KINDER, La. (KPLC) - With a new year, comes a new district for Kinder. The Yellow Jackets leave district 6-2A with the likes of Notre Dame and Welsh for a more favorable district in 5-2A that includes familiar opponents such as DeQuincy and Rosepine.
“It’ll be interesting to play new teams and seeing what everyone else plays against,” said Kinder offensive lineman Tyler Hayes. "We’ll miss our old district and not having Welsh as our big rival team.
“Now that we have Rosepine and DeQuincy, I know most of those guys from playing baseball with them," Kinder quarterback Hayes Fawcett said. "I think playing against guys that you know puts a little more into it.”
The Yellow Jacket offense will possess plenty of experience as they return eight starters from 2018, with half of those coming on the offensive line. The line will aim to create holes for dive back Todd Fuselier, who returns from injury and three-year starting quarterback Hayes Fawcett who finished with over 1600 total yards and 19 touchdowns a season ago. The notable change coming on offense will be on the coaching staff as former Kinder signal-caller Justin Reed returned home to coach the QBs.
“I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time. Probably more than I have over my past three years playing quarterback," admitted Fawcett. "I feel like it’ll be a big stepping stone for me and the team this year.”
“You can’t even describe what he’s done for Hayes and the rest of the quarterbacks," said Kinder coach Bret Fuselier. "He knows the ins and outs of the position. He has a lot of good contacts and is a wealth of knowledge for our guys.”
The Jacket defense is equally as experienced with eight starters back as well. Kinder will stick with it's 4-2-5 scheme and describes their defensive unit as one that is more equipped to stop the passing game. Junior linebacker Gavin Johnson and returning interception leader Skyler Leckelt will be players to watch for on the second and third levels of the defense.
“We have Gavin Johnson coming back who was an all-district player for us so he’ll solidify the front," Fuselier said. "On the defensive line we have some guys who can be some really good ball players but I think our secondary will be our strong point this year.”
With the Jackets coming off their second consecutive seven-win season after going on a four-year run that saw them win 51 games and a pair of state titles, they're hoping 2019 is the year they get back to their championship ways.
“We want more. We want to do more. We want to prove people wrong and show them that they shouldn’t count us out," said Kinder lineman Braylyn Larce. "That’s what we want to show people.”