SHORT GAP - Frankfort's Keyton Meade never played a down of football in his life until joining the sport his freshman year as a Falcon. That first year, Meade didn't see a whole lot of the football field. Fast forward to his senior season, Meade not only saw the field but found himself a starter playing a key role in the offense.
By Chapin Jewell
SHORT GAP - Frankfort’s Keyton Meade never played a down of football in his life until joining the sport his freshman year as a Falcon. That first year, Meade didn’t see a whole lot of the football field. Fast forward to his senior season, Meade not only saw the field but found himself a starter playing a key role in the offense.
In his junior season, Frankfort finished with a record of 2-8 and near the bottom of the class AA rankings. In his senior season, just one year later, the Falcons finished the regular season with an 8-2 record, earning a first-round playoff game against Bridgeport. Frankfort would fall to the Indians in that playoff game, but with a final record of 8-3 and a trip to the playoffs under their belt, the Falcons had risen from the ashes.
“I was part of putting Frankfort back into the playoffs with their first winning season since 2014, helping to show people how good Frankfort football can be. I couldn’t have contributed as I did without all the support from family, friends, and an awesome community,” Meade said of his experience with Frankfort football.
Meade has now earned a chance to prove his mettle in the collegiate ranks, after signing to play football for the Bethany College Bison.
“I like how small the school is; there isn’t the distraction of a big town around and it reminds me of home. It's quiet and set in the woods, and I felt like it would better suit me to further my academic career. I love the mindset of the football team; I got the opportunity to watch a practice and every player came up to me and introduced themselves and made me feel welcomed. They embrace the family mindset,” Meade said of his college selection.
Meade credits the Frankfort coaching staff for the role they played in developing him as a player and person. “Playing at Frankfort gave me a lot of opportunity to get better as a player. The coaches have pushed me to the max both on and off the field to make me better. Coach Thomas pushed me in the weight room to get faster and stronger, while Coach Hutchinson worked with me on the field and pushed me to be the go-to receiver and a leader of the offense.”
Academically, Meade credits Frankfort’s dedicated teaching staff with making him a better student. According to Meade, “Academically, Frankfort is a top school in the state of West Virginia and each teacher pushed me to take more advanced classes as I went throughout high school. Mrs. Shupe was a big part of my success because she refused to let me give up in math even if I wasn't understanding it. She pushed me to take a very advanced math class and she worked with me every day to ensure I was prepared for college.
In addition to his coaches and teachers at Frankfort, Meade is appreciative of the support he’s received throughout the years from others. According to Meade, “My biggest supporters throughout my football journey were my mom, dad, my girlfriend Haleigh, and my grandparents. No matter what the weather on Friday nights, they were always in the stands cheering me on and supporting the team. Also, having Coach Whiteman back my senior year was amazing.”
“I wouldn't be where I am today with this great opportunity at Bethany without my mom waking up early to take me to practice and taking me to the gym to work out and my dad who taught me different ways to approach the game, to let the game come to me and not let the game control me,” Meade explains.
Keyton Meade made the most of his four years in the Frankfort football program, all culminating in this opportunity to play college football at Bethany College. In four short years, he grew from a newcomer to the sport with very little playing time initially into a valuable starter by his senior season. Meade will now have four years to accomplish great things in a college football uniform and in the classroom.