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Spring football games on slate this week

Written by John Dupont on .

The high school sports season has come full circle.

It’s time for football again, albeit briefly.

Brusly and Port Allen high schools both prepared this week for upcoming spring scrimmages that culminate two weeks of drills.

The spring games give the coaches a heads-up on what needs work before training moves into full swing the first week of August.

Port Allen will host 1A power Kentwood at 6 p.m. for its spring game.

Brusly visits St. Thomas Aquinas at 6 p.m. Friday at Strawberry Field, on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

PORT ALLEN – Head coach Guy Blanchard has received one question constantly this spring.

“In eight years, I had never been asked who’s the starting quarterback,” he said. “This year, everyone has asked that question.”

Blanchard must fill the void left by Darian Claiborne, who signed earlier this year with Texas A&M.

Jamarcus Franklin and Alex Hebert – both sophomores -- will compete for the spot during the off-season.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Blanchard said. “We were able to take Darian when he was young and make something of him, so it should be a good challenge.”

The Pelicans will field a young team in 2013, but Blanchard welcomes the challenge.

“It’s a young group, but a good group, so we’re not going to back down from expectations,” he said. “Our seniors always told them never to be satisfied, so now it’s time to see what they want to do.”

Other top returnees include Marcus Keys, Morris Miller, Jarian Thomas, Charles Mullins and Troy Latiolais.

BRUSLY – The Panthers bring just over 50 to the field Friday against St. Thomas Aquinas.

It will mark Blake Manola’s debut as first-string quarterback. The senior, who fills the spot left by Jay Christophe, will spend the week working into the football groove after the end of baseball season.

The two weeks of training have given the Panthers a head start on the summer drills, coach Erik Willis said.

“We’re working on what we’re going to do next year, answer some questions on the depth charts and let some of the younger guys get up to speed,” he said. “Those two weeks of spring bring you up so far over what you would have without it.”

The Panthers will bring in a strong defensive line that will include Adam Morales, John Aleln, Montel Williams and Darien Cobbsa.

Senior linebackers will include Desmond Fleming, Carsel Alexander, McKay Chauvin and Joseph Fishburn.

“We have a lot of experience coming back,’ Willis said. 

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