If the Mason County football team needed a couple yards or a first down, they knew where they were going.
Behind No. 74.
Dalton Kindt, a staple along the Royals offensive line over the past couple of years.
"No if's, and's or buts," Royals coach Jonathan Thomas said. "We were going to try to run behind him and put as many pieces around him to make it work. That’s what we did and what we continued to do. There’s not anybody in high school that you put in front of him that was going to stop him, he’s got the film to prove that. We knew that we had to focus around running behind probably the best kid that’s walked through the doors in a long time."
The senior offensive center, guard, tackle, wherever the Royals needed him, Kindt was paving the way.
With that, Kindt achieved a goal Friday he's wanted ever since moving to Maysville in eighth grade, going on to play college football as he signed his letter of intent with Hobart College, a Division III school out of Geneva, New York.
"The top, top of work ethic. In the weight room, out of the weight room. What he’s accomplished so far has been a huge part of his dream since he got here," Royals Athletic Director Chris Ullery said.
With his flexibility in positions he's played, no doubt that will help Kindt when he gets to the next level.
"Put me wherever you want me and I’ll do what you need me to do. I’ve been doing that since my freshman year," Kindt said, who signed in front of family and friends in the high school cafeteria. "I really like center a lot, guard seems to be my natural position as well as center. I talked to the coaches at Hobart and that was the big thing was they wanted me to come in and jump around the line where I need to fit. Right now I’ll be competing for the right guard position coming in and they have a senior center and they want me to learn center. It’s helped tremendously being all over the line."
Even being 6-foot-4, 270 pounds entering his senior season, the size and strength was there for the position, but the heart inside him made him even better. Kindt is one who would be in the weight room at 6 a.m., in the weight room late at night. Improving a bench press from 225 to 325 pounds doesn't happen overnight. Kindt was able to accomplish the feat in a year. He's battled through knee and shoulder injuries, fought through them, played with pain.
"There’s a lot of kids here who work hard, Dalton is an exemplar of that. He’s going to work when nobody is looking. If you offer something, you know he is going to be there. Even if its voluntary, he’s going to be there. He’s always gone above and beyond," Thomas said.
Why Hobart one might ask with a slew of interest from Division I schools and other programs from the area closer to home?
This was a life decision for Kindt, who excels in the classroom as well.
"I really wanted to focus on the academic side of things," Kindt said. "Hobart has this really cool thing where they have guaranteed paid internships. So I can go wherever I want and Hobart will pay me to do that. So what I want to study is international marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship. I’ll go around the world and do what I want to do and they’ll pay me. They put a nice package together education wise, money wise, it just worked out."
Before he graduates, Kindt has some unfinished business left in track and field. He'll aim to repeat as state champ in the shot put in indoor track in a couple weeks and hopes to take home first place in the outdoor season this year, placing fourth last year in just his first year of throwing.
That would only build his legacy even more as a Royal, someone Thomas thinks belongs up there with the likes of some other great Royals to walk through the door.
"There are times we still talk about the 2003 team. (Dustin) Grutza, (Chris) Lofton, Andre Turner. He’ll fall right into that. He’s made a name and a legacy for himself here. He’s up there with the top kids that have ever walked through Mason County, he’s earned that," Thomas said.