Webster, Taylor, secondary show promise for Lutcher as season approaches
Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Rain or shine, the show must go on.
Much as it has for the other seven river region teams, rain over the past few weeks has set Lutcher back as it continues preparing for the upcoming season.
“Everybody agrees, it’s been difficult,” says Lutcher coach Tim Detillier. “I can’t remember it being this wet from the beginning. But in the game we play, you have to fight the elements from time to time.”
This is true. And as the veteran Bulldogs coach knows, no matter what the weather looks like on September 5, when Lutcher opens its season at Higgins, his team must be totally prepared for the occasion.
Even so, as it prepared earlier this week for a Thursday scrimmage against Class 1A finalist West St. John, Detillier was left to hope that the weather would allow he and his coaches to get a significant look at his team’s strengths and weaknesses, one week prior to its jamboree clash with Destrehan.
One of the greatest questions for Lutcher heading into the season is how the team will transition from Class 3A All-State quarterback Blaine Gauthier to senior Gavin Webster.
In the Bulldogs shotgun-based spread offense, much is asked of the quarterback position. Detillier is very pleased with Webster’s progress throughout the spring and camp, saying he expects the offense to “amplify” Webster’s skills just as it did Gauthier’s.
“We think he’s ahead of the curve,” Detillier says. “He could really surprise people this year.”
But he cautions that expecting too much, too soon might not be wise.
“You don’t lose a player like Blaine Gauthier every year,” he says. “But it’s like I’ve been telling people, everyone’s got to be patient and give him time.
“You don’t sit behind someone for three years and not learn anything. At the same time, the last thing everyone remembers is Blaine Gauthier, and you can’t expect that from the first game.”
Webster’s not the only player who has shined throughout camp. Running back Daniel Taylor enters his freshman season in a unique spot – he started the majority of 2007 as an eighth grader.
“Our running backs coach is pretty happy,” Detillier said. “He’s set for the next four years. That doesn’t happen too often.”
Taylor, Detillier points out, is not only a year older, but bigger, stronger, and faster.
“We hope his play reflects all of that. He looks really good so far,” he said.
Another unit that should be improved is the Lutcher secondary, which returns all five of its primary options from a year ago. Led by All-State safety Dexter McCoil, the Coach says that unit is the strength of a defense that sees seven starters return.
Detillier can’t help but be pleased with how that unit has looked thus far.
“We feel really good about our secondary,” Detillier says. “These guys are stronger and faster now, too. That makes us better.”