Cecilia coach Terry Martin sees room for improvement as team opens playoffs _lowres

Advocate photo by Brad Kemp Cecilia running back Raymond Calais Jr. takes off on a touchdown run as St. Martinville cornerback Kyrad Williams pursues last Thursday.

CECILIA — Despite an undefeated district season, a 9-1 overall record and a 3 seed in the 4A playoff bracket, Cecilia coach Terry Martin said he’s concerned.

“I still think we have some improving to do,” Martin said. “It’s pretty scary to know we have had a pretty good season and played well at times — and if we play the way we should, we should be playing a couple games — but I think we still have to improve to get it done.”

Martin is coaching a squad of seniors who have played the majority of the varsity snaps since they were all freshman. Running back Raymond Callais leads the team and gets a lot of fanfare for the Bulldogs’ offense, but the passing attack, led by quarterback Landon Roberts and wide receivers Kenya Dartez and Rusty Robin allow the Bulldogs to put a balanced attack on the field.

“Raymond’s the type of guy that when he gets the ball, everyone holds their breath expecting something great to happen,” Martin said. “A lot of the games, it hasn’t been so much of Raymond slacking, but just that we have finally have a passing game that allows us to throw a little bit on first down.”

Martin said in the past, the Bulldogs didn’t have a guy to get the ball down the field, nor receivers who could stretch it. The Bulldogs still relied heavily on Callais this season, but Martin said having Roberts at the helm has been a luxury.

“We didn’t have a guy that can get it down the field like Landon can,” Martin said. “We’re fortunate to where we can throw on first down when people aren’t expecting us to and it opens things up for Raymond.

“Sometimes we don’t have to throw it. All of those skill guys have been on an incredible pace. Landon broke the career passing record, Raymond broke the career rushing record and Kenya broke the season receiving yard this year. When all this is over, we’re going to look back and realize this is a special year with some special kids.”

Still, despite the statistics and accolades, Martin is worried. Every coach certainly is, but Martin said he knows that a lot of coaches would love to have senior leadership at all of the skill positions like he does.

“These seniors, some of them started as freshmen and we took our licks,” Martin said. “Now they’re seniors and we’re starting to win some football games. It’s been really nice where we can throw things in during a game and let them know how we are going to run things and they just nod their heads and go and do it. I don’t know if we have ever been able to do that before. Their ability to adjust right there on the spot might be something that we’ve never had before and to be honest, will be tough to ever do again.”