Kimo Kouletsis: A great athlete that just so happens to be an even better person

By: Doug Sarant
| Published 05/01/2024


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- In searching for student athletes for our profiles, it is less about how good of an athlete a person is, and more about their qualities as a person.

Operating with character are what we look for when searching for a subject to feature.

Once in a while, we will feature a person that is gifted on and off the field of play. Our featured student/athlete today fits that bill to a T, in Kimo Kouletsis.

Kimo has shown empathy towards other kids, family and even strangers from a young age no matter what the situation.
As he has grown, the New York transport's good qualities have come to the forefront more and more. If you want to truly know what a young person is like, you seek out their teachers.

So, what do Kimo's elementary school/junior high school/high school teachers say about him? There isn't enough bandwidth to include all of their positive input, but we'll make a run at it.

In a nutshell, Kimo is described as being empathetic and thoughtful. One teacher mentioned how he would sit with a kid who was sitting alone, or he'd invite them to sit with him and his buddies. He'd do the same outside at recess.

Once, at the age of eight, he had gone to 7/11 for a slurpee with his aunt and his sisters. After getting their drinks, their aunt told them to grab some hot food and a cold drink and put it in a separate bag of which they left with a homeless veteran sitting outside. He relayed this story to his mother (Evelyn Kouletsis) upon getting home, and stated, “I want to be able to do that for people when I get older".

Let's get to know National Honor Society honoree/All American lacrosse player, Kimo Kouletsis...

Why did lacrosse and football win out over other sports as you grew up?

I had a lacrosse stick in my hands when I was four years old. I've been playing lacrosse for 13 years. My dad was the one who put the stick in my hand and showed me the game as he was a good lacrosse player himself. Being from Long Island also helped as it is a hotbed for the sport and was always around me. I played all the usual sports growing up like baseball, basketball, football, and lacrosse but gave up baseball because of the timing with lacrosse. I eventually gave up basketball after moving to The Woodlands. So, football and lacrosse were the sports I stuck with and had the most fun playing. I loved football because of the toughness you needed to succeed, and will to outwork the person across from you. The love for lacrosse and football were ingrained in me since I was a young boy.

Describe the TWHS lacrosse team and last fall's football team.

This year's lacrosse team has overcome so many challenges and persevered through so many obstacles making us stronger as a group. The support we get for lacrosse is great and we are very fortunate as players to be in such a great program. From an offensive aspect, Coach Demaio has brought my game to another level and our team is privileged to have him and Coach Danny (Dolan) with all the experience that they have in the game of lacrosse. The Highlander football team had a great year and it was cool to be a part of it. It is one of those experiences that coming from where I did, I would have never been involved in something so big. To go three rounds deep in the biggest division of high school football in Texas and be around so many D1 players on both the opposing teams and ours was crazy to see. The amount of support the team received from the students and faculty was greatly appreciated.

Do you enjoy going to The Woodlands High School?

TWHS is a very good place to be and feels like a small college. The social aspect is great and there are so many amazing people in this town. The biggest difference from here and New York is I have been here for three years and I still see people I have never seen before at school but if I would leave my house in my small town of Seaford, I would see someone I knew at every corner because everybody knows everybody.

You'll be attending the University of Pennsylvania. What was it about Penn that drew you to it?

Being an Ivy League school, Penn is obviously very smart and to even have a chance to go to an elite school like that was mind blowing to me. On my visit, I was with another Team 91 guy that played on the Bandits which was a team I used to look up to as a young kid. The campus was so nice, but being in the city, I thought it was going to be terrible. However, the campus was amazing and the vibe of the team just felt right. They had some PLL (Premier Lacrosse League) alumni talk about what they are doing now and how they are working successful jobs. One thing Coach Murphy said was 4 for 40. Four years at college and the next 40 years of your life. The alumni base at Penn runs so deep. The alumni were talking about mentors they had and alumni who helped them succeed. I don't know what l'Il be studying there yet, but most likely something to do with business, as it is the best business school in the country.

Your long-term plans after college?

I hope I can intern during college and once I graduate learn under a mentor which will probably be an alumnus. I'll just work my butt off to climb the corporate ladder.

What do you enjoy doing outside of lacrosse and football?

What I enjoy most now is golfing, watching movies and hanging out with family and friends.

Do you have any sports role models?

My father will always be my biggest role model and mentor in lacrosse, but a player who I always looked up to growing up was Joey Sankey. The biggest role model for football for me is Victor Cruz. When he used to score a touchdown for the Giants and do the salsa, I would be on my feet thinking that was me. He comes from Puerto Rican heritage and I do as well, so that was also an underlying factor.

Describe your family's support in everything you are involved in.

I couldn't be more grateful for the family God gave me. From my parents to my siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc... They have been my biggest supporters. Through the ups and downs, I always had family to lean on which I can't show enough gratitude for.

If you had a million dollars, and had to choose one charity to donate it to, who'd get it?

I would choose the American Stroke Association because my grandfather had a fatal stroke not too long ago and he was the greatest man you'd ever meet. Not a single person in the world disliked the man, and he was loved by everybody he met. If there's someone you needed to be your role model, he was the guy...just the kindest person in the world.

Three things people don't know about you.

I lived in California for two years. My name means James in Hawaiian. I'm 50 percent Korean.

How do you like living in Texas?

People in Texas are super nice and proper. If I said yes ma'am or sir to someone in NY, I think they'd be offended (laughs).

Your favorite song in your phone?

Drowning by A Boogie Wit da Hoodie. (Yes, that is spelled correctly)

Your favorite movie of all time?
The Wolf of Wall Street.

If you were sentenced to death and were allowed one last date, who would be the lucky girl?

Margot Robbie because it can't get any better than that.

TWHS Lacrosse coach, Anthony Demaio shared his thoughts on Kimo...
"Kimo’s play speaks for itself, and as he continues to develop as a player, a big bright spot for us as a team has been his leadership. He has done a great job leading from the front and making his teammates better. People don’t see practice every day. All they see are games, but his practices are better than his games. His energy and toughness are unmatched.
Kimo is held accountable and it makes him better. He is always trying to get better and is never satisfied. He is a joy to be around every day and brings our team an element through his leadership and doing things by example that not many of other teams have."

Former TWHS teammate, Luke Danna describes their friendship and what it's like to be on the same team as Kimo....
"Kimo and I always had a special relationship on and off the field and hung out all the time. We were best friends off the field but if we were ever on opposite teams for competitions, that friendship went right out the door. What made that so great was all the competitions between us in practice and all the trash talk that came with it. It made us so much better. He’s a great player and we always made each other better by talking about what we would do in certain situations and just watching each other play. He’s always had my back on and off the field and has always showed that. He’s a teammate that I miss having, not just because of his game on the field, but because of all the practices where we would talk trash and then laugh about it later."

I'll Leave you with something that describes what Kimo is like deep down.

During Kimo's freshman year, there was another freshman who was trying out the sport for the first time. This particular kid was very shy and not socially gifted, nor tremendously athletic. To be blunt, he was awkward in social circles and making friends was not his strong suit. Kimo would go out of his way to be nice to this kid letting him know he was as much a part of the team as anyone else. I wouldn't say that he took the kid under his wing, but he made himself available to him. Because Kimo is very good and socially gifted, others would see what he was doing and would follow suit.

You want an all-around genuinely good person that always looks out for the well-being of others, that is an insanely good athlete, I give you Kimo Kouletsis.

Kimo and The Woodlands varsity green team are in action on Saturday at noon at Weldon Willig Field on the campus of The Woodlands High School. They'll be playing Lake Travis in the state quarterfinals for the right to advance to the Texas High School Lacrosse League (THSLL) Final 4.

Kimo will undoubtedly be getting hyped before the game listening to "Drowning" by A Boogie Wit da Hoodie.

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