Bulldogs want to build on success
WHITE CASTLE – White Castle High School may have surprised a few teams a year ago with how fast they reloaded after a state championship in 2010. And with the departure of just four players, don't expect to see a downfall this year.
The Bulldogs finished with a 9-3 overall record in coach Lamar Thomas' first year at the helm of the program. White Castle also was District 8-1A runner-up with a 4-1 mark. Their only losses came to state semifinalists West St. John, who eliminated the Bulldogs in the regionals, and University Lab.
"We are looking forward to having a veteran team that can provide good leadership and build on last season's accomplishments," Thomas said. "I am also glad to have more depth on the team as well as the coaching staff."
White Castle returns eight starters to an explosive offense that racked up over 450 points a year ago. The Bulldogs also return eight starters to a defense that only surrendered 225 points.
"The majority of our skill guys are back so I feel good about that," Thomas said. "We are just trying to get them to play a little bit better than last year so they can carry the team because they should be able to with their experience, knowledge of the game and understanding of the system.
"We have a couple returning lineman but not very many. Our numbers are better. We have more lineman this time around than last year. We have more depth but not as much experience. We are just working hard to get those guys in position to play winning football for us."
The Bulldogs will run out of the Jet Wing Offense. Key departure is 1,000-yard rusher Tyrie Lang.
Robert Franklin returns after earning first-team all-district at wide receiver and kick returner and so does Bulldog signal caller Chris Major at quarterback.
Daryl Young, an all-metro defensive back, also returns at running back and will be joined by Dontrell Taylor in the backfield. Dajour Chaney is also back at fullback.
Jared Little and Brian Jenkins both return to the offensive and defensive lines after earning all-district a year ago.
White Castle's defense will be run out of a 4-2-5 package. Top losses include lineman Curtis Jones and linebackers Marcellis Coleman and Gregory Jordan.
Moses Young, Harold Zachary and Byron Pierre join Young, Franklin and Taylor in the secondary.
Daniel Edwards and Andre Prevost return at defensive end to shore up the front with Jenkins and Little.
Chaney looks to take over at middle linebacker. Others in the mix in the line backing corps are Brandon Foster, Jared Jones and Ortello Batiste.
White Castle opens the season hosting 4A Morgan City before traveling to Covenant Christian.
The Bulldogs then host long-time rival in 3A Donaldsonville before trekking to 2A Westminster Christian and 3A Iowa, both quarterfinalists a year ago.
White Castle then opens up District 8-1A play at home against parish rival East Iberville before traveling to another parish rival St. John and Ascension Christian. They wrap up the season hosting playoff advancing Ascension Catholic and semifinalist and district champion West St. John in the finale.
"The season that we had last year gives you confidence and something to work for as a team," Thomas said. "It helped set some goals and told us where we were as a team. We have to get better and other teams are trying to get better, too. We are definitely not going to surprise anybody. I think people are going to respect us because of our experience and the season we had last year. We have our work cut out for us to live up to it."