If spring football games give any indication of the season ahead, the future looks brighter for the Port Allen Pelicans, according to head coach Don Gibson.
Gibson, who will enter his third season at the helm of the program, saw considerable improvement on both sides of the ball against St. Helena Central on May 18 at Southern University’s A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Jacoby Howard ran for one touchdown and scored another off a pass from Jeremiah Dehon, while Jordan Antoine scored on a short run for the Pels.
Howard also grabbed an interception deep in St. Helena territory during the first half.
“We’re very optimistic,” Gibson said. “We’ve worked on the fundamentals, but we’ve also focused on all other aspects, including taking every opportunity possible to force turnovers, and we did that.”
Dehon, who enters his sophomore year, took the duties as starting quarterback and showed promise both on the running and passing attack for the Pelicans,
Howard, meanwhile, had a dazzling effort as a receiver, as well as on defense.
For the accomplishments the Pelicans eked out on their own, they also got help from St. Helena on the first possession when SHCHS was flagged three consecutive plays for false start, which helped PAHS on yardage.
The spring game marked the start of Jeffery Gibson, brother of the head coach, as the offensive coordinator. The Pelicans will continue to use the spread offense but continue to tweak it through the summer months.
Forty players dressed out for the Pelican spring game, which reflected an uptick in the turnout in comparison to previous seasons. The spring roster did not include the incoming freshmen who will join the team when preseason boot camp begins in late July.
“It helps when you had only four seniors graduating from last year’s roster, but at the same time the kids at Port Allen High are buying into our program, particularly after we made the playoffs last season,” Gibson said. “We’re starting to see the benefits from our work to build up this program, so we’re excited about next season.”