Friday Night Sports Hero: Kolten Tilford

North Platte High School
News 2 at Ten
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 11:25 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Kolten Tilford is a three-sport athlete at North Platte High School. Tilford competes on the football field, basketball court, and the track for the Dawgs. But it’s football where Tilford will be taking his talents to the next level. In the fall, Tilford will head to South Dakota State University to play football. At North Platte, Tilford plays both sides of the ball (Running Back & Defensive Back) and he also punts, however, he is unsure where the coaching staff at South Dakota State will have him play.

“When I get to college I’m not so sure if I’m going to redshirt my Freshman Year or what they’re gonna do with me. They offered me as an athlete, they don’t know what they’re gonna do with me if they’re gonna want me on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. I’m just gonna keep doing my thing this year, my Senior Year, and when I get there I’m just gonna go with the flow and do whatever the coaches want me to do because I just want to play football in the end,” explains Tilford.

Tilford says it was always his dream to play college football at the Division I level, and he will be turning that dream into a reality next fall. According to Tilford, it was the campus, the town, and the coaching staff that helped him see that South Dakota State was the place he wanted to spend the next four years.

“Every time I went up there, they were the staff that communicated with me the most, and their facilities stood out to me a whole lot. I watched practices, I watched games and I love the atmosphere there. Brookings is a small town kinda like North Platte and I enjoy that, so it just felt right,” says Tilford.

Being one of the standouts on North Platte’s Football Team for the past several years, a lot of people have been following his journey. Though what people see on the football field or on any of the other playing surfaces where Tilford competes is only a little piece of the journey. A large majority of becoming a Division I athlete is all the things that go on behind the scenes.

“I’m very confident in myself, but I didn’t know I was going to get this far. I have a lot of people in North Platte that helped me get here and my parents pushed me the whole way. A lot of people outside don’t see the work I’m putting in and a lot of people are putting in to get this far. If you’re a little kid just dream big because you can do it in the end,” explains Tilford.

Head Coach of the Dawgs, Kurt Altig, says that Tilford will leave behind a legacy within the football program after he graduates. Not only for his play on the field but also for the way he carries himself and his work ethic.

“Kolten is one of those kids that you wish every single person was like. He comes out and works hard every day, and leads by example, not only on the football field but in the classroom. He does all the things he’s supposed to, does all the little things that you want all your players to do. He’s also a heck of an athlete and a great football player so that really helps,” says Altig.