See why one of Jefferson County’s top playmakers KJ Tezeno doesn’t come off the field

Published 12:18 am Friday, October 6, 2023

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Bulldogs are on a two-game winning streak and are currently one of two teams that has not lost a district game in District 9-5A Division II, next to rival Port Neches-Groves.

The Bulldogs’ (2-3, 2-0 in 9-5A II) recent success is thanks in large part to the big-play ability of junior KJ Tezeno, who leads the district in receptions (24) and touchdowns (5).

He is also second in yards with 422. But what’s most impressive is he might be the district’s best offensive weapon while rarely leaving the field. He plays safety on defense.

Nederland’s KJ Tezeno, No. 3, makes a tackle in 2022. (Monique Batson/The News)

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“Playing both sides definitely takes a toll on the body, but I would do anything to help this team be victorious,” Tezeno said. “I try to prepare myself throughout the week by staying hydrated and allowing our trainers to help. We have some amazing trainers here.”

Head Coach Monte Barrow said the decision to have Tezeno play both ways was made prior to the Bulldogs’ 34-30 win over Dayton this past week.

“We realized he needs to be on the field offensively and defensively for us to be the best team, along with some other guys,” Barrow said. “He proved last week he can still be effective on the field while still playing that many plays.”

Barrow also credits the way Tezeno practices for his success.

“He does it the right way,” Barrow said. “He goes hard during practice to make sure he is ready for Friday night and makes sure he can withstand playing that many plays.”

The junior is averaging more than 17 yards per catch, which is third best in district for receivers with at least 15 receptions on the year.

Tezeno has accounted for more than 60 percent of the Bulldogs’ receiving yards this fall.

“He is one of the faster guys we have,” Barrow said. “He has been a big-play guy for us, but he is also a possession guy. The defense can’t just say they aren’t going to let him beat them deep. He can catch the short one or take a handoff and make you pay for it.”

The Bulldogs host Santa Fe this week.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium.