Port Allen High School head football coach Guy Blanchard said he has high hopes for his team this year. After a disappointing 3-6 season last year, which kept the Pelicans out of the playoffs for the first time in five years,
Blanchard said his team committed themselves the day after their last loss to make the 2014 season different.
“I love all my kids, no matter what, but many of our players from last year’s team just lacked character—a willingness to work,” Blanchard said. “This group of seniors in particular has pride and character.”
So much pride and character is possessed by this “Band of Brothers,” as the Pelicans’ mantra states, that they chose for their 2014 slogan “Time to Grind.”
“This senior group is incredible! They’re fun and committed,” said Blanchard. “Even our ‘puppies,’ last year’s freshmen and sophomores, have truly started to grow up. They aren’t where they need to be, but they’re getting there.”
Some may wonder what will make the 2014 season different from last year’s disappointment. Coach Blanchard claims that they will have “depth everywhere.” While in the past, the Pelicans have relied mostly on defense, Blanchard expects to throw a lot more due to the “difference makers” in his deep backfield: players like incoming junior DeMarcus Franklin who was a 1000-plus yard rusher last season, as well as three or four others, such as wide receivers Lorenzo Osborne and Telson Allen, whom he said he believes have the potential to post 1000-plus yard seasons.
Blanchard made comparisons of this season’s receiving corps to the receivers of 2008, which included Damian Dixon, who accepted scholarship offers to play football at Louisville.
Blanchard also expects to see a lot from seniors on defense, such as Marcus Keyes, DE, who already has four Division I offers. Blanchard also said he has great expectations for senior DT Troy Latolais, who has been receiving a lot of interest from colleges. Also expected to make some big plays for the Pels defense is cornerback Deven Hammond, a transfer from Brusly.
After a strong spring practice, the Pelicans will play their spring scrimmage against St. John Friday at 6 p.m. at Guy Otwell Memorial Stadium in Port Allen.
“These kids chose their slogan ‘Time to Grind,’ and they have truly represented it,” said Blanchard. “I think a lot of (our opponents) aren’t going to be happy seeing us this year.”
In other PAHS athletics news, the Pelicans will be holding their first ever “Big Blue Bunch Softball Tournament” May 30-June 1 at Myhand Park in Addis.
Proceeds will go toward Port Allen’s booster club, the Big Blue Bunch.