Destrehan retools, begins preparation to defend state crown in ‘08

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Sports Editor

Things were a little bit different around the Destrehan football program this spring. Coming into spring practice as a defending state champion tends to have that effect.

But that won’t be the only difference Wildcat fans take note of this fall – on the field, this will be a very different team from the one that walked off the Superdome turf as Class 5A’s top squad, particularly on offense.

“We’ll look a little bit different this year,” said Destrehan Coach Stephen Robicheaux. “We had a lot of questions to answer when we entered the spring. And I feel like we’ve been able to answer them.”

Gone are many of the offensive weapons that made the Wildcats such a terror for opposing defenses to try to handle. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson has moved on, as have wide receivers DaMaris Johnson and Tim Molton, and running back Jerico Nelson.

In all, 30 seniors have departed since Destrehan began last season.

But one unit that is still mostly intact is the offensive line, which returns four of its five starters from a season ago.

“That looks to be the brightest part of our team,” said Robicheaux. “We’ll have to take on a bit of a different offensive identity, be more run based, and showcase that line.

“I think this line will be one of the best we’ve had at Destrehan.”

Wynrick Smothers will be a senior this season, and he entered the spring as the Wildcats’ new quarterback.

The team’s only returning starter at receiver from last season’s spread attack will be senior Brandon Armstrong.

“Inexperience is out biggest concern there,” said Robicheaux. “A big key is getting enough playing time for Wynrick under his belt, before district.”

Defensively, Destrehan brings back defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore, linebacker Rufus Porter, and defensive back Antonio Parker. All are Division I prospects.

Destrehan changed things up yet again this spring with its opponent in the annual spring game. After years of lining up against Fontainebleau, Destrehan locked up with H.L. Bourgeois, and came out of the scrimmage victorious.

Running back Myron Smith and wide receiver Corey Vidal each made big plays that led to touchdowns. The cupboard is certainly not bare, and that’s a good thing, with the tough District 6-5A schedule looming.

Robicheaux knows his team will be targeted as the defending champions, but coming out of the spring, he feels confident that his players can handle it.

“Are we as talented as last year? No,” said Robicheaux. “But I like the make-up of this team.”