Looking to break through

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant will have a strong offensive line, anchored by tackle DJ Nickens (No. 69).

This year's St. Amant High Gators return a veteran roster hungry to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

Head coach David Oliver will lead the charge once again--now entering his fifth year at the school.

His team took their lumps last season--finishing 5-5 with one of those losses being a 48-14 drudging in the hands of parish rival Dutchtown High.  And to end the season, they lost a 10-7 heartbreaker to archrival East Ascension.

However, with 17 starters returning from last year's team, the Gators have to be optimistic that those gloomy days are behind them.

This season, St. Amant will possess the perfect recipe for winning football games: a strong running game  and solid defense.

Offensively, the Gators will run and run often with their multiple veer attack as all-district tackle DJ Nickens and tailback Trey Washington lead the charge.  Washington ran for 676 yards and scored a n impressive 14 touchdowns as a junior.

And when St. Amant does decide to air it out, wide receiver Ryan Cardinale will be there to make the grab.  Cardinale was an all-district player a year ago.

Defensively, everything will start with their front.  All-district defensive lineman Tendrick Cooper returns along with first-team All-Metro defensive lineman Nic Bickham.

Brandon Rogers--who led the team in tackles with 72 last year--returns at linebacker, and Jacob Morales will lead the secondary.

The returning  starters along with their 36 seniors give the Gators the leg-up on the district when it comes to experience, but that alone won't win games.

They'll have tough battles again with Dutchtown and East Ascension along with the rest of the stacked District 5-5A.  But if they can win a few of those battles, they just might earn themselves a spot in the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.   

They start the season with a trip to Donaldsonville to play Donaldsonville High for their jamboree next Friday night.