Plaquemine High seeks to continue consistent football excellence
Seeking to continue their district dominance while hoping to make a deeper run in the state playoffs, the Plaquemine Green Devils are in quest of a fifth consecutive district title.
With five starters returning on both offense and defense, there is solid experience on hand.
The Green Devils advanced to the quarterfinal round of the LHSAA Class 4A Playoffs in 2016 for the fourth straight year and once again, the Green Devils season was ended by a New Orleans team as McDonogh 35 edged the Green Devils 26-25.
The Plaquemine Offense will be led by Herb Thomas, who moves from return specialist to quarterback and he will look to add to his numbers from last year when he was the All-District return specialist. Thomas rushed 62 rushes for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Senior Wayne Toussant reutns for his third season, coming off of a season in which he earned All-State honors of with 91 rushes for 804 yards and 11 touchdowns. Senior Michael Sproles also returns on offense, Sproles was a second team All-District performer at tight end where he was 2nd team All District at tight end and rushed 29 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
The offensive Line will be led by junior Brockhim Wicks and junior Zaylen Bouvay, both of whom were first team All-District selections in 2016. Other players returning include senior running back Leeland Williams, senior split end Andre Riley, senior tight end Cody Willis, senior center O’Darius Jackson, senior guard Javonte Green and junior guard Marquise Brown.
The Plaquemine defense has talent as well, led by senior this year senior tackle Nelson Jenkins, who had 28 solo tackles and 24 assists last season to earn All-District and All-Metro honors. Junior linebacker Herman Christophe was a second team All-District choice with 40 solo tackles and 44 assists.
Senior defensive back Bryant Jones returns as an All-District performer. Jones had 34 tackles, 30 assists and one interception a year ago. Leeland Williams will return as well on defense as a two-way performer. He had 85 tackles a year ago. Senior defensive back Percy Butler will also start.
Other Defensive Starters for the Green Devils include senior ends Jacoby Royal, and Tyrese Druel, senior tackle Devin Mitchell, senior linebacker Keldrick Deggs and junior defensive backs Vince Collins, J’vonte Power and Khamoran Riley. The defense must overcome the loss of star Todd Harris, now at LSU.
The special teams will include punter Cody Willis and kicker Brayden David.
Once again, Plaquemine faces a very tough schedule which includes two defending state champions and a state runner-up from a year ago.
The Green Devils open the season with East St John before traveling to Port Allen. Then comes a blossoming rivalry renewed in Lafayette against defending Division II state champion St. Thomas More.
A home game with West St. John follows before the Green Devils hit the road to Monroe to face Ouachita Parish.
District play begins against two-time defending Class 3A state champion Lutcher as the Bulldogs make the move back up to 4A. Also moving up from Class 3A into the district is defending Division II state runner-up Parkview Baptist. Other district opponents include Woodlawn (BR), St Michael and Tara.
Plaquemine Head Coach Paul Distefano feels his team is ready for a steep challenge.
“We lost key offensive and defensive starters but we have a large number of juniors and seniors returning for us,” Distefano said. “We have a tough pre-district schedule which includes East St. John our parish rival in Port Allen, West St John, a 5A power in Ouachita, and a trip to St. Thomas More for the third straight year.”
St. Thomas More has won each of the two previous meetings.
District 6-4A will be tough once again.
“Our district has become more challenging with Lutcher and Parkview Baptist, a pair of annual powers,” Distefano said. “We will have more depth than we have had since I have been the coach here and that certainly helps.”
The consistency of the program suggests that Plaquemine will again be a force in 4A in 2017, capable of a deep playoff run.
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Randy Pistorius is a lifelong resident of South Louisiana and is currently working in the communications field in the Baton Rouge Metropolitian Area. Randy’s start in journalism came while still in high school at De La Salle in New Orleans and that carried with him to Southeastern Louisiana University where he wrote for the Lions Roar and also worked in…