Friday, August 9, 2013

Lycoming's Bukasa is a player to watch in 2013

#20 Kabongo Bukasa against Brockport (Click to Enlarge)
Williamsport, PA - Steve Wiser has had some great players through his years of coaching the defense and there is another player who can be added to that list this year. His name is Kabongo Bukasa, the senior linebacker with a heart for "Wiser Defense." Kabongo has been interviewed by me a number of times and one thing always stands out for me. He is a happy person, always with a smile, and seasoned with that not so common humility when it comes to his football talents. He is a joy to talk to and  exciting to watch on the field.

#20 Kabongo Bukasa (Click to Enlarge)
This year, he will be completing his senior year as a Warrior (assuming we are still Warriors after August 13th). Between taking video and photos at the games, I do get a chance to just watch him play his position. I like a defense when it performs what I call "swarming" like a nest of bees, and Bukasa is infectious to the whole defense when he is in that hunting mode. He glides along the backs of the lineman filling in any gap and sticking it to the running back coming to what looked to be daylight. He can slide outside and accomplishmenbt a one a one tackle on the fastest of running backs. He has the ability to read pass and drops back to shadow the receiver. He has that tenacity to be a disrupter, a game changer and a team leader all on his presence on the field. It seems to me he visualizes what can happen and responds so quickly to the situation. He is just one fun player to watch.

#20 Kabongo Bukasa (Click to Enlarge}
Kabongo is from Sharon Hill, Pa., Academy Park High School where he was the team's defensive MVP and a first team all-league selection. At Lycoming, he has continued the progression as a freshman. In 2010 he played in all 10 games and tallied 31 tackles, 15 of which were solo. Kabongo recorded nine tackles and a sack against powerhouse Widener, helping him earn MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors, not bad for a freshman. He made eight tackles, two for a losses to earn MAC Honor Roll honors against FDU-Florham.

In 2011, his sophomore year, Kabongo was a named Second Team All-MAC player. He finished tied for 24th in the MAC with 58 tackles, 29 solo and 29 assisted. He notched five or more stops in six games and had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown against Albright. At the Lycoming football banquet, he was awarded the team’s Most Improved Defensive Player award.

#20 Kabongo Bukasa (Click to Enlarge)
Last year as a junior, he was named Second Team Beyond College Sports Network All-American, Second Team All-East Region player, MAC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MAC. He had at least five tackles in each of his first eight games. He earned MAC Defensive Player of the Week against Widener and was the only player in the MAC in the top 10 in tackles and interceptions, finishing sixth in both categories. For the year Lycoming named him Team’s Defensive Player of the Year.

His progression has been outstanding year after year. As we approach 2013, Kabongo has a chance to be one of the best linebackers Lycoming has ever had. It will take even more dedication to achieve that level of play and Kabongo can accomplish it. He has the ability, he has the desire and he has the right attitude. Summed up, he has the right stuff for that feat. It will be fun to watch him this season from the side lines or the stands rallying the defense into the "swarming bees" they are capable of being. I believe that when we reach the middle of November, and the dust settles,  we will all be saying to each other, Kabongo Bukasa, he was one great defensive player for the Lycoming Warriors.