3A COVERBOY: Yoakum junior a threat from multiple positions
Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:28 a.m.
YOAKUM - Tre'Vontae Hights may have surprised some teams with his athletic ability last season.
But Hights knows opponents will be prepared for him this time around.
As a result, Yoakum coach Brent Kornegay plans to move him around in an effort to get him the ball in space.
"He's working fullback in what we call our Gun package, he's been at quarterback, he's been at tailback, so he's learning all those positions," Kornegay said. "It's going to make us better because obviously people are going to key on him, they know who he is. It's going to open up things in a lot of different ways for us."
Hights played quarterback and safety on the freshman team before moving to the varsity as a sophomore last season.
He was forced to sit out Yoakum's first four games while recovering from a torn ligament in his ankle.
But once Hights got on the field, he made his impact felt. He rushed for 556 yards and eight touchdowns, and passed for 369 yards and four touchdowns while helping the Bulldogs claim a District 26-3A playoff berth, and being selected as the Newcomer of the Year on the Advocate's all-area team.
"I was actually very nervous the first few plays," he said. "I even fumbled my first play. Once I got my groove, I was feeling good. It felt really good."
Hights played quarterback, running back, cornerback and on special teams last season, and is looking forward to playing multiple positions again this season.
"Sometimes it's hard to get in your groove," he said. "When you're an athlete and the coaches use you like an athlete, you have to listen to them and do what they say because they know what's best."
Hights displayed his athletic ability during the track and field season by qualifying for the state meet in four events and winning a gold medal in the triple jump.
Kornegay said he has only coached one other player with as much ability as Hights.
Kornegay was an assistant at Llano when Bradley Kassell played quarterback before going on to play linebacker for six seasons in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets.
"He's a kid who can go the distance at any given time," Kornegay said. "His vision is out of this world. We're excited about him being able to play multiple positions. He's going to play some defense too."
Kornegay is also pleased with Hights' work ethic and his willingness to be a team player.
"We feel like he's got to be in the ball game," Kornegay said. "We also told him that defensively he's going to have to play. He knows what his role is and he wants what's in the best interest of our football team."
Hights worked hard in the weight room this summer and has grown to 6-foot-1, 170 pounds.
But he realizes he's far from a finished product, especially when it comes to playing quarterback.
"I've been working on my feet and the release of the ball," Hights said. "That was the main problem last year and I wanted to fix it this year.
"I actually like standing in the pocket and throwing," he added. "When a play breaks down, I can also run. It's just being a dual threat and teams having to spy on me makes other people get open."
Hights knows he will be a focal point of Yoakum's opponents this season, and they won't be the only ones watching him.
"He's Division I," Kornegay said. "People have seen him in track and they're going to start seeing him in football too. He'll continue to get stronger and go through the process of that because he can play multiple positions."