MATHEWS — If you think the Central Lafourche Trojans are satisfied with last year’s success, you might want to think again.
Central Lafourche finished the year with a 6-5 record and made it to the first round of the Class 5A playoffs, but it’s now a new year with some new faces in key positions.
But Trojans senior running back Deon Jenkins, who was one of the state's top runners last season with 298 carries for 1,799 yards and 24 touchdowns, said he believes they are ready for more this year.
“I feel like we’ve got a very good team. We’re going to do some big things this year,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to take our confidence we had last year and physicality we had last year and we’re just going to put it on the field this year. We want to go far this year. A lot of people sleeping on us but we’re coming.”
Central Lafourche will return 12 starters (six on offense and defense each) from last season, including Jenkins, senior receivers Jansen Folse and Peyton Loredo, senior tight end Logan Wilcox, senior center Gaven Adams, senior defensive end Trevor Alleman and senior linebacker Caleb Thibodaux.
“The guys who are returning are the ones we are counting on to lead us this season,” Central Lafourche coach Keith Menard said. “We’ve had some good fall practices up to this point.”
Despite losing several key offensive linemen last season, the Trojans will return many of the explosive skill players. They averaged nearly 30 points per game.
“Offensively we have three really good skill guys coming back as far as receivers and tight ends,” Menard said. “Folse, Loredo and Wilcox are coming back. Those are guys who can make plays.”
And of course, Menard said he is excited to have Jenkins return for his senior year.
“I think he (Deon) has proven himself after two years,” Menard said. “I look forward to watching him play as a senior and seeing where he takes his game to the next level.”
New starting quarterback Ashtrein Duncan will replace Jacob Barker in the starting passer role.
During the summer months, Duncan showed off his athleticism and skill set in 7-on-7 drills and at team camps.
“Ashtrein has really done a good job up to this point,” Menard said. “I think he’s going to be great. It’s just going to be wait and see what happens in the game-like situation, but we like his progress up to this point.”
Jenkins said he can’t wait to play in the Trojans’ offense this season.
“Our offense is going to be great,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got a lot of different weapons we could use. We’re going to be good.”
Menard said he is also confident with their defensive attack, especially up front with defensive lineman in Allemand, Kobe Guidroz and Truvon Price leading the charge.
“For us through the years, we’ve played pretty good defense but we always seem to give up a big play or two just because of our overall lack of speed,” Menard said. “We feel good about our team speed this year on defense. We feel good about the guys coming back. We feel like if we could just make teams drive the football, then we are going to find some ways to make some plays and get off the field and get us the ball back.”
Allemand said the goal for the Trojans’ defense is to hold opponents to under 21 points per game this season.
“We’re going to play hard every down,” Allemand said. “We’re going to be aggressive. Everybody is going to be running to the ball this year. We’re going to be real strong up front. This is the best team I’ve ever been on. We feel like nobody should score more than 21 points on us. We’re going to be fast and physical all year long.”
As for special teams, Menard said the Trojans will have to replace a consistent kicker in Gavin Lasseigne, so that will be one area they will watch during fall camp and start of the regular season.
If they stay healthy and play hard every week, Allemand said he loves the Trojans chances this season.
“I think we’ve got a good chance to go far this year,” Allemand said. “We’ve got a lot of good players. We’re going to be good.”