Last Modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:24 AM
You have to be at your best every week if you hope to compete in what has become Louisiana’s toughest Class 2A district, and that is exactly what the DeQuincy Tigers are hoping to bring to the field this fall.
In District 4-2A there is no room for error, not with the defending state champion, a pair of quarterfinalists and a team that hasn’t missed the playoffs in eight years. But if the Tigers hope to improve on last year’s 3-7 outing they will have to pick up some district wins.
“We play in a very tough district year in and year out,” DeQuincy head coach Carl Flanagan said. “This year will be no different.”
Last season the Tigers finished 1-4 in district with their lone win coming against Mamou (1-9 last season), but with more than 10 starters returning and a strong offseason, the chances of them improving on that are bright.
“We had a very productive offseason and spring training,” Flanagan said.
Part of that offseason was installing a new defense, switching from the 3-4 to the 4-3.
All three linebackers jobs will be taken by seniors Josh Goodman, Gabriel Rangel and Mikey Hebert, all of whom are returning starters.
Behind them in the secondary are three more returning starters in seniors Demareon Payne and Zach Ashworth at safety and senior Casey Hatchell at cornerback. The other cornerback will be with Wanya Payne or Jared Nash, both juniors.
“The strength of our defense should be the linebackers and secondary,” Flanagan said. “All three linebackers started somewhere on defense last year and we bring back three of our four defensive backs from 2013.
“We did have to replace the front, but (we) feel good about the guys who claimed those spots.”
Sophomores Kaleb Buck and Justin Olivier have staked claim to the defensive end spots and junior Luke Melancon to the nose guard position, while juniors Ashton Hollie and Caleb Jacobs will see time at defensive tackle.
Hollie and Jacobs are returning starters along the offensive line where they are joined by senior left tackle Jared Kuyper as returners. Newcomers to the front line will be juniors Omar Hatch and Daniel Devito.
Flanagan said while the base offense remains the same, the Tigers have inserted new formations to keep defenses on their toes.
“We added to our offense, trying to become more multiple and give defenses more to prepare for,” he said.
Two other offensive starters return for the Tigers in quarterback Chase Dyer and running back Javion Leday, both seniors.
Hebert and Olivier will start both ways, taking on the roles of fullback and tight end, respectively. The other new offensive starters will be senior Jacob Cupstid and junior J’Hacorey Simien at wide receiver.
Sept. 5 — at South Beauregard 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 — at North Caddo 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 — at South Cameron 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 — vs. Pickering 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 — vs. Oakdale 7 p.m.
*Oct. 10 — at Mamou 7 p.m.
*Oct. 17 — vs. Lake Arthur 7 p.m.
*Oct. 24 — at Kinder 7 p.m.
*Oct. 31 — vs. Vinton 7 p.m.
*Nov. 7 — vs. Welsh 7 p.m.