KOUNTZE, Texas — Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a football program. Last year Todd Paine took over a Kountze program that hasn't had a winning record since 2013.
"It's a tough road you know, rebuilding a program. Just getting that culture, that mindset into them, that you can compete. Granted, we did have some tough competition last year, especially week one and two. You know we started with EC and Hamshire right out of the box, that didn't help any. I had nineteen sophomores and two freshman on varsity last year. So it was growing pains, but we made it through it. We're going to be alright.
While camp has been opened for less than a week, Paine likes what he sees
"For the most part, it's going good. It's actually better than it was last year. You know this point last year we were installing everything and now we're a year into it. So it's just rehashing, getting that mind loose. We're being bale to install new stuff right now. For the most part it's not bad so far."
As far as impact players, the Lions have plenty.
"You got Hunter Read at quarterback, he'll be a junior this year. He's looking real well. He's picked up the offense good. Demond Hamilton is going to be one of our running backs, Ely Whisenant. Then you got our receivers Matt Walters and Zach Paine. Our o-line, we got some big guys on the o-line and they're young. That was the one thing last year. We played a lot of sophomores on line and a couple seniors last year. You got Noah Thomas that's going to help out there. So we ought to be OK.
Kountze opens the season August 28th at Hardin.
Last Year: (1-8, 0-5)
Starters Returning: Offense (8), Defense (9)
Players to Watch: RB/LB Ely Whisenant, WR/DB Matt Walters, WR/DB Zach Paine, RB/DB Demond Hamilton, QB/DB Hunter Read
Dave Campbell's Texas Football 12-3A-DII Prediction: 7th
District Championships: (5) 1947, 48, 60, 67, 73
Playoff Appearances: (7) 1947, 48, 60, 67, 73, 2013, 14
Playoff Record: (2-7-1)
Deepest Playoff Run: State Semifinalist (1967)
Most Wins in a Season: 11 (1967)
Aug. 28 - at Hardin Hornets
Sept. 4 - at West Hardin Oilers
Sept. 11 - vs Tenaha Tigers
Sept. 18 - vs Hitchock Bulldogs
Sept. 25 - at Newton Eagles*
Oct. 2 - vs Hemphill Hornets*
Oct. 9 - at Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs*
Oct. 16 - OPEN
Oct. 23 - vs Anderson-Shiro Owls*
Oct. 30 - at New Waverly Bulldogs*
Nov. 6 - vs Warren Warriors*