BOURG — There hasn’t been a lot of change taking place at South Terrebonne over the years.
Whether it is their uniforms, the fields or coaching staff, a lot of things have been consistent.
But a quick walk around "The Swamp" this year will show some change.
South Terrebonne will enter the upcoming season with a brand-new artificial turf surface at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium and new uniforms.
Even South Terrebonne’s longtime coaching staff, which is still led by longtime head coach Richard Curlin, is excited about some new things taking place at the school.
"We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on this year with the field obviously and new uniforms," said Curlin, who will start his 30th season as the Gators’ head coach this fall. "In 30 years, we’ve might have gotten two or three sets of new uniforms. I told the guys we don’t like a lot of change."
The Gators, who had their first playoff appearance since 2014 last season, love their new look and they hope it will carry them to another playoff appearance and a District 8-4A championship this year.
"I would be real nice to host a playoff game on our new turf in our new jerseys," senior running back and defensive back Lance Pellegrin said. "It would be special. It’s a lot of hard work that everybody puts in. I think it’s going to be all right."
Senior defensive back David Lirette said they are excited to be the first South Terrebonne football team to get to play on its own turf field.
"We want to play on it as much as we can," Lirette said. "It’s pretty exciting. I never thought we would get it."
Curlin said South Terrebonne has many returning starters from last year, especially on defense.
"We’ve got some good athletes coming back from last year at some key positions," Curlin said. "Our defensive backfield is all returning. We’ve got some smart kids back there we feel good about. We’ve got a couple of linebackers back and a couple on the D-Line back. We’ve got some young kids that we’re excited about during the spring."
Lirette is one of the key returners in the secondary.
"We’re going to be very experienced," Lirette said. "We have a bunch of seniors coming back, so I think we’re going to be good again. I think we can go really far. People doubt us a lot."
As for the offense, Curlin said the Gators are glad to have senior quarterback Trey Gautreaux returning.
"I think just having your quarterback coming back is always a good thing," Curlin said. "Offensively, we have just about the entire offensive line coming back, plus some guys that are pushing them."
Gautreaux said he looks forward to leading the Gators’ offense.
"We’re very excited," Gautreaux said. "We’ve been working hard all summer. We believe we can make it back to the playoffs. Making it last year gave us confidence that we can do it."
When looking at their offensive backfield, Curlin said the Gators will have some explosive weapons in players such as junior runners Jamala Ricks and Colby Chelette.
"We could possibly have one of the better backfields that we’ve had in a long time," Curlin said. "We went into the spring thinking if we could find a fullback, that we could move the Chelette kid to the G-back. We have Ricks at the other G-back. I think Jamala is going to have a breakout season this year. Colby played some running back for us last year and some fullback. He has been played some D-Line. I thought he did a good job."
Although they will face a competitive regular season schedule, Curlin said he likes their chances of fielding a great team.
"I think this team could be very successful," Curlin said. "Just like everybody else, we have to stay healthy and stay together. We just have to be ready to play every Friday."
And Pellegrin said he believes the Gators are ready to show what they could do.
"We have a lot of hard-nosed football players," Pellegrin said. "We put in a lot of work during the summer. Hopefully that’s going to carry on to the season."