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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Kennedale Wildcats – rebuilding or reloading?

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The numbers are down, a key running back has moved, the quarterback position has a vacancy sign posted, and yes, there is that virus thing. For Kennedale’s Head Coach Richard Barrett, it just another year, and he is just as pumped, maybe more so.

Doesn’t rebuild just reloads …

Barrett’s expectations are the same, year in and year out, the Wildcats are going to win. Barrett doesn’t rebuild, he reloads. And, that is just how it is with the winningest head coach in the school’s history.

Kennedale starts the year according to Dave Campbell’s Texas High School preview edition in the #16 position in Class 4A. While Kennedale is most often in the Top Ten, being down in the pack is not unusual, being out of the top twenty, however, would be earth-shaking.

Sitting ahead of Kennedale in the Texas Football Magazine’s preseason poll are a number of familiar names including #1 Waco La Vega, #2 Argyle, #11 Stephenville, #12 Midlothian Heritage, #14 Paris, and #15 Brownwood.

Most of these teams have opened the season with wins. Kennedale, following Tarrant County Covid-19 guidelines, has not yet played. The season starts this week for the Wildcats.

Early results …

La Vega (2-0) downed Calhoun 20-7 and Connally 13-10; Argyle (2-0) defeated Decatur 56-9 and Pleasant Grove 52-41; Stephenville (1-2) won against Sweetwater 58-32 but took back to back losses to Lampasas 0-41 and Everman 31-33; Midlothian Heritage (2-0) defeated WF Hirschi 42-14 and Lindale 28-21; Paris (2-0) bested Metro Christian, OK 34-14 and Celina 10-7; Brownwood (1-1) lost to Lampasas 23-55 and defeated Greenwood 35-15.

Meanwhile, Kennedale is still preparing for its opening game which is giving the Cats plenty of time to fill the hole left by the transfer of running back Keirahyin Brown to Trinity Christian/Cedar Hill and the graduation of quarterback Seth Paroulek.

12 returners from last season …

Kennedale was 7-4 last year, claiming another district title but had an unusually early exit from the playoffs. The Cats were defeated in the first-round by China Springs.

Kennedale returns 12 starters, 6 on offense and 6 on defense, and has a number of players to watch this season.

Players to follow …

  • Four-star UT pledge SS JD Coffey (SR) is rated the 7th best safety in the nation, was a first-team all-state player and who may see some time at QB;
  • RB Marlete Joyner (SR) looks to move to fullback this year after rushing for 332 yards last year at 10.2 yards per carry;
  • Ife Adeyemi (SR) may be vying for quarterback, running back, and/or receiver (last year he had 344 receiving yards on a team that runs the ball close to or better than 90% of the time);
  • QB Jeremiah Myers (SO) played on the freshman team last year but could be the go-to behind the center this year;
  • LB Braden Waters (JR) had 127 tackles with 17 for losses;
  • K Aidan Birr (JR) handled the kicking duties averaging 51.7 yards per kickoffs, 37.0 yards for punts and scored 67 points for the Wildcats and was an honorable mention all-state kicker;
  • LB Antoine Martin (JR) 33 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 interception;
  • DT Junior Seay (JR) who saw action in 9 games last year came away with 36 tackles with 9 for losses and 3 sacks;
  • DE Miguel Arias (SR) played in 9 games had 13 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack;
  • others to watch include DT Chris Washington (SR); LB RJ Pepper (JR); and the Wildcat Offensive Line.

Game Time: Friday, September 11, 7:30 p.m., Wildcat Stadium vs Sunnyvale.

More on Sunnyvale later

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