Versatile Daigle offers Greyhounds flexibility
Celebrations after winning the Class 2A state championship didn’t last long for Welsh defensive end John Daigle.
“It was honestly an amazing feeling,” he said. “It was great to see all of the hard work finally pay off. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”
After a weekend of enjoying the achievement, Daigle found himself missing the daily grind of practice.
“When it came to the next Monday and we didn’t have practice after school, it felt so weird,” he said. “Going all the way to the championship just made it seem like there would always be practice after school and having to adjust just made me miss football immediately.”
Daigle was one of the leaders of the Greyhounds defense last year with 126 tackles, four sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He scored a touchdown in the playoffs against Kinder by recovering a blocked punt in the end zone. He saw spot duty on the offensive line.
“I feel like I contributed as best as I could on defense, offense and special teams,” he said. “I’ve been working on getting stronger and faster to contribute more this season.”
Daigle said he likes being able to play multiple positions on each side of the ball.
“I feel like I can play a few positions on defense, but as defensive end I’m able to get extension and then read whether it is a pass or run then react quickly and do my job,” he said.
In preparations for this season, Daigle was slated to play tight end but has also worked at center.
“Due to some early injuries on the O-line I started getting some reps at center, and I like the action that comes with every play there and getting some experience at a different position,” he said. “I love playing tight end because of the mix of helping block in the run game as well as being a factor in the passing game.”
The Greyhounds will be breaking in a new quarterback and running back so the defense may be leaned on early in the season. Daigle said they are ready for another big season.
“Most of our defense are seniors and it’s the same group of guys I grew up with and played football with since we were young,” he said. “We fly around but we play as a unit and that’s what I like most.”
Daigle is working on being a leader as a senior.
“I feel like I lead by example and when it’s time for the younger guys to get reps at practice I’ll show them something they could do differently to better themselves,” he said. “I always looked up to (former Greyhounds) Pearse Migl, Zach Hayes and Woochie Gray. I learned countless things on the field but I also learned what a real leader is like off the field.”
Daigle has also shined in the classroom, saying he maintains an A average.
“My coaches always taught me school comes first so it’s just something I’ve become used to,” he said.
Daigle recently picked up an offer from Northwestern State and said has received interest from several other schools. He said he has enjoyed the recruiting process.
“I know it’s a great opportunity and I’m thankful for it,” he said.
Daigle said the Greyhounds have an opportunity to get back to New Orleans this season.
“My goals for the team is for everyone to take care of own their job every play and end up back in the dome,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being the best I can be and for my teammates to do the same.”
Welsh’s John Daigle moves past St. Helena’s Jailyn Franklin as he rushes the quarterback during the Class 2A championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans on Dec. 8, 2017. Daigle can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball, which will help Welsh as a young crop of players emerge.
(AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press/Kirk Meche)