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ROAD TO KICKOFF: South's Kyle Soles
After a lost junior season, linebacker hopes to be a difference-maker again
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South Forsyth senior Kyle Soles has overcome back spams, a hip-flexor and a concussion during his junior season to try to be a difference-maker again on defense. - photo by John McWilliams

ABOUT THIS SERIES

Each Friday leading up to the first week of the high school football season, the FCN will highlight one player from each team who could be poised for a breakout season.

Previous installments of this series:

Pinecrest's Michael Walters

Central's Michael Branigan

Lambert's Connor McCann

North's Harris Roberts

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There’s a bit of a scowl that creeps across Kyle Soles’ face when the 2012 football season is brought up.

And for good reason.

After a breakout sophomore campaign where Soles wreaked havoc on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker, he went down with a troublesome hip-flexor injury, back problems and a possible concussion during the offseason.

What looked like a promising season for the South Forsyth junior unraveled and forced the linebacker to watch from the sideline as he recovered from his injuries.

"During spring training going into my junior year; [I got hurt]," Soles said. "It might have been a concussion, we don’t know, but I had really bad headaches and I didn’t practice at all [during the] spring and sat out pretty much all the summer, and then by the time I got to the season, I played a little bit but not very much because I wasn’t ready or anything.

"It was kind of disappointing because I started most of the games my sophomore year. Over the summer I just stood on the sideline and watched them while they were all working out. I just had to watch them and couldn’t do anything. It was very [demoralizing]. I just wanted to be out there."

Soles’ absence left a lack of depth at the linebacker position last season, as the War Eagles surrendered an average of 24 points per game and dropped to a 4-6 record.

"Kyle started for us several games as a sophomore at linebacker," South Forsyth head coach Jeff Arnette said. "He did a great job for us. We were super high on him. We thought he was going to have a great career here, but last year he had some nagging injuries and couldn’t work out a lot, couldn’t play a lot."

Arnette noticed a comeback mentality from his linebacker this year in the weight room and watched him take out some frustration on those who had the arduous task of blocking him.

"He just had a great year training in the weight room and with his agility," Arnette said. "[He’s] strong and was benching over 300 pounds. He just really came on, and then in spring [practice] he looked really good. In the fall, so far, he’s a physical kid, he’s extremely physical. He brings a physical force up the middle for us on defense."

Even after his injury-riddled year, the senior still can’t seem to shake the injuries, as Soles suffered another concussion on Saturday and was held out of practice throughout the following week. While he may not have the greatest playing career, he’s determined to make up for lost time on the field.

"I’d like to go out there and just hopefully stay healthy and have a really good year with my teammates and try and win as many games as we can and make it to the playoffs," Soles said. "I’ve been working really hard during this offseason to get prepared for this and I’m just ready to show them everything that I’ve got. I’m ready to play."