Thiel improving for East St. John

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2005


Sports Editor

RESERVE-One of the most talented teams in the area got down to business Monday afternoon.

With the start of the season less than three weeks away, the East St. John Wildcats put the pads on for the first time Monday afternoon during a very humid practice.

“We are in pretty good shape as a team,” Wildcats Head Coach Larry Dauterive said. “We ran all summer and we have had 10 practices already just in shorts.

“I really think that it is just a psychological thing that the kids have to break through. All we put on extra today was the pads. We have been having helmets on. Today was a very humid day. We had a little bit of rain before practice and then the sun came out and just baked everybody. But that is just South Louisiana in August. You have got to expect that.”

Dauterive also continues to be impressed with the progression of newcomer Johnnie Thiel under center. The junior quarterback formally of John Curtis seems to be a quick study and is adapting quite well to Dauterive’s fast-paced, up-tempo style of offense.

“He’s getting there,” Dauterive said. “He’s getting there. I have confidence in Johnnie Thiel at quarterback for us. He is going to be able to handle it.”

Overall, Dauterive said he is pleased with his team’s progression thus far through fall camp.

“I am happy where we are,” Dauterive said. “I am happy where we are at. We are building some depth right now. We are building depth in the offensive line, we have depth in the secondary, which is good, and we are building a little bit of depth in our defensive line.

“At quarterback we are giving Johnnie and Ricky (Dixon) most of the reps. Johnnie is getting a majority of the reps because we want him to become comfortable with what we are doing. But overall, we in essence are going to have 14 practices before we start to get ready for our first game, the same amount we had in the spring. We will be ready and getting ready to start installing game plans for our season opener at the end of the week.”