Kenner Discovery looks to make its mark in first varsity football season

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Having just started a program a year ago, P.J. Sprunk, Jr. is excited to usher Kenner Discovery into its first varsity season in 2019.

“Every day is a little bit of an adventure but now that we are going into our first varsity season, we are very excited,” Sprunk said. “We have high expectations. Every team expects to win every game and we are pushing hard to do that.”

Sprunk understands success, having attended John Curtis Christian.

With a new school building rising quickly in north Kenner, a new football program is ready to rise quickly as well in Kenner.

The Swamp Owls won their spring game 18-12 over Springfield.

There is the promise of some promising players on hand.

It is a young team, featuring four freshmen and five sophomores who are expected to start.

“Last year, we finished our final game with about 37 players,” Sprunk said. “Right now, we are at about 72. We have really jumped the number significantly. Our middle school program is translating quite well and there is opportunity to play early with a start-up program.”

Offensively, sophomore quarterback Kristian Kraft (5-9, 165) leads the way. His running backs include junior Ocsar Casco, Jr. (5-10, 180) and freshman Omyreon Young (5-11, 210).

The wide receivers include seniors Larenz William (6-0, 180) and Frederick Johnson (5-9, 165), junior Kyle Rainer (5-9, 165), sophomore Chad Woodson (6-1, 195) and freshmen Labyron Martin (6-0, 170). Woodson and Williams are the best of the bunch. The tight end is senior Axel Varela (6-0, 200), who should be very good.

There are veterans up front, including seniors Kareem Ghanem (6-3, 350), Jackson Turner (5-10, 250) and Kyle Dual (6-0, 200). Junior Muhammad Abbas (6-4, 240) and sophomore Dylan Smith (5-11, 225) complete the offensive line. The massive Ghanem and Turner should be standouts.

“Kraft actually got into Kenner Discovery just before school started last year and won the job quickly,” Sprunk said. “He picked up the offense pretty fast. He can run and throw. He is very young and we can grow with him. He is a natural leader who has been elected captain. He is very smart.”

While having a leader at quarterback is important, Sprunk is encouraged by several others who will play a key role in his offense.

“Omyreon is big and gifted but he is coming from another school,” Sprunk said. “Martin is a talented young player as well. Varela has an offer from Louisiana College. He has good hands and speed. Turner is the strongest kid on the team and he is very smart and Ghanem is huge and will start at left tackle. Woodson is very athletic and William is athletic.”

The defensive line features a pair of seniors in Lance Rouzan (5-10, 200) and Colin Shaver (6-1, 200). They are joined by junior Eduardo Martinez (5-10, 210) and freshman Deshawn Clark (6-0, 250). Rouzan is expected to lead the way.

Senior Robert James (6-0, 200) leads the linebacking corps and he is joined by juniors Matt Geraci (5-10, 175) and Logen Colomer (5-10, 165) and sophomore Thomas Cagle (6-1, 215). Colomer is being counted on to be very productive.

The secondary includes senior J.P. Chaisson (6-0, 180), juniors Drake Johnson (5-11, 170) and Aaron Crim (5-10, 175) and freshman Marcus Clark (5-10, 165). Crim will also return kicks.

“We are young on defense,” Sprunk said. “James is a kid everyone wants on their team. He won our MVP award last year. He can play both sides of the ball. He has offers from Louisiana College and Hendrix College. Clark is young, big, quick and strong. Rouzan is moving inside from defensive end. He is quick. Colomer is our captain while Geraci played running back last year. Crim is likely the fastest kid on our team. Johnson was our best cover man last year. Marcus was the MVP of our spring game.”

Anthony Castro (6-0, 200) will handle kicking and punting duties.

The schedule opens with Fisher on Sept. 6 at Muss Bertolino Stadium before a road trip to Bay High in Bay St. Louis, MS. The Swamp Owls host Ridgewood in week three before a tough road game at Salmen and a contest with Collegiate of Baton Rouge.

Kenner Discovery heads to Ben Franklin in week six and to Pope John Paul II in week seven. The Swamp Owls open District 11-3A play against Thomas Jefferson on Oct. 25, continue with De La Salle on Nov. 1 and take on Haynes at Joe Yenni Stadium on Nov. 7 to conclude the regular season.

“Last year, we scheduled a few varsity games to get the feel for it,” Sprunk said. “We look forward to district play with Haynes, Thomas Jefferson and De La Salle. We know De La Salle is very tough. We played Fisher to a tie in our fall scrimmage last year. We look forward to the trip to Bay High. Ridgewood is working hard with small numbers. Collegiate is a new school like us. We played Ben Franklin in a JV game last year. I coached at Pope John Paul previously. Salmen is always tough with a rich history.”

With a young program and young players, the Swamp Owls could experience a few growing pains but the future looks very bright for Kenner Discovery.

“We have an excellent school and to be part of this from the start is really exciting,” Sprunk said.

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…

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