Ben Kytta roots in Blaine’s athletic programs run deep. The three-sport athlete competes in football, wrestling and track and field. He played in the Blaine youth football program and attended varsity games nearly every Friday night growing up, watching every…
Ben Kytta roots in Blaine’s athletic programs run deep.
The three-sport athlete competes in football, wrestling and track and field. He played in the Blaine youth football program and attended varsity games nearly every Friday night growing up, watching every move of the “big football players” and envisioning himself as one.
Kytta has also progressed through the Blaine wrestling program, competing on varsity at 195 pounds the past two seasons. He was named a captain for his senior year. He also competes in shotput and discus, under the tutelage of his father who has been coaching throwers in varsity track and field since 1996.
Kytta hasn’t had a lot of downtime the past few years because of his three-sport schedule. He said being in multiple sports is a challenge, but one that makes you expand mentally, physically and socially.
“You challenge yourself to adapt and learn more and put new stresses on your body,” Kytta said. “It also expands your friendships by meeting new people. I can’t imagine my life without any of my three sports, without any of my teams, my teammates, fellow captains, coaches.”
Kytta and some of his youth football teammates helped Blaine to its resurgent 9-3 season last fall.
“Bring Blaine back, that was our goal the entire offseason,” said Kytta via email.
Kytta, who started at defensive end and offensive tackle for coach Tom DeVelice, said the senior class was extremely disappointed after going 4-5 in 2015. They knew something had to change, namely in the offseason work ethic of the team.
He said the seniors made a commitment to improve, and even though they fell short of their goal of a state championship, he said all that hard work “felt like it paid off.” The Bengals went 9-3 and advanced to the Class AAAAAA state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Totino-Grace in a 21-20 thriller.
“I can rest easy knowing I was part of the team that brought the tradition of Blaine football back,” said Kytta, who was one of the team’s captains.
At just 5-foot-10 and 210-pounds, Kytta said he knew he’d either have to gain weight to play on a collegiate defensive line or switch positions all together. During the fall, Kytta said he was recruited by Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic conference schools, as well as other Division III private schools around the country.
He was planning on making the necessary changes to play Division III football, until a phone call from the throwers coach at Boston University changed his mind toward track and field.
“Clint Lockwood, a 2016 graduate from Blaine, is out at BU throwing after winning the state meet last year,” Kytta said. “With Clint being out there, their coach decided to look into me a bit and over MEA, I got flown out on an official visit.”
Although he was not offered a scholarship, Kytta said the trip provided an opportunity to reassess his college plans. He said the physical toll football and wrestling has taken on his body (torn labrum and torn MCL just to name a couple injuries) factored into his thinking, along with his academic aspirations.
“As of now I'm planning on going into physical therapy,” Kytta said. “I enjoy studying how the body moves and works and such. BU has a great program so that is a plus.”
Kytta, who said wrestling was never an option in college, is now prepared to hang up the pads and focus on throwing at the next level, unless something changes during the late stages of recruiting.
“It's the best decision for my future in my mind, for both my education and my athletics,” Kytta said.