BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Our scheduled stop for Sportsline Summer Camp on Monday, June 22, was the St. Michael Warriors.
They had a turnaround in 2019, posting a winning season under the leadership of head coach Joey Sanchez and the players have expressed they’re not willing to go back in the other direction from here.
To build on the momentum of last year means buying-in after seeing the benefits of the accountability Sanchez demands.
Linebacker James Balart said there’s been a definite turnaround on defense with coordinator Caleb Leindecker. Balart also plays fullback on offense.
The quarterback duties have passed from departing senior Nick Brister to junior Nick Johnson who’s not giving up his No. 32 jersey or linebacker’s attitude just because he’s the new leader of the offense.
St. Michael also returns Sportsline Player of the Week Codi Williams. The running back starred in a historical road win at Plaquemine. He also doubles as a defensive back.
Despite having to deal with a COVID offseason, the Warriors said they are accustomed to facing issues as a team that has to hit the road every Friday night without an on-campus stadium most teams they play enjoy.
From Sean Payton to Ed Orgeron to Dawson Odums, how often do we hear coaches talk about building a program by changing the culture?
Sanchez appears to be doing that for the St. Michael Warriors.
A defense that thrived on the turnover and kept the Warriors in every game is missing more than half its starters but an offense that struggled to finish off drives despite seniors at all the skill positions is turning to some new blood that could have made a difference.
Both sides of the football is where Johnson was late in the season relieving Brister at quarterback. No. 32 continued to play safety and having that number under center perhaps led some to underestimate his effectiveness. Johnson and running back Phillip Hines will have help with Scott Dietrich coming in to coordinate the flexbone offense with some obvious depth in the backfield.
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