Following the recent spring game against St. Amant at Yellow Jacket Stadium, Denham Springs football coach Dru Nettles asked his players to raise a hand if they started a varsity game during the 2015 season.
Six hands hit the air.
The postgame exercise by Nettles was a reminder to the Yellow Jackets that better days should be ahead for a team that figures to improve as the number of practices mount and the young players continue to grow comfortable in their new roles.
The scrimmage against St. Amant, a team returning mostly intact after winning nine games and reaching the second round of the Class 5A playoffs last fall, served as the 10th and final practice of the spring for Denham Springs.
“I think since January this team has worked hard to be great teammates and worked hard together offensively and defensively, so we made improvements in that area,” Nettles said. “If we can maintain that and have a good summer, we can learn to compete week by week through the season.”
St. Amant outscored Denham four touchdowns to two in a scrimmage consisting of roughly 120 plays.
The Yellow Jackets were shut out until the final period of the spring game which had each offense starting from the opponent’s 25-yard line. Tyre Golmond scored on a 22-yard run and Cameron Feucht found Jeremy Watkins for a 25-yard passing score.
Feucht and senior Parker Simoneaux, who both played last year after senior Torez Kinchen suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, shared time in the spring game.
Versatile junior Hunter Scott even saw some time at quarterback, serving as a change of pace and running the read option.
Finding ways to fill the void left by three-year starter Kinchen is one of many challenges the Yellow Jackets face after graduating 32 seniors.
But following a disappointing 2015 in which Denham finished 5-6 and bowed out in the first round of the playoffs, Nettles said the expectations around the program will be the same as always.
‘We expect to compete in our district and we expect to compete in the playoffs,” Nettles said. “We expect to do well. Part of building a program is the expectations should be there each year. The expectations don’t go away. We expect to do well and compete with whoever we play.”
It is no secret that Golmond will be the focal point of the offense as he enters his third year as a starter.
Another certainty is that Scott will make a big impact for the Yellow Jackets in more ways than one.
In addition to the spot duty at quarterback, Scott can play free safety or cornerback on defense. He also will return punts and kicks.
“I told them wherever they need me, that’s where I’ll play,” Scott said.
Nettles looks forward to seeing how the young team comes together.
“These are some ninth- and 10th-graders we had playing out there trying to adjust to the speed of the game,” he said. “I think we made some improvements as it went on, and I think you’ll see us improve as we go throughout the year.”
Scivicque, Brown in all-star games
Maurepas baseball player Chaz Scivicque and Live Oak softball player Lauren Brown were expected to compete in the LHSCA’s annual all-star games over the weekend.
Scivicque, a catcher, batted .425 with four homers and eight doubles this season and was named the District 8-C MVP. He is the younger brother of former Maurepas and LSU star Kade Scivicque.
Brown, a shortstop, hit .474 for the Eagles with one homer, 18 RBIs and 17 stolen bases as the Eagles reached the semifinals of the 5A state softball tournament. She has signed with McNeese State.
The all-star baseball games were moved from North Park to Louisiana-Lafayette because of weather concerns and rescheduled as a Sunday doubleheader, while the softball games were scheduled to be played Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Louisiana College in Pineville.
North Corbin’s Cook shines in travel tourney
Jalen Cook helped Sports Academy Team Glen Davis win the 14U title at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Atlanta by scoring a team-high 14 points in the championship game including an 8-of-10 effort from the free throw line.
Cook was not only named the tournament MVP but also earned recognition from HoopSeen.com as one of the top five 14U players at the tournament.
Cook’s team erased a 36-26 deficit against Game Elite in the championship game.
Cook recently finished at North Corbin Junior High and will attend Walker Freshman High in the fall.