SPORTS

Tigers searching for identity

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @dvillechief
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Brown tries to shake off a defender in DHS' loss at Dutchtown in week 2.

After coming into the season with a new head coach and coaching staff, new uniforms and weight room the Donaldsonville High School Tigers football team is still in search of its identity. The Tigers (1-2) lost Friday night on the road at White Castle 28-18 and head coach Benny Guilbeaux said the team is going through a “rough patch” right now.

“Yes, last week was definitely a winnable game,” Guilbeaux said about the lost in White Castle. “I believe we got tired and I take the blame for that and hopefully this week we regroup and get it back together and get a win this week.”

DHS’ offense has been the Achilles heel so far this season, despite having star receivers Leondre James and Jaquel Gant lead the way. Guilbeaux said the team is looking for ways to get them the ball and best utilize their skill sets, along with sophomore Stephon Sullivan. Guilbeaux said the team has been working on getting Sullivan some quality reps at quarterback.

“Just getting him more comfortable throwing the ball,” Guilbeaux said. “He’s a 6’6” guy and he’s extremely athletic although he, and Tyler Brown, are just young.”

Brown has started all three games under center for the Tigers, and Guilbeaux credits the lack of production from not having a substantial amount of time with offensive coordinator coach Brian Ensminger. Guilbeaux wasn’t able to get the coaching staff in with the team until August, which he takes the blame for.

The Tigers are hoping to make some adjustments offensively, something they know will work for the skilled players.

“Just basically getting a good five or six plays that we know we can get positive yards on,” Guilbeaux said. “Once again, being behind we’re searching for an identity. With all of these athletes we should be able to come up with something positive.”

In the two losses, the Tigers have shown a lot of upside. Despite going scoreless against Dutchtown in week 2, Guilbeaux said the team started off great but then beat itself.

“The kids did not stop competing until the very end of the game,” Guilbeaux said. “And when the clock hit all zeros there was no head hanging and finger pointing. Those are the things that have happened in the past. It’s encouraging to see it not and we still have a good number showing up for practice.”

Guilbeaux uses the W.I.N. acronym to push his team mentally. He defines it as “what’s important now.”

“It’s just winning, if every coach and player constantly take W.I.N. and basically use it as motivation I think we’ll be successful,” Guilbeaux said.

The first-year head coach said he’s also seen better attitudes from his players, despite going scoreless at Dutchtown and losing to a 1A school in White Castle.

Looking forward, the Tigers welcome Southern Lab to the Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium for the DHS Homecoming game.

Guilbeaux said the team should be able to get back on track, but DHS is not going to take Southern Lab “lightly.”

The Tigers play Southern Lab on Friday, Sept. 27 at the Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium for Homecoming.