Last Modified: Saturday, August 17, 2013 11:34 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of stories previewing the upcoming high school football season. Today we take a look at District 4-1A. Sunday we will cover Southwest Louisiana's Class 2A teams. To view the schedules for all Lake Area teams, click here.
As District 4-1A welcomes two new additions, the Basile Bearcats are on a mission to build on their success from 2012.
For years, Southwest Louisiana’s 1A district consisted of the same six football teams, but now Basile, Elton, Hamilton Christian, Merryville, Oberlin and South Cameron welcome East Beauregard and Grand Lake into the mix.
Basile is coming off an 11-2 campaign that saw the Bearcats reach the state quarterfinals, where they lost to annual contender Kentwood. However, it wasn’t an easy task for them to get there, as they were defeated by Oberlin for the district title late in the regular season.
Bearcats head coach Tony Bertrand knows that he and his squad will face a challenge again this year if they hope to capture the district title from Oberlin.
“I am very optimistic about this year’s football team. I think we have the potential to be very competitive,” Bertrand said. “I feel that we have a good nucleus of returning players and should compete for the district championship with a little luck and an injury-free year.”
Leading the way for the Bearcats will be Kendrick Ceasar, who was an all-state selection in 2012 and stars as the team’s running back, return specialist and defensive back. The junior jack-of-all-trades rushed for more than 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, and Bertrand said he expects him to build on those numbers.
Returning to defend their district title will be the Oberlin Tigers, who have dominated the district in recent years.
Dating to a state semifinal appearance in 2010, the Tigers have paved their way on a yearly basis thanks to a strong ground game, hard-nosed defense and dominance in the trenches.
They will try to keep their winning tradition going behind running back Austin Darbonne, linebacker Lance Frank and receiver/defensive end Jonus Godeau.
If Basile or Oberlin have any hopes of claiming the district title, however, they will have to travel the road through Elton.
The Indians have provided stiff competition in recent years.
Elton will look to senior wide receiver Scott Ross to lead the offensive attack, and junior defensive back Marcus LeMoine to captain the defense. Ross was an all-district selection at both receiver and punter in 2012 and will also start as a defensive back.
It has been six years since Jace Peterson last led the Warriors to a playoff victory, but head coach Timothy Sensley said he’s looking to turn the program around.
With the split between select and non-select schools, the Warriors are hoping to make a deep run in the postseason.
Following a 3-7 campaign in 2012, Hamilton will be looking to senior lineman Lawrence Carter, an all-district selection in 2012, to lead the way as it hopes to break its way into the district’s upper echelon.
The Warriors open the season at Lake Arthur.
The Trojans, who enter District 4-1A after a long stint in Class 2A, will look to make a statement in their first season back in Class 1A.
They are no stranger to the competition they will face in their new home, though, as they have played the likes of South Cameron and Merryville on a yearly basis.
The Trojans, who were winless last season, open their season at LaSalle.
The Hornets with play a varsity schedule for the first since the early 1960s.
Head coach Derrick Fendley will be depending on junior quarterback Luke Miller to help the Hornets make some noise.
The Hornets will be on the road for their first contest of the season when they visit Ascension Episcopal, a private school in Lafayette, before making their home debut against Gueydan on Sept. 13.
The Panthers will look to build on their 3-7 campaign from 2012 in hopes of reaching the playoffs, a feat the team has achieved once in the past 11 seasons.
Without longtime starter at linebacker Nick Ardoin, the Panthers will be looking for someone to step up and make an impact on defense.
The Tarpons will be looking to get back to their winning ways of old following a 1-9 finish in 2012.
Head coach Mark Delaney and his squad will implement a power running game and stiff defense to work their way back to the playoffs.
Posted By: chris rushing On: 8/26/2013
GO OT! TIGERS BRING HOME ANOTHER DISTRICT TITLE. ALL THE WAY BIG DOGS
Posted By: Rene R Reed On: 8/18/2013
Title: Oberlin High Tigers
Rooting for my old Alma Mater, hope to see you in the dome. Would not be far to go from Folsom, la.