Washington-Marion head football coach Freddie Harrison. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Saturday, August 24, 2013 8:56 PM
After winning a share of the District 4-4A title last season, but losing to Northwood in the first round of the playoffs, Washington-Marion will have to find a replacement for former jack-of-all trades Melvin Jones and look to improve its defense to ameliorate last season’s finish.
Offensively, head coach Freddie Harrison said W-M, which finished 8-3 (4-1) last season, will rely on senior wide receiver Demond Delahoussaye for production as well as leadership.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver reeled in 750 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
“We’re looking for great things out of him,” Harrison said. “Hopefully he can make plays and continue to do what he’s been doing. He’s one of our big playmakers and we’re going to look to him to try to keep the ball rolling.”
But the Charging Indians will be challenged to find someone who can get the ball to Delahoussaye with the loss of Jones to LSU. Junior Quajee Boutte has been tabbed as the starting quarterback.
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Delahoussaye acknowledged his importance to the offense.
“A lot of young guys are coming up,” he said. “I got no choice (but to be a leader). I lead by example.”
The W-M offense returns five starters, two of whom are on the offensive line.
Joshua Morrow will be one of those returning offensive linemen. The 6-2, 270-pound senior will team up with fellow senior offensive lineman Darren Duhon to provide protection for Boutte.
Duhon, who stood 6-4, 350 pounds before the start of fall practices, is working himself back to “football shape,” Harrison said.
“We’re trying to cut him down in size a little bit and get him back to playing weight and make sure he continues to do the things that he needs to do to get better,” he said.
Along with Delahoussaye, DaMaja Edwards will provide another threat as a receiver with experience.
Rawlin Guillory will provide some balance for the offense after rushing for more than 1,000 yards last season. Despite the team’s wide receiver talent, Harrison said he’s going to make sure Guillory gets plenty of carries.
“The theme of the offense is just going to be getting the job done,” Harrison said. “No mistakes and everybody just doing what they need to do to stay healthy. If we stay healthy, we’ll be OK.”
On defense, W-M returns eight starters and nine players that started at least one game last season. The Indians gave up an average of 20 points a game last season, but surrendered 34 and 42 points in the last two games of the season, resulting in two losses.
“Our philosophy on defense is bend, don’t break,” Harrison said. “Don’t give up the big play. Make everybody earn what they get.”
W-M remains in the same district as last season, but it will be accompanied by a different cast of teams. Crowley, Rayne and Eunice all joined W-M, Beau Chene, LaGrange and Opelousas in District 4-4A this season.
“This district is one of the best districts in the state, 4A classification-wise,” Harrison said. “The district is very competitive. It’s going to be a fight every week trying to maintain competitiveness with the district.”