4A No. 7: Kimball combines youth, experience

ESPNDallas.com counts down the top area football teams in our spring rankings.


Spring game: 7 p.m. May 25 at Jones Field

Coach: Carlton Nelson

2010 record: 9-3, 6-1 in District 11-4A (champions)

2010 playoffs: Lost in Division I area round to Wylie, 42-14.

Returning starters: 7 on offense; 5 on defense

Key losses: LB Zackary Mays, WR Austin Franklin, DL Isiah Norton, DB Kenneth Lynn, OL DeMario Jackson

Key returnees: DT Justin Manning, QB Traveon Thibodeaux, RB Teriyon Gipson, OL Victor Howell, WR Xzavier Alexander, DE Andre Carter, DB Chris Jones, OL Lester Wormly, DE Joshua Matthews, LB Brandon Hines

Key newcomers: OL Edward Victorian, RB/DB Deonta Jenkins

Overview: Entering his second year as Kimball’s coach, Nelson will go through his first spring session with the Knights. ... Kimball’s 11-4A title team from 2010 got very strong contributions from underclassmen, including what looks like a stellar to-be junior class. ... QB Thibodeaux (1,977 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, just four interceptions) and RB Gipson (1,166 yards, 13 touchdowns) return for their junior seasons, and Nelson has high expectations for them in 2011. ... DT Manning received 11-4A’s sophomore of the year award in 2010. He is the younger brother of former Kimball standout DT DeMarcus Granger. ... Nelson expects his team to be good on both lines as the majority returns to each unit and each has elite talent. … Linebacker is a position Nelson hopes to shore up in spring after Mays, 11-4A’s defensive MVP in 2010, graduated.