. And by the time he completed his career this year, he had 5,914 total rushing yards and 81 touchdowns.
Grove predicted that Kloska will have success at Air Force, too.
“His style fits them very well,” Grove said. “When people look at him, they see a big bruiser of a running back. But he’s also fast and can make all sorts of cuts. He is not one dimensional.
“He is going to be really good at a lot of different things at Air Force, and I think Air Force is getting a gem.”