Tigers will feature plenty of new faces in 2022
Over the past few years, Donaldsonville has had the good fortune of fielding senior-laden teams with plenty of experience.
This season, the Tigers will not have that luxury.
They will have to replace a multitude of starters and play many young and inexperienced players in their place.
Last year, the Tigers went 5-4 during the regular season and won a first-round playoff game. Their season ended with a loss to fifth-seeded Church Point in round two.
Donaldsonville lost eight all-district starters from that team, including its starter at quarterback. The Tigers will be without Treveyon Brown, who was a four-year starter at QB.
Taking Brown’s spot will be a returning all-district performer in Raiyen Oatis. However, Oatis has been the team’s starting cornerback. He’ll still play defensive back this season, but he’ll be making the transition to quarterback as well.
“He showed some glimpses. He can be good, but he’s got to be consistent,” head coach Brian Richardson said. “It’s hard to lose a guy you’ve had since the eighth grade. It was hard to look in the locker room and not see Treveyon there. I’m glad Raiyen stepped up. He didn’t have to do it; he’s a cornerback. But he stepped up. If he stays consistent with it, I think he’ll be a good quarterback.”
Other all-district players the Tigers lost are: Lawrence Forcell, Randell Oatis, Maliek Robertson, Jamarcus Miller, Jamaries Bennett, Payton Cargo and Daimar Robertson.
“This will be a very young team, and this year will be a learning process for most,” Richardson said.
Overall, Donaldsonville will return just three starters on both offense and defense.
One huge piece the Tigers will have returning is senior Robert Kent, who was a first-team all-district running back and linebacker last season.
Kent has received multiple scholarship offers from colleges during the offseason, including Grambling State, Southeastern and Nicholls.
Along with Kent and Oatis, Richardson said that he’s expecting big things from running back and linebacker Blake Turner. Richardson said that Turner had a big spring.
Along with Turner, Richardson said that receiver and defensive back Rashade Schonberg, lineman Markale Fisher and receiver and defensive back Ricky Davis could be in line for big seasons.
There are a few first-year starters who Richardson expects to have breakout seasons as well. These players are sophomore receiver and defensive back Tre Spurlock, senior running back and linebacker Jalen Butler and junior linebacker and tight end Tyriek Jupiter.
There will be great excitement for Donaldsonville heading into the year. The Tigers will finally get to play a full season on their new artificial turf at Floyd Boutte Stadium.
Donaldsonville was forced to play without a home stadium all last year.
Last season, Donaldsonville had to pay all of its home games at Plaquemine and White Castle.
Even when the turf was completed the week of their second-round playoff game against Church Point, it was not game ready in time for the contest. So, the game had to be moved to White Castle High.
Richardson said this year’s team will have its greatest strength at the linebacker position.
The squad may be young, but Richardson said that he loves how hard the team works.
“We have good team speed, and we run the football well,” Richardson said. “But we lack experience. All of these guys are young. I like our effort and hustle, though.”