Kinder finds success with running game, defense

By By Rhett Manuel / American Press

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.”