COLUMBIA – K.C. Hinton drops back and curves around the defense for a big gain. After being tackled, Hinton goes right back to the huddle to run the offense again.
Hinton is part of the Columbia Colts sixth grade football team, which is made up of the best players in the Columbia Youth Football League's sixth grade division. The team participated in the Show-Me State Youth Football Tournament this weekend at Cosmopolitan Park.
Hinton has played football for five years and this is his third year playing for the Colts in the Show-Me State Games.
He is one of the key players on the team and takes an aggressive approach on the gridiron. Colts head coach Craig James said Hinton is the leader of the Colts and he makes sure that the players are in line.
"He's a commander on the field and knows every position," James said. "He's very smart and helps out all the other players."
Hinton has athletics running through his veins. His family has been heavily involved in various sports and have been a big influence on Hinton's involvement in football.
Skyler Hinton, his brother, is a lineman for the Rock Bridge football team and umpires baseball games. His mother, Elaine Hinton, was a standout college basketball and softball player for the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and his father Michael Hinton umpires baseball and was a lineman for Clarion High School in Iowa.
Skyler Hinton has been involved in many of his brother's games in the CYFL, and he helps coach the team for some of them.
"Whenever Skyler knew that K.C. had a game, he would leave football practice early and he would be there," his mother said. "When K.C. starts up the fall season Skyler will be there every Sunday."
K.C. Hinton said his brother teaches him a lot of what he has learned while playing for Rock Bridge. When K.C. has butterflies in his stomach before a game, his brother is right there to calm him down.
"Skyler gives me the motivation to do the best I can all the time," K.C. Hinton said. "He helps me be a perfectionist."
Elaine Hinton played for the 1975 Nebraska-Omaha national softball championship team and was inducted into the university's hall of fame in 1991.
She attends all of her son's games. She can often be seen at the football games sitting with a camcorder and digital camera.
She said she often gives him advice and talks about various football strategies with him. She also said she is more than just a spectator at the games.
"I'm the mom that goes out there and explains what happened to the other parents when they don't understand what happened," she said. "I am always telling him (her son) what he could have done differently."
Michael Hinton has been officiating basketball and baseball for 25 years and he said he has emphasized leadership qualities to K.C. He was also a coach for his son's CYFL team in 2005.
"He hates to lose, but I told him, win or lose, you have to go out and do your best," Michael Hinton said. "I just want to teach him to be a role model."