Mr. Everything: Wilmington’s Kyle Farrell stays busy with multiple sports

Farrell is a state title winning RB and college baseball prospect

Wilmington's Kyle Farrell (8) runs behind the blocking of Braeden Anderson (1) during Class 2A semi-final playoff football game between Maroa-Forsyth and Wilmington in November 2023.

You know that old figure of speech, “jack of all trades, master of none?” The first half of that would definitely apply to Wilmington’s Kyle Farrell.

The master of none part? Not even a little bit.

Farrell, a soon-to-be senior, has been a dominant three-sport athlete throughout his entire high school career at Wilmington. He’s coming off an All-State baseball season in which he only allowed 10 earned runs and 29 hits in 65 innings. He tossed 97 strikeouts with a 1.08 ERA and a 0.831 WHIP. At the plate, he hit .271 with 25 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

Baseball is the path he’s hoping to follow to college and he’s led the Wildcats to a ton of success on the diamond.

It’s in football, though, that Wilmington has had its most success, winning two state titles over the past three years. Farrell has been an outstanding two-way performer at running back and safety, running for 2,248 yards and 30 touchdowns while compiling 55 tackles, 10 of for a loss.

Oh, and he averaged 7.4 points and 1.8 steals per game for the basketball team.

“He’s definitely a good leader for us,” Wilmington football coach Jeff Reents said. “We’ve got to have him on the field and he very rarely leaves it, even on special teams. He’s a gym rat...The bottom line is he has one of the best work ethics I’ve ever been around. When other people are at home relaxing, he’s running the hills, lifting, doing something extra to get better.”

Farrell says he’s carrying through the offseason as he normally does. He’s not trying to mess with a formula that’s clearly worked well for him for three years. Besides, he’s more focused on how the team is preparing as a whole, not anything he’s doing individually.

“I try to run as hard as I can because I know my line is blocking really hard,” Farrell said. “I trust my teammates to put me in good spots and make plays after that. Everyone in front of me puts me in a good spot to go run hard and see what I can do.”

Reents says Farrell’s biggest strength is his intensity. He’s coached a lot of great players in his 30 years at Wilmington, but he acknowledges even the great ones can take a play off here and there. Farrell, though, maintains that same intensity throughout the entire game. The only thing Reents is hoping to see more from out of Farrell is a vocal role on the team, which Farrell says he’s working on developing.

“He’s trying to get his teammates where he wants them to be,” Reents said. “He’s being a good teammate in that way. He does a great job of leading by example and his teammates do notice that. My guess would be he enjoys being around his buddies and he wants to be a part of that.”

Farrell is also helped by having a coach at home in his father Chad Farrell, a longtime assistant at Wilmington. The elder Farrell helps keep Kyle’s expectations and standards high. Reents sees Kyle doing the same thing with his teammates.

“Kyle has high expectations for himself,” Reents said. “His biggest thing will always be how does the team do. No doubt about it that we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of good success. We’ve got a bit of a target on our back. We’ll have to see if we can maintain that high level of expectation. Kyle is going to hold himself to that level and our team is going to try and do the same thing.”

Fresh off the third state championship in the football program’s history and an impressive run by the baseball team in the postseason, expectations will remain high at Wilmington. Farrell says he hasn’t spoken with any schools specifically about playing college sports, though he’s hoping to earn an opportunity to play baseball at the next level. For now, though, he’s only focused on helping the football team repeat.

“We just want to win the conference again and end up right where we did last year,” Farrell said. “Those are the goals for everybody on the team. We want to end up right back where we were last year.”