HIGH-SCHOOL

Three Griffin athletes sign with colleges

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Dutchtown's Will Reed (left), Jordan Jackson (center) and Brayden Caskey (right) all signed on Wednesday night. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

On Wednesday night, Dutchtown High celebrated the early signing period with three of their best senior athletes signing their names to the dotted lines and taking their first steps toward being college ball players.

In the school gym, surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches, Jordan Jackson, Brayden Caskey and Will Reed all signed. Jackson signed with Nicholls football, and both Caskey and Reed signed with Delgado baseball.

“All these players have dreams, but they don’t always put in the hard work and the effort to take that next step. It takes a lot of athleticism, hard work and dedication to get there,” Dutchtown baseball head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “These guys have put in that hard work and extra time to accomplish this goal they set for themselves years ago as kids.”

Jackson originally committed to McNeese State during the summer, but he de-committed soon after receiving an offer from Nicholls. He officially made Nicholls his choice on Wednesday night.

Jackson was a three-year starter in the secondary for the Griffins. He made second-team all-district and All-Parish honors as a junior.

As a senior, he was off to a torrid pace as he picked off six passes in the first five games. He also scored a flurry of touchdowns as a kick returner and an offensive weapon.

But Jackson sustained an injury in Dutchtown’s matchup against East Ascension that sidelined him for the rest of the season.

“I can’t put into words how much he meant to me as a coach and us as a football team and program,” Griffin defensive coordinator Tim Lala said. “We were a different team without him. Unfortunately, we had to go the second half of our season without him, due to injury.

“He was the most dynamic player on the field, and that was only exceeded by his work ethic and the amount of energy that he brought for our other players to feed off of.”

Jackson will now join a Nicholls program that has been a popular landing spot for Ascension football players. There were seven parish products on their roster this season.

Caskey started in the Griffin secondary alongside Jackson this year, but it’s on the baseball field where he’ll continue his athletic career after high school.

Caskey was a first-team all-district and All-Parish selection last season as a junior infielder.

“He has that ‘it’ factor,” Schexnaydre said. “He doesn’t pass the eye test. He doesn’t light up the radar gun. He doesn’t hit home runs; he’s just a baseball player. I would love to have 15-20 baseball players that just get after it and do the things he does.

“He’s one of those guys that when you’re coaching and he’s on the other team, he drives you nuts because he’s one of those pesky athletes that get it done.”

Reed will follow him to Delgado.

Last season, he was an integral performer for the Griffins not just from third base but from their pitching rotation as well. He was a second-team all-district selection as a utility player.

“He was a tremendous player on the mound for us last year,” Schexnaydre said. “He pitched a lot of big innings, and he was able to close out a lot of games for us. He was a guy we went to in crunch time. He had a great junior year.

“I’m excited for Will. He’s gonna come in this year and do a great job for us. He’s gonna be a leader both at third, on the mound and at the plate.

Last season, Reed and Caskey helped lead Dutchtown to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.

The two will be back for their senior seasons to try to lead the Griffins to the state tournament in Sulphur.