Wildcats getting back to business

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2004

By GEORGE MAHL – Sports Editor

RESERVE – It may be April, but to area football players and coaches, it may feel a little like August. Several River Parish high schools began there spring practice schedule earlier this week. The East St. John Wildcats have just started their practices this week by practicing in pads. It’s getting back to the basics that is always the first step.

The Wildcats are building toward a Black and Gold Spring Game, which will be played May 20 at Keller Stadium.

“Starting Monday, we will be working out in full pads,” said East St. John Head Football Coach Larry Dauterive. Dauterive said he is working with young players on how to stretch properly. He described his team’s first practice on Wednesday as “ragged.” He was working with quarterback Ricky Dixon during practice.

“He has got a lot of talent,” Dauterive said of Dixon. “We are confident he can get the job done if something happens to Ryan (Perrilloux).”

There will likely be a maturing process for the Wildcats this year. East St. John must replace nine starters on offense. Two key positions that will need to be addressed will be wide receiver and running back.

Two receivers that figure to see action this year are Roy James and Louis Lee.

At running back, Stanley Jackson will have some big shows to fill. He will replace University of Miami signee Derron Thomas.

“Stanley is a very fast back. He is a tenth grader who can bench 240 pounds. He will be a good one,” said Dauterive.

With only one offensive lineman returning, Kerry Raymond, some head coaches might be concerned.

Not Dauterive.

“We had the same thing last year with our offensive line. Dustin (Yates, offensive line coach) molded them into a pretty good line by seasons end.”

The Wildcats are scheduled to have 10 days of practice while working in pads. East St. John will have a scrimmage against Hammond on August 19.