Making a change

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension seniors Marcus Bailey and Adam Trahan have switched positions from the defensive secondary to running back and quarterback to fill needs on a Spartans’ team that looks to rebound from 3-7 campaign and make the Class 5A playoffs.

East Ascension seniors Adam Trahan and Marcus Bailey have bought into Sparten head coach John Lambert’s desire to win so much so that they have switched positions to fill team needs.

Both have started in the defensive secondary the past two years, but the necessity of leadership in the offensive backfield pressured the move.

“I’m impressed and happy to have those two guys on the offensive side of the football because they become the leaders I was searching for so hard last year,” Lambert said.

Lambert, in his second season, and the Spartans are seeking to better a 3-7 campaign a year ago and return to the Class 5A playoffs after moving up from Class 4A prior to last season.

Although Trahan and Bailey may not be on the college recruiting radar, Lambert compares them to Washington Redskins’ strong safety LaRon Landry, who Lambert coached at Hahnville and switched to quarterback his senior year to fill team needs.

“They are the every man,” Lambert said. “They are not 6 foot 5. Adam Trahan doesn't have a rocket arm on his shoulder. He throws a good pass. Are we going to throw 60-yard passes. Probably not. We will nickel and dime people left and right.

“Marcus Bailey, for having been in the offense only since May, has really understood that we are going to play him all over the field. He is that good of an athlete on offense and people are going to have to account for him and see where No. 25 is at. Adam Trahan knows that too and if he can get the ball into Marcus Bailey's hands, we are going to be in a good position.”

Trahan has started at strong safety since he was a sophomore but is not new to the quarterback position after playing there as a freshmen and in middle school.

Bailey, a two-year starter at cornerback who earned second team All-District 6-5A honors last season after recording 41 tackles, is new to the running back position,  but has experience with the football in his hands returning kicks.

They are two of 25 seniors that lead a squad of more than 80 players who have bought into Lambert’s system and want to make noise in Class 5A after last reaching the Class 4A playoffs in 2006.

Both?Trahan and Bailey said they have seen changes in Lambert’s second year and are hoping that will lead to another playoff run.

“His intensity has risen,” Trahan said. “Everything is more fast paced. We want to make the playoffs this year and we have to believe. If everyone jumps on the bandwagon and we play together as one team we will be good.”

Bailey is a little more straightforward.

“He is on us,” Bailey said of Lambert. “We’re not playing around this time. We’re the underdogs and nobody is expecting us to win anything. We can prove everybody wrong.”

When Lambert asked the duo to move to the offense, he recalls their reaction which,  within seconds, was focused on helping the team win.

“If it helps the team win,” Lambert said, “that, to me, is what this is all about.”

Trahan admits although he has experienced the atmosphere and speed of a varsity game on defense, playing at that level at quarterback will be something new.

“It is going to be a lot more of an  adjustment,” Trahan said. “I am just doing it for the team. That is the spot where they need me, so that is where I’ve got to go.”

Bailey said he also sees his opportunity as a way to better the Spartans.

“I returned kickoffs, so I am used to running with the ball,” Bailey said. “Coach wants to put the ball in my hands to help out the team. That is what I want to do.”

Both said they believe leadership will play a key role for East Ascension this year.

“If you don't have leadership, then your team breaks apart and we kind of experienced a little bit of that last year and want to change that this year,” Trahan said. “That is where it starts. That is where you go from 3-7 to 10-0.”

“Last year we didn't have any leadership,” Bailey added. “It is our job as seniors to be leaders but it helps if underclassman step up into leadership roles as well to win football games. You can't win football games without leadership.”

Trahan recalled watching former East Ascension standouts Glenn Dorsey, Buzzy Haydel and Brady Bourque growing up and wanting to be a Spartan.

“Knowing that you put the same jersey on and step onto the same field, that is an honor that goes a long way,” Trahan said. “Now that we are here you want to represent just like they did.

“Nothing is better than stepping on that field against another team and putting the Spartan blue and gold on in front of all the fans, everyone that watched you grow up and your friends. I just get that thrill. Nothing can touch it. It is like nothing else matters but that game.”

Bailey said he knows the feeling as well.

“I have been playing since I was a little kid in the back yard dreaming about this trying to win a state championship,” Bailey said. “Come Friday night under the lights, it just gives you chills every time.”