ITLR Preview: Bulldogs ready to let loose under Meyer

Andrew Green agreen@postsouth.com

White Castle Bulldogs are one of three teams in Iberville Parish that will have a new head coach for the 2017 season.  Newly named head coach Aaron Meyer replaces former Bulldogs coach Lamar Thomas, who was released after an off-the-field incident in early 2017.

With a change in coaches, comes a change in game plan.  The Bulldogs lost several key players to graduation this year, including Ja’Tyre Carter and Columbus Willis on the defensive line and Quinton Sanders.  This year, WC will sport just five seniors.

The team may have lost some talent, but Meyer has had a consistent showing of student-athletes at the summer football programs.  On the offensive side of the ball, Meyer will focus on the run game with a spread look and Wing-T principles.

A key change Meyer is implementing is in the quarterback role.  Former QB Jeremie Richard will be moved to the half back/slot receiver position.  Javier Batiste is currently the team’s starting man at the helm.

One area of struggle for the Bulldogs, however, has been the change at offense.  The transition from a double-slot offense to the spread, especially when the team was not too keen on advancing downfield through the air, has presented its challenges to the young squad.

Besides quarterback Batiste and receiver Richard, look for wide receiver Demarius Stewart to play a key role in putting up big points for White Castle in 2017.  Meyer expects big men Chancellor Williams, freshman guard, and Clifton Dunham, sophomore guard, to help win the battle in the trenches.

On the defensive side of the ball, Meyer plans to run a 3-4 defense with a Cover 2 look.  Look for linebackers Marcus Williams, sophomore, and Eddie Ned, junior, to fill the gaps left behind by Willis and Carter.  Basketball standout Unique Young will serve as a starting cornerback.

Like all successful coaches, Meyer knows that the game is won in all three aspects: offense, defense and special teams.  He sees punting the ball as an extra offensive down, and will coach his boys to fight for extra possessions this season.

“We’ll be fine if we can handle all aspects of the game,” Meyer said.  “They’re a good group, and I’m pretty excited from what I’ve seen so far.”

The Bulldogs went 4-8 overall and 2-3 in district play under Thomas’ final season.  WC advanced to the second round of the playoffs where they fell to Arcadia 26-16.This year, the challenge does not get much easier.

They will open their regular season Sept. 1 on the road at 4A Belaire before they host three straight home matchups against neighboring rival Donaldsonville (Sept. 8), Glen Oaks (Sept. 15) and Lusher Charter (Sept. 21).  In the final game of pre-district on Sept. 29, White Castle will have to travel to take on a stout West St. John team.

They then return home Oct. 6 to open district play against Kentwood (6-1A runners-up), travel to face off against parish rival St. John on Oct. 13, then return home Oct. 20 to take on Ascension Catholic.

The Bulldogs will travel to face the 6-1A defending champs Southern Lab on Oct. 27 and then close out their regular season at home against parish rival East Iberville on Nov. 3.

If White Castle can find a way to squeak out a few key district victories this season, look for them to make a run in 1A.