Donaldsonville to lean on wealth of experience in 2017

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Brian Richardson will lead the Tigers of Donaldsonville High into the 2017 season with confidence that his team’s leadership and experience will equal success.

The Tigers were 4-6 last year before falling to district rival West Feliciana, an eventual Class 3A semi-finalist, in the opening round of the playoffs.

Young players gained valuable experience along the way last year after Donaldsonville suffered some key injuries. Important pieces like receiver James Gipson and Jemon Pleasant were lost but both players return healthy and poised to have breakout seasons.

Eleven seniors will lead the Tigers into the season.

“These 11 guys lead on the field, in the classroom and in the community,” said Richardson.

The strength of the team starts with four-year starter Tajn Brown, an all-state linebacker who has grown to 6-foot-3 and 258 pounds. Brown has verbally committed to the Houston Cougars to play college football.

“Tajh has great work ethic and he is our rock,” Richardson noted.

Senior defensive end Kadarrion Jones is a returning all-district selection. Defensive tackle Davon Wright, a Tulane verbal commitment, is a force up front.

Jaquaivus Tenner and Datjuan Harris will be leaders on the back end of the defense in a young Donaldsonville secondary. “We had to play five freshmen in the secondary last year,” Richardson said, “and they gained valuable experience.”

On the other side of the ball, Donaldsonville will again work out of the spread. Senior quarterback Jaylin Williams returns with two years of staring experience and carried big expectations.

“Jaylin’s maturity and attention to detail will set him apart this season,” stated Richardson.

The offensive line has a pair of all-district players returning, D’Ondre Fisher (6’0 290) and Wright.

Running back is a position in good hands with Pleasant, Christian Bell and talented incoming freshman Raelyn Johnson. A home run hitter in the backfield, Bell is the fastest player on the Tigers roster.

Ladarius Jackson, Gipson,  Jeffery Johnson and AcQuindas Levy are experienced hands in the passing game. “Our receivers are a year older and can make big plays,” Richardson said.

The Tigers look to be improved on special teams with the return of Jackson, the team’s kicker and punter. Williams will handle some kickoff duties as well.

Donaldsonville will scrimmage Tara at home on Thursday, August 17 before diving into their challenging schedule.

After reclassification in the LHSAA, a new 3A district which includes De La Salle, St Charles, Haynes, Lusher Charter and St James awaits Donaldsonville. Non-district games against Assumption and White Castle will provide stiff competition.

With a tough slate, the Tigers will lean on a strong combination of talent and experience to build up towards a deep postseason run.

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