PARKERSBURG -When University of Akron football coach Terry Bowden speaks at next month's Leadership Dinner of the Allohak Council of the Boys Scouts of America, he will be able to introduce a Parkersburg youngster who has made a success of himself.
That's because -during a Tuesday morning ceremony in the Parkersburg High School football locker room -Big Red senior Kyle Foster became the newest member of Bowden's football program when he signed a letter-of-intent to join the Zips this fall.
Foster, the first team Class AAA all-state punter last fall, not only will continue in that capacity for Akron, but he also may be asked to apply his holding duties on field goals and extra points, a task he also performed since arriving on the PHS campus.
Photo by Dave Poe
Parkersburg High School senior Kyle Foster —flanked by his parents, Rex and Kathy Foster — signs a letter of intent to play football for the University of Akron on Tuesday in the Big Reds’ dressing room. Standing are Kyle’s sister, Hillary Foster, PHS head football coach Don Reeves and Big Reds kicking coach Paul Sparks.
Foster, the son of Rex and Kathy Foster, had offers from bigger schools such as Arizona State and Kansas State. But not only was Akron much closer to home, but it also has what Foster calls "the best facilities in the Mid-American Conference.''
Plus, who wouldn't take advantage of playing for a member of an iconic football family such as the Bowdens, especially given the ties to West Virginia?
Foster couldn't be entering the Akron program at a better time. Bowden has been there for two seasons and is starting to make his mark. Bowden replaced Rob Ianello, who went 2-22 in two seasons at Akron. Bowden's first team, went 1-11. But last year's team, which included Bowden's first recruiting class, went 5-7, including nearly stunning Michigan.
Plus, Akron's first-team punter is a senior who will graduate after this season, meaning the job will be open.
Foster has had a great deal of help with his special teams skills. He works with PHS assistant coach Paul Sparks on his punting and has received a great deal of advice on holding from WVU's Michael Molinari, a Parkersburg South graduate.
A three-sport athlete, Foster got a pair of hits in the Big Reds' baseball win just hours after signing with Akron.
Foster praised his coaches -PHS head football coach Don Reeves, who he says takes such pride in the school - and Sparks, who always is there for him. He also cited youth coaches Jim Goodwin and Greg Moses.
He's highly appreciative of his parents and the way they have supported him in his many sports activities. His father Rex serves as the head of the PHS Football Boosters and has been active with the Stadium Field Committee. Not surprisingly, Foster is interested in studying sports management.
"Kyle's been around sports a long time,'' said coach Reeves. "He was our ballboy when we won the championship in 2007. He has invested a great deal in this program. His understanding of the game is fantastic.''