They began practicing in pads early last week, got a second new head coach in the middle of last week and with the start of school, there’s even more on their plates.
Nonetheless, interim head coach Russel Kuhns has nothing but good things to say about how the team is managing.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of having to ask them to step up. They’ve already done that,” he said.
There are reasons to be optimistic, to be sure. The Eagles are returning a good chunk of their stellar offense from last year and were sculpted over the summer to get the younger players ready to fill in gaps.
Two of those offensive leaders include Jacoby Davis and Dustin Desormeaux.
Davis, a running back, carried the ball almost 230 times in the regular season, collecting more than 2400 yards. The star of the Eagles ground game scored 41 times, eight of which were receiving and one of which was a kickoff return he managed to run back.
Desormeaux, meanwhile, averaged more than 20 yards per catch, having caught the ball 32 times in the regular season and gaining 676 yards last. He was responsible for 11 touchdowns the Eagles nabbed.
There were some major losses, like last year’s key senior cousins, quarterback Aaron David and receiver Ryan David.
Aaron completed 114 of 194 passes for more than 2,000 yards, the majority of those going to Desormeaux and Ryan David, who had 35 catches for 745 yards.
Aside from Desormeaux and Davis, however, you can expect to see good things from other players.
Davis will be the first to tell you that his success on the field last year would not have been possible without help up front. It’s on the offensive line that you’ll find Kyle Zenon. As a force on the line, Zenon is a junior this year with a huge opportunity to make play happens for the Eagles. Last year, he was named to the District 8-1A All-District first team.
What Kyle Zenon is to offense, Trey Rider will be on defense. Also a junior and All-District first team member, Trey will be on the line for the defense stopping the big plays opponents will be trying to open up.
Also on the defensive side, All-District first team member and linebacker Shay LaPorte is in a good position to make the Eagles shine.
Joining LaPorte will be senior Joey Faulk. Faulk, too, was an All-District first team defender and, like LaPorte, he will be there to help stop the air and ground game from his position on the field.
The Eagles are preparing first for a jamboree in Opelousas, where they’ll play Westminster Christian Academy.
After that, the team will take on parish rival North Vermilion in the opening game of the season on August 31.
With Davis and Desormeaux helping lead the offense, and the defense taking cues from Faulk and LaPorte, the Eagles have a reputation to maintain. In the back of their minds, there is some unfinished business from last year, when they fell short of making it to the state championship. Seniors Faulk and Desormeaux have one more shot.