By Cooper Bratton
During a scrimmage game on the Delta High School football field, starting quarterback Palmer Samuels goes to throw a pass. He plants his right leg into the turf. Then he knows something is wrong. And just like that, his season is over.
Head coach Chris Overholt yells for the backup.
Sophomore Kaiden Bond knew it was his time to go.
This summer, Bond suddenly stepped into a big role as the varsity quarterback after Samuels suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“Kaiden did a great job,” Overholt says. “‘The biggest thing with him is his demeanor. Over the course of the year, the moment never got too big for him. He handled the pressure really well.”
Bond threw 15 touchdowns and 1,008 passing yards. He also ran for six touchdowns on 226 rushing yards.
Even though this looks like a big deal, Bond was fine with it.
“I didn’t really feel any pressure,” Bond says. ”I just felt good. It didn’t feel like it was that hard to adapt to the things that happened.”
His coach was impressed that Bond threw nearly four times as many TDs as interceptions.
“He handled the pressure really well and the stats really show that with only throwing four interceptions being a sophomore first-year starter.” Overholt says.
Bond’s teammates also took notice.
“Kaiden played a big part on this team and he never crumbled under the pressure,” sophomore wide receiver D’Amare Hood says.
Samuels has been rehabilitating after knee surgery and has been working on his return for his senior year. Because of this, Bond knows there will be strong competition for quarterback next season.
“There is a competition every year for every position,” Overholt says. “We’ll have competition on the offensive line. We will bring all five of them back. We will also have competition on the defensive line bringing the majority of them back. We are big believers in competition and iron sharpening iron.”
There are some things Bond expects out of himself looking forward to next season.
“My arm strength needs to get better and I need to get stronger and faster for the next season,” Bond says.
Overholt says Bond progressed from week to week.
“He was ready to take on a little bit more,” he says. “I think that even showed in our last game where he was able to create from our base plays when things started to break down.”
Looking forward to his junior season, Bond looks to show everyone what he’s capable of doing.
“I think I could be more of a leader next season and lead our team to some championships,” Bond says.