READY TO STEP UP — Nederland quarterback zoned in as offseason continues

Published 12:34 am Saturday, July 8, 2023

Nederland’s Ayden Sunday entered last season with a lot on his plate.

He started at safety on defense and was locked in a battle for the quarterback position.

Due to his athleticism, the coaching staff started the season with Sunday as a backup running back and used him all over the field before he eventually earned the starting quarterback role to start district play.

Nederland coaches feel Ayden Sunday’s athleticism are a strength with the Bulldogs passing and rushing attacks. (Chris Moore/The News)

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This summer, Sunday enters the offseason program as the definitive starting quarterback for the Bulldogs heading into the fall.

“He has come a long way to this point,” Head Coach Monte Barrow said. “I think he will just continue to get better.”

Barrow said Sunday’s ability to run with the ball poses an immediate threat to defenses.

“When you go back and watch games, you can pick out about three or four plays where the quarterback makes something happen, whether he scrambled and ran, scrambled and extended a play to find someone open. It used to only be a big thing in high school and college, but now you see it all over the pros.”

That added strain on the defense can also open up lanes for running back Hubert Thomas, who is coming off a breakout year as a sophomore.

“Ayden does a great job of reading the defense and seeing how to get us in the right play,” Barrow said. “His intelligence and physical abilities at the position are a good combination.”

Sunday doesn’t have much free time this summer between preparing for the upcoming season and pressure washing houses for some extra money.

“It has been going good so far,” he said. “My dad helped me get everything set up.”

Sunday said his favorite subject is science and added he wants to be a chemical engineer.

But first, building the chemistry with his teammates is one of his top priorities.

“With the season we went through last year, everyone is playing with a chip on their shoulders,” he said. “We have a lot of returners, so that should help.”

On Wednesday, the quarterback worked on fundamentals with his backs and receivers at Bulldog Stadium in an effort to work on timing before they are playing in the same stadium with the lights on this fall.