Kildow gets rare second OVAC experience

BETHANY — Most high school football players in the Ohio Valley grow up with the goal of being part of the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Game.

Few, if any, have ever gotten to experience the game twice.

The list is certain to grow by one Saturday evening when Ohio and West Virginia meet in the 74th version of the summer classic that pits Ohio against West Virginia.

For the second-straight summer, Cal Kildow will run out of the tunnel with the Team Ohio delegation. This time, however, the Union Local graduate will be wearing pads and a uniform and lining up in the defensive backfield for the Buckeyes.

“Playing in this game has always been the goal,” Kildow said.

Kildow was invited to OVAC camp, which is held at Bethany College, last summer by then Union Local head coach Bruce Stiles, who coached Ohio to a victory before riding off into retirement, to serve as a manager.

“It was a fun time and it was good to kind of get to experience and see how everything went,” Kildow said.

Though Kildow was spending extra time on his own working on his own craft, in preparation for the season that lied ahead, he was an actual manager and did things that managers do like help at practice, deal with water for the players, etc.

“It was pretty fun last year and I was up here with my cousin, Kane,” Kildow said. “I had (being selected to play in the game) in the back of my mind the entire time last year. It was something that I had hoped for.”

Under the guidace of first-year coach Bernie Thompson, Kildow put forth an impressive season in which he wore a lot of hats. He was the team’s quarterback and played in the defensive backfield.

Kildow threw for 1,250 yards and 8 touchdowns, while rushing for 430 and five more scores.

It actually took Kildow a few practices to grow accustomed to not having quite as much to do for the Buckeye squad.

“It’s way different because I’m not doing nearly as much as I did in high school,” Kildow said. “It reminds me of my sophomore year when I strictly played defense since I’m just working at corner.”

Kildow has actually become a mainstay in all-star games in general. He was chosen for the OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Game in April and then in late May he played in the East Ohio Baseball League All-Star Game.

“It’s pretty cool having been in now three all-star games,” Kildow said. “It’s everything I’ve worked toward. I’ve always tried to be a versatile athlete and play every sport I can.”

Without even thinking about it, Kildow admitted that the OVAC football all-star game “is the biggest” honor of the three.

“This is something I’ve been working toward since I was a kid and went to the game,” Kildow said.

In hoops, which is the sport Kildow plans to pursue at Waynesburg, the talented guard scored 20.3 points per game and collected 6.1 rebounds. He finished his prep career with 1,254 points.

On the baseball field, Kildow was an every day outfielder and a solid bat in the bottom of the lineup.

Though Kildow has been working dilligently this summer on his basketball game to prepare for what lies ahead at Waynesburg, he’s honored to strap up the pads for another week.

“It’s great to have one more game, especially since we lost our last one (in the regular season) to Barnesville because that hurt,” Kildow admitted. “Hopefully, we’ll win this game.”