ST. FRANCISVILLE, LA (WAFB) - The 2017 West Feliciana Saints lived a dream season, claiming the school's first-ever football state championship and celebrating senior MVP Davon Harris.
Harris also won the Warrick Dunn Award as Sportsline Friday Nite's Player of the Year, with teammates and fellow seniors Derius Davis and Derek Turner (who are also brothers), joining him as WD Award finalists.
It's the first time in 11 years of the award that one school had three of WAFB's nine finalists.
Now, head coach Robb Odom, who is entering his 24th season with the Saints, lost 20 seniors and 20 of 22 starters, but says the goal is the same even though 10 of the 20 seniors signed to play college football.
"Just because we lost those kids, our expectations don't change," said Odom.
West Feliciana will build around six seniors and two starters who return. Linebacker Riyan Cotton is a junior who led the team in tackles as a sophomore and center Taylor Casteel is a three-year starter, but the only returning offensive linemen from last year's two-deep, with the other nine departing.
Fellow seniors Hunter Duos, Clayton Howard, and Khiry Morrison all figure to play both ways, including skill positions on offense. Morrison just committed to Louisiana Tech over the weekend.
Defensive ends Malik Jacob and O'Koryea Anderson are expected to join them in setting the tone on a more speed-oriented defense. Odom said Hunter Giroir and Sanders Nelson also figure to play key roles for the Saints, who are the defending Class 3A champions after posting a 14-1 record last season.