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Former Swashbucklers quarterback Freddie Harrison and defensive tackle John Paul Jones, No. 91, retired in the offseason. (American Press Archives)

Former Swashbucklers quarterback Freddie Harrison and defensive tackle John Paul Jones, No. 91, retired in the offseason. (American Press Archives)

Football season just getting started for Swashbucklers

Last Modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 7:02 PM

By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

WESTLAKE — It may not seem like it, but football season is just getting started.

That is Swashbuckler football to be exact.

Lake Charles’ indoor team took to the outside last night to begin training camp for the upcoming season.

A total of 30 players were on hand fighting for 25 roster spots. Some of the names fans have heard of, but a few of the usual suspects are gone.

Quarterback Freddie Harrison and defensive tackle John Paul Jones, two local favorites, retired in the offseason. Harrison actually was pulled out of retirement last year when the Bucs were hit with the injury bug at quarterback.

“The fans will miss some of the familiar faces, but we think we have some new guys coming in that will be a big plus to the program and make for some exciting times,” said Swashbuckler president Chris Meaux.

The biggest name returning is Sammy Knight, who in the past has played both receiver and quarterback for the Bucs. They would prefer him to stay at receiver this year.

“Sammy has been a key for us over the years,” said Meaux. “We know he is a fan favorite.”

The Swashbucklers have brought a total of 16 new players to camp in hopes of getting younger and faster. Last year their defense was done in by big plays, especially in the secondary.

“We wanted to get more athletic, younger and quicker,” said Meaux. “We think we have done that with this group. We will have to wait and see how it works out. But, that was our goal.”

The Bucs were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round last year after an up-and-down season.

The big battle will likely be at quarterback, where Alvin Bartie returns after starting last year’s opener. However, twice he was put on the sidelines with injuries and talked about retiring himself during the year.

“We will have to see how his health is,” Meaux said. “He has been cleared to play but we have to keep him healthy.”

Tim Curry and Chris Mitchell will also battle for the job. Curry is a first-year player out of Louisiana College while Mitchell played last year in Albany, Georgia.

This is the second year for Meaux and his group owning the club and after improved attendance last year they are hoping for an even better season at the gate this spring.

“Our sales are up from a year ago, our major partners are back and we think we have a few new things that the fans will enjoy,” said Meaux.

Posted By: Chad Desormeax On: 2/19/2013

Title: Go Bucs

I'm proud to say, but this the best football team I've seen in Louisiana. Sorry Saints, yall just have 1 Title in 40 plus years. The Swashbucklers haven't been around 20 yrs yet, and They've got I believe 2 or 3 Titles.

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