Re-focusing the talent
The one important task for the Mamou Demons coming into the 2020 season is the ability to re-focus the talent on hand.
Last season, the Demons were led by a hard-nosed, very skilled group of seniors that took leadership very seriously.
And, although Mamou has a number of players returning with game time experience, head coach Dwight Collins and his staff must put those players in the positions to make the Demons successful.
“We are young, but we have a lot of guys whoplayed last year,” stated Collins. “The way it looks, we are going to have to move some of the older players around to help out the overall team chemistry. We are just going to have to find people to replace what we lost due to graduation. The key this season is how well we execute.”
One of the major areas that will have to be addressed is who will take over at the quarterback spot. Last year, the Demons had first team All-Parish selection Daylon Ardoin as their signal caller. The versatile dual threat player accounted for over 1,500 total yards.
According to Collins, junior Jalon Bradley will more than likely get the nod at the position. Bradley was a running back last season, but moved into the quarterback slot over the summer.
The running back spot seems to be a battle between two worthwhile players. Junior Christian Broussard and sophomore Jonathan Hand will fight for the chance to become the starter.
At the slot, the Demons seem to be settled on two players including Devin Ardoin and Andre Tate. Mamou has a number of skilled players who will be able to handle the wide out position including Marcraveious Roberts, Devin Papillion, Tyrian Broussard and Jerez Edwards.
The H-back/Tight End spot looks to be sewn up by junior Matthew Fontenot.
Mamou will have some depth up front to block for all of the capable play makers. Only one caveat, five of the seven players who could see time in the trenches are sophomores. Compromising that group are juniors Isaiah Noel and Benjamin Leday, while sophomores Javon Williams, Alijah Arvie, Hayden Granger, Cedric Richard and Alex Dick round out the group.
“I think offensively we won’t be as explosive as last year, but I think we will be steady,” said Collins. “Our offensive line seems to be getting it right now and everyday seems to be a better day on that side of the ball.”
Defensively, Mamou brings back some experience, especially at the linebacker position. Anchoring that slot will be Leday, while Elson Laurant holds down the outside linebacker/ strong safety spot.
Joining Leday at linebacker will be Isaiah Bell and Jace Douget. Dalaen Attle moves from his free safety spot last season and will be opposite Laurent at the other strong safety position.
The defensive line will feature Jonathan Downs and Javonte Thomas for sure. Downs is a senior returner while Thomas is a sophomore.
Defending the perimeter and the back end will be Kelby Chatelain, Trevon Skinner, Trayvon Raino and Hand. Chatelain and Skinner, both juniors will patrol the field as cornerbacks, while Raino and Hand will take turns at the free safety spot.
“Defensively, we have some guys that, when you turn on the practice film, stand out,” commented Collins. “We just want them to line up in the right spots, play fast and swarm the ball.”
As of now, the Demons have not settled on any placekickers, but Chatelain seems to be the guy that will more than likely do punting and kicking duties.
Mamou was supposed to kick off the season with Bunkie, but unfortunately due to quarantine protocols, the Demons will not start their season until next week when they host the Port Barre Red Devils on Friday night.