Reloaded and ready to go
Behind fourth-year head coach Terrance Williams, the Donaldsonville High Tigers will look to conquer District 7-3A with a plethora of fresh new faces.
Donaldsonville lost most of their starters from a team that finished in a three-way tie for second in the district with Brusly and Port Allen High.
Even with the mass exodus only leaving three returning starters on offense and only three on defense, coach Williams is optimistic that there will be no drop-off.
"It's a challenge every year,” Williams said. “Every year, it's a different team, but the kids have been in the system for a while, and they're ready to go. It'll be fun."
The biggest void the Tigers will have to fill is at quarterback with the loss of Devon Breaux. Breaux exploded last season and quickly established himself as one of the best players in 3A—being named first-team All-State quarterback.
Williams plans to remedy this by simply replacing one All-State star with another.
With Breaux out of the picture, in comes the immensely-talented Leandre James. As a receiver, James was an honorable mention All-State player a year ago—snagging passes for over 1,100 yards.
Now, Williams is counting on him to make the huge transition to quarterback and give the offense just the spark it needs.
“He’s a guy that drives our offense. We’ve handed him the keys, and he’s ready to roll,” Williams said.
James will work out of the spread and try to get the ball to sophomore receiver Jaquel Grant as much as possible. Grant’s a true play-maker that finished with over 950 yards receiving last season as a freshman.
His presence will also be felt on the defensive side of the ball as he will be the Tigers’ free safety as they operate out of the 4-3.
Donaldsonville hopes that their second season in 3A will treat them more kindly than their first.
The Tigers dropped to 5-5 last year after finishing 9-2 the previous season. They clinched a playoff berth but lost a tight one to Marksville High in the opening round.
However, Williams was thrilled with how his team responded to the step up in class. It was the brutal non-district games that he believes hurt his squad.
"I think we handled it well. We finished in a three-way tie for second in the district,” Williams said. “We really stepped up our non-district schedule--playing teams like Dutchtown and McDonogh 35, teams consistently in the playoffs. That's the only way you're gonna learn to play those kinds of teams. We took our lumps, but we're ready to get things started."
The Tigers will officially get things started on Aug. 16 when they travel to White Castle for a three-way scrimmage against Morgan City and White Castle High.
And on Aug. 24, they will host St. Amant High in LeBlanc's Ascension Parish High School Jamboree Kickoff.
Williams is excited to see his reloaded squad in action after what has been a very positive offseason.
"The guys have been great. They've been upbeat, up for the challenge and they're just ready to start rolling,” Williams said.�