Donaldsonville spring practice filled with new faces
Spring practice has been a youth movement for Donaldsonville in 2018.
Last season, the Tigers were fueled by the leadership of a huge senior class. Now that all those seniors are gone, head coach Brian Richardson is looking for some young and inexperienced players to grow up fast.
“We’re just trying to teach them how to get off of the bus right now,” Richardson joked. “We’re starting from scratch. I’ve been through this process several times in my 20 years of coaching, and it’s a fun process. It’s fun to watch them mature, and in the end, if they stick with it, it’s going to pay off. We’re just trying to find some leadership.”
The Tigers experienced quite a resurgence in 2017, as they improved their record from 4-6 to 7-3 and won their first playoff game since 2014.
Leading the charge was a stellar senior class that included college signees like linebacker Tahj Brown and lineman Davon Wright (Tulane).
“Replacing those guys is one of the most daunting tasks in front of us this year,” Richardson said. “The freshmen coming in are eighth-graders right now. They didn’t get to play with those seniors. Someone has to step up and rebuild that component of our team. That’s what we’re looking for on the practice field right now.”
One of the toughest guys Donaldsonville will have to replace is two-year starting quarterback Jaylen Williams.
Williams had a huge 2017, passing for over 2,000 yards with 24 touchdowns and rushing for nearly 500 yards. He was first-team all-district and second-team All-Parish.
This spring, there have been a pair of young Tigers competing for the open quarterback position.
“Our two front-runners are Joshua Collier and Treyvon Brown. Treyvon is an eighth-grader, and Josh is a ninth-grader. It’s nip and tuck right now,” Richardson said. “We’re kind of in the same position LSU is in right now. We have to be able to pull the trigger on a guy before fall. They’ll get an equal amount of snaps on Saturday. We’ll evaluate them there and see who steps up.”
The cupboard isn’t completely bare for Donaldsonville. They will return some explosive players.
One of their best returning stars will be Christian “Muppetbaby” Bell. Bell is a speedster that does it all for Donaldsonville—he plays running back, cornerback and he is a dangerous return man.
“He’s been away running track for the last two weeks,” Richardson said. “We’re gonna have him for just four days, but when he came back, he lit it up. He was outstanding. He knows the calls and checks, and he’s our go-to guy right now.”
Some other guys that have impressed Richardson during spring are receiver Jeffery Johnson, cornerback Savon Landry and linemen Rashad Millien and Jalen Winchester.
They’ll all get their chance to shine this Saturday as they visit Tara for the spring game.
Richardson just wants to see his team progress.
“We want them to line up correctly and get the calls in correctly. We don’t want to burn timeouts getting them in the right spots,” Richardson said. “They’re still learning the terminology. We just want to see them go in the right direction. We don’t care about points scored; we just want to see them apply the things that we’ve learned throughout spring.”