First year Bulldogs head football coach Aaron Meyer likes the improvement he has seen over the past few months from his young squad.
Spring practices were a bit of a slow start for Meyer, however, but the teams’ seven-on-seven work has shown great improvement.
“Spring was really, I guess, it was new,” Meyer said. “We didn’t have a bad spring, but we didn’t have a great spring.” Meyer attributes the slow showing to the poor weather conditions and the extended basketball, baseball and track seasons.
“We did have some good practices and I was able to meet with a lot of the kids. We were able to get the ball rolling towards August.”
In the month of June, the Bulldogs participated in seven seven-on-seven leagues with plans of hosting their own. WC participated in the month-long league at Plaquemine High, where they faced off against teams like the Devils, East Iberville and Donaldsonville.
After, the Bulldogs traveled to compete in a seven-on-seven tournament at Southern where they faced off against stout teams like Edna Karr, St. James and Ellender.
“These were all good football teams,” Meyer said. “They were great competition. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but at the same time we were able to learn a lot about ourselves, see a lot of ups and downs and at the same time be able to throw the football in a game-like situation.”
One key struggle area for Meyer and his Bulldogs has been transitioning from a double slot offense to spread, especially when the team was not keen on advancing downfield through the air. New starting quarterback Javier Batiste, a junior, took over the duties after Jeremie Richard was switched to half back/slot receiver.
“Richard’s touches will be multiplied,” Meyer said. “He’s good across the middle and can dominate the middle of the football field. I think he’s a better player in space, I think he’s a tougher guy.”
A few standouts on offense include Richard, Batiste and returning senior wide receiver Demarius Stewart.
“Javier and Demarius are hard people to adjust to,” Meyer added. “They don’t give you much time to react. Javier is someone that has to touch it every down.”
As far as the defense goes, Meyer has only had a chance to observe a few defensive backs and linebackers at the seven-on-sevens. Sophomore Marcus Williams and junior Eddie Ned will serve as keys to a successful linebacking group while Unique Young, a basketball standout in 2017, will play cornerback.
Meyer is an offensive line-minded coach, however, and has his eyes on standout guards Chancellor Williams, freshman, and Clifton Dunham, sophomore, to help win the battle in the trenches.
The team only sports five seniors this season and has hosted a consistent 35 kids at workouts and practices. “We’ll be fine if we can handle all aspects of the game,” Meyer added. “They’re a good group, and I’m pretty excited from what I’ve seen so far.”
Before the Bulldogs open their season in August, Meyer plans to attend another seven-on-seven tournament at Central Catholic and eventually host one of his own before July comes to a close.
The Bulldogs have a pretty heavy schedule on their hands, especially in pre-district. They open the season on the road against Belaire on Sept. 1. Then they will host Donaldsonville, Glen Oaks and Lusher before hitting the road to take on a stout West St. John team to close out the month.
District play begins a week later at home against Kentwood, then they will travel to face parish rival St. John, host Ascension Catholic, travel to Southern Lab and close out the regular season at home against parish rival East Iberville.
“I think we have a pretty decent schedule,” Meyer added. “It’s something that we can handle. We are facing teams in higher divisions, but I think we can play with them.
“We’re just trying to gear the guys towards a championship and scholarships. That’s kind of our mantra. We’re ready to get to work.”