MAMOU -- The last five years have not been kind to the Mamou Demon football team. During that span, the Demons are 3-47 and have not sniffed the playoffs.
However, 2018 brings with it new hope and new leadership.
After the departure of head coach Brian Brumfield in the spring, the Demons decided to promote from within their coaching staff as Dwight Collins was given the task of turning around an infertile program. Collins, the former Opelousas High head coach, was the defensive co-ordinator in Mamou last season.
“My philosophy will be a little different than the philosophies of the past coaches here in Mamou,” stated Collins. “My job is to make sure that the players and coaches are one hundred percent committed to this program. We definitely all need to be on the same page. The work ethic and the practice pace has to change dramatically for us to have success. The entire make-up from scheme to practice plan to work out schedule will be transformed.”
One of those major changes taking place is on the offensive side of the ball. Collins has decided to move away from the spread offense of the past few years and has put in its place a more run first oriented scheme with the Wing T.
Collins hopes this change will allow his team to control the ball more and help reduce the turnovers that have plagued the Demons the last five years.
“The Wing-T is something I am very familiar with, having been an assistant under Eunice head coach Paul Trosclair,” said Collins. “Coach Trosclair, as I do, that this offensive scheme allows you to have system players in place and helps to stabilize your program. With the Wing-T, you do not have to have big offensive lineman. As long as you have guards that can pull and tackles that can block down, the system will work. We will tweak the offense a little by running it out of the pistol, which I think will help our passing game.”
Collins will have only two offensive lineman returning to help in the re-make of the offense, as juniors Devin Messer and Braydon Thibodeaux come back to help anchor down the offensive front. Mamou will also have to rely on a whole new backfield to turn around the offense. Junior Justin Fontenot is projected to be under center this season, while seniors Bernard O’neail and Conner Deshotel and junior Raylon Anderson will carry the load running the ball.
Defensively, Collins will stay with the same scheme as last season. According to Collins, the 3-4 defense employed by the Demons helps alleviate the need for depth at the defensive line, something that Mamou has not had the last couple of years.
“Not having enough true defensive lineman forces you to go to a defensive set that utilizes your other strengths,” commented Collins. “I think we are going to be very good at the linebacker position and at the defensive end spot. The secondary will showcase some young talent, but I am optimistic in what I have seen so far out of those guys. Our job on defense this year will be to try and get as many three and outs as possible and give our offense a chance to pick up some points for us.”
Heading up the defensive unit will be junior linebacker and 2017 All-District selection Parker Granger. Joining Granger at that position will be juniors Devon Boone and Daylon Ardoin along with sophomore Cole Mott. Senior LeAndre Harrison will anchor down at nose tackle, while fellow senior Ethan Granger and sophomore transfer Landin Soileau round out the defensive front.
The defensive secondary will consist of seniors Isaiah Raymond and Jakobe Goodley along with juniors Peyton Vidrine and Kyrian Green.
Mamou will get early tests from non-district opponents Oberlin, Basile and St. Ed’s before having to step into District 5-3A play.