ASTUTE COVERAGE: Reid, Godfrey provide experience, leadership to young Griffins
GEISMAR – Dutchtown may only return five starters from a regional playoff team last year with just 14 seniors but the Griffins do return its entire defensive secondary and will expect strong leadership from their lone experienced unit.
Seniors Eric Reid and Marcus Godfrey both return to the backfield after earning all-district honors last year and will be relied upon to keep Dutchtown’s winning tradition built over a short time span alive.
“Both are real classy, character guys with outstanding grades,”?Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “Eric is more vocal and has been a leader since the day he walked out here. Marcus is really quiet and leads by example more than words.”
“This year we have the fewest amount of seniors since the second year we were open,”?Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “It is a rebuilding year any way you look. Our skill kids are our strength and I think our speed is probably as good as it has ever been”
The Griffins are coming off an 8-3 record and second-place finish in District 5-5A after posting a 3-2 mark. But 30 seniors are gone from that team including bruising running backs Eddie Lacy and Kelvin York who have both moved on to play college football.
“We try to lead by example,” Reid said. “I think if I do the right thing, people will follow and do the right thing to. I think we are starting off young this year. There are a lot of guys that have to learn real quickly before the season starts but if we can get that done, then we will be right where we need to be.”
Godfrey's approach is similar. If others see you do a good job, they will follow, he said, noting that you have to take everything in stride.
Both are expected to follow in the footsteps of many former Griffins that have signed scholarships to play football at the next level. Reid committed to LSU earlier this year and Godfrey is being recruited by Tulane.
“Eric is the whole package,”?Saia said. “He is a dream guy and somebody that you love to have because he covers so much ground and changes what people can do. I don’t think he has ever made a ‘B’ in his life and will probably be the valedictorian. We are going to put a lot on his shoulders this year.
“Marcus is very efficient and had a breakout year last season. He is another quality DB we have back there.”
Reid led the Griffins with four interceptions, while adding 53 tackles including three for losses to earn first-team all-district and all-state honors at free safety. Godfrey was a second-team member after intercepting three passes. They are joined in the backfield by returning starters Jonathan Darville and Shaquille Lewis.
“We are going to have the best secondary in the state,” Reid said. “At practice we are all competitive. We like to go against each other to make each other better.”
“We got a lot of experience back there and we did a great job last year,” Godfrey added “We are very athletic and have a lot of chemistry.”
Reid has become known as a big-time hitter and credits his coaches for putting him in the right spot.
“I think it has to do with the technique the coaches teach us,” Reid said. “They tell us where to be and how to get in the right position. If I am in the right spot at the right time, it might be a big hit. Who knows?’
Godfrey says last season’s East St. John game where he had two interceptions does stick out his mind but winning is more important.
“You play for the team and not for yourself,” Godfrey said. “You don’t really worry about stats.”
Reid recalls the Griffins’ double overtime loss to Hahnville.
“We came back to tie it and send it into overtime and loss by one point,” Reid said. “That had to be my favorite game because of the way we battled back.”
Both said football means a lot to them and are excited for the start of their senior season under the lights.
“I have been playing since I was seven so I grew up with it and have been around the game for awhile,” Godfrey said. “It is a great atmosphere to be around. Very electric with a lot of fans there cheering on their favorite football team.”
“Outside of family and school football is No. 1,” Reid said. That is how I want to make my living in the NFL.
“I like the adrenaline and try not to get too anxious before the game so I don’t burn myself out. You have to hold out till the game starts but when it gets going, there is nothing like it.”