Lions hoping to make big improvements in 2022
The Ascension Christian Lions may be young in 2022, but head coach Josh Puryear said that the collection of skill players the squad will feature this season has him optimistic about the team improving.
The Lions saw their share of struggles in 2021. They finished with a 2-7 record and missed out on the postseason.
Now, Ascension Christian will have to break in a new quarterback this season. The Lions lost starting QB Ethan Cormier, who was also an all-district defensive back.
Other all-district players Ascension Christian will be without this season include receiver Emory Templet and offensive lineman Daniel Pyle.
But the Lions will bring back a very important piece in senior Adin Carter. Last season, Carter was an all-district running back and defensive back.
This year, he’ll make a position change on offense. He’ll replace Cormier and take over as the Lions’ starting quarterback.
“Adin has played all over the field for us the past few seasons. We are going to rely on him to take snaps but also to lead our team,” Puryear said.
Altogether, Ascension Christian will return four starters on offense and six on defense.
One of the Lions’ top returning starters will be senior lineman Brock Stafford. Stafford made last year’s all-district team on both sides of the ball.
“He had a tremendous year, and he has really used this offseason to get stronger. He is going to anchor both our defensive and offensive lines.” Puryear said.
He won’t be the only player who will be playing on both the offensive and defensive lines. Senior Josh Green, junior Brennan Hoffpauir and sophomore Elijah Poche will be doing the same.
“They’ve had a great summer and really improved their overall strength and are returning starters for us,” Puryear said.
Puryear also said that he believes sophomore Wyatt Stafford will have a breakout season as he plays fullback and linebacker for the Lions.
Puryear has high hopes for a handful of young players who will be seeing their first action this season. These players include: freshman running back Trevor Russell, freshman athlete Colton Morris, freshman lineman Brennan Shaules, eighth-grade running back Zade Richmond and eighth-grade running back and defensive back Jack Bready.
“All of these guys are expected to make an immediate impact on the field. We feel they have the potential to be starters for us,” Puryear said.
But it isn’t just the skill-position players that have Puryear excited. He said that he also feels good about what the Lions bring back in the trenches.
“We return a lot of depth and experience on the offensive line,” Puryear said. “Our guys have had a really strong summer and offseason in the weight room. We are going to lean on this group.”
Ascension Christian will open the season with an away game against Gueydan. From there, they’ll face non-district opponents in Springfield, Houma Christian, North Central and Centerville.
The Lions’ first District 8-1A contest will be on the road against White Castle on Oct. 7. They’ll finish the season at home against parish and league foe Ascension Catholic on Nov. 4.
“I’m excited about the potential this group has,” Puryear said. “We have a lot of youth, but the kids have good skill and are eager to learn.”