CECILIA — It’s not exactly classified information as to what the Cecilia Bulldogs plan to do on offense.
Coach Terry Martin acknowledged he knows opposing defenses will devote a healthy portion of preparation to senior running back Raymond Calais.
“He had 2,200 yards last year,” Martin said. “Defenses focused on him last year. Everybody knew what we had in Raymond last year, and this year will be no different.”
Martin said Calais is being heavily recruited, and his “special” abilities allow the Bulldogs to try some things they wouldn’t normally be able to do.
“He gets more carries because he allows us to go with a single back,” Martin said. “That isn’t something we normally do at Cecilia. We do things we don’t normally do with Raymond, and we’re doing some things we won’t be able to do next year.”
What some aren’t accounting for, Martin suggested, is the Bulldogs’ passing game. They return quarterback Landon Roberts and wide receiver Damien Bernard, both seniors. Martin said the passing game was as good as he has had last year, and the team’s ability to stretch the field is what really allows Calais to flourish.
“Landon threw for more yards than I’ve ever had,” Martin said. “Damien is going to Southeastern Louisiana on a track scholarship; he can really get down the field. That really opens it up for Raymond.
“We have a few four-year starters that have been playing since they were young kids, but now they’re seniors. It’s no secret that our record took a downward spiral the last few years, but we have a lot of people expecting good things out of us this year — and rightfully so.”
Martin said he is concerned with depth — specifically on the offensive line. Not long after the spring game, the Bulldogs had two starters quit and lost another for two months after a four-wheeler accident. Martin said the fill-ins look good, but injuries are a concern.
“We’re down to five guys who are physically ready to play,” Martin said. “They’ve done well and they look good, but if any one of those guys goes down, we’re in trouble. We haven’t (practiced) first team vs. first team until (the middle of August) because I’m so scared of someone getting hurt.”
Martin said the plan is to take some defensive linemen and at least teach them the basic protection and blocking in case the Bulldogs get in a bind. Despite the early-season adversity, Martin said his team is oblivious to those concerns.
“They’re going at it full-speed trying to kill each other,” Martin said. “I wish they’d take it a little more serious. I’m having a hard time helping them to understand that we really need to be careful. They all think they’re bulletproof.”
The Bulldogs are out of the St. Thomas More, Northside and Teurlings district that has haunted them for years. They find themselves right in the middle of a thick St. Martin Parish rivalry with St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge.
The rivalry has always been rich, but 2015 has all three programs fielding competitive teams — with Cecilia having the best player in Calais.
“Raymond is a quiet kid with a good background,” Martin said. “He’s well grounded and very spiritual. They don’t come around like that very often. ...
“Even though our district schedule isn’t as tough, we are still playing a tough out-of-district (schedule) with Comeaux, Crowley, Lafayette High and Northside. You won’t go through a whole season without having a few injuries, and that will be the key for us.”
Coach: Chris Towery
2014: 1-10, 1-5
Looking back: The long road to rebuilding took a major step forward with the Wildcats winning their season-ending game at West St. Mary.
Moving forward: Towery will look to build heavily on that victory.
Ask The Advocate: They won’t have the talent to contend, but the Wildcats may play spoiler a time or two.
Sept. 4 at Kaplan
Sept. 11 Berwick
Sept. 18 at Welsh
Sept. 25 South Plaquemines
Oct. 2 at North Vermilion
Oct. 9 at Cecilia#
Oct. 16 Breaux Bridge#
Oct. 23 St. Martinville#
Oct. 30 White Castle
Nov. 6 at Westgate#
Breaux Bridge Tigers
Coach: Paul Broussard
2014: 7-4, 4-2
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to Neville in second round)
Looking back: The Tigers were not as potent as they have been in years past.
Moving forward: Breaux Bridge will field one of the toughest defenses in the state.
Ask The Advocate: The perennial favorite in St. Martin Parish, Breaux Bridge may take a step back in 2015, but it’ll still be in the picture.
Sept. 4 New Iberia
Sept. 11 Notre Dame
Sept. 18 at Rayne
Sept. 24 Teurlings Catholic
Oct. 2 at Carencro
Oct. 8 St. Martinville#
Oct. 16 at Abbeville#
Oct. 23 Westgate#
Oct. 30 at Cecilia#
Coach: Terry Martin
2014: 4-7, 3-3
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to Landry-Walker in first round)
Looking back: The Bulldogs lost more than they won last season despite fielding the best player in the district.
Moving forward: Cecilia is moving up and will use a balanced attack to be successful.
Ask The Advocate: It’ll be for only one year, but Cecilia will have a magical run behind star RB Raymond Calais in 2015.
Sept. 4 Comeaux
Sept. 11 at Northside
Sept. 18 Crowley
Sept. 25 at St. Louis
Oct. 2 at Lafayette
Oct. 9 Abbeville#
Oct. 16 at Westgate#
Oct. 23 at New Iberia
Oct. 30 Breaux Bridge#
Nov. 6 at St. Martinville#
St. Martinville Tigers
Coach: Vince Derouen
2014: 1-9, 0-6
Last playoff appearance: 2012 (lost to LaGrange in second round)
Looking back: The Tigers had nothing offensively or defensively to compete last season.
Moving forward: New coach Derouen has rejuvenated the fan base and looks to get the program back on track.
Ask The Advocate: The Tigers could struggle again, but it won’t be as bad as 2014.
Sept. 5 Jeanerette
Sept. 11 Assumption
Sept. 17 Eunice
Sept. 25 at Opelousas
Oct. 2 at Ellender
Oct. 8 at Breaux Bridge#
Oct. 16 Comeaux
Oct. 23 at Abbeville#
Oct. 30 Westgate#
Nov. 6 Cecilia#
Coach: Ryan Antoine
2014: 3-7, 1-5
Last playoff appearance: 2013 (lost to Neville in second round)
Looking back: Westgate struggled in a much tougher district than it’ll be in this season.
Moving forward: The Tigers will have plenty of athleticism and speed.
Ask The Advocate: Their record may improve by a couple of wins, but don’t expect the Tigers to contend.
Sept. 4 at Carencro
Sept. 11 at Comeaux
Sept. 18 New Iberia
Sept. 25 LaGrange
Oct. 2 at Northside
Oct. 9 Bourgeois
Oct. 16 Cecilia#
Oct. 23 at Breaux Bridge#
Oct. 30 at St. Martinville#
Nov. 6 Abbeville#
# — district game