LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Over the last three years, Longview running back Kaden Meredith has etched himself in the Lobo history books.
Meredith recently broke the school career records for total touchdowns scored, and rushing touchdowns.
While he hopes Saturday’s regional semifinal against Denton Ryan will be the first of four more games for him as a Lobo, he tells us what these accomplishments mean to him as well as sharing this journey with his best friend, senior tight end Austin Pencheon.
Scoring touchdowns and Kaden Meredith have been one and the same since he arrived at Longview High School.
“Growing up, uh, playing, you know, southside Longview. You come to the games here on Friday night, then the next day you’re playing. And just like thinking like, man, like I can’t wait to play up here, you know,” explains Meredith.
“He and my son (Texas A&M QB Haynes King) played on the little Lobos together and he was a, he was a talented kid then, and you never know how kids are going to mature, but the one thing he’s always stayed grounded, very humble, hardworking. There’s not a kid we have in the program that can outwork him. He’s very dependable,” said 17th year Longview head coach John King.
Those qualities have taken him to the top of the Lobos career touchdowns list. Now at 60 and counting, passing some extremely elite company.
“He earned this record, you know, but he he’s the first one to recognize his teammates too,” added King
“It’s a dream come true. Honestly, like just to have my name up there with Fred Talley and Vondrell (McGee), you know, it’s crazy,” said Meredith.
“That’s my boy! That’s the first thing I thought, I always knew he would be great this much. I mean, just, since we were kids, since how hard, how hard we work together, I knew he would be great,” said Pencheon.
“That’s what hard work does, you know, like it pays off,” said Meredith.
And once Meredith realized that he could be successful after becoming a starter as a junior, he’s made sure to set an example for everyone else.
“I took it to heart pretty hard ever since then. I, you know, I’ve always been all about this team, all about these guys in this locker room, you know, trying to better everybody,” said Meredith.
“The younger running backs, they see that. And they, they know if they want to be great, like he is, and they have to work as hard as he does,” Pencheon explained
“Him being a role model. I’m sure there’s every young kid in Longview, that’s running around with Kaden Meredith jersey on and wanting to be Kaden Meredith. And you know, you don’t understand the impact he’s had on those young kids. And he won’t until, you know, he’s older, but here’s the thing I don’t have to worry about Kaden Meredith 10 years from now. I know he’s going to be doing what he’s supposed to be doing, where he’s supposed to be at. He’s going to be taking care of people. I mean, cause it starts inside starts with a good heart and he’s got one,” said King.
And that may be most evident, in the relationship he has with Pencheon, an honor student and first team academic All-State selection whom he’s grown up with since they were nine years old.
“He keep me right. He worked harder than anybody I know. He makes sure I work hard. I think, uh, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him, especially the athlete I am today,” said Pencheon.
“I really couldn’t ask for a better best friend. He’s just a dog in every aspect of life. It’s times where like, Austin’s like, Kaden, like, come on, bro. Like tighten up fam. And you know that like, that’s just how it is. You know, like when I’m slacking, I know that like Austin’s there to pick me up,” said Meredith.
The two of them hope to add a little more to the story of their Longview high school careers.
“Oh, we got a lot of unfinished business man, a lot of unfinished business. I’m trying to play four more weeks, you know. But, I’m focused on this week though.”
The Lobos third round playoff game against top-ranked Denton Ryan Saturday will be broadcast LIVE on KTPN.
Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. at Mesquite Memorial Stadium in the Metroplex.
Longview and Kilgore Cable subscribers can find KTPN on channel 236.
KTPN is available throughout East Texas on channel 51.2 or 36.9 on an over the air digital antenna.
It also channel 9 for Suddenlink Cable subscribers in Tyler, Jacksonville, Rusk, Henderson, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, and other localities.
Gladewater Suddenlink Cable subscribers can see KTPN on channel 3.
For those under the Gilmer Cable Company, KTPN is channel 97 or 458.
In Mineola, Suddenlink subscribers can watch KTPN on channel 16.
The game broadcast will also be streamed LIVE online at KETK.com and on the free KETK mobile app.
The Lobos enter the contest versus undefeated Ryan at 9-2 on the season. Longview is coming off a 56-20 blowout of No. 3 ranked and then-undefeated Lancaster last Friday in a game also played at Mesquite Memorial.
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