By Mike Keeney Contributing Writer
The Eisenhower Eagles had a big question mark heading into the season, namely how well would junior quarterback Kenneth Guiton perform. The Eagles coaching staff figured they had enough talent on that side of the ball to make some noise in the District 19-5A race, but they knew they would need a strong season from Guiton to make the offense click. Well, Guiton turned out to be the perfect fit as he led the way to the 19-5A title and a bi-district playoff victory over Westside.
Guiton completed 146 of 281 passes good for 2,522 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also added 254 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns and led the Eagles to an 8-4 record (7-0 in league play).
That effort earned Kenneth Guiton the Northeast News Offensive Player of the Year honors and the good thing for the Eagles is he has another year to get even better.
He had a tremendous season, said interim head coach Ray Evans. Hes one of the best kids Ive ever been around. Hes a leader on and off the field. Hes not very vocal, but he leads with his actions.
Evans said Guiton and his receiving corps formed a strong bond during the summer of 2007 when they participated in 7-on-7 competition against other teams from across the Houston area. He said that was an important component to the success the Eagles enjoyed on offense this season.
It (the success of the offense) started with Kenny and his receivers taking part in 7-on-7. They formed a bond during the summer and it carried over into the season. They learned to trust one another. Once we saw Kenny throw the ball in practice, we knew we had something special.
The 6-4, 185-pound Guiton caught the eye of quarterbacks coach Marlon Taplin early on in pre-season drills. Taplin knew his squad had a cool and talented customer under center and that gave him hope for the season.
Kenny is very coachable and mannerable, Taplin said. I dont think Ill coach another quarterback like him. Hes a born leader. He motivates others around him and hes accountable. When he makes a mistake, he owns it. Hes got a great arm, hes mobile with decent speed. Hes not Vince Young, but hes pretty darn good. He also has good vision and a good knowledge of the game.
The Eagles lost their three non-district games to some formidable opponents (Humble, North Shore and Lufkin, all three of whom made the playoffs), but Evans said they entered league play confident they could be a factor, and he was right. They went undefeated, upsetting pre-season favorite Stratford and start quarterback Andrew Luck to earn the 19-5A title.
Evans said the Lufkin game was a turning point in the season for Guiton and the team.
Lufkin jumped out on us early, but we came back and made a game of it. Kenney was very fired up in that game. That had a carryover effect for the rest of the season.
Taplin is excited about Guitons future and he knows the young signal caller will work hard to improve his game heading into the 2008 season.
I know he wants to get better and hell put in the work to get there, Taplin said. Hes a very humble young man and he wont let last years success go to his head. I tell him stats in the paper dont mean anything. Its your results on the field that matter.
Guiton should receive a lot of attention from college recruiters. Hes received letters of interest from Virginia, Oklahoma, Cal and Oregon.
The neat thing is Kenney will be the first quarterback at Eisenhower who is recruited as a quarterback, Taplin said. Im blessed to have another year to work with him. Im really looking forward to that.
Eisenhower QB takes top offensive honors
By Mike Keeney Contributing Writer