MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–When Kyle Bosch was 10 years old, he had a trading card of former NFL defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch that he scribbled out the Vanden so it read Kyle Bosch on it. As West Virginia’s Senior Day approaches, Bosch is one step closer to living his dream of playing in the NFL.
Saturday afternoon is sure to be an emotional day for the senior.
“It didn’t really dawn on me until Sunday that it’s my last home game at Mountaineer Field. It’s definitely really bittersweet,” Bosch said. “It’s going to be awesome, have an opportunity to sing Country Roads one more time, give a good send-off to all these guys who have been here a long time. Obviously, I’ve only been here for three years but it’s definitely been a very good experience.”
In 2015, the 6-foot-5, 298-pound senior transferred to WVU from Michigan and it has been a blessing.
“I made the right (choice),” Bosch said. “I had the opportunity to be an all-conference guard and hopefully I have the same opportunity this year. I am just happy that West Virginia opened their arms to me and embraced me as much as I embraced the culture here and the program itself.”
While the St. Charles, Illinois native has only been with the program for three years, he has made an impact on the football program but it has also left a mark on the entire Bosch family.
“Everything happens for a reason and WVU has been a true blessing,” his mother Tracey said. “He’s had a wonderful football career, he’s earned his degree and is working on his masters, he’s got a terrific girlfriend, made long lasting friendships and he’s happy. Couldn’t ask for anything more!”
Kyle has poured years of hard work and determination into football. Even back in high school, the guard had a dream that he was willing to put the effort forth to achieve it.
“Kyle is the most persistent, determined person we know,” Tracey said about her son. “In high school when he wasn’t at practice or in the weight room he was with a personal trainer or watching film – always trying to get better. Once he decides he’s going to do something he commits himself to making it happen. I think there is a misconception of what being a student athlete really entails. People think it is very glamorous but don’t realize the hard work and sacrifice that goes into it. Going to school and playing football is like having two full time jobs. You have to work hard to make it happen.”
Pursuing his football dreams has entailed a lot of ups and downs for Kyle.
“It’s definitely been an uphill battle at times,” he said. “There have been a lot of peaks, a lot of valleys. Obviously just righting the ship every day and trying to perform at a high level and trying to make the best of it. I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve tried to do since leaving there is make the best of my opportunity.”
Part of what keeps the St. Francis High School alum going is playing in his aunt’s memory.
“Kyle was very close to his Aunt Missy, who was diagnosed with cancer in her early 40s,” Tracey said. “She lost her ability to talk and eat and much more before she died. We spent a lot of time with her and she kept her sense of humor, grace and spirit through it all. Her loss sticks with Kyle and inspires him on and off the field. He’d tell you much of the volunteer work he does with Aunty Missy in mind.”
If his aunt was still alive today, she surely would be just as proud of her nephew as the rest of the Bosch clan is.
“We want Kyle to know how proud we are of him not just for his amazing football accomplishments but for the smart, funny, caring, loyal, compassionate, determined man he is and that we love him so very much,” Tracey said.
The Bosch family has enjoyed watching their son flourish at the collegiate level and with the Mountaineers.
“There is no greater joy, I think, for a parent than to see your child’s dream become a reality. The pride and joy we have every week – it’s a gift,” Tracey said.
For the last three years, the Bosch family has made many wonderful memories that will stay with them forever. One that stands out most is Bosch’s first game at WVU.
“The first man trip, the first time he took the field and, especially, the first time we heard Country Roads. Seeing Kyle come around the field high-fiving everyone that first time was something we will never forget,” Tracey said. “We did not know that singing Country Roads was a tradition at WVU and to see it that first time just overwhelmed us.”
Saturday is sure to be an emotional afternoon for the Bosch family as Kyle prepares to play his final game at home in front of the Mountaineer faithful against Texas.
“Well, I think Kyle said it best – ‘My mom will be a wreck’. We will be overwhelmed with so many emotions. Joy, pride and sadness,” Tracey said “It’s bittersweet. It’s the culmination of his dream so that brings the joy and pride. The sadness comes from knowing that we will never see Kyle play in Milan Puskar Stadium again or walk in a man trip or lap the field singing Country Roads. We’ve met so many wonderful players, parents and fans, who have become friends. Knowing that next fall we won’t be seeing them every-other weekend – well, I’m crying just thinking about it.”
Coming to WVU has been a blessing for Kyle and being a Mountaineer is something that means everything to him.
“I had the opportunity to go up and down the state and meet a bunch of great people from this state,” he said. “Being at Michigan you are more of a figurehead, more like one of those statues. You represent something but you don’t really impact anyone. And I’ve been able to impact quite a few people, at the children’s hospital, meeting people in Beckley, going to Glade Springs, meeting a bunch of genuinely really nice people throughout the state and understanding how much this program means to them.
“Because at Michigan you have two big-time Big 10 college teams, a bunch of MAC teams, you have a bunch of pro teams. Here in West Virginia it’s us and Marshall, if you want to include them in the conversation. But we’re the pro team and it’s been really cool and really neat to see the excitement, the passion these fans bring to the table and being able to provide that and experience that.”
As Kyle’s career in the old gold and blue winds down, the Bosch family has a message to all the WVU fans in West Virginia and across the country.
“We want to thank the Mountaineer Nation for welcoming us and for their support,” Tracey said. “Mountaineer Fans are the best in college football! Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer! We will be watching and cheering from Chicago!”
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS