KOUNTZE, Texas — The Kountze Lions are going to look a lot younger this season.
“Last season to the season, the difference is last year we had 16 senior graduate," said Coach Todd Paine. "This year I’ve only got five, so we’ve got a lot of youngsters that’s gotta step up and gotta have to play some major roles.”
After getting a taste of playoffs last season, Coach Todd Paine says the Lions won’t settle for anything less, no matter who hits the field on Friday.
“We told them from the get go we’re not moving backwards," said Coach Paine. "We got everything moving forwards these past three years. Like you said, we slowly progressed. We made the playoffs last year and I mean those expectations are still here."
"I don’t care if we have a bunch of freshmen or a bunch of seniors playing," said Coach Paine. "We still expect to go out there and compete every day and compete every Friday night, so we don’t lower the bar for them. We’re trying to raise them up to where we are.”
Even though the Lions are bringing up young talent, Kountze does have some returning players leading the pride.
“JLWhiteside, he’s our starting right tackle," said Coach Paine. "He’s a four-year starter. He’s been here since he was a freshman. Aaron Bumstead. He’s a receiver, DB, returner. He’s been here with us since day one, since he was a freshman too so that helps to have some experienced senior leaders on the team.”
“We’re gonna have a brand new quarterback, sophomore quarterback," said Coach Todd Paine. "He played every snap last year on JV and he’s progressed a little bit. We’ve got some others that are kind of pushing him. Thing is with small school 3A ball a lot of those guys on offense they’re gonna turn back around and play on defense. That helps a lot having those three but those young guys they’re just gonna have to learn on the fly.”
They may be young but they’re driven, wanting to give the lions another playoff run.
“Seeing what we have just in the first three days of practice, how they’ve responded, how they’ve come out with a lot of energy, they’ve retained a lot of information," said Coach Paine. "A lot of them, at least when they make mistakes they’re making them wide open. We can correct technique. We can’t correct the hustle and that’s one thing we have seen a lot of it.”
2021 Record: 7-4, 4-2
Playoffs: Bi-District (Elysian Fields, L 48-17)
State Championship Appearances: 0
Playoff Appearances: 9
2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 26 - at Hull-Daisetta
Sept. 2 - vs Wallis Brazos
Sept. 9 - vs Evadale
Sept. 16 - vs Buna
*Sept. 23 - at Anderson-Shiro
*Sept. 30 - vs Hemphill
*Oct. 7 - at Trinity
*Oct. 21 - vs Newton
*Oct. 28 - at New Waverly
*Nov. 4 - vs Warren