PLAQUEMINE, La. (WAFB) - Stop No. 47 for Sportsline Summer Camp involves another trip across the Mississippi River to Plaquemine and a visit with the St. John Eagles.
The Eagles started 2019 at 2-2 but dropped their last six games. They were outscored 182-12 by district rivals White Castle, Ascension Catholic, and East Iberville.
However, they vow to bounce back in 2020 with quarterback Taylor Dupont revving up the pass offense despite a limited off-season with COVID-19.
“Oh yeah, it’s been real tough, because we’ve got some people who are blazing fast and some people who aren’t so fast but they can catch as well, so trying to hit them on the spot perfect is going to be difficult but it takes some time to get used to,” said Dupont.
“Speed is the key to our offense,” added senior wide receiver and defensive back Nick Daigle. “That’s what we need.“
Head coach Eric Holden said nearly half of last year’s team hadn’t played high school at all and even one of his best seniors wide receiver Christian Gantt hasn’t played since he was a freshman fielding kicks.
In those six losses mentioned earlier, the Eagles averaged just six points a game. Holden said he’s starting to see a change in the culture in his third year as head coach and hopes the young guys forced into action have grown up.
”You don’t get to choose every little aspect of your life and how you live and you’ve got to be able to take it as it comes and you’ve got to roll with the punches,” said Holden.
“We didn’t have leadership. We had ... we didn’t have many people stepping up and taking charge of the loss. We were always blaming other people and I think this year that’s going to change,” Dupont pointed out.
“He played wide receiver last year but, I mean, he was always with the quarterbacks learning the offense. He played quarterback before,” Daigle noted.
“We’ve got a bunch of fans and everybody knows us, so it’s pretty exciting to show what you’ve got,” added senior tackle Jude Drinkwater.
“I think we’re going to do a lot better this season,” an optimistic senior center Landry Kleinpeter stated. “I think we’re going to win a lot of games.”
“We’ve been struggling with the pandemic. We’ve been trying to grind out everything we can on our own, because we can’t get together as a team but we’ve been working on it,” Dupont added.
“Almost every day after practice, we go to work out,” said Gantt. “Just doing all those things on our own is really going to help us out in the long run. Whenever someone doesn’t show up, we’ll text and be like, ‘Where are you at, man? Come next time at least, show up, do something.‘”
“I want to make the playoffs. We haven’t made the playoffs yet and I want to do that. Not many people have done that in the past decade, let alone win a district game. That’s also what I want to do,” Dupont explained.
Holden said he’s proud of the work his players have done on their own since they just got back on the field together this week.
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