Baker Buffaloes (Source: WAFB)

BAKER, La. (WAFB) - Stop No. 46 for Sportsline Summer Camp took us to Baker for a visit with the Buffaloes, a program that made quite a jump last year.

They are coming off an eight-win season that saw them reach the quarterfinals of the playoffs, sparked by a first round upset of No. 3 seed Loranger. Now, the Buffs have a new head coach, as Claude Coleman takes over.

SPORTSLINE SUMMER CAMP: Baker Buffaloes - Part 1
SPORTSLINE SUMMER CAMP: Baker Buffaloes - Part 2

This is Coleman’s first varsity head coaching gig since his one year suspension in 2016 for his role in the Belaire football scandal. Coleman spent the last three seasons coaching Baker Middle School, so he’s familar with his surroundings and feels ready.

“That’s a major concern out of any coach when you take over a job is the community accepting you and the relationships that you have with the community and the parents,” said Coleman. “So, I have been fortunate enough to be in Baker for four years.”

“The middle school coaches are already familar with us,” added senior linebacker/defensive end Kelly Thomas. “They have been here. They live in Baker. They brought us up since we were young and they have been here for a long time. They come to our games. They have been giving us advice ever since we were young.”

With Eric Randall moving to an administrative role and Marc Brown resigning within a month for White Castle, Coleman is the new leader of the Buffs. He said the main thing is building on the success that Randall laid from last season’s quarterfinal team.

“I am just trying to keep it going and he has been a help to me. That’s why the transition has been so easy. Some coaches come in, they don’t have anyone to assist them on the kids from last year, the uniforms, you have to learn everything as you go,” Coleman explained.

“Our seniors and our upperclassmen, they did us a real good favor. They brought us real far and I am going to try to bring this team as far as I can and the leaders on this team are going to try to elevate everybody,” Thomas noted.

The Buffaloes finished 2019 with an 8-4 record.

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