ESJ starts season at Woodlawn, falls 5-0

Published 11:45 pm Friday, November 21, 2014


RESERVE — A shorthanded East St. John boys soccer team opened its season Wednesday with a 5-0 loss at Woodlawn.

“We’ve got some experienced players, but we’re still in the process of getting into our system,” ESJ coach Paul Dupuy said. “We’ve got the football players still on their run and out for us … we’re not at full strength yet. I don’t think we’re as good today as we will be in January.”

Dupuy said a talented Woodlawn team tested his squad early.

“They’ve got tremendous speed and skill,” Dupuy said. “Honestly, they took us a bit by surprise. Give them a lot of credit.”

Dupuy said Avery Williams, Derrick Gant, Tony Warren and Greg Burnett are among the team’s leaders, with Williams manning midfield and Gant one of the defensive anchors.  

At forward, Dupuy said the Wildcats are hoping for a big season from Burnett. And once football season is closed, Lino and Hector Barrera should be a boost.

“Those two will definitely give us a lift,” Dupuy said. “But we obviously want to see the football team keep on going.”

In the coming games, Dupuy said he wants to see the Wildcats pass the ball well and build chemistry with one another — quickly, if possible, as district play begins in early December.

ESJ GIRLS FALL 1-0 — The Wildcat girls soccer squad also opened the season Wednesday at Woodlawn, falling by a 1-0 score.

Dupuy, who has taken the helm of the girls program this season in addition to his duties with the boys team, said he was pleased with the effort.

“We’ve got some girls with strong athletic ability, and with a little direction, they’ve got a chance to be really effective on the field,” Dupuy said.

“It’s just a matter of getting the knowledge needed to succeed.”

Antelliott Thomas played a strong game on the defensive backline, and combines with Maribel Guerrero and LaDeja Harris as returning players with experience that Dupuy says the team will lean on for production.

“They’re pretty good players,” Dupuy said. “They’re playing with a lot of energy.”

Amanda Duhe, Dupuy said, has stepped up as one of the Ladycats’ leaders this season.

“She’s directing people on where to be and making a point to get everyone on the same page,” Dupuy said.

“We’ve got quite a few girls with some experience. It’s just a matter of learning how to play together.”

The boys team is playing at the St. Amant tournament this weekend. The girls team competes at the Central Lafourche tournament.