On the football field, he's a quarterback's nightmare at defensive tackle, but outside his shoulder pads and helmet, he's goofy and a gentle giant. These are just some of the traits to describe the Florida native Khalil Lisbon.
Lisbon was only a junior when he joined the McPherson High School football team immediately after moving from Kissimmee, Florida one year ago with his mom Kyrenia Lowe and his sister.Kissimmee is 18 miles south of Orlando.
While he was young, Lisbon developed an anger issue.He had a short temper with a short attention span, and because of it, Lowe believed playing football would help Lisbon control his anger despite Lisbon not having the love for the game, but because of his early growth, he joined a little league team in Osceola anyway.
"My parents wanted me to play, and I didn't really wanted to play that much," Lisbon said. "I won't say I was forced because I definitely had a choice, but I did it to make them proud."
However, Lisbon quit football when he reached the sixth grade.
"I think he just didn't have the passion for it, and people expected him to play football because he's a big boy and he's tall," Lowe said. "I put him through football to kind of help him with his temper and anger. It helped."
Due to financial reasons, Lisbon and his family moved to McPherson in 2017. Lowe, a single mother,is used to traveling after being born and raised in New York from a military family, where her father served in the army for 20 years. She graduated from High School in Germany before moving back to the states. Already having family ties to McPherson, it was an adjustment for Lisbon and his family, but they received nothing but a warm welcome from the community.
"What I noticed here is that people are so nice. It's a very small town, but a lot of people are very nice over here," Lisbon said.
For Lowe, she is more acquainted with the area and moving around from place to place is nothing new for her. However, it was a transition moving from living the city life to the country.
"It's very open. I'm used to the city compared to Kissimmee, where it's very crowded, and there's a lot of shops and hotels," Lowe said. " When we got here, we were like 'ok it's a little bit country to us' but it's been cool."
Last season, after joining the football team, Lisbon racked up 28 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He even saw the field at running back at one point.
"I just saw a big kid who's looking to have some fun. I think he took it to it right away, and he's doing a good job," Scott Davis, Bullpups defensive line coach said. "He just ran out the field where we asked him to read and react, and do a lot of different things. He has come a long way. This year he understands the goals are and what's the task at hand."
Playing football in Florida is a lot different than Kansas. Lisbon saw it first hand when he joined the Bullpups.
"No.1 thing that I noticed is the way they coached here. It is very technique in a sort of way," Lisbon said. "In Florida if you're the bigger guy, they going to put you in a position, but here they look at your form and technique if you're not doing your defensive moves."
Schools like McPherson College to Kansas State has shown interests to the senior for him to play college football. Jace Pavlovich, Bullpups head coach, has been an influence on Lisbon.
"Coach Pav(lovich) has been a great impact and great coach overall. He's a very understanding person and a caring person. He sees something wrong, he'll do everything in his power to make sure that something gets right. He's a very respectful person and nicest to be around."
He's also close friends with his teammate and starting running back Jace Kinnamon and his family. Kinnamon would give him rides after practice and invite him over for supper.
"We're really good friends," Kinnamon said about Lisbon. I think it started when I gave him rides last season, and we liked the same music and same interests."
Now returning as a senior, Lisbon is ready to step up as a leader for the defense, which returned three starters from last year. His personal goals are to play football at the next level and make enough money to buy Lowe a pink and black F1-50 pickup truck.
"I know I can make my team better, and I know they're going to follow me, so everyday at practice, I'm trying to tell everybody what to do and help everybody out, and make everyone a better player," Lisbon said.
The Bullpups will have their home opener on Friday as they face Salina South High School at 7 p.m. at McPherson Stadium.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports