0-3 new territory for Karr; Cougars ready to restore pride with win _lowres

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH-- Karr's Warren Newman tries to run away from Brother Martin's Erick Lassair in a Sept. 18 game Tad Gormley Stadium.

There is rarely a shortage of pride at 3332 Huntlee Drive.

But players, coaches and those who root for Karr have certainly had their pride challenged by the team’s 0-3 start.

Karr had never started a season with three consecutive losses, and coach Brice Brown doesn’t plan on continuing to write history for the wrong reason. After a Week 4 bye, the Cougars host Riverdale in their District 9-4A opener Thursday night at Behrman Stadium, and they can feel the pressure mounting.

“We need a win, and we’re eager to start district play,” said Brown, Karr’s first-year coach. “I’m also eager to see how the team responds to starting 0-3. That’s not typical for a Karr team. It’s not accepted either, so the pressure is on us and on the kids to turn it around for the second part of the season and uphold Karr tradition.”

Karr is 2-0 all-time against Riverdale, and more importantly, reinforcements are on the way.

The Karr defense has allowed a shade under 39 points per game through its first three games against St. Paul’s, Landry-Walker and Brother Martin.

The Cougars defense will be lifted by Andre Anthony, an LSU commitment who transferred to Karr last year before his previous school, Miller-McCoy in New Orleans East, closed down.

Anthony was declared ineligible by the LHSAA for the first month of the season for switching schools before the end of the 2014 school year.

For the first time in 11 months, Anthony will return to action and is set to make his Karr debut in what’s inevitably become a must-win game.

“I’m very excited and ready to make some plays and help my team,” said Anthony, a senior defensive end. “I’m ready to make my presence known. I’m definitely going to show up in the way I act and way I play that I’m back. I’ve sat out a long time and have a lot of fuel in the fire.”

Brown not only expects Anthony to have an immediate impact as an individual, but change the dynamic of the defense.

Karr’s coach compares No. 7 to former Cougars standouts such as Gerald Willis, Donnie Alexander and Elcee Refuse based only his ability to not only play at a high level, but lead, too.

“Dre brings a different mindset, a different energy that I’m hoping the other players feed off of,” Brown said. “He has leadership skills and playmaking ability. I’m eager to see the team rally around him as opposed to just lean on him.”

Also returning to the team is Anthony’s former Miller-McCoy teammate, Tyrin Ralph.

Ralph, listed as an athlete on Karr’s roster, remains buried on the depth chart. Though, Brown expects Ralph to carve out a role by season’s end.

“Tyrin has done a good job getting involved in the offense and studying the playbook,” Brown said.

“His impact will be geared upon how bad he wants to get in the mix. He’s coming along well, but it’s a work in progress. The best is yet to been from Tyrin.”