BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Stop No. 13 for the Sportsline Summer Camp tour around high school football in the Capital area was with the Istrouma Indians.
“From scratch” is exactly where Istrouma head coach Jeremy Gradney, his staff, and the student-athletes started three years ago, prior to the 2017 season when the Indians started on the path back to playing varsity football once again for the first time since 2013.
It’s been a grind but the Indians have made a ton of progress. In their first varsity season last year, they went 4-7 and made the playoffs. They ended up losing in the first round but what was impressive about that squad is after dropping its first five games of the year, Istrouma won four of the last five by an average margin of 29 points per game. Also of note, they lost on the road at Plaquemine by just two points.
Gradney is entering his fourth season at the helm of the resurrected Indians program, which saw its first varsity action in five years in 2019 and if you had a chance to catch a game, you probably heard the name Le’Veon Moss quite often. In 2018, the then-freshman running back made countless plays for the Indians on the JV team. When the program took the next step to the varsity level in 2019, the plays didn’t stop.
For this upcoming season, Moss says he wants to catch more passes out of the backfield and rush for 2,000 yards. Those are lofty goals knowing all eyes of the defense will be on him in his junior season. Of course, the other 10 players on the field will have their opportunities to make plays as well. And that sort of balance could help elevate the Indians to the next level as they continue to try to grow as a program in their second varsity season.
Moss dazzled so much as the feature back in his sophomore season that it garnered the attention of major universities. Both LSU and Alabama offered the 2022 prospect this spring.
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