NEDERLAND — Give Colton Kimler credit. He sure has a sense for the moment.
Time after time this season, the junior safety/wide receiver has come up with big plays. The 6-foot-1, 190 pounder led District 20-4A with six interceptions this season and came up with two huge TD catches last week against Dayton.
Kimler admits he isn’t the fastest player on the field, but his ability to go up and get passes with body control and his jumping ability means he can outfight smaller players down the field.
“He’s different from the other guys,” Nederland head coach Larry Neumann said. “We’ve always known him to be an athlete. We’ll throw a jump ball to Colton because he’s that kind of kid. It’s uncanny how he can get in position to make plays. The ball was thrown on time on both of his scores the other day, but Colton made the separation move at the end to get his hands on the ball.
“How do you coach that? I’d like to say we’re out here doing that drill 50 times a day, but athletes are going to make those kinds of play. He’s a big, strong kid. I still get the impression he doesn’t know how good he can be. I think he’s still growing into himself mentally. He’s a real down to earth guy, but he’s confident in his ability. He thinks he can go get it and most of the time, he does.”
Of course, Kimler’s experience with the basketball team helps a little with that ability to go up and get passes.
“The vertical leap, going to get the ball over smaller defenders really helps.” Kimler said.
Still, Kimler has been the third-best option in Nederland’s passing attack behind Michael Shaw and Seth Barrow. The junior has 14 catches for 263 yards and three TDs. He is one of three Nederland receivers with 10 or more catches and 100 or more receiving yards.
Last season, it looked like Kimler would have his impact on offense, after he caught 26 passes for 347 yards and three TDs. But, his improvement on defense has been the thing that has impressed his coaches the most.
“He has really developed into a good tackler,” Neumann said. “When he first started playing defense, he was a poor, poor tackler. In fact, we were unsure whether he could play on defense because he was such a poor tackler. He has really developed into being a good tackler. That’s carried over on offense, as he’s a really good blocker too.”
This season, Kimler has 41 tackles with two forced fumbles, six interceptions, one pass breakup and one defensive touchdown. He was one of five Nederland defenders to score touchdowns this season, as the Bulldogs combined for eight defensive scores in total.
To Kimler, his success in catching all those interceptions has been due to his excellent defensive line.
“The d-line getting pressure on the quarterback has been the biggest part,” Kimler said. “They make the quarterback make bad throws. I’m just there to make the play.”
Though he’s a junior on a senior-laden defense, Kimler said he’s never felt different or intimidated by playing beside the Koby Couron’s or Jordan Wood’s who have been varsity starters for three seasons now.
“They’ve been like big brothers to me,” Kimler said. “They help me out and lead me in the right direction. They’ve been good role models for me. I’ve become so close to the seniors on the team, I feel like I’m one of them. It’s kind of disappointing to think that they’ll be gone next year and I’ll still be here playing.”
If he’s had a problem this season, it may be in just playing so much on both sides of the ball. His play count is definitely something his coaches are aware of during the game.
“We have to manage his time,” Neumann said. “After that long touchdown, we had to pull him off defense because he was winded. He gets winded. We have to manage that.”
For Kimler, playing both ways is about both fighting through the fatigue and staying mentally strong.
“You have to be mentally tough,” Kimler said. “You’re tired. You want to worry about catching your breath, but you have to worry about what the play is, what you have to do and how you have to adjust. It’s tough.
“The mental approach is different on defense. You have to be violent. On offense, it’s more about thinking about the plays and running routes. When you’re playing defense, you can look at the receiver you’re covering and guess where he might cut, because you’re also a receiver.”
BULLDOG BITES: That defensive line Kimler credited for his interceptions has accounted for 38 percent of the Bulldog defense’s total tackles, 29 of the team’s 33 sacks and 60 of the 81 tackles for a loss. Senior defensive end Koby Couron leads the way with 63 tackles, 27 for a loss, and 13 sacks with one fumble caused and three passes broken up. Both juniors De Shawn Washington and Caleb Malveaux have 10 or more tackles for a loss while senior Brock Pryor is third on the team in tackles with 68 and is tied for the lead in forced fumbles with two. … Pflugerville Connally has gone 8-3 this season and finished third in District 17-4A. All four playoff teams from 17-4A are still alive, as Division I entry Georgetown beat Magnolia West 44-18 while Division II’s Manor beat Huntsville 47-21 and Elgin beat Brenham 44-30…. Connally lost its first game of the season 35-7 to Leander before ripping off seven straight victories. After beating Del Valle 24-21, the Cougars won the next six by a combined 297 to 32. That included shutouts of Georgetown East View, Bastrop and Cedar Creek, along with a 58-24 victory over the Hutto Hippos and a 46-6 win over playoff-bound Elgin. Connally lost its final two district games to fall into third place, losing 34-0 to Georgetown and 20-17 to Manor. … Connally bounced back to beat Montgomery 33-8 in bidistrict play, winning for just the second time in the past seven years in the playoffs. Since making the regional finals in 2005 and the state semifinals in 2004, the Cougars were 1-4 in the playoffs before beating Montgomery this year. The only other bidistrict win for Connally since 2005 was in 2010, when the Cougars beat Lancaster 27-24.
NEDERLAND — Give Colton Kimler credit. He sure has a sense for the moment.
Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
Mid County knocked out of tournament
The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.
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Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional
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