By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
A more experienced Kempner team will take the field this year looking to compete for a district championship.
According to Coach Darrin Andrus, “we will return almost everyone on offense, which ranked third in total offense. Our new defensive coordinator, Ben Duhon, will bring a new scheme and excitement to the defense. We will be more experienced this year, as we played nine sophomores last year. We will have a lot of varsity experience this year.”
Mention Kempner and other coaches immediately think of Billy Reagins, a unanimous first team all-district fullback. One district coach said, “Reagins lines up a couple of yards behind the quarterback and is pounding the line of scrimmage before you know it. And he keeps pounding it all game.”
Reagins rushed for over 1,400 yards last season and has several early scholarship offers.
“I have offers from New Mexico and Stephen F. Austin and expect Baylor to make an offer real soon,” Reagins said.
Over the off-season, Reagins grew two inches and added 15 pounds of muscle, making him even tougher to bring down.
Because Reagins lines up so close to the line of scrimmage, when he is handed the ball, he needs to make a split-second decision about which way to go.
“It all starts with the line. I really trust my line. I know they are going to create a hole, and I need to keep my head up and find it. It’s all about vision. I need to watch the defensive end. If he stays outside, I will go inside. If he comes inside, I go outside and I know I can beat the linebacker,” Reagins said. “I believe Billy is one of the top players in the state. He is our team captain and our leader on and off the field,” Andrus said.
Kempner has two more all-district returnees, tight end Jake Landry and offensive lineman Dalton Perez. Landry had five touchdown receptions last year, and is probably the hardest working man on the practice field as both the offense and defense want him on their side during scrimmages.
“It’s crazy,” said Landry. “It’s hard to play both sides at the same time.”
“Jake will play tight end and linebacker this year. He is an all-around athlete and a team captain,” Andrus said. “Perez (6-4, 300) is a big smart kid that should get some scholarship offers.”
Junior quarterback Alec Carr was runner-up for district newcomer of the year last year, and was an all-district selection in baseball.
“Carr is a natural athlete and leader. He is a great kid with unlimited potential,” Andrus said.
Two offensive linemen that may have breakout seasons are Jordan Jones and Jeremy Harris. Jones will handle the right tackle position and Harris returns at center where he started as a sophomore.
Larry Chairez and Matthew Martinez return at wide receiver.
“Chairez is a two-year starter for us and our best blocker at receiver. Martinez is one of the best deep snappers in the district and a team captain,” Andrus said.
If the Cougars are to compete for the district championship, the defense will need to step up and shut down the many high-powered offenses in the district. Defensive lineman Cameron Peterson, linebacker Drake Lamb, cornerback Jordan Oliver, safety Blake Berry, and defensive lineman Junjie Quan will need good if not great years for Kempner to win the championship.
According to Andrus, “Peterson should receive multiple scholarship offers with a good season, Lamb is the smartest kid in the program and plays with a lot of heart, Oliver is a leader in the secondary along with Berry, and we are counting on Quan to have a strong year in the D-line.”
Coach Andrus points to their first district game against Ridge Point.
“That game will tell us a lot about our team,” he said.
|Won 4 Lost 6|
|Won 2 Lost 6|
|2016 (Home Games Bold)|
|Week 1||Thu Aug 25 6:30pm Mayde Creek @ Rhodes|
|Week 2||Fri Sep 2 7:00pm Nimitz @ Mercer|
|Week 3||Thu Sep 8 6:00pm Alief Hastings @ Crump|
|Week 5||Thu Sep 22 6:00pm Ridge Point @ Mercer|
|Week 6||Fri Sep 30 @ 7:00pm Austin @ Mercer|
|Week 7||Thu Oct 6 6:00pm Bush @ Mercer|
|Week 8||Thu Oct 13 Hightower @ Hall|
|Week 9||Sat Oct 22 6:00pm Dulles @ Mercer|
|Week 10||Fri Oct 28 7:00pm Clements @ Mercer|
|Week 11||Thu Nov 3 7:00pm Travis @ Mercer|
|Returning||FB Billy Reagins Sr #2|
|All-District:||TE Jake Landry Sr #14|
|OG Dalton Perez Sr #79|