Bobcats all set for KIPP Jaguars

Published 8:31 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

ORANGEFIELD — The Beaumont Central Jaguars may not exist anymore but there will be some Jaguars rolling in to Southeast Texas Friday night when the KIPP Generations Collegiate Jaguars visit the Orangefield Bobcats in the season opener.

The Bobcats and their fans are certainly giddy entering the season as Orangefield has dropped into the Class 3A ranks to match up with schools much closer to its size.

The Bobcats, who were impressive in their scrimmage against Lumberton last week, will have just three non-district contests to prepare them for a rugged and competitive District 12-3A Division I.

The Bobcats will head to Livingston next week and visit Shepherd Sept. 14 before opening 12-3A play at Buna Sept. 28.

“That will be some good battles for our kids and will help us all get on the same page before district starts earlier than what we’re used too,” said Bobcat coach Josh Smalley. “It will give us a chance to look at a lot of kids in different spots and it will hopefully keep us healthy before district starts.”

Coach Smalley and staff welcome back 14 starters off last season’s 3-5 Class 4A playoff unit as the Bobcats are chasing another playoff berth, something they have earned every year since 2013.

Senior Mason Gonzales has returned at quarterback and the Bobcats have a slew of experienced ball carriers out of the backfield including the likes of bruising fullback Blake Bradley along with Kade Grozier, Quy Tsan, Heston Puckett, Kadeon Evans and Chase Broussard.

Another strength in the return of eight starters on defense paced by the leadership of all-district linebacker Bradley along with defensive lineman Lane Rach and a solid secondary led by the likes of Tsan, Broussard and Clayson Choate.

KIPP Generations Collegiate school is a charter school out of Houston, led by head coach Dennis McCalpin.

This will not be the first encounter for a KIPP charter school to Orange County as WO-S played KIPP Northeast a couple years back.

The Jaguars have built themselves a 10-game schedule, eight against private and charter schools. They will play Houston Scarborough next week.

Players to possibly watch for with the Jaguars include quarterback-receiver Demetrius Hollis along with running back William Garrett and receiver Broderick Jackson.