Kindred standout Riley Sunram a force in the trenches and on special teams

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 9:18 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - He stands out on either side of the field.

Whether it’s moving bodies on the Offensive Line, or making tackles on the Defensive Line, it’s hard to miss University of Minnesota Commit Riley Sunram. The 6′5″, 280-pounder has made a name for himself for his play in the trenches, but he also contributes in a way many wouldn’t expect.

Sunram is also the kicker and punter for the Kindred Vikings, doing everything he can to help his team succeed.

“If I’m the best kicker I guess I’ll do the kicking.” Sunram said of his special teams role. “It’s not that bad for me. I enjoy it too it’s just a little different. I wasn’t great at it right away it obviously took some learning. I’m just doing whatever I can for the team.”

“He’s got an awesome leg and he’s a really good athlete.” Head Coach Eric Burgad said. “He had three or four punts on Friday where he totally flipped the field. That was such an advantage for us defensively. He was three for three on PATs and I always say points are points, they all matter. He’s a really skilled player so he’s in that role.”

Kicking seems to run in the family for the Sunrams. His sister Jordyn was the kicker for the Vikings during Riley’s sophomore season.. Becoming the first female football player in school history in the process. Riley, who said that he actually lost the kicking job to Jordyn that season, gives her the credit for unlocking that kicking gene.

“She just played soccer so she knows all that kicking stuff.” Riley said. “We don’t really have soccer in the family so she was the first one to do that. And yeah, she just kind of taught me how to do it and I learned so it was nice to have her do that for me.”

If you go to a Kindred game this season, you’ll see a lot of Riley on the field. He’s on Offense, Defense, and every special team besides Kickoff Return. A level of versatility that has set him apart as one of the top prospects in the state.

“He’s going to do what he can for his team to be put in a good position. If that’s kicking the extra point, if that’s punting on fourth down rather than going to the sideline and getting a drink of whatever, that’s what he’s going to do and it’s awesome.” Burgad said.

Sunram is still humble about his abilities on special teams, saying that “I don’t really brag about it, but if anyone tries to kick against me, I’ve kicked a 50-yarder before, so I guess that’s kind of my breaking point there.”

Jordyn Sunram is now a member of the University of Jamestown Women’s Soccer team. Riley and the rest of the Vikings hit the road for game two of their season, heading up to Cavalier to face the Tornadoes.