SPORTSLINE SUMMER CAMP: Donaldsonville Tigers
DONALDSONVILLE, La. (WAFB) - The Donaldsonville Tigers are stop No. 33 for Sportsline Summer Camp.
After a week one loss to start the season last year, the Tigers went on to win five games in a row and seven of their last nine before being upset in the playoffs.
A total of 12 seniors are back in 2020. Adversity and uncertainty are nothing new for this group that has been through the flood, the closing of the Sunshine Bridge, and now this pandemic. Through it all, fifth-year head coach Brian Richardson has tried to preach one positive message.
“Just look for greatness on the other side,” said Richardson. “Because, historically and biblically, after you’ve gone through things of this nature, there’s something great on the other side of it. If you make it through it, there’s going to be something exceptional on the other side. Just stick to it. Don’t quit. They’ve bought into that and they’re unphased. I love those guys. This is one of the best group of seniors I’ve ever had here.”
“Everyone is pushing to try and get stronger, faster,” said senior running back and linebacker Raeland Johnson. “Whatever they need to do to improve and bring to the team this year.”
It’s time to level up at Donaldsonville. The Tigers are preparing for the 2020 season returning seven starters on offense and seven on defense. Offensively, they’ll look to build on a successful season on the ground while continuing to develop junior quarterback Trevion Brown.
“Our running game was a pleasant surprise. We had two 1,000-yard rushers. That hasn’t happened in a long time. We had a very young QB. He’s maturing. He still passed for 1,000 yards even with that, so the offense was a great surprise,” said Richardson.
“You have to be patient. Like, let your line move everything while you find the hole and everything is else up to you. Try to make someone miss, break tackles, and focus on ‘No more one-yard line,’ like Coach Richardson says,” Johnson added.
Defensively, Richardson said his team will transition from a 4-2-5 scheme to a 3-3-5 with strength and depth at the linebacker positions and in the secondary.
“You have to really not care if you on the defensive side of the ball,” said senior defensive back Joshua Collier. “You have to hit anything in your way. When they’re running, you have to hit them before they hit you.”
Also new for some guys this year will be playing both sides of the ball, a necessary adjustment to make sure the best athletes are on the field and the Tigers give themselves the best chance to win.
“It’s going to be hard but I just have to work at it. If I want to win, then I have to sacrifice,” Johnson noted.
Do you think it’ll take a couple of games to get that wind under your belt?
“Not even that,” senior offensive and defensive lineman Christian Howard. “I’m ready.”
What have you learned through those struggles?
“I learned that you just have to give it your all every chance you get,” senior offensive and defensive lineman Joel Walker replied. “Don’t take a play for granted.”
The Tigers are a consistent playoff team but working to take the next step as a program.
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