Tigers play their spring game on new turf

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
All-district defensive back Raiyen Oatis will take the reins as Donaldsonville’s new starting QB in 2022.

The Donaldsonville Tigers wrapped up their spring practice on Thursday night as they hosted Martin Luther King Charter at Floyd Boutte Stadium.

It was the first time the Tigers were able to play at the stadium since the new artificial field turf was installed. 

The turf wasn’t completed during last football season. As a result, Donaldsonville was forced to play all of its home games at either White Castle or Plaquemine.

“It hurt my heart to see some of our seniors from last year at the game and they couldn’t be out here playing on the new field. We had 17 seniors on that team last year,” Tiger head coach Brian Richardson said. “But it was great for the guys to get out here and show out on the new turf. Hopefully, we can build something on the legacy the seniors left here. It starts with being out here on this turf for the first time with a nice crowd.”

It was productive spring for Donaldsonville, but an injury during the game against MLK put a damper on things.

Starting center Jyran Ferchaud went down with a leg injury, and he had to be removed from the field on a stretcher and transported to the hospital.

Richardson said that Ferchaud looked great during the spring and he had worked hard to earn the starting center job.

“Spring was a little spotty, but I was super impressed with our defense. I haven’t seen us run to the ball like that in a long time,” Richardson said. “I’m disappointed with the injury. The main thing you want to do is come out of here with no injuries. But overall, I liked the effort. I just want better consistency. I didn’t see consistency throughout the spring. We’ve got to develop that over the summer and throughout the fall.”

There’s a big change at quarterback for Donaldsonville. Four-year starter Treveyon Brown has graduated. Now, all-district cornerback Raiyen Oatis will step in under center.

“He showed some glimpses. He can be good, but he’s got to be consistent,” Richardson said. “It’s hard to lose a guy you’ve had since the eighth grade. It was hard to look in the locker room and not see Treveyon there. I’m glad Raiyen stepped up. He didn’t have to do it; he’s a cornerback. But he stepped up. If he stays consistent with it, I think he’ll be a good quarterback.”

On defense, Oatis came up with a beautiful interception in the end zone against MLK.

The Tigers also return first-team all-district running back and linebacker Robert Kent. 

Donaldsonville’s offense had a hard time finding yards in the scrimmage against MLK, but the one bright spot was Kent. Early in the game, he broke loose on a 50-yard run.

Two other players Richardson said stood out during the spring were Blake Turner and Jalen Brown.

The Tigers are coming off of a season that saw them finish with a 6-5 record. They reached the second round of the playoffs.

But this year’s team will be filled with plenty of youth. Donaldsonville lost eight all-district players from last season.

But there’s still a lot that Richardson likes from this bunch.

“We have good team speed, and we run the football well. But we lack experience,” Richardson said. “All of these guys are young. We had four eighth-graders out there tonight, and they’re going to be good eighth-graders. I like our effort and hustle, too.”