With all the passing records, accolades and heady stats amassed by Fort Bragg quarterback Kaylor Sullivan, crowning the 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior the All-Empire small schools football offensive player of the year was a mere formality.
However, even the lack of suspense doesn’t diminish the fact that the POY award caps a season by Sullivan that is unquestionably among the best for a quarterback in the history of the Redwood Empire. Opposing coaches knew their defenses were in for a long night when they played Fort Bragg over the past two seasons.
“I was impressed with Sullivan’s maturity. He never made a bad decision,” Cloverdale coach Chad Prieskorn said. “The way he ran that spread offense was really impressive. The success that kid had at a small school is mind-boggling.”
Middletown coach Bill Foltmer said: “Sullivan is one of the top quarterbacks I have faced in my 35 years of coaching football.”
The case for Sullivan being named the offensive POY hinged not only on his stratospheric numbers but also his intangibles.
“Sullivan was a general out there and was the main reason Fort Bragg was so successful,” Prieskorn said. “I know he will succeed wherever he goes. He will find a way to win.”
According to MaxPreps.com, Sullivan’s final rankings among California prep quarterbacks for the 2015 season are as follows:
1st in average yards passing per game (349)
1st in completions per game (24.5)
1st in total yards per game (392)
2nd in completions for the season (294)
3rd in passing yards for the season (4,192)
3rd in total yards for the season (4,706)
“First in the state in passing yards and total yards, that is pretty unbelievable,” Fort Bragg coach Roy Perkins said. “His numbers are staggering. Kaylor has changed the game here over the past two years.”
Sullivan also set a single-game Redwood Empire record with 539 yards passing in a win over Willits this season. For his career, Sullivan completed 521 of 806 attempts for 7,487 yards with 81 touchdown passes in 22 games.
In a modest manner, Sullivan doesn’t shy away from discussing his records but said that wasn’t his main focus.
“The records are cool, but at the end of the day it’s not really about you. The best part of it all was playing football with my friends,” Sullivan said. “My offensive line and receivers, we all know each other. We are kind of like brothers.”
No doubt Sullivan’s achievements are impressive, including a game in 2014 when Sullivan threw eight touchdown passes against Encina Prep of Sacramento in one half, setting a California state record and tying a national mark and drawing wide attention to Fort Bragg.
But the records and gaudy numbers aren’t the only aspects of Sullivan’s game that will leave an indelible impression on Perkins, teammates and opponents.
Perkins said Sullivan had great dedication to his team, a hardy work ethic and was able to handle the pressure on a weekly basis when defenses devised every scheme imaginable to stop him.
“Kaylor is incredibly competitive,” Perkins said. “The bigger the stage and the more pressure there was on him, the better he did.”