PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

September 23, 2013

Kimler shines brightest on the biggest of stages

Gabriel Pruett
The Port Arthur News

NEDERLAND — The bigger the stage and brighter the lights is when Nederland Coach Larry Neumann gets the best out of receiver/defensive back Colton Kimler.

This is great news for Neumann, considering this week the Bulldogs start District 20-4A play with a home game against the Vidor Pirates.

“It doesn’t matter if the game is at Reliant Stadium or a big Mid County Madness, Colton steps up when the game is the biggest,” Neumann said. “He has always had the physical side of the game and now it has been great to sit and watch Colton grow into his abilities.”

Kimler is a three-year starter for Neumann and last year was honored for his seven interceptions as an Class 4A All-State player.

This year Kimler is one of the leaders of Nederland’s defense and is the district’s fourth leading receiver

Kimler has 13 receptions for 283 yards and four touchdowns and averages 21.77 yards a catch.

The senior first came to Nederland High School as a freshman as he transferred from Hamshire-Fannett. Kimler first only played soccer and was a member of a swim team with no football experience.

“My mother did not let me play before middle school,” Kimler said. “Then when I got into athletics in the seventh grade I had to play football and it has been my favorite sport ever since. Moving to Nederland was the best move of my life. Coach Neumann has one of the best programs in the state. He turns his players from young boys into young men. He matures us players and really helps us grow as people.”

Neumann said one of the best aspects of Kimler’s game cannot be seen on the field or in a statistics box.

“He has got to be one of my favorite players when it comes to personalities,” Neumann said. “If there is ever pressure on him, you can’t tell. He loves having fun, yet at the same time he is a very intense player. He then expects the same thing out of his teammates.

“Colton is a unique guy you just love to be around. I remember as a sophomore the kid could not tackle. Now, as a senior, Colton might be the best tackler on our team. He is just a joy to be around. He will do anything we ask him to do and he is a great example for our young players.”

Kimler said being an example to the younger Bulldogs players is one of the toughest responsibilities he has on the team. As a leader on the defense, he said he takes it upon himself to make sure the entire defense is in the right spots.

“It is tough,” Kimler said. “There are times when the young guys are nervous and it is the first time they are starting a football game. I always want to make sure they know their team is behind them no matter what. It is a full time job. You have to worry about your assignments and also make sure everyone else is lined up in the correct position. That is where practice comes in.”

Kimler knows his favorite time of year starts this Friday.

“There is no better game than a home game during District 20-4A,” Kimler said. “It is the best feeling in the world because all your friends and family are there to support you as a player. My goal this year is to continue a streak we started when I was a sophomore. We have not lost a district game since I was a starter.

    “I want to leave saying my teams were never beaten in district. There is, though, no telling who will win our district every year. Every team is so tough and it starts with Vidor. Those guys play hard and it is the start of some tough games.”

    No matter how tough the games get, Neumann knows No. 9 will do everything in his ability to rise to the occasion.

Bulldog Bites: Colton Kimler is the son of Avril and Rife Kimler. Avril Kimler grew up in England before moving to the states...Kimler hopes to one day play college football. He was not afraid to say his favorite team is the University of Texas Longhorns. He has not enjoyed the struggles the Longhorns have gone through the last couple of years but will not waver as a fan...Kimler had six receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown in Nederland’s victory over Angleton in Week 2.