GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - The East Ascension Spartans finished 5-5 a season ago before a first-round playoff loss to John Ehret, who reached the Superdome.
Now EA graduate and former assistant Darnell Lee takes over as the new head coach for Paul Bourgeouis, who is moving on following a five-year stint in Gonzales.
The transition to a new head coach has been a very smooth one.
"Having a new coach, I think it's pretty good. He's coming in, he's relating to the players on a personal level, and he wants to see us become productive young men," said senior offensive lineman Trevor Fleming.
"The head coach, it's really not new to me. He was my defensive coordinator the last year. So we have good chemistry together," Simon said.
"I think it went well. We got a lot of young guys," Lee said, sharing his thoughts on the Spartans and how they looked in the spring. "But we have young great young talent, that will be asked to step up this year. We have our whole offensive line back. We have some skilled guys at some skilled positions that will give us a chance."
The Spartans return seven starters on offense and only two starters are back on defense.
"The team as a whole, I like the mindset of the team this year because they have a goal they want to reach. And I see them pushing every day, to reach that goal," said senior defensive back Cameron Simon.
Senior Keenen Dunn ready to take over the quarterback spot full time and made some big plays with his arm and his feet, including a long touchdown throw to TJ Johnson in the Spartan's annual spring game against Live Oak.
"It look awhile to get used to, we have a lot of young guys. It was a different feel to the game. Once they got the jitters out, they were able to play," Dunn said.
This season the Spartans still plan on moving Dunn around on offense, lining him up in the backfield and at wide receiver.
Junior wide receiver Shemar Thompson will be another target and a pair of young men that were on the junior varsity last season will be asked to carry the ball at running back. Adrian Johnson and Evan Copeland hope to prove themselves running the rock.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Fabian Dejean seemed to be everywhere, making stops behind the line of scrimmage and giving Live Oak major headaches.
"Goals are to win the games you're suppose to win, you know. Obviously you want to do your best, it's your first year. Motto is to give 100 percent, 100 percent of the time, that's all we can do," Lee said.
The Spartans have high hopes, despite losing a ton veteran players.
"I like how everyone is close. We're like a family. We hang out after school. We're real close, we can tell each other everything," Dunn said.
"We're young, but we're very talented. We're going to get at it, just like they did last year," said senior defensive back Cameron Gautreaux.
"Goal for me this year, is to really get a ring. We want to go all the way," Fleming said. "We don't want to be stopped, can't be stopped. Just put our heads down. I just want us to give 100 percent and make it happen.
MOBILE VIDEO: Watch part 1 on the East Ascension Spartans from Sportsline Summer Camp