2018 Pigskin Preview: Kinston High School
Ryan Gieselman (45-22, sixth year at Kinston)
Aug. 17 vs. Farmville Central
Aug. 24 at North Pitt
Aug. 30 vs. Wilson Fike
Sept. 6 at Jones Senior
Sept. 14 vs. Southern Wayne
Sept. 21 vs. South Lenoir
Sept. 28 at Greene Central
Oct. 12 vs. Ayden-Grifton
Oct. 19 at West Craven
Oct. 26 vs. Washington
Nov. 2 at North Lenoir
Last 5 years
2017: 9-3, reached NCHSAA 2A playoffs
2016: 7-6, reached NCHSAA 2A second round
2015: 15-1, reached NCHSAA 2A championship game
2014: 7-6, reached NCHSAA 2A second round
2013: 7-6, reached NCHSAA 2A second round
Game to watch
Sept. 28 at Greene Central
This game has definitely been on Kinston’s mind since the end of last season. The Rams knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs with a 28-6 win in the first round and Kinston will travel to Snow Hill this time around with the hopes of revenge. This has turned into a rivalry not just on the basketball courts.
Players to watch
Kieren Hooker, QB
After a strong season in his first under center in 2017, Hooker will look to make his senior campaign a memorable one. Hooker’s dual threat capabilities will be on full display in 2018 and will be a very vital piece to the Vikings’ success offensively.
Justin Holloway, RB/LB
Holloway will be impactful on both sides of the ball in 2018, especially defensively. Kinston had the stingiest defense in the ECC last season (15.8 points per game, with Greene Central second at 24.2 ppg) and the senior will need to play a strong role.
Cortez White, WR
White will be a part of the receiving corps for the Vikings and the senior will be asked to step up. White may also play some defensive end for Kinston to fulfill needs on the other side of the ball. The Vikings always have strong athletes and White will look to make his mark.
Kinston may have lost 24 seniors, but this team does nothing but reload. There’s going to be some growing pains throughout, but it’s going to be business as usual for the Vikings. A very good building block on offense will be Kieren Hooker, who will be under center for the second year in a row and showcased flashes of brilliance all season.
In a tough ECC, Kinston coach Ryan Gieselman will expect nothing less than excellence and the team will respond in kind. I’m putting the Vikings down at 8-3 and after last year’s end, they’ll look to respond with invigorated passion.
Gieselman became the all-time leader in coaching wins (45) in Kinston High School history last year and is second all-time behind South Lenoir's Jimmy Smith (53) in Lenoir County public school coaching victories. I think "Diesel" will catch Smith this year with eight regular season wins and a 4-2, third-place finish in the Eastern Carolina 2A.