Slaughter Charter looking to make the playoffs for the second year in a row

Entering its fourth season as a program, Slaughter Charter football has improved leaps and bounds in an incredibly short time. Finishing off the 2017 season with a record of 2 and 8 is a far cry from the team's record of 6 and 6 with a playoff win in the 2018 season. The team is already improving exponentially, and that journey has only just begun.

I spoke with offensive coordinator Mike Odendahl last week to get a grasp on how the Slaughter Charter football team is going to look in 2019. We spoke a few weeks ago about their summer training regimen, so I first had to check in and see how much they have advanced since then. Coach Odendahl said things are finally starting to “fall into place.” Even though the boys still aren’t in pads yet, they are currently working on installing offensive and defensive schemes as well as figuring out who is going to be playing where on the field.

Odendahl said they’re really getting the players into gear as school is back in session and football season is approaching fast.

Speaking of the players, I asked Odendahl to give me a shortlist of the guys that he thinks are going to make the biggest impact on the field this year. He told me that the main cog of the team is receiver and linebacker Ke’Tron Jones, a four-year starter for Slaughter Charter.

The next name he brought up was Bryce Turner, a big lineman that makes a difference on both sides of the ball. Another big lineman is CJ Ervin, whom Odendahl described as a hard worker and a go-getter. They also have a utility man in the form of Trelon Perry, who is making his return to the team this year. Odendahl described him as a “multi-purpose-type guy.” Finally, they have a returning starter in running back/linebacker Johnathan Johnson, a fast runner who also does a great job in providing blocking for the quarterback in their air-raid scheme.

In terms of the schedule, Odendahl said it’s going to be a little bit different this year. With the semiannual re-districting, Slaughter Charter and head coach is Jacob Goudeau will face a whole new group of district opponents this season, which will be a fresh challenge for both players and coaches.

Nobody at Slaughter Charter is looking too far ahead though, as they have a big game on the docket right from the beginning. On Friday, Sept. 6, Slaughter will go up against East Iberville at home in a rematch from a very close game last season. Slaughter Charter should get the season off to a hot start with revenge over a blemish on last year’s record.

To finish up our conversation, the coach and I spoke about what his expectations are for this year’s team. He told me that the only way is up. Odendahl said they surprised a lot of people last season by improving their record so much, and he expects nothing less from this year. Doing what they have done in only three years and “flipping the script” on everyone who expected far less from them is an accomplishment of its own for everyone at Slaughter Charter, but don’t expect them to let up anytime soon, as Odendah said, he wants to “build a program that’s going to last,” and he is on his way to doing just that.

Joel Robinson covers sports for The Democrat and The Watchman. To share tips about area sports news, email xtra@theadvocate.com