Ruskin, August 7, 2019– The Longhorns are looking to bounce back after a less than productive 2018 effort, as they regroup in preparation for 2019 football commencement in a mere eight days around the 813 area. It’s not improbable to foresee a very attainable seven-plus win year this upcoming season; here are some shared thoughts from head coach Matt Kitchie standing by his resilient squad and what to look out for as the orange and white hit the gridiron.
“As for our offensive line, we will go as they go. On the opposite side, our defensive line has improved dramatically because of having to practice against them,” says head coach Matt Kitchie confidently.
“We are more talented at our skill positions than we have been in years past. Tino will still be a huge part of our gameplan. But we hope to spread the ball in the air to make his Friday nights easier. Defensively, we will be way more physical. We are bigger upfront and our secondary has grown into a good looking group.
… Quay Smith will be a large part of what we do, contributing in multiple spots, Gavin Henley will be our quarterback. Jahki Davis will be a wide receiver for us and our defensive backs are Xavier Mitchell and Josh Culpepper. This season is a result of most of the 2020 class playing through tough times and staying together.”
The 6’0 185-pound bullish rusher in the Longhorns’ backfield stampeded over national averages, putting the team at 244.4 rushing yards per game. In Tino’s personal stat-line, the junior rushed for 1,607 yards on 233 carries, averaging 6.9 YPC with a 70-yard long-run and amassed nearly half the teams’ total TDs, tacking on 16. Regardless of the rough 2018 season numbers, recording only a couple wins, Hunt covered a massive amount of real estate and most of all, when adversity struck, no one pointed the finger and accepted the outcome as a collective unit.
“Our biggest goal is to be better than we were last year, to improve and to finish games. We were in a lot of games in the third quarter, but one thing happened or another and we lost; so the focus this year is to finish and do something different than we did last year,” states Kitchie, heading into his third year as head coach.
As the record goes to show, Lennard was indeed neck n neck throughout the entirety of most their matchups in a 10-game span. Of those ten face offs, four of them were decided by a touchdown and a field goal deficit. The ‘it’s not about how you start, but more so if you finish strong’ saying comes into play here. Trials and tribulations are an ongoing truth to sports and life, and the Longhorns are certainly not the first, and won’t be the last- EVERYONE goes through it. It just comes down to how you flip the switch and change the narrative.
“We have had an amazing off-season, the kids have really bought into the weight room, becoming very strong and they are working hard to make sure that they have the stamina for the fourth quarter. We had a great buy-in and with the kids all summer long, the biggest part for a high school coach is getting them to show up and they did.”
Coach Kitchie concludes surely, “I think the biggest thing is, entering year three the kids know what to expect from me, I also believe that we treat our kids very well and are trying very hard to have a great high school experience for them. We’re starting to get some community by then which is making it better for the kids.”
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor