William D’Armond could have called it quits before the start of the 2015 season.
The senior quarterback could have walked away from an Episcopal team and an offense he took all summer to perfect. But a broken clavicle — suffered in the Aug. 29 jamboree against Parkview Baptist — could not keep him away from his teammates. Through eight games, D’Armond has been a fixture on the Knights sideline and at practice.
“I feel I need to be there for them no matter the circumstance,” D’Armond said. “We talk a lot about sticking together. Being a unit, being as one and if I leave, then I’m hurting the team. Even though I can’t do anything physically, I can coach up some of the younger guys, and I can be there for them.”
One player who has benefited from D’Armond’s mentoring is sophomore quarterback Kade Edenfield who said he never expected to play this season.
Edenfield has completed 47 of 73 passes for 593 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions to help the Knights post a 7-1, start, including 5-0 in District 6-2A.
D’Armond’s words carried Edenfield after Episcopal’s 58-14 loss to Metarie Park Country Day on Sept. 18. The Cajuns intercepted Episcopal four times that game.
“During the Country Day game, my head got down after a couple bad plays and he really helped me through that,” Edenfield said. “He told me keep my head up. That people were going to watch me and see what I do and that really helped me through the rest of the season.”
Edenfield and the Knights have been charging since, going on a 5-0 run but will face their toughest test yet in a Friday district championship showdown against seventh-ranked Madison Prep.
The unbeatean Chargers (8-0, 5-0) enter the contest with a more than capable offense and a defense that has held its past three opponents to a combined 27 points.
The job now for Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois is to prepare his young quarterbacks for the biggest test of their career with D’Armond near to help in the process.
“Probably early on, I think he felt like he had to be William and put a lot of pressure on himself, but we’ve been trying to emphasize to him to just do the things that he can control and the things we’ve asked for him to do and let the players around him play,” Bourgeois said.
“Its a lot of weight for a sophomore to handle, but so far he’s done a good job for us and maintaining the flow.”
Despite the emotional toll of being sidelined, D’Armond said his time off the field has made him a better quarterback. He is getting a better understanding of formations and the intricacies of each position.
As for his arm, he’s back throwing again.
“I actually have been throwing about 15 to 20 passes a day, but I do have permission from him (his doctor),” said D’Armond who eyes a possible playoff return.
He could be anywhere Friday night, but he will be helping his team from the Episcopal sideline. He has done so all season.