BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Before Benny Saia coached NFL players Eddie Lacy, Eric Reid and Landon Collins at Dutchtown, he coached the Tara Trojans and had Trojan alum Terry Washington on his staff. Washington has now come back to be the Trojans head coach.
Washington was also at Capitol with Roman Bates when the Lions faced John Curtis in the Superdome and has been a head coach at Ellender, Jeanerette and Scotlandville. However, he said taking over at his alma mater is special.
Despite a winless 2015, the Trojans showed potential in their spring game against Broadmoor.
"Tara's been on some hard times the last couple of years, but they've always had great athletes," Washington said.
"Everyone is doubting us, but I mean, they have the right to because we went 0-10 last year. But we're just going to kill them with silence. We'll have to show them," said running back Larry Green.
Quarterback Patrick Arnold, who missed time last year with ankle and thigh injuries, heads a list of 23 seniors, and Green is right there with him pushing the Trojans to get over the hump.
Washington said running back Green's been the leader but Arnold is growing into that role.
"He's bought into the weight room. At first he told me 'Coach I don't like lifting weights,' but he's bought into it, and now I have to run him out of there. So that's a plus. Throws a great ball," Washington said about Arnold. "He's a leader, and we're going to lean on him a lot. The quarterback's the leader on a football team and he's the quarterback, so all eyes are on Patrick and Patrick's going to do well for us."
"It's been awhile since I've been able to have fun playing football like that, because last year I was injured, so I was out most of the end of the season. So to be able to come back to help my team, to compete like that it was fun," Arnold said.
Washington has dubbed Dyon Seawire the heart and soul of the team in the trenches, and some other big play threats include wide receiver Deontre Thornton and Baker transfer Chris Hitchens, who not only took a pick six to the house but can also switch over to offense and play wide receiver.
There are plenty of underclassmen, none bigger than little Nick Scott, who showed his big play ability against the Bucs.
Washington has also added some big guys from the basketball team to expand the roster, but don't forget a little guy who might remind you of Southern's Willie Quinn.
MOBILE VIDEO: Watch part 1 on the Tara Trojans from Sportsline Summer Camp