By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WOODSTOCK -- There's not much that Kolton Poston loves as much as playing football, but when the high school season is over the Central junior likes to do one of his other favorite things -- hunt.
Poston enjoys the thrill of trying to kill a deer and just spending some relaxing time in the woods as much as he does football.
"Other than football, if I could, I would do that every day of my life," Poston said of hunting. "I love just getting out in the woods. It relaxes you. You see the deer and it gets your heart racing. It's like football, you do something good or see something, and it gets your heart racing.
"It just relaxes me with all the stress I have from school and everything else. You just relax and it takes a lot of stuff off your mind, you don't have to worry about [anything] for that period of time that you're out there."
During football season Poston is usually hunting the ball on offense or defense, where he's a vital part of Central's success.
While he's made a lot of big plays on offense the last few years, Poston said he loves playing defense even more than offense.
The linebacker is currently second on the team with 61 tackles, and he has two sacks and has recovered three fumbles.
"I love it," Poston said of playing defense. "You get to hit people. On offense you get to catch balls and make touchdowns, but defense is what everybody talks about -- the hits you put on people."
The 6-foot-4, 217-pounder can be a real worry for teams with his play on defense, but he's just as much of a concern on the offensive side of the ball.
Poston can play multiple positions for the Falcons, and he's had success at each spot. He is generally a tight end, but Central coach Mike Yew likes to line him up wide receiver in the Falcons' four-wideout set.
"A lot of times we get matchups where teams have a small corner," Yew said. "It's a nice little luxury to put him out there and just throw it up in the air, and usually he wins that battle probably eight out of 10 times."
Poston is second in the area with 28 receptions for 406 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Central has also lined him up in the backfield, both as a blocker and a runner. Against William Monroe on Oct. 5, Poston scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to help the Falcons beat the Dragons, 62-21.
Poston said he was as surprised as anyone when he found out he was going to get the carry.
"I wasn't having that great of a game that game and I was aggravated with myself," Poston said. "[Central quarterback Hayden] Bauserman was like, 'Yeah, it's a 33-lead.' And I was like, 'Do what?' I scored that touchdown and it just brightened my whole day up from the start to the end."
Yew said it's not something the Falcons will do a lot, but it gives opposing teams something to think about and it's a good change of pace for the team.
"He's got coordination," Yew said. "He runs with good balance."
Playing both ways, Poston hardly ever comes off the field. He said it does get a little tiring, but he also likes being involved in every aspect of the game.
Poston started at tight end as a freshman, and was one of only two players on the team as a freshman that season.
He said it was a real learning experience for him.
"It had me nervous, because it was a big step up from JV going up to varsity," Poston said. "I was nervous with it. I did good with the line, but my catching wasn't the best. Coach Yew knew that and he [saw] that, but he stuck with me."
Poston said he works on his game a lot with his dad, and he's worked hard to improve all of his skills.
All his work and the year of experience paid off last season. Poston began catching more and more balls, and made plenty of big plays on defense.
Last year Poston had 25 receptions for 353 yards and two touchdowns. On defense he finished with 74 tackles.
Poston said it also made a big difference last year that he was able to play with many of his classmates, who were up from the JV team.
"[I was able to play with] kids I played with from Little League on up," Poston said. "I think it made me a whole lot more comfortable with the situation."
Poston's game continues to get better, and Yew said he has potential to get a lot better.
"Once he ever gets caught up physically where his weight room catches up with his body and they coexist as one, he's going to be extremely dangerous," Yew said. "Right now he's probably not quite as strong as he should be for a kid 6-4, but that will come -- he's going to get there. Once he gets that, he's going to be even more dangerous than he already is."
The Falcons surprised a lot of teams last year and won the Bull Run District title. They advanced to the Region B playoffs, winning a game before falling in the second round.
With most of the team back from last year, it's no surprise Central is back fighting for another district title and has a 6-2 record. The Falcons host Madison County on Friday, and have a big rivalry contest with Strasburg next week to end the regular season.
Central could still become co-champions if it can win its last two games, and Poston said that's still a goal for the team.
"It'd be real exciting to everybody," Poston said. "I think right now that's the main thing that's keeping everybody going is just [trying] to be co-champions. It would help us out a lot. I think everybody would be happy with it."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org