Sam Houston Broncos running back Jacob Stracner. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 10:59 AM
MOSS BLUFF — The transition to 5A hasn’t been easy for the Sam Houston Broncos, but head coach Vaughn Eggleston and his team are ready to take the next step toward success.
The Broncos are coming off of a 2-8 campaign in 2012. But, Eggleston believes that with nine returning starters, a new offensive scheme, an experienced defense and an outstanding offseason program, that his team will be prepared to compete in District 3-5A, arguably the toughest district in Louisiana.
“This district is without a doubt the best in the state,” Eggleston said.
“Our expectations here at Sam Houston are the same as they have been in recent years, and that is to go out there and compete in this district. Obviously some teams are going to be tough to beat, but we expect to be able to compete with everyone.”
The Broncos return four starters on offense, including senior linemen Ty Fontenot (6-2, 260) and Joe Forsyth (6-0, 265). Fontenot was a first team All-District selection last year.
The other two returning starters will be senior wide receiver Nathan Eggleston (6-1, 150) and senior running back Chris Hubert (5-9, 162). They will be joined at the skill positions by senior receiver Simon Farquhar (5-8, 155) and a pair of juniors who saw the a lot of playing time in 2012 in wide receiver Dayton Dugas (6-2, 200) and running back Jacob Stracner (6-0, 185). Dugas is a standout multi-sport athlete who played cornerback much of last season and will play both ways in 2013,
“I’m excited about Dayton Dugas this season, he was very involved last year on defense, and he brings a big skill set to the table for us,” said Eggleston. “I’m also excited about seeing what Jacob Stracner is able to accomplish this year, after stepping in for us last year when our starting tailback went down with an injury.”
Replacing last year’s quarterback Cliff Reid will be junior Dustin Duhon (5-10, 171), who has big shoes to fill in a long line of successful dual-threat quarterbacks to come out of Sam Houston. Duhon won’t be new to the lineup as he saw playing time when Reid went down because of injury.
Coach Eggleston is excited about his defense, one that returns five starters and many players who saw significant playing time.
The defensive line will be anchored by returning starters Peyton McLemore (5-11, 230) and Josh Foreman (6-1, 245). Foreman, a junior, was a 2012 All-District pick.
“You couldn’t pick two better guys than Peyton McLemore and Josh Foreman to talk about as far being team players,” Eggleston said. “Peyton was one of our better offensive linemen at the beginning of last season, but we needed him to step up and play defense and he has done a great job of that for us.”
Joining them on the defensive line will be junior Tyler Griggers (5-11, 196) and senior David Armstrong (5-11, 192).
The linebacking corp will feature juniors Mason Knighton (6-1, 195) and Samuel Smith (5-8, 202), who were sophomore starters. They will be joined by senior Kendall Nugent (6-1, 186).
“I think that (Knighton and Smith) kind of got thrown to the wolves last year, having to start as sophomores. But, they understand the defensive scheme well and now have experience playing under the lights on Friday nights and that gives us a lot of hope in our defense going in to the season,” Eggleston said.
The final returning starter for the Broncos is senior safety Aaron Vezinat (5-5, 152), who is joined in the defensive backfield by senior Jeremy Meche (5-8, 152), junior Corbin Eldridge (5-9, 160) and sophomore John Hays (6-1, 191).