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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Wildcats kick off Labor Day Weekend with season opener Friday

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Game time 7 PM @ Decatur ? Apologies to the “Eagles” from Decatur? – they were incorrectly identified in this article as the Bulldogs. Corrections have been made.
For the 2019 Kennedale Wildcat football team game time is finally here. They have sweated through a dry, hot August with plenty of practice and just one scrimmage, that one against the #1 team in Class 4A, Waco La Vega. A second scrimmage against a Fort Worth team never materialized. {{more: continue ?}}
This version of the Wildcats have a lot to prove. They are young and inexperience.? And they all know that like any other Kennedale team in the Richard Barrett era, there is high expectations sitting on their shoulder pads just waiting for their opponents to knock it off.
What is the consensus among the coaches? This is a team with a lot of talent in first line players, very athletic and intelligent ? a coach?s dream. However, they are thin on numbers and actual playing experience.
Overall, the coaches are excited about the season and expect good things to happen. It may just take some bumps and bruises and hitting the reset button before it all clicks.
Up first Decatur ?
Last year this looked like a tough opener. It turned out to be far from it, as Kennedale took a 21-0 lead into the second quarter and never looked back, ending the game with a 55-7 shocker over? the Eagles
Decatur later proved how good they had become when they sneaked into the playoffs as a definitive underdog with a 4-6 record and made it all the way to the state semifinals. Yes, that is five deep into the playoffs. One more win and they would have been playing for a state championship.
Strong passing attack …?
Ok, that was last year, what about this year? Decatur is returning 11 starters ? 6 on offense and 5 on defense. Senior QB Roman Fuller returns after earning 4,652 yards along with 45 touchdowns by passing. Last year the Eagles averaged 311 passing yards per game, adding another 112 in rushing.
For the Eagles, senior RB Gunner Ragsdale is hoping to improve on his 1,040 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing attack of a year ago. But he will be pushed by senior RB/WR A.J. Martinez who garnered 810 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing and another 860 yards and 4 touchdowns receiving. Also in the mix will be senior WR Dayne Chapman who had 839 all-purpose yards last year plus 9 touchdowns.
On defense several starters with big numbers are returning. Senior LB Robert Webber garnered 129 tackles last year with 8 for losses. Senior LB Seth Hackanson got 122 tackles with 7 for losses. Meanwhile CB Layton Harris got 6 interceptions and 57 tackles.
Last year?s Decatur team was loaded with juniors who got some hard knocks early but then they put it together late. Kennedale plans to test that experience Friday night with their own untested crew.
Update on the Wildcats coming …?

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