Archive for August, 2012

2012 Zachary Post Pigskin Preview

I included only photos I shot and edited
West Feliciana High School

West Feliciana High School Football Team 2012 seniors

After a year of rebuilding, the West Feliciana Saints have come back stronger and more mature, says head coach Robb Odom.
“We lost 25 seniors after the 2010 season so we had to play a lot of young guys and I thought we had a pretty successful year,” Odom said. “We made some mistakes because of immaturity, but I’m expecting good things from the players this season.”
He said being a year older has made a difference and that a lot of the players took it upon themselves to workout and get stronger during the off season.
The Saints finished the 2011 season with a 5-6 record and with a Class 3A first round playoff loss against Loranger.
Odom said the goal is to get back to the playoffs, but go farther than the first round.
“Our goal (this year) is not just to make the playoffs, but be playing in November. If you’re playing in November, then you’re doing good things,” Odom said.
In spring practice, the focus has been fundamentals, Odom said.
“The little things in football and life are what make you successful. You take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves,” Odom said. “If you can’t tackle, can’t block, get down in a proper stance, you’re not going to be very successful.”
After working on technique, Odom said he then had his players focus on learning plays.
“We threw a lot on their plates early to see what they can and can’t handle,” Odom.
The players shared Odom’s philosophy of maturity and technique being the key to a successful season.
“So far, we’ve been conditioning pretty hard and in our scrimmages, the focus has been to make sure we execute the plays,” said senior lineman Trey Cazabatt.
For running back and defensive back, Deldrick Harris, he said learning patience was key for him.
“I learned patience in the losing games (last year). This also pushed me to work hard this summer and be ready,” Harris said.
He will also be playing offensive line this year and said he feels he’s gotten stronger and will do well at the position.
“We see each game as a step forward to the playoffs,” said offensive and defensive lineman Josh Robinson.
“We were a small, but strong line last year, so we spent the off-season focusing on mastering plays.”
Quarterback and defensive back Dennis Bell said last year’s season helped to form the collective mindset of improvement.
“I think we came together as a team because of those (2011) games and once we started to work together more, that’s when we started to play much better,” Bell said.
“I’ll mainly be looking at how my guys compete, who gets after it,” Odom said. “We’ve worked out the kinks and they have what it takes to be successful.”
The Saints have had scrimmages with Plaquemine and Patterson high schools and played a jamboree game against Denham Springs. Their first regular season game will be against the Tioga Indians at home on Aug. 31.

Zachary High School

Zachary High School football coach Neil Weiner talks to players during practice.

For the Zachary Broncos football team, players are banking on individual improvements coming together for a successful 2012 season.
Senior offensive lineman Christopher Taylor spent the off-season improving his speed. along with working on drills, he went to college conditioning camps and spent extra time in the weight room on his own.
Taylor is also looking to see how the Broncos’ defense will do against Catholic High School, the first game of the season.
“They made some big changes, so I want to see how well they do. On offense, I think we have really clicked and I can’t wait to see it in action,” Taylor said.
For senior running back, Boston Scott, he said he felt his biggest obstacle was break away speed.
“I spent a lot of time during the off season working on plyometrics,” Scott said.
Plyometrics, or jump drills, build muscle and help explosiveness.
Scott said being a starter this season is also extra motivation.
Head coach Neil Weiner said he has high expectations this season, despite losing 32 seniors.
“I have always stressed character and leadership, doing the right things and holding each other accountable,” Weiner said. “These are our number one priority.”
The Broncos finished the 2011 season 7-4 with a loss against Acadiana.
Weiner said most of the younger players had rotated through to play in other games, so “they are not totally new to the system.”
“We have a few new spots to fill, but the guys have been great through spring practice,” Weiner said.
“This will be Trey Hills’ first year starting and he’s done a good job of learning as much as possible. Grant VonRosenberg is starting (at center). It will be new for him but I think he’s ready,” Weiner said.
Other players spent their off season getting stronger.
“This summer I wanted to get bigger, faster and stronger, but mostly stronger, said senior corneback Nick Maxey.
He said he lifted at school and worked with weight lifting coach Gayle Hatch. This led to Maxey competing in the Junior Olympics in Texas and taking gold in the 62 kg, age 16-17 group.
The Broncos held a scrimmage against West Monroe and their first regular season game will be against Catholic High Bears on Aug. 31.

East Feliciana

East Feliciana High School 2012 Football Team and Coaching Staff

East Feliciana High Head Coach Craig Anderson said last year was kind of a rebuilding season and he expects his players to get back to 2010 form when they finished 12-1.
“Last season went pretty good even though we finished 5-5. We moved from 2A to 3A and had lost a good group of seniors,” Anderson said. “The guys are better this year and for the most part, I want them to just have fun and play football.”
Senior quarterback Kendell Beckwith said he spent the summer trying to get more accurate with his throws and improved his defensive skills since he will be playing linebacker as well.
Last year, he passed for more than 800 yards and had seven passing touchdowns.
Anderson said he expects Beckwith to also settle into his role as a leader on the team.
Beckwith said he is optimistic about the 2012 season after an Aug. 17 scrimmage with St. Helena High School.
Junior wide receiver Danny Johnson said he spent the summer hitting the weights and on the field working on his play routes.
“I think one thing we have focused on going into this season is working together better,” Johnson said.
He said the scrimmage with St. Helena showed that he and the players need to make sure they are capitalizing on a lead.
“Once we are ahead, we need to make sure we keep that momentum going,” Johnson said.
In the first game against Northeast on Aug. 31 Johnson said he hopes to do better catching the ball and breaking tackles.
Senior wide receiver said Corey Hawkins last season was motivation to work harder.
“The scrimmage showed me I need to improve on my route running and I need to practice the plays more,” he said.
Hawkins said he’s hoping to dominate against the Northeast Vikings, whom they beat 41-0 last year.
Senior running back and cornerback Ladarius Jackson said he and other seniors got together during the off season to train together.
“This is our senior year, we want to play hard and go out and have fun,” Jackson said.

August 13, 2012 at 12:28 am Leave a comment


by Vanessa C. Deggins
On Saturday, the Zachary Martin Luther King Jr. Committee was able to give out 675 bags of school supplies at its 19th annual Back to School Fair, according to event chairwoman Johnnie Evans.
“We gave out 550 bags last year and ran out, so we really wanted to get that number up,” Evans said.
Evans said that in the lead up to Saturday she was getting dozens of calls from parents needing help purchasing supplies and uniforms. She said as the mother of now-grown children, she understands these parents’ struggle; so she puts a lot energy into this event.
“There weren’t any events like this when I was raising my kids, and the economy is still not in the best shape; so if we can do something to help, then we need to do it,” Evans said.
The Back to School Fair took place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; but around 9:15 a.m., the line of parents and children began to stretch out the parking lot of the Zachary Men’s Club.
The supplies were given out on a first come, first serve basis, and parents were asked to provide basic information about the child, such as name, age, grade and school.
“We’ve been using that information to determine how many sets of elementary, middle and high school supplies we will need for next year’s event,” Evans said.
Parents also received a raffle ticket that automatically entered their child into a drawing for a free bookbag.
Volunteers from Clerk of Court Doug Welborn’s office were on hand to create picture IDs for the children. Along with a photo, the laminated card contained the child’s name, thumb print, address, phone number and date of birth.
“I was raised on the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child, and that’s why I love volunteering at this event every year,” said Adrianna Armstead, who is a graduate of Zachary High School and now works in the Clerk of Court office. “Regardless of whether you are single or married, the price of everything seems to have gone up, and it can be overwhelming; so I think it’s always good to come together and help others if you can.”
Tamecka Melton was at the event with her three-year-old son, Tycen, to get a uniform and ID for him.
“Some places are completely out of uniforms, and sometimes you just don’t have the finances; so it’s helpful to know there are events like this to make sure kids have what they need.”
Demetreia Thomas brought her four grandchildren, ranging in age from five to ten, because two of them still needed uniforms.
“I’m really grateful for these events. A little help does go a long way,” Thomas said.
Members of the Zachary Fire and Police Departments were on hand to talk to kids, let them tour a fire truck and tell them about the D.A.R.E program.
Zachary Police Chief David McDavid spoke at the event about the importance of doing well in school and thinking about the consequences of one’s actions and decisions.
As the event wrapped up, an exhausted but happy Evans reported that volunteers had to prepare a few extra bags of supplies, giving out a total of 200 uniforms, courtesy of Southeast Community Health Systems.
Evans said the committee was only able to give out 200 bookbags through the raffle.
“That’s one area where we want to expand as well. Many parents still needed a bookbag for their child,” she said.
“Everything went really well, even though it was so hot. The parents are always so excited and they really appreciate the help,” she said.
Other features of the event included space walks and volunteers from Lane Memorial Hospital doing blood pressure checks for adults. Primary care physician Stephen Jones was on hand to offer lifestyle tips for anyone with elevated blood pressure.
The MLK Zachary Committee accepts donations year round, which can be mailed to 6539 Donnie St., Zachary, La. 7079. Checks should be made out to MLK Committee of Zachary.
Children begin classes in Zachary schools on Thursday, August 9.

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August 7, 2012 at 12:57 am Leave a comment