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Nederland receiver’s growth spurt adds new weapon to Bulldogs’ offense

NEDERLAND — Nederland receiver Noah Kendrick is a big target for the Bulldogs.

While he did not grow to his towering size over night, to some it seemed that way. Many high school boys see a growth spurt, Kendrick said he jumped up from 5’10” to 6’4” in just under a year.

Most of the population grew over quarantine, but Kendrick’s spurt was upward rather than outward.

“I have always had to look up to my dad,” he said. “My dad is about 6’2” and toward the end of quarantine, I was getting up there on him. We would take a family picture and I realized I was taller than him.”

Kendrick also said he had plenty of Nederland shirts from his mom working at the high school that no longer fit.

“It seemed like he grew 10 feet,” Head Coach Monte Barrow said. “At receiver, he is a good target and has a good wingspan. There are a lot of different places you can throw the football and feel like he is open.”

With the added size, the Bulldogs move Kendrick between receiver and tight end to create matchup issues for opposing defenses.

“We put him at tight end some and he has really taken to that,” Barrow said. “He can get down and give us what we need at that spot when we want to get in that formation. That allows us to keep him on the field. You don’t have to substitute to get into that personnel package, and that is what we like. If you are not substituting, then the defense doesn’t have that opportunity to match up with you.”

Kendrick prefers tight end, because it allows him to be more physical and versatile.

In the Bulldogs’ game against West Orange-Stark, Nederland was able to use another one of Kendrick’s talents on a double-pass. The played ended with Kendrick completing a pass to Mason Beresford for a substantial gain.

“He was a quarterback in middle school and his freshman year,” Barrow said of Kendrick. “He took a good shot after he threw, but he hit his guy in stride.”

The play came right after Nederland forced an interception. Kendrick said the team had practiced the play all week, but added he was nervous when it was called in from the sidelines.

“I just had to trust my guy,” he said. “It gave us a lot of momentum. I feel like if the rain delay didn’t happen, we would’ve kept rolling.”

The Bulldogs will travel to Houston’s Austin High School Friday.