Last Modified: Thursday, December 05, 2013 9:44 AM
Class 2A’s No. 3-seeded Kinder Yellow Jackets make no secrets about how they want to beat you. Theirs is a team built on running the football and playing defense.
Running back Jordan Vickers and quarterback Austin Pickle have keyed the offense. But, it’s a hard-hitting linebacking corp that has played the biggest part in springing the Jackets (12-1) to tomorrow’s semifinal home game against No. 2 Winnfield (11-2).
Juniors Zach Rider, Bryce Baker and DC Arceneaux combine to give Kinder a formidable defensive core that could spring the Jackets to its first ever state championship game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome if they win tomorrow.
Each player brings his own flare to Kinder’s defense according to first-year head coach Bret Fuselier. Baker could be described as the unit’s “quarterback”, Arceneaux a speedy sideline-to-sideline player and Rider an all-around presence that brings both physicality and coverage skills.
“It really starts with Baker,” Fuselier said. “He makes all our calls on defense He’s like our quarterback out there. The thing is he’s a three-year starter. He understands what’s going on out there and what defense we need to be in. He’s a football-smart kid. He understands the game.”
Perhaps Rider’s greatest asset for Kinder is his versatility. While listed as a linebacker, Rider has also played multiple positions and done different jobs.
“Rider is more of a physical guy,” Fuselier said. We roll him up and play him at defensive end a bit. He’s got to be physical and we also ask him to play in coverage whenever we play spread teams. He’s shown against spread teams the ability to cover people.”
While all have been solid, it has been Arceneaux who has stepped up the most in the postseason.
“(Arceneaux) is an athletic linebacker,” Fuselier said. “He can run and is getting better with his reads. He’s gotten better every week this year. He’s really playing good football right now. He’s stepped it up in this playoff run.”
With all three playing an important role in the defense, their contribution will be vital if Kinder hopes to advance to play for a state championship.
“We expect Winnfield to come in and run the football,” Fuselier said. “(Baker, Arceneaux and Rider) put us in position and our defense is an unselfish group. We know first and foremost that we have to control the line of scrimmage. That’s the important part where these linebackers come in. They get us in the right fronts.
“All three are pretty football-smart. They’re all physical kids. It’s just a pleasure to coach kids who have those qualities about them.”
Posted By: Michael Reed On: 12/5/2013
Kinder ain't seen nothing yet. Will be a great game. Both teams are evenly matched. Good luck to both teams.
Posted By: Darrell Lejeune On: 12/5/2013
Title: Great article!
Winnfield better hang on tight!! I know everybodys talkin about Winnfields defense but I promise you they ain't seen nothing like the defense they gonna see tomorrow night in Kinder!! Jackets are too fast too big and too physical for Winnfield!! Winnfields got two big linemen on their defense and that's it. Jackets got a whole team full of HEAD BUSTERS on their defense!! The Big K is heading to the Big Easy baby!!