CANTON – Kyle Edwards has been spotlighted as this weeks Chenango County and Norwich alumni athlete who has graduated and continued to shine in an athletic field beyond high school.
Edwards now a junior at St. Lawrence University, has most recently finished his third year playing basketball for the school.
“The coolest thing about basketball at the collegiate level is you get to meet a whole new group of guys. In high school you grew up with your teammates and played with them your entire life,” said Edwards. “In college it’s a mess of different guys from different guys from different backgrounds from different parts of the country that have come from different basketball backgrounds and different backgrounds in general. So it’s been cool to see how we’ve all come together and established a whole new relationship and dynamic team setting.”
Edwards did not shy away from noting that it is not always easy however, noting the time commitment that collegiate level sports take.
“It’s a year round thing, we lift and workout during the offseason, and we’re traveling a lot more than we did in high school. We’ll have days where we have a four hour bus ride on a Tuesday and then you’ve got to come back late that night and be ready for the next day,” said Edwards. “There was definitely a learning curve freshman year, but the more experience you get then the more easier it becomes. You learn how to really manage your time and work around practices, travel and homework.”
Despite this learning curve that Edwards spoke of his grades in the classroom have not dipped. For the past two years running Edwards has been named to the Liberty League All-Academic Team.
As a freshman Edwards was coming off three years playing on varsity at Norwich high school, two of the three years appearing or winning a sectional championship.
Edwards noted that once he tasted how winning felt he wanted to keep that streak going.
After winning Rookie of the Year honors his freshman year in college, in the Liberty League, Edwards faced great adversity his sophomore season where he had to sit out a significant chunk with an ankle injury which actually required surgery.
“It means a lot to have people recognize the hard work I have put in in order to get myself back to that type of level. It’s very humbling to know that all the coaches in the league have that sort of respect for my game. It’s and awesome honor.”
As a junior with a fully rehabbed ankle Edwards has been named to the Liberty League men's basketball All-League First-Team.
“Edwards led the Saints with 14.9 points per game and had a 15.9 points per game average in league games. He scored in double digits 20 times including 15 of the 16 Liberty League games. He was second on the team with a shooting percentage of 47.4 and led the team hitting 42.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. His 33 steals and 84 assists also were tops on the team,” read a brief from St. Lawrence University on the honors.
The Liberty League consists of: Bard College, Clarkson University, RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), Hobart College, Vassar College, St. Lawrence University, Union College, Skidmore, William Smith College, and the University of Rochester.
All which do not participate in men's basketball but the honor is nonetheless impressive to be named a top competitor from all the teams.
As a junior and a now a captain on St. Lawrence Edwards with his impressive play on the court helped lead The Saints to a Liberty League championship for the first time in Edwards three year tenure.
“My first two years here we were a .500 team, and then this last year we made it all the way to the championship game and lost in that game. So I think obviously that part of it is what keeps me going and keeps me striving to get better,” said Edwards. “I think we’re a relatively young team, we only graduated one player this year. There are a lot of freshman and sophomores playing big roles on our team. So another year of experience , guys getting used to the pace, attention and focus that you need everyday in practice that you need going into games.”
St. Lawrence lost to Skidmore on a score line of 72-68, in the Championship game this past season, and according to Edwards has won the past three seasons in row. This is something Edwards openly would like to change as he chases that championship this coming off-season and senior season.
“Once you get that taste of winning you want to keep it going. The part I love best about the game though is the film, I like to study it and break the other players tendencies down, breaking their plays down,” said Edwards.
With much study on and off the field, Edwards is in pursuit of excellence as he concludes his junior season and heads into his final year of collegiate play with much promise.