Head coach Donald Johnson and his Plaquemine Green Devils squad hit the court hard this summer in hopes of continuing their 6-4A dominance this upcoming school year.
The Devils participated in the White Castle Summer League this year and attended league play at New Iberia, Southern University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“The competition was great,” Johnson said. “I saw a tremendous amount of improvement from individual players and as a team.”
The Devils’ season ended in the Quarterfinals in 2017 after earning the No. 6 seed and falling 81-90 to No. 3 Westgate.
The Devils ended their season with an overall 27-9 record and were 9-1 in district play. PHS earned the 6-4A District title for the fourth straight season.
Though the Devils lost standout All-State player Keandre Randall to graduation, PHS will look to dominate the court again under the leadership of A.J. Riley (All-District 2017), Herb Thomas (All-District 2017) and Darius Jackson (All-District 2017).
Riley’s physical play and leadership combined with Jackson’s inside play should help lift the Devils to their fifth 6-4A title.
Jackson even caught the eye of some assistant coaches from ULL this summer, Johnson said, and he is now on their radar. A few other key players in potential supporting roles this season are: Henry Spriggs, Karsten Mosby and D.T. Wicks.
“We expect great things this season,” Johnson said. “We expect another great year as we return Herb Thomas, A.J. Riley and Darius Jackson to lead the team.
“We expect to be a top team in 4A again. We will have more versatility this year with more size inside and on the perimeter. We will play multiple defenses because of the length and athleticism that we have.”
One potential area of concern for Johnson is getting players the proper experience early with an expected extended football season this year. They will have to win tough games early, but could run into issues with lack of experience for players that do not play football.
The road to a fifth 6-4A title will have a much different look than past seasons. With a changing of districts, Plaquemine will lose rivals Belaire and Livonia and will find new district opponents in Lutcher, Lee High and Parkview.