Patterson finds motivation in 2012 playoff shortcoming

Despite coming off a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs last season, Patterson is still the favorite to win District 9-3A this season.

With the departure of Denzel Johnson, coach Tommy Minton will turn to senior quarterback Spencer Landry to take the reins of his spread offense.

“Spencer has seen some game action for us the past couple of seasons,” he said. “We’re fortunate that he has some experience to lean on, and he is throwing the ball really well in practice.”

When Landry drops back to pass, he will look to get the ball into the playmaking hands of junior Daylon Charlot and sophomore Mykel Jones. Minton said both players have multiple scholarship offers from Division I schools, including LSU.

Looking to keep pace with Patterson, Donaldsonville is led by Tulane commitment Leondre James.

“James should be a playmaker for us on offense, defense and special teams,” coach Benny Guilbeaux said.

Donaldsonville has had a lack of interest in the program in recent years. That’s something Guilbeaux is looking to turn around.

“We have a lot of new faces on the team,” he said. “Lack of interest has been a problem lately, but we’re moving forward and looking forward to the jamboree and the season.”

Guilbeaux has set forth one particular goal for his team to achieve this season.

“A small goal for the team this year is to kick a field goal,” he said. “The school hasn’t had a field goal made in a couple years.”

E.D. White will continue to employ its unique offense and take advantage of the strengths it has on both sides of the ball. Coach Kyle Lasseigne will be calling upon his defense to lead the team this season.

“Defensively, we have to use what we have,” he said. “We have more speed than in the past. We’re going to have to play fast and be good in the secondary. If we do those things, we’ll be in most of our games.”

Lasseigne will lean on junior tailback Darius Charles to carry the load offensively

“We’re a triple-option football team,” Lasseigne said. Charles is a kid that we count on. He’ll get the most carries.”

Ultimately, Lasseigne wants to see good character out of his players on and off the field.

“My goal always is to have our kids be the best they can be,” he said. “The most important thing to me is the kids represent our team and our school with class.”

A team looking to surprise the district this season is Franklin, led by coach J.B. Ina.

Ina has confidence in his squad: Eighteen starters return from a team that finished 5-5 last year.

“We have an experienced team coming back,” he said. “I expect us to perform at a high level. I have a special group here. I want to make a run at this. If I’m going to have a year to be good and be hot, this is my year.

“I don’t see any reason why a team like what we have can’t make a run at it. This is one of the best feelings I’ve had going into the season. I just hope it works out.”

The district’s other coaches have taken notice of the threat Franklin offers with such a wealth of returning players.

“Franklin always has great speed,” Lasseigne said. “From top to bottom, the district is better than it has been.”

Berwick coach Craig Brodie echoed Lasseigne’s sentiments.

“Franklin has one of their best teams in years,” he said.

Berwick is led by three-year starting quarterback Bobby Boudreaux. He will be a leader of a team that Brodie described as being extremely young.

“Five or six freshmen could see significant playing time this season,” he said.

Berwick is working through a transition phase, looking to get more students on the field.

“The program has been down for a long time,” Brodie said. “It’s going to be a process to get these kids back to playing football.”

With Patterson being a perennial power in 3A and the number of starters that Franklin has returning, this district could be a wild ride.