Gators make debut under Wilson

It’s a new football season with a new head coach at LaGrange High, but Marrico Wilson has been trying to keep the Gators’ excitement tempered and focus more on Week 1 opponent Notre Dame.

“This week has been something being this is my first game,” Wilson said. “A lot of people are looking at LaGrange and what we are going to do.

“All we are worried about is putting the best 11 on offense and the best 11 on defense.”

Notre Dame returns four starters from its Division III state runner-up team, but Wilson cautioned that the Pioneers seldom endure a rebuilding year.

“They lost some starters, but they just plug more guys back in,” Wilson said. “When you have a system like they have, you can lose seniors and put juniors and sophomores in and they still know (what to do).

“They start that in the junior high so it is an easy fix for them. Notre Dame is one of the premier teams in the state. They are coached very well. They are not flashy; they just come right at you. (Hall of Fame) Coach (Lewis) Cook is one of the greatest coaches in the state. You want your program to be something like his.”

Wilson said he was pleased with the offense in last week’s jamboree, especially the play of running back Anthony Johnson, but noted the need to cut down on penalties.

“We ran the ball well and our quarterback threw the ball well,” Wilson said. “The key for us is no mental mistakes and no penalties.

“That was the main thing we had problems with in the scrimmage and it was a little better in the jamboree.”

Wilson said he’s hoping sophomore quarterback Quintorious Jones can put the offense on his shoulders.

“Right now he is adjusting,” Wilson said of Jones. “Last year he played running back. He is learning our offense. It is his offense to take to the next level. Hopefully he will be able to do that.”

Carencro at Sulphur

Sulphur hasn’t played Carencro since 2014, but when it hosts the Bears today in its season opener, there will be a familiar feeling.

Carencro picked up Acadiana offensive coordinator Gavin Peters in the offseason to replace Kevin Faulk, who took the job as director of player development at LSU. Peters has installed the Rams’ split-back veer offense to go with the Bears’ shotgun offense.

“The split-back veer is always dangerous because you have your option to take care of,” said Tors head coach Jeff Wainwright. “On offense they are trying to switch it between a split-back veer and a shotgun offense.

“Our coaches and players are having to adapt between the two different offenses. You basically have to have two different game plans and hope that everyone can understand what to do.”

The Tors are all too familiar with struggles of covering split-back veer, losing five in a row to the Rams from 2011 to 2016 (the Rams forfeited 2016 win), before winning 38-28 last year in Scott.

The Tors have three new starters on the defensive line in nose guard Patrick Perez and ends Neal Easton and Trent Lecoq, but Wainwright said they have been showing improvement and will be key to stopping the Bears.

“They have to have a real good game knowing it is the split-back veer situation,” Wainwright said. “If our defensive line plays well, our team will do well.”””

Marrico Wilson, LaGrange High head football coach

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