Plenty of changes face Tigers in 2019

Kyle Riviere
Raeland Johnson returns at running back for the Tigers in 2019. Photo by Chuck Montero.

Things are going to feel brand new for Donaldsonville in 2019.

Not only will the Tigers have many new faces in the starting lineup, but they'll also be breaking in new offensive and defensive schemes. In addition to those changes, Donaldsonville we be competing in a new district this upcoming season.

It's the second straight year in which the Tigers have faced plenty of turnaround. In 2018, they came into the season minus a large portion of their starters from a team that went 7-3 and reached the second round of the playoffs.

Most notably, they had to break in a new quarterback--a freshman at that.

Still, despite the widespread youth and experience, the Tigers were able to go 5-5 during the regular season and reach the playoffs, before being eliminated by archrival St. James.

Donaldsonville quarterback Treveyon Brown returns. Head coach Brian Richardson raved about his progression during the spring.

"The quarterback position looks 100-percent better," Richardson said. "Our starting quarterback Treveyon Brown was just a freshman last year. He’s now a sophomore with 10 regular-season games and a playoff game under his belt, so he’s much more poised. But he still is young, so there is still some growing to do.

"He’s looked good in the new offense. During the spring game, he made some good decisions and avoided getting sacked a whole lot."

Joshua Collier is another returning QB that saw action last season.

The offense the Tigers will be utilizing is the pistol. They make that transition from the spread.

One of the reasons why Richardson thinks they'll be successful with the new scheme is because of their depth and skill at the running back position.

The Tigers return starting running back Raeland Johnson, and Brown is also expected to give them a boost on the ground.

Richardson is also excited about wing-back D'Andre Johnson. "He's fast, and he blocks well," Richardson said.

Other players that could make a big impact on offense are running back Tyrese Ester and receiver Datuan Harris.

The Tigers' biggest strength last season was their defense. They surrendered just 19 points per game.

This year, they'll be changing, along with the offense.

“We’re a little thin up front this year," Richardson said. "We’re low on those big, defensive linemen we usually have, so we’re changing our defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4. That’ll allow us to get more of those fast linebackers out on the field.”

They'l l lose all-district defensive backs in Christian Bell and Savon Landry, as well as an all-district linebacker in Devin Turner.

Although, they will bring back first-team all-district linebacker Trevon Dunn and second-team all-district defensive back Jaquaivus Tenner.

Richardson also expects big things from Brandon Williams in the secondary. Up front, Joel Walker and Willie Picou will try to cause disruption from the defensive line.

Donaldsonville will be making the move from District 10-3A to 9-3A this season. St. James will join them, but the rest of their league opponents will be new. They include Berwick, E.D. White, Lutcher and Patterson.

Again, the Tigers will open the season against Assumption. These games have been extremely close. Donaldsonville has won four of the last six by a combined 15 points. Last year, Assumption came away with a 14-8 victory.

Richardson said of his team's potential in 2019, "We are still a young team, but we should be better once our team leaders start stepping up."