Kaizer Newell doubles work load as two-way starter
For Kaizer Newell, the only player listed at the top of a defensive and offensive position on the Broken Arrow Tiger 2-Deep, it was a difficult truth to admit.
“It’s nice having the little rest,” he struggled to say the words about the Tigers’ Friday night off heading into district play. “I know it’s good for me, but I like playing every week. It kind of threw me off balance.”
In the third game against an Oklahoma opponent this year, Broken Arrow will play a third No. 1 vs. No 2 Class 6A-I game as No. 2 Jenks comes to town. The Tigers already have defeated Union and Owasso. So far so good.
The same could be said for Newell, who plays nearly twice as many snaps as the rest of his teammates. It’s the first time since ninth grade he has mixed in time on offense and defense. He played strictly offense the past two seasons.
“I’m in pretty good shape myself,” the fullback/defensive end said. “Well, good football shape, not conditioning shape.
“My body is just prepared for it. When I get in the game and start thinking about all the stuff we’re about to start doing and all the plays, I don’t think about how tired I am. I just keep my mind off of it and end up okay.”
Perhaps the best example of Newell’s refusal to listen to his own body came the Saturday after the Union game when he and his dad, Lantz, went to work on Kaizer’s 2001 three-quarter ton Dodge diesel truck.
“I tore my truck apart and put a new clutch in,” he said. “That was one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I was so sore, getting under there and trying to lift up the transmission. That was tough, but it was fun.”
The clutch came in the day before, so Saturday was the day to do it. Newell is not one to shy away from work, whether it was summer conditioning, pitching in on his father’s construction jobs or tending to his own business with best friend and teammate Colton Collier.
And, outside of football, most of that work circles around his truck.
“My dad has a construction company and I pull trailers with it sometime,” Newell explained. “I have a wood-splitting business, so I need a truck to haul it with. Me and Colton, we get logs and do it all by hand because I don’t have a hydraulic splitter. We have to split it all with an axe, so that’s not very fun, but it keeps me in shape. We hall hay with it, too.”
While physical work on weekends is a mirror of his play on Friday nights, don’t discount Newell’s cerebral approach to the game – whether it be film work or what he sees happening before his eyes as the ball is about to be snapped.
“When I learned it all for offense the last two years, and then I got to defense and they were telling me what to do, I just put it in offensive terms,” Newell said. “I’m thinking this guys blocking this way, so someone else is coming to me.
“It helps me on offense and defense, because I can think about what is the objective of the guy I’m going to block, and what he is going to try to do to me whenever I get there to block him.”
Offensively, Newell is not always looking to block. He has gained six yards on four carries, with two of those carries resulting in touchdowns.
“Whenever I’m coming through the hole, the first person I see, the goal is to make sure he’s on his back by the end of the play,” the lead blocker for the Tigers top rusher Noah Cortes said. “But when I’m getting the ball, my goal is to make sure they’re still on their back no matter what.”
Odds are the only time you’ll find Kaizer Newell on his back will be by his choice, when he’s on the garage floor, looking up at the underside of a 2001 3/4 – ton Dodge Diesel truck.