Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2005

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f0fs24 cf0 East St. John prepares for life after Ryan Perrilloux

Talent still plentiful as Dixon, Lee and Thiel lead potent ESJ offense


Sports Editor

RESERVE’d1Ask anyone human in the rest of the country and they will tell you that it is the year 2005 A.P.

Ask East St. John Head Football Coach Larry Dauterive the same question and you undoubtedly will get another answer.

‘d2It’d5s 2005 A.P., for us,’d3 the legendary coach said. ‘d2It’d5s life after (Ryan) Perrilloux.’d3

The Wildcats must replace perhaps the greatest athlete in the history of the city in Ryan Perrilloux. The consensus National Player of the Year concluded his eligibility last season and will be attending LSU this fall.

Despite the loss of the nation’d5s top signal caller from last year’d5s squad, Dauterive is excited about the prospects of the 2005 squad.

‘d2We have a lot of starters coming back,’d3 Dauterive said ‘d2We lost three or four guys on defense and three on offense. That was it. We pretty much have everybody back.

‘d2The key to it is Johnnie Thiel being able to grasp the offense as we know it. I think the fact that he came in here in January and started here was a very big plus for us. For him to come in here and August and learn this thing would have been impossible.’d3

The incoming junior transfer from John Curtis, Thiel will give the Wildcats a different weapon behind center.

‘d2He’d5s a different quarterback than Ryan was,’d3 Dauterive said of Thiel. He’d5s not the 6-3 big guy. He’d5s 5-10, strong and shifty.

‘d2If I had to do it over this spring I would have given him more rollouts and sprint outs to get him more comfort. I am a more of a drop-back passer type coach and I got spoiled with a 6-3 quarterback. Sometimes it is hard for him to see over the line of scrimmage.’d3

Coming from a Patriot program at John Curtis that would be lucky to throw the ball 10 times, Dauterive said Thiel still has some work to go, but has the talent to be a talented passer.

‘d2He’d5s not quite there with the passing game yet,’d3 Dauterive said. ‘d2He is effective enough already that we can win a lot of games because he understands what we are trying to do. Every day in practice he got better.

‘d2Right now his Achilles’d5 heel is his deep ball. That is something that he is going to have to work on. All of that stuff can be corrected and he has two years left to play which is great.’d3

Having Thiel behind center has also been beneficial to the rest of the Wildcat attack.

‘d2The big thing that it has done is allow us to keep our key skill position players where they belong and that is key for us,’d3 Dauterive said.

‘d2Our talented receivers can stay where they are. We can get them the ball and they can make plays.’d3

Coming from a powerhouse where we was apart of two teams that made it to the state championship, Dauterive said Thiel will be ready for the pressure of being the starting quarterback for the Wildcats.

‘d2I’d5m not worried,’d3 Dauterive, said of the pressure that Thiel would face. ‘d2That is one of the reasons that I think Johnnie came here. He knew the parameters that he was working under.

‘d2I cherish the thought that he thinks he can come in here and take us where we want to go. He has been to the Dome twice. We have never been. He brings that playoff experience.’d3

Having one of the most prolific trios of receivers in the country led by Ricky Dixon will make the adjustment easier for a new quarterback.

‘d2With our receivers and weapons that we have, we don’d5t have a bad play,’d3 Dauterive said. ‘d2Add Stanley Jackson back there running the ball along with another couple of kids and we have several kids that can take it to the house at any time.

‘d2That allows us to have a balance with this year’d5s offense and that allows us to be a different type of team. We won’d5t be a throw it every down type of squad.’d3

Up front Jamarr Thompson anchors a very big and solid offensive line.

‘d2We have two really true starters back and one kid who played a lot for us up front,’d3 Dauterive said. ‘d2Josh Millet was pressed into service this spring at center because our projected center got hurt the first day of spring and missed the entire spring.’d3

Antoine Fisher will anchor a very much-improved defense that Dauterive said has improved tremendously in the spring.

‘d2We really did great on defense this spring,’d3 Dauterive said. ‘d2They were able to put pressure on us very well.

‘d2I can’d5t see anybody better in this state on the line than Antoine Fisher. He’d5s a 5-10-5-11 defensive lineman and about 225, but he has really got a motor. If there was an MVP player for us this spring, it was definitely Antoine Fisher. At times we had to put three people on him.’d3